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Reapply to Oxbridge??

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    I'm new to the student room so I'm not entirely sure how it works, but it seems that if I have a query I can post it here...
    My situation is that I was rejected from Oxford to study History and Politics after getting an absolutely appalling interview at Balliol. I have since received an offer for a Combined Honours in Arts at Durham which I am pleased with, although I'm not over the moon about the college I've been allocated. However, my interests have taken more to history recently and since I was always set on applying to Cambridge for History before I made a quick decision last year to apply for History and Politics which is only offered at Oxford, I am now wandering whether to reapply to Cambridge for History. It is likely to be possible for me to change to straight History at Durham, if not straight away then after my first year, but the real reasons for reapply are mainly because I know I didn't perform anywhere near my best at interview, probably my worst, and I am open to the idea of a gap year, I have many possibilities for what I could do. Nevertheless, I am worried about losing my place at Durham. I am predicted 3A*s so I would probably only reapply if I achieved these. Any advice? I really don't know what to do :s
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    You got rejected. Move on. Go to Durham and pretend it's Oxford. That is why it was built after all.
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    Could you have done much better in the interview? (you you are smart, but you didnt get to show it to them?)

    also ask them for feedback
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    I would say don't reapply - Durham is well-respected and you'll get on well there. I was rejected from oxford and considered reapplying, but in the end went to study at Warwick (had a Durham offer too, but didn't like the feel of the place). I don't regret it now.
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    (Original post by blacklistmember)
    Could you have done much better in the interview? (you you are smart, but you didnt get to show it to them?)

    also ask them for feedback
    Yeah I'm waiting feedback at the moment so I guess I should wait until after then, I know it doesn't sound like it on here but I have quite low self-confidence and I was too scared of saying something completely stupid at the interview so ended up not saying much at all, so yeah I know I could have done better. I have tried getting excited about Durham and I know I'm being silly, I would honestly be really happy with Durham next year if I do my best reapplying and get rejected from Cambridge, especially with having an exciting gap year too, but I have heard about so many people being rejected from Durham second time round and I don't really want to risk it, that's kind of the conclusion I've come to at the moment
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    If you did achieve 3A*'s you would certainly be in a good position to reapply. Particularly if you are able to make the most your gap year in terms of work experience of relevancy to your subject. I suppose you would also need to be confident you wouldn't trip up at the interview stage again.

    It's probably worth considering how you would feel if you got rejected once again from either Oxbridge or Cambridge and ended up going to Durham anyway. Would you regret your decision, feeling you'd wasted a year of your life? It's a definite possibility and something you need to be prepared for...

    Taking a gap year and going to Durham surely wouldn't be the end of the world though and you may end up very happy that you gave yourself the oppourtunities a gap year presents, regardless of where you end up. It would also stop you thinking 'what if...?' etc...

    Then again, you need to be prepared for all the stress and anxiety that another UCAS/Oxbridge application would bring, particularly in terms of the interview process.

    Edit: What you say about Durham often rejecting applicants the second time around (if it has any real basis to it) certainly adds another dimension to the idea of reapplying in terms of the risk it brings. Are there any other unis you'd be similary happy to go to as an option against Durham? St Andrews, Bristol, UCL or Edinburgh for example?
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    (Original post by Maay93)
    I'm new to the student room so I'm not entirely sure how it works, but it seems that if I have a query I can post it here...
    My situation is that I was rejected from Oxford to study History and Politics after getting an absolutely appalling interview at Balliol. I have since received an offer for a Combined Honours in Arts at Durham which I am pleased with, although I'm not over the moon about the college I've been allocated. However, my interests have taken more to history recently and since I was always set on applying to Cambridge for History before I made a quick decision last year to apply for History and Politics which is only offered at Oxford, I am now wandering whether to reapply to Cambridge for History. It is likely to be possible for me to change to straight History at Durham, if not straight away then after my first year, but the real reasons for reapply are mainly because I know I didn't perform anywhere near my best at interview, probably my worst, and I am open to the idea of a gap year, I have many possibilities for what I could do. Nevertheless, I am worried about losing my place at Durham. I am predicted 3A*s so I would probably only reapply if I achieved these. Any advice? I really don't know what to do :s
    If you aren't totally happy with the subject offer you have from Durham, don't go there. You're paying £9000 a year for this, so you need to make sure it's right for you. Which Durham college is it out of interest?

    My best advice would be to wait until results day and then decide. Firm up the Durham offer for now, but at the same time look into some ways of spending a gap year just in case. Getting A*A*A* would clearly put you in an ideal position for re-applying to Oxbridge, but having said that there are many other excellent universities in the UK, Durham included.

    A friend of mine is in a very similar position, he has a combined honours offer from Durham (different subjects) but was rejected by Merton College, Oxford. He's currently considering re-applying as well, and is also thinking of applying to some American universities.

    But yeah, wait till results day and see how you feel.
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    I'm in quite a similar position to the starter of this thread: applied to Oxford for Ancient and Modern History, got pooled but then rejected; offer from Durham which I might not get again if I reapply; predicted 4A*s but realistically going to get 2A*2A - I hope!

