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 Post subject: Percentage A*
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:17 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Buckinghamshire
I know this subject has been broached before but I thought I'd share a real life experience. DS has 8*s at GCSE and 5 A's - has predicted 4A's at Alevel etc - had been interviewed at Oxford and got a choral scholarship. PS is good. BMAT result was good.(medicine exam) Has been rejected because of percentage A*s.
Basically if he'd only taken 8 he'd have 100% but with the additonal 5 A's he's been diluted. His attitude is that he's still glad he took 13 as he enjoyed them and he feels he has a rounded education.
Something to look out for when picking uni's and with one of my DD's who wants to do Oxbridge it's possibly worth not entering the one exam she's not predicted and A* in.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:31 pm 
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Difficult isn't it? I went to a school where the head deliberately limited the number of O levels (ahem 35 years ago) as we really didn't need many and might as well good grades in those we did, at the time we woild have liked to do more (I think :shock: )

DS is limited to about 10 GCSEs at his GS and 4AS / A2 - I thought they might do more but it seems they are going down the line of getting good grades in the ones they do.

Does seem a shame for yr DS as they clearly were keen on his singing! hope he gets a place somewhere else - Where else has he applied ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:39 pm 
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Do you have to declare them all? Some of the girls at DD's school say that if they mess one up they'll drop them. They are only allowed to do max of 11 unless they are bi-lingual or mathematically brilliant.

There was a girl last year with great AS's going for English who didn't get any offers at all initially. Edinburgh told her it was because she had 9A* and a A for maths - in the end she persuaded them round and she is there now but it seems madness. (Ironically it was the IGCSE too -which doesn't seem to make any difference (or noone notices) unless you explain in person that it's harder.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:41 pm 
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sorry Jemima - that shot off :oops: before I could say good luck with all his other offers. He's clearly multi-talented. I hope someone else will scoop him up quickly.

I gather applications and interviews for some courses have doubled at Oxford this year. So it's no reflection on anyone - all rather arbitrary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:59 pm 
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Applying based on predicted grades is always going to be very competative... there is always the option of taking a year out and reapplying if the actual grades are stupendous?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:13 pm 
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How did he know that was his reason for rejection? Did the university tell him or his school that was the reason?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:46 pm 
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Personally I think it's really unfair that so much emphasis seems to be placed on GCSE grades for university selection, when it's A-level grades that are supposed to count. It makes you wonder whether a less-than-perfect set of GCSEs (by this I mean not getting A* in every subject you take!) means you've already effectively written yourself out of certain courses at certain institutions, so there's really no point in applying. I know admissions officers have to decide somehow when they are swamped with high-quality applications, but using GCSEs as some kind of basic common denominator just seems such a raw and unsophisticated process, since they are taken two whole years before the qualifications that are supposed to matter!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:42 pm 
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As AM said - do you have to declare them all? My DD wants to do Mandarin GCSE, and apparently 90% of entrants get A* because they are native speakers and the exam is too easy for them; the rest get Cs and Ds because they are not native speakers and the exam is too hard. DD just says she will not declare it if it goes badly: she loves the subject and I think that ought to be a good reason to continue.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:09 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi, Oxford told him by email. Not sure whether he could have 'not declared' the rest. Seems medicine is massively competitive especially this year. He hasn't heard yet from Leeds, Southampton or Imperial but has an offer from Reading for chemistry. We have said that if he gets all A's at A level he can have a gap year and apply again next year but this is tricky for us as we have 5 all at secondary school - so would have preferred them to go one at a time.
I wish we'd known more about how all this worked before it started - we went to the talks at school but weren't warned about the GCSE trap.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:26 pm 
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I am sure that he will get a place at one of the others and that they will not view his GCSEs in the same way..

Other option for high achievers is Trinity, Dublin - admission is on HPAT(like BMAT) and scores. - fees are a lot lower than england if you are an EU candidate.


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