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GCSE results and oxbridge entry

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Messages: 1 - 50 of 63
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Lychovida (U12285522) on Wednesday, 11th June 2008

    I'm thinking about Oxford as a potential university after I do my A Levels, with perhaps Durham and Bath as my second and third options. I'm am however, a little worried that my GCSE results won't be good enough, so there wont be any point in me applying to Oxford, or Durham.

    The GCSEs I've already done are
    Core Science A*
    OCR History Pilot A* (200/200)
    Food Technology A*

    Predicted results for others
    French A* (for definite)
    German A* (a great possibility)
    English Lit A
    English Lang A
    RE A
    (I think i met get an A* in one of the three above)
    Maths A
    Science A
    Latin B (after school thing, so surely they'd forgive it being a B?)

    The fact that I might only get 5 A*s is making me think I shouldnt bother applying, but if there is a chance of me getting in with these results then I want to start looking at summer schools and sending off for prospectuses.

    For A Level I'm doing French, German, History and Economics. I would obviously be aiming for A's in all of these.

    Thanks for your time.


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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Sadie-ki-ki (U12222818) on Thursday, 12th June 2008

    They don't look so much at GCSEs, but the majority of successful candidates each year have AT LEAST 5 A*s (Your core science gets cancelled out by normal science, because the core is basically an easy version of the proper science exam and they look at the best qualification).
    AS levels are probably the most important-you need to not just get As but you need to get over 90% in the UMS marks to really be considered. I'm in year 12 so I'm doing old Alevels, but with the new ones you can't get A*s til Upper 6th, so you need the As you get to be really really high. I know someone in the year above me who didn't get into Cambridge for Classics because his A in latin wasn't high enough-it was 'only' 246/300.
    I'd suggest that you take a look at the university websites, but not until about January next year because the information that's there at the moment won't be relevant to's all for entry September 2009, as are the prospectuses, and their information relates to the current a levels and not the new ones that will be introduced next school year. Sit tight...see how you do in year 12 and talk to your teachers. I think you need to start thinking about university around february year 12, not before, although if you've got your heart set on a certain subject start doing things that show your passion for it now, try to go to lectures at universities (many do free evening lectures, especially in london) and read lots of books relating to your subject. The interview and predicted A2 grades are important too, and the interview is where you get to show off your knowledge, so make sure you're prepared and start researching now! Maybe you could make a society at your school that relates to your subject? At my school we have lots, like history, politics, literary, sociology, medical, vet, engineering...try and do something like that at your school or join one that is already running.
    Hope this helps!
    Sadie x

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  • Message 3

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Lychovida (U12285522) on Thursday, 19th June 2008

    Thankyou very much for that! It's really helpful. I'm going to start researching courses and stuff soon, and think about looking at universities like Worcester and Bath.

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by U12476816 (U12476816) on Wednesday, 25th June 2008

    Also remember,

    The university will look at your grades, but will also look at anything else you have done... i.e. voluntary work, work experience, current employment etc.

    What course are you going to apply for?

    Example: if you are going to apply for medicine - try getting some MEDICINE based work exp.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Cupid (U11305042) on Wednesday, 2nd July 2008

    I think you should still apply... make sure you work kard all the time and carry on with your dreams !

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Gabbi (U12568500) on Friday, 4th July 2008


    with those kind of marks how can they NOT accept u?

    U seem really good at these subjects - u should apply 4 oxford. Whats the worst that can happen? You get rejected. n/m, it's not the end of the world.

    My oppinion of things is insted of saying "Why should I?" Say "Why not?"


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  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by BillabongBabe (U12521528) on Monday, 7th July 2008

    Why Oxford?
    I mean,it's the only best and very awesome university in the world.Trying going aboard.
    Why don't you try writing SAT or ACT and you could even apply for scholarship?If you get a top score,u can get and admission to universities like Stanford,MIT etc.
    But if ur still obssesed with Oxfordian dreams,then you should have planned it before doing ur gcses and chosen the subjects usually favoured by Oxford.
    Anyway,get advice from ur parents,teachers and friends.Improve ur latin score.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by pipiloo786 (U11816157) on Wednesday, 9th July 2008

    Just Apply, u never know unless u try!! Good Luck. Mwah!

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  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by buttercuplizzy (U12629347) on Friday, 11th July 2008


    Like yourself i know the worries of the prospect of being able to obtain grades to be accepted into a good university. However, although nationaly (and internationaly) oxford and cambridge are classed as two of the best universities are you sure that they are suited to your personal course needs or is it the name of hte univeristy that appeals to you.

    For example if i were looking at applying for Economics oxbridge wouldn't necessarly be the best in wise of course, i would look at imperial college london or LSE as i know that these two uiversites are suited specificaly to the needs of the course i would like to take.

