Do I have a realistic chance of getting in to Oxford/Cambridge for Natural Sciences/

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GreatMan678
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My GCSE Grades:
Maths – 8
English Lit – 8
English Lan – 8
Physics – 7
Biology – 7
Chemistry – 7
History – 9
French – 7
Religious Studies – 7
Arabic – 8

My IB Grades are:
HL Maths – 7
HL English Lit/Lan - 7
HL Physics – 7
SL Chemistry – 7
SL History – 7
SL French – 6
Core - 2

I have finished the IB and am planning to take a gap year where I will be further developing my interests in stock market trading, reading tons of books on subjects that I would like to do and developing an Indie game.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by GreatMan678)
My GCSE Grades:
Maths – 8
English Lit – 8
English Lan – 8
Physics – 7
Biology – 7
Chemistry – 7
History – 9
French – 7
Religious Studies – 7
Arabic – 8

My IB Grades are:
HL Maths – 7
HL English Lit/Lan - 7
HL Physics – 7
SL Chemistry – 7
SL History – 7
SL French – 6
Core - 2

I have finished the IB and am planning to take a gap year where I will be further developing my interests in stock market trading, reading tons of books on subjects that I would like to do and developing an Indie game.
What does stock market trading and indie games have to do with applying for NatSci? :facepalm2:

Also, Cambridge does Natural Sciences; Oxford does named sciences.
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ageshallnot
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Your GCSEs won't wow Oxford and the fact that you have taken only 2 sciences to HL will handicap you with Cambridge. But what is there to lose???
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GreatMan678
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So stock market trading is just a personal interest that I am pursuing. Same with indie games. I plan to focus reading around the subject. I am aware that cambridge does not sci and oxford does separate sciences. I guess I should have made that a bit more clear
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GreatMan678
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
Your GCSEs won't wow Oxford and the fact that you have taken only 2 sciences to HL will handicap you with Cambridge. But what is there to lose???
But surely, with taking a gap year, what I got for my gcses would be less important?

Also the requirement for engineering at cambridge doesn't require my third subject to be a science since for those who do a levels, will have done maths further maths and physics
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by GreatMan678)
But surely, with taking a gap year, what I got for my gcses would be less important?

Also the requirement for engineering at cambridge doesn't require my third subject to be a science since for those who do a levels, will have done maths further maths and physics
Oxford rely on GCSE grades and students applying there generally have them.so if you dont you are unlikely to get in irrespective of your level 3 grades. Those doing engineering at Cambridge are likely to have 3 sciences ie Maths, Further Maths and Physics.
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GreatMan678
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
Oxford rely on GCSE grades and students applying there generally have them.so if you dont you are unlikely to get in irrespective of your level 3 grades. Those doing engineering at Cambridge are likely to have 3 sciences ie Maths, Further Maths and Physics.
Ok but since HL maths is equivalent to Further maths and Maths, then shouldn't it be alright?
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by GreatMan678)
Ok but since HL maths is equivalent to Further maths and Maths, then shouldn't it be alright?
I dont know the position regarding IB and whether HL Maths is the equivalent of Maths and Further Maths but even with A level Maths and FM you are not guaranteed acceptance into Oxford or Cambridge. More get rejected than accepted. By all means apply as it will be only 1 of your choices but be aware there is a likelyhood of rejection for anyone applying and without the right GCSE grades I wouldn't look at Oxford who rely on GCSE grades unlike Cambridge.
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GreatMan678
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
I dont know the position regarding IB and whether HL Maths is the equivalent of Maths and Further Maths but even with A level Maths and FM you are not guaranteed acceptance into Oxford or Cambridge. More get rejected than accepted. By all means apply as it will be only 1 of your choices but be aware there is a likelyhood of rejection for anyone applying and without the right GCSE grades I wouldn't look at Oxford who rely on GCSE grades unlike Cambridge.
Yeah I realise that obviously the acceptance rate is quite low but my main concern was whether my grades were going to be a hindrance or not. I just need reassurances that these grades would provide me with a good chance, not necessarily a guaranteed admission.
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username5232810
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(Original post by GreatMan678)
But surely, with taking a gap year, what I got for my gcses would be less important?

