The Student Room Group

This discussion is no longer active so you won't be able to reply.Check out other Related discussions

Odds of getting into Oxford with Poor Gcse results but good A levels?

Hi , I currently attend a very academic private school , where the most common GCSE grade last year was a 9 . I achieved only one 9 , three 8's and five 7's , (4a*s and 5a's) i attribute this to my poor work ethic as well as other factors , However ever since studying subjects i enjoy and an improvement in my work ethic my predicted grades etc have improved . I am aiming for 4a*s at a level in History , Politics , Economics and Spanish as well as an a* in my history EPQ . I understand that good GCSE results are crucial to getting into Oxford as for history , 50% of the initial decision is based on contextual GCSES for which mine are below average , the other 50% is based on the History Aptitude test . So what i want to know is are my odds good enough to justify doing the extra work required to get into Oxford based on the fact that i have poor GCSES . I assume that due to my GCSEs it does not make sense to apply and instead focus my time on other Universities.
Original post by tpb05
Hi , I currently attend a very academic private school , where the most common GCSE grade last year was a 9 . I achieved only one 9 , three 8's and five 7's , (4a*s and 5a's) i attribute this to my poor work ethic as well as other factors , However ever since studying subjects i enjoy and an improvement in my work ethic my predicted grades etc have improved . I am aiming for 4a*s at a level in History , Politics , Economics and Spanish as well as an a* in my history EPQ . I understand that good GCSE results are crucial to getting into Oxford as for history , 50% of the initial decision is based on contextual GCSES for which mine are below average , the other 50% is based on the History Aptitude test . So what i want to know is are my odds good enough to justify doing the extra work required to get into Oxford based on the fact that i have poor GCSES . I assume that due to my GCSEs it does not make sense to apply and instead focus my time on other Universities.

The wonderful @Oxford Mum might be able to give you the actual figure average Oxford students have something like 10A*s. Might be best to focus on other unis.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by tpb05
Hi , I currently attend a very academic private school , where the most common GCSE grade last year was a 9 . I achieved only one 9 , three 8's and five 7's , (4a*s and 5a's) i attribute this to my poor work ethic as well as other factors , However ever since studying subjects i enjoy and an improvement in my work ethic my predicted grades etc have improved . I am aiming for 4a*s at a level in History , Politics , Economics and Spanish as well as an a* in my history EPQ . I understand that good GCSE results are crucial to getting into Oxford as for history , 50% of the initial decision is based on contextual GCSES for which mine are below average , the other 50% is based on the History Aptitude test . So what i want to know is are my odds good enough to justify doing the extra work required to get into Oxford based on the fact that i have poor GCSES . I assume that due to my GCSEs it does not make sense to apply and instead focus my time on other Universities.

You are right that Oxford focuses a lot more on good GCSE results than other unis, and they will also look at your results in the context of your school. Your GCSE result's aren't awful at all, but you won't be in the best position - it is a very competitive course and uni. If you are hoping to do really well at A level, have you considered Cambridge instead?
Reply 3
I have always Preferred Oxford but I will definitely consider Cambridge if they are less worried about GCSEs .
Original post by tpb05
I have always Preferred Oxford but I will definitely consider Cambridge if they are less worried about GCSEs .

I would have a look at Cambridge.
Oxford does reject people pre-interview on the basis of their GCSEs, and they do view them as an indicator of academic ability/potential. Cambridge doesn't think they are such good indicators, so it would be unlikely for them to reject someone pre-interview just because of their GCSEs. If your aim is to give yourself the best chance of getting into Oxbridge, your best bet would be Cambridge.
Original post by tpb05
Hi , I currently attend a very academic private school , where the most common GCSE grade last year was a 9 . I achieved only one 9 , three 8's and five 7's , (4a*s and 5a's) i attribute this to my poor work ethic as well as other factors , However ever since studying subjects i enjoy and an improvement in my work ethic my predicted grades etc have improved . I am aiming for 4a*s at a level in History , Politics , Economics and Spanish as well as an a* in my history EPQ . I understand that good GCSE results are crucial to getting into Oxford as for history , 50% of the initial decision is based on contextual GCSES for which mine are below average , the other 50% is based on the History Aptitude test . So what i want to know is are my odds good enough to justify doing the extra work required to get into Oxford based on the fact that i have poor GCSES . I assume that due to my GCSEs it does not make sense to apply and instead focus my time on other Universities.


Depends on the subject. They maybe ok for history
Is one 9, five 8s and three 7s enough for engineering (6a*s and 3As)? I go to a pretty decent public school and I’m now predicted 3A*s in further maths maths and physics and hopefully do well in the PAT and personal statement! @Oxford Mum
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by tpb05
Hi , I currently attend a very academic private school , where the most common GCSE grade last year was a 9 . I achieved only one 9 , three 8's and five 7's , (4a*s and 5a's) i attribute this to my poor work ethic as well as other factors , However ever since studying subjects i enjoy and an improvement in my work ethic my predicted grades etc have improved . I am aiming for 4a*s at a level in History , Politics , Economics and Spanish as well as an a* in my history EPQ . I understand that good GCSE results are crucial to getting into Oxford as for history , 50% of the initial decision is based on contextual GCSES for which mine are below average , the other 50% is based on the History Aptitude test . So what i want to know is are my odds good enough to justify doing the extra work required to get into Oxford based on the fact that i have poor GCSES . I assume that due to my GCSEs it does not make sense to apply and instead focus my time on other Universities.


I didn't get into Oxford, but I had an interview at 7A*s, 2As and 1B when my school average was 10A*s. However, I did have AS levels. It's worth a shot but you should speak to your school as well. Remember, you have 4 other options, too, so it wouldn't hurt to apply if your school will support you.
If you're dead set on Oxford, you can always wait an extra year and apply post-A Level with achieved grades. Like others have said though, there's plenty more fish in the sea (including The Other Place, aka Cambridge :nothing: ) if you don't wanna hang around
Depends on the course. Medicine, very poor, anything else - much more possible. Especially if they have an admissions assessment and you do very well on that.

Note also that for History, they interview 71% of applicants (i.e. most) which probably compares similarly to Cambridge. So I imagine HAT and interview performance will be the key factors anyway.