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how much do oxbridge care about gcses

if my gcses are like averagely okay but not that good (i missed a lot of school because of mental health problems) but i get like 3A*,do i have a chance of getting into a good uni, like for example oxbridge? its my dream to go there, i’m intelligent but i know gcses are important but i’m confident i will do well in a levels but will my gcses hold me back?
(edited 1 month ago)
Universities like oxbridge have said that GCSEs are just one of many aspects they look at; others include predicted A-levels, personal statements, academic references etc. Having said that, it would be advisable to get a decent grade in the required GCSEs, maths and english, if you have those in the bag you should be fine if you focus on other things. hope this helps
Hi, ever since writing my GCSEs I've had the opportunity to talk to a few admissions officers at Cambridge and this is what I generally understood:
First, there is no need to get all 9s in your exams. Universities look at GCSEs contextually (so if any mental health issues have affected your grade would be considered) and in terms of the school's performance. They basically use your GCSE grades as evidence that you can be high achieving, so even if you don't get all 9s, as long as you're in the top 10-15% of your year group, you can be happy. Also, an admission's officer told me they see no difference between an 8 and a 9, though I'm a bit sceptical about this. I guess if you get all 8s in your exams and are top of the year group then you would be on equal footing to someone who got all 9s and was their school's top scorer too.

Second, even if you're not in the top 10% of your peers, this won't necessarily detriment your application. What you should then focus on is your a levels and the rest of the admissions process. If you score highly on an admissions test, you GCSEs probably won't make much difference. And, oxford stats show that kids who are predicted all A* are about twice as likely to be given offers than A*AA students (though I'd look at their admissions reports to verify that). One thing to also note is that Cambridge puts less emphasis on GCSEs than Oxford, so which one you apply to will affect the chance of an offer.

Thirdly, Oxbridge (and any uni) applications are complex processes. Because you're writing your GCSEs now, it can feel like that's a huge part even when it really isn't. I used to think that my GCSEs would make or break my opportunity to apply to good unis but now in sixth form I've realised its one part of a massive puzzle. Don't worry too much about uni applications until sixth form, because that's when all the extra stuff (personal statements, admissions tests, supercirriculars, etc) come into play- and that makes all the difference.

If you want more than just my word for it, I recommend googling oxford's admissions reports as they give a detailed breakdown of who gets offers and how they consider applicants. But again, don't worry about this yet and just focus on giving your GCSEs your best shot. I did quite well on my GCSEs and I assure you it's been very little comfort for my own Oxbridge dreams haha. Every step is just about working as hard as you can really- some kids with perfect GCSEs don't get in because they fumbled the bag in sixth form whereas others with imperfect grades do because of the work they put in afterwards. Good luck with your exams though!
Original post by spidermanlolhaha
if my gcses are like averagely okay but not that good (i missed a lot of school because of mental health problems) but i get like 3A*,do i have a chance of getting into a good uni, like for example oxbridge? its my dream to go there, i’m intelligent but i know gcses are important but i’m confident i will do well in a levels but will my gcses hold me back?


Varies depending on whether it's Oxford or Cambridge and on which course at which of the two it is as well.

There's no general answer. Some courses are more GCSE focused than others. Generally Oxford is more GCSE focused than Cambridge but this does vary between courses.

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