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Americans applying to university in the UK

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    (Original post by thesmiter)
    Forgot to post my scores, haha.

    Human Geography - 5, 9th grade; taken as a 'supplemental' class afterschool in the spring semester
    European History - 5, 10th grade
    --------
    Junior year:
    AP Chem - projected 5
    AP US History - projected 5 - my teacher claims he will punch me if I don't get a 5
    AP LangComp - projected 5, assuming they'll like my essays
    AP Psych - easily projected 5

    SAT: 2280 (top score - 790 CR 690 M 800 W)
    ACT: 33, probably not going to send

    Senior year courseload:
    AP USGov/CompGov, AP World History, AP Physics CM, AP Calculus BC, AP LitComp, AP Macro/MicroEcon, AP Latin

    (If you thought I had a lot of APs, wait'll I get to senior year!)
    I have to say, as someone who took that many APs my senior year, there are going to be times when you hate yourself for having that much work to do, but you'll enjoy the last month of school after tests when you have no work or finals.
    Your APs look good. I don't think you'll have much of a problem with your application. Although, they ask for at least 700 in each SAT section, so that may be a bit of a problem. I had the same SAT score as you, except my 690 was in math and instead of an unconditional, they gave me a condition of at least a 32 on the ACTs.
    Also, you're sort of obligated to list all the test scores you've ever gotten, whether you like them or not.
    All in all, so long as you can crank out a great personal statement, I don't see why you should have any problem.
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    (Original post by sixdaysinthesun)
    The grades you get don't matter. The only thing UCAS will ask for are your AP scores. So long as you have all 4s and 5s, you should be able to at least land an interview.
    Forget the 4s for Oxford.... 5s are a "STRONGLY ENCOURAGED" (especially for relevant subjects)
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    (Original post by sixdaysinthesun)
    I have to say, as someone who took that many APs my senior year, there are going to be times when you hate yourself for having that much work to do, but you'll enjoy the last month of school after tests when you have no work or finals.
    Your APs look good. I don't think you'll have much of a problem with your application. Although, they ask for at least 700 in each SAT section, so that may be a bit of a problem. I had the same SAT score as you, except my 690 was in math and instead of an unconditional, they gave me a condition of at least a 32 on the ACTs.
    Also, you're sort of obligated to list all the test scores you've ever gotten, whether you like them or not.
    All in all, so long as you can crank out a great personal statement, I don't see why you should have any problem.
    Yeah, I can't wait for that two week period after APs. *o* Our school gets out at the end of May, so I have less time to chill. Ah well.

    I actually took another SAT in March (those are my November scores), but I didn't want to list it because I did substantially worse than last time: 2110, 670(!) CR, 700 M, 800 W (-1 MC/8 Essay). I know exactly what happened in both my drops in score - March CR was incredibly ambiguous (see the CC thread on that), and my essay was shorter than last time, when I earned a 10. So yes, I do have the 700 for M, but it's kind of a weird situation...Coincidentally, my ACT math score is marginally higher than my SAT math score - 33, with -3 questions.

    How much will listing out that 2110 hurt me? I really wish I could've canceled the score.

    As for my personal statement, what should I talk about? o_o
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    (Original post by thesmiter)
    Yeah, I can't wait for that two week period after APs. *o* Our school gets out at the end of May, so I have less time to chill. Ah well.

    I actually took another SAT in March (those are my November scores), but I didn't want to list it because I did substantially worse than last time: 2110, 670(!) CR, 700 M, 800 W (-1 MC/8 Essay). I know exactly what happened in both my drops in score - March CR was incredibly ambiguous (see the CC thread on that), and my essay was shorter than last time, when I earned a 10. So yes, I do have the 700 for M, but it's kind of a weird situation...Coincidentally, my ACT math score is marginally higher than my SAT math score - 33, with -3 questions.

    How much will listing out that 2110 hurt me? I really wish I could've canceled the score.

    As for my personal statement, what should I talk about? o_o
    I wrote this a while back for someone, you might find it useful.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    General structure:

    Intro: What is the subject you want to study? As in "What is <your subject/course> [in relation to the world]? What are it's uses?" And why do you want study it?

