Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately.
I’m sure you’ll all understand and will have been busy with exams yourselves. They’re all over for me now, so full steam ahead!
paralyseddreams-deactivated2012 asked: how about no ~ 2 A*s?
2 A*s are fine too - a little on the low side but if the rest of your grades are pretty good, it’s not the end of the world. I can’t stress enough that there is no minimum GCSE grade to get into Oxbridge.
indie-go-blue asked: What about 2Bs 5A*s and 3As?
Those are fine.
thesoundofmyheartbeating-deacti asked: I'm a student at Oxford, I think your blog looks quite useful. Good for people! I hope you get the grades :)
Thank you! :)
l-greenleafs asked: Decide to read English instead. I'm just curious if either uni would or wouldn't accept me, due to the fact I may have quite inadequate IGCSE grades (by their standards). My A Level subjects are to be English, History, Classics (with or without Latin and Ancient Greek), possibly Latin just on it's own (depending on where I go for 6th form) or Politics. Would taking Latin at A level impress them as I haven't studied it formally at GCSE? Or would they not care? Do they mind homeschooled kids? :)
You may find this answer helpful with regard to GCSE grades :)
It seems like quite a common question, so after exams I’m going to do a proper post on it. Oxford and Cambridge don’t mind homeschooled kids at all. I’m not entirely sure how much leeway they’d give you so this is one of the cases where I’d suggest contacting them directly. Latin is certainly one of the traditional approved A Level subjects, but taking it over another academic subject won’t really make a huge amount of difference in terms of how your application is judged, unless you wanted to read Classics of course.
English is a great subject choice! (I’m not biased at all lol)
l-greenleafs asked: Hi! I'm home-schooled (self taught, mostly) & I've just taken 8 IGCSEs. I often hear about prospective applicants gaining many A-A* grades, most of mine are predicted at a B, with one or two As - it puts me off applying a bit. I wished to study either Classics or English at either uni and depending on which 6th form I go to, I'll be taking Latin (with extra help, as I haven't studied it at GCSE level), which would hopefully enable me for a 3yr Classics course. Even though I may [continued...]
running-wildly asked: Hi, next year I'm going to do my IGCSEs and am quite worried as I do not go to a very academic-orientated school and am worried that because of the lack of 'pushing' the students that I'll get worse grades. I've heard that Oxford mostly accept people who have only had As and A*s in their (I)GCSEs, is that true? And is there any sort of expectation? For example, you must get like 5A*s or more, 6As or more etc.
The year I took my GCSEs, fewer than 50% of students at my school achieved 5 A*s-Cs, but I still have an offer from Oxford, and I think if you put your mind to something you can do it. For me it just meant being more proactive - badgering teachers for extra work, finding past papers online etc, asking for help with more advanced work privately. It’s good practise for later and definitely instils an Oxbridge-style work ethic.
There is no minimum GCSE requirement for Oxford or Cambridge. There are a lot of myths about it. In reality the average student achieved 6 or 7 A*s at GCSE, but there are many who got worse grades and only a few A*s. The vast majority will have mostly As and A*s at GCSE though.
Bear in mind that Oxford and Cambridge will take your school’s average results into account when deciding who to interview, so if your school’s results aren’t great you won’t be judged in exactly the same way as someone at a top grammar or private school.