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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:15 pm 
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Hi, sorry I know I have seen some postings on this before but I cannot find them. OH and I have heard much about GCSE/IGCSE grades and even the percentage of A*s affecting university offers. I wonder, (and it would help solve the latest family row!) does anyone have any evidence of this? Is there any research published or guidelines from any of the unis or is it hearsay? Any useful links gratefully received.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Is this the sort of thing you mean (taken from Oxford University Medical Sciences website):

You would be expected to hold a broad range of GCSEs, in both sciences, and arts subjects. You should have top results - that is mostly A*s and As - for your application to be competitive. On average, our applicants hold around 70% of GCSEs grades at A*. Interview short-listing procedures focus in particular on the proportion of A* grades

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Thanks Loopy that's exactly what I meant...and it means I am right and OH is wrong woohoo!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:30 pm 
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At Cambridge they run a 'pool' system after the initial decisions re offers.
Colleges can 'pool' students they think are good enough but who they cannot offer places to.
Colleges who still have places can then fill them from this 'pool'.
(simplified explanation :)
The point here is that students with top exam grades get automatically 'pooled' if they dont get an offer from their first choice college ie they get a second chance.
They need to have at least 90% in their AS exams and a certain number of A* at GCSE (I think it is 7) - so those who didn't do so well at GCSE are disadvantaged by this selection method.


Please note - this minimum number of GCSE A* only applies to the 'auto pool' system not to the whole selection process.
However, we visited several Cambridge colleges and they all said that they would 'expect' applicants to have a minimum number of A* grades at GCSE - the number ranged from 6 to 8.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:37 pm 
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many thanks KB.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:08 pm 
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Just out of interest KB, do you know if the GCSE requirement still applies for candidates putting in applications post A-level? In other words - would a good set of A-level results already obtained (i.e. not predicted grades) cancel out a GCSE performance that would not normally meet their requirements?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Re the auto - pool:sorry I am not sure - & there doesn't seem to be anything on the University web site about it.
Would try calling University Admissions office.

In terms of being assessed 'in the first round' so to speak I am sure that all the info is 'thrown in' - so good A2 results & a good interview would outweigh GCSE results.

I dont know how they view actual A2 results v. predicted A2 results backed up by AS & GCSE grades. I suspect it varies by admissions tutor!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:02 pm 
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Not heresay.

To get onto the LSE Economics course (not joint honours) - you need atleast 6A* at GCSE. That is coming from the admission tutors mouth when I met them and common knowledge.

Obviously extenuating circumstances and foreign students will have it differently.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:05 pm 
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Head at DD2's school said to me last week that for Russell Group unis 6A*s at GCSE is minimum requirement.
However at Edinburgh we were told that with so many with all A*s applying, even one A may count against you. However if you go on to take a subject at AS and get a high UMS in it that can apparently rule out the A...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:20 pm 
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another mother wrote:
Head at DD2's school said to me last week that for Russell Group unis 6A*s at GCSE is minimum requirement.


No way :lol:
It sure helps - but for the less subscribed courses eg sciences this is not true.


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