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The Official "Oxford or Cambridge?" Thread

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    (Original post by Insanity514)
    I'm really not sure where I'll stand a better chance.
    I want to apply for undergraduate medicine.
    I know how the application system and short listing works for each university but I can't make my mind up

    GCSE-8A* 2A
    (I also have 1 B and a distinction A*, but Oxford said they won't consider these so I'll leave them out here).

    As levels- Maths 269/300-89.7%
    Chemistry 273/300-91%
    Physics 281/300- 93.7%
    Biology 288/300- 96%

    For each one of Oxbridge I have a weakness. For example I have lower proportion of A* grades than the average interviewed candidate has at Oxford, however I did go to
    a state comprehensive where the average no. of A* per pupil was very low so this may help.

    At Cambridge I have to declare all my exam marks. However I retook my first Biology module and it wnt from a high B grade to over 90%. But I'm not sure if Cambridge will hate me becasue I retook a module? On top of that I used to do Critical Thinking for which I only did the January exam and got a D so I dropped and didn't do the June exam. Since I have to put my mark down for this on the SAQ even though it's just
    critical thinking, it may disadvantage me?


    Any advice is appreciated!
    http://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/a100statistics just checked that link, you are below avg for Oxford, and I know cam take into account contextual data so maybe Cambridge is better for you (and they interview more?) but honestly whichever you prefer.
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    (Original post by tooambitious)
    What is avg GCSEs for ox? Are you saying generally or jut for medecine?
    for medicine
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    (Original post by BJack)
    8A* + 2A is below average for Oxford medicine interviewees, so they won't make it easy to get an interview at Oxford.
    If they don't get a BMAT score high enough to get an interview at Oxford then they aren't getting into Cambridge either - it's pointless to apply to Cambridge on the basis that you're scared you won't get an interview at Oxford.

    Anyway - since their GCSEs are higher than the average applicant, they need a lower score on the BMAT than most people need to get an interview. Thus easy, at least in comparison to MOST other people.

    80% A* is fine, its still not hard to get an interview with a little bit of work on the BMAT. Below average for someone to get an interview, but WELL within the normal range.
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    Hi
    I need some advice about whether to apply or Oxford or Cambridge or neither of them. I loved both of the universities and the history courses (which I want to do) were both pretty similar.
    However the application process is quite different. At Oxford the requirements are AAA and you have to sit the HAT test. At Cambridge it's A*AA and you fill in SAQ which looks at your UMS scores in each individual module (and look at GCSEs more, I think).
    I was thinking more of Cambridge after my last visits to both universities. However my results have made me rethink.

    I got AAAB in my AS levels. A in history and B in further maths which I'm dropping this year. But what worried me is that I got 95 UMS in Unit 1 but only 84 UMS in Unit 2. This isn't a top UMS and made me worried that I'm not so good at source work. Quite a few in my class did better than me in Unit 2. I haven't seen my UMS scores in the other subjects yet.
    I got 9 A*s, one A and a B at GCSE.
    Should I go for Oxford becuase it might be easier if I do well in HAT?
    Thanks guys, sorry for the long post xx
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    I would advise going for the course/university you prefer more, rather than which you are more likely to get into, which is pretty difficult to say. You'd be more likely to get an interview at Cambridge (in fact I'd be very surprised if you didn't) because they interview more applicants.
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    I think Cambridge are more likely to look at UMS, but I could be wrong.

    I am currently trying to resist pressure from my school to apply to either! The whole collegiate thing is a big turn-off for me and I'm not keen on how many people seem to want to apply 'because it's Oxbridge' rather than because of the actual courses or anything. At least the OP's looked at the course!
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    (Original post by anniemagnificent)
    I think Cambridge are more likely to look at UMS, but I could be wrong.
    This is true
    (Original post by anniemagnificent)
    I am currently trying to resist pressure from my school to apply to either! The whole collegiate thing is a big turn-off for me
    whats wrong with the collegiate thing?
    (Original post by anniemagnificent)
    and I'm not keen on how many people seem to want to apply 'because it's Oxbridge' rather than because of the actual courses or anything.
    I gotta admit myself that I applied and I never bothered checking what was on the course I was applying to or how highly rated it was. It's Oxford so I assumed whatever they taught me would get me a job in future. This is bad though for obvious reasons. If Oxford did Mickey Mouse Studies it would be popular.


