aRE mY gCsE's gOoD eNuF fOr oxBridge mAtHs? Watch

Maximus 190
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Hey, sorry about another post asking about this. I'll try keep it short.

I've looked through other peoples posts and looked at comments, and I understand how GCSE's are only a part of the application process etc etc... however I got my GCSE results back today and I managed to do really bad (comparitively) in both English GCSE's and was wondering if this oddity would massively harm my application to maths or computer science at oxbridge (or a joint course at oxford).

Grades;
Maths: 9
Further Maths : A^ (A* with distinction, pretty much a 9)
Physics : 9
Chemistry: 9
Biology : 9
Geography : 8
R.E./R.S. : 8
History : 7
Business Studies : 7

-----Ok now we get to english-----

English Language : 5
English Literature : 5 (1 off a 6)

I am 80% sure I will get a 6 with a remark in literature, I got 7's and 8's during the year so i'm hoping it was just a bad marker...
English language I will remark too but it might not go up to a 6...

I would really appreciate some input. I would hope that they would mostly ingore english on a course such as maths for obvious reasons but I know how competitive oxbridge is so I wouldn't be suprised if it did hinder my application.
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Lukeman100
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Nice title
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Hiro2468
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I love what you did with your title 🤭🤭
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logical_nonsense
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a grade 5 is somewhat ambigious given it's a mix between a C/B so i wouldn't worry, unless you were hoping to apply for an english course. Even so, good A-levels, statement and experience can overwrite those two grades, so to speak.
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2500_2
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(Original post by Maximus 190)
Hey, sorry about another post asking about this. I'll try keep it short.

I've looked through other peoples posts and looked at comments, and I understand how GCSE's are only a part of the application process etc etc... however I got my GCSE results back today and I managed to do really bad (comparitively) in both English GCSE's and was wondering if this oddity would massively harm my application to maths or computer science at oxbridge (or a joint course at oxford).

Grades;
Maths: 9
Further Maths : A^ (A* with distinction, pretty much a 9)
Physics : 9
Chemistry: 9
Biology : 9
Geography : 8
R.E./R.S. : 8
History : 7
Business Studies : 7

-----Ok now we get to english-----

English Language : 5
English Literature : 5 (1 off a 6)

I am 80% sure I will get a 6 with a remark in literature, I got 7's and 8's during the year so i'm hoping it was just a bad marker...
English language I will remark too but it might not go up to a 6...

I would really appreciate some input. I would hope that they would mostly ingore english on a course such as maths for obvious reasons but I know how competitive oxbridge is so I wouldn't be suprised if it did hinder my application.
Oxford is very good at telling you what you need.
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artful_lounger
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Cambridge doesn't care much about GCSEs, and while Oxford does in general, I'm told maths is one of the courses there which weighs them the least. Also at Oxford for maths you take the MAT, which will likely be more heavily considered than GCSE grades anyway - so focus on doing well in that, if you apply to Oxford.

You have a decent grade profile overall, and excellent results in the relevant subjects. I highly doubt it will make a difference that you got a 5 in GCSE English lit/lang.
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Maximus 190
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Cambridge doesn't care much about GCSEs, and while Oxford does in general, I'm told maths is one of the courses there which weighs them the least. Also at Oxford for maths you take the MAT, which will likely be more heavily considered than GCSE grades anyway - so focus on doing well in that, if you apply to Oxford.

You have a decent grade profile overall, and excellent results in the relevant subjects. I highly doubt it will make a difference that you got a 5 in GCSE English lit/lang.
Okay, thank you very much for your response.

So what else can I do except for trying my best at A-Levels? My school now provides sessions in preparation for the STEP exam however I think I would like to apply to Oxford 'Mathematics and Computer Science' joint degree, and that includes the MAT enterance exam. Would STEP preparation at school cover the MAT? I am aware that the STEP is extremely difficult, even compard to the MAT so would getting sufficient in STEP allow me to do well with the MAT exam?

Also, I have been learning some programming for web development (HTML, CSS and Javascript). I think it's important to note that I really enjoy this, and I think I want to have a carreer in programming, although I really enjoy maths as well. Do you think if I carried on with learning this (ensuring I still focused on A-Levels heavily as a priority), that this could help with my admissions and make me more competitive with the 'Mathematics and Computer Science' degree? Could it help with my application to just a maths degree too?

