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Does the amount of gcses / a levels you take matter to Oxbridge

I see many people online who got into oxbridge saying they took something crazy like 15 gcses, I'm just wondering if oxbridge actually care how many gcses you took and if the amount of gcses you took matters, or is 10-11 enough to get into oxbridge if you get good grades? Also the same with a levels, is 3 enough if you get good grades or do you need to take 4 to stand a good chance of getting in?
Thanks in advance
Original post by FearTheRainbow
I see many people online who got into oxbridge saying they took something crazy like 15 gcses, I'm just wondering if oxbridge actually care how many gcses you took and if the amount of gcses you took matters, or is 10-11 enough to get into oxbridge if you get good grades? Also the same with a levels, is 3 enough if you get good grades or do you need to take 4 to stand a good chance of getting in?
Thanks in advance


Oxford and Cambridge expect 3 A levels - no more, no less.

I believe they expect no less than 6 GCSEs depending on the course, though I’ll have to check that.
(edited 1 year ago)
Thanks so much I really appreciate that have a nice day!
Original post by TypicalNerd
Oxford expect 3 A levels - no more, no less.

I believe they expect no less than 6 GCSEs depending on the course, though I’ll have to check that.

Update: I can’t find the source I recall reading the gcse criteria from and I probably have remembered it incorrectly. I got an offer from Oxford (for MChem F100) with A*A*A at A level and 9,9,8,8,8,8,7,7,6,6 at GCSE, so 10 GCSEs is definitely enough
(edited 1 year ago)
Thank you so much thats really helpful I really appreciate it
Original post by FearTheRainbow
I see many people online who got into oxbridge saying they took something crazy like 15 gcses, I'm just wondering if oxbridge actually care how many gcses you took and if the amount of gcses you took matters, or is 10-11 enough to get into oxbridge if you get good grades? Also the same with a levels, is 3 enough if you get good grades or do you need to take 4 to stand a good chance of getting in?
Thanks in advance

Yeah, I'd say they want you to have 3 a levels qctually. They'd prefer you to have 3 and do really well in these and have time for lots of super curriculars and exploring beyond the course, rather than doing 4 and possibly not getting the entry requirements/not be really engaged in the subject.
That said, some people can do 4 and all the super curriculars too, it depends on who you are. 4 certainly is not expected/strongly desired and you won't be discounted for not having 4 a levels.
Original post by TypicalNerd
Oxford and Cambridge expect 3 A levels - no more, no less.

I believe they expect no less than 6 GCSEs depending on the course, though I’ll have to check that.

The only big exception to the three A levels rule I'm aware of is for maths-heavy STEM courses (Phys Natsci / Chemistry & Physics), Engineering, CompSci etc. doing further maths as a 4th A Level is definitely a massive advantage. Of course, doing physics, maths and further maths would achieve the same thing for a physics/engineering course but for physical natural sciences particularly, two sciences + maths and further maths is practically a requirement and you'd really struggle without it.
Original post by FearTheRainbow
I see many people online who got into oxbridge saying they took something crazy like 15 gcses, I'm just wondering if oxbridge actually care how many gcses you took and if the amount of gcses you took matters, or is 10-11 enough to get into oxbridge if you get good grades? Also the same with a levels, is 3 enough if you get good grades or do you need to take 4 to stand a good chance of getting in?
Thanks in advance

For GCSEs, 10 is definitely enough. Even 8-9 can be enough.

For A-levels, 3 should be enough. Only exception: 4th as FM
Original post by TypicalNerd
Update: I can’t find the source I recall reading the gcse criteria from and I probably have remembered it incorrectly. I got an offer from Oxford (for MChem F100) with A*A*A at A level and 9,9,8,8,8,8,7,7,6,6 at GCSE, so 10 GCSEs is definitely enough


Were you contextual?
Original post by andcrowns
Were you contextual?


