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    I got 10 A*s and 3 A's (2 A's and a 7 in Chem, RE and Eng Lit) at GCSE. All of the A's / 7's were within 6 UMS of the next highest grade, the equivalent of an A*. I was thinking of resitting them to get the A* (or 9) grade (likely in January as a late entry). However I'm also set on applying for Oxbridge (likely Cambridge) next year, so I wanted to ask, how do top Unis such as the ones I mentioned look at GCSE resits if the aim is to perfect what would otherwise be considered a "good" result? I am obviously prepared to do an intensive run-through of what I learnt over Christmas in order to ensure I get top marks. Would they frown upon it and disadvantage me in the application process, or would they ignore the fact I resat the exam and just look at the final grades I got?

    Note - in Both Eng Lit and Chem, one of my exams was a really weak B while the rest were A* results, so it wasn't an across-the-board bad performance, but more of an anomalous one in a part of the subject. My RE had 2 A* exams and 2 very-near A* grades, which averaged out to an A. I was also predicted A*'s / 8 in all 3, so I underperformed in them according to my school.
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    Average number of A* GCSEs an Oxbridge student has is 7

    You stand as good a chance as anyone else love
    I really don’t recommend any resits when it’s more important to focus on A Levels!
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    (Original post by Pastelx)
    Average number of A* GCSEs an Oxbridge student has is 7

    You stand as good a chance as anyone else love
    I know, but I want to maximise my chances and I have the opportunity to. I just wanted to know if resitting my exams in order to do so would disadvantage me.
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    I know, but I want to maximise my chances and I have the opportunity to. I just wanted to know if resitting my exams in order to do so would disadvantage me.
    I think it looks a little strange to have exams sat at different times on your UCAS form–it might suggest to universities that you had gotten particularly low marks on them, when it reality As are still very impressive grades

    As someone who is still fuming over a 7 in English Literature, I think it would be better to stick with your current grades
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    (Original post by Pastelx)
    I think it looks a little strange to have exams sat at different times on your UCAS form–it might suggest to universities that you had gotten particularly low marks on them, when it reality As are still very impressive grades

    As someone who is still fuming over a 7 in English Literature, I think it would be better to stick with your current grades
    If the universities know about both sets of exams, wouldn't they also find out that my first results were actually good except for a bad apple (or in the case of RE, good A-A* border results which averaged to an A).

    Surely they'd be able to tell that my first attempt results were good, if i got 10 A*'s (which will hopefully become 12, because I've signed up for 2 additional GCSE's in subjects I didn't take last academic year).
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    If the universities know about both sets of exams, wouldn't they also find out that my first results were actually good except for a bad apple (or in the case of RE, good A-A* border results which averaged to an A).

    Surely they'd be able to tell that my first attempt results were good, if i got 10 A*'s (which will hopefully become 12, because I've signed up for 2 additional GCSE's in subjects I didn't take this year).
    Universities only see your most recent results on the UCAS page

    Why are you taking another 2 GCSEs? Surely that is taking away from you A Levels, especially when you already have 13 GCSEs. Plus, bare in mind Oxbridge offers come with quite a bit of luck: a sweep of A*s by no means guarantees you a place
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    (Original post by Pastelx)
    Universities only see your most recent results on the UCAS page

    Why are you taking another 2 GCSEs? Surely that is taking away from you A Levels, especially when you already have 13 GCSEs. Plus, bare in mind Oxbridge offers come with quite a bit of luck: a sweep of A*s by no means guarantees you a place
    Additional GCSE's are in 2 languages that I speak natively (or have spoken to my parents, as I've always lived in the UK). In retrospect i should have taken them in Year 10 like another boy did in my year.
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    If the universities know about both sets of exams, wouldn't they also find out that my first results were actually good except for a bad apple (or in the case of RE, good A-A* border results which averaged to an A).

    Surely they'd be able to tell that my first attempt results were good, if i got 10 A*'s (which will hopefully become 12, because I've signed up for 2 additional GCSE's in subjects I didn't take last academic year).
    (Original post by Pastelx)
    Universities only see your most recent results on the UCAS page

    Why are you taking another 2 GCSEs? Surely that is taking away from you A Levels, especially when you already have 13 GCSEs. Plus, bare in mind Oxbridge offers come with quite a bit of luck: a sweep of A*s by no means guarantees you a place
    You declare both the original grade and the resit.

    But resitting with your profile (10 A*!) is a distraction and won't benefit you. Also I note you are specifically intending to apply to Cambridge in which case your GCSEs are not a significant factor anyway.

    Focus on your A-levels, not GCSEs.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    You declare both the original grade and the resit.

    But resitting with your profile (10 A*!) is a distraction and won't benefit you. Also I note you are specifically intending to apply to Cambridge in which case your GCSEs are not a significant factor anyway.

