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    I'm in yr 12 right now and studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chem.
    I want to study Mechanical engineering there which is apparently SUPER competitive which scares me.
    I did 9 GCSE's at a pretty bad school (Durand Academy) and got:
    8, A, 6, 5, B, B, C, C, C (these are all grades)
    I'm doing OK at sixth form my mocks have been pretty decent particularly in Maths and Physics, dunno my predicted grades though.

    Would really appreciate any advice from you guys!
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    hard work.
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    work smart, work hard.
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    I'm a politics student so I can't give the best advice but one of my friends did the same subjects as you and was rejected from Imperial for mechanical engineering with 5 A*s and 6 As at GCSE, and A*A*A prediction. He was offered material sciences or something like that, but decided not to take it. Imperial is insanely difficult to get into, probably even more difficult than Oxbridge imo. You really need to be the best of the best I'd say, so your GCSE's might hold you back a bit, but if you got an amazing A level prediction I don't see why you shouldn't try.
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    I wouldn't stress about your GCSEs, the most important thing is your a level grades and you should check imperial's website for information on typical offers
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    (Original post by yup-)
    I'm in yr 12 right now and studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chem.
    I want to study Mechanical engineering there which is apparently SUPER competitive which scares me.
    I did 9 GCSE's at a pretty bad school (Durand Academy) and got:
    8, A, 6, 5, B, B, C, C, C (these are all grades)
    I'm doing OK at sixth form my mocks have been pretty decent particularly in Maths and Physics, dunno my predicted grades though.

    Would really appreciate any advice from you guys!
    Hey there,

    I study exactly the same A Levels as you and I am in Year 13 right now with an offer from Imperial for MechEng and an offer from Cambridge for Engineering.

    Firstly, I would say work your very best to get those AS grades/predictions up (ideally all A/A*). Imperial is a very competitive university and especially for MechEng for which the application:admissions ratio is like 11:1, it is quite difficult to secure a place. It is SUPER competetive lol and it is actually the most competetive course at the university! They will definitely take into consideration what school you've come from etc but the first hurdle is definitely the grades.

    Try to do any extra things you can do that are related to engineering (e.g. lectures, masterclasses, books or projects) which will differentiate you from other candidates- it's something to talk about in the interview process. You are competing with people from around the world which is what makes it so competitive but once you get to the interview stage, you have like a 90% chance of getting an offer. This is because the MechEng department at imperial only interview people who they are already thinking of giving an offer.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask
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    (Original post by yup-)
    I'm in yr 12 right now and studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chem.
    I want to study Mechanical engineering there which is apparently SUPER competitive which scares me.
    I did 9 GCSE's at a pretty bad school (Durand Academy) and got:
    8, A, 6, 5, B, B, C, C, C (these are all grades)
    I'm doing OK at sixth form my mocks have been pretty decent particularly in Maths and Physics, dunno my predicted grades though.

    Would really appreciate any advice from you guys!
    if you want an honest answer, I cant realistically see you getting into Imperial or any of the top 7 or 8 unis with your GCSEs. UNLESS you get like A*AA(A) at A level (or A*A*A*(A)) at Imperial. But then why would your A levels be so different from your GCSES?

    you could get into a wonderful, top uni like Loughborough or Lancaster very easily.
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    (Original post by Anonymouspsych)
    Hey there,

    I study exactly the same A Levels as you and I am in Year 13 right now with an offer from Imperial for MechEng and an offer from Cambridge for Engineering.

    Firstly, I would say work your very best to get those AS grades/predictions up (ideally all A/A*). Imperial is a very competitive university and especially for MechEng for which the application:admissions ratio is like 11:1, it is quite difficult to secure a place. It is SUPER competetive lol and it is actually the most competetive course at the university! They will definitely take into consideration what school you've come from etc but the first hurdle is definitely the grades.

    Try to do any extra things you can do that are related to engineering (e.g. lectures, masterclasses, books or projects) which will differentiate you from other candidates- it's something to talk about in the interview process. You are competing with people from around the world which is what makes it so competitive but once you get to the interview stage, you have like a 90% chance of getting an offer. This is because the MechEng department at imperial only interview people who they are already thinking of giving an offer.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask
    Thank you so much, this is a great help honestly! First of all, HUUUUUUGE congrats on the outcomes of your applications! Which one are you going to choose and why and could you recommend any books?

    What i gather from everyone's replies is that i gotta put in a lot more effort than i am right now, and im prepared to do so. I'm confident in my ability to be able to get those predictions up (although my GCSE's might say otherwise XD). couple last questions i can think of is how much did work experience matter in your application? What kind of questions do they ask in the interview? And finalllllly what kind of sacrifices (if any!) did you make to do so well?!

    again, i can't thank you enough!

