Importance of GCSEs when applying to study Maths at Oxbridge, Imperial, Warwick, etc?

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domm1
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I'm currently in Year 12 but am aspiring to read Mathematics at either Oxbridge, Imperial, Warwick, Durham, etc. For A-Level I am taking Maths, Further Maths, Economics, and History, and am aiming to achieve at least A*A*A*A respectively.

However, due to a lack of effort during my earlier years led me to attain GCSEs below what I should've been achieving (was annoyingly the 'Covid year' as well so I ended up getting my exact Mock results instead of sitting the exams which was slightly frustrating), in which I 'achieved' 988887665.

I'd been scanning TSR to find out any more information on the importance held by Oxbridge and other top universities on applicants GCSE results, and it had been mentioned within certain forum pages that for Maths applicants, focus on GCSE results was quite light (less compared to other courses, and by this I don't just mean Medicine and Law) and instead heavy focus was put on the admissions exams instead; is this true? And if so, with these far below average Oxbridge GCSE results, would you say I'd still have at least some what of a chance against these other applicants, as long as I achieved either A*A*A*A / A*A*A*A* in Maths, Further Maths, Economics and History respectively?

One final thing, I know that Physics is by no means necessary when applying to an undergraduate Maths course, but I wouldn't be put at a disadvantage for not taking it would I? And I know that History holds no correlation to Maths, but that wouldn't mean that they would show no care towards my History A-Level would they, especially if it was an A*?
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robertgallacher
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You should be fine with regard to GCSEs. They make no distinction between 9s and 8s, so if you went to a relatively ordinary school, then you should be fine. They also wouldn't be fussed about History vs Physics. You would need to do well in your entrance exams though, and have a strong personal statement etc, which is more important than GCSEs and other subjects.
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asianism
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(Original post by domm1)
I'm currently in Year 12 but am aspiring to read Mathematics at either Oxbridge, Imperial, Warwick, Durham, etc. For A-Level I am taking Maths, Further Maths, Economics, and History, and am aiming to achieve at least A*A*A*A respectively.

However, due to a lack of effort during my earlier years led me to attain GCSEs below what I should've been achieving (was annoyingly the 'Covid year' as well so I ended up getting my exact Mock results instead of sitting the exams which was slightly frustrating), in which I 'achieved' 988887665.

I'd been scanning TSR to find out any more information on the importance held by Oxbridge and other top universities on applicants GCSE results, and it had been mentioned within certain forum pages that for Maths applicants, focus on GCSE results was quite light (less compared to other courses, and by this I don't just mean Medicine and Law) and instead heavy focus was put on the admissions exams instead; is this true? And if so, with these far below average Oxbridge GCSE results, would you say I'd still have at least some what of a chance against these other applicants, as long as I achieved either A*A*A*A / A*A*A*A* in Maths, Further Maths, Economics and History respectively?

One final thing, I know that Physics is by no means necessary when applying to an undergraduate Maths course, but I wouldn't be put at a disadvantage for not taking it would I? And I know that History holds no correlation to Maths, but that wouldn't mean that they would show no care towards my History A-Level would they, especially if it was an A*?
You're not at a disadvantage for not taking physics, I'm applying to Cambridge etc.. with only 3 alevels. Your GCSEs are great, as long as you've passed English and maths its fine. I know of someone who got in even when they failed some their GCSEs. If you wanna read maths, try and improve on like problem solving skills, A levels aren't enough. Maybe look at some step support modules when you've covered the as level maths spec. I think they are concerned with anything maths related like your maths ability and also good A level results.

Also another tip, by no means compulsory and not doing this probs won't disadvantage you. Senior maths challenge is coming up, try and do well in that. its a good thing to put in your ps.
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domm1
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(Original post by robertgallacher)
You should be fine with regard to GCSEs. They make no distinction between 9s and 8s, so if you went to a relatively ordinary school, then you should be fine. They also wouldn't be fussed about History vs Physics. You would need to do well in your entrance exams though, and have a strong personal statement etc, which is more important than GCSEs and other subjects.
I went to what is called an 'academy converter' school? Is this what would be classes as 'ordinary' or?

Thanks for informing me on my query in regards to 'History vs. Physics'.
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domm1
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(Original post by asianism)
You're not at a disadvantage for not taking physics, I'm applying to Cambridge etc.. with only 3 alevels. Your GCSEs are great, as long as you've passed English and maths its fine. I know of someone who got in even when they failed some their GCSEs. If you wanna read maths, try and improve on like problem solving skills, A levels aren't enough. Maybe look at some step support modules when you've covered the as level maths spec. I think they are concerned with anything maths related like your maths ability and also good A level results.

Also another tip, by no means compulsory and not doing this probs won't disadvantage you. Senior maths challenge is coming up, try and do well in that. its a good thing to put in your ps.
Yeah I'm definitely going to start having a look at some STEP support modules once I've got all other Maths-y things out of the way (that's if I decide I'm going to go ahead with applying to Cambridge over Oxford, which in my head seems to be the more logical option), because I know how challenging STEP is renowned to be.

Yeah I've been emailed by my school about the Senior Maths Challenge, 5th November is the day I sit the exam.
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