michelle160201
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
I want to apply for biomedical sciences at Oxford because I absolutely love the course and when I visited on an open day I ended up loving the university itself too.

However, I’m concerned about my GCSEs. Of course, I know that there’s many other factors like BMAT, personal statement and interviews, but I’ve seen multiple times that Oxford especially put a strong emphasis on having exceptional GCSEs.

At GCSE I got 6A*s, 3As and 1B. By no means are these bad results (I’m actually very grateful for them and proud since I went to a rough state school), but the B grade worries me and I feel as if I don’t have enough A*s. That being said, I managed to get the best results in my year as my school performs below the national average. As well as that, I did really well within my local area and I know they take these into consideration. Also a note, I did achieve A* in all the related subjects.

I got my AS results back and achieved 4As in biology, chemistry, maths and music. Will this outweigh my GCSEs results?

Again, I know GCSEs aren’t everything, but I just don’t know if I would be wasting my time by applying. And I don’t want to apply for Cambridge as I don’t like the natural sciences course there, so that isn’t an option for me. I know it may seem like I’m worrying too much since my GCSE results aren’t even bad yet I still can’t help but feel as if they aren’t good enough for Oxbridge.
0
reply
CycloneChilli
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
(Original post by michelle160201)
I want to apply for biomedical sciences at Oxford because I absolutely love the course and when I visited on an open day I ended up loving the university itself too.

However, I’m concerned about my GCSEs. Of course, I know that there’s many other factors like BMAT, personal statement and interviews, but I’ve seen multiple times that Oxford especially put a strong emphasis on having exceptional GCSEs.

At GCSE I got 6A*s, 3As and 1B. By no means are these bad results (I’m actually very grateful for them and proud since I went to a rough state school), but the B grade worries me and I feel as if I don’t have enough A*s. That being said, I managed to get the best results in my year as my school performs below the national average. As well as that, I did really well within my local area and I know they take these into consideration. Also a note, I did achieve A* in all the related subjects.

I got my AS results back and achieved 4As in biology, chemistry, maths and music. Will this outweigh my GCSEs results?

Again, I know GCSEs aren’t everything, but I just don’t know if I would be wasting my time by applying. And I don’t want to apply for Cambridge as I don’t like the natural sciences course there, so that isn’t an option for me. I know it may seem like I’m worrying too much since my GCSE results aren’t even bad yet I still can’t help but feel as if they aren’t good enough for Oxbridge.
Definitely apply! I think the notion of Oxford placing strong emphasis on GCSEs is exaggerated sometimes. They do look at them a little more closely than other universities, but come on. You've got 6 A*s at GCSE and 4As at AS which is exceptional. If the B was in, say, Biology, it might be an issue, but the fact you got an A in it at AS outweighs that. But you said anyway that you have A*s in all related subjects which is the important thing.

GCSEs make up a tiny part of what you're assessed on: as you say, there are many other factors. I'd particularly say the BMAT is important in securing you an interview. You shouldn't be treating your GCSEs as a weak point in your application! Oxford will flag your application if you went to a rough state school, and the fact that you did well compared to your peers will count in your favour.

So to summarise: your GCSE results are Oxford-worthy, they only make up a tiny part of the application, definitely apply!
0
reply
michelle160201
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#3
(Original post by CycloneChilli)
Definitely apply! I think the notion of Oxford placing strong emphasis on GCSEs is exaggerated sometimes. They do look at them a little more closely than other universities, but come on. You've got 6 A*s at GCSE and 4As at AS which is exceptional. If the B was in, say, Biology, it might be an issue, but the fact you got an A in it at AS outweighs that. But you said anyway that you have A*s in all related subjects which is the important thing.

GCSEs make up a tiny part of what you're assessed on: as you say, there are many other factors. I'd particularly say the BMAT is important in securing you an interview. You shouldn't be treating your GCSEs as a weak point in your application! Oxford will flag your application if you went to a rough state school, and the fact that you did well compared to your peers will count in your favour.

So to summarise: your GCSE results are Oxford-worthy, they only make up a tiny part of the application, definitely apply!
Ahh thanks! I definitely agree that it is exaggerated since I’ve seen people say you need 10A*s which I think is quite ridiculous, but I guess that’s what got me worried in the first place. I’ll try and at least apply, no matter what happens, as I’m sure it’s something I’ll regret later especially if I end up getting great results next year!
0
reply
EmLo12
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by michelle160201)
I want to apply for biomedical sciences at Oxford because I absolutely love the course and when I visited on an open day I ended up loving the university itself too.

