GCSES good enough for medicine?

(55 Posts)
maiacam Thu 25-Aug-16 14:16:01

Hi my sons results are 7 A* including all sciences 2 A's English and one B French are these grades good enough for Medicine firstly and if yes would they be okay for Cambridge or not?
Any advice/input welcome thanks x

PNGirl Thu 25-Aug-16 14:32:14

You need a minimum of a C in sciences for medicine for Cambridge but they will only really care about A-Level results and the interview.

I'm not sure about the question - what else could they want from him at either 6th form or uni for medicine if he got all A* in sciences?

maiacam Thu 25-Aug-16 14:35:43

I just wondered really whether the grades have to be all A* or whether French will matter as its a B its all new to me!

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 25-Aug-16 14:37:25

I agree that his interview and A-Level results will be far more important. Although, his GCSE results are excellent! Well done DS!

Is he set on Cambridge? Although it's obviously an outstanding university, it's not necessarily the best place to study medicine I don't think.

maiacam Thu 25-Aug-16 14:45:54

Thanks very happy smile didn't get it from me no not dead set on anywhere just looking at options he is keen on medicine has been working in a care home and doing St John etc

janinlondon Thu 25-Aug-16 15:30:25

This year (2016 intake) medical schools (with one exception) had to resort to looking at GCSE grades to sift through the applicants. This was after interview, so they had already done well in the UKCAT. And applicants who got just one B did miss out. Very few medicine applicants have less than straight A*/A. Despite the minimum requirements.

maiacam Thu 25-Aug-16 15:37:33

Do you have to admit to the B grade if it will affect his chances?

fizzicles Thu 25-Aug-16 15:42:03

I got 6A*s and 3As and did Medicine at Cambridge, so yep, I'd say they're good enough!

RedHelenB Thu 25-Aug-16 15:42:12

Yes, all results have to be stated on uni applications. Out of interest did you or his Dad go to uni?

janinlondon Thu 25-Aug-16 15:56:26

No the B cant be hidden. Things are very different now from even five years ago so historic acceptance grades are no longer applicable. Check with some current successful medicine applicants and individual medical schools re this year's intake? That's where my info is coming from.

maiacam Thu 25-Aug-16 15:58:40

Well worth a try janinlondon thanks for info
Redhelenb dad did sports degree I got a b and d and an n for Alevel no degree!

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Thu 25-Aug-16 16:01:14

Cambridge and Oxford are not the best medical schools. Oxbridge excels at a lot of stuff but it doesn't have the best medical courses.
Is he set on Cambridge or on medicine.

His grades are fine. A levels and interviews much more important

maiacam Thu 25-Aug-16 16:06:12

Hi Hubbles no not set on oxbridge just looking at Oxbridge all options open smile

Decorhate Thu 25-Aug-16 16:17:52

My dd had similar GCSE results & had 3 offers for medicine incl Oxford last year. Cambridge used to use AS results rather than GCSEs to assess applicants but due to the demise of ASs I have heard that they are going to introduce their own entrance exam.

Most medical schools will assess on the basis of UKCAT/BMAT scores plus personal statement and interview. This is because all applicants tend to have at least all As as their predicted A Level grades.

DesperatelySeeking2016 Thu 25-Aug-16 16:23:55

My dh deals with the ucas applications for medics in his job and he says that university will look at GCSE grades to sift out the applicants. However it will also depend on the type of school he is at e.g. If he is at a tough comp they would be considered good grades where as if he is at an academic independent school they would not be stellar. He says that Nottingham just look at your best 6 GCSEs grades so they would be worth considering but definitely worth getting advice from the careers advisor at the school.

DaisyFranceLynch Thu 25-Aug-16 16:37:03

First of all, congratulations to your DS on his GCSE grades. They look fantastic to me (although I did mine a long time ago...)

I just wanted to say that I knew a few people who did first degrees in other subjects at good universities (less competitive to get onto than medicine courses, at least at the time), and then got into accelerated graduate medical programmes.

