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bad gcses and oxford

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(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by thatdumbgyal
hi, i want to do chem at oxford in 2024, but doing my gcses were very tough. due to overcrowding in my house which meant i could not revise properly and libaries were very far away from my house.also i did surgey a year ago before my gcses which meant that recovery took very long and was unable to catch up. do u think oxford will take u in when ur in a situation where u have bad gcses, but excellent personal statement, alevels and other stuff. and u explain the reasons why u have bad gcses and back it up with paper work from hospitals and government. bc im moving houses this year and i promise to get 3 A*s at alevels in 2024


Hi there.

I'm not entirely sure about your query so will tag @artful_lounger and @Oxfordmum who could help. :smile: My advice would be not to pressurise yourself to get A*s immediately before starting A levels as you could become demotivated or burnt out. It's normal for students, even those with 8/9s at GCSE, to not achieve straight A*s in the first months of chemistry and then gradually build their knowledge/grades up - so try not to worry as A levels are 2-year courses.

Spoiler


Hope this makes sense. :smile:
Best wishes.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by thatdumbgyal
hi, i want to do chem at oxford in 2024, but doing my gcses were very tough. due to overcrowding in my house which meant i could not revise properly and libaries were very far away from my house.also i did surgey a year ago before my gcses which meant that recovery took very long and was unable to catch up. do u think oxford will take u in when ur in a situation where u have bad gcses, but excellent personal statement, alevels and other stuff. and u explain the reasons why u have bad gcses and back it up with paper work from hospitals and government. bc im moving houses this year and i promise to get 3 A*s at alevels in 2024


What grades did you achieve at GCSE?
Original post by thatdumbgyal
hi, i want to do chem at oxford in 2024, but doing my gcses were very tough. due to overcrowding in my house which meant i could not revise properly and libaries were very far away from my house.also i did surgey a year ago before my gcses which meant that recovery took very long and was unable to catch up. do u think oxford will take u in when ur in a situation where u have bad gcses, but excellent personal statement, alevels and other stuff. and u explain the reasons why u have bad gcses and back it up with paper work from hospitals and government. bc im moving houses this year and i promise to get 3 A*s at alevels in 2024

Hi! I’m also looking at chem at Oxford.

I was rejected for 2022 entry myself, but I doubt that GCSE grades are too much of a concern, as it’s really the interviews and UCAS application as a whole they really care about.

In my case, I messed up the interviews (according to the feedback) but I had a good ucas application overall.

Also according to the feedback, my UCAS application was given a score very slightly higher than the average offer holder, I’d imagine largely due to my personal statement and reference. Granted my GCSE’s were good, but if they wanted straight 8’s and 9’s, I would definitely have been given a lower score for my UCAS application.
(edited 1 year ago)
Your academic referee should explain the context in which you sat your GCSEs to them, although you should have also applied through your school for mitigating/extenuating circumstances via the exam board previously.

In any case, chemistry is undersubscribed at Oxford normally and generally GCSEs are a lesser factor for physical sciences there. They interview nearly 90% of applicants for chemistry and the interview will make much more difference than your GCSEs.
Original post by thatdumbgyal
i will get them in august, but i think i got 8's and 7's in triple science and 6's and 5's in the other subjects. scared sm pray for meee

Remember they are increasing the proportions of people getting higher grades this year.

I expect you’ll get a 9 in chemistry seeing as you enjoy it enough to want to study it at Oxford.
Original post by thatdumbgyal
thank u sm i hope so too. are u currently at oxford for chem?

Nope. As I’ve said previously, I’m a reject and I will be reapplying in my upcoming gap year
Original post by thatdumbgyal
uno when they give out interviews, do thet choose ppl randomly. bc i heard they interview 90% of the applicants

I’d imagine because only 600 to 700 people apply each year (of which circa 200 get in), the small pool of people is comprised almost entirely of people predicted to either obtain or exceed the grades as needed by the entry requirements and the department has the time to interview almost all of them.

On another note, you will need to do A level maths and A level chemistry (ofc), with it being strongly recommended that your third A level is either physics, biology or further maths.
Original post by thatdumbgyal
idk if i should bio or physics as my 3rd alevel thats the problem, but my skl dont do fm anyways.

so basically when they invite u for interviews they look at ur personal statement, predicted grades right and nothing else i hope they dont look at the gcse grades lol. sorry for asking too many questions

They do look at GCSE’s. I’ve just looked at the feedback email and they admit it amongst other things.

