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Is there a way to offset my poor GCSE results?

So, I've been stressing about this a fair bit today lool. Looking to apply to UCL, Southampton, Warwick, Liverpool(?) and Leeds. Last 2 are STC.

I'm looking to do CompSci, probably predicted A*A*A or A*A*A*, after getting A*A*A in my mocks.

I got average af GCSEs(1 8, 2 7s, 3 6s, 3 5s)

Is there any way to reduce the chances this would cost me? I meet all the entry requirements in both A-Level and GCSE for all subjects, but would doing something extra-curricular in some of the activities help my case?

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Original post by AnotherStudent!
So, I've been stressing about this a fair bit today lool. Looking to apply to UCL, Southampton, Warwick, Liverpool(?) and Leeds. Last 2 are STC.

I'm looking to do CompSci, probably predicted A*A*A or A*A*A*, after getting A*A*A in my mocks.

I got average af GCSEs(1 8, 2 7s, 3 6s, 3 5s)

Is there any way to reduce the chances this would cost me? I meet all the entry requirements in both A-Level and GCSE for all subjects, but would doing something extra-curricular in some of the activities help my case?

Those are not average GCSEs. They are extremely good ones. You wont have a problem for most universities with those. Possibly Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL, Durham and maybe Manchester but they wont affect you for most universities
Yes but you’re kidding yourself
i don't see any problems, i don't think the grades need to be offset with the good a-level performance, but any computing projects you have done would be great to put on your application. liverpool & leeds should give you a decent enough safety net.
(edited 1 year ago)
How to Avoid 5 Rejections - read it all, especially the bit about having a range of grade requirements - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/university/apply/how-to-avoid-getting-five-university-rejections

Be aware that any course asking for A* grades is risky even if you have top predicted grades. This year there were too many applicants who applied to 5 high grade choices - and got no offers. Make sure that you have at least one, and preferably two, mid-grade choices.

Remember that high grade requirement does not mean 'better' course or that you will like that course or enjoy being at that Uni. Have to been to see these Unis? Go to Open Days and have a good look around - https://www.opendays.com/calendar/ or at least have a look at the campus tours on YouTube - is this where you want to be for the next three/four years?
Original post by swanseajack1
Those are not average GCSEs. They are extremely good ones. You wont have a problem for most universities with those. Possibly Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL, Durham and maybe Manchester but they wont affect you for most universities


I got one grade 9, five grade 8s and three grade 7s. I’m predicted A*A*A* in maths further maths and physics. Do you think this is enough for oxford engineering and imperial mechanical engineering courses
As one example - Bath - https://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate-2023/computer-science/#course-entries
"GCSE grades are an important part of selection for this course and we typically expect students to have a good number of GCSEs at grade 7-9 or A-A*. Your GCSE grades in Mathematics and Physics are particularly important and we typically expect grade 8-9 in at least one of these subjects.."
Btw, placement years are a major plus for your graduate CV - and Bath's program is especially good.
Original post by jusanaverage1
I got one grade 9, five grade 8s and three grade 7s. I’m predicted A*A*A* in maths further maths and physics. Do you think this is enough for oxford engineering and imperial mechanical engineering courses

Who knows the competition there is insane. The only way to find out is to apply.
Original post by swanseajack1
Who knows the competition there is insane. The only way to find out is to apply.


Ok thank you man. I’ve been told imperial aren’t too fussed about GCSEs and they care more about personal statement and A level predicted grades but we’ll see.
Reply 9
Original post by jusanaverage1
I got one grade 9, five grade 8s and three grade 7s. I’m predicted A*A*A* in maths further maths and physics. Do you think this is enough for oxford engineering and imperial mechanical engineering courses

These grades are amazing, this is definitely enough for Oxford Engineering - the required grades A*A*A, with the A*'s required in Maths and Physics. The A can be in any science/ maths related subject, and Further Maths will prepare you well for the course. From what I've experienced Oxford puts more emphasis on A-levels, but as your GSCE results are fab to you should defo think about applying !
More info on the Oxford course is here:
https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/engineering-science
I'm not sure about Imperial mechanical engineering but from what I can see from their website you are defo on track :smile:, keep it up and I hope applications go well !
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/courses/mechanical-engineering-department/mechanical-engineering-meng/
I'm currently studying Engineering Science at Oxford so if you have anymore questions about prep and the course comment below :smile:
Original post by cwitts
These grades are amazing, this is definitely enough for Oxford Engineering - the required grades A*A*A, with the A*'s required in Maths and Physics. The A can be in any science/ maths related subject, and Further Maths will prepare you well for the course. From what I've experienced Oxford puts more emphasis on A-levels, but as your GSCE results are fab to you should defo think about applying !
More info on the Oxford course is here:
https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/engineering-science
I'm not sure about Imperial mechanical engineering but from what I can see from their website you are defo on track :smile:, keep it up and I hope applications go well !
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/courses/mechanical-engineering-department/mechanical-engineering-meng/
I'm currently studying Engineering Science at Oxford so if you have anymore questions about prep and the course comment below :smile:

What a relief! Thank you so so much. I was so worried about my GCSEs being low for oxford engineering. May I ask what college you are at and how you’re finding it? I’ve had a lot of trouble picking a college!


