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Are my grades good enough for Oxford?

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    (Original post by Festina lente)
    Which subject?
    *facepalm* I'll be applying for Law. Also, my current AS subjects: Latin, Physics, Mathematics, History, and Music (which is actually a Pre-U and so perhaps significantly more respectable than the standard A-level...!)
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    I like trains.
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    (Original post by Waldmeister)
    *facepalm* I'll be applying for Law. Also, my current AS subjects: Latin, Physics, Mathematics, History, and Music (which is actually a Pre-U and so perhaps significantly more respectable than the standard A-level...!)
    Ah I think you'd be fine. 8 A*s seems plenty anyway, plus many schools still don't have to certificate/declare AS grades so Oxford can't be going on that to a huge extent I shoud think, particularly when for law they have the LNAT.
    Won't that be rather a lot of exams in year 13?
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    (Original post by Festina lente)
    Ah I think you'd be fine. 8 A*s seems plenty anyway, plus many schools still don't have to certificate/declare AS grades so Oxford can't be going on that to a huge extent I shoud think, particularly when for law they have the LNAT.
    Won't that be rather a lot of exams in year 13?
    Yes, it will be a silly number of exams. In fact, at the end of the year before there are AS mocks, then another set of AS mocks around december, then the AS exams in jan, then A2 mocks in feb/march, then the A2s themselves around april/june.

    The reasoning behind it is "you get more teaching time in year 12" but to be honest they've scheduled mocks in the usual AS slot anyway, and seeing as those mocks are the basis for our predicted grades that the college gives to unis, they've essentially managed to create a third set of incredibly important exams for the sake of being different...

    ... there have been no successful Oxbridge candidates since the system changed... *sigh*
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    (Original post by Waldmeister)
    Yes, it will be a silly number of exams. In fact, at the end of the year before there are AS mocks, then another set of AS mocks around december, then the AS exams in jan, then A2 mocks in feb/march, then the A2s themselves around april/june.

    The reasoning behind it is "you get more teaching time in year 12" but to be honest they've scheduled mocks in the usual AS slot anyway, and seeing as those mocks are the basis for our predicted grades that the college gives to unis, they've essentially managed to create a third set of incredibly important exams for the sake of being different...

    ... there have been no successful Oxbridge candidates since the system changed... *sigh*
    :rolleyes: schools eh?
    If it's too much though, you could always drop a subject, you don't need more than four though I know it's often hard to choose.
    Go for it anyway I'd say, it's only one UCAS spot after all! Good luck, feel free to quote or pm me if you have any questions about doing law at Oxford
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    (Original post by Festina lente)
    :rolleyes: schools eh?
    If it's too much though, you could always drop a subject, you don't need more than four though I know it's often hard to choose.
    Go for it anyway I'd say, it's only one UCAS spot after all! Good luck, feel free to quote or pm me if you have any questions about doing law at Oxford
    I would be completely mad, I think, to do 5 A2s... depending on whether or not I get an offer I may drop to as few as 3 A2s, to get the grades; if I missed out on Oxford due to missing a grade I'd probably commit suicide.
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    (Original post by Waldmeister)
    *facepalm* I'll be applying for Law. Also, my current AS subjects: Latin, Physics, Mathematics, History, and Music (which is actually a Pre-U and so perhaps significantly more respectable than the standard A-level...!)
    They'll pay strong attention to the LNAT - make sure you do well!
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    They'll pay strong attention to the LNAT - make sure you do well!
    Well I've looked at the LNAT, and it seems to comprise 42-odd multiple choice questions taking 1h30mins (I need to see these questions... how can they take this long?) and a 40min essay, with a max word-limit, on some thought-provoking subject.

    Now I am part of a debating society, and in general enjoy discussing topical/ethnic/moral issues to great length, so I don't think the essay will prove too challenging. (Obviously it won't be easy, but I won't be sat there dumbfounded for 40mins). I can't imagine what the questions are like, though, and the LNAT website was not particularly helpful at first glance; having said that, I've barely looked at it yet; just a quick skim through.

