Chances of Getting into a Good (preferably a Russell Group) University

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 6 months ago
#1
Hi Everyone!

My case is a bit strange. I moved to the UK last year. Despite being only 16 and on track to complete year 11 in my previous country, I was told that I am too 'old' to be admitted into a secondary school. As a result, I continued my academic studies at a college where I studied L2 HSC, GCSE english and maths receiving double distinction*, and a grade 9 and 5 respectively. I also did 2 IGCSEs privately (biology, where i got a grade 8 and Food Technology - grade 9). This leaves me with a total of 6 GCSEs (HSC being the 2 equivalents)

I was able to get into a sixth form where I now study biology, sociology, politics and EPQ. My grades have been exceptional thus far, as I have not scored anything less than an A in all of our internal exams.

I am just worried that since I do not have the typical 8, grade 9-5 subjects at GCSE, I will have a harder time of getting into *good* universities. Has anyone else been in a similar experience or can provide some guidance as I have always been a model student, it was just my age that prevented me from initially continuing my studies.
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chinjyanson
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#2
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#2
Hello, I am not exactly in the same situation as you, but I do know that universities do not look too heavily on IGCSE grades or its equivalents. However, there are times when they would look for subjects taken in IGCSE that are directly related to your course, like maths for a mathematics course, etc. But they shouldn't affect your chances of getting in at all. Also some universities may have a extenuating circumstances form which you could fill out to explain your situation, if not, there is always the personal statement where you can integrate this information inside of it. Nonetheless it shouldnt be something that you should be really worried about.
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artful_lounger
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#3
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They will consider your qualifications in context, and thus take into account the fact you moved to the UK in the middle of your education. So it won't disadvantage you. Also GCSEs are not that important for most unis and most courses, other than requiring GCSE Maths and English language at a minimum grade typically. There are some exceptions of course (mainly some medical/dental schools, Oxford, and some courses at LSE) but most do not put such an emphasis on them (including, notably, Cambridge, which has no formal GCSE requirements and does not weigh them that heavily in the admissions process).

Note also that the Russell Group does not necessarily equate with "good" unis. The RG is ostensibly a postgraduate research consortium and thus has no bearing on undergraduate study/teaching directly; in reality it's a political lobbying group and so has even less relation to undergraduate teaching. There are plenty of fairly average RG unis, and plenty of very strong non-RG unis. It is not something worth considering when applying to uni.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 6 months ago
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skylark2
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#4
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#4
If you go look on university websites for the courses you are interested in, they will say what their minimum GCSE requirement is and any requirements on grades. I doubt anyone has a minimum requirement of more than 6 GCSE equivalents. It's common for people who haven't had the normal UK school career to not have as many GCSEs as their peers. The one issue you might have there is your 5 in maths. It's not that unusual for a 6 to be required from someone who isn't doing A level maths and is applying for a course with mathematical content.

There are a few courses at a few universities where overall GCSE performance is scored as part of the application process. You will not score highly on that metric, because a high score in that context is something like 8 GCSEs at grades 8+ . I honestly don't know whether they would simply not include you in that part of the process (they can't possibly apply it to everyone because they take, for instance, US students who have not done GCSEs at all) or whether they would take your results in context. You would need to ask the university in question.
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McGinger
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#5
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#5
Btw, "Russell Group" is just a marketing concept - it doesnt have any real meaning beyond that, and it certainly doesnt guarentee you a happy and successful life. For many subjects the 'other' Universities are actually better.
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swanseajack1
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#6
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi Everyone!

My case is a bit strange. I moved to the UK last year. Despite being only 16 and on track to complete year 11 in my previous country, I was told that I am too 'old' to be admitted into a secondary school. As a result, I continued my academic studies at a college where I studied L2 HSC, GCSE english and maths receiving double distinction*, and a grade 9 and 5 respectively. I also did 2 IGCSEs privately (biology, where i got a grade 8 and Food Technology - grade 9). This leaves me with a total of 6 GCSEs (HSC being the 2 equivalents)

I was able to get into a sixth form where I now study biology, sociology, politics and EPQ. My grades have been exceptional thus far, as I have not scored anything less than an A in all of our internal exams.

I am just worried that since I do not have the typical 8, grade 9-5 subjects at GCSE, I will have a harder time of getting into *good* universities. Has anyone else been in a similar experience or can provide some guidance as I have always been a model student, it was just my age that prevented me from initially continuing my studies.
Most universities have a requirement of 5 GCSEs including English Language and Maths at grade 4 or above. Some universities require higher grades in English and Maths. The most common requirement is a grade 6 in Maths but this tends to be for Maths heavy subjects such as Psychology, Computer Science and Economics. Other than that there GCSE grades are not usuallly a problem.

What you meet need to check is your HSC is accepted as a GCSE equivalent by the universities you are interested in.

It might however be the universities might not stick by any GCSE requirements in your circumstances as you came here during year 11. Get your referee to explain the circumstances and if you wish to check out yourself now witth the universities.

Have you thought of taking Politics or Sociology as a GCSE alongside the A level.
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LegalTom
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#7
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#7
Had Cs in all my WAEC subjects (Nigerian GCSE equivalent) and 27distinctions 15 Merits in my Access to HE course, was 22 and I got into Exeter uni to study law. You have a high chance of getting accepted.
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