    Focus on your A-levels, not GCSEs.
    Thanks for the answer. So I assume that if my original grade was so close to an A*/8 (and assuming the new Grade is the top grade and a significant improvement) it won't benefit me as you said, but would it detriment me?

    I know it can be a distraction, which is why at the moment I'm just highly considering just resitting the Chemistry - since I'm applying for General Engineering, would it be better to have a full house of science A*'s, rather than 2 good A*'s and an A with a weak result in a unit?
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    Thanks for the answer. So I assume that if my original grade was so close to an A*/8 (and assuming the new Grade is the top grade and a significant improvement) it won't benefit me as you said, but would it detriment me?

    I know it can be a distraction, which is why at the moment I'm just highly considering just resitting the Chemistry - since I'm applying for General Engineering, would it be better to have a full house of science A*'s, rather than 2 good A*'s and an A with a weak result in a unit?
    They won't be worried by a candidate having 10 A* and 3 As. The average applicant has 4 or 5 A*. GCSEs are not that important, and especially not for Cambridge.

    https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....e-requirements
    "There are no GCSE (or equivalent) requirements for entry to Cambridge. GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, but within the context of the performance of the school/college they where they were achieved.
    Applicants have generally achieved high grades in subjects relevant to their chosen course, and most students who apply have at least four or five As or A*s at GCSE. However, there are always exceptions and we don’t require a minimum number of As/A*s at GCSE. One of the strengths of the Cambridge admissions system is its ability to assess all applicants individually.
    Our research shows that post-16 examination performance is a much better predictor of degree success at Cambridge. While GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, this is within the context of the performance of the school/college where they were attained, and strong performance in Years 12 and 13 can make up for a less stellar performance at GCSE."

    Focus on your A-levels.
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    As long as your GCSES are decent (ie 7+ A*) Oxbridge really don’t care that much between someone with 10A* or 11A*. The difference then comes down to things like passion and aptitude for subject and performance on admissions tests. You would be FAR better off reading some books beyond the spec and gaining a real passion for your subject to talk about at interview than getting another A*. Honestly, GCSES really don’t make much of a difference- I know plenty of people with clean A*s who have been rejected and people with 7A* 3A who have been accepted. Heck I know a friend of a friend’s boyfriend at Cambridge who had like 4A* and a bunch of AsBs and Cs. it’s not worth getting hung up on
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    They won't be worried by a candidate having 10 A* and 3 As. The average applicant has 4 or 5 A*. GCSEs are not that important, and especially not for Cambridge.

    https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....e-requirements
    "There are no GCSE (or equivalent) requirements for entry to Cambridge. GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, but within the context of the performance of the school/college they where they were achieved.
    Applicants have generally achieved high grades in subjects relevant to their chosen course, and most students who apply have at least four or five As or A*s at GCSE. However, there are always exceptions and we don’t require a minimum number of As/A*s at GCSE. One of the strengths of the Cambridge admissions system is its ability to assess all applicants individually.
    Our research shows that post-16 examination performance is a much better predictor of degree success at Cambridge. While GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, this is within the context of the performance of the school/college where they were attained, and strong performance in Years 12 and 13 can make up for a less stellar performance at GCSE."

    Focus on your A-levels.
    Can I press you a little further on that....

    Ok, so I don't think I'll retake the RE and English Lit because I thought I performed as best I could in them and couldn't have revised more. Plus I have zero interest in courses relared to them. But the Chemistry, which I think is relevant to the Cambridge Engineering course, I had a bad day when doing Units 2 and 3, with the former being a good result but the latter ending in a terrible B result. If Cambridge are going to look at my Chemistry result if I apply for general engineering, should I retake it if I can do so in a way that doesn't impact my A-Level studies?
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    Can I press you a little further on that....

    Ok, so I don't think I'll retake the RE and English Lit because I thought I performed as best I could in them and couldn't have revised more. Plus I have zero interest in courses relared to them. But the Chemistry, which I think is relevant to the Cambridge Engineering course, I had a bad day when doing Units 2 and 3, with the former being a good result but the latter ending in a terrible B result. If Cambridge are going to look at my Chemistry result if I apply for general engineering, should I retake it if I can do so in a way that doesn't impact my A-Level studies?
    Still no. And they only see the overall A grade anyway not the units.

    And Maths and Physics are more relevant than Chemistry GCSE.

    They don't even require Triple Science at GCSE.
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    (Original post by cazzers123)
    As long as your GCSES are decent (ie 7+ A*) Oxbridge really don’t care that much between someone with 10A* or 11A*. The difference then comes down to things like passion and aptitude for subject and performance on admissions tests. You would be FAR better off reading some books beyond the spec and gaining a real passion for your subject to talk about at interview than getting another A*. Honestly, GCSES really don’t make much of a difference- I know plenty of people with clean A*s who have been rejected and people with 7A* 3A who have been accepted. Heck I know a friend of a friend’s boyfriend at Cambridge who had like 4A* and a bunch of AsBs and Cs. it’s not worth getting hung up on
    Thank you so much for your input - I wasn't sure how much GCSE's mattered for Oxbridge.
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    [QUOTE=Doonesbury;74424544]Still no. And they only see the overall A grade anyway not the units.

