richmaths
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Hi there, I got 9999 (maths + 3 sciences), 88 (english) and 774 (art and music etc) at GCSE. First of all are these okay for Cambridge, because I did well in the relevant areas and I heard they don't look at GCSEs too much?

I've just finished year 12 and I did A level maths, AS chemistry and physics. The maths should be an A* and the other two are As, but I have achieved high As (A* equivalent) all year and should get predicted these. I will be studying further maths next year, with an A* prediction. So most likely a 4A* prediction or A*A*A*A. Do these make up for the weaker GCSEs?

I want to apply for the option (b) - maths with physics - by the way, incase I do want to switch to physical natural sciences after the first year.

Thanks
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RiemannN
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(Original post by richmaths)
Hi there, I got 9999 (maths + 3 sciences), 88 (english) and 774 (art and music etc) at GCSE. First of all are these okay for Cambridge, because I did well in the relevant areas and I heard they don't look at GCSEs too much?

I've just finished year 12 and I did A level maths, AS chemistry and physics. The maths should be an A* and the other two are As, but I have achieved high As (A* equivalent) all year and should get predicted these. I will be studying further maths next year, with an A* prediction. So most likely a 4A* prediction or A*A*A*A. Do these make up for the weaker GCSEs?

I want to apply for the option (b) - maths with physics - by the way, incase I do want to switch to physical natural sciences after the first year.

Thanks
I think your GCSE's are good, my friend has an offer to study maths at Cambridge and he had very similar GCSE's to you. I think your grades are good enough to apply and you should focus on the other aspects of your application rather than whether you're good enough. I did not get an offer from Cambridge (Engineering) which I still think about 11 months on from when I sent off my applicaiton. I had 5A*'s predicted and 11A*'s at GCSE. What I'm trying to say is that grades aren't everything because a lot of people have similar grades anyway. Another friend has an offer for Engineering and they had similar grades to you as well. As you can see I had the better grades yet I didn't get an offer so basically yes your grades are good enough but they do look at eveything in your application including your background. Best of luck with your application! Also for maths they want students who are ACTUALLY good at maths, like can solve difficult abstract probelms, not A-Level good at maths / further maths as this is already expected.
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sweeneyrod
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(Original post by richmaths)
Hi there, I got 9999 (maths + 3 sciences), 88 (english) and 774 (art and music etc) at GCSE. First of all are these okay for Cambridge, because I did well in the relevant areas and I heard they don't look at GCSEs too much?

I've just finished year 12 and I did A level maths, AS chemistry and physics. The maths should be an A* and the other two are As, but I have achieved high As (A* equivalent) all year and should get predicted these. I will be studying further maths next year, with an A* prediction. So most likely a 4A* prediction or A*A*A*A. Do these make up for the weaker GCSEs?

I want to apply for the option (b) - maths with physics - by the way, incase I do want to switch to physical natural sciences after the first year.

Thanks
Yes, you don't need all A*s for any subject, but they're especially irrelevant for maths.
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richmaths
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(Original post by RiemannN)
I think your GCSE's are good, my friend has an offer to study maths at Cambridge and he had very similar GCSE's to you. I think your grades are good enough to apply and you should focus on the other aspects of your application rather than whether you're good enough. I did not get an offer from Cambridge (Engineering) which I still think about 11 months on from when I sent off my applicaiton. I had 5A*'s predicted and 11A*'s at GCSE. What I'm trying to say is that grades aren't everything because a lot of people have similar grades anyway. Another friend has an offer for Engineering and they had similar grades to you as well. As you can see I had the better grades yet I didn't get an offer so basically yes your grades are good enough but they do look at eveything in your application including your background. Best of luck with your application! Also for maths they want students who are ACTUALLY good at maths, like can solve difficult abstract probelms, not A-Level good at maths / further maths as this is already expected.
Thanks so much, I really appreciate your response!

Yeah I understand that, I've been practicing lots of senior maths challenge papers, STEP papers etc to try and improve my maths ability, rather than just get better at the A Level content.
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richmaths
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(Original post by sweeneyrod)
Yes, you don't all A*s for any subject, but they're especially irrelevant for maths.
Okay I get you, cheers.

I was just curious how much weight they carried, but I now see the overall application, interview etc has as much factor as well. The grades are almost expected to be top-notch without question.
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sweeneyrod
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(Original post by richmaths)
Okay I get you, cheers.

I was just curious how much weight they carried, but I now see the overall application, interview etc has as much factor as well. The grades are almost expected to be top-notch without question.
Kind of, they do expect your A-levels to be pretty top notch, but while it would be unusual to get in with "bad" GCSEs (like a couple of A*s in the subjects you want to do at uni and then B's, C's and lower for the rest) it's definitely not impossible. It's just that generally people who do well enough at A-level to get in also do well at GCSE (and your GCSEs are perfectly fine, I don't think you'd count as an exception to that).
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richmaths
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(Original post by sweeneyrod)
Kind of, they do expect your A-levels to be pretty top notch, but while it would be unusual to get in with "bad" GCSEs (like a couple of A*s in the subjects you want to do at uni and then B's, C's and lower for the rest) it's definitely not impossible. It's just that generally people who do well enough at A-level to get in also do well at GCSE (and your GCSEs are perfectly fine, I don't think you'd count as an exception to that).
Yeah I understand that. I'm just definitely a lot better at maths and science than all the others (or just bad at the others) and hence why I got those grades for the relative amount of work I put into each subject (I did lots more work for english and such, but did worse I mean). Thank you!
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