    Do people find the LNAT's particularly challenging?
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    (Original post by Waldmeister)
    Do people find the LNAT's particularly challenging?
    Well, plenty of students who have never got less than an A in their life do badly in it, so one would assume so.
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    Hey,

    Just wondered how strong this application would be for Law at Oxford, as I know it's ridiculously competitive but I'm considering just applying and seeing what happens? The AS results are what I'm likely to get (I hope) at the end of this year, so this would be my position when applying in September:

    12 GCSEs - 5A*s and 7As

    AS results - AAABC
    A = English Literature
    A = French
    A = Dance
    B = Biology
    C = full A level, AS + A2 General Studies (I know it doesn't count aha)

    Dropping dance next year, and possibly will be predicted A*AA for French, English Lit and Biology

    Work experience: 2 weeks in two different law firms, work experience abroad in France (not law related - charity work/volunteering)

    Thank you guys
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    (Original post by soph-a-loaf)
    Hey,

    Just wondered how strong this application would be for Law at Oxford, as I know it's ridiculously competitive but I'm considering just applying and seeing what happens? The AS results are what I'm likely to get (I hope) at the end of this year, so this would be my position when applying in September:

    12 GCSEs - 5A*s and 7As

    AS results - AAABC
    A = English Literature
    A = French
    A = Dance
    B = Biology
    C = full A level, AS + A2 General Studies (I know it doesn't count aha)

    Dropping dance next year, and possibly will be predicted A*AA for French, English Lit and Biology

    Work experience: 2 weeks in two different law firms, work experience abroad in France (not law related - charity work/volunteering)

    Thank you guys
    There's actually a thread designated for questions of this nature, but, hey, no-one likes a pedant so I'll give you my two pennies worth.

    Your GCSE's are obviously strong enough, but they won't stand out. If you provide a strong application across the board, you'll be fine - but the more A*s, the better is obviously the rule. My admissions tutor said six or more is ideal, but I got in with five, so...

    Forget work experience. Unless you're doing Medicine or something of the sort, no-one at Oxford Admission cares. The most important issue is whether you're a good Law student. Dance won't look great, but, you're dropping it and I managed a successful application with Sports Studies. All in all, your application is undoubtedly strong enough, but nor will it be outstanding based on grades alone. Therefore, you need to ensure that the rest of your application is as strong as possible.
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    (Original post by soph-a-loaf)
    Hey,

    Just wondered how strong this application would be for Law at Oxford, as I know it's ridiculously competitive but I'm considering just applying and seeing what happens? The AS results are what I'm likely to get (I hope) at the end of this year, so this would be my position when applying in September:

    12 GCSEs - 5A*s and 7As

    AS results - AAABC
    A = English Literature
    A = French
    A = Dance
    B = Biology
    C = full A level, AS + A2 General Studies (I know it doesn't count aha)

    Dropping dance next year, and possibly will be predicted A*AA for French, English Lit and Biology

    Work experience: 2 weeks in two different law firms, work experience abroad in France (not law related - charity work/volunteering)

    Thank you guys
    I'm not sure if doing dance at A Level would restrict you or not. :/

    Although maybe your good GCSEs and experience make up for that.
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    (Original post by Josh058)
    I think Dance helps you to stand out and makes you seem more of an interesting candidate to talk to, and I've heard that that's what Oxbridge tutors most look for when they consider candidates.

    I know someone that did Dance as an A2 and is now studying Geography at Oxford (although, as he is male I think the Dance stands out more).

    But yeah, I think that having Dance up there could boost your application to some extent
    Dance won't help, sorry to say. It's a different A level but that doesn't mean it's the kind of thing they're looking for, it doesn't provide the kind of transferrable skills they want.

    (Original post by KingMessi)
    There's actually a thread designated for questions of this nature, but, hey, no-one likes a pedant so I'll give you my two pennies worth.

