what’s the worst GCSES I could have, but still have a shot at Cambridge?

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rosacherry
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So I will have done 9 gcse exams, English lit, English lang, maths, french geography, religious studies, biology, chemistry and physics.
(I took the higher paper in everything except for french)

I want to apply to Cambridge for theology, what’s the worst my GCSE grades could be, that would still allow me to apply to Cambridge.

I know that this probably gets asked a lot but I really just want to plan for worst case scenario.
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redmeercat
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Cambridge don't focus as much as Oxford and some other top universities on GCSE grades. Many students do have a high proportion of 8s and 9s/ A*s, but there isn't a specific lowest bound at which point you couldn't get in. If your A level predictions are on-parr with the average offer, you write a good personal statement and do a good interview (and post/ at interview assessment if theology has one) then you still have a chance at getting in with lower GCSEs than the Cambridge average. When you apply, you also get sent a form called the SAQ, where you can write about any added difficulties you faced during GCSEs which may have impacted your results (e.g. family illness, personal illness, learning difficulties wich hadn't yet been diagnosed, traumatic circumstances, school changes whilst doing GCSE courses) so if you were disappointed with your results because of contextual factors, your GCSEs shouldn't disadvantage you.
In the end, you have 5 UCAS choices. As long as you apply to at least 1 safety choice, it's not a bad thing to apply to an aspiration choice uni. Most people get rejected from Cambridge, but the only way to prevent yourself getting a place is by not applying.
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Admit-One
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(Original post by rosacherry)
I want to apply to Cambridge for theology, what’s the worst my GCSE grades could be, that would still allow me to apply to Cambridge.
There's no specific answer to this. The following page details how Cambridge view GCSE's in their assessment:

https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....e-requirements

"There are no GCSE (or equivalent) requirements for entry to Cambridge. GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, but within the context of the performance of the school/college where they were achieved.

Applicants have generally achieved high grades in subjects relevant to their chosen course, and most students who apply have at least four or five As or A*s at GCSE (7 is considered equivalent to an A in the new grading structure; and 8 and 9 is considered equivalent to an A*). However, there are always exceptions and we don’t require a minimum number of As/A*s at GCSE. One of the strengths of the Cambridge admissions system is its ability to assess all applicants individually.

Our research shows that post-16 examination performance is a much better predictor of degree success at Cambridge. While GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, this is within the context of the performance of the school/college where they were attained, and strong performance in Years 12 and 13 can make up for a less stellar performance at GCSE."
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peaerhead7997
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I swear some year there was a successful maths applicant with 5 gcses only. I can't remember what the grade was. Might be different being maths though as they over offer and they basically interview every home applicant with good enough predicted.
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_gcx
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If you got disappointing GCSE grades - the concern should be more if you think you can get the required A-level grades for Cambridge than if your GCSEs are insufficient. People have got into Cambridge with quite modest GCSE grades, but not a whole lot of people with modest GCSE grades could get into Cambridge. (just as, relatively speaking, not a lot of people can get into Cambridge)
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ELK?
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I got an offer from Cambridge for 2020-2021 to read chemical engineering.
my GCSE grades were 999988763, but I went to an underperforming highschool.
my predicted a levels were A*A*AA, but grade requirements are higher for STEM subjects
hope this helps, GCSE grades are not that important for Cambridge
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aZm16
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(Original post by rosacherry)
So I will have done 9 gcse exams, English lit, English lang, maths, french geography, religious studies, biology, chemistry and physics.
(I took the higher paper in everything except for french)

I want to apply to Cambridge for theology, what’s the worst my GCSE grades could be, that would still allow me to apply to Cambridge.

I know that this probably gets asked a lot but I really just want to plan for worst case scenario.
Well, there are no GCSE requirements for entry to Cambridge. It’s looked at as a performance indicator so how well you did overall. I think it’s your A-levels that will allow you to go to Cambridge.

On the note of worst case scenario I’m sure you will get amazing grades- grades are expected to be higher than last year 👍👍
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artful_lounger
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You could have no GCSEs and get into Cambridge

They have no GCSE requirements and unlike Oxford don't use them as a primary metric in determining who to call for interview (partly because Cambridge on average interview a relatively high proportion of applicants across all courses). All the college admissions tutors that have official rep accounts on TSR have stated at one point or another that they would never reject an applicant solely on the basis of GCSEs. Additionally they will view your grades in context (i.e. if you go to an underperforming school, or live in an area with low progression to HE, or meet any of some half dozen other contextual flags, they will consider that alongside your GCSE results). Any submitted work or pre-interview admissions assessment is also likely to hold as much if not more weight than GCSEs.

Essentially, you are focusing on the wrong thing. Enjoy your summer and then make sure you focus on your studies in 6th form and getting good grades there.
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