Can I still get into a top university for mathematics with my GCSE grades?

  • Thread starter zoxee
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Uk
In summary, the individual has achieved straight As in A-level maths, chemistry, and economics, as well as an A in AS further maths. They were not allowed to take further maths from the start due to a B in GCSE maths, but have now been given the opportunity to take it at AS level. The individual is concerned about their chances of getting into a top 10 university for maths due to their poor GCSE grades. However, others have reassured them that their A-level grades are what really matter and that they should not be too concerned about their GCSEs. They have also been advised to have at least one backup university in case their GCSEs are taken into consideration. Additionally, it is noted that there are
  • #1
zoxee
37
0
So i have pretty much terrible GCSEs compared to most people (Bs/Cs), i messed around a lot after my GCSE's and finally fixed up around 18, now I'm in my second year of a levels (A2) studying A level maths, chemistry, economics, AS Further maths. I achieved AAAA in Maths chem and economics and biology (AS) but dropped biology. Now your probably wondering why i didn't take further maths from the start if i had the intention of studying maths, well i did try to but the college didn't allow me to as my GCSE maths grade is a B (this was 2 years ago...) and they thought i wasn't capable enough, but i think i am, and they now think i am so they're allowing me to take it to AS. Looking around forums, reading about mathematicians etc it seems like they all had perfect grades in mathematics, and everyone has A2 further maths, and I'm just here with my AS (predicted A and A* in regular mathematics).

So with all my qualifications, the lack of further maths at A2 would i really be capable for a mathematics degree at a good university (i'm hoping to go around top 10 for maths UK, top 50-100 world (hopefully))? I really do love mathematics, the only reason i got a B at gcse is mainly because i didn't do anything at all, and have stepped up my game at a levels, but every other good mathematicians was good throughout their life, and i just feel like a failure and not capable at a good university (I want to go to kings/nottingham/york).

Let me know what you think... thanks.
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
If you have straight As in maths at A-level, I don't think anybody will care about your GSCE maths grade.

But poor GSCEs in mandatory subjects like English, and/or poor grades across all your GSCE subjects, might count against you. Given the dumbed down state of the UK exam system, getting strainght A's at A-level doesn't mark you out as being all that "special".
 
  • #3
I completely agree, that's why I'm worried.

My GCSE's were all Bs/Cs, luckily for mathematics they don't really look at GCSEs (I emailed universities), i was pointing out my GCSEs just to show I'm really nothing special.

Thanks for your response.
 
  • #4
Well it's always worth applying, you could perhaps ask some of your teachers to write something about your improvement over the past year compared to GCSE? Also, any uni that cares especially about GCSEs will take into account whether you got them at Eton with extensive 1 on 1 tutoring, or at a sinkhole comprehensive. If you just make sure you have at least one backup you will easily do fine.
 
  • #5
you seem to be double posting, which i think is discouraged here.
 
  • #6
I have a maths degree from one of the universities on your list and did not do further maths A level.
 
  • #7
Many people have recovered form mediocre grades to do great things - you don't see many people boasting about low grades here, because, well, it's human to hide such things!

You're getting straight As at A level, forget about GCSEs, the A levels alone will get you into a good University to do Mathematics. Also, there are more than 10 good Universities for mathematics in the UK:

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings

Take Leicester (23) - I know someone who went there and ended up as the dean of mathematics at another top university. They require AAB (with an A in Maths, no further maths required.)
 
  • #8
mathwonk said:
you seem to be double posting, which i think is discouraged here.

My apologies, i saw the mathematics thread after, but thank you for responding.

mal4mac said:
Many people have recovered form mediocre grades to do great things - you don't see many people boasting about low grades here, because, well, it's human to hide such things!

You're getting straight As at A level, forget about GCSEs, the A levels alone will get you into a good University to do Mathematics. Also, there are more than 10 good Universities for mathematics in the UK:

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings

Take Leicester (23) - I know someone who went there and ended up as the dean of mathematics at another top university. They require AAB (with an A in Maths, no further maths required.)

Really encouraging, which university did he go to? Would be nice to read about him. (PM if you don't want to share)

Thanks for the responses guys, back to studying for A2 now :).
 
  • #9
I think you are overconcerned about GCSEs. If you had worked hard for that B in Maths then I could see why you may have been concerned about studying it at Uni but you never really tried. To give you a more encouraging example of a Mathematician, my older brother got an A at GCSE Maths and didnt do that well in his GCSEs overall (Few As but mostly Bs and Cs), like you he wasnt really bothered at GCSE and only became interested in Maths at A Level. He still got an offer from Warwick but ended up doing so well on STEP that he took a gap year and applied to Cambridge and he's now in his second year at Cambridge.

Im currently doing my A2s too and I am taking Further Maths. Further Maths is nothing you can't do if you can handle normal Maths and especially if you like Maths, its pretty much just extra content you have to learn and nothing you can't self study anyways if youre really that worried about it (I recommend self studying FP2 and FP3). If you actually like Maths then I see no reason for you not to go for it here.
 
  • #10
^Damn, I should have applied to Warwick :(

I know your pain when it comes to awful GCSEs, I wouldn't worry about it. If you're predicted at an A in maths you can definitely get conditionals for decent universities and after that I don't believe anyone anywhere cares about GCSEs.
 

Related to Can I still get into a top university for mathematics with my GCSE grades?

What is "Good enough for Maths?"

"Good enough for Maths?" is a phrase commonly used in the UK to describe a level of proficiency or understanding in mathematics that is deemed acceptable or sufficient for the purpose at hand.

Who uses the phrase "Good enough for Maths?"

The phrase is often used by teachers, parents, and students in the UK education system to assess a student's mathematical abilities.

Is "Good enough for Maths?" the same as being good at maths?

No, "Good enough for Maths?" simply means that one has achieved a level of competency that is considered adequate for a particular task or situation. Being "good at maths" implies a higher level of proficiency and understanding.

How do you determine if something is "Good enough for Maths?"

The determination of whether something is "Good enough for Maths?" is subjective and can vary depending on the context and the individual making the assessment. It may involve evaluating a student's performance on tests, assignments, or real-world applications.

Can "Good enough for Maths?" be improved?

Yes, with practice and continued learning, one's proficiency in maths can improve. However, what is considered "Good enough for Maths?" may also change depending on the level of education and the complexity of the maths being studied.

Similar threads

  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
4
Views
979
Replies
22
Views
907
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
11
Views
598
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
1
Views
6K
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
22
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
30
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
5
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
2
Replies
43
Views
4K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
870
Back
Top