    1st Para: Show your commitment, passion and ability for your subject. Mention a book or journal that you [have] read if you can. It's a great thing to write about; I wrote about a certain subject I enjoyed reading about, what I liked about it and what I hope to learn about it in the future.

    2nd Para: Depends, I did mine on why I wanted to study at university and any hindrances I had. You could do yours on transferable skills of the subjects you study at school. Maybe relevant work experience should you have it, you'll want to mention your duties, what you enjoyed about it, transferable skills and any insights it gave you.

    3rd Para: ECs and their transferable skills. Not a really important paragraph if I'm honest. I think I just used it to show I'd integrate socially.

    Conclusion: Sum up why you want to do the course/the benefits you/the university will gain from you getting a place.
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    (Original post by thesmiter)
    Yeah, I can't wait for that two week period after APs. *o* Our school gets out at the end of May, so I have less time to chill. Ah well.

    I actually took another SAT in March (those are my November scores), but I didn't want to list it because I did substantially worse than last time: 2110, 670(!) CR, 700 M, 800 W (-1 MC/8 Essay). I know exactly what happened in both my drops in score - March CR was incredibly ambiguous (see the CC thread on that), and my essay was shorter than last time, when I earned a 10. So yes, I do have the 700 for M, but it's kind of a weird situation...Coincidentally, my ACT math score is marginally higher than my SAT math score - 33, with -3 questions.

    How much will listing out that 2110 hurt me? I really wish I could've canceled the score.

    As for my personal statement, what should I talk about? o_o
    Correct me if I'm wrong, everyone, but SATs/ACTs play a very minor role, particularly in at the very top UK schools- where, with your extremely strong scores, I assume you'll be looking. It's really unlikely that your offer would be conditional on SAT or ACT scores, and on the UCAS form you can just leave out the ACT, for example, if you think it'll hurt you. I wouldn't worry about it, though, and would just focus on getting those 5's and cranking out a stellar personal statement when the time comes.
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    (Original post by alexs2602)
    I wrote this a while back for someone, you might find it useful.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    General structure:

    Intro: What is the subject you want to study? As in "What is <your subject/course> [in relation to the world]? What are it's uses?" And why do you want study it?

    1st Para: Show your commitment, passion and ability for your subject. Mention a book or journal that you [have] read if you can. It's a great thing to write about; I wrote about a certain subject I enjoyed reading about, what I liked about it and what I hope to learn about it in the future.

    2nd Para: Depends, I did mine on why I wanted to study at university and any hindrances I had. You could do yours on transferable skills of the subjects you study at school. Maybe relevant work experience should you have it, you'll want to mention your duties, what you enjoyed about it, transferable skills and any insights it gave you.

    3rd Para: ECs and their transferable skills. Not a really important paragraph if I'm honest. I think I just used it to show I'd integrate socially.

    Conclusion: Sum up why you want to do the course/the benefits you/the university will gain from you getting a place.
    Wow! That's a VERY helpful guide. I will be sure to refer back to this when I start writing my statement. I do have one question though. Does the subject of the book matter? Right now, I am reading A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and I'd like to be able to write about. But will it matter that it's US History versus any other subject?

    (Original post by mahassociates)
    Correct me if I'm wrong, everyone, but SATs/ACTs play a very minor role, particularly in at the very top UK schools- where, with your extremely strong scores, I assume you'll be looking. It's really unlikely that your offer would be conditional on SAT or ACT scores, and on the UCAS form you can just leave out the ACT, for example, if you think it'll hurt you. I wouldn't worry about it, though, and would just focus on getting those 5's and cranking out a stellar personal statement when the time comes.
    Okay, awesome. So, is this right? In terms of importance, AP scores come first, followed by the personal statement, then everything else, aside from the minimum requested SAT/ACT score.
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    (Original post by thesmiter)
    Wow! That's a VERY helpful guide. I will be sure to refer back to this when I start writing my statement. I do have one question though. Does the subject of the book matter? Right now, I am reading A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and I'd like to be able to write about. But will it matter that it's US History versus any other subject?
    What are you applying for again? And how well regarded is that book? The most important thing is that everything you write is relevant especially to your course. If you're applying for history and politics like I think you are then you need to make sure what you write is relevant about both which can be difficult but needs to be done, I can't remember what is supposed to be done about that if you're applying for more than one type of course(ie: say history at a couple of unis, history and politics at another etc). I think that if I'm right about that then considering my limited knowledge then it might also help to add a small critique of the book's accuracy or whatever the term is.