So just to summarize this. I am going to focus on doing the best I can with my A-Levels (Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Geography), I am going to probably be preparing for the STEP exam because that is what my school provides support for, and I may be learning more advanced web development programming (posibbly moving onto react for front end web development) if this will help me get in to Oxbridge.
On top of this, is there any other things I could do? Preferably something not too intensive as if I do plan to do all of this then I will have a heavy workload!
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Maximus 190)
Okay, thank you very much for your response.

So what else can I do except for trying my best at A-Levels? My school now provides sessions in preparation for the STEP exam however I think I would like to apply to Oxford 'Mathematics and Computer Science' joint degree, and that includes the MAT enterance exam. Would STEP preparation at school cover the MAT? I am aware that the STEP is extremely difficult, even compard to the MAT so would getting sufficient in STEP allow me to do well with the MAT exam?

Also, I have been learning some programming for web development (HTML, CSS and Javascript). I think it's important to note that I really enjoy this, and I think I want to have a carreer in programming, although I really enjoy maths as well. Do you think if I carried on with learning this (ensuring I still focused on A-Levels heavily as a priority), that this could help with my admissions and make me more competitive with the 'Mathematics and Computer Science' degree? Could it help with my application to just a maths degree too?

So just to summarize this. I am going to focus on doing the best I can with my A-Levels (Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Geography), I am going to probably be preparing for the STEP exam because that is what my school provides support for, and I may be learning more advanced web development programming (posibbly moving onto react for front end web development) if this will help me get in to Oxbridge.
On top of this, is there any other things I could do? Preferably something not too intensive as if I do plan to do all of this then I will have a heavy workload!
Senior Maths Challenge/Maths Olympiad(s), perhaps. The programming stuff is something you can discuss in your personal statement in relation to your interests in CS. The MAT is taken at the start of year 13, I believe, unlike STEP which is taken after your A-level exams, so the MAT only presupposes AS Maths content.

I'd probably suggest you look into doing some practice papers and so on just to familiarise yourself with the format and style of the exam, although in terms of mathematical content I assume the STEP content will supersede the MAT content. The STEP questions are a fairly different style to A-level Maths exam questions as I understand, and I don't know how the MAT would compare, so probably best to do some specific MAT work if that's what you're applying to. Practicing some STEP questions commensurate with the AS/early A2 content for A-level Maths/FM might be good interview prep though?

I think realistically you're doing everything you can anyway, other than bearing in mind you may need to do different preparation for the MAT vs STEP (bear in mind some other universities use the MAT as well, such as Imperial, although you can add Imperial after the October 15th deadline and instead have a STEP condition as part of an offer instead...the MAT is probably the easier option I would assume though).
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Maximus 190
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Senior Maths Challenge/Maths Olympiad(s), perhaps. The programming stuff is something you can discuss in your personal statement in relation to your interests in CS. The MAT is taken at the start of year 13, I believe, unlike STEP which is taken after your A-level exams, so the MAT only presupposes AS Maths content.

I'd probably suggest you look into doing some practice papers and so on just to familiarise yourself with the format and style of the exam, although in terms of mathematical content I assume the STEP content will supersede the MAT content. The STEP questions are a fairly different style to A-level Maths exam questions as I understand, and I don't know how the MAT would compare, so probably best to do some specific MAT work if that's what you're applying to. Practicing some STEP questions commensurate with the AS/early A2 content for A-level Maths/FM might be good interview prep though?

I think realistically you're doing everything you can anyway, other than bearing in mind you may need to do different preparation for the MAT vs STEP (bear in mind some other universities use the MAT as well, such as Imperial, although you can add Imperial after the October 15th deadline and instead have a STEP condition as part of an offer instead...the MAT is probably the easier option I would assume though).
Okay very interesting, thank you!

As the MAT is taken at the start of year 13, does this mean that I can take the MAT and if I do well then I can ignore the STEP and plan on applying to Oxford and Imperial etc. and if I do poorly then I can focus on the STEP and plan on Cambridge and Warwick etc.? If so then this would be great!
Also it's very scary how the MAT is taken so soon, I always assumed it was taken at the end of year 13.

