The Student Room Group

GCSE for uni & contextual admissions

Hi,
Due to some personal and educational circumstances at GCSE- sat in 2022 with Covid being a side issue, I am worried my gcse grades (9976555 +Distinction), I am now at a different much better school and am thriving better than ever before,
However, I am concerned my GCSEs will hinder my applications to these universities in the future, despite working towards getting predicted A-level grades in the region of A*AA;
I want to study Politics &IR / a Politics related joint honours.

I attended a state college and meet various contextual data such as care experienced.

Do you think my GCSEs would stop me gaining an offer at the likes of:
Kcl,
Durham,
Exeter,
York,
Bristol
Edinburgh,
St Andrews
And other unis in this range, any feedback / stories / examples of people in a predicament similar to mine would be much appreciated, thanks.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 1
Original post by Eg3756
Hi,
Due to some personal and educational circumstances at GCSE- sat in 2022 with Covid being a side issue, I am worried my gcse grades (9976555 +Distinction), I am now at a different much better school and am thriving better than ever before,
However, I am concerned my GCSEs will hinder my applications to these universities in the future, despite working towards getting predicted A-level grades in the region of A*AA;
I want to study Politics &IR / a Politics related joint honours.
I attended a state college and meet various contextual data such as care experienced.
Do you think my GCSEs would stop me gaining an offer at the likes of:
Kcl,
Durham,
Exeter,
York,
Bristol
Edinburgh,
St Andrews
And other unis in this range, any feedback / stories / examples of people in a predicament similar to mine would be much appreciated, thanks.

Hey, just thought I'd give a little personal anecdote to lesser your worries :smile:)

I too went to a state school and got similar GCSE's to you. I now go to Edinburgh studying Economics. A-level predictions matter much much much more than GCSE's. My A-level predictions were A*A*A and got offers from UCL, Edinburgh and Bristol. Most Russel-Groups (aside from Oxbridge who seem to weight everything heavily lol) from my own experience seem to not weigh GCSE results heavily at all. Most important 2 things are A-level predictions and then your personal statement.
Reply 2
Original post by ZacFielder
Hey, just thought I'd give a little personal anecdote to lesser your worries :smile:)
I too went to a state school and got similar GCSE's to you. I now go to Edinburgh studying Economics. A-level predictions matter much much much more than GCSE's. My A-level predictions were A*A*A and got offers from UCL, Edinburgh and Bristol. Most Russel-Groups (aside from Oxbridge who seem to weight everything heavily lol) from my own experience seem to not weigh GCSE results heavily at all. Most important 2 things are A-level predictions and then your personal statement.

That’s excellent news, thankyou so much for sharing, congrats on Edinburgh - how are you finding Edinburgh?
Reply 3
If there is a specific and compelling reason why you didnt do as well at GCSE as expected - not just 'covid' as that impacted everyone - then you should ask your school to mention this in your UCAS reference, and you need to check to see what the process is for notifying each of your chosen Unis about 'mitigating circumstances'.

Some Unis will use a specific form that you and your school need to complete, others may accept a formal letter from your school, but you need to do this at te same time as you submit your application to UCAS. Example from Bristol - Extenuating circumstances | Study at Bristol | University of Bristol

Btw, this will not 'excuse' you from any critical GCSE grades listed as part of the entry requirements - ie. if the Uni wants GCSE Maths grade 6 and you don't have this, you are expected to retake this GCSE alongside your A levels to get the required grade.
Reply 4
Original post by McGinger
If there is a specific and compelling reason why you didnt do as well at GCSE as expected - not just 'covid' as that impacted everyone - then you should ask your school to mention this in your UCAS reference, and you need to check to see what the process is for notifying each of your chosen Unis about 'mitigating circumstances'.
Some Unis will use a specific form that you and your school need to complete, others may accept a formal letter from your school, but you need to do this at te same time as you submit your application to UCAS. Example from Bristol - Extenuating circumstances | Study at Bristol | University of Bristol
Btw, this will not 'excuse' you from any critical GCSE grades listed as part of the entry requirements - ie. if the Uni wants GCSE Maths grade 6 and you don't have this, you are expected to retake this GCSE alongside your A levels to get the required grade.

I satisfy all GCSE’s requirements as they ask for a 4 in English and I got a 9. Also as stated my contextual data is not Covid and I’d disagree that it affected everyone equally if that is what was meant. Everyone had their own issues. We had a large influx at my school, of teachers coming and going and having to have supply teachers teaching a subject that wasn’t theirs for a year. The school are also supporting me with the care experienced part of my contextual application.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 5
Original post by Eg3756
That’s excellent news, thankyou so much for sharing, congrats on Edinburgh - how are you finding Edinburgh?