    Sorry, this seems rambling so if it doesn't make sense ask and I'll try to clear it up.
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    (Original post by thesmiter)
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    (Original post by alexs2602)
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    If you're applying for varying courses (e.g. Single Honours History at one place, and History and Politics at another), you just have to make sure that you include elements of everything in your personal statement. It can easily get muddled, though, so I'd really make sure that you really want to apply to each of the courses before you write your statement to make it as strong and focused as possible. Remember, too, that you have a character limit when you apply through UCAS, so I'd copy and paste the document into the box every so often to check how you're doing!
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    (Original post by alexs2602)
    What are you applying for again? And how well regarded is that book? The most important thing is that everything you write is relevant especially to your course. If you're applying for history and politics like I think you are then you need to make sure what you write is relevant about both which can be difficult but needs to be done, I can't remember what is supposed to be done about that if you're applying for more than one type of course(ie: say history at a couple of unis, history and politics at another etc). I think that if I'm right about that then considering my limited knowledge then it might also help to add a small critique of the book's accuracy or whatever the term is.

    Sorry, this seems rambling so if it doesn't make sense ask and I'll try to clear it up.
    Applying for History and Politics at Oxford, Government and History at LSE, and most likely straight history at St. Andrews. The book itself is well renowned - I was shocked to see that it's actually reading material in Occupy 'libraries'. It's something of a revisionist history from the minorities' point of view in the US. Should I pick up a book on politics as well, then?


    (Original post by jeh_jeh)
    If you're applying for varying courses (e.g. Single Honours History at one place, and History and Politics at another), you just have to make sure that you include elements of everything in your personal statement. It can easily get muddled, though, so I'd really make sure that you really want to apply to each of the courses before you write your statement to make it as strong and focused as possible. Remember, too, that you have a character limit when you apply through UCAS, so I'd copy and paste the document into the box every so often to check how you're doing!
    I hope I'm not varying too much with my course selections, but preferably, I'd like both History and Politics together, if the school offers it. I'll look more into courses at each college I want to go to.
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    (Original post by thesmiter)
    Wow! That's a VERY helpful guide. I will be sure to refer back to this when I start writing my statement. I do have one question though. Does the subject of the book matter? Right now, I am reading A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and I'd like to be able to write about. But will it matter that it's US History versus any other subject?
    Do the courses you've chosen include U.S. History in their modules? If so, that's fine. If not, you'd best save the characters for something more relevant. It's important to pick books that are relevant to your course, and may be well-regarded academically but are not the typical applicant popular choice. For example, for my PS I think I mentioned three books: 1. textbook 2. slightly popsci-veering book 3. a more scientific book. Of course, I'm not suggesting you must include three books, including a textbook, but I personally found those range of choices would reflect my academic choices better. However, most applicants do fine with mentioning just one or two books.

    Also, try to find relevant research in history that you can show you've read. Since my subject, psychology, is a science subject that has a lot of studies, I read quite a few and I think referenced some in my PS.



    NB: If you decide on applying for a joint honours, make sure both subjects have an equal chance in your PS. Your non-history subject should have 25-50% space in terms of character count. This is important to show you didn't just choose the joint honours because there were better chances, or it looked easier, or whatever. You have to show that you genuinely care deeply about both! Finally, MAKE LINKS between the two subjects. They should be interspersed between the paragraphs. In your PS it SHOULD NOT be: first half - history; second half - the other subject. The other subject should be mentioned in at least every other paragraph, along with why it is relevant to history.


    I hope I'm making sense!



    In addition, it's IMPERATIVE to note that UK personal statements are not at all like US college essays. UK unis do not want to hear sob stories about how ___ changed your life and inspired you to ___. Your PS should be focused on academics, your course, etc. The UK PS is also different because most of the higher ranked unis won't care much about your extracurriculars. Unless they are directly relevant to your course, that is. I think I dedicated, at most, two-three sentences about my work experience and ECs (which weren't that relevant).


