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

Watch
domm1
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
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*?
1
reply
TF BA
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
(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*?
I am speaking for medicine here, but I think it would probably be similar to Maths - Oxbridge gets tens of thousands of applications every year, each of whom possess a stellar academic record. However, when it comes to the interview and personal statements etc, a lot will suffer, as they are no more than examinations robots, incapable of properly articulating themselves, or showing passion for the subject they want to study. Work on yourself as a person - essentially, be interesting, show a love for the subject you want to study, do well on the entrance exams, and you will stand a much better chance. Also, the 2020 cohort will be known as those who perhaps don’t have a true representation of their ability at GCSE - so, I would say that they will care about them even less. And to round it all off, your GCSE results are pretty decent, despite what you may think. So - overall, I wouldn’t worry about it.
As for the History - I can tell you that when applying for STEM, it can set you apart from the rest, showing that the breadth of your interests extends beyond other people.
Last edited by TF BA; 3 weeks ago
1
reply
username4793362
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 month ago
#3
How confident are you that you are going to achieve 4 A*’s?
2
reply
Chadders1300
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
I study at warwick and gcse’s aren’t a big thing. You need like a 5 in English and maths. Ure gcses are definitely good enough. Its more about the a levels.
2
reply
username4793362
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
Oxbridge applicants have no less than straight 9’s, it’s a bit too risky. I’m unsure whether they’d be lenient for your Year because of COVID, but I highly doubt it since a lot of people got straight 9’s this year
Last edited by username4793362; 1 month ago
1
reply
domm1
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by TF BA)
I am speaking for medicine here, but I think it would probably be similar to Maths - Oxbridge gets tens of thousands of applications every year, each of whom possess a stellar academic record. However, when it comes to the interview and personal statements etc, a lot will suffer, as they are no more than examinations robots, incapable of properly articulating themselves, or showing passion for the subject they want to study. Work on yourself as a person - essentially, be interesting, show a love for the subject you want to study, do well on the entrance exams, and you will stand a much better chance. Also, the 2020 cohort will be known as those who perhaps don’t have a true representation of their ability at GCSE - so, I would say that they will care about them even less. And to round it all off, your GCSE results are pretty decent, despite what you may think. So - overall, I wouldn’t worry about it.
As for the History - from experience, I can tell you that when applying for STEM, it can set you apart from the rest, showing that the breadth of your interests extends beyond other people.
See when I was younger and a little more blind to the whole university life, I held the stereotypical view, which I bet many people still do, that Oxbridge was full of incredibly academic people, but as you said, 'incapable of articulating themselves', which I had realised years ago was not the case at all, and in fact many of these envisioned people I had in my head were the ones who were rejected, due to the unbalanced level of 'skill' when comparing their academics to their abilities to write a personal statement and explain their love for subject X.

I did think that GCSE importance may be slightly less focused then before for my year due to the fact we never sat formal exams, and I really do hope for that to be the case, one reason that I feel it to be the fair way to go about it, second being that it'd disadvantage me less

