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Can I apply to Oxbridge for Medicine without Maths A-level? watch

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    I'm a lower sixth student who is studying Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Latin and hopes to study Medicine at uni next year. I'm at the point in the year where we have to decide which subject to drop and, although going into the year I was very confident that I was going to give up Latin, I have since fallen in love with it and my teachers so would hate to stop it. On the other hand, I have previously loved Maths, but now my teachers have changed so I am starting to grow slightly bored with it. Therefore, I was almost certain that I would drop the Maths for AS.

    I have had my heart set on applying for Oxbridge since I was little, due to my family connections, my many visits there over the years and the research I've done into their courses. However, when I was specifically looking at Cambridge entry requirements, they specified that 98% of their applicants do at least 3 sciences/maths at a-level and 30% of these are successful. Of the 2% who only had 2 sciences/maths, only 6% were successful. Obviously, it would be more pragmatic to keep the Maths along with Bio and Chem for A-level, but I love Latin too much to give it up. Also, I was hoping that Maths at AS could count for something...

    My school isn't happy with me doing all 4 to A-level, even though I got 11 A*s at GCSEs so I definitely have to choose and within the next few days. I have also emailed an admissions tutor at Cambridge and she basically replied with the same info from the website...

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,

    Thanks! xxx
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    (Original post by Helen174W)
    I'm a lower sixth student who is studying Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Latin and hopes to study Medicine at uni next year. I'm at the point in the year where we have to decide which subject to drop and, although going into the year I was very confident that I was going to give up Latin, I have since fallen in love with it and my teachers so would hate to stop it. On the other hand, I have previously loved Maths, but now my teachers have changed so I am starting to grow slightly bored with it. Therefore, I was almost certain that I would drop the Maths for AS.

    I have had my heart set on applying for Oxbridge since I was little, due to my family connections, my many visits there over the years and the research I've done into their courses. However, when I was specifically looking at Cambridge entry requirements, they specified that 98% of their applicants do at least 3 sciences/maths at a-level and 30% of these are successful. Of the 2% who only had 2 sciences/maths, only 6% were successful. Obviously, it would be more pragmatic to keep the Maths along with Bio and Chem for A-level, but I love Latin too much to give it up. Also, I was hoping that Maths at AS could count for something...

    My school isn't happy with me doing all 4 to A-level, even though I got 11 A*s at GCSEs so I definitely have to choose and within the next few days. I have also emailed an admissions tutor at Cambridge and she basically replied with the same info from the website...

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,

    Thanks! xxx
    Firstly, if your heart is set on Latin then I think you should do it. A-Levels require so much more work than GCSEs and it’s harder to put the effort in if you aren’t in love with the subject and especially if you spend your time wishing you’d carried on with Latin. It doesn’t rule you out completely either and although the statistics look a certain way, there are other factors to consider.

    Your admissions test/s hold weight too. Your personal statement needs to show a serious passion for the subject. And ultimately if you get invited to interview then that becomes a massive factor.

    I’ve been offered a place at Oxford, not for medicine for Law, but I hope I can shed some light on what other things they may be looking for because on paper I wouldn’t be a traditional candidate like you are. Passion is a massive thing. You need extra activities that link to medicine and a lot of them, extra reading too!

    Finally, don’t set your heart on Oxbridge alone! There are fantastic universities all over the country where you would get a wonderful education. I got a place over people with far better GCSE results, who go to private schools, who take more traditionally academic A-levels. It’s hard to say what Oxbridge look for especially but it isn’t just down to the obvious things like subject choice and having the very top marks in GCSEs. Be passionate and be dedicated is my best advice.
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    (Original post by Helen174W)
    I'm a lower sixth student who is studying Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Latin and hopes to study Medicine at uni next year. I'm at the point in the year where we have to decide which subject to drop and, although going into the year I was very confident that I was going to give up Latin, I have since fallen in love with it and my teachers so would hate to stop it. On the other hand, I have previously loved Maths, but now my teachers have changed so I am starting to grow slightly bored with it. Therefore, I was almost certain that I would drop the Maths for AS.

    I have had my heart set on applying for Oxbridge since I was little, due to my family connections, my many visits there over the years and the research I've done into their courses. However, when I was specifically looking at Cambridge entry requirements, they specified that 98% of their applicants do at least 3 sciences/maths at a-level and 30% of these are successful. Of the 2% who only had 2 sciences/maths, only 6% were successful. Obviously, it would be more pragmatic to keep the Maths along with Bio and Chem for A-level, but I love Latin too much to give it up. Also, I was hoping that Maths at AS could count for something...

    My school isn't happy with me doing all 4 to A-level, even though I got 11 A*s at GCSEs so I definitely have to choose and within the next few days. I have also emailed an admissions tutor at Cambridge and she basically replied with the same info from the website...

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,

    Thanks! xxx
    So from my knowledge only a few Cambridge colleges insist that you take at least 3 sciences for A-levels, and Oxford do not have such requirements. So it doesn't really matter, but if you want to be compatible with all Cambridge colleges then take the maths.