No
Original post by randomusername23
The only big exception to the three A levels rule I'm aware of is for maths-heavy STEM courses (Phys Natsci / Chemistry & Physics), Engineering, CompSci etc. doing further maths as a 4th A Level is definitely a massive advantage. Of course, doing physics, maths and further maths would achieve the same thing for a physics/engineering course but for physical natural sciences particularly, two sciences + maths and further maths is practically a requirement and you'd really struggle without it.

I agree it’s an advantage for the maths-heavy STEM subjects, but it isn’t necessary. The entry requirements for all subjects at Oxford will only indicate 3 grades at a particular level are required, however some subjects will be marked as recommended or essential.

I met quite a few who got into Oxford for chemistry (requires A*A*A where both maths and chemistry are essential and with the A*’s in science/maths subjects) who did english language as their third A level without taking a fourth and I had a cousin who did RE as his third subject and got in for chemistry.
Original post by FearTheRainbow
I see many people online who got into oxbridge saying they took something crazy like 15 gcses, I'm just wondering if oxbridge actually care how many gcses you took and if the amount of gcses you took matters, or is 10-11 enough to get into oxbridge if you get good grades? Also the same with a levels, is 3 enough if you get good grades or do you need to take 4 to stand a good chance of getting in?
Thanks in advance

Heya!
It's best to double-check the entry requirements on the official Cambridge and Oxford unis but I believe for GCSEs you need at least 6. For a-levels, all unis just need 3 alvls. The only time it's recommended to have 4 is when the 4th alvl is further maths (for maths-related courses) or you are completely sure you can get all A* :h:A*A*A* looks much better than AABB after all, especially for very competitive unis. :h: If it helps, use this blog (linked) to read more about Oxbridge applications.

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind
Original post by TypicalNerd
I agree it’s an advantage for the maths-heavy STEM subjects, but it isn’t necessary. The entry requirements for all subjects at Oxford will only indicate 3 grades at a particular level are required, however some subjects will be marked as recommended or essential.

I met quite a few who got into Oxford for chemistry (requires A*A*A where both maths and chemistry are essential and with the A*’s in science/maths subjects) who did english language as their third A level without taking a fourth and I had a cousin who did RE as his third subject and got in for chemistry.


I'd agree that for pure chemistry it isn't a requirement, although a big advantage.
I think you'd really struggle to get an offer for physics, engineering or computer science though without further maths - I think you would only really have a shot if your school didn't offer further maths and so you couldn't do it, otherwise they'd expect you to have done further.
This is based on Cambridge though so Oxford may be slightly different
Mine might be a special case but oxford gave me an offer for maths for 7 igcses (9888765) and 3 a levels (2a*1a), which could be the minimum requirement. I reckon oxbridge is only using the grades to test our capability to learn and it will not matter as long as some basic requirements are met. I believe oxbridge would weight the interviews and aptitude test way more than gcses and a levels as they tells them how capable you are or could be in exploring the subject, instead of merely scoring high in exams.
Original post by FearTheRainbow
I see many people online who got into oxbridge saying they took something crazy like 15 gcses, I'm just wondering if oxbridge actually care how many gcses you took and if the amount of gcses you took matters, or is 10-11 enough to get into oxbridge if you get good grades? Also the same with a levels, is 3 enough if you get good grades or do you need to take 4 to stand a good chance of getting in?
Thanks in advance

If you're a standard-age applicant (i.e. a school-leaver), then Oxford cares much more about GCSEs than Cambridge does. Most Oxford offer holders have a high proportion of 8s and 9s at GCSE. For Cambridge, most offer holders also have good GCSEs, but that's just a function of the standard of applicant who is likely to receive an offer, rather than a entry criterion in its own right.

For A levels, the standard offer is three - and for arts/humanities courses, that remains the most common offering - A*A*A or higher. For NatSci at Cambridge, four A levels is being offered quite routinely, the fourth being in FM, though it is perfectly possible to be made an offer on two sciences and one maths, particularly for biological NatSci - and plenty of candidates are offered on three A levels each year.
Thanks so much everyone for your helpful advice, I really appreciate it!

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