What A-Level Grades are required for investment banking?

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nibber
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Through my research, I can't find a definitive outline of what A-Level Grades are required for banks.
I know that the field of study does not matter that much when progressing a career path in investment banking. I am also perplexed as to whether or not banks do in fact focus on UCAS points?
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nibber
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gr8wizard10
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AAB usually - but i believe these are becoming more and more redundant
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nibber
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(Original post by gr8wizard10)
AAB usually - but i believe these are becoming more and more redundant
What do you mean more "redundant". Does it mean that banks care less about a-level grades and that you can essentially get away with BBB/BBC?
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randyorton
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(Original post by nibber)
What do you mean more "redundant". Does it mean that banks care less about a-level grades and that you can essentially get away with BBB/BBC?
BBB absolute minimum
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Pulkitmal2001
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So my dad used to be at the final interview stage for graduates when he was in IB at Goldman Sachs, and he always told me that he only ever interviewed people with straight A* record throughout school, Firsts from Cambridge or Oxford (with the occasional LSE) and he had the final say in whether they could join his team based on how much passion for the career they showed. I think you do need good grades. Depends what you know about IB — from growing up in an IB household, I know there’s a lot of pressure to succeed academically because that shows you can handle stress and workload. I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t think AAB can cut it realistically. You might get a job in retail banking — a lot less stress and a more relaxed lifestyle, with pretty good pay relatively. Aim for the best you can do and keep your eyes open to other potentially lucrative careers. Best of luck

Edit: to add to that, i don’t think banks really look at A Levels because they primarily focus on Universities and your achievements there — A levels are a stepping stone to university so naturally if you are at Cambridge with a First, I don’t think they’ll bother with your A levels but if you’re applying from a much smaller university with not as famous a course, they will probably refer to your A Levels and GCSEs to see if you do have a strong academic track record. Btw this is for the real IB jobs in big American banks. Sorry for extra stuff!
Last edited by Pulkitmal2001; 8 months ago
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mnot
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(Original post by nibber)
Through my research, I can't find a definitive outline of what A-Level Grades are required for banks.
I know that the field of study does not matter that much when progressing a career path in investment banking. I am also perplexed as to whether or not banks do in fact focus on UCAS points?
Im sure you can find people with ABB/BBB maybe even a little lower.

But i suspect the 90% of Bankers have AAB+. I also suspect those who have lower grades often take more unconventional routes and be extremely motivated.

They use A-level grades to filter out applicants, there are way too many applicants/place so its an easy way to narrow the pool whilst maintaining the majority of high calibre applicants.
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mnot
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(Original post by Pulkitmal2001)
So my dad used to be at the final interview stage for graduates when he was in IB at Goldman Sachs, and he always told me that he only ever interviewed people with straight A* record throughout school, Firsts from Cambridge or Oxford (with the occasional LSE) and he had the final say in whether they could join his team based on how much passion for the career they showed. I think you do need good grades. Depends what you know about IB — from growing up in an IB household, I know there’s a lot of pressure to succeed academically because that shows you can handle stress and workload. I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t think AAB can cut it realistically. You might get a job in retail banking — a lot less stress and a more relaxed lifestyle, with pretty good pay relatively. Aim for the best you can do and keep your eyes open to other potentially lucrative careers. Best of luck