    To sum up, your personal statement should answer the question: "why do you want to study history, and how can you prove it?"


    Finally, it's very important that especially the higher ranked unis know that you read widely around your subject. Mention something you've learned outside of school that has genuinely interested you, and how this helped you become a better history applicant. If you don't know what to learn/write about, go to the webpage of your college and look at the people who will be interviewing you (or if you haven't decided on a college, pick a random college and look around). Check to see their research interests, and try to read something that interests you from that. I'm not saying you should pretend to share the exact same research interests as the tutors, but if you're stuck for ideas that's a great way to expand your knowledge.



    ETA: In terms of reading you can include on your PS, try searching the internet for "recommended reading" for (insert your course name) students at (insert your university of choice). I know I've seen some on the Oxford and Bristol website; you just have to look. Since these books are usually "pre-requisites" for a module, or core texts, etc. it will show the tutors that a) you're on the right track in terms of "suitably academic reading" b) you're ready for their course c) you read widely.
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    Punctuation's advice is right on- read it thoughtfully. There is no magic combination. You are trying to demonstrate to the people who teach H & P at Oxford that you love their subjects so much that you have spent a lot of time reading around in them, and would be an interesting and engaged student to work with. The books, and what you make of them, are just a way for them to get a sense of you and how you think. I'm pretty sure that most of the tutors can spot an 'I'm trying to impress you' reference. And- if you get an interview you might have to talk about the book(s), so best if it is one that you genuinely found interesting and thought-provoking.

    For the PS, tying the subjects together that you are applying for actually looks pretty straight forward - hardest would be St Andrews, but you have a very high likelihood of being accepted (early and with low or no conditions) anyway Work hard on polishing your PS over the summer- truly best to be done before school starts in Sept. Also, if you don't have somebody locally to review your PS (beyond writing quality, obvs), there are services in the UK who can help for a (relatively) small cost (about L50, I think, including review/revisions) that can some confidence that the style is in line with what the Oxford tutors would expect to see. There are several places- you can Google them. Also, get on Oxbridge Applications mailing list- they send a monthly e-newsletter with tips, etc (free).

    The SATs seem to be used as a baseline or cut-off point, so don't worry too much about the 690M- I know somebody with your exact SAT scores (and many fewer total APs) who has an offer for H&P this year.

    As other posters have noted, it is the APs are critical- and will be what your conditions are based on. Oxford will almost certainly ask for 5s on 3 relevant APs at the end of your senior year (in your case World Hx, Comp Gov, US Gov and possibly one other, b/c Comp & US Gov are lower tier APs). Btw, the girl with the H&P offer also got an offer from LSE for IR, but with slightly tougher conditions than Oxford- LSE specifically excluded the Comp Gov AP, Oxford included it! go figure.

    As Sixdaysinthesun pointed out, April of your senior year- when your mates are all starting to chill out college wise- will be tough, as you have to sit all of the APs that you list on your application and you will need to make the specified 5s or lose your offer. (You can ask for an ok from your college ahead of time to drop unrelated ones, but word on the street is that they don't prefer that). And, of course, you have to balance out your US and non-Oxford apps.
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    (Original post by DCDude)
    Punctuation's advice is right on- read it thoughtfully. There is no magic combination. You are trying to demonstrate to the people who teach H & P at Oxford that you love their subjects so much that you have spent a lot of time reading around in them, and would be an interesting and engaged student to work with. The books, and what you make of them, are just a way for them to get a sense of you and how you think. I'm pretty sure that most of the tutors can spot an 'I'm trying to impress you' reference. And- if you get an interview you might have to talk about the book(s), so best if it is one that you genuinely found interesting and thought-provoking.

    For the PS, tying the subjects together that you are applying for actually looks pretty straight forward - hardest would be St Andrews, but you have a very high likelihood of being accepted (early and with low or no conditions) anyway Work hard on polishing your PS over the summer- truly best to be done before school starts in Sept. Also, if you don't have somebody locally to review your PS (beyond writing quality, obvs), there are services in the UK who can help for a (relatively) small cost (about L50, I think, including review/revisions) that can some confidence that the style is in line with what the Oxford tutors would expect to see. There are several places- you can Google them. Also, get on Oxbridge Applications mailing list- they send a monthly e-newsletter with tips, etc (free).