    Your GCSE's are obviously strong enough, but they won't stand out. If you provide a strong application across the board, you'll be fine - but the more A*s, the better is obviously the rule. My admissions tutor said six or more is ideal, but I got in with five, so...

    Forget work experience. Unless you're doing Medicine or something of the sort, no-one at Oxford Admission cares. The most important issue is whether you're a good Law student. Dance won't look great, but, you're dropping it and I managed a successful application with Sports Studies. All in all, your application is undoubtedly strong enough, but nor will it be outstanding based on grades alone. Therefore, you need to ensure that the rest of your application is as strong as possible.
    I disagree with your point about work experience, personally. It's true that it's debatable how much weight tutors put on personal statements, but for PPE (I don't see why it would be different for Law) they rate each different part of your application, including the personal statement, and that becomes part of the decision making process. I did lots of work experience as a part of my application - paid research, working in government departments, consumer bodies, working in a small business - and I still would have done it even if I'd known the tutors weren't looking at my personal statement. There's so much you can gain from it to help you understand your own subject and regurgitate at interview if it's relevent and that's got to be the case with Law which has more directly relevent work experience available than PPE for one.


    OP - your GCSEs are no impediment to you at all, don't worry. As for your predicted AS grades, work as hard as you possible can to get As in Biology, English Lit and French. You might not be confident about getting an A in Biology but it can be done Good luck!
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    For Oxford? NO
    you will need 13 GCSE AT A*
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    Won't need 13 A*s, but you're GCSEs are average for Oxford applicants.

    If you can get predicted AAA and get them, and interview well you stand a reasonable chance.
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    (Original post by Waldmeister)
    Well I've looked at the LNAT, and it seems to comprise 42-odd multiple choice questions taking 1h30mins (I need to see these questions... how can they take this long?) and a 40min essay, with a max word-limit, on some thought-provoking subject.
    http://www.lnat.ac.uk/lnat-preparati...ice-tests.aspx (but there are only two there, so you mght want to save them for timed practice later...or buy one of the practice books).
    And yes, they really do take that long, people are usually pushed for time!
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    theres no reason why not great thing about oxford is it doesnt place its enitire weight on grades, you could have 10a* at alevel and theres still a fair chance of you getting told to hop on, so long as you keep at least 3a's at alevel and have an excellent PS/interview youll be fine with these grades
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    King Messi will know better than me, but could your General Studies grade be a slight problem?

    I know it doesn't count towards the offer, but I don't know if at interview they may question why a potential law student hasn't done particularly well in a subject which essentially tests your knowledge of the world around you?

    Obviously your other grades are fine and, if you keep those 3 on, in strong academic subjects, it just could be something they'd enquire about at interview.

    This is just a personal hunch, does anyone better informed know if they may take any account of the General Studies at all?
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    Okay thanks everyone

    I did only take Dance as a fourth subject, and never had any intention to carry it on at A2...it's something I enjoy but I knew from September that I was going to drop it at the end of this year. Hopefully my other three subjects are quite strong?

    An Oxbridge admissions tutor came to our school recently saying that they like a mix of logic-based and written/essay subjects for Law, so I suppose the mix of French/English and Biology is okay right?

    I know my General Studies grade isn't the greatest aha, I got an A on the culture and society part (AS), but completely messed up the science paper so that's what brought my grade down :confused:

    I never contemplated applying to Oxford until my head of year suggested that I do so, so that's why I'm questioning so much whether it's a waste of time! I'm not the most confident person but I'm so passionate about Law, and I greatly appreciate all your help and advice, thanks
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    (Original post by Festina lente)
    All I know for sure is that if you don't apply you have nil chance

    If you do then I think the HAT is a significant factor so you need to prepare well for that.
    @OP: Prepare as thoroughly as possible for HAT, expect a spattering of the unexpected at interview alongside questions on material you're familiar with, and try to relax! These would seem to me to be the best ways of approaching it. Remember that competition for places is exceptionally intense, and so there's a massive chance that you'll end up disappointed, but you'll never know unless you try!

    Good luck.

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