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Oxford Applicants for 2013 Entry

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    (Original post by Aeonstorm)
    Hi fellow international!

    If you want to study history/politics, there isn't any real reason to study in Asia unless you want to work and live in Asia. Otherwise, a Western degree is much more useful throughout the rest of the world.

    I would also like a clarification as to what the different British grading systems are. I've gathered that the GSCE is for 4th form, possibly for those who wish to leave school at 16? Then I think AS are 5th form, but I'm really quite unsure. A-levels I'm fairly sure are the 6th form final exams to graduate from high school, in which students pick a minimum of 3 subjects to study in depth. Hence the standard requirement of AAA to get into most courses in Oxford.

    If you want to compare it to SAT, I would take a look at the corresponding IB mark of 38-40 required for entry, and compare any American grade to the IB. There are also a list of international qualification requirements on the Oxford website. Take it with a pinch of salt though; Oxford recommends an IB of 38-40, which equates roughly to a 96 ATAR (Australian grading system out of 99.95) but then goes to say that you need an ATAR between 98.5 - 99.5 to be a competitive applicant.
    I was wondering why okonomiyaki wasn't applying to a school in Asia. I am applying to HKU as well under history. Not because the university is renowned in history, but because my parents are both HK natives, and if I live in Hong Kong for half a year, I can gain dual citizenship and pay resident fees at HKU.

    That sounds like an incredibly high percentage... My SAT scores are only decent (2280, can't even break the 2300s. >_< Gotta retry!), but so far, all my history grades are straight As. We don't have percentages at my school, though some American schools do.
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    (Original post by thesmiter)
    I was wondering why okonomiyaki wasn't applying to a school in Asia. I am applying to HKU as well under history. Not because the university is renowned in history, but because my parents are both HK natives, and if I live in Hong Kong for half a year, I can gain dual citizenship and pay resident fees at HKU.

    That sounds like an incredibly high percentage... My SAT scores are only decent (2280, can't even break the 2300s. >_< Gotta retry!), but so far, all my history grades are straight As. We don't have percentages at my school, though some American schools do.
    Oh right... I completely misread that :/

    And don't stress, you only need a minimum of 2100 SAT, with at least 700 in each section. I'm sure 2280 will make a very competitive application. http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...ons/index.html
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    Could someone please add me onto the stalking page? x
    Username: nadster
    Subject: mathematics
    College: undecided
    GCSE: 9A* 2A
    AS subjects: maths, further maths, business, economics, general studies
    AS predictions: 5As
    A2 predictions: A*AA
    Notes: EPQ
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    (Original post by nadster)
    Could someone please add me onto the stalking page? x
    Username: nadster
    Subject: mathematics
    College: undecided
    GCSE: 9A* 2A
    AS subjects: maths, further maths, business, economics, general studies
    AS predictions: 5As
    A2 predictions: A*AA
    Notes: EPQ
    done
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    (Original post by Abc1234x)
    That would be perfect! Could you please do that? Thank you sooooooooooo much
    Yes, of course; I'll do it shortly.
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    (Original post by tooambitious)
    done
    Thank you x
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    Quick question,
    In terms of PPE, do you take the TSA before you've been selected for interview or after?
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    (Original post by CrazyK17)
    Quick question,
    In terms of PPE, do you take the TSA before you've been selected for interview or after?
    Before, 7th November this year
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    Before, 7th November this year
    But will they take TSA results into account before they decide who or not to interview?
    Or is it solely predicted grades?
    Thanks
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    (Original post by CrazyK17)
    But will they take TSA results into account before they decide who or not to interview?
    Or is it solely predicted grades?
    Thanks
    the TSA ia a very large part f the decision of who to interview, it depends on collge but i believe its mainly down to TSA and GCSEs on who is interviewed
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    the TSA ia a very large part f the decision of who to interview, it depends on collge but i believe its mainly down to TSA and GCSEs on who is interviewed
    Thanks
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    (Original post by Poppyxx)
    oooooh interesting.

    You'd think for Geography they'd just give you a map of the UK and see if you can colour within the lines




    (I'm kidding geographers - you, well my geographer friends, get me back by saying I do PPEasy and doss around all day - as if!)



    On a more serious note - I wonder if any other courses are deciding to use the TSA from now on.
    That's right, I'd love to study geography because the course entails "advance colouring."
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    (Original post by Grenville)
    I'd go for Geography. You've got a much higher chance of getting an interview (92%), whereas in PPE only 45% get interviews. PPE you need to a good TSA score and GCSEs whereas Geography has no admissions test.

    At the end of the day it needs to be the one which you're most interested in and have an excellent knowledge about. Good luck!

    You may wish to read this too: http://www.keble.ox.ac.uk/admissions...2011/geography
    All great stuff, would definitely be invaluable if I had an interview.

    Didn't you apply for Law at St. John's?

    At the end of the day, I like the geography and PPE course equally as much!
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    (Original post by Kevin Wu)
    All great stuff, would definitely be invaluable if I had an interview.

    Didn't you apply for Law at St. John's?

    At the end of the day, I like the geography and PPE course equally as much!
    Well remembered, I did indeed! Rejected post-interview unfortunately so might be re-applying this year!

    It looks like you'll be doing the TSA whatever course you apply for so get practising!
    http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply/tsa.html
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    (Original post by Grenville)
    Well remembered, I did indeed! Rejected post-interview unfortunately so might be re-applying this year!

    It looks like you'll be doing the TSA whatever course you apply for so get practising!
    http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply/tsa.html
    I'm guessing we're on the same boat then!

