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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:33 pm 
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My niece has successfully achieved a mix of A Star, A Grades and B Grades and will be enrolling into a grammar school for A Levels

The question is, given that she is bright and ambitious, is she still within a chance for consideration for Oxbridge preparation, or has she missed the boat, ie is there a minimum criteria at GCSE for consideration for Oxbridge?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
Have a look at the advice here for Oxford:
http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate_courses/applying_to_oxford/gcses.html

This page may be useful for Cambridge
http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply/requirements/thefacts.html

Personally, I have found the Admissions people at Oxford to be more helpful when responding to a specific emailed enquiry, but that may just have been the luck of the draw :)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:26 am 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Look on the student room. They have compiled tables for Oxbridge entry that show GCSE results. There are certainly some with less than 100% A*. I was told that Cambridge will probably not consider people with a B in an academic subjects e Oxford state weak GCSE results as a reason not to invite a candidate to interview.

A lot still depends on how a child does in yr 12.

DS had a mixed bag too, but he took 15. I am hoping a couple of Bs won't upset the apple cart. No idea where he wants to study yet. He will have to work hard in yr12, which will be a first for him, and show that he has grown up!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:39 am 
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Location: Harrow
Depending on the course Cambridge only really care about your AS's for which they look at all the module scores, as well as some minimum GCSE requirements such as a B in English (assuming its not an English related subject that wants to be studied). Look at the entry requirements of the course both on the department website and some of the college websites.
Steve


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:50 am 
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I had heard something about A*:A ratio at Oxford being a determining factor about whether to invite for interview. It is one argument against doing double figures of GCSEs - the more you have, the worse the ratio is likely to become unless you are some kind of genius. On the other hand recent trips to universities suggested that admissions officers only look at the best 8 GCSEs, though I guess if you had 8 A*s and 5 Fs they might notice. I think you pretty much have to have A* in whatever you want to study and any related subjects (eg English for History, Maths for Physics). Almost all said they barely looked at AS results as they were not declarable by all schools at the same time (independent schools tend to 'bag' them later apparently) and that GCSE results were therefore rather important. Cambridge is renowned for caring only about your interest in and aptitude for your chosen subject; whereas Oxford looks for something else - 'ingredient x' or whatever.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Cambridge certainly look at module scores for AS exams and generally expect an average of 90% in the main 3 subjects.
For GCSE the expectation for applicants would generally be a minimum of 6/8 A* grades with the rest at A grade.
They do take into account the school attended though in an attempt not to exclude strong candidates from lower performing schools where the pupils have less opportunity to achieve at the top level.

If both Oxford and Cambridge are options then I would advise attending open days at both and as mentioned above, contacting admissions officers by email. One may only apply to either Oxford or Cambridge in any given year so it would be best to check out whether 'chances' are better at one than the other on the basis of qualifications already held.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:46 pm 
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Cambridge do not take into account the type of school attended.

From http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduat ... s/faq.html

My son/daughter attends a state/private school – will this disadvantage their application?

No. The University of Cambridge and its Colleges are committed to offering admission to students of the highest intellectual ability and potential, regardless of their background. We do not discriminate, for or against, applicants because of the type of school they attend.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:18 pm 
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Yes Cambridge take who they consider to be the most able candidates/ most suited to a Cambridge education but when assessing a student's ability they will look at their qualifications in the light of what they had the opportunity to do eg. if the school do not offer Further Maths then the student can't be expected to have studied it whereas if a student has come from a school where that is he norm but they haven't taken it then it would raise the question of why not (for some courses). Equally if the norm for a school is 12 GCSEs but a student took only 8 then that would raise a question whereas at some school 8 is all that is on offer.

It is not a question of discriminating either way but of them making a judgement about the ability of the applicant based on all the evidence available.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Every school can offer Further Maths through the FM network so that may not be the case now.


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