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ucl GCSE grades

Hey guys, I was wondering what UCL's stance is on GCSE grades for a medicine application. On the website, they said a 5 in English Lang and Maths, but I have a feeling they want more. I got 3 A*s, 8 As and 2 Bs and I'm worried that's not enough. I will hopefully apply as a gap year applicant with A*AA fingers crossed. Thanks guys!!

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Reply 1
Original post by versacequeen
Hey guys, I was wondering what UCL's stance is on GCSE grades for a medicine application. On the website, they said a 5 in English Lang and Maths, but I have a feeling they want more. I got 3 A*s, 8 As and 2 Bs and I'm worried that's not enough. I will hopefully apply as a gap year applicant with A*AA fingers crossed. Thanks guys!!


when youre talking about GCSEs in regard to top unis, you need to stop referring to 9s and 8s collectively, yes ik they both count as an A* but theyre just not the same
how many 9s and 8s did you get? and tbh if you have got multiple 6s and majority 7s its gonna be very very hard
if im gonna be 100% honest you will need to get a ridiculously high UCAT score to even have a chance- A*AA isnt good enough either compared to other candidates, most medcs will have A*A*A at the minimum
sounds harsh but im just trying to give you an accurate picture of how competitive medicine is, dont be disheartened tho u still have time to up ur predicted grades and nothing is impossible
Reply 2
ucl is a bmat uni, and for my ucat I got 2770 B2 which isn't extremely high but not extremely low either. I got 2 9s in bio and chemistry, 1 eight in English lit and the rest are all 7s except Spanish and latin which are 6s. I got predicted A* in chemistry a* in maths but B in bio which meant I couldn't apply this year which is why I will hopefully try next year. I know my gcses are not all 9s but they are not all 6s either and I got an A* in my bio mock in jan so im hoping everything goes to plan and I can still try for med at ucl in October this year. I just wanted to know how much they weight gcses against bmat and achieved a levels
Original post by Anonymous
when youre talking about GCSEs in regard to top unis, you need to stop referring to 9s and 8s collectively, yes ik they both count as an A* but theyre just not the same
how many 9s and 8s did you get? and tbh if you have got multiple 6s and majority 7s its gonna be very very hard
if im gonna be 100% honest you will need to get a ridiculously high UCAT score to even have a chance- A*AA isnt good enough either compared to other candidates, most medcs will have A*A*A at the minimum
sounds harsh but im just trying to give you an accurate picture of how competitive medicine is, dont be disheartened tho u still have time to up ur predicted grades and nothing is impossible
Reply 3
Original post by versacequeen
ucl is a bmat uni, and for my ucat I got 2770 B2 which isn't extremely high but not extremely low either. I got 2 9s in bio and chemistry, 1 eight in English lit and the rest are all 7s except Spanish and latin which are 6s. I got predicted A* in chemistry a* in maths but B in bio which meant I couldn't apply this year which is why I will hopefully try next year. I know my gcses are not all 9s but they are not all 6s either and I got an A* in my bio mock in jan so im hoping everything goes to plan and I can still try for med at ucl in October this year. I just wanted to know how much they weight gcses against bmat and achieved a levels


UCL do not use GCSEs at all in shortlisting, just check you meet their minimum requirements :smile:

NB: their minimum requirements are currently a 6 in Eng Lang and maths
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 4
ok, thank you so much!!
Original post by GANFYD
UCL do not use GCSEs at all in shortlisting, just check you meet their minimum requirements :smile:
Original post by versacequeen
Hey guys, I was wondering what UCL's stance is on GCSE grades for a medicine application. On the website, they said a 5 in English Lang and Maths, but I have a feeling they want more. I got 3 A*s, 8 As and 2 Bs and I'm worried that's not enough. I will hopefully apply as a gap year applicant with A*AA fingers crossed. Thanks guys!!


If the website says 5 that means 5.

btw no one gives a crap about gcses at that level. It’s merely a tick box exercise to see you have a basic grasp of the english language
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 6
Original post by boulderingislife
If the website says 5 that means 5.

btw no one gives a crap about gcses at that level. It’s merely a tick box exercise to see you have a basic grasp of the english language