However, I’m concerned about my GCSEs. Of course, I know that there’s many other factors like BMAT, personal statement and interviews, but I’ve seen multiple times that Oxford especially put a strong emphasis on having exceptional GCSEs.

At GCSE I got 6A*s, 3As and 1B. By no means are these bad results (I’m actually very grateful for them and proud since I went to a rough state school), but the B grade worries me and I feel as if I don’t have enough A*s. That being said, I managed to get the best results in my year as my school performs below the national average. As well as that, I did really well within my local area and I know they take these into consideration. Also a note, I did achieve A* in all the related subjects.

I got my AS results back and achieved 4As in biology, chemistry, maths and music. Will this outweigh my GCSEs results?

Again, I know GCSEs aren’t everything, but I just don’t know if I would be wasting my time by applying. And I don’t want to apply for Cambridge as I don’t like the natural sciences course there, so that isn’t an option for me. I know it may seem like I’m worrying too much since my GCSE results aren’t even bad yet I still can’t help but feel as if they aren’t good enough for Oxbridge.
Absolutely go for it! You're right there are so many other factors involved and I know a few people who didn't get all A*s and As and are going to Oxford in September! If they like you, your GCSEs won't matter Your grades are really good, especially considering the circumstances you have noted- which Oxford will be made aware of
0
reply
michelle160201
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#5
(Original post by EmLo12)
Absolutely go for it! You're right there are so many other factors involved and I know a few people who didn't get all A*s and As and are going to Oxford in September! If they like you, your GCSEs won't matter Your grades are really good, especially considering the circumstances you have noted- which Oxford will be made aware of
Thank you! I guess just when researching into Oxford I saw a lot of people say Oxford put a strong emphasis on having exceptional GCSEs which put me off applying a little. But as you said, there’s other factors too and I guess I’ll just try and nail them!
1
reply
Beth_H
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
In addition to the advice given above, keep in mind that:
1) Oxford assesses GCSEs contextually - if your results were above average for your school, this can help you.
2) As well as the number of A*s and As, they will also look at the proportion. 60% of your GCSEs are A*s and 90% are at A* and A. That's pretty good!

The only subject which your GCSE results might be slightly below average for is Medicine (I seem to remember reading that most successful applicants have 7+ A*s, but you're certainly not far off that). Generally, I think Oxbridge say that their students have an average of about 4-5 A*s at GCSE, but inevitably some will have more and some will have fewer.
1
reply
BrasenoseAdm
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
(Original post by michelle160201)
I want to apply for biomedical sciences at Oxford because I absolutely love the course and when I visited on an open day I ended up loving the university itself too.

However, I’m concerned about my GCSEs. Of course, I know that there’s many other factors like BMAT, personal statement and interviews, but I’ve seen multiple times that Oxford especially put a strong emphasis on having exceptional GCSEs.

At GCSE I got 6A*s, 3As and 1B. By no means are these bad results (I’m actually very grateful for them and proud since I went to a rough state school), but the B grade worries me and I feel as if I don’t have enough A*s. That being said, I managed to get the best results in my year as my school performs below the national average. As well as that, I did really well within my local area and I know they take these into consideration. Also a note, I did achieve A* in all the related subjects.

I got my AS results back and achieved 4As in biology, chemistry, maths and music. Will this outweigh my GCSEs results?

Again, I know GCSEs aren’t everything, but I just don’t know if I would be wasting my time by applying. And I don’t want to apply for Cambridge as I don’t like the natural sciences course there, so that isn’t an option for me. I know it may seem like I’m worrying too much since my GCSE results aren’t even bad yet I still can’t help but feel as if they aren’t good enough for Oxbridge.
Last year, just over a fifth of the candidates interviewed for Biology had 6A* or fewer at GCSE (or 8/9s). Perhaps this figure would be even higher if more candidates applied with a GCSE profile similar to yours!? One of the biggest factors putting people off trying for Oxford is over-estimating the GCSE requirement.

Note also that GCSE results for UK candidates are contextualised - ie compared with the average for your school.