It's been great thank you! Just in my final year now so I'll be sad to leave :frown:(
Original post by Eg3756
Hi,
Due to some personal and educational circumstances at GCSE- sat in 2022 with Covid being a side issue, I am worried my gcse grades (9976555 +Distinction), I am now at a different much better school and am thriving better than ever before,
However, I am concerned my GCSEs will hinder my applications to these universities in the future, despite working towards getting predicted A-level grades in the region of A*AA;
I want to study Politics &IR / a Politics related joint honours.
I attended a state college and meet various contextual data such as care experienced.
Do you think my GCSEs would stop me gaining an offer at the likes of:
Kcl,
Durham,
Exeter,
York,
Bristol
Edinburgh,
St Andrews
And other unis in this range, any feedback / stories / examples of people in a predicament similar to mine would be much appreciated, thanks.

Most universities dont care much about GCSEs other than you have grade C or above in English Language and Maths and a couple of others. A few do include GCSEs and score them but it generally tends to be a very small percentage of the overall marks. For some subjects English and in particular Maths are required at higher grades sometimes 6 or 7.

For politics you might find universities might require grade 6 or B in English. The only way to know is to check each universities entry requirements. Provided you meet the GCSE requirements your GCSE grades wont be held against you.

As far as care experienced is concerned universities will treat them differently. Some have different rules for care experienced and care leavers. Again it might be worth checking each universities rules. Often for students in care universities provide financial support. It would be worth contacting the university to see whether any extra help is provided.

Your referee should explain the reason for your rise in grades in your reference.

This is Exeters GCSE requirement for P/IR
GCSE 4/C Grade 4/C in English language

and here is their policy for care leavers

https://www.bing.com/ck/a?!&&p=796b630c7f3dcc9dJmltdHM9MTcxMjk2NjQwMCZpZ3VpZD0zMmI5NDRlYy0wNzdlLTY0ZDctMGFmMS01MGYwMDY5ZTY1YmEmaW5zaWQ9NTIxMw&ptn=3&ver=2&hsh=3&fclid=32b944ec-077e-64d7-0af1-50f0069e65ba&psq=exeter+university+CARE+EXPERIENCED&u=a1aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZXhldGVyLmFjLnVrL3VuZGVyZ3JhZHVhdGUvbGlmZS9jYXJlbGVhdmVycy8&ntb=1
Original post by Eg3756
I satisfy all GCSE’s requirements as they ask for a 4 in English and I got a 9. Also as stated my contextual data is not Covid and I’d disagree that it affected everyone equally if that is what was meant. Everyone had their own issues. We had a large influx at my school, of teachers coming and going and having to have supply teachers teaching a subject that wasn’t theirs for a year. The school are also supporting me with the care experienced part of my contextual application.

The reality is that universities do not accept covid as an extenuating circumstance. So many experienced it that it isnt possible to treat it otherwise. Care experienced is likely to be a reason for contextual offers and often further support. Act as per my previous post and contact individual universities for advice and support,
Reply 8
Original post by swanseajack1
Most universities dont care much about GCSEs other than you have grade C or above in English Language and Maths and a couple of others. A few do include GCSEs and score them but it generally tends to be a very small percentage of the overall marks. For some subjects English and in particular Maths are required at higher grades sometimes 6 or 7.
For politics you might find universities might require grade 6 or B in English. The only way to know is to check each universities entry requirements. Provided you meet the GCSE requirements your GCSE grades wont be held against you.
As far as care experienced is concerned universities will treat them differently. Some have different rules for care experienced and care leavers. Again it might be worth checking each universities rules. Often for students in care universities provide financial support. It would be worth contacting the university to see whether any extra help is provided.
Your referee should explain the reason for your rise in grades in your reference.
This is Exeters GCSE requirement for P/IR
GCSE 4/C Grade 4/C in English language
and here is their policy for care leavers
https://www.bing.com/ck/a?!&&p=796b630c7f3dcc9dJmltdHM9MTcxMjk2NjQwMCZpZ3VpZD0zMmI5NDRlYy0wNzdlLTY0ZDctMGFmMS01MGYwMDY5ZTY1YmEmaW5zaWQ9NTIxMw&ptn=3&ver=2&hsh=3&fclid=32b944ec-077e-64d7-0af1-50f0069e65ba&psq=exeter+university+CARE+EXPERIENCED&u=a1aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZXhldGVyLmFjLnVrL3VuZGVyZ3JhZHVhdGUvbGlmZS9jYXJlbGVhdmVycy8&ntb=1

Thankyou!

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