Edit: changed when I assumed it was taken
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RichE
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(Original post by Maximus 190)
As the MAT is taken at the start of year 13, does this mean that I can take the MAT and if I do well then I can ignore the STEP and plan on applying to Oxford and Imperial etc. and if I do poorly then I can focus on the STEP and plan on Cambridge and Warwick etc.? If so then this would be great!
Also it's very scary how the MAT is taken so soon, I always assumed it was taken when applying to the university.
As far as Oxford is concerned it is taken when applying to the university - application deadline is October 15th, and the test early November. You can't apply to both Oxford and Cambridge, so there's no chance to switch focus from Oxford to Cambridge if you feel the MAT didn't go so well.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Maximus 190)
Okay very interesting, thank you!

As the MAT is taken at the start of year 13, does this mean that I can take the MAT and if I do well then I can ignore the STEP and plan on applying to Oxford and Imperial etc. and if I do poorly then I can focus on the STEP and plan on Cambridge and Warwick etc.? If so then this would be great!
Also it's very scary how the MAT is taken so soon, I always assumed it was taken at the end of year 13.

Edit: changed when I assumed it was taken
See the above comment, it will be too late to change your mind by then for Oxbridge. I believe Imperial only considers the MAT if you apply before the October 15th deadline in which case they expect it unless there are extenuating circumstances; applications after October 15th and they instead have a STEP condition. Looks like you either have to do both equally or just decide to focus on one :/
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PriceMechanism
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(Original post by Maximus 190)
Hey, sorry about another post asking about this. I'll try keep it short.

I've looked through other peoples posts and looked at comments, and I understand how GCSE's are only a part of the application process etc etc... however I got my GCSE results back today and I managed to do really bad (comparitively) in both English GCSE's and was wondering if this oddity would massively harm my application to maths or computer science at oxbridge (or a joint course at oxford).

Grades;
Maths: 9
Further Maths : A^ (A* with distinction, pretty much a 9)
Physics : 9
Chemistry: 9
Biology : 9
Geography : 8
R.E./R.S. : 8
History : 7
Business Studies : 7

-----Ok now we get to english-----

English Language : 5
English Literature : 5 (1 off a 6)

I am 80% sure I will get a 6 with a remark in literature, I got 7's and 8's during the year so i'm hoping it was just a bad marker...
English language I will remark too but it might not go up to a 6...

I would really appreciate some input. I would hope that they would mostly ingore english on a course such as maths for obvious reasons but I know how competitive oxbridge is so I wouldn't be suprised if it did hinder my application.
So you grades under the old system are about: 7A*s, 2As, 1B (assuming the remark goes well), and 1 C.
That would give you an approximate GCSE score of 7.36 (Average of high A).

You will be up against a lot of people with twelve 9s or more, but you are certainly in contention. If the C was in a random subject like R.E. then I wouldn't worry, but because it is in English Lang, they might look a second time. Overall, they are very good and you should be delighted with such strong results. I thin that assuming you have strong AS results and predicted grades, coupled with the other variables involved with an Oxbridge application, you should be a strong candidate!

Good luck!
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I hate maths!
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(Original post by PriceMechanism)
So you grades under the old system are about: 7A*s, 2As, 1B (assuming the remark goes well), and 1 C.
That would give you an approximate GCSE score of 7.36 (Average of high A).

You will be up against a lot of people with twelve 9s or more, but you are certainly in contention. If the C was in a random subject like R.E. then I wouldn't worry, but because it is in English Lang, they might look a second time. Overall, they are very good and you should be delighted with such strong results. I thin that assuming you have strong AS results and predicted grades, coupled with the other variables involved with an Oxbridge application, you should be a strong candidate!

Good luck!
At least for for maths at Cambridge, I don't think GCSEs would be a big deal. Here is a freedom of information request with a bunch of data for the 2018 cohort, not as many people as you'd expect got a perfect set of grades. I think OP has quite normal GCSE grades for maths at Cambridge (check page 79 onwards).