    The SATs seem to be used as a baseline or cut-off point, so don't worry too much about the 690M- I know somebody with your exact SAT scores (and many fewer total APs) who has an offer for H&P this year.

    As other posters have noted, it is the APs are critical- and will be what your conditions are based on. Oxford will almost certainly ask for 5s on 3 relevant APs at the end of your senior year (in your case World Hx, Comp Gov, US Gov and possibly one other, b/c Comp & US Gov are lower tier APs). Btw, the girl with the H&P offer also got an offer from LSE for IR, but with slightly tougher conditions than Oxford- LSE specifically excluded the Comp Gov AP, Oxford included it! go figure.

    As Sixdaysinthesun pointed out, April of your senior year- when your mates are all starting to chill out college wise- will be tough, as you have to sit all of the APs that you list on your application and you will need to make the specified 5s or lose your offer. (You can ask for an ok from your college ahead of time to drop unrelated ones, but word on the street is that they don't prefer that). And, of course, you have to balance out your US and non-Oxford apps.
    Oh yeah. As a senior with a conditional offer...it's getting really rough. It's not just that everyone else will get senioritis. You'll get senioritis yourself, your teachers will start going easy on you, you'll get no AP exam prep because they 'don't matter' senior year...and in the meantime you'll be studying for 3 or 4 AP exams, mostly on your own. Like I said. Rough.

    Zinn is definitely a good choice for the history side of the PS...make sure you analyze his arguments to make some kind of point of your own- don't just mention you've read it or summarize his ideas.

    Try to pick authors that are well-respected but still exciting enough for you to sink your teeth into. For example, in my politics/IR PS last fall, I talked about Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat and Ian Bremmer's The J Curve, and connected them both to globalization and the Arab Spring...so I would definitely try to find some common themes between the Zinn and whatever political reading you choose to mention.
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    Oh, another note: if you can, ask your teacher/guidance counsellor/unfamiliar family friend to give you a "mock interview" so that you can prepare for the pressure-filled environment. I had my guidance counsellor, who studied psychology, prepare a few related questions for me with my vice principal (whom I'd never met before) in order to simulate that environment. I found it quite helpful, if only to prepare for the nerve-wracking scenario, how to sit, think, respond, etc.
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    (Original post by thesmiter)
    Applying for History and Politics at Oxford, Government and History at LSE, and most likely straight history at St. Andrews. The book itself is well renowned - I was shocked to see that it's actually reading material in Occupy 'libraries'. It's something of a revisionist history from the minorities' point of view in the US. Should I pick up a book on politics as well, then?
    On a related note; what is it that you want out of university? If you need advice on universities that would be less well known to you as an American then I can offer it. I'm not sure if you're just applying to LSE and Oxford because you know they're incredibly prestigious and just want to give it a go or if you're applying because you want to study in the UK.

    That would be a good idea, however, it can't be hard to find a book that covers both politics and history, can it? That would probably be a great place to look. Perhaps on Marxist theories? I don't know, I'm not a politics student but there does seem to be a lot of propaganda and misconceptions in the US about socialism and communism so it might be an interesting area to read into.
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    Whoa, that's a LOT of posts to reply to. o_o

    (Original post by punctuation)
    x
    I'm not exactly sure what I to study precisely, in terms of what period of civilization. I find myself more attracted to overarching themes across periods rather than focusing on a specific era or nation. Any books you all could recommend, perhaps on themes across nations, along the lines of the -isms?

    I'm not sure if there are any studies into history, but I'll see if I can't perhaps look at historic documents? One of our assignments for AP USH was to assemble our own Document-Based Question, so perhaps I can talk about my experiences doing that?

    I'm applying to Politics as well, and I have at least a few extra curriculars under my belt that show my interest: youth leadership club, a political activism youth group run by our local legislative representative, ran for an advisory position to the local board of education, member of Junior Statesmen of America, Speech and Debate, etc. I think I might want to delve more into the US Congress deadlock and look into its origins. Anybody have a good book on that?


