The Student Room Group

Oxbridge or Cambridge?

My GCSE grades were:3 9s
3 8s
2 7s
1 6
1 5
average grade 7.7;
My school is academically good, so the whole 'in the context of your school' thing doesn't really apply here. The average profile of people who have been accepted in the past has been with an average grade of 8.3-9. The lowest scorer who got accepted in the last couple of years had an average score of 8 and got (predicted higher) A*A*A A* EPQ (not sure of there were mitigating circumstances or not).
My likely A-level results are: A*A*A*A(maybe *) and A* EPQ

Here's a quote from the teacher in charge of admissions (at least 3 people per year accepted):
"GCSE profile. We discussed the GCSE scores of those recently unsuccessful in their applications (almost consistently straight 9's), as well as their 4A* A Level predictions. No scare tactics intended; just the reality of what you're proposing. Your GCSE average of 7.7 is a factor, and for History and Politics they may be interested to see your scores in English Language and Literature (relevant skills). Unlike other things, this is no longer a controllable factor. [me], I ask again, are you absolutely certain that this is for you?"

Is it worth me going through the effort of 4 a levels and an epq, as well as supercurriculars, or are my chances too small to warrant the effort? The impression I get from my teacher is that they think it's not for me.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by PMC111
My GCSE grades were:3 9s3 8s2 7s1 61 5average grade 7.7; My school is academically good, so the whole 'in the context of your school' thing doesn't really apply here. The average profile of people who have been accepted in the past has been with an average grade of 8.3-9. The lowest scorer who got accepted in the last couple of years had an average score of 8 and got (predicted higher) A*A*A A* EPQ (not sure of there were mitigating circumstances or not).My likely A-level results are: A*A*A*A(maybe *)

Interesting advice, but a bit late...
Reply 2
Original post by ageshallnot
Interesting advice, but a bit late...

2023 entry. Year 12 now (recently updated the post as some of it had been cut off)
Original post by PMC111
My GCSE grades were:3 9s
3 8s
2 7s
1 6
1 5
average grade 7.7;
My school is academically good, so the whole 'in the context of your school' thing doesn't really apply here. The average profile of people who have been accepted in the past has been with an average grade of 8.3-9. The lowest scorer who got accepted in the last couple of years had an average score of 8 and got (predicted higher) A*A*A A* EPQ (not sure of there were mitigating circumstances or not).
My likely A-level results are: A*A*A*A(maybe *) and A* EPQ

Here's a quote from the teacher in charge of admissions (at least 3 people per year accepted):
"GCSE profile. We discussed the GCSE scores of those recently unsuccessful in their applications (almost consistently straight 9's), as well as their 4A* A Level predictions. No scare tactics intended; just the reality of what you're proposing. Your GCSE average of 7.7 is a factor, and for History and Politics they may be interested to see your scores in English Language and Literature (relevant skills). Unlike other things, this is no longer a controllable factor. [me], I ask again, are you absolutely certain that this is for you?"

Is it worth me going through the effort of 4 a levels and an epq, as well as supercurriculars, or are my chances too small to warrant the effort? The impression I get from my teacher is that they think it's not for me.

Heyy, please make a new thread about this so we can avoid bumping old threads!
Reply 4
Original post by RazzzBerries
Heyy, please make a new thread about this so we can avoid bumping old threads!

Would love to, but no idea how. Would it be OK for this to stick in here pls? Sry
Original post by HHJ11
I want to study Law (LLB) and I'm considering applying to Oxbridge, however I'm stuck as to which to apply to.

My A Level predictions are: A*A*B, with an A* in EPQ, in Geography, Psychology and English Literature.

My GCSEs aren't the best and I've heard that Oxford places more weight on GCSEs than Cambridge does, although I took my GCSEs in an average comprehensive school.

I've looked around Cambridge and really like the "feel" of the place.

Are my chances of being given an offer better with Cambridge or Oxford?

TIA! :smile:

If you can get your B grade to an A, then apply to Cambridge. If not, stick with Oxford.

Don't forget the relevant tests and interviews.
Original post by PMC111
Would love to, but no idea how. Would it be OK for this to stick in here pls? Sry

Don't worry, I'll get the mods to do this for you! :h:
It is possible to go to Oxbridge with those grades. Oxford tends to place more emphasis on GCSEs. The school is correct to say it is a factor. But it also looks like they drawing large conclusions from a small sample size. (also correlation doesn't mean causation)

Here is how hispol at Oxford uses and calculates GCSE scores plus the average number of 8/9 grades: https://www.merton.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/inline-files/History%20Information%20for%20Applicants%202020.pdf

Your number of 8/9s is below average for successful applciants (but by definition, so are half of those accepted). I had five 8/9 grades when i was accepted. Having a 6 and a 5 won't help - nor will having gone to a good school.

I dont have figures for Cambridge but it's said they place less emphasis on GCSEs.

You might have to perform better on the rest of the application (read: good admission test and interview) but it's not impossible.

It's worth it if you want to study there.
The only way you will definitely NOT get an offer is if you never apply to it.
Has nobody noticed the thread title? :tongue:
Original post by 5hyl33n
Has nobody noticed the thread title? :tongue:

Lol yeah haha

Quick Reply

Latest