"Are these GCSEs good enough for x" - the guide Watch

m_j_
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#61
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#61
(Original post by 04MR17)
Your GCSE grades are fine for Cambridge medicine.

What subjects will you be taking for A Levels?
Wow, that’s reassuring, I’m doing maths, FM, chemistry and biology. Before im asked why I’m doing 4 a levels ( i thinks that’s what you’re going to ask, sorry for assuming), it’s because my school forces those who get more than 7grades 8/9 to do 4 a levels
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04MR17
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#62
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(Original post by m_j_)
Wow, that’s reassuring, I’m doing maths, FM, chemistry and biology. Before im asked why I’m doing 4 a levels ( i thinks that’s what you’re going to ask, sorry for assuming), it’s because my school forces those who get more than 7grades 8/9 to do 4 a levels
Tell your school they have a crap A Level policy. If you can, I'd suggest trying to persuade them to drop FM to an AS for you. Very similar content but half the size.

Those subjects will be fine for Cambridge - they're the only ones to be picky about subject choices.
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iamverydead
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#63
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Is mostly 8s and 7s okay?? I have a 6 in maths (and english lit) which i know is gonna hold me back...

I'm asking for cambridge med (or any good uni that does med) but i dont think that's plausible
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m_j_
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Tell your school they have a crap A Level policy. If you can, I'd suggest trying to persuade them to drop FM to an AS for you. Very similar content but half the size.

Those subjects will be fine for Cambridge - they're the only ones to be picky about subject choices.
I though there’s no such thing as AS and A2 anymore
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04MR17
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(Original post by m_j_)
I though there’s no such thing as AS and A2 anymore
Sort of.

A2 no longer exists.

People used to take an A Level subject, sit some exsms at the end of year 12 and be able to get an AS qualification if they pulled out then. Or they could continue to A2 and sit more exams in year 13, and come out with an A Level. AS A2 = A Level. 40% AS, 60% A2 weighting split.

NOW, AS still exists but it's no longer part of the A Level, it is separated out. So you can sit a 1 year AS level course or a 2 year A Level course (exams in year 13 only). A handful of schools stupidly make students do BOTH for the same subject and is a bad idea.

In your case, doing an AS in further Maths keeps you doing 4 subjects but reduces the workload from 4 A Levels.

It sounds cynjcal of me, but a school's overall performance looks better if the clever kids are made to do more exams. Overall higher percentage of top grades means ofsted are happier. But doing 4 A Levels really doesn't benefit YOU much.
Last edited by 04MR17; 4 weeks ago
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mpaprika
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Oxford medicine: 13 A*s and 2 As which means I have more than the average proportion but much lower than the percentage of A*s (87%), but I suffered with multiple seizures during exams - should I factor that in??
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Rufuscat
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Do you know if all the GCSE’s have to be taken at the same time and are resits considered?
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Sir Cumference
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#68
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Tell your school they have a crap A Level policy. If you can, I'd suggest trying to persuade them to drop FM to an AS for you. Very similar content but half the size.

Those subjects will be fine for Cambridge - they're the only ones to be picky about subject choices.
I've seen students this year who I'm confident would have got 3 A*s at A Level doing worse (and missing their uni offers in some cases) because they've been forced by their "prestigious" school to take 4 A Levels. This stupidity needs to stop.
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04MR17
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(Original post by mpaprika)
Oxford medicine: 13 A*s and 2 As which means I have more than the average proportion but much lower than the percentage of A*s (87%), but I suffered with multiple seizures during exams - should I factor that in??
Your referee needs to include seizure info in your UCAS reference.

Write that down somewhere because it's important.

87% is not a much lower proportion than 94%; you'll be fine.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Rufuscat)
Do you know if all the GCSE’s have to be taken at the same time and are resits considered?
They don't all need to be at the same time and each uni will have their own policy on resits so check websites and if it's not clear then email them.

In terms of resittting GCSEs in general I'd say it's a good idea if you've missed the pass mark for English and Maths but not the best idea if you've missed desired grades in other subjects. Unless it's only 1 subject that you're taking for A Level anyway and you were desperately close to the boundaries and a remark came back no change and the school let you do jt and it's your favourite subject..... then it's probably not worth it.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Notnek)
I've seen students this year who I'm confident would have got 3 A*s at A Level doing worse (and missing their uni offers in some cases) because they've been forced by their "prestigious" school to take 4 A Levels. This stupidity needs to stop.
Permission to take to twitter about this? :rant:
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Sir Cumference
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#72
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Permission to take to twitter about this? :rant:
Yes we should all be spreading the message that 3 A Levels is all you need for any uni offer. It is not possible for the vast majority of students to prepare well for four sets of A Level exams at the end of Y13.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Notnek)
Yes we should all be spreading the message that 3 A Levels is all you need for any uni offer. It is not possible for the vast majority of students to prepare well for four sets of A Level exams at the end of Y13.
https://twitter.com/04mr17/status/11...111222784?s=19
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Sir Cumference
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Tell your school they have a crap A Level policy. If you can, I'd suggest trying to persuade them to drop FM to an AS for you. Very similar content but half the size.
I've been looking at the A Level data of a school that's considered to be one of the best in the country and from 2016 to 2019 the percentage of all A Level grades that were A* has dropped from over 40% to under 30% which is quite a dramatic decrease. I bet there's a good chance that this is due to the exams becoming linear and the school still forcing all their students to take 4 A Levels. With the modular system is was much easier to manage 4 A Levels. I can only guess that the school cares more about the number of A*/As that their students receive than the grade percentages.
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Laurence863
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so 5 9's, 3 9's, 2 7's and a B(from me doing bad in ICT in Y10) would be a fairly competitive and viable set of results for oxbridge.
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Laurence863
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(Original post by bubble123987)
9 9s, one 7 and one A^ alright for engineering science at oxford?
what was the 7 in?
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nexttime
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(Original post by mpaprika)
Oxford medicine: 13 A*s and 2 As which means I have more than the average proportion but much lower than the percentage of A*s (87%), but I suffered with multiple seizures during exams - should I factor that in??
That's barely lower - your chances are still probably a bit better than the average 10% chance of getting an offer. If you want to apply, you can.

