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GCSE Options - impact on Oxbridge application

(85 Posts)
NL3 Wed 13-Jan-10 11:13:26

DS1 is in Yr9 of a state comp. Quite bright - but also quite lazy.

We have to choose his GCSE options soon and I have a couple of questions that I hope someboby can answer.

Do your options at GCSE have any impact on your chances of gaining admission to Oxford or Cambridge?

Are any courses perceived as "soft" options similar to the list at A-level that top universities won't count?

Is it ok to choose solely academic subjects?

Any advice on this specific list -

English Language and Literature
Triple Science

Thanks in advance for any help

calvi Wed 05-May-10 20:34:23

Thanks PeterT - DS's son did not give an option to drop any subjects but realise now why a friend's DS dropped Chemistry at his independent after getting a poor mock GCSE result. Wish I had known about this before. I guess his school is more interested in their league table position - I am depressed now!!

AbbyLubber Wed 12-May-10 13:11:21

Not sure if anyone has said this... I am an Oxford admissions czarina, and Religious Studies is just another subject with 'studies' on the end.. .... Trinity Cambridge's list is pretty much the consensus.

williamagh Wed 21-Nov-12 21:22:16

hello, new member message...
Single dad, being lateral and seeking advice from wise women.
Browsed yr chat but need definitive answers please.
1) How to advise no1 girl (13yrs) on GCSE choices - what excludes what?
2) Mixing Arts and Sciences - what do colleges think?
3) Career impact of GCSE choices (if any)

Tricccky Wed 21-Nov-12 21:47:52

Interesting. I did combined Eng Lang/Lit at GCSE (advised against above). And English Lang at A Level (on Trinity College's soft list). I got into 'Oxbridge' though. So nothing's concrete. More important to do things you'll be very good at and can talk about with passion (and demonstrate extended reading etc) at an interview. May also depend on the college you're interested in as well I would imagine. That was 15 yrs ago though so perhaps things are more difficult now.

Namechangeforapropertythread Wed 21-Nov-12 21:59:50

Just for clarification Trinity has both religious studies and philosophy on their arts 'good' list.

bruffin Thu 22-Nov-12 08:05:07

William start a new thread, otherwise people will come along and answer the OP not realising this is old and not see your thread.

bengalcat Thu 22-Nov-12 22:20:48

Presume by triple science you mean physics , chemistry and biology as seoart GCSE's . If he were to drop anything would lose Economics and Citizenship . Better to hav fewer with top grades .

bengalcat Thu 22-Nov-12 22:22:10

Aargh meant have

BeckAndCall Fri 23-Nov-12 09:42:31


Current q is from William, about 4 or 5 posts up from here.

William, as Bruffin says, start a new thread and you'll get good answers on there! Welcome to mumsnet, btw

squeezedatbothends Fri 23-Nov-12 18:08:06

Piffle, not sure where you get your information from, but Philosphy is a very tough A level - well regarded by Oxbridge, where of course Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) is one of the most highly sought after and competitive courses! As for GCSE choices, as long as there is a range (Maths, Science, both Englishes, a Humanties subject and ideally a language, Universities are much more concerned with grades than subjects taken. If your child is interested in Science at Oxbridge, they must do triple Science. Oxford take a good look at GCSEs, Cambridge take a hard look at ASs and are less focused on GCSEs. Having said that, my son got into Oxford with 6A*, 3As and a B so they don't necessarily go for the 12a* kids - in fact many of his friends with better grades didn't get a place. It all came down to the interview in the end, so it's far better for your child to choose subjects they will enjoy, get the best grades they can and decide as soon as they can which subjects they want to do and immerse themselves in that subject with a passion. Oxbridge are not interested in the content of the A level - most questions will sit outside of that. They want evidence of wider reading, critical and connected thinking, and most of all a passion for a subject.

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