Not at many medical schools, it is not. Lots of them still score them and it is not possible to get an interview without pretty good grades. Others have no GCSE requirements whatsoever
Original post by versacequeen
ucl is a bmat uni, and for my ucat I got 2770 B2 which isn't extremely high but not extremely low either. I got 2 9s in bio and chemistry, 1 eight in English lit and the rest are all 7s except Spanish and latin which are 6s. I got predicted A* in chemistry a* in maths but B in bio which meant I couldn't apply this year which is why I will hopefully try next year. I know my gcses are not all 9s but they are not all 6s either and I got an A* in my bio mock in jan so im hoping everything goes to plan and I can still try for med at ucl in October this year. I just wanted to know how much they weight gcses against bmat and achieved a levels

I’m no expert, especially about medicine which I k is harder to get into, however if u already have the grades and do well on the interview then u might stand a chance. U might want to exceed the grades required tho bc as mentioned, most candidates will have high A level predicted grades.
Ppl w grades achieved vs predicted is slightly different. When it comes to med I’m not sure how much of a role it plays but in terms of Oxbridge application for non med course it helps. It proves u can achieve it, as u already have. I’d take this w a pinch of salt tho bc I don’t rlly think it would matter w med since the sheer volume of applicants is so high.

Also, in ur gap year you’d have to have plans related to placements etc. U have to show ur gap year was worth it in a sense I believe.
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by Muhammad Razak
I’m no expert, especially about medicine which I k is harder to get into, however if u already have the grades and do well on the interview then u might stand a chance. U might want to exceed the grades required tho bc as mentioned, most candidates will have high A level predicted grades.
Ppl w grades achieved vs predicted is slightly different. When it comes to med I’m not sure how much of a role it plays but in terms of Oxbridge application for non med course it helps. It proves u can achieve it, as u already have. I’d take this w a pinch of salt tho bc I don’t rlly think it would matter w med since the sheer volume of applicants is so high.

Also, in ur gap year you’d have to have plans related to placements etc. U have to show ur gap year was worth it in a sense I believe.


Achieved grades have no benefits over predicted ones at UCL (or Oxbridge) for medicine. Nor does exceeding the predicted grades. UCL uses BMAT to shortlist applicants who meet their minimum requirements.

You are right that a gap year should be spent productively :smile:
Original post by GANFYD
Achieved grades have no benefits over predicted ones at UCL (or Oxbridge) for medicine. Nor does exceeding the predicted grades. UCL uses BMAT to shortlist applicants who meet their minimum requirements.

You are right that a gap year should be spent productively :smile:

I disagree. Having achieved grades, good interview and good entrance exam grade etc. could help. It could be the defining factor if the person achieved the requirements or better over another candidate who has yet to sit. I’m not saying it’s definitive but could help. Ik of a student who told me the same for how he got into Oxford chemistry w 3A*s as opposed to when he applied the previous year w predicted grades. Not saying it’s exact but surely it helps. Achieved is better than predicted always
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 10
Original post by Anonymous
when youre talking about GCSEs in regard to top unis, you need to stop referring to 9s and 8s collectively, yes ik they both count as an A* but theyre just not the same
how many 9s and 8s did you get? and tbh if you have got multiple 6s and majority 7s its gonna be very very hard
if im gonna be 100% honest you will need to get a ridiculously high UCAT score to even have a chance- A*AA isnt good enough either compared to other candidates, most medcs will have A*A*A at the minimum
sounds harsh but im just trying to give you an accurate picture of how competitive medicine is, dont be disheartened tho u still have time to up ur predicted grades and nothing is impossible


please do research before giving advice.
op asked about ucl, which is a bmat uni, not a ucat one.
their gcse requirements are just that: the minimum needed to be considered.
same with their a level requirements. the university will not care if someone got 4 A*s or A*AA, as long as they are able to meet the requirements and, hopefully, their offer.

A*AA should be grades to be very proud of.
minimum needed for standard medicine entry is AAA, i’m pretty sure.
your whole paragraph is misleading
Reply 11
Original post by Muhammad Razak
I disagree. Having achieved grades, good interview and good entrance exam grade etc. could help. It could be the defining factor if the person achieved the requirements or better over another candidate who has yet to sit. I’m not saying it’s definitive but could help. Ik of a student who told me the same for how he got into Oxford chemistry w 3A*s as opposed to when he applied the previous year w predicted grades. Not saying it’s exact but surely it helps. Achieved is better than predicted always


Not for medicine at UCL, where beyond wanting A*AA they do not look at A level grades at all. You need to meet minimum requirements for GCSEs and A levels, be above the BMAT cut off, then a place is all down to the interview performance. There are a few med schools that prefer predicted grades, but they are a small minority. Only in a borderline situation may the rest of the UCAS form, PS, references etc be looked at again.
I know nothing about Chemistry, so could not comment about that, but a lot can change in a year.....
Original post by GANFYD
Not for medicine at UCL, where beyond wanting A*AA they do not look at A level grades at all. You need to meet minimum requirements for GCSEs and A levels, be above the BMAT cut off, then a place is all down to the interview performance. There are a few med schools that prefer predicted grades, but they are a small minority. Only in a borderline situation may the rest of the UCAS form, PS, references etc be looked at again.
I know nothing about Chemistry, so could not comment about that, but a lot can change in a year.....

