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Do oxbridge look at GCSE results much? watch

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    (Original post by Rupes)
    You could always make up an excuse. Say your grandmother, who you were really close to, died in a car accident just before your exams. Comeon, how are they going to check?
    It's hardly the sort of thing to encourage though, is it? Besides, some people manage to get decent grades while having brain operations, and those people don't complain about their lives.
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    (Original post by Rupes)
    how are they going to check?
    One phone call to the school and/or parents, hardly impossible is it.
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    (Original post by Invisible)
    One phone call to the school and/or parents, hardly impossible is it.
    Exactly...besides..the standard of work at GCSE is hardly anything so taxing that you can't actually learn it yourself. Infact...if i remember...all i used to revise for the sciences was the CGP revision guides.

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    (Original post by faa)
    How important are GCSE results to Oxbridge?
    It really depends on the admissions tutor. Mine had crap GCSEs (well, O-levels at his time) and therefore says he almost never takes them into account unless they are amazing, or aweful. So long as they are mostly As and Bs, he does not take them into further consideration. That said, I know some other admissions tutors look really carefully at them.

    Ultimately ASs and predicted are a better indicator of your potential than a set of exams you did at the age of 16. It is quite possible to get into Cambridge (and I would assume Oxford as well) without stunning GCSEs. A good friend of mine had results somewhat like yours, but compensated with strong AS results, a strong interview, and strong performance on the college based test he had to sit before the interview.

    So basically, don't give up. I know of plenty of people here with 12 or more A*s, but there are others with mostly As and Bs.
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    (Original post by Squishy)
    Hmm...I would seriously not recommend any Oxbridge application with less than 5A's at GCSE (bare minimum). The grades may not be vital, but if you can't get at least those grades, then you probably aren't the material they're looking for (unless you're an international-standard rower or something).

    I'd go along with that to an extent. AT our school we undertook 10 GCSEs and the school say you need a Grade Point Average of 7 out of 8 to be considered for an Oxbridge place by the school. An A* is 8 points, an A is 7 points, B is 6 etc. Hence 10 A*s is the maximum and that is an average of 8. Somebody got 3A*s, 4As and 2 Bs (7pts average) last yr and got a place at Oxford for Maths. Its a succesful system but as a purely discussive rejoinder I'd like to add that people get rejected with 10A*s at Oxbridge even for degrees with questionable repute. There are so many additional factors that come into play(personal statement content, interviews, college preference etc) that it is a painful and risky endevour deducing whether you have a place there before you get an offer. Never be over-confident. I feel that when people used to talk about the 'Oxford type' they weren't referring to a specific type of intellectuality but a personality with that quiet confidence that most top Oxford graduates had. Everybody who goes to Oxford is bright. Whoever is reading this message is undoubtadly bright because they are not apathetic towards their University choices and want to be successful in this endevour and are taking the time to look on this website. Don't worry. GCSEs are behind you now. Concentrate on other (arguably more important) factors. At the end of the day its a lottery so play your numbers right.

    Angu
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    (Original post by BazTheMoney)
    In all honesty, I doubt those reason will hold much weight. For Chemistry they'd say you could of checked yourself, by 16 they'd hope a student knew that there were 10mm in a cm and 100 cms in a metre. Loads of people have to do a language GCSE, why should you be a special case. And for Biology and Physics, yes they were difficult situations, but many people would have experienced them. It needs to be stressed that when they say exceptional circumstances, they mean really, really serious thing like a mental illness or bullying; not just the absence of an ideal teaching climate.

    Mod Expression - Language (in Quotation) Violation. Post Edited.
    With reference to chemistry- how can we get taught at the age of 15, by someone thatwas adamnt about that!!! Plus its also impossible to get taught physics if you dont have a teacher and biology when the teacher is always at the back having friendly conversations with the trouble makers! If i was crap at science, i wudnt have got 100% in all three courseworks.....
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    (Original post by ASNaC)
    It really depends on the admissions tutor. Mine had crap GCSEs (well, O-levels at his time) and therefore says he almost never takes them into account unless they are amazing, or aweful. So long as they are mostly As and Bs, he does not take them into further consideration. That said, I know some other admissions tutors look really carefully at them.

