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      (Original post by Atlas of The World)
      Be an independent thinker and go for a top university that does its own thing. A forward-thinking establishment is the place to go. Don't get sucked into the culture of private and public privilege - one that glorifies nepotism and belittles the concern about social divisions. I got 3 A*s and an A in sixth form with UMS scores in the 90s - 100% in English and very high scores on many modules, so I wanted the best of universities. Unfortunately I was presumptuous and thought there was only Oxbridge. Its wealth tends to create a grand illusion. Don't be infected by the delusion that Oxbridge is the best: it's merely a place of privilege and ritual - the equivalent of the Catholic Church in Rome. It is all show and no substance. Ignore the place, if you want my advice, and get an education rather than an experience.
      Got rejected have you? :rolleyes:

      One thing that distinguishes Oxbridge from "the rest" is its tutorial/supervision system which you do not get at the majority of universities.
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      I don't know how important extra-curricurals are, I guess not as much, but work experience/volunteering work related to the subject you want to do would be pretty good.
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      (Original post by im so academic)
      Got rejected have you? :rolleyes:

      One thing that distinguishes Oxbridge from "the rest" is its tutorial/supervision system which you do not get at the majority of universities.
      You do know UCL is above Oxford in the world league table, right? :-P (not that i take much notice of League tables, in all honesty)
      Don't get me wrong, i understand you have to be clever to get into Oxbridge. But i know a lot of people at universities like UCL, LSE, Imperial etc etc who are equally as intelligent (and in some cases, more intelligent) then Oxbridge students. At the end of the day, a good degree from any of these Uni's will put you in a good position for life. Different universities suit different people- the idea of Oxbridge didn't suit me, so i never applied- but i don't think Oxbridge should be classed as 'better than the rest', as you put it.
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        (Original post by coffee-spoons)
        You do know UCL is above Oxford in the world league table, right? :-P (not that i take much notice of League tables, in all honesty)
        Don't get me wrong, i understand you have to be clever to get into Oxbridge. But i know a lot of people at universities like UCL, LSE, Imperial etc etc who are equally as intelligent (and in some cases, more intelligent) then Oxbridge students. At the end of the day, a good degree from any of these Uni's will put you in a good position for life. Different universities suit different people- the idea of Oxbridge didn't suit me, so i never applied- but i don't think Oxbridge should be classed as 'better than the rest', as you put it.
        League tables mean nothing, really. Of course there are intelligent people who are at other institutions; obviously some students don't like the collegiate system, the course structure there etc. There are numerous factors.

        True, a top class degree from a top class institution will open up many opportunities (and it is up to you to take them or not).

        However, it is evident that on university prestige alone, Oxford and Cambridge are in a league of their own.

        I do acknowledge that departments at other universities many be better than Oxford and Cambridges' though.
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        (Original post by im so academic)
        League tables mean nothing, really. Of course there are intelligent people who are at other institutions; obviously some students don't like the collegiate system, the course structure there etc. There are numerous factors.

        True, a top class degree from a top class institution will open up many opportunities (and it is up to you to take them or not).

        However, it is evident that on university prestige alone, Oxford and Cambridge are in a league of their own.

        I do acknowledge that departments at other universities many be better than Oxford and Cambridges' though.
        :O Never thought i would get a response like this from I'm So Academic- i actually agree with the majority of what you have said. However, as i have already said, some people just don't want to go to oxbridge, despite their capabilities, but this doesn't mean they're not asclever... That's one thing that annoys me- if someone says they go to Oxbridge everyone is like 'wow, you must be amazing', if you go to another top institute, i.e. UCL, LSE, Imperial, people tend to be like "cool, that's good"... you get me?
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          (Original post by coffee-spoons)
          :O Never thought i would get a response like this from I'm So Academic- i actually agree with the majority of what you have said. However, as i have already said, some people just don't want to go to oxbridge, despite their capabilities, but this doesn't mean they're not asclever... That's one thing that annoys me- if someone says they go to Oxbridge everyone is like 'wow, you must be amazing', if you go to another top institute, i.e. UCL, LSE, Imperial, people tend to be like "cool, that's good"... you get me?
          Of course, that is true. Just because you go to a "lower" institution it doesn't mean you're not as clever as the Oxbridgers.

          However, due to Oxbridge's competitive entry system and compulsory interview, in conjunction with its prestige and reputation, it should be of no surprise that Oxbridge > UCL/LSE/Imperial.

          That said, some courses at the latter institutions are absolutely amazing, e.g. UCL's ESPS course and LSE's Economics course are two examples.
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          (Original post by im so academic)
          Of course, that is true. Just because you go to a "lower" institution it doesn't mean you're not as clever as the Oxbridgers.

          However, due to Oxbridge's competitive entry system and compulsory interview, in conjunction with its prestige and reputation, it should be of no surprise that Oxbridge > UCL/LSE/Imperial.

