Anonymous(
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Hi, a few days ago I received my GCSE equivalent results. I’m an international student and didn’t actually do GCSES, but I did do another equivalent qualification . I plan on applying to Oxford for physics or Cambridge for maths. I was wondering if these results are good enough?

English Language - 88
English Literature - 97
Hindi - 99
History and Civics - 97
Geography - 100
Computer Science - 94
Chemistry - 97
Biology - 97
Physics - 95
Maths - 94

I’m an Indian student and did the CISCE exams. For this exam board, both the English subjects are grouped together, all sciences are grouped together and the social sciences (hist geog) are grouped together. An overall percentage is calculated which includes English + best 4 other subjects(i.e. other subjects in which you have scored the highest percentage) . My overall best of 5 score works out to 96.2%. Generally a 90-95%+ is considered competitive enough for Oxbridge , but I’m not too sure about this. Now, here’s the real issue. The exams were cancelled this year due to COVID. The marking was extremely random. The scores were supposed to be given on the basis of all the school exams that took place in the academic year. The average marks in all exams given for a subject was considered. My average was 99 in Physics and 97 in Maths, but I’ve still gotten much lower scores. This has happened to a lot of other students as well. Very few people get such high scores in bio and Hindi, but there were so many who got similar scores this year. The students who generally got average marks have scored very highly(basically the results are inflated). Even my maths and physics teachers were surprised with the results, they were expecting many (including me) to get 100%, but not a single person got it. My school is one of the best for the CISCE board in India btw, so it’s not like they perform badly. Students who scored much lower than me in internal exams have gotten higher marks in the actual results. My average in biology was 90%, but I’ve still scored 97 somehow. In many other subjects I believe I could’ve scored higher if I sat the actual exams, but I’m still quite happy with them, just really disappointed about maths and physics, which is what I plan to study. I’ve started my a levels in maths, physics, further maths and chemistry. I know that I can still make my application strong, but I’m really worried cause everyone has very high grades and I don’t want my gcse equivalents to Hinder my chances. For example, two other students from my school who plan to apply to Oxbridge for the same subjects have an overall percentage of 98,.4 and 98.8. The highest for maths in the school is 98 and 96 in physics. Although I beat them in physics, they’ve both scored 98 in maths, despite having similar grades to me. Because exams were cancelled, the examination board has given a chance to students who are not satisfied with their results to resit. I’ve already started my A level studies and don’t know if it’s worth resitting. For all subjects, there is a written examination of 80 marks and 20 marks for internal assessment(practicals for sciences and projects for rest). (Except CS where there’s a 100 mark exam and 100 marks for projects and practicals). These marks are a percentage and not UMS. According to ucas, these qualifications are considered acceptable at grades 1-6 in lieu of GCSE on a subject for subject basis. As for grades, I have 1s in all subjects except eng Lang in which I have a 2. Although after grouping all subjects(which is how calculations are done in this board), I have 1s in all. But many people get such grades, and the number would have increased even more this year. I’m leaving links to specimen papers in maths, physics and chemistry for you guys so you can compare it to GCSE. Any Indians who are studying maths/physics at Oxbridge , any advice? Should I resist maths and physics or are these okay?

https://cisce.org/UploadedFiles/PDF/...%202020(1).pdf - Maths

https://www.cisce.org/pdf/ICSE-Class...r%20-%201).pdf - Physics

https://www.cisce.org/pdf/ICSE-Class...Paper%202).pdf - Chemistry
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Anonymous(
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Can someone please help me? It’s a bit urgent cause today is the last day to register for resits. I would really appreciate someone’s opinion on this.
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Anyone?
Doones
soggyomelette
JoJo_Beast
Sinnoh
artful_lounger
Peterhouse Admissions
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Sinnoh
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Apply and you'll find out if those grades are good enough. There's nothing you can do to guarantee an offer, regardless of your grades. Objectively they are good enough. Now pick a course
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artful_lounger
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I've no way to evaluate these qualifications as I'm not familiar with them. Cambridge and Oxford will have benchmarks to evaluate them and so will consider them in the proper context. Note that Cambridge does not put a great deal of weight on GCSEs for domestic applicants anyway (they are just considered holistically with the rest of the application) and while Oxford does use them more to shortlist for interview in general, for physics PAT performance will be the main factor considered I gather. So either way I don't think your pre-A-level (or equivalent) course results will be critical.
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
Apply and you'll find out if those grades are good enough. There's nothing you can do to guarantee an offer, regardless of your grades. Objectively they are good enough. Now pick a course
Okay. Thanks. It’s mostly going to be Physics at Oxford. For other unis I’m anyways going to apply for theoretical physics. I was considering maths at Cambridge because the course has a lot of theoretical physics and I haven’t been enjoying A level Physics a lot. I don’t know if you can answer this, but does Oxford consider AS grades? I know they don’t make it a part of their shortlisting criteria, but if I get a high PUM(Basically UMS for international a levels) in AS maths and physics, will they at least consider the fact that I am in fact good at maths and physics and that my GCSEs are a little misleading? Also, does Cambridge consider AS UMS if you have taken externally assessed AS levels?
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I've no way to evaluate these qualifications as I'm not familiar with them. Cambridge and Oxford will have benchmarks to evaluate them and so will consider them in the proper context. Note that Cambridge does not put a great deal of weight on GCSEs for domestic applicants anyway (they are just considered holistically with the rest of the application) and while Oxford does use them more to shortlist for interview in general, for physics PAT performance will be the main factor considered I gather. So either way I don't think your pre-A-level (or equivalent) course results will be critical.
I’ve left links to specimen papers in maths, physics and chemistry. I know you wouldn’t be able to judge the entire qualification based on just those, but you’ll at least get a brief idea. Thanks!
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Snigdha02
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Although I'm not qualified enough to judge. I wouldn't stress too much about your GCSE equivalent grades. I've heard Oxbridge are normally lenient with them and now especially with the pandemic they are going to take into consideration the circumstances of which the grades were awarded. I'm sure loads of people have the same concerns all over the world so don't worry too much about it. I've seen loads of people from the U.K get into Oxbridge with way lower grades than that. I think it comes down to many other factors.Good luck!
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username5808066
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There have been so many different stories of people getting low scores on entry exams and getting interviews/offers.

