The Student Room Group

did i mess up my oxbridge med dreams?

hey guys, i want to apply for either a medical course or a medically related bioscience/genetics course (this all depends on how my grades turn out)
my gcses weren't that great for a potential oxbridge applicant as i got a mix of 9's and 8's and a 7 in a language
my a-levels are bio, chem, physics and maths

bio, chem and maths are looking ok probably an A*, but when i tell you physics is horrendous...
my end of year physics test was awful and i havent had a good streak with it throughout the year either, so i'm not confident for my predicted grade in that aspect (definitely under an A)
do i rethink applying to such competitive unis with these grades?
You honestly never know until you either get an offer or get rejected so don't stress about it! I got a C in one of my papers at Spanish AS level and still received an offer for Cambridge this year so they definitely can be forgiving. Also, most Cambridge courses (idk anything about oxford) only need 3 A levels so I wouldn't be too worried about it. Just enjoy your summer and try to do some super-curricular activities that can improve your Personal Statement. :smile:
Reply 2
Original post by ziggy_2112
You honestly never know until you either get an offer or get rejected so don't stress about it! I got a C in one of my papers at Spanish AS level and still received an offer for Cambridge this year so they definitely can be forgiving. Also, most Cambridge courses (idk anything about oxford) only need 3 A levels so I wouldn't be too worried about it. Just enjoy your summer and try to do some super-curricular activities that can improve your Personal Statement. :smile:
Congrats on the offer omg! Was the C one of your predicted UCAS grades you sent Cambridge?
My concern is whether dropping a significant subject like Physics would hinder a chance at getting an offer...or if its better to try and get A*A*A*and a B/C/D or just A*s. Especially since I didn't take an extension like EPQ to make up for 3 subjects
Original post by Anonymous
Congrats on the offer omg! Was the C one of your predicted UCAS grades you sent Cambridge?
My concern is whether dropping a significant subject like Physics would hinder a chance at getting an offer...or if its better to try and get A*A*A*and a B/C/D or just A*s. Especially since I didn't take an extension like EPQ to make up for 3 subjects

thanks sm! i'm from NI where we do AS exams in lower sixth which make up 40% of the A level. The C was in one of my units but i managed to scrape an A overall. I did have to send it to Cambridge but it really didn't matter (interview is always the most important thing) also, from what i've read it's better to do 3 subjects really well than 4 and struggle but do more research on what they're looking for and don't just take my word for it. Hope this helps!
Reply 4
Original post by ziggy_2112
thanks sm! i'm from NI where we do AS exams in lower sixth which make up 40% of the A level. The C was in one of my units but i managed to scrape an A overall. I did have to send it to Cambridge but it really didn't matter (interview is always the most important thing) also, from what i've read it's better to do 3 subjects really well than 4 and struggle but do more research on what they're looking for and don't just take my word for it. Hope this helps!
ahhh gotchu, well done either way! ok yeah i'll have to look into it more after getting my grades back
any other replies or advice are very welcome:')
I would drop Physics.
Original post by ziggy_2112
thanks sm! i'm from NI where we do AS exams in lower sixth which make up 40% of the A level. The C was in one of my units but i managed to scrape an A overall. I did have to send it to Cambridge but it really didn't matter (interview is always the most important thing) also, from what i've read it's better to do 3 subjects really well than 4 and struggle but do more research on what they're looking for and don't just take my word for it. Hope this helps!

No, a-level physics is neither a requirement nor an advantage for medical courses in the UK.
Original post by Anonymous
hey guys, i want to apply for either a medical course or a medically related bioscience/genetics course (this all depends on how my grades turn out)
my gcses weren't that great for a potential oxbridge applicant as i got a mix of 9's and 8's and a 7 in a language
my a-levels are bio, chem, physics and maths

bio, chem and maths are looking ok probably an A*, but when i tell you physics is horrendous...
my end of year physics test was awful and i havent had a good streak with it throughout the year either, so i'm not confident for my predicted grade in that aspect (definitely under an A)
do i rethink applying to such competitive unis with these grades?

As far as I'm aware both Oxford and Cambridge still see 8 and 9 grades as both equivalent to the old A*. The single 7 may be an issue for Oxford medicine as they formally shortlist based on GCSEs and you realistically need all 8/9 grades with an excellent UCAT score to be shortlisted for interview. For non-medicine courses it's probably less of an issue. Cambridge tend to be a bit less focused on GCSEs and more holistic for all of their courses.

You only need 3 A-levels to apply to these courses and offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. I would suggest dropping physics and focusing on the other 3 you're doing better in. As noted above it's not required for medicine in the UK - only one medical school requires a 3rd STEM subject beyond biology and/or chemistry, which is Cambridge, and they accept either maths or physics. So chem/bio/maths is perfect fine for Cambridge medicine.

I can't see any reason not to apply, I'd probably just suggest if your goal is medicine to apply to Cambridge rather than Oxford. Note if your goal is medicine you need to do the relevant work experience etc and focus on selecting your 4 medical schools to maximise your chances of getting an offer anywhere, as it doesn't matter where you study medicine. All medical schools are accredited to the same standard by the GMC, and the NHS is the only provider of graduate medical training posts and considers all medical schools equal - and goes so far as to blind recruiters from your medical school to ensure no bias.
Original post by Anonymous
hey guys, i want to apply for either a medical course or a medically related bioscience/genetics course (this all depends on how my grades turn out)
my gcses weren't that great for a potential oxbridge applicant as i got a mix of 9's and 8's and a 7 in a language
my a-levels are bio, chem, physics and maths
bio, chem and maths are looking ok probably an A*, but when i tell you physics is horrendous...
my end of year physics test was awful and i havent had a good streak with it throughout the year either, so i'm not confident for my predicted grade in that aspect (definitely under an A)
do i rethink applying to such competitive unis with these grades?

Hello, your grades are optimal and you can still apply for bioscience or biomedical related fields. I bet if you can still do life science courses with a grade lower than A in physics. Alternatively, you can focus on careers related to biochemistry such biochemical engineering.

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