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imperfect gcse grades for medicine

i've got grade 9 for all 3 science subjects and Maths but my English language sucks(a grade 5, i am going to retake it ) Also, i had only 7 GCSE subjects taken. The grades of the another 2 subjects are decent, around grade 7. As an international student, I am not sure if the number of GCSE subjects is enough for applying to medical schools of the G5 universities and will they consider my GCSE english language retake?
(edited 10 months ago)
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Megathreads
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The "Which Medical School Should I Apply To?" Uberthread
The Ultimate 'Am I Good Enough For Medicine?' Angst Thread
Medicine A-Level subjects queries
Work Experience and Voluntary Work

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Official Undergraduate Medicine 2023 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2023 Entry
Medicine 2023 entry for resit / retake / gap year applicants
A100 Medicine for International Students 2023 Entry
Medicine Interview discussion 2023 Entry
2023 entry A100 / A101 Medicine fastest and slowest offer senders
Index of Individual Medical School Applicants' threads 2023 Entry

2024 Applicants :
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2024 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2024 Entry
GAMSAT 2024 / 2025 entry discussions megathread
UCAT 2024 Entry Discussions Megathread

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Graduate Entry Medicine 2025 Entry
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2025 Entry

Useful Articles:
GCSE Requirements for Medicine
Everything you need to know about the BMAT
Work Experience as a Graduate or Mature student
Medicine Personal Statement Advice
Medicine Personal Statement Advice (Graduate Entry)
Interview Frequently Asked Questions
MMI Medicine Interview Tips
What to do after an unsuccessful first application

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Reply 2
Original post by AnonymousAng
i've got grade 9 for all 3 science subjects and Maths but my English language sucks(a grade 5, i am going to retake it ) Also, i had only 7 GCSE subjects taken. The grades of the another 2 subjects are decent, around grade 7. As an international student, I am not sure if the number of GCSE subjects is enough for applying to medical schools of the G5 universities and will they consider my GCSE english language retake?


i know for kings and notts and other unis gcses are really really important and they rank i think the best 8. but there are other unis such as anglia ruskin that dont look that much into them
Original post by AnonymousAng
i've got grade 9 for all 3 science subjects and Maths but my English language sucks(a grade 5, i am going to retake it ) Also, i had only 7 GCSE subjects taken. The grades of the another 2 subjects are decent, around grade 7. As an international student, I am not sure if the number of GCSE subjects is enough for applying to medical schools of the G5 universities and will they consider my GCSE english language retake?

as far as I know, most G5 unis care about first-attempt GCSE results in math and english, especially Oxford and LSE, as these results can determine your essential linguistic and mathematical ability which is emphasized by any degree. medicine, in particular, is always one of the most competitive degrees ever in G5 unis, hence you need exemplary grades (in both A-levels and BMAT/MCAT) and a good personal statement to stand out from the crowd. as an international student, you are even more disadvantaged as you'll be competing with talents worldwide for only a few quotas. however, note that your A-level predictions, personal statement and interview performance are more important, so try to aim for a high grade in A-levels to give prestigious med schools a decent shot! best of luck! :smile:

fyi an alumnus from my school (international) received 10 9s in GCSE and 45 predicted in IB, was a medallist in numerous competitions like science and math olympiads, and did a shadowing programme guided by a famous professor from a prestigious uni. unfortunately, he was rejected by Cambridge and he's now reading medicine at UCL instead. international applications to UK medical schools are always cruel, sadly. :frown:
Reply 4
Original post by thesupremecarbon
as far as I know, most G5 unis care about first-attempt GCSE results in math and english, especially Oxford and LSE, as these results can determine your essential linguistic and mathematical ability which is emphasized by any degree. medicine, in particular, is always one of the most competitive degrees ever in G5 unis, hence you need exemplary grades (in both A-levels and BMAT/MCAT) and a good personal statement to stand out from the crowd. as an international student, you are even more disadvantaged as you'll be competing with talents worldwide for only a few quotas. however, note that your A-level predictions, personal statement and interview performance are more important, so try to aim for a high grade in A-levels to give prestigious med schools a decent shot! best of luck! :smile:

fyi an alumnus from my school (international) received 10 9s in GCSE and 45 predicted in IB, was a medallist in numerous competitions like science and math olympiads, and did a shadowing programme guided by a famous professor from a prestigious uni. unfortunately, he was rejected by Cambridge and he's now reading medicine at UCL instead. international applications to UK medical schools are always cruel, sadly. :frown:

Thank you for you reply. Are there things i can do to compensate my decent gcse grades? Which med schools weigh gcse less?
Original post by AnonymousAng
Thank you for you reply. Are there things i can do to compensate my decent gcse grades? Which med schools weigh gcse less?