Good GCSE grades will account for very little in that world, and any grade you’re getting - someone will always get higher

Give it a shot, it doesn’t always work out the way you plan - but it always works out.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Anonymous()
Hi, a few days ago I received my GCSE equivalent results. I’m an international student and didn’t actually do GCSES, but I did do another equivalent qualification . I plan on applying to Oxford for physics or Cambridge for maths. I was wondering if these results are good enough?

English Language - 88
English Literature - 97
Hindi - 99
History and Civics - 97
Geography - 100
Computer Science - 94
Chemistry - 97
Biology - 97
Physics - 95
Maths - 94

I’m an Indian student and did the CISCE exams. For this exam board, both the English subjects are grouped together, all sciences are grouped together and the social sciences (hist geog) are grouped together. An overall percentage is calculated which includes English + best 4 other subjects(i.e. other subjects in which you have scored the highest percentage) . My overall best of 5 score works out to 96.2%. Generally a 90-95%+ is considered competitive enough for Oxbridge , but I’m not too sure about this. Now, here’s the real issue. The exams were cancelled this year due to COVID. The marking was extremely random. The scores were supposed to be given on the basis of all the school exams that took place in the academic year. The average marks in all exams given for a subject was considered. My average was 99 in Physics and 97 in Maths, but I’ve still gotten much lower scores. This has happened to a lot of other students as well. Very few people get such high scores in bio and Hindi, but there were so many who got similar scores this year. The students who generally got average marks have scored very highly(basically the results are inflated). Even my maths and physics teachers were surprised with the results, they were expecting many (including me) to get 100%, but not a single person got it. My school is one of the best for the CISCE board in India btw, so it’s not like they perform badly. Students who scored much lower than me in internal exams have gotten higher marks in the actual results. My average in biology was 90%, but I’ve still scored 97 somehow. In many other subjects I believe I could’ve scored higher if I sat the actual exams, but I’m still quite happy with them, just really disappointed about maths and physics, which is what I plan to study. I’ve started my a levels in maths, physics, further maths and chemistry. I know that I can still make my application strong, but I’m really worried cause everyone has very high grades and I don’t want my gcse equivalents to Hinder my chances. For example, two other students from my school who plan to apply to Oxbridge for the same subjects have an overall percentage of 98,.4 and 98.8. The highest for maths in the school is 98 and 96 in physics. Although I beat them in physics, they’ve both scored 98 in maths, despite having similar grades to me. Because exams were cancelled, the examination board has given a chance to students who are not satisfied with their results to resit. I’ve already started my A level studies and don’t know if it’s worth resitting. For all subjects, there is a written examination of 80 marks and 20 marks for internal assessment(practicals for sciences and projects for rest). (Except CS where there’s a 100 mark exam and 100 marks for projects and practicals). These marks are a percentage and not UMS. According to ucas, these qualifications are considered acceptable at grades 1-6 in lieu of GCSE on a subject for subject basis. As for grades, I have 1s in all subjects except eng Lang in which I have a 2. Although after grouping all subjects(which is how calculations are done in this board), I have 1s in all. But many people get such grades, and the number would have increased even more this year. I’m leaving links to specimen papers in maths, physics and chemistry for you guys so you can compare it to GCSE. Any Indians who are studying maths/physics at Oxbridge , any advice? Should I resist maths and physics or are these okay?

https://cisce.org/UploadedFiles/PDF/...%202020(1).pdf - Maths

https://www.cisce.org/pdf/ICSE-Class...r%20-%201).pdf - Physics

https://www.cisce.org/pdf/ICSE-Class...Paper%202).pdf - Chemistry
As usual, artful_lounger pretty much covered it here. Despite the wall of text, quoted above, these results aren't really going to mean anything much to anyone because this is a UK site which deals primarily with recognisable qualifications such as GCEs and Scottish quals.
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Anonymous(
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Thank you everyone! So can I say that these results **seem good enough for Oxbridge** but are by no means a guarantee and I shouldn’t pay too much attention to them and that other factors are much important? Thanks once again!
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BarnabyK
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(Original post by Anonymous()
Thank you everyone! So can I say that these results **seem good enough for Oxbridge** but are by no means a guarantee and I shouldn’t pay too much attention to them and that other factors are much important? Thanks once again!
Unless you walk out of a burning building and proceed to sit your GCSEs the day after, gaining straight 9s. Or, alternatively, win a Nobel Prize for advocating for female education despite multiple attempts on your life by a major international terrorist group, virtually no results are "guaranteed" to get you into Oxbridge.

Stellar GCSE results just ensure that your application is worth the time it takes to read, nothing more. GCSEs get you through the door, but please remember that the average Oxbridge applicant has eight A/A* grades.
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These marks are good enough!!
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