    Are you trying for PPE?

    I will start revising the TSA, as soon as I get these darn A Levels out of the way!

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by ..lauren)
    Wow. I was considering applying this year if I got straight A's at (Scottish) higher but my standard grades are bloody naff compared to 13A* at GCSE. Would they even consider me with (equivalent because some of them are standard grade, some intermediate) AAAAAABBB. This is bearing in mind there is no A* and we only sit eight... Can they overlook that if I get straight A's this year and next?

    Also, am I right in saying that Oxford aren't that concerned with extra-curricular stuff unless it's pretty relavent?
    A couple of twos/Bs shouldn't put you at too much of a disadvantage if you do well in your Highers. I get the impression that their main criteria are the interviews and the admissions test if there is one for your subject. Don't let it put you off applying - it's only one space on your UCAS form and if you do get 5 As you should be able to get into the Scottish uni of your choice anyway (possibly excepting St Andrews, which is being very harsh this year).

    Oh, and I got AAAAB at Higher and I seem to have an offer. So results aren't the be-all and end-all!
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    (Original post by Kevin Wu)
    I'm guessing we're on the same boat then!

    Are you trying for PPE?

    I will start revising the TSA, as soon as I get these darn A Levels out of the way!

    Good luck!
    No! I'm going for law again

    My interview score was really high but I was let down by my LNAT. So like you, I'm in for a long summer of admissions test practice!
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    Just go for,

    Oxford - Geography
    LSE- Geography and Economics
    UCL= Geography and Economics.

    IIRC, your dream is to enthrall yourself on the dreary trading floor at GS.
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    (Original post by thesmiter)
    As an American-born Chinese myself, wouldn't it make more sense to consider applying to a college in Asia?
    Hey! Thanks for the suggestion I have considered studying in Asia already, but as my Japanese ability isn't up to fluent at all, I would have to consider an English language overseas school. Friends of mine who have taken that path have found that their fluency and understanding in fact goes down, because they have to cushion themselves in an environment where
    1. They don't know the language
    2. They have no prior experience of the culture and
    3. English is spoken around them all the time

    Being a relatively optimistic person I'd like to say "meh, who cares, this could be a great experience!"
    But...expense. A lot of expense. I've never had money to travel further than France in my life! :rolleyes:

    (Original post by thesmiter)
    I feel a like a poor American misguided child for asking this, but what's a GSCE? and an A-level? And do they/how do they match up to American grades/testing?
    Please don't feel like that! I still can't get my head around the American school system

    In the UK system, you start studying for your GCSEs or ("General Certificate of Secondary Education") usually in school Year 10 (aged 14/15), and finish them in school year 11 (aged 15/16). English, Maths and Science are compulsory. From there, you can add other subjects. A typical number of GCSE qualifications would be nine to thirteen. Grading is A*, A, B, C, D, E, F, G and U (ungraded).

    GCSEs consist of marked exams and other coursework.
    What is a "pass" or not depends on the tier. Some subjects run exams in two "tiers". Higher tier is for students working at A*-D, in which case failing means lower than a D. Lower tier is for students working at C-G, in which case failing means lower than a G.

    Students can also choose to study vocational qualifications called BTECs to a similar level. Other schools teach alternative GCSEs (like iGCSEs). In Scotland there is an equivalent level of examination called the Standard Grade, which works a little differently.

    As of now, you can leave education completely after doing your GCSEs. However, from 2013, you will have to stay on up to the age of 17, and from 2015, till the age of 18, in some kind of education or training.


    After GCSES, there are a couple of options:
    1. Get a job immediately
    2. Start a vocational qualification (Mostly a college or centre outside of school- but some schools run vocational courses at this level)
    3. A-levels/academic qualifications (At a sixth-form college or in school), generally only if you managed 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C .

    And now to GCE Advanced Levels (commonly known as A-levels, ohoho)
    Which is what most UK applicants in this thread are probably studying (apart from those in Scotland studying Highers). These are the most popular and accepted qualifications for University entry. There are no compulsory subjects here .

    A-levels start in Year 12 (aged 16/17)- this year students do the AS (Advanced Subsidiary) year of the course with 4-5 subjects. The good thing about AS year is that you can drop subjects at the end of the year and they still work as qualifications on their own. Most students drop one subject they don't like, and then proceed to Year 13 (aged 17/18) and A2 year. But increasingly competitive University places means many students end up taking all their subjects to A2.

    3 A-levels is normal. 4 is becoming more common. 5 probably means you are some sort of super time-balancing academic.
    AS+A2= A-level!

    These are graded on A* (recently introduced at A2!), A, B, C, D, E.
    You can also get UMS "points" for each grade- the higher the grade the more points. Some Universities and courses stipulate certain points for entry.
    Oxford generally ask for 3 As....and in some cases (like Medicine) AAA*.

    Years 12-13 and A-Level study are referred to as "Sixth Form", a remnant of the old system of assigning school year groups


    I can't do much comparatively with the US system because...well..I don't know much about it! But I hope that helps
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    (Original post by Grenville)
    No! I'm going for law again

    My interview score was really high but I was let down by my LNAT. So like you, I'm in for a long summer of admissions test practice!
    What did you get?

    It's a shame really.

    I felt screwed over by my LNAT, seeing as I got really high (26/27) on the official LNAT practise tests, but I like the university I'm going to, so it kinda worked out.

    But if I did apply for Oxford, I'd be pissed off, seeing as you had a high interview score, but was let down by an arbitrary test.
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