As a student looking to go on to university, you may be starting to question whether universities really care about what GCSE grades you achieved and if they really matter. The simple answer to this question is yes! Think about the application process, when you actually apply to attend a university you only have predicted grades, not the actual A-Level results and so it can prove tricky for a university to get a realistic view of your abilities.

This is where your GCSEs come in, due to the progressive nature of studying GCSEs and then A-Levels, universities will often look at the grades you achieved for your GCSEs alongside your predicted grades to get a better idea of how you might perform if they were to allow you to join their course. Even if the GCSE subjects don’t directly relate to the Degree you are looking to do, the university you are applying to will still review your GCSE grades.

What GCSEs must I hold to get an offer?

For almost all Degrees, universities will expect you to hold the core GCSE subjects, so English, Mathematics and the Sciences as the absolute minimum. Ideally, you want to hold as many GCSEs as you can at a grade C or above to really make a good impression.

If you’re a mature student, things are a bit more relaxed, usually, you only need to hold a GCSE in English and Mathematics to be offered a place on a course, but if you’re applying for the more difficult degrees such as Medicine then you will need to have more than just two GCSEs in your portfolio to be offered a place on a course.

The good news is that if you don’t hold the needed GCSEs, it is more than feasible for you to study an extra GCSE course alongside studying A-Levels (or working) if you need to top up your GCSE qualifications. You don’t even need to go back to school to study them, you can enrol onto an online GCSE course and study flexibly with an online college like Open College if that suits your needs and requirements better.