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._passthrough=1
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username4911280
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No, sorry. You need at least 13 A*-A grades and a minimum of A*A*A*A at A Level, as well as a recommendation from a Nobel Prize winner. And that's just to get you into the interview.
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coinín
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Based on the title, I was expecting some classist quip from a classless twit, but was surprised to see an actual question. Carry on!
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username4878202
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Nah u need an 9 in re sorry
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Maximus 190
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(Original post by I hate maths!)
At least for for maths at Cambridge, I don't think GCSEs would be a big deal. Here is a freedom of information request with a bunch of data for the 2018 cohort, not as many people as you'd expect got a perfect set of grades. I think OP has quite normal GCSE grades for maths at Cambridge (check page 79 onwards).

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._passthrough=1
This is really interesting! I am currently working on a script to loop through the data and get an average amount of A*'s, A's and 'Other''s at GCSE for the people that got a conditional offer. I will post what I get once I'm done.
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Maximus 190
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(Original post by username4878202)
Nah u need an 9 in re sorry
(Original post by _polaroid)
No, sorry. You need at least 13 A*-A grades and a minimum of A*A*A*A at A Level, as well as a recommendation from a Nobel Prize winner. And that's just to get you into the interview.
You guys joke but it's super competitive. I'm not one of those kids with straight 9's and one grade 8 in music or something, asking if I have good enough GCSE's.
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Maximus 190
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(Original post by I hate maths!)
(Original post by I hate maths!)At least for for maths at Cambridge, I don't think GCSEs would be a big deal. Here is a freedom of information request with a bunch of data for the 2018 cohort, not as many people as you'd expect got a perfect set of grades. I think OP has quite normal GCSE grades for maths at Cambridge (check page 79 onwards).

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._passthrough=1
Okay I finished the script, for the GCSE results of people with Conditional Offers for Mathematics made at Cambridge in 2018;
the average amount of A*'s are 7.53,
the average amount of A's are 2.19,
the average amount of 'Other's are 0.844
I'm pretty sure this is correct, could've mad a mistake tho...

If this is right then I'm just below average of A*'s with 7, although I have 5 9's, and they are in the most relevant subjects so that may be better anyway? I have two A's, same as the average, and I have 2 'others', both are C and are English which isn't great... If I can get lit moved up to a 6 it still isn't looking great either. But I'm not too far off the average! Also my schoolisn't amazing, and I assume a large amount of these people came from grammar schools which will bring the average up, so hopefully that will compensate for my two english grades as well.

Javascript code below that was used to make the script.
Spoiler:
Show

let pastedResults =
Spoiler:
Show

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Last edited by Maximus 190; 1 month ago
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Maximus 190)
Okay I finished the script, for the GCSE results of people with Conditional Offers for Mathematics made at Cambridge in 2018;
the average amount of A*'s are 7.53,
the average amount of A's are 2.19,
the average amount of 'Other's are 0.844
I'm pretty sure this is correct, could've mad a mistake tho...

If this is right then I'm just below average of A*'s with 7, although I have 5 9's, and they are in the most relevant subjects so that may be better anyway? I have two A's, same as the average, and I have 2 'others', both are C and are English which isn't great... If I can get lit moved up to a 6 it still isn't looking great either. But I'm not too far off the average! Also my schoolisn't amazing, and I assume a large amount of these people came from grammar schools which will bring the average up, so hopefully that will compensate for my two english grades as well.

Javascript code below that was used to make the script.
Spoiler:
Show

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Spoiler:
Show

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function average(array) {
let accumulator = 0
for (i = 0; i<array.length; i++) {
accumulator += parseInt(array[i] , 10)

}
return(accumulator/array.length)
};

console.log(`The average A* count of selected results is (${average(aStarCount)})`)
console.log(`The average A count of selected results is (${average(aCount)})`);
console.log(`The average 'Other' count of selected results is (${average(otherCount)}`);
You've definitely just demonstrated the sort of intellectual curiosity and problem-solving approach that both unis are looking for, thank you for sharing the data.
I'd really recommend your next step is to go to an open day at both, get a feel for which uni is more interesting for you as far as the course and ask some college admissions tutors directly about your English grade (and ideally other things too!).
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