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Should I apply to Oxford to study Engineering in this situattion?

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    • Thread Starter

    Hi everyone!

    At the beginning I want to say that my situation is really unusual and I'd really appreciate any help. Sorry for spelling mistakes

    I'm EU student and from 1st September I'll enter first year in Polish sixth form (which have 3 years of studying until A-levels equivalent).
    In this year sat A-level Maths exam (which I self-studied when I went to equivalent of year 11) and Polish equivalents to GCSEs. After checking comparison scale for these qualifications I got grades which I wrote below.

    GCSE Equivalents:
    Science (Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Geo) - 9
    Maths - 8
    History & Government & Politics - 9
    Polish Language - 9
    English Basic Level - 9
    English Extended Level - 9

    I've been thinking about doing next two A-level qualifications next year but I found Math A-level really overwhelming and too stressful.
    I also want to add that I'm not interested in doing qualifications in my country, because for me it means next 3 years of studying. I really want get into uni for 2017.

    After research I decide that doing SAT I and II will be suitable for me, but I want to apply only to UK unis. I checked Oxford's website and their entry requirements for US students are 3 SAT Subject +700 or 3 AP's and SAT Recognizing Test with score of 1470/1600.

    After contacting with Oxford, King's College London and Glasgow I know that I have to do SAT II from Maths Level 2, Physics and another subject (I choose Biology).

    So my questions are:

    1. What are my chance to get into Oxford as EU student with US qualifications?
    2. Should I do missing 2 A-levels instead of APs/SAT's?

    (Original post by Miceely)
    I can't give you a complete answer to your question but these are my thoughts. The most alarming thing here for me is the fact that you wrote "I found Math A-level really overwhelming and too stressful". Applied mathematical ability is one of the most important things, if not the most important thing you need in order to do well in Engineering. Since you self-studied it and took Maths A Level early this could be part of the reason why you found it so difficult but I really need to stress that you will need to have mastered the content of A Level Maths (at the very least, since many applicants will also have mastered A Level Further Maths) to have a reasonable chance of getting into Engineering at a leading UK university. What grade did you get in your A Level Maths?

    I honestly don't know what your chances are of getting into Oxford with SATs/APs instead of A Levels but I think you need to question why you're doing this. If it's because you're concerned about the difficulty of A Levels then I really think you need to ask yourself if you're realistically ready to apply for this because from what you've written here, it doesn't sound like getting into Oxford Engineering for 2017 is particularly realistic. Most of your competition will have taken A Levels and done very well in them.

    My recommendation if you're serious about wanting to do Engineering, is to take A Levels (since these are the qualifications that UK university courses are designed to continue off) in Further Maths, Physics and another subject, and retake your Maths A Level exams if you got anything less than an A*. This is assuming that you're aiming towards Oxbridge or similar universities. This would probably take you two years to do properly.

    The entry requirements are not a very good guideline for assessing your chances with American exams. A student who actually meets Oxford standards will, in my experience, get 800 in math for both SAT I and II and 800 on physics with ease. I don't see much wisdom in taking the SAT anyway, since you'll have to perform well on an English reading and writing exam which has absolutely nothing to do with your intended degree.

    The Oxford admissions system is designed to figure out which students are of acceptable quality to study at the university regardless of their nationality and choice of examinations, so it's probably in your best interest to do A-levels.
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