Edit: to add to that, i don’t think banks really look at A Levels because they primarily focus on Universities and your achievements there — A levels are a stepping stone to university so naturally if you are at Cambridge with a First, I don’t think they’ll bother with your A levels but if you’re applying from a much smaller university with not as famous a course, they will probably refer to your A Levels and GCSEs to see if you do have a strong academic track record. Btw this is for the real IB jobs in big American banks. Sorry for extra stuff!
This sounds very realistic, GS is one of the gold standards tho, Id think JPM BAML etc. might have a slightly (& i mean slightly) wider footprint in terms of grades & unis (and none BB would be a little more forgiving)
Last edited by mnot; 8 months ago
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Pulkitmal2001
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(Original post by mnot)
This sounds very realistic, GS is one of the gold standards tho, Id think JPM BAML etc. might have a slightly (& i mean slightly) wider footprint in terms of grades & unis (and none BB would be a little more forgiving)
Sure thing aha he worked at JPM too and he said it was the best place he ever worked — pay was not same as GS ofc but the environment was amazing and he said if he didn’t get the GS job he probably would’ve continued at JPM until retirement 😂
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Tonu jaan
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(Original post by Pulkitmal2001)
So my dad used to be at the final interview stage for graduates when he was in IB at Goldman Sachs, and he always told me that he only ever interviewed people with straight A* record throughout school, Firsts from Cambridge or Oxford (with the occasional LSE) and he had the final say in whether they could join his team based on how much passion for the career they showed. I think you do need good grades. Depends what you know about IB — from growing up in an IB household, I know there’s a lot of pressure to succeed academically because that shows you can handle stress and workload. I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t think AAB can cut it realistically. You might get a job in retail banking — a lot less stress and a more relaxed lifestyle, with pretty good pay relatively. Aim for the best you can do and keep your eyes open to other potentially lucrative careers. Best of luck

Edit: to add to that, i don’t think banks really look at A Levels because they primarily focus on Universities and your achievements there — A levels are a stepping stone to university so naturally if you are at Cambridge with a First, I don’t think they’ll bother with your A levels but if you’re applying from a much smaller university with not as famous a course, they will probably refer to your A Levels and GCSEs to see if you do have a strong academic track record. Btw this is for the real IB jobs in big American banks. Sorry for extra stuff!
Hold on, at first you say that AAB won't cut it, but then in the edit you say that banks don't really look at A levels. I'm getting mixed messages. Can you get AAB-ABB and go to a target uni and still become an investment banker?
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Pulkitmal2001
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(Original post by Tonu jaan)
Hold on, at first you say that AAB won't cut it, but then in the edit you say that banks don't really look at A levels. I'm getting mixed messages. Can you get AAB-ABB and go to a target uni and still become an investment banker?
Sorry yeah my point wasn’t totally clear: most ‘target’ unis would have offers or so of A*AA or A*A*A and you would be expected to only be achieving well there if you got those grades. If you get AAB, you can’t go to LSE or Oxbridge or Warwick. The thing is you can get into banking with a Classics Degree from Oxbridge (which has offers of A*AA) but it would be harder from Warwick Maths which has 3A* offer. My point is, brand name matters, and brand names tend to have higher grade cutoffs so whilst employers aren’t directly looking at A levels, they are indirectly looking at A levels by essentially only looking at the very small niche universities.

It’s very hard to break into high finance if you don’t get the summer internship in Year 2 which can lead to a job offer. It just is a lot more stress and very hard.

I really don’t mean to be rude here but realistically if one can’t get an A* at A level, I’m not entirely sure how they can handle the stress and information overload that’s involved in IB. I personally would recommend Accounting or retail banking — much easier, you don’t have to fight for jobs to the same extent (there aren’t any ‘new’ jobs being created in IB — there are only 42 people in the world who do what my dad does (not because of ability but because there just isn’t a market for it right now)).
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Solidcommand
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(Original post by Pulkitmal2001)
Sorry yeah my point wasn’t totally clear: most ‘target’ unis would have offers or so of A*AA or A*A*A and you would be expected to only be achieving well there if you got those grades. If you get AAB, you can’t go to LSE or Oxbridge or Warwick. The thing is you can get into banking with a Classics Degree from Oxbridge (which has offers of A*AA) but it would be harder from Warwick Maths which has 3A* offer. My point is, brand name matters, and brand names tend to have higher grade cutoffs so whilst employers aren’t directly looking at A levels, they are indirectly looking at A levels by essentially only looking at the very small niche universities.

It’s very hard to break into high finance if you don’t get the summer internship in Year 2 which can lead to a job offer. It just is a lot more stress and very hard.

