The Student Room Group

Can I get into oxbrdige with pefect A-levels but no GCSEs?

Hello! A few years ago, I did my GCSEs but failed most of them (except English and Maths) because I didn’t study at all. After 7 years, I decided that I wanted to go back to education and go to university, so I began self-teaching myself A-Levels and took the exams at a private exam centre. I managed to get 3 A*s in Maths, Further Maths, and Computer Science. I want to pursue a Computer Science course.

Realistically speaking, what are the chances of my application being considered for Oxbridge? I did some research but I'm still a little unsure. Any information would be helpful!
Reply 1
If you didn't already have your A Level grades, GCSE grades would be taken in to account too, particularly at Oxford (Cambridge make up for this by generally requiring slightly higher A-Level grades than Oxford for many subjects).

However, as you already have 3 A-Level grades at the very highest level, your competition is going to be how well you perform in an interview - and against the more than half of eventual entrants who, like you in A-Level terms, have no more than the minimum number of required A-Levels. Cambridge do tend to interview more but I suspect that Oxford will interview you because of your GCSES (if not because you're self taught too).

Anecdotally, from stories I've read, Oxford seem to have more frequency of rejecting people with perfect A Level grades. I feel that your best chance is at Cambridge who appreciate late bloomers more (e.g. Cambridge has 3 colleges for mature students, Oxford one) but if you like Oxford more apply there. Further Maths will be highly useful, nearly mandatory, at both universities to gain acceptance for that course.
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 2
Original post by Picnicl
If you didn't already have your A Level grades, GCSE grades would be taken in to account too, particularly at Oxford (Cambridge make up for this by generally requiring slightly higher A-Level grades than Oxford for many subjects).
However, as you already have 3 A-Level grades at the very highest level, your competition is going to be how well you perform in an interview. Cambridge do tend to interview more but I suspect that Oxford will interview you because of your GCSES (if not because you're self taught too). My sense is Oxford looks for a more rounded individual, Cambridge looks more for someone specifically brilliant in what they're applying for.
Oxford seem to have more frequency of rejecting people with perfect A Level grades - and 2 of your subjects are very similar. I feel that your best chance is at Cambridge who appreciate late bloomers more (e.g. Cambridge has 3 colleges for mature students, Oxford one) but if you like Oxford more apply there.

This is very helpful, thanks a lot! I I like both universities the same and Cambridge does seem more likely to accept me .
Reply 3
Original post by Simeon12
This is very helpful, thanks a lot! I I like both universities the same and Cambridge does seem more likely to accept me .

On the other hand, over 45% of Cambridge entrants and nearly 40% of Oxford entrants have taken more A-Levels than you. But that's still close enough for me to think that Cambridge is the more likely to accept, as Cambridge has approx 600 mature (21+) undergraduate students (460 of which are in total at the 3 dedicated mature student colleges) at a time and Oxford has 92 in the sole mature student college Harris Manchester (plus 50 in the theological college Wycliffe Hall). I can't find stats for how many mature undergraduate students are in other Oxford colleges. If it was many, I'm sure Oxford would say. So my overall feeling is that Cambridge are more likely to accept you for entry than Oxford. But I may be wrong and if you preferred Oxford, I'd always apply where you prefer. You could always contact the admissions department/s for advice on likelihood of acceptance / likelihood of being invited to interview.
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 4
I agree with the prior advice. Cambridge may be a better play in your situation. Good luck.

Quick Reply