    OP what subject are you applying to?
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    umm, cambridge aren't more likely to look @ GCSES, they focus on ums
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    (Original post by Computerised)
    whats wrong with the collegiate thing?
    There's nothing inherently wrong with it but it's just wrong for me - too claustrophobic, too inward-looking, too small. When I visited Oxford I found all the inter-College rivalry a bit lame, really. I want to meet lots of different people, not to see the same faces all the time.
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    I appreciate that you find Latin difficult. Most people do. However it is worth cracking away at it. Understanding a language with a challenging syntax and that contributed so much to English vocabulary could make you a good writer and literary critic. So, perfect for an English degree.
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    Ok so I've already completed 2 A levels subjects, Maths with an A* and Economics with 88%, But in my third subject, Business Studies I ended up with a 77% in AS. I didn't use cash-in-code for Business Studies so I'm not sure if the universities will be able to see this mark or if I should mention it, will they and should I? I want to apply for the Economics degree in Cambridge or the Economics and Management degree in Oxford, I'm not sure which one to apply for. Where do I have a higher chance of being accepted? Thanks
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    Cambridge will ask for all your modular UMS, Oxford don't. It's better to apply to Cambridge with 90%+ in modules. I would say apply to Oxford, but it's totally up to you.
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    Is it me, or does Oxbridge colleges just feel like a boarding school?

    I thought it has a really boarding school type feel, obviously I am only in 1 college but it feels like a boarding school since everyone tends to stay in college accomodation for 3 years etc @ least on the ugrad level.
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    Are you doing Further Maths this year? If not, Oxbridge probably won't be the best idea.
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    Probably does.
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    http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...nts/table.html

    Officially for Oxford it seems it doesn't matter. That said, they would probably wonder why you didn't do Further Maths, especially since Business Studies is not the strongest of A Level subjects :nah:
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    (Original post by Tsuki)
    Does Oxbridge require Further Maths?? I thought Business Studies, Maths and Economics would work as the three A2s they need. :confused:
    The overlap between Economics and Business Studies could also be hugely detrimental. Furthermore, last I checked Business Studies was also blacklisted. So, yes it's not looking good.

    And FM requirements/preference varies by college.
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    (Original post by hslt)
    If they don't get a BMAT score high enough to get an interview at Oxford then they aren't getting into Cambridge either - it's pointless to apply to Cambridge on the basis that you're scared you won't get an interview at Oxford.
    I can see no basis for this comment whatsoever - it is easily possible to have a candidate that doesn't get an Oxford interview who would have got into Cambridge (anyone with weak GCSEs/BMAT but strong UMS and interview would be in this position). Whether that applies here is debatable.

    Anyway - since their GCSEs are higher than the average applicant, they need a lower score on the BMAT than most people need to get an interview. Thus easy, at least in comparison to MOST other people.
    Be careful with your words - the stats given do not say this, as they only mention means and show the histogram. 46% of applicants have higher than 80%, so i suspect that the 50th percentile is actually 80%. We can't tell for sure.

    80% A* is fine, its still not hard to get an interview with a little bit of work on the BMAT. Below average for someone to get an interview, but WELL within the normal range.
    Exaggeration, i feel! >2/3 of the uniformly high-achieving applicants do not get an interview, so it obviously isn't easy.
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    (Original post by zxh800)
    The overlap between Economics and Business Studies could also be hugely detrimental. Furthermore, last I checked Business Studies was also blacklisted. So, yes it's not looking good.

    And FM requirements/preference varies by college.
    I know but Trinity College, Cambridge seems to have no problems with it even though cambridges economics site does have a problem with it. Oxford however, when emailed, said it was ok; quite lost on which to choose.
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    (Original post by Tsuki)
    Ok so I've already completed 2 A levels subjects, Maths with an A* and Economics with 88%, But in my third subject, Business Studies I ended up with a 77% in AS. I didn't use cash-in-code for Business Studies so I'm not sure if the universities will be able to see this mark or if I should mention it, will they and should I? I want to apply for the Economics degree in Cambridge or the Economics and Management degree in Oxford, I'm not sure which one to apply for. Where do I have a higher chance of being accepted? Thanks
    I don't know about Cambridge, but at Oxford E&M has by far the highest number of applicants per place - about 16+ applicants per place compared to 4-5 for most subjects. So with these A-levels, and TBH BS, especially in parallel with Ec, isn't the strongest card to play, you would have to really shine in your TSA test to be in with any sort of chance of an interview (only 3-4 per place are interviewed) , let alone an offer.

    Look at the TSA pages and see if you think you can really do well at that sort of test. Your call. But from here it doesn't look that good.

    :sheep:

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Updated: October 28, 2014
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