A-level predicted grades, performance in your personal statement and interviews should smh compensate for this, however, most schools value your basic linguistic and mathematical ability by looking at your gcse math & english grades, especially G5 ones. would suggest you probably retake gcse english again if possible :smile:
Reply 6
Original post by thesupremecarbon
A-level predicted grades, performance in your personal statement and interviews should smh compensate for this, however, most schools value your basic linguistic and mathematical ability by looking at your gcse math & english grades, especially G5 ones. would suggest you probably retake gcse english again if possible :smile:

Ok thank you for your advice
Reply 7
Original post by AnonymousAng
Ok thank you for your advice


LSE do not even offer medicine.
None of them look at your PS and only at Cambridge are A levels beyond minimum requirements likely to gain you anything.
Imperial and UCL simply ask for a 6 in maths and English and both allow resits.
Cambridge and Oxford have zero specific GCSE requirements, but both may use them in making final decisions for offers. They are not keen on resits without extenuating circumstances.

Imperial and UCL will ask for A*AA predicted at A level, 6s in maths and English and then shortlist on BMAT score, with the interview deciding whether you get an offer
Oxford want A*AA predicted/achieved, then shortlist on BMAT, but may use all information in deciding re offers - with the interview being most heavily weighted
Cambridge interview pretty much anyone they think can make A*A*A at A level and then use all information post interview to decide re offers.

None of them have released what they are doing when the BMAT goes, to my knowledge, but it would be reckless to apply to 3 or 4 BMAT unis, as you do not get your results until after you have applied, so if you do not do as well as hoped in the test, you have lost most/all your options. Obviously, you can only apply to 1 of Cambridge or Oxford.
Reply 8
Original post by GANFYD
LSE do not even offer medicine.
None of them look at your PS and only at Cambridge are A levels beyond minimum requirements likely to gain you anything.
Imperial and UCL simply ask for a 6 in maths and English and both allow resits.
Cambridge and Oxford have zero specific GCSE requirements, but both may use them in making final decisions for offers. They are not keen on resits without extenuating circumstances.

Imperial and UCL will ask for A*AA predicted at A level, 6s in maths and English and then shortlist on BMAT score, with the interview deciding whether you get an offer
Oxford want A*AA predicted/achieved, then shortlist on BMAT, but may use all information in deciding re offers - with the interview being most heavily weighted
Cambridge interview pretty much anyone they think can make A*A*A at A level and then use all information post interview to decide re offers.

None of them have released what they are doing when the BMAT goes, to my knowledge, but it would be reckless to apply to 3 or 4 BMAT unis, as you do not get your results until after you have applied, so if you do not do as well as hoped in the test, you have lost most/all your options. Obviously, you can only apply to 1 of Cambridge or Oxford.

Thank you for your precise explanation. So do you mean that actually gcse grades are less important (although it's still important) than a level and BMAT in G5 med schools as long as i met the specific GCSE requirements like grade 6 or above in both english and maths? I actually wanted to apply to King's College London as well as it's a med school that looks at UCAT. But i've heard that they weigh GCSE quite heavy. So i guess applying to King's college London is probably not a good idea? I am definitely going to retake GCSE english but even if my new english grade turns out being good, i don't know if my overall gcse result is consider a good one for medicine as i have only taken 7 GCSE subjects in total.
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 9
Original post by AnonymousAng
Thank you for your precise explanation. So do you mean that actually gcse grades are less important (although it's still important) than a level and BMAT in G5 med schools as long as i met the specific GCSE requirements like grade 6 or above in both english and maths? I actually wanted to apply to King's College London as well as it's a med school that looks at UCAT. But i've heard that they weigh GCSE quite heavy. So i guess applying to King's college London is probably not a good idea? I am definitely going to retake GCSE english but even if my new english grade turns out being good, i don't know if my overall gcse result is consider a good one for medicine as i have only taken 7 GCSE subjects in total.


As I say, Imperial and UCL will just check GCSEs for a 6 in Eng Lang and maths
Cambridge and Oxford will not look at them for shortlisting, but especially at Cambridge, they may be used as part of an holistic decision about offers, but they may well ignore any retake anyway

Imperial, UCL and Oxford do not care about your A levels, either, as long as they are A*AA (with A* in chem or bio for the London unis). Cambridge interview everyone who they think can achieve A*A*A, but again, may use A levels grades as part of their holistic assessment.
BMAT is currently what is used to shortlist for UCL, Imperial and Oxford, provided you meet minimum requirements, though 2023 is the last sitting of this, and you do not get your results until after you apply

Kings do use GCSEs quite heavily, and for an international applicant are probably not a good idea with your grades unless you have a 3300+, B1 UCAT and even then, may be risky

Some med schools use GCSEs in shortlisting and some don't, but your grades look good enough for you to have a fair few med schools to choose from if you get a 7+ in Eng Lang and a high UCAT (>2900).

If you are intending practising in the UK, which med school you attend makes zero difference to your postgrad career prospects, thoug I appreciate this may be different in other countries

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