AnonymousEric
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Hey, I'm currently a year 12 A level student studying English Lit, History and RS, and currently receiving A/B, B/C and A/B in each respectively.

I have ambitions of going to University at somewhere like Cambridge, to study Law, and have a pretty poor academic record, having achieved poorly in GCSEs due to a general lack of caring and lack of revision.

Overall, I achieved:
Add. Science - C
Applied History - B
Core Science - C
English Lang. - A
English Lit. - A
History - A
Maths - B and retaking later this year
Media Studies - D1
Product Design - E
Religious Studies - A*

Later this year, I am doing work experience shadowing a Barrister and attending courts etc. As well as shadowing a family friend who is a Barrister in my free time for a short period. I am a student learning leader at my school for younger pupils and can ascertain good references from my teachers.

I am strongly considering taking a gap year when I have finished my A levels, hopefully overall attaining grades of A*AA or higher, and was wondering if this is a good idea and whether it would help me get into a Cambridge College.

If I decide to take gap year, have you any ideas on what to do during this time? I've considered retaking some GCSEs like Science, but what else could I do to put me in a better position for a University such as Cambridge, considering my current poor academic portfolio?

Thankyou for any suggestions you may have.
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BBS_
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Cambridge don't look as closely at GCSEs compared to Oxford but I think they may be a bit low, there really is no harm in trying, though. You'll still have 4 possible choices to apply for.

As for a gap year, are you thinking of applying after your gap year or doing a deferred entry? while some work experience shadowing a Barrister would be great it wouldn't hold the same weight as grades on paper would.
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AnonymousEric
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(Original post by BBS_)
Cambridge don't look as closely at GCSEs compared to Oxford but I think they may be a bit low, there really is no harm in trying, though. You'll still have 4 possible choices to apply for.

As for a gap year, are you thinking of applying after your gap year or doing a deferred entry? while some work experience shadowing a Barrister would be great it wouldn't hold the same weight as grades on paper would.
I'm not really sure which type of application I'm thinking of doing at the moment. Which would be best?
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BBS_
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(Original post by AnonymousEric)
I'm not really sure which type of application I'm thinking of doing at the moment. Which would be best?
Well if you apply after you will be able to mention all the work experience you had, and if you get an interview you'll be able to discuss it in detail. You won't be able to do that if you applied beforehand, but you can do both.

If you apply for deferred entry and Cambridge denies you, you can just try again next year after the gap year. You may find you fall in love with the other choices you made too, try to visit other Unis and see if you like them.
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Min77
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Make sure that you do some research before retaking any GCSEs. It has been known that even if you retake a subject, your original grade that you got in your first sitting might be the only grade they take into consideration (even if you get a better grade after retaking).

I tried to retake a GCSE a few years ago, paid to resit the exam privately but ended up not sitting the exam as I found out they would've ignored the resit grade. I don't know if things have changed since then (this was in 2011) so just make sure you look into it properly before deciding on anything
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AnonymousEric
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(Original post by Kittt)
Make sure that you do some research before retaking any GCSEs. It has been known that even if you retake a subject, your original grade that you got in your first sitting might be the only grade they take into consideration (even if you get a better grade after retaking).

I tried to retake a GCSE a few years ago, paid to resit the exam privately but ended up not sitting the exam as I found out they would've ignored the resit grade. I don't know if things have changed since then (this was in 2011) so just make sure you look into it properly before deciding on anything
I actually already retook Maths in November and got another B, which is the reason I want to take it again.
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