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Can you still get into Cambridge for 2019 (no AS/UMS) with 'not as good' GCSEs? Watch

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    I'm in year 12 atm, and I didn't do quite as well as I hoped in my GCSEs. Don't get me wrong, they are still good grades, and I am glad that I got them with the work that I put in, but I was hoping to get slightly better grades. I got:

    Maths - 8
    English Lang - 7
    English Lit - 7
    D&T - A
    Business Studies - A*
    Chemistry - A*
    Physics A*
    Biology - A
    Computing - A*
    Further Maths - A
    Spanish - B

    I got 4 A*s, 3 As, 1 B, and 2 grade 7's + 1 grade 8.

    So essentially I got 5 A*s, 5 As and 1 B.

    Again, I know they are not "bad" GCSEs, but I'm a little concerned as to what my chances of getting into Cambridge will be - as although I am doing Maths A Level (in year 12), I won't have any UMS scores; and therefore little evidence to support my (hopefully) A*A*A predictions. If you look at it on paper, with 5 A*s at GCSE, A* in Maths A Level (hopefully) and the admissions test + interview, I'm not an awfully competitive candidate. So how possible is it that I could get an offer for Natural Sciences (physical)? I'm doing maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.

    Again please don't shoot me for "bragging", I know they are good grades, but for Cambridge, they are no where near the best. Many people will be applying with 10 A*s. I am wondering where that puts me. Even if I do well in the admissions test and interview, I don't know if I will really stand much of a chance due to the things I mentioned.
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    you definitely stand a great chance, don't worry about it
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    You should be fine. You only have one grade below an A, and that's in a subject that's pretty much irrelevant to Natural Sciences. I'm not an admissions tutor, but I doubt your GCSEs will be a barrier to getting in. Try not to worry and focus on your A-levels .
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    They're fairly good grades but as you say there will be a lot of people with better grades. Do you have any extenuating circumstances?

    Also yeah I heard from the admissions tutor that as the NSAA is still very new, it won't be taken that seriously. So that doesn't work in your favor I'm afraid. You'd probably have to get like 95% RAW marks in A Level maths... Actually if you are applying to Natural Sciences you'll probably want that anyway as you only got a grade 8 at GCSE.

    Maybe try and do really well in maths A Level (raw marks) and the interview I guess. I'll tag in the AT(s):

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    (Original post by Kenneye_j)
    They're fairly good grades but as you say there will be a lot of people with better grades. Do you have any extenuating circumstances?

    Also yeah I heard from the admissions tutor that as the NSAA is still very new, it won't be taken that seriously. So that doesn't work in your favor I'm afraid. You'd probably have to get like 95% RAW marks in A Level maths... Actually if you are applying to Natural Sciences you'll probably want that anyway as you only got a grade 8 at GCSE.

    Maybe try and do really well in maths A Level (raw marks) and the interview I guess. I'll tag in the AT(s):

    Peterhouse Admissions Christ's Admissions
    Well without going into too much detail, my elder sister has had a very serious mental illness that has definitely affected my grades at least a bit, but I don't know if that would be an excuse for my GCSEs not being stronger. It's not really as serious as bereavement or anything like that though...

    And I thought that as the new qualifications are linear, you no longer declare the marks on your UCAS? Also was worried about the grade 8 a little, will it affect my chances? Are grade 8s even A*s anymore?
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    Well without going into too much detail, my elder sister has had a very serious mental illness that has definitely affected my grades at least a bit, but I don't know if that would be an excuse for my GCSEs not being stronger. It's not really as serious as bereavement or anything like that though...