    P.S. lets say im struggling equally in further maths and chemistry which one should i drop?
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    Just work very hard. There's no point in asking because all you can do is work the hardest you possibly can and make an application. I do understand how you feel though.

    If you get a place then good. If you don’t then some other good uni will give you an offer.

    Don’t worry about your GCSEs either. Unis don’t care about them for mechanical engineering and even though you went to a bad school that’s still going to be considered. This is especially the case with Oxbridge (they will take how well your school does into account) so I encourage you to make an application there too if you end up doing really well this year.

    All the best, OP.
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    Another slight dilemma here uh my sixth form was accepting applications for a trip to CERN in Switzerland for 3 days in July to some students and long story short I got in. HOWEVER I also applied for an engineering summer school at imperial, and silly old me didn't realize that the dates of the trip and the summer school overlap. which one should I go to?

    I've signed up for an engineering Sutton trust summer school at Cambridge, am going to apply to a particle physics masterclass at UCL, and am hoping to get some work experience at an engineering firm named Ramboll.
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    (Original post by yup-)
    Another slight dilemma here uh my sixth form was accepting applications for a trip to CERN in Switzerland for 3 days in July to some students and long story short I got in. HOWEVER I also applied for an engineering summer school at imperial, and silly old me didn't realize that the dates of the trip and the summer school overlap. which one should I go to?

    I've signed up for an engineering Sutton trust summer school at Cambridge, am going to apply to a particle physics masterclass at UCL, and am hoping to get some work experience at an engineering firm named Ramboll.
    I would personally go to the Imperial engineering summer school because of a few reasons:

    1.) It's one of the best unis in the world and you're doing a summer school engineering programme which is the same degree type you want to do and even at the same uni.

    2.) Cern and the other particle physics stuff as UCL is a waste of time if you have engineering summer schools as you want to do engineering. You could always go to CERN another time.

    3.) Although you have a work experience placement, it's not worth taking if you can't do the Imperial summer school. Yes, it can give you some insight into engineering, but even if you hate engineering there is still A LOT you can do with the degree. You could go into finance (including investment banking where you will be raking it in, especially with an Imperial degree that has a lot of maths) or even teaching.

    Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by yup-)
    Thank you so much, this is a great help honestly! First of all, HUUUUUUGE congrats on the outcomes of your applications! Which one are you going to choose and why and could you recommend any books?

    What i gather from everyone's replies is that i gotta put in a lot more effort than i am right now, and im prepared to do so. I'm confident in my ability to be able to get those predictions up (although my GCSE's might say otherwise XD). couple last questions i can think of is how much did work experience matter in your application? What kind of questions do they ask in the interview? And finalllllly what kind of sacrifices (if any!) did you make to do so well?!

    again, i can't thank you enough!

    P.S. lets say im struggling equally in further maths and chemistry which one should i drop?
    No problem and thank you xD. I've chosen Cambridge as my firm and Imperial as insurance as Cambridge has the higher requirements and I would probably choose Cambridge over Imperial if I had to choose one (would be happy to go to either one tbh). In terms of books, anything to broaden your knowledge of engineering will be good to read; for example I have read "Invention by Design" by Henry Petroski which deals with a variety of aspects of Engineering as a whole- it gave me something to talk about in my interview.

    Hard work will definitely pay off but you need to be smart about it too and work efficiently. Don't worry about gcses anymore as that's in the past; just work hard to get those AS and A Level grades. In my interview, I did get asked about some of my work experience but not in a lot of detail and the interview was split into academically challenging questions revolved around maths and physics as well as general personal statement questions. However do note that Imperial interviews for Mechanical Engineering vary from student to student. For example I know people who weren't asked any academic problem solving questions at all and some people got asked WAY easier maths questions than me! I'm not sure how they choose what type of questions to ask which students but there were 10 different interviewers on the day each interviewing 4 candidates. It is defo worth doing some sort of work experience if possible as they love to see some type of project work and it differentiates you from other candidates. Having said that, they won't use a lack of work experience against you and will try to see you shine elsewhere in your application.

    To answer the final question about choosing between chemistry and further maths, I would say choose the one you enjoy more and think you can get the better grade in. Choosing one over the other won't affect your application for MechEng as only Physics and Maths are the required subjects and Imperial would be happy to see either Chem or FM. In my case I am continuing with all 4 subjects and enjoy both chemistry and FM. For Mechanical Engineering, Further Maths will probably be more useful than chemistry so from that viewpoint FM would be better but it honestly doesn't matter too much.

    Wish you the very best of luck and the only sacrifice is hours of hard work xD!
 
 
 
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