    Ultimately ASs and predicted are a better indicator of your potential than a set of exams you did at the age of 16. It is quite possible to get into Cambridge (and I would assume Oxford as well) without stunning GCSEs. A good friend of mine had results somewhat like yours, but compensated with strong AS results, a strong interview, and strong performance on the college based test he had to sit before the interview.

    So basically, don't give up. I know of plenty of people here with 12 or more A*s, but there are others with mostly As and Bs.
    Hey- thanks very much for that. Fingers crossed, i should be getting 3 A's for my A Levels, this summer, then im going to do A level Maths, Physics, either AS OR A2 Chemistry, and retake my maths, physics, chemistry and biology GCSE's, which shouldnt be hard if you're studying them at A Level at the same time.
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    (Original post by Ellie4)
    Well exactly! We all have to do language, we all have the odd teacher that is less than inspiring, and there will always be people who distract you in lessons. :rolleyes: The cheek of some people eh!
    We had people putting their mouths over gas taps, then getting a lighter and blowing flames and the teacher didnt care! One person got a sandwich bag and filled it with gas then lit it, and in physics ppl played football in the lab with a tennis ball.......... yeh ok, you try and get A*'s in that environment!!!! and this was a grammar school!!!
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    (Original post by faa)
    With reference to chemistry- how can we get taught at the age of 15, by someone thatwas adamnt about that!!! Plus its also impossible to get taught physics if you dont have a teacher and biology when the teacher is always at the back having friendly conversations with the trouble makers! If i was crap at science, i wudnt have got 100% in all three courseworks.....
    I just telling you that an Oxford Tutor probable wouldn't consider them good enough reasons, and thus wouldn't take them into account. Let's not beat around the bush, you have poor GCSEs, work around them; don't bother wasting 5 minutes of a 30 minute interview making up excuses.
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    (Original post by faa)
    We had people putting their mouths over gas taps, then getting a lighter and blowing flames and the teacher didnt care! One person got a sandwich bag and filled it with gas then lit it, and in physics ppl played football in the lab with a tennis ball.......... yeh ok, you try and get A*'s in that environment!!!! and this was a grammar school!!!
    Are you being serious with us, that you actually believe you can tell an Oxbridge interviewer "these excuses" and think they'll magically skip over the fact that your GCSE grades are poor?

    So far, I haven't seen once decent excuse from you. They pretty much consist of "I had 1 teacher that wasn't so good, and some of the kids weren't perfect so lessons didn't always run 100% fantastically smoothly..."

    You go to a grammar school, so infact, you've probably had a better education than most.
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    (Original post by faa)
    yeh ok, you try and get A*'s in that environment!!!!
    I got 6A*'s and 4 A's in a schooling environment much worse than that (your grammar school, LOL), and I don't even think I have any excuses whatsoever.

    When my teachers skived or taught us nothing (a lot of the time), it's up to me to learn it for the exam, simple.

    Some of your excuses are actually laughable, seriously. Such as the "we had to do a modern foreign language" (a matriculation requirement, so you need it to apply to Oxbridge!), and "the chemistry teacher told me 1 small thing that wasn't correct ages ago, even though it was blatantly obvious and most people would have realised it was wrong, but anyway that means my C Grade in Science should really be an A*".
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    GCSE's (if you're applying before your final A-levels) are pretty much the only thing the university has that shows how well you can perform under exam conditions - you can always improve your ASs. By the end of GCSE you are pretty much responsible for your own learning. Clearly, you didnt have the best teachers for some of your subjects, but i doubt that admissions tutors will be impressed by you offloading your lower grades entirely onto the teachers.