    Yes, Oxbridge would be briliant to be acepted at, BUT sometimes other univerities offer courses that suit your needs better.

    Though, if your heart is set on oxford then htere is no harm in trying as you will only regret it if you don't and you have nothing to loose!

    good luck

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  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by miss_anonymous (U8666193) on Tuesday, 15th July 2008

    Wow you are freaking me out. I want to go to Camberidge(and they both are realted) well atleast apply for it and my grades are not even as good as yours. I know I am predicted all As and am getting them now(im in year 10) but i don't think I should apply now, seeing as you are worried with 5 A*s I bet the inviginators will laugh thier heads off on my application lolz

    PS: i think you should still try

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by Sadie-ki-ki (U12222818) on Wednesday, 16th July 2008

    They can quite easily reject someone with 11A*s-I know-it happened to my boyfriend. 11A*s, 4As at AS and predicted 4As at A2. Still rejected. It's not just outstanding grades they look for; the interview, personal statement and school reference are all very important, particularly the last one. When I was at the Cambridge open day on the 4th of July it said that unless your school reference is good, you don't stand a chance. In your school reference they write down things about your homework, attendance and punctuality records, as well as how attentive they think you are, how hard working, how dedicated to your subject etc etc. It's very very important to have that be good.

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Jevanina-X (U12692384) on Friday, 18th July 2008

    Oh no, you have me really worried now. I'm only just going into year11 but I've been predicted 12 A*'s at GCSE; however if the school reference in that important I might be in trouble because I've been a little late with some school coursework deadlines and with homework although I can do really well in exams with only last minute revision (obviosly I havn't done this for external exams). Because of above reasons does this mean my school reference will be not be good? *note I have done many out of school activities such as DofE and CCF and extra lessons (classics and music and theatre exams). I hope it won't effect my university prospectus as I hope to apply for oxbridge after 6thform. wb x

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  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by The source (U11234543) on Friday, 18th July 2008

    the fuuny thing is that why oxford,
    there r potentially good universities around u know. according to ratings oxford actually comes second to cambridge, considered this?

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Sadie-ki-ki (U12222818) on Friday, 18th July 2008

    Please! The source, university IS NOT about where it comes in league tables! In any case what you said is wrong, and the figures differ depending on Which tables you look at, but university is not about going to the best institution you can, it's about finding one that firstly provises the course you want to do, secondly teaches it in a way that you like, and thirdly that you like the content of! Plus all the other things to consider - accomodation, things to do with friends, what there is night-life wise, how goos the library is, how far away from home you want to live. Choosing a university to apply to on the basis simply of it being the best is a very bad idea indeed. I hate all these people who think they'll just apply because of the reputation it has for being prestigious.

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by the-eliot-one (U4685671) on Saturday, 19th July 2008

    "Why Oxford?
    I mean,it's the only best and very awesome university in the world.Trying going aboard."

    4th technically Harvard Cambridge Yale Oxford I believe was last years rankings.

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by GardenKnomes (U10216066) on Monday, 4th August 2008

    They're good enough.

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  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by MwA *LSP* (U7771234) on Sunday, 31st August 2008


    Wow, I'm doing EXACTLY the same A-Levels as you! Good choices!

    I can't say for definite, but Oxford's pretty hot on you getting 3As at A-Level (though this may be A*s now). Remember that your A-Levels do count for more than your GCSEs, but are still important. Don't let them think you can't get where you want to go, but be realistic (as you are being).

    I'd love to know how you got on!

    MwA xx

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Cloudqueen (U4269022) on Wednesday, 3rd September 2008

    With them results u cud b in the top UK students who go to top universities at college age, bcos if u get about 10 A's and A*s then u get 2 b in this special clever group. smiley - smiley

    Its ur A-levels count, not ur GCSE's as long as u get english and maths.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Mooishness (U13645514) on Tuesday, 21st October 2008

    My maths teacher (who went to Cambridge) said that you need:

    - at least 8 A*s
    (they just put all the candidates in a list: top GCSE results->lowest GCSE results and interview downwards)

    - You will need the new A*s at A-level. (Assuming that you are in Year 11 at the moment)

    Good luck mate, revise hard and try to get a few more A*s. Some other posters have already mentioned it but you also need to attend lots of extra-curricular activities, read widely and have intelligent debates with your family and friends. The people at Oxford don't want people who are just clever but want people who could make history, who could win Nobels or Fields. You need to think creatively and be original and it should show in the interview.
    And even if you don't apply- it doesn't matter. Other universities may have better facilities for the degree you want to study. Keep on going mate and aim high- you'll definitly get somewhere smiley - smiley

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  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by xXLochNessMonsterXx (U13654889) on Monday, 27th October 2008

    Does anybody know what Scottish grades you need to get in (standard grades and highers)?

