Planning on applying to Oxbridge as a mature student

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futurefirefall
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I’m planning on privately sitting my GCSEs and A-Levels but due to the exam centre not having a wide variety of GCSEs, I will only be able to sit English Language, Chemistry, Maths and History . Will only having 4 GCSEs matter when applying as a mature student especially if my A-Level results are good?
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PetitePanda
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Wouldn't an access course be much easier and cheaper?
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futurefirefall
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(Original post by PetitePanda)
Wouldn't an access course be much easier and cheaper?
As far as I’m aware, it would be but from what I’ve read Oxford, especially, don’t care too much for access courses.
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by futurefirefall)
As far as I’m aware, it would be but from what I’ve read Oxford, especially, don’t care too much for access courses.
Ohhh i understand now
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by futurefirefall)
I’m planning on privately sitting my GCSEs and A-Levels but due to the exam centre not having a wide variety of GCSEs, I will only be able to sit English Language, Chemistry, Maths and History . Will only having 4 GCSEs matter when applying as a mature student especially if my A-Level results are good?
Depends what the context is. Have you got a long professional career behind you, have you recently come to the Uk with no prior education, did you ding all your exams at school and have got back on track aged 19, what subject do you want to pursue? They will take different approaches and expect different things depending on your circumstances and the course.
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Snufkin
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(Original post by futurefirefall)
As far as I’m aware, it would be but from what I’ve read Oxford, especially, don’t care too much for access courses.
Then apply to Cambridge? They are much more pro-mature students in general imo.
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umbrella321
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Obviously you have to pose the question to admissions, but If a student does well at A level BMAT and interview, I doubt they would care about their GCSEs. People mature at different ages, people have different opportunities and setbacks, GCSEs are easier some years than others, all you have to do is get the entry requirements and substitute where necessary drawing from your position as a mature student. Taking exams is expensive and GCSEs would just be a distraction imo.
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futurefirefall
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Depends what the context is. Have you got a long professional career behind you, have you recently come to the Uk with no prior education, did you ding all your exams at school and have got back on track aged 19, what subject do you want to pursue? They will take different approaches and expect different things depending on your circumstances and the course.
For context, I was home-educated from age 11 and onwards (just turned 18) but haven’t been able to sit my exams due to unfortunate financial issues my family have recently faced. I’ve studied all the material but as of right now, I’m still financially unable to sit them privately so this is why I’m planning to apply as a mature student and none of my local colleges let students over 19 study A-Levels so that’s a bust. As for the subject - I’m interested in pursuing mathematics or chemistry, Oxford is my preferred choice as that is where my dad himself studied chemistry.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by futurefirefall)
For context, I was home-educated from age 11 and onwards (just turned 18) but haven’t been able to sit my exams due to unfortunate financial issues my family have recently faced. I’ve studied all the material but as of right now, I’m still financially unable to sit them privately so this is why I’m planning to apply as a mature student and none of my local colleges let students over 19 study A-Levels so that’s a bust. As for the subject - I’m interested in pursuing mathematics or chemistry, Oxford is my preferred choice as that is where my dad himself studied chemistry.
I suspect you will need back-up plans. Oxford is potentially going to be much harder to get into without a full set of GCSEs. Chemistry and Maths are both going to be tougher than normal to get into - Chemistry you will have to make sure you are getting enough of the practical elements. Maths is hard enough to get into at Cam already, without having had access to the various additional activities that come through schools. And in your circumstances, you aren't likely to get any leeway on grades, as you might if you were 30 and had professional experience behind you.

You would do best to talk with some Admissions Tutors about your situation, and listen to them honestly.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by futurefirefall)
For context, I was home-educated from age 11 and onwards (just turned 18) but haven’t been able to sit my exams due to unfortunate financial issues my family have recently faced. I’ve studied all the material but as of right now, I’m still financially unable to sit them privately so this is why I’m planning to apply as a mature student and none of my local colleges let students over 19 study A-Levels so that’s a bust. As for the subject - I’m interested in pursuing mathematics or chemistry, Oxford is my preferred choice as that is where my dad himself studied chemistry.
I agree with 3PD here (comme d'habitude) - you really do need to speak to an Admission's Tutor at Cambridge (or Oxford) to see their view on your very 'non-standard' situation. I wouldn't dive in with any plans for GCSEs and the like before canvassing their opinion.

Maths is a tough gig for a mature student in your position. It's a subject which very much builds on what went before, and needs constant practice and reinforcement - i.e. do as much maths as possible for as long as possible!
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