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    Hey! I'm Ivo and I'm thinking of applying to Oxford to study PPE starting in 2018. I've read pretty much every relevant article and I feel equipped to apply when the time comes, although I'm realistic in that I probably won't get an offer, but I have serious question.

    GCSEs and AS level results are highly significant although they're not the only factors taken into account. Now, I have an okay set of GCSEs: 2 A*s (Maths and History), 7 As and 1 B (French) and I was in the top 10 for my year of ~250 students which Oxford may take into account.

    Here's the thing: I know I underperformed at GCSE but I don't have a legitimate reason (such as illness or disruption to learning) so I'm not sure how I can explain this meaningfully. The only real hope I have is doing well in my AS levels and using them to explain 'actually I am making a proper effort to do better'.

    So, would be it be reasonable for me to put on my personal statement that yes I underperformed at GCSE but I have learnt from that and I'm going to do better? Or this that more detrimental as I'm admitting that I lacked devotion to studying?

    Many thanks.
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    (Original post by Ivo Long)
    Hey! I'm Ivo and I'm thinking of applying to Oxford to study PPE starting in 2018. I've read pretty much every relevant article and I feel equipped to apply when the time comes, although I'm realistic in that I probably won't get an offer, but I have serious question.

    GCSEs and AS level results are highly significant although they're not the only factors taken into account. Now, I have an okay set of GCSEs: 2 A*s (Maths and History), 7 As and 1 B (French) and I was in the top 10 for my year of ~250 students which Oxford may take into account.

    Here's the thing: I know I underperformed at GCSE but I don't have a legitimate reason (such as illness or disruption to learning) so I'm not sure how I can explain this meaningfully. The only real hope I have is doing well in my AS levels and using them to explain 'actually I am making a proper effort to do better'.

    So, would be it be reasonable for me to put on my personal statement that yes I underperformed at GCSE but I have learnt from that and I'm going to do better? Or this that more detrimental as I'm admitting that I lacked devotion to studying?

    Many thanks.
    I don't know who told you that these GCSE's are 'okay'. They are infact above average. You definitely did not under perform at GCSE, people who apply to Oxford can have a range of GCSE results, some with straight A's, others with straight A*'s. Its all about your A-Levels and personal statement, yes GCSES come into the equation with selectivity but with GCSE results like that it shouldn't be detrimental to your application.
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    (Original post by rosie.mn)
    I don't know who told you that these GCSE's are 'okay'. They are infact above average. You definitely did not under perform at GCSE, people who apply to Oxford can have a range of GCSE results, some with straight A's, others with straight A*'s. Its all about your A-Levels and personal statement, yes GCSES come into the equation with selectivity but with GCSE results like that it shouldn't be detrimental to your application.
    That's really helpful and encouraging, thanks. I am proud of my GCSEs, although that sounds a bit self important, but my principal who went to either Ox/Cam said most applicants will have 8/9 A*s which really shocked me. But that's what I wanted to know. Now I need to study hard and get some competitive AS (and predicted A level) grades.
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    (Original post by Ivo Long)
    That's really helpful and encouraging, thanks. I am proud of my GCSEs, although that sounds a bit self important, but my principal who went to either Ox/Cam said most applicants will have 8/9 A*s which really shocked me. But that's what I wanted to know. Now I need to study hard and get some competitive AS (and predicted A level) grades.
    No problem! Don't listen to them, while it's true a lot of applicants got the higher grades at GCSE, this doesn't place a limitation upon you given the amazing grades you have. At my college it's 5 A*s to get onto the HE+/Oxbridge programme however lots of people who went to my college got in with only a few A*s or all A's. just focus on those a levels now!! You're almost there, good luck
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    Whilst the average amount of A* GCSEs for successful Oxbridge applicants is very high at around 9 A*s, its not an absolute for obtaining an offer. Especially given that in context of your school, you achieved highly. I would perhaps suggest that you ask your referee to explain the contextual element in their reference, so it shows that whilst your GCSEs aren't at the highest grades, in comparison to other people in your year group at school, you were in the top 5%.
    Also if you get straight As in your AS levels with 90%+ UMS in a couple of subjects, that shows the potential you have and Oxford with like that.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
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    (Original post by jemmaaa0853)
    Whilst the average amount of A* GCSEs for successful Oxbridge applicants is very high at around 9 A*s, its not an absolute for obtaining an offer. Especially given that in context of your school, you achieved highly. I would perhaps suggest that you ask your referee to explain the contextual element in their reference, so it shows that whilst your GCSEs aren't at the highest grades, in comparison to other people in your year group at school, you were in the top 5%.
    Also if you get straight As in your AS levels with 90%+ UMS in a couple of subjects, that shows the potential you have and Oxford with like that.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    That's a very good point. I've already motivated myself to work harder, at least for now, than I did at GCSE by starting revision in the first term so hopefully I'll manage to score 3/4 competitive AS grades. Thanks.
 
 
 
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