Congrats on Oxford btw it’s a massive achievement!
Reply 11
Original post by jusanaverage1
What a relief! Thank you so so much. I was so worried about my GCSEs being low for oxford engineering. May I ask what college you are at and how you’re finding it? I’ve had a lot of trouble picking a college!


Congrats on Oxford btw it’s a massive achievement!

Thanks so much ! I'm at Lincoln College and am happy with this course - I couldn't see myself doing anything else :smile:. I don't know if you know much about the course structure, but you do broad based engineering for the first two years, then after this you choose what you want to do, which is great ! In terms of my college Lincoln is very small and not heard of much, but is a little known gem in Oxford. My tutors are lovely, and despite the workload being hefty which will come with being at Oxbridge, they really help as much as they can all the time. I recommend you have a look at Lincoln, there are about 5 of us doing engineering in a year however other colleges have more engineers. I would have a look the college prospectus' to see the overall picture ( how many people are there, how old it is etc.), then look at the college website for more detailed info.
Prospectus: https://www.ox.ac.uk/digital-prospectus/ug-community/college
This website Uniadmissions also has a great articles on all the colleges and more about choosing which one is right for you -
https://www.uniadmissions.co.uk/application-guides/complete-guide-for-all-oxford-colleges/
Hope this helps ! And if you have anymore questions on admissions etc just let me know ! :smile:
Original post by cwitts
These grades are amazing, this is definitely enough for Oxford Engineering - the required grades A*A*A, with the A*'s required in Maths and Physics. The A can be in any science/ maths related subject, and Further Maths will prepare you well for the course. From what I've experienced Oxford puts more emphasis on A-levels, but as your GSCE results are fab to you should defo think about applying !
More info on the Oxford course is here:
https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/engineering-science
I'm not sure about Imperial mechanical engineering but from what I can see from their website you are defo on track :smile:, keep it up and I hope applications go well !
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/courses/mechanical-engineering-department/mechanical-engineering-meng/
I'm currently studying Engineering Science at Oxford so if you have anymore questions about prep and the course comment below :smile:


Also I just wanted to ask, is it ok if I ask what you got in GCSE? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to I’m just kinda overthinking it all!
Reply 13
Original post by McGinger
As one example - Bath - https://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate-2023/computer-science/#course-entries
"GCSE grades are an important part of selection for this course and we typically expect students to have a good number of GCSEs at grade 7-9 or A-A*. Your GCSE grades in Mathematics and Physics are particularly important and we typically expect grade 8-9 in at least one of these subjects.."
Btw, placement years are a major plus for your graduate CV - and Bath's program is especially good.

I dont have an 8-9 in either gcse maths(7) or physics(6). But 8/10 of my subjects are grades 7+, do you think it is still worth it to apply to bath?
Reply 14
Original post by jusanaverage1
Also I just wanted to ask, is it ok if I ask what you got in GCSE? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to I’m just kinda overthinking it all!


Heya ! I got 9 A*'s for my GSCEs, but if you look at the admissions reports that colleges publish on the internet then you can see what the admissions team search for. Keble college is very transparent with what they look for, and on this page you can find the reports for the past three years. In the 2019 one they mention successful applications have mostly A*s at GSCE and you technically achieved 5 A*s and 3 high As. Bearing in mind Keble is one of the most sought after engineering colleges and is one of the most competitive to get into. Oxford also look at far more than just your GSCEs as you can see from these reports, and don't let this stop you from looking at other colleges reports too !
https://www.keble.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduates/subjects/engineering-science/
Original post by AnotherStudent!
So, I've been stressing about this a fair bit today lool. Looking to apply to UCL, Southampton, Warwick, Liverpool(?) and Leeds. Last 2 are STC.

I'm looking to do CompSci, probably predicted A*A*A or A*A*A*, after getting A*A*A in my mocks.

I got average af GCSEs(1 8, 2 7s, 3 6s, 3 5s)

Is there any way to reduce the chances this would cost me? I meet all the entry requirements in both A-Level and GCSE for all subjects, but would doing something extra-curricular in some of the activities help my case?

Hiya

Your referees could perhaps explain in your references why your GCSEs were lower than you're capable of. That gives a way for the admissions people to understand your circumstances and in case they have to choose between you and somebody else with similar GCSEs, they can choose depending on what your circumstances might have been. This is certainly the case for Durham but each uni has its own preference to account for GCSEs so you can maybe ask the admissions team at each uni what they would rather prefer.

