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Cambridge Medicine - Advice for Joe6753

Hey,

I was just wondering if these GCSE grades are good for an application to read medicine at Cambridge?

I had a 74% attendance rate in year 10 and a 65% attendance rate in year 11 due to severe illness. I suffer from a chronic illness and wasn't keeping well through the two years. There's strong medical background around this, and my school are wary of the entire situation. My doctor has offered to write a reference should I wish to send this to universities to explain my situation.

I'm aware that I can apply for Extenuating circumstances consideration as a result of this illness as it had impacted the overall grades I will have got. I also come under Widening Participation.

**I do understand these aren't my final grades, but are predictions based on mock results and my own judgement of how I performed in the exams**.

Maths - 7/8
Further Maths - 6/7
Biology - 8
Chemistry - 8/9
Physics - 8
Chinese - 7
RS Christianity - 9
English Lit - 8/9
English Language - 8/9
EPQ - A* (50/50)

These are the grades I'm expecting to get based on my estimate performance in the exams.

EPQ I received a provisional grade of full marks and I haven't been selected for internal review, and my supervisor has said the entries at my centre have never gone down. I took EPQ at Year 11 as my school offers it for the more academically astute pupils.

At A level, I am indefinitely going to put a lot more work in as I'm better in myself. I know that factors like interview, predicted grades, admissions tests and the personal statement are all key factors, but I was curious if I would be disadvantaged due to my GCSE's.

Thank you!
(edited 1 year ago)

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hey there,i just read your comment and would like to explain my situation to youi want to apply to medicine but im not sure to which med schools. I am currently in year 12.my gcses were 9999998887i havnt got my predicted yet but i assume atleast all A'sive done volunteering at a mosque,care home,pharmacy.ive also done work expeince at a hospital and many online ones. ive also done charity work and played sports.how do you find out what unis are looking for and what they weigh the most and what uni you think i should apply too?
Reply 2
Original post by Aaimakhan14_
hey there,i just read your comment and would like to explain my situation to youi want to apply to medicine but im not sure to which med schools. I am currently in year 12.my gcses were 9999998887i havnt got my predicted yet but i assume atleast all A'sive done volunteering at a mosque,care home,pharmacy.ive also done work expeince at a hospital and many online ones. ive also done charity work and played sports.how do you find out what unis are looking for and what they weigh the most and what uni you think i should apply too?


I think those are really good GCSE's. The knowledge I have about what unis look for is because my sister has gone through the same process with 4/4 offers (3 years ago).

Just go to the websites of each uni and look at their entry requirements I guess. The way our school's Oxbridge coordinator explained it is that grades are merely entry requirements, and unis won't look beyond this. However, they will look at it in the context of seeing academic performance. A lot of emphasis will be put on admissions exams like the UCAT and BMAT as GCSE's and A level results are hard to contextualise cause of everyone's different situations as a result of how people were affected by covid. Inherently, the interview and personal statement will be quite important just due to the fact that they show you for you.
Reply 3
Thanks for your message. I have a joint condition and it seems to be going into remission as I'm getting no pain at all, which is good.

Along with the extenuating circumstances, my school said they will write a reference explaining my situation which is good. I'm going to start practicing for the BMAT and UCAT this summer holiday, and do 30 minutes a day for each so that when it comes to the weeks before, I'm in a really really good position.

I understand GCSE's are only a part of the puzzle, and so I'm really motivated to work on other areas and sort of have a plan for how to make myself a stronger applicant.

I plan on getting early practice in for the UCAT and BMAT. I've got an opportunity to have work experience at a hospital abroad, and I think this will be helpful for my personal statement to draw a comparison to our own healthcare system. I've got 2-3 placements already lined up and I'm looking to volunteer at a local hospital's geriatric ward (helping with feeding elderly). I'm entering a few essay competitions, one in particular being one that's to do with fibromyalgia. I'm really good at essay writing, and have always been praised for my ability to write in such a moving way, so I'm hoping the personal statement will be good for me to write.

I just wanted to see what others thought about my (possible) GCSE grades and if it's even worth applying to Cambridge.
Thank you so much fot your help. yes i am going to start revsing for entrance exams soon

Original post by Joe6753
I think those are really good GCSE's. The knowledge I have about what unis look for is because my sister has gone through the same process with 4/4 offers (3 years ago).

Just go to the websites of each uni and look at their entry requirements I guess. The way our school's Oxbridge coordinator explained it is that grades are merely entry requirements, and unis won't look beyond this. However, they will look at it in the context of seeing academic performance. A lot of emphasis will be put on admissions exams like the UCAT and BMAT as GCSE's and A level results are hard to contextualise cause of everyone's different situations as a result of how people were affected by covid. Inherently, the interview and personal statement will be quite important just due to the fact that they show you for you.
Reply 5
Hello,

I'm thinking of applying to Cambridge, Manchester, Kings College London and Barts for medicine.

During Year 10/11 I had an attendance rate of 68% and have strong medical evidence to suggest why it was so low. I suffer from a chronic illness which impeded my ability to attend school.

The GCSE's I predict having (based on mock performance and my own judgement of how I did in the exams) are:

Maths - 8
Further Maths - 6
Literature - 9
Language - 8
Biology - 8
Chemistry - 8
Physics - 7
RS - 9
Chinese - 7
EPQ - A* (Full Marks)

Are these grades good enough for Cambridge and Manchester in particular, and will my illness be taken into consideration if I mention it in an extenuating circumstances form, as well as have it put in my university reference?
If I'm 100% honest with you, I know a handful of people who got mostly 9s and 8s at GCSE and had good attendance. They applied to Oxford for medicine and didn't get any offers. It's hard to get an offer to begin with, but not impossible. Hopefully they will take your situation into consideration, but if you don't get an offer don't let it bring you down. From what I've read, you seem of a high ability and I'm sure you can thrive in any university setting. Best of luck x
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 7
I've screwed up gcse further maths and feel like I will probably get a 6 in it.

I want to apply to study medicine at Cambridge, so I'm really nervous now as I feel I have performed poorly.

If I were to re-sit it next year, can universities see that I re-sat a gcse?
Original post by Joe6753
I've screwed up gcse further maths and feel like I will probably get a 6 in it.

I want to apply to study medicine at Cambridge, so I'm really nervous now as I feel I have performed poorly.

If I were to re-sit it next year, can universities see that I re-sat a gcse?

No. You just put in the grade for your latest qualification, unless they’ve changed it since I applied.
Original post by Thisismyunitsr
No. You just put in the grade for your latest qualification, unless they’ve changed it since I applied.


That is wrong you have to show all exams taken pass or fail
Original post by Joe6753
I've screwed up gcse further maths and feel like I will probably get a 6 in it.

I want to apply to study medicine at Cambridge, so I'm really nervous now as I feel I have performed poorly.

If I were to re-sit it next year, can universities see that I re-sat a gcse?


Yes because you have to list ALL awarded grades. That means for resits you list a qualification twice with both results.


one lower grade at GCSE won’t damage your chances of an offer
Original post by swanseajack1
That is wrong you have to show all exams taken pass or fail

That’s odd. I took 5 attempts to get a GCSE in maths and I only ever put the time when I eventually received a C on my UCAS application.
Original post by Thisismyunitsr
That’s odd. I took 5 attempts to get a GCSE in maths and I only ever put the time when I eventually received a C on my UCAS application.


Then your application was technically fraudulent and your college/sixth form should have explained that at the time.

it would have been obvious from the exam dates that you resat your maths GCSE. It’s likely that your universities weren’t really worried about your GCSE grades and so it wasn’t flagged as a problem. But it would have given any of your universities the option to withdraw any offer at any point if you didn’t supply all your grades.
Original post by Joe6753
I've screwed up gcse further maths and feel like I will probably get a 6 in it.

I want to apply to study medicine at Cambridge, so I'm really nervous now as I feel I have performed poorly.

If I were to re-sit it next year, can universities see that I re-sat a gcse?


As above, you need to declare all qualifications, attempted and completed, which includes the original grade.

Also there is absolutely no benefit in resitting this - the only reason it's worth resitting GCSEs is to get minimum grades in maths/English (or sometimes science for medicine). For Cambridge it's even less worthwhile as they're famously ambivalent to GCSEs and your BMAT and interview will play a much bigger role (as will taking 3 STEM subjects at A-level to be considered in the first place). Cambridge is actually only "averagely" competitive for medicine (likely due to fewer applicants due to their higher standard offer of A*A*A and requiring 3 STEM subjects whereas all other medical schools only require 2 or sometimes even fewer).

So, you would need to declare it anyway, and would not benefit from retaking it in most circumstances, so you would be better off just spending that energy on your A-levels to ensure you get the high results (and before that, predicted grades) required for Cambridge, than trying to improve an area of your application they don't even weigh heavily.
Original post by PQ
Then your application was technically fraudulent and your college/sixth form should have explained that at the time.

it would have been obvious from the exam dates that you resat your maths GCSE. It’s likely that your universities weren’t really worried about your GCSE grades and so it wasn’t flagged as a problem. But it would have given any of your universities the option to withdraw any offer at any point if you didn’t supply all your grades.

Perhaps I did add them all in and I forgot about it. I genuinely can’t remember. Thanks for clarifying though
Reply 15
Hey,

I want to apply to medicine at Cambridge. These are the gcse results I received today and so I was wondering if they were competitive enough.

I have extenuating circumstances - low attendance in gcse years and severe illness during exams (proof of both received from doctors and school).

RS - 9
Literature - 9
Language - 9
Maths - 8
Chemistry - 8
Biology - 8 (remarking as I was 2 marks off a 9)
German - 7
Physics - 7
Further Maths - 5 (Resitting in November at my college)
EPQ - A* (50/50)

Combined with mitigating circumstances, would these results be Cambridge worthy? I'm going to work as hard as I can these next 2 years and just put a lot of effort in.

Please advise : )
Reply 16
GCSES aren't much looked at in Cambridge, but are more used as an indicator of hard work - these GCSES will be more than fine, your a levels and work experience around medicine will be more of an indicator if you are suitable. (in my opinion)
Original post by Joe6753
Hey,

I want to apply to medicine at Cambridge. These are the gcse results I received today and so I was wondering if they were competitive enough.

I have extenuating circumstances - low attendance in gcse years and severe illness during exams (proof of both received from doctors and school).

RS - 9
Literature - 9
Language - 9
Maths - 8
Chemistry - 8
Biology - 8 (remarking as I was 2 marks off a 9)
German - 7
Physics - 7
Further Maths - 5 (Resitting in November at my college)
EPQ - A* (50/50)

Combined with mitigating circumstances, would these results be Cambridge worthy? I'm going to work as hard as I can these next 2 years and just put a lot of effort in.

Please advise : )

The GCSEs are fine for Cambridge University and you should be aware that there is an Extenuating Circumstances Form at Cambridge University where you and your referee can outline your problems.

Now the focus should be on achieving A*A*AAA+ in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. :wink: lol

Also read: https://storage.googleapis.com/wp-static/oxbridgeapplications.com/2019/11/Tell-Me-About-A-Banana-e-Book.pdf
Reply 18
Hey,

What unis are the best to apply to with these GCSE's for medicine. I have extenuating circumstances, with low attendance in year 10/11 and continuous illness (doctors letters providable to unis).

For strategic applications, what unis are these GCSE's good for:

RS - 9
Lit - 9
Lang - 9
Biology - 8
Chemistry - 8
Maths - 8
Chinese - 7
Physics - 7
Further maths - 5
EPQ - A*

Allowing I score well in the UCAT and do well in a levels, what unis are best?

Are Liverpool, Cambridge and Manchester appropriate options?
Hey,

Your GCSEs are really good. Well done!! Dealing with the pressures from GCSEs but also serious health issues and then doing so well is a big achievement. You should be extremely proud of yourself!:h:

As you've said, if you end up getting a really good UCAT (BMAT for Cambridge by the way- which is another entrance exam) and do well in A Levels, you have a lot of options including the ones that you have suggested.

Best of luck!!:smile:

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