The Student Room Group

Are my grades good enough for Russell group universities?

I’ve got 9766666655 (5s in English language and Spanish) at GCSEs and likely A*(chem) A* (geography) and A (biology) at a level (results in August)(was predicted A*A*A*) and A* achieved in EPQ.

I’m planning on taking maths (and possibly physics) in my gap year (probably A* maths and A/A* physics (if I take it)) to apply for chemical engineering/biomedical engineering (I haven’t decided yet). I absolutely love the look of biomedical technology ventures at Imperial. However, there are no other courses like it in the UK.

Do you think I'm good enough to get into Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL etc. for chemical/biomedical engineering?

fyi. During my A levels, I was eligible for extenuating circumstances and my referee put information down in my reference about personal circumstances during my GCSEs which led to lower grades than I should have gotten)(and my English teacher hated me so gave me a 5 (covid year)). And I wasn't allowed to take more than 3 a levels because of my GCSEs (that’s why I didn’t take maths during my 2 years of sixth form).
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by lanky_giraffe
I’ve got 9766666655 (5s in English language and Spanish) at GCSEs and likely A*(chem) A* (geography) and A (biology) at a level (results in August)(was predicted A*A*A*) and A* achieved in EPQ.

I’m planning on taking maths (and possibly physics) in my gap year (probably A* maths and A/A* physics (if I take it)) to apply for chemical engineering/biomedical engineering (I haven’t decided yet). I absolutely love the look of biomedical technology ventures at Imperial. However, there are no other courses like it in the UK.

Do you think I'm good enough to get into Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL etc. for chemical/biomedical engineering?

fyi. During my A levels, I was eligible for extenuating circumstances and my referee put information down in my reference about personal circumstances during my GCSEs which led to lower grades than I should have gotten)(and my English teacher hated me so gave me a 5 (covid year)). And I wasn't allowed to take more than 3 a levels because of my GCSEs (that’s why I didn’t take maths during my 2 years of sixth form).

I'm going to be very blunt because I think that's probably what you're after:
1 - Whether a uni is or isn't a member of the Russell group means jack **** in the real world.
2 - GCSEs will not impact on chances for ChemEng or BiomedEng for the vast majority of institutions (any course at Oxford is the main exception)
3 - You are better off only taking 3 A Levels and getting high grades (which you got) taking more would have disadvantaged you in real terms as your grades would likely have been a bit lower
4 - If you meet the typical A Level offer requirements on the university's website then your grades are "good enough"

Do you have a more specific question? :smile:
Reply 2
Original post by 04MR17
I'm going to be very blunt because I think that's probably what you're after:
1 - Whether a uni is or isn't a member of the Russell group means jack **** in the real world.
2 - GCSEs will not impact on chances for ChemEng or BiomedEng for the vast majority of institutions (any course at Oxford is the main exception)
3 - You are better off only taking 3 A Levels and getting high grades (which you got) taking more would have disadvantaged you in real terms as your grades would likely have been a bit lower
4 - If you meet the typical A Level offer requirements on the university's website then your grades are "good enough"

Do you have a more specific question? :smile:

It was helpful, thank you very much, and yes I was looking for a blunt response :tongue:.

I know Russel group universities don’t matter, but they often have the highest grade requirements, and most of the ones I am thinking of applying to (excluding Bath) are Russel group.

Yeah, can I just quickly ask a couple more questions? Will me taking maths in my
Gap year to be eligible for the course be accepted at all universities?

I was also thinking about the chemical eng. and biotechnology course at Cambridge; if I get a high score in the NSAA, will my GCSEs still reduce my chances of getting an interview (I do go to a normal state school)?

One last quick question, I read on the imperial website that a grade 6 in English is required I think for all applicants. Do they accept a grade 6 in English literature? And if not, would they auto-reject me or would they give a conditional offer on the condition that I do any of the accepted tests (like the duolingo English test)?
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by lanky_giraffe
It was helpful, thank you very much, and yes I was looking for a blunt response :tongue:.

I know Russel group universities don’t matter, but they often have the highest grade requirements, and most of the ones I am thinking of applying to (excluding Bath) are Russel group.

Yeah, can I just quickly ask a couple more questions? Will me taking maths in my
Gap year to be eligible for the course be accepted at all universities?

I was also thinking about the chemical eng. and biotechnology course at Cambridge; if I get a high score in the NSAA, will my GCSEs still reduce my chances of getting an interview (I do go to a normal state school)?

