AmeliaMay24
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I’m a year 12 and want to apply for Oxford to do law, however I didn’t get the best GCSEs (3 7s, couple 6s, 1 5 and 1 4). I’m scared that since oxford take more consideration with GCSEs than Cambridge do, I won’t even get an interview. I’ve improved on my grades a lot since I’ve been at sixth form, and I’ve really pushed myself and plan to keep doing so, aiming for As and A*s hopefully. Oxbridge is also very competitive for law so what can I do to make myself stand out, and compensate for my grades at GCSE to hopefully not be rejected? (Oxford is my ideal one to apply for however I am debating Cambridge as I’ve heard they don’t bother with GCSEs as much).
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17chloe
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hi im in y13 rn applying to oxford and about 90% of law applicants (so far lol) are being rejected before interview - oxford holds large weighting on gcses and expects a gcse profile of 8 or more 8s and 9s so i suggest that maybe you perhaps consider cambridge
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AmeliaMay24
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(Original post by 17chloe)
hi im in y13 rn applying to oxford and about 90% of law applicants (so far lol) are being rejected before interview - oxford holds large weighting on gcses and expects a gcse profile of 8 or more 8s and 9s so i suggest that maybe you perhaps consider cambridge
I was really hoping to have a chance haha, Thankyou for your advice anyway, ill have a look into Cambridge!
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Mikos
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Unless there is a good reason why your GCSEs are as low as they are, I would not suggest that you apply to Oxford. Less than 40% were interviewed last year, and one of the main areas of deselection is GCSE results.
Cambridge is equally competitive and you would need to make up for your GCSEs elsewhere (I shall explain how shortly), but because they interview around 75% (they give each candidate 1 or 2 interviews whereas Oxford applicants tend to get 3+), the probability of you getting selected and thus being able to prove yourself at the admissions test and interview is higher.
If you're still thinking of applying to high end law schools, I would firstly suggest that if you are not sitting AS exams in year 12 that you should probably apply on a gap year once you have your results. If someone is predicted A*s and As with weak GCSEs, then the university may doubt that you achieving these grades is actually feasible. Instead, show them your results when you have them in hand, which will work to your advantage because a) it will remove any doubt that you won't be capable of meeting the grade requirements and b) demonstrates an academic upwards trajectory, which is seen as a positive.

As for how you can make your application better, read law related books and engage in law supercurriculars. This is essential as not only will it demonstrate an interest in your subject to improve your PS, but it will also inform your legal reasoning and, in turn, make you perform better at interview.

Finally, this may sound harsh but don't get your hopes up too much. Cambridge will still look at your GCSEs and may wonder what went wrong. You will be competing against people with straight A*s. I think if you do everything right from this point on you have a good shot, but as someone who's currently in the Cambridge law application round, I'm not even sure of my chances, even as someone with A*A*A at A-level and all A*s at GCSE. Oxbridge is cutthroat.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by AmeliaMay24)
I was really hoping to have a chance haha, Thankyou for your advice anyway, ill have a look into Cambridge!
What sortof school do you go to? How do your grades compare to others?
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AmeliaMay24
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(Original post by Muttley79)
What sortof school do you go to? How do your grades compare to others?
I go to a state college and have never been in private school. I’m not 100% sure about statistics but my college typically gets students who get good a level grades (not sure about GCSEs) who go on to Cambridge, not all though. It was one of the top 10 colleges in the country a couple years ago but I don’t know if oxford takes that into consideration. For my GCSE grades, my grades would be seen as average-high from my secondary school compared to the rest of my year.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by AmeliaMay24)
I go to a state college and have never been in private school. I’m not 100% sure about statistics but my college typically gets students who get good a level grades (not sure about GCSEs) who go on to Cambridge, not all though. It was one of the top 10 colleges in the country a couple years ago but I don’t know if oxford takes that into consideration. For my GCSE grades, my grades would be seen as average-high from my secondary school compared to the rest of my year.
That sort of background is important - at some schools your grades would be weak but at others you'd be a top performer.
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AmeliaMay24
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(Original post by Muttley79)
That sort of background is important - at some schools your grades would be weak but at others you'd be a top performer.
I’ve looked at Q&As on the oxford website and they said that they will “take into account the difficult circumstances when they assess our application” for students who were meant to take their GCSEs in 2020 (which I was meant to). All I can do is make sure I get the grades for A level and make my application as strong as possible really.
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