    (Original post by DCDude)
    x
    I'm hoping to show that mostly through a combination of my APs and my ECs. I'm politically active in terms of ECs, and academically directed in terms of History. I will have taken all of the History APs the CollegeBoard has to offer by the time I graduate from high school. On an unrelated sidenote, I mentioned this to my psych teacher and he remarked that nobody had ever done it before, and that there might be an award or something involved from the Social Studies department. How many books should I read, though? I'm not entirely sure exactly what I want to study in History, so is now the time I should be exploring my options? Please do keep in mind that I don't really intend on studying only history for the rest of my life - after undergrad, I plan on heading back to the States to enter law school. I have an interest in the politics of history, hence, why I decided to take this course. I'll definitely check out the application mailing list, that sounds like a good resource. As for my PS, I may simply just show it to some of the teachers at my school. They're exactly the kind of people Oxford attracts in the first place - they absolutely LOVE the subjects they teach, it reflects on how much students really appreciate their social studies teachers here. I don't know if my parents would be willing to shell out 50 pounds (roughly $80, kinda pricey for us) just for an essay-correcting service.

    Okay, awesome. I wasn't exactly sure how the SAT/ACT scores factored into admission. Thanks for clearing that up.

    I don't plan on becoming complacent during senior year, which is one of the reasons why I decided to take such a brutal courseload. I can't afford to lose steam so close to the end, and the rigor of AP classes will help to keep me in line. I've already got two 5s on Human Geography and European History, and I'm slated to earn another 5 in US History come May.

    I just hope I can balance out between my UK app, my common app for Ivies and top LACs, and the UC app. Blech, fall semester senior year will not be a fun time.


    (Original post by mahassociates)
    x
    Ouch. x_x Here's to hoping my teachers stay on track for APs, then!

    As for Zinn, I enjoy his style of writing but sometimes feel as though he glides over areas of history that aren't relevant to his theme of 'Oh, the poor, poor minorities'. Although it IS a revisionist history, I find it rather obvious when he doesn't mention how the classes have worked together, such as when mob bosses could sway immigrant voters by offering resources and assistance where the government did not.

    ^Something like that?


    (Original post by punctuation)
    Oh, another note: if you can, ask your teacher/guidance counsellor/unfamiliar family friend to give you a "mock interview" so that you can prepare for the pressure-filled environment. I had my guidance counsellor, who studied psychology, prepare a few related questions for me with my vice principal (whom I'd never met before) in order to simulate that environment. I found it quite helpful, if only to prepare for the nerve-wracking scenario, how to sit, think, respond, etc.
    I can ask the college/career center volunteers to help me with that. On top of that, I think they have experience conducting mock interviews. Is there a list of potential interview questions somewhere on the web, or can you/anyone else here perhaps post a few that you remember from your own interviews? That way, I can look at what might come up and have a handy list available for my interviewer.


    (Original post by alexs2602)
    On a related note; what is it that you want out of university? If you need advice on universities that would be less well known to you as an American then I can offer it. I'm not sure if you're just applying to LSE and Oxford because you know they're incredibly prestigious and just want to give it a go or if you're applying because you want to study in the UK.

    That would be a good idea, however, it can't be hard to find a book that covers both politics and history, can it? That would probably be a great place to look. Perhaps on Marxist theories? I don't know, I'm not a politics student but there does seem to be a lot of propaganda and misconceptions in the US about socialism and communism so it might be an interesting area to read into.
    I guess my policy is: only the best. If I'm going to live halfway across the world, it had better be worth the money I'm putting into my studies. I mean, I live within commuting distance to UC Berkeley and my stats match with theirs, so any school I apply to must be worth going further away for. But if you do have any recommendations for History/Politics/International Relations or even Economics, please, don't hesitate to post.

