Can I get 8 A*s at GCSE having missed half of year 10? Watch

tomsanonym
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So I’m currently on my summer holidays (going into year 11) after year 10 of which missed about 25 weeks due to a serious illness. I didn’t really try at all during my time in year 10, and so my first year of GCSE was abominable. However, my goal is to go to Oxford uni (don’t laugh). I have heard that the average student there has 8 A*s at GCSES so that is my goal. If I put my everything g into my GCSEs for my final year would it be possible at all to obtain these grades?
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HasanQ585
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If you can cover the content you missed and understand it properly I don't see why not, all the best man
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OctoberRain7
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Have you considered repeating the year? Especially with your illness it would definitely help
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tomsanonym
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Yeah I have given that a thought but I’ve been advised against it because I would get roasted so hard and I wouldn’t be able to make any friends in the year below
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Davy611
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Depends on your personal motivation. Grade 8/9 results aren't just knowledge; they're application too. If you're serious, I suggest accessing materials you missed last year.
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NoraSmith
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I don’t see why not! I missed quite a lot of year 10 myself, dropped out of school for year 11 and started afresh with my GCSEs through self-studying, and I ended up with the equivalent of all A*s and As.
I think it’s doable, but also remember that whatever GCSE grades you get, when you get to the point of applying to Oxford you should explain in your Personal Statement how much time you had to miss due to extenuating circumstances.
Best of luck with everything!
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Emily~3695
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As long as you cover all of the content so that you understand it well you should be fine, to get 8s and 9s it’s more about actually applying your knowledge but with a lot of work you should be able to get there
I’m going into year 11 in September as well and I’m happy to help you if you’re struggling with anything, good luck with everything
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calon-lan
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Hi, it's great that you want to do well at your GCSEs, and as others have said you can certainly improve your grades if you work hard and catch up - are you using the summer to do this?

Can I add some comments on your ambition to go to Oxford, which you may find reassuring about grades.
While you may have been told that the average is 8 A* GCSE, I am not sure that is correct and Oxford don't require this for most courses. As this recently updated page from the Oxford website says, they are looking for a high proportion of A* and A grades combined (7,8,9 grades in the new English system) https://uni-of-oxford.custhelp.com/a...-for-oxford%3F Medicine is an exception and there are a few others so check out the specific page for the course you are interested in. And remember, an average is just that, and some people will have more and others will have less (loads of data online about actual grades - Google freedom of information act request for Oxford gcse). Also, as the page says, as long as you have the required A level predictions, Oxford will take contextual data into account, so your teachers could add a comment about your illness if your GCSEs were not as good as you hoped despite working really hard this year.
However, Oxford look at more than grades, and your motivation and commitment to the course is really important - evidenced by supercurriculars, which are things you do outside your studies that are relevant to your future course. So you will need to combine studying hard with doing these as well. There are loads of ideas on TSR and elsewhere online.
But at the end of the day, Oxford is hugely oversubscribed, and getting an offer isn't down to some formula about grades and super curricular activities. Especially if you get to interview stage where the tutors will need to choose between candidates who are all good enough to be at Oxford - depends on the course they interview between 3 and 5 people for each place - they just can't take them all and the choice then becomes subjective.
For example, one of my children had 3 A* at GCSE (the rest were A) and she had an offer for PPE at Oxford. She did really well at AS (averaging about 90% UMS) so maybe they liked that she showed improvement, and her predictions were above the course requirements but not all A*s. She did really well at the entrance exam, and had one fab interview where they asked about some unusual work experience she had written about in her personal statement and she was able to talk about really passionately - she is convinced that is what got her the offer. While my other child has all A* at GCSE, practically full UMS at AS and is predicted 5 A* at A levels. Also had loads of really good super-curriculars, and did good enough at the entrance test to get an interview, but he really didn't feel comfortable in the "mock tutorial" style of the interview and therefore wasn't surprised when he didn't get an offer (for Physics). Now firmed Manchester - chosen because of the really interesting and flexible course syllabus, and insured Nottingham because of the really welcoming feel of the department at open day.
So to end, please feel reassured that with hard work you can improve your grades, but give enough time for super-curriculars that all unis like to see, as well as keeping yourself healthy and making time for friends and hobbies. Definitely apply to Oxford if you have the A level predictions AND you think it will suit you - both in tutorial style and course content. But don't set your heart on it to the exclusion of all else, there are other great universities you can apply to as well - make sure you make the most of open days to help decide which are best for you.
Best of luck.
Last edited by calon-lan; 3 weeks ago
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Historynerd101
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(Original post by tomsanonym)
So I’m currently on my summer holidays (going into year 11) after yeaIr 10 of which missed about 25 weeks due to a serious illness. I didn’t really try at all during my time in year 10, and so my first year of GCSE was abominable. However, my goal is to go to Oxford uni (don’t laugh). I have heard that the average student there has 8 A*s at GCSES so that is my goal. If I put my everything g into my GCSEs for my final year would it be possible at all to obtain these grades?
I experienced a very similar thing! I missed half of year 11 due to illness, returned in April but managed to achieve 9 A*s at GCSE and I start at Cambridge in October. It's definitely doable to get those grades, but only if you really catch up your first year of GCSEs and make sure you have excellent coursework. You should be catching up over the summer so you start year 11 having covered year 10 as the content in year 11 will be based on year 10 work. And then try really hard in year 11, start revising early and effectively, put loads of effort into your coursework and try your best!
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