Biomedical Sciences: I performed rather badly at GCSE. Is it still worth applying to Oxford?
Our average applicant has 75% of GCSE grades at grades 9 or 8 (or A*) and 7.5 grades at grades 9 or 8 (or A*); although there is no GCSE cut-off, and we will look at your performance within the context of your school, this should give you a good idea of what is expected (mostly 9's or 8's). In general terms, you will need a strong performance in the BMAT in order to be short-listed automatically.
All applicants who do not make the initial short-list are reviewed in detail by our tutors, taking into account any individual circumstances that might indicate that GCSE performance is likely to underestimate their potential. So, if you feel that you underperformed at GCSE because of extreme circumstances beyond your control (examples could be that your school set a tight limit on the number of GCSEs you were allowed to take, or you only started learning English only a few years before taking your GCSEs, or you were ill during much of year 10), it is important that these circumstances are brought to our attention: a clear note should be made of these circumstances in the personal statement and school reference.