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    Seen a lot of people say that Oxford put more of an emphasis on GCSE results than Cambridge and many saying 7+ A*s is best. I got 4 A*s and 5 As at GCSE and am expected to get (at lowest) AAA at A level (hoping for A*AA realistically). Are my GCSE results likely to affect my chances at all??
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    As with every university, Oxford judges your application holistically, so they won't just deselect you based on your grades (which are pretty good lbh). Whilst Oxford do consider GCSE grades more than Cambridge (probably why they have lower offer grades), you'll still definitely have a chance. The only way you don't have a chance /at all/ of getting a place is if you don't apply
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    When I went to the Oxford open day for history (so lit might be a bit different) they said that they gave 30% weight to the interview, 30% weight to the admissions test, 30% weight to GCSEs and 10% weight to submitted work :P but with your grades I'd say you've got a good shot, this year I got an offer from Cambridge with 5A*s, 4As and 2BS at GCSE so your GCSEs won't count against you although my friend who had 11A*s tried for English lit at Brazenose and din't get an offer so it's not all about GCSEs. Anyhow I know you said you're expected to get AAA (I'm guessing that's based of your ALPS score?) but wait and see what you're predicted next year before deciding between Oxford or Cambridge as I looked at both with an open mind and in the end Cambridge just seemed a lot nicer but it's up to you!
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    (Original post by edanski)
    When I went to the Oxford open day for history (so lit might be a bit different) they said that they gave 30% weight to the interview, 30% weight to the admissions test, 30% weight to GCSEs and 10% weight to submitted work :P but with your grades I'd say you've got a good shot, this year I got an offer from Cambridge with 5A*s, 4As and 2BS at GCSE so your GCSEs won't count against you although my friend who had 11A*s tried for English lit at Brazenose and din't get an offer so it's not all about GCSEs. Anyhow I know you said you're expected to get AAA (I'm guessing that's based of your ALPS score?) but wait and see what you're predicted next year before deciding between Oxford or Cambridge as I looked at both with an open mind and in the end Cambridge just seemed a lot nicer but it's up to you!
    yes that was off my ALPS!! i just gravitated towards Oxford when i saw the lower grades however i definitely will look at both in more depth and visit before i decide which to apply for!! Thank you!!
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    (Original post by ellepalmer)
    Seen a lot of people say that Oxford put more of an emphasis on GCSE results than Cambridge and many saying 7+ A*s is best. I got 4 A*s and 5 As at GCSE and am expected to get (at lowest) AAA at A level (hoping for A*AA realistically). Are my GCSE results likely to affect my chances at all??
    i know someone who got in this year for biology at oxford with even worse GCSE grades. i, myself, have an offer for History at Cambridge (offer conditions A*A*A) and got 3 A*s 3 Bs 2 Cs 1 D and 1 E so I dont think your GCSEs will hold you back
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    It is often said that GCSEs decides whether you get an interview at Oxford or not, but do not count for much beyond that. I am currently an offer holder at Oxford, but I have international qualifications equal to about 9A* and 4As. However, have a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSi2-8l9LME
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    (Original post by ellepalmer)
    Seen a lot of people say that Oxford put more of an emphasis on GCSE results than Cambridge and many saying 7+ A*s is best. I got 4 A*s and 5 As at GCSE and am expected to get (at lowest) AAA at A level (hoping for A*AA realistically). Are my GCSE results likely to affect my chances at all??
    Your GCSEs are fine, and the ELAT is a more important factor in interview shortlisting anyway.

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    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    i know someone who got in this year for biology at oxford. i, myself, have an offer for History at Cambridge (offer conditions A*A*A) and got 3 A*s 3 Bs 2 Cs 1 D and 1 E so I dont think your GCSEs will hold you back
    Also remember these things are contextual and if you've got extenuating circumstances/come from a crap school, they'll factor that in. Inner city high school 48th state for education and I got 1 B at GCSE in maths (because you need it to apply to universities and family couldn't afford any other exams). Still got an interview (and my not getting in this round was probably due not to GCSE but to AS grades which were although good below average for my current school).

    But tbh OP your grades are fine.
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    It's not just your GCSE grades, it's how these compare to other students at your school. This then gives you a contextualised GCSE score (either positive or negative, with positive being good). This is what's used to rank you.

    So really it comes down to how you performed at GCSEs in comparison to those at your school. (Vast majority of oxford students will be above the grain on this).

    As long as you didn't attend a top independent school then 4A*s 5As is most likely acceptable.
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    From a quick google search, it seems that pre interview banding for English is:

    40% ELAT
    25% Written Work
    17.5% GCSE
    17.5% UCAS form ( including predicted grades, reference and personal statement).

    I don't know about weightings with the interview, but getting there is mostly down to the ELAT and written work, completely independent of grades. You can see that Oxford put a higher emphasis on GCSEs than most unis, given it has a higher weighting than the predicted grades ( as the UCAS score also takes into account other parts of the UCAS form). The above person says post interview GCSEs account for 30%!!

    From what I have heard, your GCSE score will be compared to other Oxford applicants from schools similar to your own. They look at your top 8 GCSEs and score them. The average successful English applicant has 8.2 A*s at GCSE ( this is all from a FOI request found online!)

    If your UMS is high ( like 90% plus) then Cambridge might be a better choice. I like Oxford's focus on the material text and history of the book, but always have thought - this is just my opinion - Cambridge has a better admissions system. So consider both carefully!

    I'm sure every year at every college for English people get in with your GCSE grades. But they're probably in the minority. At Cambridge, your GCSEs would be good enough and they'd pay MUCH more attention to your A levels.
 
 
 
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