    I can definitely try reading a book on both history and politics. I'll ask our librarian if she can recommend anything, and if our school library doesn't have anything good, I'll try the public library. I am interested in socialism/Marxism, but I think growing up in a VERY liberal part of the country (can you say, Bay Area/gayest city in the nation?) has left me fairly open-minded, so I don't have the same mindset as most of the US. What would be interesting to look into is the origins of the reactions to the communist and socialist movements - something along the lines of 'Just HOW did Joseph McCarthy ever rise to power?' and maybe even tie that into the Cold War. I dunno.
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    (Original post by punctuation)
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    Hey, I'd just like to thank you for the advice you've given in this thread and in countless others, especially the TSA 2011 thread. You don't know how much you've helped me in figuring out how best to apply for PPE this year!
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    (Original post by Aeonstorm)
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    On the Oxford website there are many sample questions from previous years. You can also find a few on the rest of the Internet. However, don't prepare with those too much - the whole point of the interview is that you will be getting entirely new questions that will make you think critically, not rote recall a prepared answer.

    I think you're on the right track with your PS, but your section with Zinn needs work. In it, you come across as a little patronizing and on the whole the paragraph is too critical. You want to analyse the work, but only to the extent that you can say how it "changed" you.

    For example: In order to read outside my curriculum, I chose the book ____ by ____. In this book, Zinn describes ___. After reading the book, I realized ___/reassessed my views on ___/found that ___.



    (Original post by Aeonstorm)
    Hey, I'd just like to thank you for the advice you've given in this thread and in countless others, especially the TSA 2011 thread. You don't know how much you've helped me in figuring out how best to apply for PPE this year!
    Oh, no problem! I am so happy I was of help! I'm blushing, haha.
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    (Original post by thesmiter)
    Applying for History and Politics at Oxford, Government and History at LSE, and most likely straight history at St. Andrews.
    Out of interest, if you're applying for LSE, why don't you apply for straight History at UCL? Arguably 'better' than St Andrews regardless of what they say on collegeconfidental
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    (Original post by thesmiter)
    I guess my policy is: only the best. If I'm going to live halfway across the world, it had better be worth the money I'm putting into my studies. I mean, I live within commuting distance to UC Berkeley and my stats match with theirs, so any school I apply to must be worth going further away for. But if you do have any recommendations for History/Politics/International Relations or even Economics, please, don't hesitate to post.

    I can definitely try reading a book on both history and politics. I'll ask our librarian if she can recommend anything, and if our school library doesn't have anything good, I'll try the public library. I am interested in socialism/Marxism, but I think growing up in a VERY liberal part of the country (can you say, Bay Area/gayest city in the nation?) has left me fairly open-minded, so I don't have the same mindset as most of the US. What would be interesting to look into is the origins of the reactions to the communist and socialist movements - something along the lines of 'Just HOW did Joseph McCarthy ever rise to power?' and maybe even tie that into the Cold War. I dunno.
    That could make things more difficult. I would say pick one or two courses(if you pick a joint honours) and stick with it because it just makes it too hard to write a personal statement about. You might want to look into York, Exeter, Nottingham, Warwick, Edinburgh. All very good universities and do your exact course. Although some do a slight variation. Ie; modern history and politics. There are other universities but I'm not so sure about them, though not necessarily because of how good they are(Leeds, Manchester, etc). Kinda, they're very good but I don't know if they're known for these subjects.

    That does sound like a great idea to look into. I obviously can't comment as an admissions tutor or a history/politics student but I would highly recommend it personally speaking. I have another idea but it's probably a bit cliched.

    (Original post by Tsunami2011)
    Out of interest, if you're applying for LSE, why don't you apply for straight History at UCL? Arguably 'better' than St Andrews regardless of what they say on collegeconfidental
    Fair point. St Andrews has an inflated reputation in the US. It's good, but rarely top 5 and is only occasionally top 10 in subject tables. I'd say St Andrews is on similar level to some of the ones I suggested. But I haven't extensively researched History or Politics.
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    (Original post by alexs2602)
    Fair point. St Andrews has an inflated reputation in the US. It's good, but rarely top 5 and is only occasionally top 10. I'd say St Andrews is on similar level to some of the ones I suggested. But I haven't extensively researched History or Politics.
    I would agree completely. I think IR is where its worldwide recognition comes from. It probably is currently in the top 10, probably peers of Warwick, Durham and Bristol, so just slightly behind the top London colleges.

    I think this sums up the delusion of some posters on collegeconfidental.

    The fact is that St Andrews is formidable and is now turning its attention to its actual main rivals, Oxford and Cambridge

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