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Daedalus

UK Application Question

Hi, quick question.

I arrived at my school last year halfway through the IGCSEs. My school is already phasing it out and doesn't stress it much, partly because it doesn't work so well with IB. I took 6 subjects and got A*A*AABB.

Do I have to include this in my UCAS application? Would it be better just to omit it since it might decrease my chances of being accepted to a good uni?

Thanks for any help,

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Whilst I think you do need to include any qualifications you have, they won't disadvantage you. Most uni's don't look much at your GCSE's, whilst everyone says you need all A's and A*'s to get into top uni's like oxbridge it isn't necessary, it just happens most who attend the uni do have those kind of grades. But having two B's won't hurt your chances at all, not at GCSE's. Usually they'll only look at is as a record of achievement and certainly won't base offers on GCSEs. Where are you aiming for?

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i've talked to my teachers and the grades i think i can achieve are:

ib economics hl - 7

ib physics sl - 7

ib english hl - 7

ib mathematics sl - 7 (i'm taking sl exams this year, and have choice of moving to hl next year or not)

ib french a2 sl - 6

ib chemistry hl - 6

and the the top uni i'd want to aim for is cambridge.

i mean my igcse scores just don't square with my ib scores, i've read people taking 12 igcses at A*/A and worrying about the 13th being a B.

the question is, does UCAS require you to send the score for a test you've taken just because you've taken it?

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I Knew I should Have Revised for that Exam

The next major section is your qualifications. Here you must put every major certificate-bearing exam you have ever sat, from GCSEs to A-Levels or GNVQs or, if you are an international student, the equivalent standard. You are not allowed to just put your most impressive qualifications, though. You have to put everything you have sat. This includes the Latin exam that you never took seriously because your parents forced you to do it, or the extra maths exam you did because the school made you do the normal one a year early.

You also have to put any exams you are about to sit in the next year so they can check up on you and make sure your predicted grades are accurate. In most cases universities will offer you a place almost on this basis alone, particularly the more popular courses as they don't have time to read all the personal statements.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A301050

^^ That's from the BBC website. I couldn't find that on the UCAS website, but that doesn't mean it's not there, the UCAS website is pretty rubbish to be honest. You might want to keep searching until you find something definitive.

Your best resource is probably the careers teacher at your school, but these are some of the things I'd suggest you consider and bring up with them when you talk to them. Firstly the fact that a lot of universities use GCSE and iGCSE grades to make their decisions. They'll take people with higher grades over people without them (obviously), some won't interview or will automatically strike out people without a certain number of GCSE/iGCSE grades and there're basic requirements for Maths, English and in many places a Foreign language at GCSE or equivalent. To what extent this is ruled out if you cover those same bases at a higher level (i.e. the IB), I don't know. You'd also have to explain what exactly you were doing in the time you spent from 14-16 if anybody asked you, which is a possibility at interviews where they'll want to find out if you're a suitable candidate, and that includes probing the omissions you've made as well as what you've declared in your personal statement. If nothing else it says something odd about your honesty and transparency as a candidate!! At this point it looks much better to have done iGCSEs and have qualifications than having none at all. Otherwise, seeing as predicted grades are reasonably untrustworthy matches for what people do get in the end, it'll make you a risky candidate to say you're aiming for top marks but have absolutely no other qualifications or measures of performance to your name except for some guesses made by your teachers in IB1! Grades change a lot from IB1 to IB2 for many people (I'm assuming you're in IB1 or you're too late to apply this year).

For the record, people who worry about a B combined with 12 A/A*s are being completely ridiculous, even if for them it may seem like a genuine concern. Those are excellent grades and not ones to worry about, so don't let yourself be taken in by the scaremongering of overachievers, it's all in their head!

Definitely ask your careers teacher and look for confirmation of what the BBC website says on the UCAS website.

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wow, that pretty much screws me over..

UCAS says this "We need to know where you have studied and which qualifications you are taking / have taken. We

ask you to fill in your schools or colleges, then to list your qualifications. Please make sure that you

have included all relevant qualifications, including any that you have completed and any which you

are currently taking."

I mean by the time I apply I will have taken the SAT, two AP exams, one IB exam, and possibly a GRE, but if it comes down to IGCSEs I am pretty much dead!

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