If you decide to apply, we would suggest that your school mention the AS performance in their reference.
2
reply
nexttime
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
There are quite detailed statistics on this topic below. Decide for yourself. Bear in mind that context i.e. your poorly performing state school, is important.

https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/bm...ons-statistics

(Original post by Beth_H)
The only subject which your GCSE results might be slightly below average for is Medicine (I seem to remember reading that most successful applicants have 7+ A*s, but you're certainly not far off that). Generally, I think Oxbridge say that their students have an average of about 4-5 A*s at GCSE, but inevitably some will have more and some will have fewer.
This is all quite inaccurate. Honestly if you don't know the numbers i would not just try to make them up - it doesn't help anyone. In fact it just discredits what you said about context being important, which is entirely true.

The mean number of A*s for Oxford med students is 10.5. The equivalent for biomedical science students is approximately 9.5, possibly a bit higher. The mean percentage of A*s was 90%.

https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me...cal/statistics
https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/bm...ons-statistics
1
reply
Beth_H
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
(Original post by nexttime)
There are quite detailed statistics on this topic below. Decide for yourself. Bear in mind that context i.e. your poorly performing state school, is important.

https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/bm...ons-statistics



This is all quite inaccurate. Honestly if you don't know the numbers i would not just try to make them up - it doesn't help anyone. In fact it just discredits what you said about context being important, which is entirely true.

The mean number of A*s for Oxford med students is 10.5. The equivalent for biomedical science students is approximately 9.5, possibly a bit higher. The mean percentage of A*s was 90%.

https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me...cal/statistics
https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/bm...ons-statistics
Ah, I can see from that page where I got the 7 A*s number from (the chart which shows that no student with below 7A*s gained a place, if I'm reading that correctly). Thanks for accusing me of completely fabricating it, though, that's really helpful...
0
reply
LaureeStudies
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
(Original post by michelle160201)
I want to apply for biomedical sciences at Oxford because I absolutely love the course and when I visited on an open day I ended up loving the university itself too.

However, I’m concerned about my GCSEs. Of course, I know that there’s many other factors like BMAT, personal statement and interviews, but I’ve seen multiple times that Oxford especially put a strong emphasis on having exceptional GCSEs.

At GCSE I got 6A*s, 3As and 1B. By no means are these bad results (I’m actually very grateful for them and proud since I went to a rough state school), but the B grade worries me and I feel as if I don’t have enough A*s. That being said, I managed to get the best results in my year as my school performs below the national average. As well as that, I did really well within my local area and I know they take these into consideration. Also a note, I did achieve A* in all the related subjects.

I got my AS results back and achieved 4As in biology, chemistry, maths and music. Will this outweigh my GCSEs results?

Again, I know GCSEs aren’t everything, but I just don’t know if I would be wasting my time by applying. And I don’t want to apply for Cambridge as I don’t like the natural sciences course there, so that isn’t an option for me. I know it may seem like I’m worrying too much since my GCSE results aren’t even bad yet I still can’t help but feel as if they aren’t good enough for Oxbridge.
Hi, if it helps, I got 4A*s 5As and a B and was accepted by Oxford so I doubt it’s anything to worry about (I also got 3As and 1B at AS)
0
reply
michelle160201
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#11
(Original post by LaureeStudies)
Hi, if it helps, I got 4A*s 5As and a B and was accepted by Oxford so I doubt it’s anything to worry about (I also got 3As and 1B at AS)
Congratulations on getting in! Have you got any advice on how to improve your chances on being offered a place?
0
reply
LaureeStudies
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 year ago
#12
(Original post by michelle160201)
Congratulations on getting in! Have you got any advice on how to improve your chances on being offered a place?
Application wise: get as much advice as you can for your personal statement from different teachers etc. Also link everything you mention in your personal statement to the course you want to do and why it will help you. Try not to panic too much taking the admissions tests, they’re supposed to be way more difficult than anything you’ve done before and they don’t expect perfection or anything near it, for my LNAT the average score was around 22/42, I was only a few points above that and I was accepted

Interview wise: make sure you talk through your thoughts, they’re likely to ask questions that you don’t know the answer to, this isn’t to try and trip you up, it’s bc they want to see how you think and work through a problem

hope this all helps and good luck with your application
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • University of Oxford
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 20 Sep '19

What's your favourite genre?

Rock (197)
24.29%
Pop (196)
24.17%
Jazz (33)
4.07%
Classical (46)
5.67%
Hip-Hop (154)
18.99%
Electronic (54)
6.66%
Indie (131)
16.15%

Watched Threads

View All