Also the requirement for engineering at cambridge doesn't require my third subject to be a science since for those who do a levels, will have done maths further maths and physics
I can’t imagine taking a gap year would change their attitude to your GCSEs, especially since you’re spending it doing stock trading.

It seems like your interest is in applying to Physics? If it was Oxford?
In that case, they shortlist for interview based on a combination of entrance test performance and contextualised GCSEs.
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GreatMan678
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(Original post by e^(i*pi) +;undefined)
I can’t imagine taking a gap year would change their attitude to your GCSEs, especially since you’re spending it doing stock trading.

It seems like your interest is in applying to Physics? If it was Oxford?
In that case, they shortlist for interview based on a combination of entrance test performance and contextualised GCSEs.
I am interested in Engineering more so than Physics and in this case I would apply to both Cambridge and Imperial. With 43 points, I would imagine my chances are alright without taking into account the admission tests/interviews.

However, with no experience of applying to Oxbridge, do they let all applicants take the admission tests or do they only accept those who meet the grades? I've also heard that once you pass this 'obstacle', then the admissions tests and interviews is what becomes the deciding factor.

Do you have any other ideas of what I could do in my gap year to express my interest besides reading tons of books on the subject?
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username5232810
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(Original post by GreatMan678)
I am interested in Engineering more so than Physics and in this case I would apply to both Cambridge and Imperial. With 43 points, I would imagine my chances are alright without taking into account the admission tests/interviews.

However, with no experience of applying to Oxbridge, do they let all applicants take the admission tests or do they only accept those who meet the grades? I've also heard that once you pass this 'obstacle', then the admissions tests and interviews is what becomes the deciding factor.

Do you have any other ideas of what I could do in my gap year to express my interest besides reading tons of books on the subject?
Ok, it’s just that the title of the thread stated that you were applying to Natural Sciences.

Your GCSEs might be ok for Cambridge and Imperial, though I’d imagine 5A*s is still a little below average. And Oxford is probably out of the question, although it does depend which school you went to. Nothing you can’t make up for by nailing the entrance test though, and the good thing is, I don’t think Cambridge and Imperial care too much about your GCSEs.
The entrance tests are sat after you submit your application, but well before you get your A level (or equivalent) grades. So yes, there is no requirement you need to pass in order to sit the entrance test, as it is sat by all applicants. However, that is just the first step. Your score in this, along with your GCSE grades and your personal statement will then determine whether or not you get an interview and if you succeed in that, THEN you get an offer. Then you need to achieve the A level (or equivalent) grades required by the offer in order to take your place.

Most Engineering students who take a gap year before uni spend it doing a Year in Industry. This is something that is welcomed by many universities as it gives you industrial experience before you even start the course. If you do something else, you would need to show somehow that what you did was useful and that it made you a better engineer. I’m not sure how stock trading would really accomplish that, and I’m not sure if reading books would be enough (it is a whole year after all). Others may disagree but my opinion is that the best thing to do would be a Year in Industry, if at all possible in the current situation.
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GreatMan678
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(Original post by e^(i*pi) +;undefined)
Ok, it’s just that the title of the thread stated that you were applying to Natural Sciences.

Your GCSEs might be ok for Cambridge and Imperial, though I’d imagine 5A*s is still a little below average. And Oxford is probably out of the question, although it does depend which school you went to. Nothing you can’t make up for by nailing the entrance test though, and the good thing is, I don’t think Cambridge and Imperial care too much about your GCSEs.
The entrance tests are sat after you submit your application, but well before you get your A level (or equivalent) grades. So yes, there is no requirement you need to pass in order to sit the entrance test, as it is sat by all applicants. However, that is just the first step. Your score in this, along with your GCSE grades and your personal statement will then determine whether or not you get an interview and if you succeed in that, THEN you get an offer. Then you need to achieve the A level (or equivalent) grades required by the offer in order to take your place.