-Himieka
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by cwitts
Heya ! I got 9 A*'s for my GSCEs, but if you look at the admissions reports that colleges publish on the internet then you can see what the admissions team search for. Keble college is very transparent with what they look for, and on this page you can find the reports for the past three years. In the 2019 one they mention successful applications have mostly A*s at GSCE and you technically achieved 5 A*s and 3 high As. Bearing in mind Keble is one of the most sought after engineering colleges and is one of the most competitive to get into. Oxford also look at far more than just your GSCEs as you can see from these reports, and don't let this stop you from looking at other colleges reports too !
https://www.keble.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduates/subjects/engineering-science/


Woah that’s amazing congrats! Also, I got 6 a*s right? I got one 9 and five 8s?

ah I just checked the report and I see what you mean! I want to apply to LMH and I don’t know how competitive they are! I guess i should really nail the PAT to increase all my chances. Problem is, I don’t think they take GCSEs into account this year due to them being teacher assessed when I got them. I feel like I could’ve got a lot better in my actual GCSEs and I even got higher in my Mocks!
Do you do engineering science?
Original post by AnotherStudent!
So, I've been stressing about this a fair bit today lool. Looking to apply to UCL, Southampton, Warwick, Liverpool(?) and Leeds. Last 2 are STC.

I'm looking to do CompSci, probably predicted A*A*A or A*A*A*, after getting A*A*A in my mocks.

I got average af GCSEs(1 8, 2 7s, 3 6s, 3 5s)

Is there any way to reduce the chances this would cost me? I meet all the entry requirements in both A-Level and GCSE for all subjects, but would doing something extra-curricular in some of the activities help my case?


Hi @AnotherStudent!

Firstly congrats on your mock results, that's excellent! :smile:

There are many components to uni applications so your GCSE grades likely won't be the be-all and end-all. In my experience, unis often look at your maths and english GCSEs but, hold your A Level results in higher regard with your A Levels often being the main part of their entry requirements.

It may help if you look at the course pages on the websites of the unis that you are interested in as they should have full details of their entry requirements listed there. There's often an email address listed for enquiries too if you still have unanswered questions after visiting the website. I would also recommend going to an open day for as many of the unis you're thinking of applying to as possible. I found it really helpful to be able to view campuses, departments and speak to lecturers and students at the uni as it really gave me a feel for each place and helped me to make a decision on where I would like to spend the next 3 to 4 years.

I think for the personal statement admissions tutors really want to see a genuine interest in the subject, so it would be great if you have a few extra-circulars to demonstrate and evidence your interest. Perhaps for comp sci you could learn a new coding language or anything else that sounds fun to you.

Hope that helps :smile:

- Tineke
4th year Lancaster Physics student
Original post by cwitts
Thanks so much ! I'm at Lincoln College and am happy with this course - I couldn't see myself doing anything else :smile:. I don't know if you know much about the course structure, but you do broad based engineering for the first two years, then after this you choose what you want to do, which is great ! In terms of my college Lincoln is very small and not heard of much, but is a little known gem in Oxford. My tutors are lovely, and despite the workload being hefty which will come with being at Oxbridge, they really help as much as they can all the time. I recommend you have a look at Lincoln, there are about 5 of us doing engineering in a year however other colleges have more engineers. I would have a look the college prospectus' to see the overall picture ( how many people are there, how old it is etc.), then look at the college website for more detailed info.
Prospectus: https://www.ox.ac.uk/digital-prospectus/ug-community/college
This website Uniadmissions also has a great articles on all the colleges and more about choosing which one is right for you -
https://www.uniadmissions.co.uk/application-guides/complete-guide-for-all-oxford-colleges/
Hope this helps ! And if you have anymore questions on admissions etc just let me know ! :smile:

I looked a lot at the course structure and I love it! I particularly did quite a bit within on pn junction research etc! I’ll definitely look into Lincoln. Thank you so much!
Reply 19
Original post by jusanaverage1
Woah that’s amazing congrats! Also, I got 6 a*s right? I got one 9 and five 8s?

ah I just checked the report and I see what you mean! I want to apply to LMH and I don’t know how competitive they are! I guess i should really nail the PAT to increase all my chances. Problem is, I don’t think they take GCSEs into account this year due to them being teacher assessed when I got them. I feel like I could’ve got a lot better in my actual GCSEs and I even got higher in my Mocks!
Do you do engineering science?

Yes my mistake ! You got 6 A*s which is amazing, the A-level predicted grades you have will strengthen your application too. I do read Engineering Science, and really glad you have found a college you want to apply to ! These stats published by the Uni give you an idea of acceptance rates at different colleges if you want to gage how competitive it is :smile:
https://public.tableau.com/views/UniversityofOxford-AdmissionsStatistics2021ByCourse/Shortlisting?%3Aembed=y&%3Adisplay_count=yes&%3AshowTabs=y&%3AshowVizHome=no

A good PAT paper defo helps, though getting the cut-off is an amazing achievement too as in interviews you can showcase your skills too ! If you want to have a look at some PAT prep at some point these resources are really useful:
physicsandmathstutor.com have all the past papers and mark schemes
the official PAT syllabus can be found here https://www.physics.ox.ac.uk/study/undergraduates/how-apply/physics-aptitude-test-pat/pat-syllabus
And these books are a useful all round guide and prep to the PAT :smile:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimate-PAT-Collection-breakdowns-UniAdmissions/dp/1913683877/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1KMNRFUOSD261&keywords=PAT+Collection&qid=1659048247&sprefix=pat+collection%2Caps%2C212&sr=8-1
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimate-Oxford-PAT-Guide-techniques/dp/1913683885

Hope this helps and good luck !

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