I really don’t mean to be rude here but realistically if one can’t get an A* at A level, I’m not entirely sure how they can handle the stress and information overload that’s involved in IB. I personally would recommend Accounting or retail banking — much easier, you don’t have to fight for jobs to the same extent (there aren’t any ‘new’ jobs being created in IB — there are only 42 people in the world who do what my dad does (not because of ability but because there just isn’t a market for it right now)).
Now that’s a bad assumption. There are bankers without an A* at A levels, they’ve obviously been able to handle the ‘information overload’.
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Pulkitmal2001
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(Original post by Solidcommand)
Now that’s a bad assumption. There are bankers without an A* at A levels, they’ve obviously been able to handle the ‘information overload’.
I don’t personally know any that have survived the trade but maybe you do? Of course there are exceptions to everything, I’m just stating that to make a potential applicants life easier, more A*s would be preferable, as they enable better university places. Of course the industry will be different in 5 years time so maybe it will be more lenient? I know that for the past 5-10 years it has been very cut throat.
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randyorton
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(Original post by Pulkitmal2001)
I don’t personally know any that have survived the trade but maybe you do? Of course there are exceptions to everything, I’m just stating that to make a potential applicants life easier, more A*s would be preferable, as they enable better university places. Of course the industry will be different in 5 years time so maybe it will be more lenient? I know that for the past 5-10 years it has been very cut throat.
I don't think you actually have any idea what you're talking about
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(Original post by randyorton)
I don't think you actually have any idea what you're talking about
Really? 25 years banking experience in the family I think I have a pretty good idea of what industry standards are. If you know more please do share
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mnot
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(Original post by randyorton)
I don't think you actually have any idea what you're talking about
I cant verify @pulkitmal2001 but I think there is certainly some truth to his points (and I could see how hes formed these opinions if hes essentially viewing 2nd hand). IB hiring went massively into decline post-2008 and has never picked up to the same levels, employee numbers are still lower. I believe lots of wealth management and trading moved to PE and hedge funds, I think the advisory, M&A, IPOs etc are back to expected levels but this still means theres less places and more people applying then ever so its definitely become cut throat.

You can still get into banking without straight A*s and top target school, but the BB is definitely super hard, and if you look at the stats about 75% of graduate places were made up of people with internships which supports what was stated earlier on. People from Bath, Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester, Warwick go into IB every year, but its definitely harder.
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Pulkitmal2001
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(Original post by mnot)
I cant verify @pulkitmal2001 but I think there is certainly some truth to his points (and I could see how hes formed these opinions if hes essentially viewing 2nd hand). IB hiring went massively into decline post-2008 and has never picked up to the same levels, employee numbers are still lower. I believe lots of wealth management and trading moved to PE and hedge funds, I think the advisory, M&A, IPOs etc are back to expected levels but this still means theres less places and more people applying then ever so its definitely become cut throat.

You can still get into banking without straight A*s and top target school, but the BB is definitely super hard, and if you look at the stats about 75% of graduate places were made up of people with internships which supports what was stated earlier on. People from Bath, Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester, Warwick go into IB every year, but its definitely harder.
You certainly know stuff most people don’t know about! Of course you can get in without straight A*s and As and you don’t have to go to Cambridge to be successful but I was trying to say exactly what you’re saying — it just becomes a lot harder especially in today’s world where IB still hasn’t recovered after 2008. Thank you for recognising where I’m coming from!
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RioIBD
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A lot of absolute rubbish in this chat. A-levels results have a minimal impact on spring week applications. Know people with three A*s and not a single interview and people with ABB and multiple offers. Uni prestige, work/voluntary experience, psychometric test ability and interview skills will all have a much greater impact than a-levels. Just get good enough a-levels to get into a target/semi-target.
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Tonu jaan
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(Original post by RioIBD)
A lot of absolute rubbish in this chat. A-levels results have a minimal impact on spring week applications. Know people with three A*s and not a single interview and people with ABB and multiple offers. Uni prestige, work/voluntary experience, psychometric test ability and interview skills will all have a much greater impact than a-levels. Just get good enough a-levels to get into a target/semi-target.
I'm going to take foundation year at either Warwick or Durham, in order to get access to networking and their contacts. I thinks its worth the extra year.
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