My feedback email gave me my scores for the interviews and the ucas application (which consists of your personal statement, reference, gcse grades and more). This indicates that GCSE’s are not the most important factor as I certainly didn’t get straight 8’s and 9’s and yet I still got a mark higher than the average offer holder for the application itself.
Original post by thatdumbgyal
idk if i should bio or physics as my 3rd alevel thats the problem, but my skl dont do fm anyways.


Those are recommendations. You could do something else entirely, even an essay-based subject would be good, and you could argue in your PS that in studying it, it has encouraged you to think critically and construct logical and well-reasoned arguments etc
Original post by TypicalNerd
Those are recommendations. You could do something else entirely, even an essay-based subject would be good, and you could argue in your PS that in studying it, it has encouraged you to think critically and construct logical and well-reasoned arguments etc


thats a great idea thank u sm for the information and i hope u get ur offer to study at oxford
Original post by thatdumbgyal
so when applying for chemistry, gcses are not that important compared to other courses right???

also i dont get the 1st part of what u said sorry. sorry for asking too many questions


It means they are less important compared to some other courses at Oxford. Since they interview the majority of applicants they will largely be considering GCSEs after interview, and interview performance is likely to be more of a major consideration.

I don't really know how to state the first part of my previous comment any more simply...your academic referee will explain any relevant interruptions to your study in your reference. However universities normally expect that you will go through the exam boards' mitigating circumstances procedures at the time of the disruption and they will accept whatever the exam board has decided, rather than making that decision themselves.
Original post by thatdumbgyal
thats a great idea thank u sm for the information and i hope u get ur offer to study at oxford


TYSM. I hope to see you there if I do.

If you have any questions about A level chemistry and maths (and physics if you decide to take it), feel free to ask me via direct messages.

I also did something called AEA maths, which is basically just a flex that gives you up to 40 extra UCAS points. It’s literally just a single extra exam assessing the A level maths content (though it’s 3 hours long and non-calculator). It might be worth considering, as Oxford chemistry really values mathematical skill and it demonstrates how you are able to take relatively simple mathematical knowledge and apply it in more abstract situations. This wasn’t on my application last time, as I hadn’t even been entered by the UCAS submission deadline, but it could be the game-changer this time.
Original post by thatdumbgyal
oh during my gcses i got rest breaks and extra time can i include that as well


Your academic referee will explain if necessary :smile: It's not something you need to write about in your personal statement though.
Original post by thatdumbgyal
hi, i want to do chem at oxford in 2024, but doing my gcses were very tough. due to overcrowding in my house which meant i could not revise properly and libaries were very far away from my house.also i did surgey a year ago before my gcses which meant that recovery took very long and was unable to catch up. do u think oxford will take u in when ur in a situation where u have bad gcses, but excellent personal statement, alevels and other stuff. and u explain the reasons why u have bad gcses and back it up with paper work from hospitals and government. bc im moving houses this year and i promise to get 3 A*s at alevels in 2024


Heya! While Oxford does look into GCSE, they just mostly act as a performance indicator. I would say don't worry too much about the results as there are other steps to application which can turn your whole application around such as personal statement and interview. While I understand you want to get 3 A*s, don't pressure yourself too much as your mental well-being is more important :smile: There's still plenty of time so be careful but efficient!

Remember, in your personal statement you need to talk about your passion for chemistry and why you would be a good addition to Oxford. Your referees should include your circumstances in their references, don't try to explain and justify it yourself in your personal statement! If you need any help with the interview and etc then check out this useful Oxbridge Interview Blog!

Hope this helps and Good luck!
Milena G.
Oxbridge Mind
Original post by thatdumbgyal
tysmm, also then what are the reasons why they reject so much ppl like do yk? and also can u recommend some readings or places i can do my work experience

Obviously, I’m not @OxbridgeMind but I can give you the following links:

https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/media_wysiwyg/Introductory_reading_for_Chemistry.pdf

https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/suggested-subject-resources

There’s also this book Chemistry^3: Introducing inorganic, organic and physical chemistry by Burrows et al, which is really good
Original post by TypicalNerd
Obviously, I’m not @OxbridgeMind but I can give you the following links:

https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/media_wysiwyg/Introductory_reading_for_Chemistry.pdf

https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/suggested-subject-resources

There’s also this book Chemistry^3: Introducing inorganic, organic and physical chemistry by Burrows et al, which is really good

Furthermore: https://edu.rsc.org/future-in-chemistry/career-options/work-experience

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