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  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by U13692464 (U13692464) on Saturday, 15th November 2008

    wow youre good at physics! im stressin cos i got an exam on thursday. aaaaargh! i want to go to oxford for university and hoping to get a scholarship or sponsor. good luck. i think you will do it.

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by DumbStruckFounded (U13670400) on Sunday, 16th November 2008

    how do u get medicine based work experience? can u list possible work places that i can apply to?

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by YourOneAndOnly (U13693769) on Sunday, 16th November 2008

    Well the lowest GCSE score you've got is a B.
    Of course you'll get in,, although i would try out cambridge to be fair. smiley - ok

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by ShahLad (U13710832) on Sunday, 23rd November 2008


    By The Looks Of It, I Am Quite Sure That You Will!(God Forbid You Dont) I Am Wishing The Best Of Luck For you! I Am Very Sure That You Will Pass Because My Cousin, Had Done Just About The Same And he Is Now A Lawyer! Amazing Huh? Wish You Luck!



    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by U13730640 (U13730640) on Sunday, 7th December 2008

    I'm only in Year 8 so I don't really know what you have to get for university, but your grades sound really good so try and to get into Oxford! Hope you will get in!
    from secretlinselollipop

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Teenagewonder93 (U13748324) on Wednesday, 17th December 2008

    I think that those are excellent scores and you should be proud of yourself.

    Aiming for Oxbridge and getting in would be amazing but you've always got to think of another plan if things go off track, so i.e different universities.

    Happy Christmas!!! smiley - biggrin smiley - cracker


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  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by happykeks (U6741890) on Saturday, 1st November 2008


    Those sound like some really great predicted grades to me! A girl I know goes to Oxford University, and she only got 4 A*s, so you really shouldnt worry. To be honest, Oxford and Carmbridge (they work on the same system and are usually called 'oxbridge') are much more interested in your A level results, as are most universities. Oxbridge and Durham generally look for 3 As at A level.

    The top universities are really interested in seeing you as a well rounded human being - that means you should keep up any hobbies and interests you have, and be able to show a genuine interest in your subject at your interview.

    Most people think it's really hard to get into Oxbridge, but actually 1 in 4 of the people who apply get in (at most universities it's about 1 in 11!), because so few people acctually apply. If you don't apply you haven't got any chance!

    I'm in year 12, and I want to apply to study maths at Cambridge. I hope I've been a help! I've been doing lots of research in to universities lately (particularly Oxbridge), so if you want to ask me any questions I'll be happy to try to answer them smiley - smiley


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  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 30.

    Posted by Rational Thinking (U10183618) on Thursday, 29th January 2009

    Don't worry. The recommended number of A*/A s at GCSE to apply for Oxbridge (atleast at my college) is 6-7. And there are far more important things than GCSE results. AS levels count for more, as do predicted A2s, your performance at interview, personal statement, any extra tests you have to do etc...

    One of my friends got in with hardly any A*s, just As and one or two Bs. It really depends on what subject you want to take: if you want to do maths, it would be surprising if they cared too much about what you got in Textiles GCSE. Some subjects are more specific than others.

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  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by LadyH (U13776636) on Wednesday, 11th February 2009

    Woah, you need a LOT of good results to get into Cambridge! Well I say cambridge because that's where I'd choose to go! But even though I'm clever i don't think i'd make the cut. I hope you do though... good luck!

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  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Glam_Bubbles (U13853899) on Sunday, 1st March 2009

    I am totally in the same boat.I was looking at Oxford as a university to maybe go to.In fact i really want to go there.But after seeing everyone elses grades thats probably not a possibilty:

    my predicted grades are:
    English Lit--A
    Additional Science (yr 11)--B

    I had my mock results back and they were:
    English Lit--C
    Additional Science (yr 11)--

    I realise they they are not the best results and if anything they are rather dissapointing smiley - sadface .The A levels I'm taking are:
    Human Biology

    Hypothetically Speaking if my mocks results were my final results and I got very high grades in my A-levels, is there a chance of me getting into Oxford University? smiley - erm

    Also does anyone know any good ways or tips for reviseing so I can pump up my GCSE grades?

    Please help,

    Thank you

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  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by U13849623 (U13849623) on Monday, 2nd March 2009

    Dear Lychovida,

    With those grades you could definitely get a place at Oxford.
    Go on the UCAS website and start looking at the grades but more importantly start preparing for your interview and show enthusisam.
    I think how much hard work you've put in your sure to get a place.
    I would try for Oxford and Cambridge!!!!!!:D
    Write back

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  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by magic_n_dreams (U13855325) on Wednesday, 4th March 2009

    I think as your doing your best subjects then you would get in but u usually need 3A's so if you really want to go then look forwatrd to two years of really hard work!