Yes that it was one of the reasons I decided to take History to A-Level as well as the other three I take, apart from my natural interest in the subject as well of course, also for the fact that I'm quite indecisive in the decision between taking Economics or Maths to undergraduate level. However, I feel as time goes on my passion for each subject separately will slowly start to sway in the Mathematics direction.
0
reply
domm1
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by Tracheostenosis)
Oxbridge applicants have no less than straight 9’s, it’s a bit too risky. I’m unsure whether they’d be lenient for your Year because of COVID, but I highly doubt it since a lot of people got straight 9’s this year
How sure are you on this statement? I seem to know otherwise...
0
reply
username4793362
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 month ago
#8
(Original post by domm1)
How sure are you on this statement? I seem to know otherwise...
I mean it does say eight 8/9’s is the “standard” and you have only 5... you might be lucky
Last edited by username4793362; 1 month ago
0
reply
domm1
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#9
(Original post by Tracheostenosis)
How confident are you that you are going to achieve 4 A*’s?
What you want a percentage?:confused: Hmm I'll have to think about that one.
0
reply
username4793362
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 month ago
#10
(Original post by domm1)
What you want a percentage?:confused: Hmm I'll have to think about that one.
It isn’t as easy as you think
0
reply
domm1
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#11
(Original post by Tracheostenosis)
I mean it does say eight 8/9’s is the “standard” and you have only 6... you might be lucky
You do know GCSE results are taken into the context of your school you attended right? I think a person who attends a 'low-end' public school who achieves 4A* at GCSE and places first in their year based off of APS would stand out a little more than someone who goes to a private school who gets 8A*, but places 30th in their year because they're a pretty average student when compared to their peers, do you not agree?
0
reply
domm1
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#12
(Original post by Tracheostenosis)
It isn’t as easy as you think
I never said it was 'easy' once?
0
reply
username4793362
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#13
Report 1 month ago
#13
(Original post by domm1)
You do know GCSE results are taken into the context of your school you attended right? I think a person who attends a 'low-end' public school who achieves 4A* at GCSE and places first in their year based off of APS would stand out a little more than someone who goes to a private school who gets 8A*, but places 30th in their year because they're a pretty average student when compared to their peers, do you not agree?
If you can get statistical information to back this up, then I’d definitely apply. If not, then nope.
0
reply
noname900
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 month ago
#14
Your GCSEs are good enough. Ignore the person who said you'd need to be lucky without straight 8/9. What's more important is that you prepare for MAT over the summer and don't drop the ball from the start of year 12. You will need A*, A* in both maths subjects. A grade in the other two will be fine. Applying with anything but A*s will be the suicide, not your GCSEs. Build your personal statement! Time goes fast, and you can't afford to slack especially with COVID, exams may get canceled and you will never get the chance to actually perform. So your work now needs to indicate A*. Like the person above said...this isn't so easy. AND PREPARE FOR THE MAT OVER SUMMER, DON'T BE ME AND PREPARE 3 WEEKS BEFORE!
0
reply
domm1
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#15
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#15
(Original post by noname900)
Your GCSEs are good enough. Ignore the person who said you'd need to be lucky without straight 8/9. What's more important is that you prepare for MAT over the summer and don't drop the ball from the start of year 12. You will need A*, A* in both maths subjects. A grade in the other two will be fine. Applying with anything but A*s will be the suicide, not your GCSEs. Build your personal statement! Time goes fast, and you can't afford to slack especially with COVID, exams may get canceled and you will never get the chance to actually perform. So your work now needs to indicate A*. Like the person above said...this isn't so easy. AND PREPARE FOR THE MAT OVER SUMMER, DON'T BE ME AND PREPARE 3 WEEKS BEFORE!
Yes I understand the circumstances I am in, and so have been making sure to put in the necessary work needed to achieve my wanted grades from the get-go.

As I've been able to get quite far ahead on my Further Maths modules and with the fact that I feel confident on everything I have covered so far in all of my subjects, I've made a start on the STEP Support Programme Foundation modules, in attempt to improve my problem-solving skills as I move through the assignments, in future preparation for a potential interview and of course the STEP admissions exams themselves. Once completed all 25 assignments in the Foundation modules I shall move onto the STEP 2 modules (I'm aiming to complete all 25 assignments over a 3 month period, so I'll only be doing 2 a week), and then to STEP 3 modules in Year 13.
0
reply
noname900
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#16
Report 1 month ago
#16
(Original post by domm1)
Yes I understand the circumstances I am in, and so have been making sure to put in the necessary work needed to achieve my wanted grades from the get-go.

As I've been able to get quite far ahead on my Further Maths modules and with the fact that I feel confident on everything I have covered so far in all of my subjects, I've made a start on the STEP Support Programme Foundation modules, in attempt to improve my problem-solving skills as I move through the assignments, in future preparation for a potential interview and of course the STEP admissions exams themselves. Once completed all 25 assignments in the Foundation modules I shall move onto the STEP 2 modules (I'm aiming to complete all 25 assignments over a 3 month period, so I'll only be doing 2 a week), and then to STEP 3 modules in Year 13.
Oh, MAT is Oxford specific, if you're prepared for the STEP, you'd do fine in the MAT. STEP is harder. It's a bit early for STEP. I'd get familiar with the A level content. STEP 2 is A level maths and AS further maths. STEP 3 being both A level maths content.
0
reply
domm1
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#17
(Original post by noname900)
Oh, MAT is Oxford specific, if you're prepared for the STEP, you'd do fine in the MAT. STEP is harder. It's a bit early for STEP. I'd get familiar with the A level content. STEP 2 is A level maths and AS further maths. STEP 3 being both A level maths content.
I'm swaying towards the option of Cambridge out of the two Oxbridge options, so that's why I'm getting STEP preparation in instead of MAT.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you travelling in the Uni student travel window (3-9 Dec) to go home for Christmas?

Yes (120)
28.37%
No - I have already returned home (57)
13.48%
No - I plan on travelling outside these dates (82)
19.39%
No - I'm staying at my term time address over Christmas (40)
9.46%
No - I live at home during term anyway (124)
29.31%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed