Will my GCSEs matter at Oxford as much?

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Hazme
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#1
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#1
I think I ****ed up my GCSEs pretty bad for someone who frequently gets top marks in classes. I've noticed answers that I got completely wrong in certain exams like Chemistry that have me worrying I'm going to do pretty bad in them. Before I was sort of expecting at least 8 A*/A** but that's been lowered to around 5 A*/A**. My expected grades are:

Maths: 7
Physics: 8
Chemistry: 6
Biology: 8
English Language: 7
English Literature : 7/8
French: 5
Geography: 9
History: 8
RE: 9
Business: 9

I've heard of people hardly getting in on full 9s at GCSEs. Is it even worth bothering applying to Oxford with the intent of actually getting in if people who are far better than me in every way fail? I was intending to do Biology at GCSE and A-Level and I hoped to take it at Uni but I'm seriously doubting whether or not it's even worth me trying if I'm getting an 8 in a course I want to take at a university like Oxford. Does anyone have any advice or answers as to whether or not I should just look elsewhere?
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sufys
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Hazme)
I think I ****ed up my GCSEs pretty bad for someone who frequently gets top marks in classes. I've noticed answers that I got completely wrong in certain exams like Chemistry that have me worrying I'm going to do pretty bad in them. Before I was sort of expecting at least 8 A*/A** but that's been lowered to around 5 A*/A**. My expected grades are:

Maths: 7
Physics: 8
Chemistry: 6
Biology: 8
English Language: 7
English Literature : 7/8
French: 5
Geography: 9
History: 8
RE: 9
Business: 9

I've heard of people hardly getting in on full 9s at GCSEs. Is it even worth bothering applying to Oxford with the intent of actually getting in if people who are far better than me in every way fail? I was intending to do Biology at GCSE and A-Level and I hoped to take it at Uni but I'm seriously doubting whether or not it's even worth me trying if I'm getting an 8 in a course I want to take at a university like Oxford. Does anyone have any advice or answers as to whether or not I should just look elsewhere?
When you get your actual results, it would be clearer.
Cambridge is more relaxed regarding GCSEs though.
Also, nothing wrong with getting an 8 in Biology...
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Hazme
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#3
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#3
(Original post by sufys)
Also, nothing wrong with getting an 8 in Biology...
Yeah but then there's gonna be at least hundreds of people applying for the same places I hope to get in at with 9s under their belt and far superior GCSEs. No one would pick a grade 8 over a grade 9
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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#4
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#4
Hard to say but since there is no admissions test, your GCSEs may well be looked at more closely than it would for subjects with an admissions test.

Don't worry about it too much for now: see what you get for your actual results and then how Year 12 goes. Applying post-A2 (with achieved grades) is always an option if things are looking too precarious. It's also important to note that getting into Oxford for Biology isn't the be-all-and-end-all. We're lucky in the UK to have several world-class unis and depts. dotted around the place
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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#5
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#5
I forgot to add to my original answer, that any extenuating circumstances specific to you (e.g. bereavement during/close to exam period) would be taken into consideration, alongside your school context. Is there a reason your exams went a bit haywire?
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sufys
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Hazme)
Yeah but then there's gonna be at least hundreds of people applying for the same places I hope to get in at with 9s under their belt and far superior GCSEs. No one would pick a grade 8 over a grade 9
Grade 9 and 8 aren't treated differently by Oxford at the moment.
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Hazme
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#7
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#7
(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
I forgot to add to my original answer, that any extenuating circumstances specific to you (e.g. bereavement during/close to exam period) would be taken into consideration, alongside your school context. Is there a reason your exams went a bit haywire?
Nope, I just ended up performing poorly on them compared to normal, just out of standard exam stress and extreme procrastinating

(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Hard to say but since there is no admissions test, your GCSEs may well be looked at more closely than it would for subjects with an admissions test.

Don't worry about it too much for now: see what you get for your actual results and then how Year 12 goes. Applying post-A2 (with achieved grades) is always an option if things are looking too precarious. It's also important to note that getting into Oxford for Biology isn't the be-all-and-end-all. We're lucky in the UK to have several world-class unis and depts. dotted around the place
Would be fine if I went to another decent uni but I've pretty much had my eyes set on somewhere like Oxford since Y9 and to have such bad GCSEs that I can't end up going would be mildly soul-crushing
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Hazme)
Nope, I just ended up performing poorly on them compared to normal, just out of standard exam stress and extreme procrastinating


Would be fine if I went to another decent uni but I've pretty much had my eyes set on somewhere like Oxford since Y9 and to have such bad GCSEs that I can't end up going would be mildly soul-crushing
Your GCSEs aren't bad! (Though is the Chemistry grade equivalent to a B? That might raise an eyebrow if so. Sorry if it's an A equivalent, this whole number system is confusing for an ancient person like me :shakecane: ) And there's more than one way to skin a cat. By which I mean, there's still ample time to do well in Sixth Form, and to impress/shine in other ways :yep:
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addy927
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Hazme)
I think I ****ed up my GCSEs pretty bad for someone who frequently gets top marks in classes. I've noticed answers that I got completely wrong in certain exams like Chemistry that have me worrying I'm going to do pretty bad in them. Before I was sort of expecting at least 8 A*/A** but that's been lowered to around 5 A*/A**. My expected grades are:

Maths: 7
Physics: 8
Chemistry: 6
Biology: 8
English Language: 7
English Literature : 7/8
French: 5
Geography: 9
History: 8
RE: 9
Business: 9

I've heard of people hardly getting in on full 9s at GCSEs. Is it even worth bothering applying to Oxford with the intent of actually getting in if people who are far better than me in every way fail? I was intending to do Biology at GCSE and A-Level and I hoped to take it at Uni but I'm seriously doubting whether or not it's even worth me trying if I'm getting an 8 in a course I want to take at a university like Oxford. Does anyone have any advice or answers as to whether or not I should just look elsewhere?
Cambridge is more relaxed on GCSEs than Oxford if you just want Oxbridge in general.
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bea_murray0
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Hazme)
I think I ****ed up my GCSEs pretty bad for someone who frequently gets top marks in classes. I've noticed answers that I got completely wrong in certain exams like Chemistry that have me worrying I'm going to do pretty bad in them. Before I was sort of expecting at least 8 A*/A** but that's been lowered to around 5 A*/A**. My expected grades are:

Maths: 7
Physics: 8
Chemistry: 6
Biology: 8
English Language: 7
English Literature : 7/8
French: 5
Geography: 9
History: 8
RE: 9
Business: 9

I've heard of people hardly getting in on full 9s at GCSEs. Is it even worth bothering applying to Oxford with the intent of actually getting in if people who are far better than me in every way fail? I was intending to do Biology at GCSE and A-Level and I hoped to take it at Uni but I'm seriously doubting whether or not it's even worth me trying if I'm getting an 8 in a course I want to take at a university like Oxford. Does anyone have any advice or answers as to whether or not I should just look elsewhere?
Currently, oxford considers and 8 and 9 to be the same (although could change when you apply). Look at how they shortlist for interview for biology + related courses at Oxford i.e. find out how much do they use GCSEs, and (bearing in mind a lot of applicants will have all or nearly all 8s+9s) when you get your results you can decide if it's a realistic goal.
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larry128
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Hazme)
I think I ****ed up my GCSEs pretty bad for someone who frequently gets top marks in classes. I've noticed answers that I got completely wrong in certain exams like Chemistry that have me worrying I'm going to do pretty bad in them. Before I was sort of expecting at least 8 A*/A** but that's been lowered to around 5 A*/A**. My expected grades are:

Maths: 7
Physics: 8
Chemistry: 6
Biology: 8
English Language: 7
English Literature : 7/8
French: 5
Geography: 9
History: 8
RE: 9
Business: 9

I've heard of people hardly getting in on full 9s at GCSEs. Is it even worth bothering applying to Oxford with the intent of actually getting in if people who are far better than me in every way fail? I was intending to do Biology at GCSE and A-Level and I hoped to take it at Uni but I'm seriously doubting whether or not it's even worth me trying if I'm getting an 8 in a course I want to take at a university like Oxford. Does anyone have any advice or answers as to whether or not I should just look elsewhere?
YES I feel the exact same way - I think I became too complacent from my mocks and I was just overthinking my revision strategies a lot. I’m not entirely sure how I did but I do feel I could of done better. Originally I aimed for getting around 6 9s and 3 8s but it’s looking like 3 9s and 6 8s 😣
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parthenocarpy
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Hazme)
I think I ****ed up my GCSEs pretty bad for someone who frequently gets top marks in classes. I've noticed answers that I got completely wrong in certain exams like Chemistry that have me worrying I'm going to do pretty bad in them. Before I was sort of expecting at least 8 A*/A** but that's been lowered to around 5 A*/A**. My expected grades are:

Maths: 7
Physics: 8
Chemistry: 6
Biology: 8
English Language: 7
English Literature : 7/8
French: 5
Geography: 9
History: 8
RE: 9
Business: 9

I've heard of people hardly getting in on full 9s at GCSEs. Is it even worth bothering applying to Oxford with the intent of actually getting in if people who are far better than me in every way fail? I was intending to do Biology at GCSE and A-Level and I hoped to take it at Uni but I'm seriously doubting whether or not it's even worth me trying if I'm getting an 8 in a course I want to take at a university like Oxford. Does anyone have any advice or answers as to whether or not I should just look elsewhere?
Your results aren’t even out yet, relax.
Has it occurred to you that you might be over stressing?
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languagestudent0
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Hazme)
I think I ****ed up my GCSEs pretty bad for someone who frequently gets top marks in classes. I've noticed answers that I got completely wrong in certain exams like Chemistry that have me worrying I'm going to do pretty bad in them. Before I was sort of expecting at least 8 A*/A** but that's been lowered to around 5 A*/A**. My expected grades are:

Maths: 7
Physics: 8
Chemistry: 6
Biology: 8
English Language: 7
English Literature : 7/8
French: 5
Geography: 9
History: 8
RE: 9
Business: 9

I've heard of people hardly getting in on full 9s at GCSEs. Is it even worth bothering applying to Oxford with the intent of actually getting in if people who are far better than me in every way fail? I was intending to do Biology at GCSE and A-Level and I hoped to take it at Uni but I'm seriously doubting whether or not it's even worth me trying if I'm getting an 8 in a course I want to take at a university like Oxford. Does anyone have any advice or answers as to whether or not I should just look elsewhere?
You may have done better than you think since the grade boundaries will be lower than in 2019.
I think A-levels are more important, so if you are able to get a solid set of predicted grades next year then this could support your application.
If I were you, I would wait and see what your GCSEs are like.
It is also worth noting that Oxford views a grade 8 as being the same as a grade 9 (no weighting is given to either), so it does not matter if you get an 8 in GCSE Biology - it is still an A*!
Also, what type of school would you be applying from? Your grades are looked at in the context of where they are achieved!
If your GCSE results are not what you were expecting then I would consider looking at Cambridge instead, since they seem to care less about GCSEs when making a decision.
Last edited by languagestudent0; 1 month ago
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artful_lounger
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#14
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#14
Depends on what you plan to apply to, which isn't clear from your post. For subjects without an admissions assessment, and for medicine, they're generally pretty important. For those with one, especially physical/mathematical sciences, they can be less important.

Bear in mind they do not distinguish between 8 and 9 grades at GCSE currently and consider both equivalent to the old A* grade.
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liverninthered
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#15
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#15
GCSEs are very important at Oxford.

The average biology applicant in the 2021 admission round had 8 GCSE grades at 9/8/A*. This rose to 8.9 for accepted applicants.

If your predictions proved to be correct, you'd get 6/7 of these grades - only just below the average.

(remember that your GCSEs will be converted into a "contextualised GCSE score" based on the school you went to)

Sources: https://www.merton.ox.ac.uk/sites/de...t%20202122.pdf
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GTT21
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Hazme)
I think I ****ed up my GCSEs pretty bad for someone who frequently gets top marks in classes. I've noticed answers that I got completely wrong in certain exams like Chemistry that have me worrying I'm going to do pretty bad in them. Before I was sort of expecting at least 8 A*/A** but that's been lowered to around 5 A*/A**. My expected grades are:

Maths: 7
Physics: 8
Chemistry: 6
Biology: 8
English Language: 7
English Literature : 7/8
French: 5
Geography: 9
History: 8
RE: 9
Business: 9

I've heard of people hardly getting in on full 9s at GCSEs. Is it even worth bothering applying to Oxford with the intent of actually getting in if people who are far better than me in every way fail? I was intending to do Biology at GCSE and A-Level and I hoped to take it at Uni but I'm seriously doubting whether or not it's even worth me trying if I'm getting an 8 in a course I want to take at a university like Oxford. Does anyone have any advice or answers as to whether or not I should just look elsewhere?
These grades are amazing, it depends on what you want to do at uni and the a levels you take. Ultimately this is a moderate aspect in your application, you also need to make sure you have an excellent personal statement and good predicted a level grades. Worrying now won't make the grades go up higher, wait until results to clearly see your results.
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