    Just a small little thing to add..
    I was very confident that I was going to give up Latin, I have since fallen in love with it and my teachers so would hate to stop it
    Your choice shouldn't really be influenced by your teachers. All teachers hate to see good students go but it's your future remember!
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    I'm not sure about Oxford, but if you want a realistic chance of cambridge, then keep on maths. Don't make things hard for yourself by only having 2 full science/maths A Levels.
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    (Original post by ruthflame57)
    Firstly, if your heart is set on Latin then I think you should do it. A-Levels require so much more work than GCSEs and it’s harder to put the effort in if you aren’t in love with the subject and especially if you spend your time wishing you’d carried on with Latin. It doesn’t rule you out completely either and although the statistics look a certain way, there are other factors to consider.

    Your admissions test/s hold weight too. Your personal statement needs to show a serious passion for the subject. And ultimately if you get invited to interview then that becomes a massive factor.

    I’ve been offered a place at Oxford, not for medicine for Law, but I hope I can shed some light on what other things they may be looking for because on paper I wouldn’t be a traditional candidate like you are. Passion is a massive thing. You need extra activities that link to medicine and a lot of them, extra reading too!

    Finally, don’t set your heart on Oxbridge alone! There are fantastic universities all over the country where you would get a wonderful education. I got a place over people with far better GCSE results, who go to private schools, who take more traditionally academic A-levels. It’s hard to say what Oxbridge look for especially but it isn’t just down to the obvious things like subject choice and having the very top marks in GCSEs. Be passionate and be dedicated is my best advice.
    Thanks so much! I’m almost certainly going to continue with Latin since my parents are also encouraging me to do what I’m passionate about. In terms of volunteering and co-curricular activities, I think I’ve got them covered, so now it’s just BMAT, UKCAT, and Personal Statement prep over the summer which I’m kind of dreading already 😬. I’ve also looked at many over unis and I definitely like quite a few of them so June will be taken over by Open Days...

    Good luck with your A-levels, my dad did Law at Oxbridge (however, it was Cambridge) and he loved it so I’m sure it’ll be great! X
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    (Original post by Someone123123)
    So from my knowledge only a few Cambridge colleges insist that you take at least 3 sciences for A-levels, and Oxford do not have such requirements. So it doesn't really matter, but if you want to be compatible with all Cambridge colleges then take the maths.

    Just a small little thing to add..


    Your choice shouldn't really be influenced by your teachers. All teachers hate to see good students go but it's your future remember!
    Hi, thanks for the reassurance, I feel much better about it now. Also, I think I might not have been very clear, but I meant that I would be the one to hate giving up Latin because I love the teachers too much. My teachers have been very supportive, so there isn’t anything to worry about 😂 xxx
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    (Original post by Helen174W)
    Hi, thanks for the reassurance, I feel much better about it now. Also, I think I might not have been very clear, but I meant that I would be the one to hate giving up Latin because I love the teachers too much. My teachers have been very supportive, so there isn’t anything to worry about 😂 xxx
    I don't think you should be overly reassured. While only a few Cambridge colleges require 3 science A-levels, you would be massively damaging your chances of getting in if you only took 2.

    From the Cambridge Medicine entry requirements: 'Please note that in the past three admissions rounds, 98 per cent of applicants for Medicine (A100) offered three or more science/mathematics*A Levels and, of these, 30 per cent were successful in obtaining a place. Of the two per cent of applicants who offered only two science/mathematics A Levels, six per cent were successful in gaining a place.'

    If you want to keep Latin then Oxford might be a better bet, though you will need stellar GCSEs.

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    (Original post by Helen174W)
    Hi, thanks for the reassurance, I feel much better about it now.
    Why are you reassured? What a random TSR user says doesnt change your chances going from 30% to 6%!

    Oxford does not ask for maths, but it is still somewhat beneficial to have it as it gives a higher BMAT result on average. The numbers are something like 11% vs 6% - I can cite source when I get home if desired.
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    Drop bio. It’s chemistry and maths that you’ll need for medicine
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    (Original post by Helen174W)
    Hi, thanks for the reassurance, I feel much better about it now.

    (Original post by ageshallnot)
    I don't think you should be overly reassured.
    (Original post by nexttime)
    Why are you reassured? What a random TSR user says doesnt change your chances going from 30% to 6%!
    It wasn't reassurance as such, perhaps I should've worded my post differently. You can get into Cambridge with 2 science A levels, but by taking a 3rd science A level you are broadening your scope of colleges and arguably (probably) increasing the chances of a successful application.

    Additionally, this is from the website of one of the Cambridge colleges:

    You must take at least three A levels. To meet the minimum requirements for Medicine, you must take A level Chemistry, and you must take one further subject from the following list: Biology (or Human Biology), Mathematics, Physics.

    We recommend that you go beyond the minimum requirements and that your third A level should also be from the list of Biology (or Human Biology), Mathematics, Physics.Please read the information about choosing subjects to make a COMPETITIVE application.


    Basically, do maths to be safer.
 
 
 
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