Are GCSE's just as important as your A levels?

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Lizze
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Do the majority of universities take notice of your GCSE results just as much as your predicted A Level results?

I'm certain that I'm going to do quite well this year (a string of A's, 1-3 B's), but I'm just worreid that if I get really decent A levels, say, AAB or AAA, I won't be accepted because of my pooey GCSE's grades.
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Elles
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hmm, how could we really measure how much attention unis pay to specific components of your application? i doubt they have a handy component % breakdown in the prospectus..

but i hope you've already read through this stickied thread at the top of the sub-forum - which has the minimum GCSEs for most universities. i would imagine these will be good enough for most.

think carefully about unis that clearly put extra weight on GCSEs to differentiate (Oxford with the GCSE-BMAT score policy, clearly outlined on their website) or anecdotally e.g. Birmingham where you needed 5A*+ this year i think..

but then it all just descends into anecdotes of people who know X who got Y at GCSE hence med. school z blatently rejected them because of this! etc etc :rolleyes:

so to be honest..i'd just focus on achieving the best possible grades you can & if you meet the minimum for the medical schools you want - then go for them! :p: remembering that for this subject the non academic features of your application are crucial - shown by all the other anecdoates of person A with 10A*s, 5As & 4 rejections!
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Blates as
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(Original post by Lizze)
Do the majority of universities take notice of your GCSE results just as much as your predicted A Level results?

I'm certain that I'm going to do quite well this year (a string of A's, 1-3 B's), but I'm just worreid that if I get really decent A levels, say, AAB or AAA, I won't be accepted because of my pooey GCSE's grades.
I wouldnt worry too much about it. Your predicted GCSE grades sound great, above the minimum of most medical schools. I'd concentrate on getting brilliant work experience and extra-curricula etc. Of course, you need the AAA-AAB A levels predictions as well!

You'd be suprised what a good personal statement and awesome work experience can do - it go me into medical school and I only have 4Bs abd 7Cs at GCSE!!!

good luck.
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Comp_Genius
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However I fail to understand why people with 5 A-Levels get rejected whilst having many extracurricular activities, even without interview.
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Elles
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erm, because evidently they were deemed to have been lacking in the vocational/personal qualities (even if they fulfilled the minimum academic criteria or ticked lots of arguably-socially-exclusive EC boxes ) that specific medical school wanted?!
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Comp_Genius
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lol. Vocational wise, a few different work experience placements with lots of EC boxes ticked!!!!!
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Elles
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well, "they" still obviously didn't show what that specific medical school was looking for. :rolleyes: they want the "best" medical students, yes? by whatever criteria they chose to assess this...

...i don't think arbitrarily rejecting people just because they're jealous (?) of your 5 Alevels & EC/work exp placements would make much sense? unless, of course, we're talking about Southampton who apparently have some interesting presumptions about AAA+ applicants..
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Comp_Genius
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emm.... Southampton, is it actually true that they prefer not to take 5A applicants? They put me on a waiting list :mad: so couldnt be that bad, as they could have rejected me straight away.
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Blates as
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#9
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(Original post by darkenergy)
emm.... Southampton, is it actually true that they prefer not to take 5A applicants? They put me on a waiting list :mad: so couldnt be that bad, as they could have rejected me straight away.
Southampton are a bit of mystery it seems... they reject apparent geniuses with umpteen A*s and 5 As at Alevel, yet they saw fit to offer me a place with piss poor GCSEs and Alevel predictions of AABC.

Birmingham on the other hand rejected me flatly.... obviously not having 5 A*s at GCSE is gonna make me a shocker of a doctor (I heard they don't even read the personal statement if you haven't got 5 A*s!!)
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Comp_Genius
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emm you must have been good enough to have got a place

my GCSEs are not the best so that could explain it...

Heard bout Birmingham.... they dont even read it? thats harsh really
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kidda_puttar
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(Original post by darkenergy)
my GCSEs are not the best so that could explain it...
What did you get (if you don't mind divulging )?

It is interesting to read your comment as you have an offer at Cambridge - who I would have though demand excellent GCSEs?
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Blates as
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#12
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I doubt Cambridge would have taken you with poor GCSEs so it doesn't seem likely that thats the reason the other schools rejected you....

Who the hell knows what they're after. I know quite a few people in my year who got 3 straight rejections without interview yet beat 1500 or so other people to get into Manchester. What made them so appelaing to Manc but not even worthy of an interview everywhere else???

I'm just glad that game is all over and done with for me....
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kidda_puttar
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(Original post by Blates as)
You'd be suprised what a good personal statement and awesome work experience can do - it go me into medical school and I only have 4Bs abd 7Cs at GCSE!!!
Wow - I guess grades don't matter then! (I'm doing GCSE now though...so don't tell me that sort of stuff! Lol! :rofl:
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Comp_Genius
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#14
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yeah at least the application is done now!!!!!!

i have one friend who has exactly the same GCSE's as me, doing 5A levels with 5A predictions yet still received 4 rejections.... strange.

Exactly, med schools just randomly throw people's application in the bin, otherwise it is impossible to choose applicants when most of them have about 20 different work placements and 3 x 10^8 extracurricular activities!
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Comp_Genius
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(Original post by abhineyjain)
Wow - I guess grades don't matter then! (I'm doing GCSE now though...so don't tell me that sort of stuff! Lol! :rofl:
they do matter! :p:
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Elles
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Blates as, well, your grades met their minimums & they obviously liked the rest of your application, so congratulations! :p: & perhaps assumed without an AAA+ brain at 18 there was evidently no danger you'd want to become an evil research scientist.. :rolleyes:

(Original post by darkenergy)
Exactly, med schools just randomly throw people's application in the bin, otherwise it is impossible to choose applicants when most of them have about 20 different work placements and 3 x 10^8 extracurricular activities!
I don't believe that for a second. they might choice to enforce criteria that we, in our infinite wisdom as ~18 year old applicants deemed to be odd :rolleyes: .. but surely they have some idea what they're doing? given it's a full time job for the ATs & staff I imagine they take some pride in it & want the "best" students, as I've said before.. & i think there are always ways of distinguishing.

(before fluffy comes in & gives an example of pure randomisation, i will concede it might eventually be an element of certain medical school school procedures, but i don't think flinging "unlucky" UCAS forms into the bins upon arrival routinely happens!)
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kidda_puttar
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(Original post by Elles)
I don't believe that for a second. they might choice to enforce criteria that we, in our infinite wisdom as ~18 year old applicants deemed to be odd :rolleyes: .. but surely they have some idea what they're doing? given it's a full time job for the ATs & staff I imagine they take some pride in it & want the "best" students, as I've said before.. & i think there are always ways of distinguishing.
Neither do I actually.

It's impossible - they can't just do that...ESPECIALLY not Oxbridge! They are throwing away potential students that could be loads better than any other applicant on their list. I believe they would at least read the PS.
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Blates as
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#18
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(Original post by Elles)
Blates as, well, your grades met their minimums & they obviously liked the rest of your application, so congratulations! :p: & perhaps assumed without an AAA+ brain at 18 there was evidently no danger you'd want to become an evil research scientist.. :rolleyes:
Not much danger of me going into research.... lab bores me solid.... I have nightmares about Gilson pipettes!
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Comp_Genius
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#19
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sorry ppl, it was sarcastic about medschools binning applications. lol.
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kidda_puttar
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#20
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(Original post by darkenergy)
sorry ppl, it was sarcastic about medschools binning applications. lol.
Heh - make it more obvious next time....you sounded uberserious!
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