One last quick question, I read on the imperial website that a grade 6 in English is required I think for all applicants. Do they accept a grade 6 in English literature? And if not, would they auto-reject me or would they give a conditional offer on the condition that I do any of the accepted tests (like the duolingo English test)?


The only part I think I can accurately help you with is the English grade. I’m pretty certain it is English Language they would be looking for but I don’t think it is a dealbreaker.

Check out this link for the specifics regarding English language. I think it would be wise to do any of these accepted tests as soon as you can so it doesn’t hold up your application. Best of luck!
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/apply/english-language/
Reply 4
Original post by subbhy
The only part I think I can accurately help you with is the English grade. I’m pretty certain it is English Language they would be looking for but I don’t think it is a dealbreaker.

Check out this link for the specifics regarding English language. I think it would be wise to do any of these accepted tests as soon as you can so it doesn’t hold up your application. Best of luck!
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/apply/english-language/

Okay, thank you very much :colondollar:.
Original post by lanky_giraffe
It was helpful, thank you very much, and yes I was looking for a blunt response :tongue:.

I know Russel group universities don’t matter, but they often have the highest grade requirements, and most of the ones I am thinking of applying to (excluding Bath) are Russel group.

Yeah, can I just quickly ask a couple more questions? Will me taking maths in my
Gap year to be eligible for the course be accepted at all universities?

I was also thinking about the chemical eng. and biotechnology course at Cambridge; if I get a high score in the NSAA, will my GCSEs still reduce my chances of getting an interview (I do go to a normal state school)?

One last quick question, I read on the imperial website that a grade 6 in English is required I think for all applicants. Do they accept a grade 6 in English literature? And if not, would they auto-reject me or would they give a conditional offer on the condition that I do any of the accepted tests (like the duolingo English test)?
Maths in gap year will be accepted I think so, provided it wasn't a resit.

Cambridge don't look at GCSEs.

Should be fine, given the rest of your profile. But it's worth ringing them up in September and asking.
Original post by subbhy
The only part I think I can accurately help you with is the English grade. I’m pretty certain it is English Language they would be looking for but I don’t think it is a dealbreaker.

Check out this link for the specifics regarding English language. I think it would be wise to do any of these accepted tests as soon as you can so it doesn’t hold up your application. Best of luck!
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/apply/english-language/


Not meeting a GCSE subject requirement is an automatic rejection. It is a deal breaker.
Reply 7
Original post by swanseajack1
Not meeting a GCSE subject requirement is an automatic rejection. It is a deal breaker.

its not really a GCSE subject requirement though, it’s a bit different. I’ll email them and see what they say.

Original post by 04MR17
Maths in gap year will be accepted I think so, provided it wasn't a resit.

Cambridge don't look at GCSEs.

Should be fine, given the rest of your profile. But it's worth ringing them up in September and asking.

Okay, thank you very much.
Original post by lanky_giraffe
its not really a GCSE subject requirement though, it’s a bit different. I’ll email them and see what they say.


Okay, thank you very much.

If any university says it wants a set grade in GCSE English language or Maths they mean it. It is a subject requirement. If you dont meet it then it is an automatic requirement. This applies everywhere but even more so at Imperial where their courses are heavily over subscribed. The first thing they will do is cut off anyone who doesnt meet a GCSE subject requirement.

As one of the admission tutors on here states it is the quickest form of rejection.

It is certainly worth you emailing as you will then get it directly but that is what the position is and you shouldnt have been misadvised on here.
Reply 9
Original post by swanseajack1
If any university says it wants a set grade in GCSE English language or Maths they mean it. It is a subject requirement. If you dont meet it then it is an automatic requirement. This applies everywhere but even more so at Imperial where their courses are heavily over subscribed. The first thing they will do is cut off anyone who doesnt meet a GCSE subject requirement.

As one of the admission tutors on here states it is the quickest form of rejection.

It is certainly worth you emailing as you will then get it directly but that is what the position is and you shouldnt have been misadvised on here.

I understand how important they are. But i think the person was referring to: ‘You only need to meet the relevant standard in one of the following’. There are many quick and easy ways to get that, like the Duolingo English test.

But yeah, I’ll see what they say when I email them to see whether they will accept that, and if it will disadvantage me if they do.
(edited 10 months ago)

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