True. Yh I assumed it wouldn’t matter for med as I did mention but something I picked up on for other courses
Original post by GANFYD
Not at many medical schools, it is not. Lots of them still score them and it is not possible to get an interview without pretty good grades. Others have no GCSE requirements whatsoever


If the website says a 5, then it’s a 5. Alevel grade predictions and personal statement take precedence if the gcse grade requirement is met. In my opinion it’s just a filtering mechanism to emsire basic competency and not used to reject people
Reply 14
Original post by boulderingislife
If the website says a 5, then it’s a 5. Alevel grade predictions and personal statement take precedence if the gcse grade requirement is met. In my opinion it’s just a filtering mechanism to emsire basic competency and not used to reject people


Yep, both GCSEs and A levels are a filtering mechanism - meet the requirements and they tick the box. PS is not used at all. At UCL, other med schools select differently and many reject people becuase their GCSEs are not high enough (usually in conjunction with other things)
And my point is, the website says they need a 6, not a 5
(edited 11 months ago)
Original post by GANFYD
Yep, both GCSEs and A levels are a filtering mechanism - meet the requirements and they tick the box. PS is not used at all. At UCL, other med schools select differently and many reject people becuase their GCSEs are not high enough (usually in conjunction with other things)
And my point is, the website says they need a 6, not a 5


Well if you’re worried about not getting a 5 or 6 at gcse for english, you should probs not be looking at such top unis. How are you going to complete with higher grades? The personal statement can only do so much. Everyone who stands a realistic chance must at the vest least hit the basic entry requirements, whether than is a 5 or 6.

In the big scheme of things, gcse grades are irrelevant. Whether you get the equivalent of an A* or B, as long as you meet the bare minimum for the course, that is not going to be used against you for a uni application.
Reply 16
Original post by boulderingislife
Well if you’re worried about not getting a 5 or 6 at gcse for english, you should probs not be looking at such top unis. How are you going to complete with higher grades? The personal statement can only do so much. Everyone who stands a realistic chance must at the vest least hit the basic entry requirements, whether than is a 5 or 6.

In the big scheme of things, gcse grades are irrelevant. Whether you get the equivalent of an A* or B, as long as you meet the bare minimum for the course, that is not going to be used against you for a uni application.


No. For a medicine application at many unis, GCSEs are not irrelevant. Many med schools actively use GCSEs in their shortlisting process, and insufficient grades will lead to a rejection.
Others (like UCL) only use them as a minimum requirement.
As I say, the PS can do nothing, as it is not used at UCL for shortlisting.
There are no "top unis" for medicine, if planning to practice in the UK - where you go makes no difference to your career prospects
Original post by GANFYD
No. For a medicine application at many unis, GCSEs are not irrelevant. Many med schools actively use GCSEs in their shortlisting process, and insufficient grades will lead to a rejection.
Others (like UCL) only use them as a minimum requirement.
As I say, the PS can do nothing, as it is not used at UCL for shortlisting.
There are no "top unis" for medicine, if planning to practice in the UK - where you go makes no difference to your career prospects


They are irrelevant in the scheme of things because a 6.7 or 8 is not going to get you rejected. Bmat and alevels are much higher up the list and if they can’t pick you based on those and the personal statement then they *might* on rare occasion pick someone with a 7 instead of a 6 at gcse, but i’d be very surprised if they did that. Why don’t you/OP email around a few admissions tutors and ask?
Reply 18
Original post by boulderingislife
They are irrelevant in the scheme of things because a 6.7 or 8 is not going to get you rejected. Bmat and alevels are much higher up the list and if they can’t pick you based on those and the personal statement then they *might* on rare occasion pick someone with a 7 instead of a 6 at gcse, but i’d be very surprised if they did that. Why don’t you/OP email around a few admissions tutors and ask?


they’re not irrelevant because you can get rejected when some unis look at them with heavier weighting. take liverpool for example.
Original post by cersef
they’re not irrelevant because you can get rejected when some unis look at them with heavier weighting. take liverpool for example.


Ok.

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