Most Engineering students who take a gap year before uni spend it doing a Year in Industry. This is something that is welcomed by many universities as it gives you industrial experience before you even start the course. If you do something else, you would need to show somehow that what you did was useful and that it made you a better engineer. I’m not sure how stock trading would really accomplish that, and I’m not sure if reading books would be enough (it is a whole year after all). Others may disagree but my opinion is that the best thing to do would be a Year in Industry, if at all possible in the current situation.
Thanks for the advice!
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by GreatMan678)
But surely, with taking a gap year, what I got for my gcses would be less important?

Also the requirement for engineering at cambridge doesn't require my third subject to be a science since for those who do a levels, will have done maths further maths and physics
I don't think the gap year will make much difference. Some colleges don't mind you only having 2 sciences for engineering so choose wisely.

But as I asked before, what do you have to lose by applying? (The answer is very little.)
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GreatMan678
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
I don't think the gap year will make much difference. Some colleges don't mind you only having 2 sciences for engineering so choose wisely.

But as I asked before, what do you have to lose by applying? (The answer is very little.)
I will apply regardless, because despite my GCSE grades being "below average", I feel that my IB points grade and other parts of the application are quite good and more important than GCSEs. Out of curiosity, why do they use GCSE grades? I was told that they used it to make sure your predicted 'made sense' so to speak but with my actual grades of 43 points, wouldn't that be more important, particularly since only about 2% get it?
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OxFossil
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For Oxford, the fact that you have acheived the IB entrance requirements may outweigh the less than stellar GCSEs. The significance of the gap year is that some Admissions Tutors will want to be reassured that you have maintained and developed your interest in your chosen subject during the gap. Some colleges make a point of saying this is particularly the case with mathematics and related subjects.
So if you declare you're going to spend it doing gambling and gaming, it may raise some concerns.
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username5232810
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(Original post by GreatMan678)
I will apply regardless, because despite my GCSE grades being "below average", I feel that my IB points grade and other parts of the application are quite good and more important than GCSEs. Out of curiosity, why do they use GCSE grades? I was told that they used it to make sure your predicted 'made sense' so to speak but with my actual grades of 43 points, wouldn't that be more important, particularly since only about 2% get it?
Yes, you may as well. If you believe you have a good chance then as was said before, you have nothing to lose.

It’s mainly Oxford that care about GCSEs, but that’s fine if you’re applying to Cambridge. I think the reason Oxford care is to see if you’ve been consistently performing well over the last few years. GCSEs also test different skills to A levels. It’s about being able to juggle many (up to 15) different courses and get top grades across a whole range of different subjects.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by e^(i*pi) +;undefined)
Ok, it’s just that the title of the thread stated that you were applying to Natural Sciences.

Your GCSEs might be ok for Cambridge and Imperial, though I’d imagine 5A*s is still a little below average. And Oxford is probably out of the question, although it does depend which school you went to. Nothing you can’t make up for by nailing the entrance test though, and the good thing is, I don’t think Cambridge and Imperial care too much about your GCSEs.
The entrance tests are sat after you submit your application, but well before you get your A level (or equivalent) grades. So yes, there is no requirement you need to pass in order to sit the entrance test, as it is sat by all applicants. However, that is just the first step. Your score in this, along with your GCSE grades and your personal statement will then determine whether or not you get an interview and if you succeed in that, THEN you get an offer. Then you need to achieve the A level (or equivalent) grades required by the offer in order to take your place.

Most Engineering students who take a gap year before uni spend it doing a Year in Industry. This is something that is welcomed by many universities as it gives you industrial experience before you even start the course. If you do something else, you would need to show somehow that what you did was useful and that it made you a better engineer. I’m not sure how stock trading would really accomplish that, and I’m not sure if reading books would be enough (it is a whole year after all). Others may disagree but my opinion is that the best thing to do would be a Year in Industry, if at all possible in the current situation.
Excellent post! PRSOM
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