    And I thought that as the new qualifications are linear, you no longer declare the marks on your UCAS? Also was worried about the grade 8 a little, will it affect my chances? Are grade 8s even A*s anymore?
    You might get away with mild circumstances as such but I'll leave it to someone else. And yeah but raw marks are still available. So try and aim for 95%+ raw marks and get ur school to send them to Cambridge for you. That's what I'm doing.
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    (Original post by Kenneye_j)
    You might get away with mild circumstances as such but I'll leave it to someone else. And yeah but raw marks are still available. So try and aim for 95%+ raw marks and get ur school to send them to Cambridge for you. That's what I'm doing.
    Yeah dunno will that make a difference though?
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    You don't need an "excuse", your GCSEs are fine. Yes, a grade 8 is equivalent to an old A*, so you have nothing to worry about there. Why would you need to submit your raw marks if you get an A* at A-level? Surely that in itself is enough.
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    I'm in year 12 atm, and I didn't do quite as well as I hoped in my GCSEs. Don't get me wrong, they are still good grades, and I am glad that I got them with the work that I put in, but I was hoping to get slightly better grades. I got:

    Maths - 8
    English Lang - 7
    English Lit - 7
    D&T - A
    Business Studies - A*
    Chemistry - A*
    Physics A*
    Biology - A
    Computing - A*
    Further Maths - A
    Spanish - B

    I got 4 A*s, 3 As, 1 B, and 2 grade 7's + 1 grade 8.

    So essentially I got 5 A*s, 5 As and 1 B.

    Again, I know they are not "bad" GCSEs, but I'm a little concerned as to what my chances of getting into Cambridge will be - as although I am doing Maths A Level (in year 12), I won't have any UMS scores; and therefore little evidence to support my (hopefully) A*A*A predictions. If you look at it on paper, with 5 A*s at GCSE, A* in Maths A Level (hopefully) and the admissions test + interview, I'm not an awfully competitive candidate. So how possible is it that I could get an offer for Natural Sciences (physical)? I'm doing maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.

    Again please don't shoot me for "bragging", I know they are good grades, but for Cambridge, they are no where near the best. Many people will be applying with 10 A*s. I am wondering where that puts me. Even if I do well in the admissions test and interview, I don't know if I will really stand much of a chance due to the things I mentioned.
    Hi, there. Cambridge doesn't look into your GCSE grades as such but they're used as a performance indicator. Btw, I got a mixture of Bs and As for GCSEs, so you're in a slightly better position than myself, I guess. If you want to do Natural Sciences, you just need to focus on meeting the entry requirement which I assume is A*AA, perform well in the admissions test and the interview and build up your personal statement by showing your interest in Natural Sciences. I would personally recommend attending the Cambridge Masterclass if you can because they're really helpful and it does show your commitment to a subject. Also, I'm aware of the new linear A Levels not showing the UMS breakdown but if you need them just ask your school's exam officer and they should be able to give them to you without any quarrel. Good luck.
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    (Original post by _gcx)
    You don't need an "excuse", your GCSEs are fine. Yes, a grade 8 is equivalent to an old A*, so you have nothing to worry about there. Why would you need to submit your raw marks if you get an A* at A-level? Surely that in itself is enough.
    Genuinely that would be unnecessary but if the college does bizarrely ask, then the OP can do that once they've requested their UMS breakdown.
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    (Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
    Hi, there. Cambridge doesn't look into your GCSE grades as such but they're used as a performance indicator. Btw, I got a mixture of Bs and As for GCSEs, so you're in a slightly better position than myself, I guess. If you want to do Natural Sciences, you just need to focus on meeting the entry requirement which I assume is A*AA, perform well in the admissions test and the interview and build up your personal statement by showing your interest in Natural Sciences. I would personally recommend attending the Cambridge Masterclass if you can because they're really helpful and it does show your commitment to a subject. Also, I'm aware of the new linear A Levels not showing the UMS breakdown but if you need them just ask your school's exam officer and they should be able to give them to you without any quarrel. Good luck.
    Thanks but I just think I'm going to be rejected because others have stronger GCSEs, and therefore stronger applications.
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    GCSEs aren't a very good indicator of how you are going to do in a degree. I wouldn't worry too much because a lot of people wont have AS levels.
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    Thanks but I just think I'm going to be rejected because others have stronger GCSEs, and therefore stronger applications.
    That's not true because Cambridge look at a lot of different factors as stated here and use that to make their final decision. Hope that helps.
 
 
 
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