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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zetamcfc
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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*?
Well yeah, because you are applying to do mathematics. The only really relevant subject you will have done is maths, the rest just sort of indicates if you are motivated to work even if it's boring. Admissions tests split people better than A-levels so a greater importance is given to them as generally the only people taking them are people applying to mathematics courses unlike A-level maths and further.

If you achieve those A-level grades then you will always have a chance. Warwick, Durham, etc will probably give you an off with those A-level grades as predicted grades. A strong score on the MAT for Oxford and Imperial will likely give you an interview. With those projected grades you'll likely get an interview for Cambridge. After that, focus on meeting your offer requirements and by meeting them you'll get your place. I'd also ask why you are going to do 4 A-levels? Unless it's change offers are only based on 3 A-levels.

They want your maths, further maths and any old A-level as a third all with high grades to keep them at the top of the league tables. If maths departments could get away with only giving you an offer based on maths, further maths and an admissions test they probably would.
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DSKE010
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I know someone from my school who applied for maths at Cambridge and he got an interview with a 5 in English language so I think you’ll be fine as long as you do well in your admissions exams. For a levels, he did maths, further maths and chemistry. So you not doing physics won’t put you in any disadvantage
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domm1
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(Original post by zetamcfc)
Well yeah, because you are applying to do mathematics. The only really relevant subject you will have done is maths, the rest just sort of indicates if you are motivated to work even if it's boring. Admissions tests split people better than A-levels so a greater importance is given to them as generally the only people taking them are people applying to mathematics courses unlike A-level maths and further.

If you achieve those A-level grades then you will always have a chance. Warwick, Durham, etc will probably give you an off with those A-level grades as predicted grades. A strong score on the MAT for Oxford and Imperial will likely give you an interview. With those projected grades you'll likely get an interview for Cambridge. After that, focus on meeting your offer requirements and by meeting them you'll get your place. I'd also ask why you are going to do 4 A-levels? Unless it's change offers are only based on 3 A-levels.

They want your maths, further maths and any old A-level as a third all with high grades to keep them at the top of the league tables. If maths departments could get away with only giving you an offer based on maths, further maths and an admissions test they probably would.
Oh okay, I mean yeah that does make sense aha.

The reason for me doing 4 A-Levels is that I still want to keep my options for undergraduate study still broad. I'm still quite in two minds between Economics and Maths as I'm enjoying both subjects equally right now, and I know that History would be beneficial for wanting to read Economics, especially for LSE (but I'd only apply for a joint course at LSE because I know how much focus they hold on GCSE grades, so competition would most likely less fierce in comparison to pure Economics). But I do think that as time goes along my enjoyment in both will slowly sway in the Mathematics direction, and so in an attempt to foresee the future, I'm holding more concentration in looking for potential Maths courses over Economics courses.
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domm1
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(Original post by DSKE010)
I know someone from my school who applied for maths at Cambridge and he got an interview with a 5 in English language so I think you’ll be fine as long as you do well in your admissions exams. For a levels, he did maths, further maths and chemistry. So you not doing physics won’t put you in any disadvantage
Oh wow that is impressive! But was he given an offer?
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DSKE010
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(Original post by domm1)
Oh wow that is impressive! But was he given an offer?
Unfortunately not... but I think it’s because of his performance at the interview, because if he performed really well in his interview he would have gotten an offer. But it’s good he got an interview from Cambridge at least
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Tara23456789
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I didnt get personally good GCSE results.

I scored 8,7,7,5,8,6,7,7,4,5 for my GCSes with a grade 4 in English Lang.

I am in Year 13 currently and my A Level predicted grades arent that great at all -they are BCD for Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

Obviously, I really did want to apply to Oxford to study Engineering at Uni, but I cant.

Any universities place the max. emphasis on predicted grades and admission tests and the most emphasis on the actual results.

I am personally hoping that I can take a gap year and apply to Oxford during my gap year and am really hoping that there is going to be some miracle for my current predicted grades.


I feel teachers are extremely biased and have student favourtism when it comes to awarding predicted grades for your Ucas Application, irrespective of which school type you go to.
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