    The lack of A*s is also noticeable - most oxbridge candidates have mostly A*s, some As and the odd B. You can try, but you might be better off applying post-Alevel when you can show your most recent grades. If you're going for E+M, why do you want to do A-level Physics and Chemistry? What A-levels have you already done? Since they only really give offers in terms of 3 A-levels, you're probably not going to benefit from doing 2 more that are unrelated. Maths is clearly a necessity.
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    And in his case universities won't even be looking at AS level grades in key subjects - Mathematics, Economics. He will have a Business Studies A level which will be useful for Management but I don't know how seriously his AVCE double IT will be taken.
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    (Original post by faa)
    How important are GCSE results to Oxbridge?
    If you get an interview then the GCSES/AS/A2s have done their job- don't think too much about past grades just concentrate on making them fall in love with you
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    Maybe its a coincidence but all the ppl whp were accepted at my college had ALL A*'s or close.. and the ppl who atleast got an interview had 5 A*'s or more.
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    (Original post by Wings)
    Maybe its a coincidence but all the ppl whp were accepted at my college had ALL A*'s or close.. and the ppl who atleast got an interview had 5 A*'s or more.
    Same at Pem, most people had straight A*s, but as far as i'm concerned once you get your interview you are on equal footing-it's just a matter of you exploiting this
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    i had to post a reply here because i think you are all placing far too m,uch emphasis on grades. oxbridge claim they look at academic potential as most peopl, with a little hard work, can pass GCSE's and A levels. i wasn't sure it was worth my while applying to cambridge as i got 6 A*s, 4 A's and a B at GCSE and 2 A's (one in general studies which they don't count), 2 B's and a C at AS. some people i know told me i was wasting my time and that i was frankly too stupid but luckily i had one teacher who really belived in me. When i went for my interview i decided i was probably wasting everyone's time but it was at least good practice. anywayz to cut a long story short they said my GCSE gardes were average (for applicants) but my AS grades were poor. i argued back and said i wasn't actually that disappointed with them (i did have depression for sometime which affected them somewhat) and they said ok then. i then managed to click with two of my interviewers and we had a good laugh and chat. so all i can say is ignore waht other people tell you, if they ask you to interview then you've got nothing to lose by trying, and just be yourself and try and relax. my only problem now is getting the grades this summer but being offered a place was a great incentive.

    oh, and in case you're wondering what happened to the people who told me i was stupid, well out of the 12 people who applied to oxbridge in my school (all i have to admit with better grades than me) only one person got accepted to oxford and i was the only one accepted to cambridge.

    so try!!!! it's only one choice out your six on your UCAS form.
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    (Original post by minx)
    i had to post a reply here because i think you are all placing far too m,uch emphasis on grades. oxbridge claim they look at academic potential as most peopl, with a little hard work, can pass GCSE's and A levels. i wasn't sure it was worth my while applying to cambridge as i got 6 A*s, 4 A's and a B at GCSE and 2 A's (one in general studies which they don't count), 2 B's and a C at AS. some people i know told me i was wasting my time and that i was frankly too stupid but luckily i had one teacher who really belived in me. When i went for my interview i decided i was probably wasting everyone's time but it was at least good practice. anywayz to cut a long story short they said my GCSE gardes were average (for applicants) but my AS grades were poor. i argued back and said i wasn't actually that disappointed with them (i did have depression for sometime which affected them somewhat) and they said ok then. i then managed to click with two of my interviewers and we had a good laugh and chat. so all i can say is ignore waht other people tell you, if they ask you to interview then you've got nothing to lose by trying, and just be yourself and try and relax. my only problem now is getting the grades this summer but being offered a place was a great incentive.

    oh, and in case you're wondering what happened to the people who told me i was stupid, well out of the 12 people who applied to oxbridge in my school (all i have to admit with better grades than me) only one person got accepted to oxford and i was the only one accepted to cambridge.

    so try!!!! it's only one choice out your six on your UCAS form.
    Im glad you posted and im glad your case is not uncommon
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    Get AAAA at AS-Level, be predicted AAA(A) at A2 Level, and then your GCSE results won't matter.
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    (Original post by Jools)
    Get AAAA at AS-Level, be predicted AAA(A) at A2 Level, and then your GCSE results won't matter.
    Ensure that your written work is well beyond that what would be generally expected for an Alevel student, be predicted the required grades and perform well in the interview.
 
 
 
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