Also: seizures during the actual exam?! I hope that a) you were given additional time and b) that you've recorded this as an extenuating circumstance. If it hasn't been reported to the exam board, at least ensure you have it in writing from teachers/invigilators present that it happened.
(Original post by Notnek)
I've seen students this year who I'm confident would have got 3 A*s at A Level doing worse (and missing their uni offers in some cases) because they've been forced by their "prestigious" school to take 4 A Levels. This stupidity needs to stop.
What really? That is pretty worrying - whether to do 4 A-levels is a frequent question on here and my answer is always there is no need to and it might be damaging but if you are uncertain about your degree subject sometimes its necessary, you can always drop one later.

Actually, if unis subsequently make 4 grade offers, that's suddenly a huge disadvantage of doing 4 and a strong reason to advise not doing it!

Can I ask for more info on these examples you are aware of? Any pattern in terms of subject, uni? Any Oxbridge?
(Original post by Notnek)
I've been looking at the A Level data of a school that's considered to be one of the best in the country and from 2016 to 2019 the percentage of all A Level grades that were A* has dropped from over 40% to under 30% which is quite a dramatic decrease. I bet there's a good chance that this is due to the exams becoming linear and the school still forcing all their students to take 4 A Levels. With the modular system is was much easier to manage 4 A Levels. I can only guess that the school cares more about the number of A*/As that their students receive than the grade percentages.
Nationally the A* proportion hasn't overly dropped though has it? I think the first cohort of linear A-levels would have been 2017 results (or was it 2018?). The proportion A* was 8.1 in 2016, 8.3 in 2017, 8.0 in 2018, 7.8 this year. http://www.bstubbs.co.uk/a-lev.htm

Also: Holy **** 40% of grades at A* wow what a school.
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Sir Cumference
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#78
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(Original post by nexttime)
Can I ask for more info on these examples you are aware of? Any pattern in terms of subject, uni? Any Oxbridge?
Here are a few examples from students I know about (all of them did maths and further maths):

Predicted all A*s, got A*AAA, missed offer for natural sciences at Cambridge
Predicted all A*s, got A*ABB, missed maths offer at UCL.
Predicted A*A*A, got A*AAB, missed physics offer at imperial

Of course I cannot prove that if they did 3 A Levels they would have got their offer but it's so frustrating that they weren't given the chance to put all their effort into 3 A Levels.

Taking maths and further maths together is a lot harder than it used to be now the exams are linear. When I did them I only had to revise for 3 modules at the end of year 13 but now students have to revise for the equivalent of 12 modules of maths in one go which is a lot of maths! Trying to do that and at the same time revise for two other A Levels is a mammoth task that I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

Nationally the A* proportion hasn't overly dropped though has it? I think the first cohort of linear A-levels would have been 2017 results (or was it 2018?). The proportion A* was 8.1 in 2016, 8.3 in 2017, 8.0 in 2018, 7.8 this year. http://www.bstubbs.co.uk/a-lev.htm

Also: Holy **** 40% of grades at A* wow what a school.
Yes the grade percentages have been kept roughly constant nationally so there must be other reasons why the school's overall performance has worsened. Obviously there could be other factors that I'm not aware of.
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mpaprika
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#79
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(Original post by nexttime)
That's barely lower - your chances are still probably a bit better than the average 10% chance of getting an offer. If you want to apply, you can.

Also: seizures during the actual exam?! I hope that a) you were given additional time and b) that you've recorded this as an extenuating circumstance. If it hasn't been reported to the exam board, at least ensure you have it in writing from teachers/invigilators present that it happened.
I told my head of year and they told the exam board, so I believe I have the extenuating circumstances since I was only recently diagnosed with epilepsy and the drugs weren't working when mixed with stress. Also yeah I was given extra time
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sqrt of 5
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#80
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Maths - 7
English lit - 8
English lang - 6 (remark)
French - 8
Spanish - 8
Italian - 9
Combined science - 88
RE - 8
Computer science - 6
Geography - 8
History - 8

I was 2 marks off from getting a 9 in all the subjects I got 8 😭😭. Is it a good idea to ask for a remark or not? I want to study earth science at uni not medicine btw
Last edited by sqrt of 5; 4 weeks ago
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