Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I am applying to Oxford this year to read English at St. John's. My GCSE results were horribly modest for me (A*A*ABBBBCD), but my Deputy Head advised me not to rule Oxford out because I had mitigating circumstances. Namely, doing all my exams with a full-length arm cast on with pain killers and severe family trauma. However, I am still predicted AAA and have been told that I am "Oxford material".

    So I was wondering if there is anyone who is currently at Oxford who either: got in with similar grades or who had mitigating circumstances that allowed them to excuse their grades.

    Thank you.
    Offline

    2
    Every application is different, so no-one will be able to give you a definitive answer as to whether or not you'll be successful. However, they do take such circumstances into account, and people have been accepted before with similar or "worse" grades. I definitely wouldn't rule it out by any means; while GCSEs are perhaps more important to Oxford than to other universities, they do also place a large emphasis on the idea of potential, and your predicted grades suggest that you could well be continuing to achieve very good things good luck with your application!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by suuuuuuseh)
    However, they do take such circumstances into account, and people have been accepted before with similar or "worse" grades.
    This is definitely true. I know people who got into science/maths-based subjects with C/D grades in Arts subjects at GCSE. So, reversing this logic (always risky!), it is quite possible that English tutors would not mind lower grades in the sciences/ mathematics. Of course, in general terms, English Literature is more competitive at Oxford than Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths, so this would be something worth taking into account when evaluating your odds.

    I definitely wouldn't rule it out by any means; while GCSEs are perhaps more important to Oxford than to other universities, they do also place a large emphasis on the idea of potential, and your predicted grades suggest that you could well be continuing to achieve very good things
    I would argue that, in the presence of interviews and entrance tests, GCSEs in fact become much less important, and places like LSE, Durham and Nottingham continue to place higher emphasis on them than Oxbridge. Of course, this is based primarily on anecdotal evidence, but a lot of the people on this forum alone (particularly for Economics, it seems) got rejected from all their choices but Oxford - with insufficient GCSE grades often cited as the reason. Furthermore, many people I know from school etc. were rejected from places like Nottingham and UCL as they needed to filter applicants somehow, and GCSEs became the easiest method. Conversely, people I know with very average/poor GCSEs got into Oxbridge on the basis of excellent entrance tests and interviews.
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    My GCSE's were low by Oxford standards (the interviewer from the college I got my offer from commented on my low number of "stars" ), but there were mitigating circumstances. I don't think it's particularly uncommon, and if you're predicted AAA it's probably worth a shot, but it obviously won't guarantee you an interview or a place.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    your gcses aren't that bad, and considering the circumstances you were under I'd be very suprised if they held them against you- just make sure that your referee makes your problems clear in reference. They will, however, want to make sure that you're up to scratch now that you've hopefully recovered somewhat from your unfortunate situation.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    if you decide to apply make sure you either write the circumstances down yourself on your PS or oxford form, or get your teacher to write it in your reference. if they feel that your circumstances are a valid reason for less than expected grades then they will give you an interview. once you have an interview it's mainly dependent on how you do in that. they really want to hear about mitigating circumstances though and it is apparently the main thing they look for in PSs and references (they apparently largely ignore everything else, or will just use it as an interview tool)
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by chocolatebear)
    if you decide to apply make sure you either write the circumstances down yourself on your PS or oxford form, or get your teacher to write it in your reference.
    The Oxford form no longer exists, you apply entirely through UCAS. Also, I think when this topic has come up before, people advise that this information goes in the reference, not your Personal Statement, as a) it sounds more credible coming from your referee, b) it would take up valuable space in the PS.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I got an offer with only 3 GCSEs (2 A*s and 1C) plus lowish UMS grades (from Cambridge who look at UMS grades) so you should be fine if you get your referee to state the issues you faced. Your GCSEs are not bad either!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What's your favourite Christmas sweets?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.