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GCSE results required to go to Oxford

I'm in year 11 and I'm curious to what GCSEs are needed.

Any information would be helpful!

I've currently got three 8s, three 7s, two 6s and one 5 but admittedly these were subpar for my standards (except for the 7s and 8s lol).

Would I have a chance at going for Oxford? I'm expecting to improve everything by one grade at least.
Original post by radicaledward
I'm in year 11 and I'm curious to what GCSEs are needed.

Any information would be helpful!

I've currently got three 8s, three 7s, two 6s and one 5 but admittedly these were subpar for my standards (except for the 7s and 8s lol).

Would I have a chance at going for Oxford? I'm expecting to improve everything by one grade at least.


You'd need quite a bit better than that to stand a realistic chance of being shortlisted.
All 9s. No exceptions.
Depends for what course you're applying to. Medicine there is basically no chance, due to the fact GCSEs are one of the only things (along with BMAT) they consider in shortlisting for interview. You really need a full set of 8s/9s AND a strong BMAT score due to how over competitive medicine is there.

For many STEM subjects like maths, physics, materials science, and similar, it will depend much more on well you do in the MAT/PAT/other admissions test. Your GCSEs are usually less important except for relevant subjects (e.g. maths/science).

Outside of those having better GCSEs helps but there are other factors considered as well, such as admissions assessments and submitted written work. It will also depend somewhat on how popular the course is - less popular courses tend to interview a higher proportion of applicants.
(edited 1 year ago)
for subjects like law, they are likely to only take people with extremely high grades (8s and 9s) because of how competitive it is.

don't feel discouraged - wait and see what you get in the real thing! (: but considering that most courses also require interviews and admissions tests (which are hard enough as it is), it's likely that only those with close to or straight 9s would be successful.

e.g. myself - got 9999999888 at gcse, but my lnat score wasn't competitive enough so i was rejected!
Original post by Reality Check
You'd need quite a bit better than that to stand a realistic chance of being shortlisted.

Ah ok, like 9s and 8s?
Original post by Thisismyunitsr
All 9s. No exceptions.


Damn right
Original post by radicaledward
Ah ok, like 9s and 8s?

Yes - most offer holders have a good proportion of 8s and 9s in their results. As @artful_lounger says, it does depend to some extent what course you're applying for and your performance in admissions tests, but not having a 'typical' portfolio of GCSEs is an early way to not get shortlisted. You don't need 9s across the board, but you do need to have the majority of your results in the 8/9 range, with the odd 7.
Original post by artful_lounger
Depends for what course you're applying to. Medicine there is basically no chance, due to the fact GCSEs are one of the only things (along with BMAT) they consider in shortlisting for interview. You really need a full set of 8s/9s AND a strong BMAT score due to how over competitive medicine is there.

For many STEM subjects like maths, physics, materials science, and similar, it will depend much more on well you do in the MAT/PAT/other admissions test. Your GCSEs are usually less important except for relevant subjects (e.g. maths/science).

Outside of those having better GCSEs helps but there are other factors considered as well, such as admissions assessments and submitted written work. It will also depend somewhat on how popular the course is - less popular courses tend to interview a higher proportion of applicants.

if i was going for physics and got a 9 would i be able to get in even if my maths was worse? (like a 7) or would i still need to be getting an 8/9 in maths?
Reply 9
Original post by radicaledward
if i was going for physics and got a 9 would i be able to get in even if my maths was worse? (like a 7) or would i still need to be getting an 8/9 in maths?


you'd have to do very well indeed in the PAT. Also maths is more important than physics when it comes to doing physics at uni. It's not like at school.
Original post by Sinnoh
you'd have to do very well indeed in the PAT. Also maths is more important than physics when it comes to doing physics at uni. It's not like at school.


makes sense; thanks for the info!
Original post by Reality Check
Yes - most offer holders have a good proportion of 8s and 9s in their results. As @artful_lounger says, it does depend to some extent what course you're applying for and your performance in admissions tests, but not having a 'typical' portfolio of GCSEs is an early way to not get shortlisted. You don't need 9s across the board, but you do need to have the majority of your results in the 8/9 range, with the odd 7.


ah right, thanks for the info! (and the reality check lol)
Original post by radicaledward
ah right, thanks for the info! (and the reality check lol)

haha :smile: Good luck with getting the results you want - and remember that whilst Oxford is obviously a good goal, there's an awful lot of other excellent universities which don't set nearly as much store by GCSE results. Oxford isn't the be-all and end-all, basically.
Original post by radicaledward
I'm in year 11 and I'm curious to what GCSEs are needed.

Any information would be helpful!

I've currently got three 8s, three 7s, two 6s and one 5 but admittedly these were subpar for my standards (except for the 7s and 8s lol).

Would I have a chance at going for Oxford? I'm expecting to improve everything by one grade at least.


You've sat your GCSEs already?? If you mean these are your predictions then get revising!

Remember Oxford is not the best uni for a number of degrees -
Original post by radicaledward
if i was going for physics and got a 9 would i be able to get in even if my maths was worse? (like a 7) or would i still need to be getting an 8/9 in maths?

As above strong PAT performance may counterbalance it but maths is absolutely essential for physics at degree level and most applicants probably will have an 8 or 9 - and remember even aside from the grade as far as admissions care about it, a strong foundation in GCSE maths is important to do well in A-level Maths and Further Maths which are essential for physics as well. I would definitely recommend putting in as much time as you can to really master the GCSE Maths concepts as they're extremely important for courses like physics, engineering etc.
Hey!

I was offered a place at Oxford in 2021 for Physics. While our PAT scores are never revealed, I would guess I got around 70 on the PAT.

I'm assuming that you are applying for Physics too, as hinted from the previous discussions. While GCSE scores are important, I don't see them as important as the PAT/entrance tests. This is mainly because everyone sits the test - there is no pre-screening done; basically Oxford reviews your PAT paper regardless of your GCSE scores.

For the PAT, my major source of practice was past papers. I first started out with the A-Level papers, then moved on to PAT and NSAA/ENGAA papers. After getting used to the format of the PAT, I challenged myself with tougher questions from online resources. These questions were really great practice as they tested me on every tiny concept that Oxford could test me on. The major difficulty I had was solving the paper in a short amount of time, so I would advice always solving papers on a timer. Do let me know if you'd like me to link the resources.

All the best for your application!
Original post by radicaledward
if i was going for physics and got a 9 would i be able to get in even if my maths was worse? (like a 7) or would i still need to be getting an 8/9 in maths?

Physics is really, REALLY mathematical. Only being in the top 30% of 16 year olds, maths-wise, is not going to be nearly enough. Obviously it depends on the level of teaching you've had, but if an 8 or 9 looks out of reachand you're not in the best couple of mathematicians in your school year, you're probably not good enough at maths (not just to get in, but to cope with a physics degree). Physics at degree level is far more like school maths than it is like school physics.

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