    Would those results merit reapplication? I could make a Gap Year work but its not something I want to do if my chances of an offer from Oxbridge are particularly slim.

    Also, if the starter of this thread reads this, what have you decided to do now?

    Thanks
    Sam
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    Would you regret it if you didnt apply again? Its just a year. Go for it and give it your best shot. I hate unfinished business. Explore why you didnt do well. Get some work experience. Review why others gained a place. Do some external exams. And then go gaga! All the best!
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    i dont think there is any point in reapplying for oxbridge when you received a rejection
    there is a friend of mine who got all offers in UCAS including Oxford and she didn't meet the condition. she took a gap year, but she didn't apply for Oxford again.
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    If it's what you really want, go for it.
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    (Original post by samloveshistory)
    I'm in quite a similar position to the starter of this thread: applied to Oxford for Ancient and Modern History, got pooled but then rejected; offer from Durham which I might not get again if I reapply; predicted 4A*s but realistically going to get 2A*2A - I hope!

    Would those results merit reapplication? I could make a Gap Year work but its not something I want to do if my chances of an offer from Oxbridge are particularly slim.

    Also, if the starter of this thread reads this, what have you decided to do now?

    Thanks
    Sam
    I was in an identical position in 2004. Rejected from Oxford to do PPE and ended up going to Durham. I never considered it an issue as Durham is a really good place to end up. However, it was only when I embarked upon a career as a Barrister than I noticed the difference. A degree from Oxbridge would have stood me in a far better position. You just have to look at the Oxbridge % that obtain pupillage compared with any other Uni. I was lucky and still made it nonetheless. But I think if you are trying to break into a career like the bar or magic circle law firms, then it really is worth considering reapplying again.

    I cannot speak for other career paths though. However, I would also say don't rush things. If the worst that happens is that you take a gap year and don't get into Oxford again, who cares. It is certainly not a race to make it through education. I wish I had taken a gap year and only got around to it at 25/26

    Best of luck.
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    As long as you do something worthwhile in the gap year.
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    Just apply again whilst in Durham?
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    The same thing happened to me last year as I got rejected from Oxford and then got an offer from Durham for Combined Honours. I think my rejection was mainly due to doing horrendously badly in the entrance exam based on the feedback I got, despite having done quite well on past papers. I really was not looking forward to starting at Durham as I'd had my heart set on Oxford for so long but I decided not to take a gap year and reapply as my degree include a language so a year abroad and I didn't want it to be 5 years until I graduated. However once I started at Durham my opinion massively changed - I've had the best year of my life and couldn't imagine myself anywhere else.

    I suppose you've just got to consider whether the different courses would be worth taking a year out for, and after your feedback you might be able to tell how realistic a reapplication would be (mine was very vague, but I think some colleges were more detailed). I would warn you though, the history department at Durham is very competitive so a switch out of Combined Honours at the end of first year would be by no means guaranteed, although it certainly has been done and you'd stand a chance if your marks were high enough. I've also never heard about Durham being more likely to reject applicants the second time round. I really think if you had a good personal statement and extra curriculars (which I imagine you do to have got an offer this year) and you got your predicted grades you wouldn't have too much of a problem getting another offer.

    You also mentioned that you're not too keen on your Durham college. Which one did you get reallocated to? I got switched from Castle to St. Aidan's and was devastated as I really wanted somewhere older and more traditional with gowns. However, as I said before, now that I'm here I love it. I love being somewhere more relaxed and I have a great group of friends that I wouldn't change for the world. The college really doesn't matter in the end - everywhere has a brilliant mix of people and its own traditions to mark it out from the others and instil in you your sense of college pride!

    Feel free to message/quote me to answer any questions about Combined Honours at Durham!
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    (Original post by nathgooner)
    Just apply again whilst in Durham?
    I have a friend who did this and he did actually get into Cambridge, so it could be worth considering...
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    (Original post by sanksta)
    I have a friend who did this and he did actually get into Cambridge, so it could be worth considering...
    Cambrige don't accept such applications...
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    Thanks for all the thoughts; what are everyone's views on what grades would merit reapplying? If I was to get A*A*AA, in what stead would that leave me?

    Thanks again!
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    (Original post by samloveshistory)
    Thanks for all the thoughts; what are everyone's views on what grades would merit reapplying? If I was to get A*A*AA, in what stead would that leave me?

    Thanks again!
    I wouldn't view it any differently, only thing I'd expect to be different is perhaps more pressure on PS and interview.

    You'd just need to convince them that you hadn't been dossing around for a year (i.e., by having not dossed around for a year - even if you were working.. I'd say do something as relevant as possible, though I don't know what that might be for a non-technical subject).


    If you wanted to travel, then if you can talk about having visited a load of historical sites, and read books about them as you travelled around, then that would stand you in much better stead.
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    (Original post by tooambitious)
    Cambrige don't accept such applications...
    They certainly did last year but may have changed their policy on it for this year as far as I know. One of my friends at Durham this year applied for a NatSci course at Cambridge whilst studying physics at Durham and got an offer. He's starting the course this October.

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Updated: August 18, 2012
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