The total time spent studying was a couple of years longer than if they'd done medicine straight off, but they're all doctors now. Could this be an option for your son, if he didn't think he had the grades for medicine?

OverlyLoverly Thu 25-Aug-16 16:37:06

Check out TheStudentRoom website for up to date information on the GCSE requirements for medicine. They change from year to year so you have to look up the CURRENT requirement and disregard anecdotes.

HERE are Cambridge's current GCSE requirements for Medicine. Don't forget they might change next year.

Each medical school has its own requirements all of which are detailed on their websites.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 25-Aug-16 16:40:03

I think the grades are fine too. Just as important now, will be setting up work experience that he can put on his UCAS application

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 25-Aug-16 16:41:36

And I agree with looking at other courses than Cambridge

maiacam Thu 25-Aug-16 16:46:08

Thanks for all the input thats great smile

MedSchoolRat Thu 25-Aug-16 22:19:14

Very few medicine applicants have less than straight A*/A.

I don't work at Cambridge.... just to say There was a FOI request on the med school where I work. What the GCSE results were for successful & unsuccessful applicants (an intake in last 5 yrs). Lots of successful applicants had Ds... Cs... Bs... lurking in their GCSE results. Es & Us not unheard of. I suppose because we only look at the Xmany best GCSEs (this is stated in our admiss criteria). I thought we only looked at GCSE results before offering interviews, too, although maybe that will change with no As results in future intakes.

hellsbells99 Mon 29-Aug-16 09:28:43

I know that when DD was looking, Birmingham was a No because she got 2As for English. They may have now changed their criteria as it was 2 years ago.

Berthatydfil Mon 29-Aug-16 10:37:05

Criteria may change in 2 years but my ds got in to med school with 6A* and 5A and a B.
So this should be ok, but he will need to research individual medical schools requirements.

Bear in mind he will also need excellent As levels volunteering and work experience and have excellent marks in UKCAT and/or BMAT. So GSCES are a very small step on the journey.

Just to say my ds wasnt keen on Oxbridge for medicine due to the teaching styles and way the courses were organised and I don't think Oxbridge degrees have the same "reputation" for medicine as other subjects iyswim.

Needmoresleep Mon 29-Aug-16 11:11:23

Of course they are good enough.

Med schools each use different criteria, not least because they don't all want to be selecting the same applicants. Some focus on GCSE grades, some on performance in aptitude tests, some on PS and references.

Some medical schools use GCSEs as a minimum achievement, as in they won't look at you unless you have a set level of academic achievement. These will be on the individual websites, and are normally some way short of 7A*s. DD narrowly missed an interview at Nottingham because she "only" had 7A*s and an OK UKCAT result. Birmingham is another that looks closely at GCSEs, and last year demanded A*s in English., Maths and Science.

The thing is to be tactical and play to your strengths. Voluntary/work experience can count for a lot in some places, aptitude tests matter more and more. And worth noting that Cambridge give out some tough offers, up to 3A*s1A at A level. And accept that it is a bit of a lottery. DD reckons she was rejected at one place because of one poor interview out of nine. Virtually no one gets four offers. The good thing is that to some extent it does not matter where you go as you end up with the same qualification.

DD was happy to take a gap year so had one aspirational (Bristol - it may have the highest ratio of applications to places and sets a relatively low bar for both GCSEs and apptitude test results) and three where she felt she met the criteria, and they met her priorities (teaching style, city campus etc). Had she had to reapply, and depending on the grades she got, she would probably have continued with the one aspirational (perhaps Oxbridge) and a couple of less popular choices.

But I agree with other posters. Cambridge will offer all sorts of stuff, but is not automatically the best choice. It has a trad teaching style, it has shorter terms, and places like Imperial/UCL may have more cutting edge research going on. It is also a six year course, whereas DD will be doing a five year course with the option to intercalate, not necessarily at the same University, in something she chooses, half way through. Some may also find they are in the bottom third of the cohort surrounded by some extremely able and hard working peers, when they may have been happier elsewhere in the top or middle third of the chohort.

hellsbells99 Mon 29-Aug-16 12:26:50

Very good post by Needmoresleep!

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