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Amount of GCSEs required for Russel Group

Hi,
I am currently in Year 9 picking my options in a month. Right now I am on a restricted timetable, not doing the some of the subjects I will drop at gcse level. Currently my option choices are triple science, the mandatory English and math subjects, history, latin and french. With a reduced timetable I have a lot more time more schoolwork and do not feel so overwhelmed over the day. To carry this onto GCSE the easiest option would be to only do 8 GCSEs and drop French. I am debating this as I do not know how much of a difference it will make for uni applications (I know I don’t really have to think about this for a while, but still). I am aiming to get apply to Oxbridge and other universities like Durham. For context I did an assessment predicting my results to be from 7-9, so my question is would it be better to get 8 GCSEs with higher grades and less stress or 9 slightly worse GCSEs?
It is better to get 8 GCSEs with higher grades and less stress. High grades are usually seen as a better indication of academic ability and potential by universities, including Oxbridge and Durham. Additionally, having a manageable workload and avoiding burnout can help you perform better in your exams and overall academic pursuits.

That being said, you should also consider your own interests and strengths. If you enjoy and excel in French, it might be worth continuing with it and balancing your workload effectively. In the end, the most important thing is to find a balance that works for you and allows you to achieve your best.

Ultimately, keep in mind that there are many factors that universities consider in their admission decisions, so it is not just about the number of GCSEs you take or your grades. Extracurricular activities, personal interests, and essays can also play a role in your university application.
Original post by Sophie3227
Hi,
I am currently in Year 9 picking my options in a month. Right now I am on a restricted timetable, not doing the some of the subjects I will drop at gcse level. Currently my option choices are triple science, the mandatory English and math subjects, history, latin and french. With a reduced timetable I have a lot more time more schoolwork and do not feel so overwhelmed over the day. To carry this onto GCSE the easiest option would be to only do 8 GCSEs and drop French. I am debating this as I do not know how much of a difference it will make for uni applications (I know I don’t really have to think about this for a while, but still). I am aiming to get apply to Oxbridge and other universities like Durham. For context I did an assessment predicting my results to be from 7-9, so my question is would it be better to get 8 GCSEs with higher grades and less stress or 9 slightly worse GCSEs?

Heya!
Of course, it's better to do 8 GCSE with less stress :h: Only some unis like Oxford will look at all your GCSEs I believe, most other unis just want maths and english so don't worry :h: It's better to have less stress and dedicate your time on extracurricular activities alongside your GCSEs!

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind

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