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Could I get into cambridge to do history with bad gcses but good a levels?

I got 2 A*s, 3 A's, 3 B's, 2 C's at GCSE which isn't good but could I still have the chance of getting into cambridge if I got 4 A*'s at A level?
Reply 1
You could call the admissions tutor and see whether it is worth applying !

:console::console::hugs::hugs::love::lovie::macarena:
Original post by dumbandemo
I got 2 A*s, 3 A's, 3 B's, 2 C's at GCSE which isn't good but could I still have the chance of getting into cambridge if I got 4 A*'s at A level?


The GCSE grades aren't bad, but realistically speaking going from what you got at GCSE to 4 A*s at A-Level is EXTREMELY difficult especially considering the jump from GCSEs to A-Level, I would nearly say it was impossible. (2 A grades and an A* is definitely more within reason if you work hard).
Reply 3
Well it depends on the context in which you achieved those grades. Also Cambridge tend to focus less on GCSE's than Oxford, and with a progression from those GCSE's to 4 A*'s at A-Level you would have every chance of getting in
If you're doubting your actual ability to obtain 4 A*s at A-Level, I invite you to consider the fact that I got 3Bs and 2 Cs at GCSE and I am on track for A*A*AA - I am certain if you work hard you can have as equal an opportunity as anyone else.
Original post by Mathematics Man
The GCSE grades aren't bad, but realistically speaking going from what you got at GCSE to 4 A*s at A-Level is EXTREMELY difficult especially considering the jump from GCSEs to A-Level, I would nearly say it was impossible. (2 A grades and an A* is definitely more within reason if you work hard).


Disagree. I got 6As 3Bs and 2Cs and got A*A*A*a*a at A-level with no problem.
Reply 6
Original post by dumbandemo
I got 2 A*s, 3 A's, 3 B's, 2 C's at GCSE which isn't good but could I still have the chance of getting into cambridge if I got 4 A*'s at A level?


I got exactly those GCSE's except 1 less B and 1 more C :wink:

Have an interview for history at Homerton next week.
If you think you can get 4A*s, then it is feasible. But that's only if your B and C grades are in subjects unrelated to your course.
Reply 8
Original post by dumbandemo
I got 2 A*s, 3 A's, 3 B's, 2 C's at GCSE which isn't good but could I still have the chance of getting into cambridge if I got 4 A*'s at A level?


Yes, and you just need to be on target for A*AA at A-level, more is good, but not required. Your A-level performance is more important than your GCSEs.
Reply 9
Original post by sadow
I got exactly those GCSE's except 1 less B and 1 more C :wink:

Have an interview for history at Homerton next week.


That's so good! Which A levels did you take and what did you get? Were they okay with your GCSE grades or did they accept you due to contextual reasons? Or was it based on interview/personal statement?
Sorry for all the questions haha
You need to make sure you're predicted at least A*AA before you think about actually attaining 4A*. What's also important is the context in which you achieved/will achieve these grades.

Cambridge place less emphasis on GCSEs than Oxford because they recognise that candidates - like some people in this thread - exist who don't peak intellectually until their A-Levels. So you definitely wouldn't be alone as an applicant with this sort of academic profile and you're targeting the correct uni out of the two.
Cambridge are known to be the most holistic, or at least the more holistic uni out of the Oxbridge duo.

They will admire a strong academic trajectory over your GCSE grades, i.e, they will more admire if you went from those GCSE grades to stellar Y12 and Y13 results, emphasising dedication over anything else, GCSE grades don't really play as much of a part in deciding factors in Cambridge than say, Oxford. So I would advise you to stop worrying, and hit the books, because once you nail Y12/13, Cambridge is wide open for you.
Yes, Cambride care more about alevels/interview preformance as 90% get interviewed. And your "bad" gcses wont affect how you do in alevels :smile: I dont have a single A* at gcse and ended up getting 4As at alevel which i was very proud of :smile: shows hard work can pay off.

Obvs its not 4A*s... but i reckon i have ways of approaching revision better if i could do it again as a new student aka working hard from AS ..lol which i didnt do 😂😂
(edited 6 years ago)
Reply 13
Original post by dumbandemo
That's so good! Which A levels did you take and what did you get? Were they okay with your GCSE grades or did they accept you due to contextual reasons? Or was it based on interview/personal statement?
Sorry for all the questions haha


Hey no worries. I've obviously not been accepted yet but the fact that I've got an interview means I have a possible chance of getting in, which means GCSEs alone won't stop you. Another person from my college also got similiar GCSEs to you and got an interview for history too so if you get the predicted grades you have nothing to worry about :wink:

At AS I did Psychology, European History, Classical Civ and Philosophy and got all As with decent UMS in the 2 modular ones (civ: 86/96 and phil: 86). I dropped Psychology this year and started EPQ

I don't have any extenuating circumstances or anything and my high school wasn't contextually bad, they might see it as a weak point but you have your HAA, A-Levels, personal statement to prove that you have improved since high school.

Good luck with your A-Levels :smile:
Reply 14
Thank you all for the advice.
Original post by Mathematics Man
The GCSE grades aren't bad, but realistically speaking going from what you got at GCSE to 4 A*s at A-Level is EXTREMELY difficult especially considering the jump from GCSEs to A-Level, I would nearly say it was impossible. (2 A grades and an A* is definitely more within reason if you work hard).


Hardly.

Many people are simply really strong at a few subjects, rather than 'only' good at many. I got 2 A*s, 2 As, 2 Bs, 3 Cs, and a D at GCSE, and got A*A*A at A-Level. There is actually, so I've heard, an idea in psychology that ability becomes scattered as one's intelligence increases - so that an individual may be extremely strong mathematically, but weaker in the arts, or vice versa.

@dumbandemo Cambridge don't place much emphasis upon GCSEs, and, regardless, your GCSEs are good. I've had my interview - and am waiting on the decision - and got worse GCSEs than you! Considering those who Cambridge do not deem to be realistic applicants are filtered out pre-interview, and I managed to get past that stage with my GCSEs, then you certainly have a chance. They don't interview people who have no chance of getting in.

Just keep in mind that grades, and especially GCSEs (A-Levels are obviously critical), are only one piece of the puzzle. A weaker set of GCSEs, or a weakness in any other aspect, can certainly be made up for with strength in another.

Don't listen to the people who say you have no chance, the only people with no chance are those that don't apply.
Totally, as long as you prove yourself. Watch the Cambridge yt channel it has some useful stuff.
Original post by FrozenChicken
meanwhile me who just got Bs and Cs in my gcses- and a 3 in spanish, dropped 2-3 grades in everything and the context is from a grammar school, did half of/ missed out on ten 12 markers, two 9 markers and three 8 markers with the tests i actually finished being illegible, in other words i cant put information on the paper quick enough and my life is possibly ruined as im stuck in a course of 2 a levels where i cant switch unless i resit maths im a disappointment to my family and feel like jumping off a bridge


Please check the date before posting - you're bumping several threads now which are 2-10 years old.

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