    And Maths and Physics are more relevant than Chemistry GCSE.

    They don't even require Triple Science at GCSE.[/
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5034424
    Thanks for the advice. I'll focus on my A-Levels (and extracuricculars) now. I've got some school tests to redo, because the first half term went badly for me as far as tests go. I need to get myself back on track or I'll be crushed under the weight of A-level revision.
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    If you think you're likely to do well in an entrance test then I would apply to Oxford, because everyone who applies there is automatically given an entrance test for their subject (as far as I know). If you apply to Cambridge with less than stellar grades (although I think your grades sound very good) then you run the risk of being rejected immediately without having a chance to prove yourself, which would suck. If you can do well at interview and in the entrance test and your personal statement doesn't bring up any red flags then you should be able to get into either uni even with only decent grades, but going for Cambridge is an unnecessary risk to take in my opinion.
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    (Original post by LovelySear)
    If you think you're likely to do well in an entrance test then I would apply to Oxford, because everyone who applies there is automatically given an entrance test for their subject (as far as I know). If you apply to Cambridge with less than stellar grades (although I think your grades sound very good) then you run the risk of being rejected immediately without having a chance to prove yourself, which would suck. If you can do well at interview and in the entrance test and your personal statement doesn't bring up any red flags then you should be able to get into either uni even with only decent grades, but going for Cambridge is an unnecessary risk to take in my opinion.
    I’m going for Cambridge because I prefer its engineering course. Also, why do you only consider my grades ‘decent’? Bear in mind I’m doing 2 extra GCSE’s so I may end up with 12 A*’s and 3 A’s by the end of this year. I know I haven’t got a clean sweep of A*’s but the tone of your post seems to suggest I’m at a disadvantage with them. More than a quarter are A*’s. I’m asking whether taking a resit would disadvantage me, not whether my current set of results will.

    Only 3 other people in my school for more A*’s than me. Of those, 2 took fewer GCSE’s. Cambridge values Post-16 results more, as Doonesbury mentioned. I’m not sure you’re familiar with the entrance process at Cambridge.
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    I got 10 A*s and 3 A's (2 A's and a 7 in Chem, RE and Eng Lit) at GCSE. All of the A's / 7's were within 6 UMS of the next highest grade, the equivalent of an A*. I was thinking of resitting them to get the A* (or 9) grade (likely in January as a late entry). However I'm also set on applying for Oxbridge (likely Cambridge) next year, so I wanted to ask, how do top Unis such as the ones I mentioned look at GCSE resits if the aim is to perfect what would otherwise be considered a "good" result? I am obviously prepared to do an intensive run-through of what I learnt over Christmas in order to ensure I get top marks. Would they frown upon it and disadvantage me in the application process, or would they ignore the fact I resat the exam and just look at the final grades I got?

    Note - in Both Eng Lit and Chem, one of my exams was a really weak B while the rest were A* results, so it wasn't an across-the-board bad performance, but more of an anomalous one in a part of the subject. My RE had 2 A* exams and 2 very-near A* grades, which averaged out to an A. I was also predicted A*'s / 8 in all 3, so I underperformed in them according to my school.
    I wouldn't need resit. It looks amazing that you got 10 stars in the normal time frame, by resitting it tarnishes that.

    You realise that 10A*s is already super high? Getting 11 or 12 wouldn't be that much of an advantage. Statiscally at Oxford, 10A*s is like ideal - above that is extra.

    If you're applying for Cambridge your GCSEs will probably matter less than at Oxford so don't waste your time resitting them and focus on A Levels that are very hard. Very, very hard. And you'll be wanting A*A*A + to max your chances at Cambridge.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Still no. And they only see the overall A grade anyway not the units.

    And Maths and Physics are more relevant than Chemistry GCSE.

    They don't even require Triple Science at GCSE.
    Do you agree with LovelySear’s first post here?
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    (Original post by Confusedboutlife)
    I wouldn't need resit. It looks amazing that you got 10 stars in the normal time frame, by resitting it tarnishes that.

    You realise that 10A*s is already super high? Getting 11 or 12 wouldn't be that much of an advantage. Statiscally at Oxford, 10A*s is like ideal - above that is extra.

    If you're applying for Cambridge your GCSEs will probably matter less than at Oxford so don't waste your time resitting them and focus on A Levels that are very hard. Very, very hard. And you'll be wanting A*A*A + to max your chances at Cambridge.
    Sounds great, because I’m doing 2 extra GCSE’s this year. Fingers crossed I get A*’s in them.
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