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Chazi (U13858722) on Wednesday, 4th March 2009

    Hi, they only look at GCSEs if you flunk your A Levels so I wouldn't worry to omuch, focus on your A Levels and send off for prospectuses or even Careers Advice people like Connextions to give you some idea of what is expected before appling. Good Luck on your career, I hope all goes well. Hope this helps. Well done on your GCSEs - they are really amazing.

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by U13861183 (U13861183) on Friday, 6th March 2009

    don't choose a university just because of fame! In fact you remind of a friend who is just the same except she wants to go to cambridge...for no apparent course either!
    Work out the course you want to do then go the specialist uni that does it, like if you want to become a forensic scientist go to a uni that specialises in science.
    It doesn't matter what you get in GCSE except I know that certain uni's LIKE you to have a language such as french so you're probs covered there.
    oh and another thing never go by a predicted grade, mine where all set at C'S and i got A* whilst the so called Gifted&Talented mainly got A's there a laugh

    btw this advice for all ;]

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  • Message 40

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    Posted by U13880008 (U13880008) on Friday, 20th March 2009

    i think your results are fantastic . you should not worry . be optimisitc . you will go far in life but not with such a negative attitude . dream dreams and then pursue them . you can be whom you want to be . good luck . try and try again . my friend you will succeed in all you set out to . optimism is key . good luck . until next time , careful caroline . smiley - star you are a star ! .

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by U13880008 (U13880008) on Friday, 20th March 2009

    i think your results are fantastic . you should not worry . be optimisitc . you will go far in life but not with such a negative attitude . dream dreams and then pursue them . you can be whom you want to be . good luck . try and try again . my friend you will succeed in all you set out to . optimism is key . good luck . until next time , careful caroline x

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by U13882861 (U13882861) on Sunday, 22nd March 2009

    Try and get in, everything is always worth a try, otherwise jelly wouldn't of been invented smiley - smiley

    Hehe, you've actually set a minor tone on my thoughts too now, because I'm in year 10 and I'm not doing excellent, just 'B's in everything... Watching everyone else on these forums with 'A*' and saying that 5 A*s is no good is quite scary....

    I'm going to do terrible smiley - winkeye

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  • Message 44

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    Posted by U13901785 (U13901785) on Saturday, 4th April 2009

    i think they are great results.u shud also aim high for A level coz they luk at that too.gud 4 me i wanna go to Cambridge.i'm crazy about it.

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by U8173129 (U8173129) on Wednesday, 8th April 2009

    UCAS points don't really count for Oxbridge, apparently.

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by U13660009 (U13660009) on Friday, 10th April 2009

    have you been doing solid revision?

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  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by snowbuilder (U11593489) on Thursday, 16th April 2009

    Now I'm worried!
    (I am in year 10)and i really wanted to go to cambridge to do a maths degree - not just because its near the top of some table but because i think that degree looks really challenging and interesting etc. when i leave 6th form but now I don't know if i can make it.
    my maths teacher at the moment is great and we get on really well and if he were to write my reference i think that would be fine, however i think he will leave at the end of this school year and i don't know who will replace him. Also i'm not part of any clubs or anything like that because the stuff i like (go-karting and bike riding) don't tend to have clubs or anything. and although i love maths and read maths books cuz i find it interesting and stuff i'm not part of any maths clubs because i can't find any and my school definitley don't run any!

    oh and my predicted/results i am getting GCSEs are:

    maths A*
    english A*
    science A or A* (could go either way)
    geography A*
    Business studies A*
    Art A*
    French B

    do you think its possible for me to get in???

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  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by Rational Thinking (U10183618) on Thursday, 16th April 2009

    snowbuilder: I wouldn't worry, especially at this point. You have another two years before you need to put in an application.

    Maths isn't really a group activity subject is it? Clubs are hard to come by, and I'm sure they'll know that. We were told that most of what Oxbridge look for is subject-specific, although they do like to see you have other interests, so bike riding seems fine.

    They definitely are interested in you reading about Maths outside of school, so you seem to be doing the right thing.

    I know two people who got to Cambridge this year to study maths. As far as I know, they weren't in any club at GCSE time.

    Maybe a way to gain brownie points so to speak would be to help out with any revision sessions, where A/A* grade students help people struggling with maths, if your school does anything like that.

    Your GCSE predicted grades look in the right area as well. But it's really to early too tell. I wouldn't worry until AS Levels. Just get the best grades you can.

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by U13934322 (U13934322) on Saturday, 25th April 2009

    A friend of my brother's got into Cambridge with Bs and Cs at GCSE they're not just after the grades they want more than that, like sport and stuff.

    But then a friend at my swimming club got into there with 13A*s so it all depends i think.

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