          That said, some courses at the latter institutions are absolutely amazing, e.g. UCL's ESPS course and LSE's Economics course are two examples.
          I just can't help but carry on and debate with you lol.
          Also, there are a lot of people who chose not to apply to Oxbridge. I'm not trying to 'boast' about myself ( but seeing as i know myself pretty well, I'll use myself as an example) but i could be summed up as an oxbridge potential who just doesn't want to go there. I achieved over 90% in all of my AS subjects ( roughly as follows: 100% in one subject, 97% in the second subject and 95% in third and fourth subject. If I achieve the same results next year, I am likely to gain A*A*A*- This probably puts me at the same standard as other Oxbridge students (in the sense of exam cleverness- not trying to say for a minute i think i would get in)

          However, I chose not to apply to Oxbridge. I'm sure there are many people like me who chose not to apply to Oxbridge, but reach the standard level of intelligence- meaning other uni's are getting intelligent 'oxbridge standard' students... anyway, i'm ranting now.

          As you can tell, i don't personally like Oxbridge, but that's completely my opinion. It's for some people, but I think Oxbridge isn't the be all and end all. phew, rant over.
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            (Original post by coffee-spoons)
            I just can't help but carry on and debate with you lol.
            Also, there are a lot of people who chose not to apply to Oxbridge. I'm not trying to 'boast' about myself ( but seeing as i know myself pretty well, I'll use myself as an example) but i could be summed up as an oxbridge potential who just doesn't want to go there. I achieved over 90% in all of my AS subjects ( roughly as follows: 100% in one subject, 97% in the second subject and 95% in third and fourth subject. If I achieve the same results next year, I am likely to gain A*A*A*- This probably puts me at the same standard as other Oxbridge students (in the sense of exam cleverness- not trying to say for a minute i think i would get in)

            However, I chose not to apply to Oxbridge. I'm sure there are many people like me who chose not to apply to Oxbridge, but reach the standard level of intelligence- meaning other uni's are getting intelligent 'oxbridge standard' students... anyway, i'm ranting now.

            As you can tell, i don't personally like Oxbridge, but that's completely my opinion. It's for some people, but I think Oxbridge isn't the be all and end all. phew, rant over.
            True, I did mention that some people do not apply to Oxbridge as it is not an environment that suits them.

            However, the Oxbridge reputation still lingers on, and it will take the creme de la creme of those who do apply.

            You cannot change general public perception that typically an Oxbridge degree would be regarded more prestigious than others (and so it should be).
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            dudeeeeeee UEL is where its at nowadays
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            (Original post by ?!master?!mini?!)
            dudeeeeeee UEL is where its at nowadays
            ah yes, couldn't agree more.
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            I just got an oxford offer last week. I do very few extra curriculars and wrote about 3 lines about all of them in my PS. None of that was discussed at interview.

            I would reccomend doing an Extended project if your school runs it- I was asked about it in both of my interviews at oxford so I guess they found it quite impressive.

            Basicaly, get good grades and write a good PS to give yourself a chance at interview, where you just have to give it your best shot.
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            (Original post by Concept186)
            First priority is decide what you want to study. Then look at what universities you want to look into studying it at based on the course, how much you like the place (remember you'll be spending three years of your life their), etc etc. Then and only then should you really consider posting this sort of thread. Don't apply to Oxford/Cambridge just because its Oxford/Cambridge.
            I could not agree with this more. I had the same GCSE results as you and was told throughout year 12 that my grades meant that I should be going to Oxbridge because I must be clever enough, however I was told virtually nothing about the actual Oxbridge lifestyle and how much work it required a week. I got an interview and was then rejected but through the interview experience had already decided it wasn't the place for me, I didn't love my subject enough, the environment seemed stifling and far too similar to home and the people were not the kind of people I liked at all really. I'm now at Sheffield University and absolutely love it, it obviously doesn't have the same prestige but I'm so proud to be going here and telling people I go to this uni. So really look at the place is best for you in terms of course and location and don't just apply for the name.
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            heyy, sorry for interfering...
            but I was just wondering - can high mark in Entrance Exam compensate not-so-good interview?
            (I'm talking about Maths admission Test... I want to do a degree in Engineering or CompSci and I'd need to take MAT if I choose CompSci)
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            (Original post by Miss Anonymous)
            heyy, sorry for interfering...
            but I was just wondering - can high mark in Entrance Exam compensate not-so-good interview?
            (I'm talking about Maths admission Test... I want to do a degree in Engineering or CompSci and I'd need to take MAT if I choose CompSci)
            I've definitely heard of this for the HAT for History, and I have a fairly strong suspicion my ELAT and translation tests were what got me in for Classics and English as I feel I screwed up the interviews majorly...
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            (Original post by Maxm79)
            Hey there, first of all, I'm thinking of going to oxbridge (which, am unsure at this moment) and I just want some general advice.

            For my GCSEs, I got 11A*s and 1A - is this actually taken into account when I apply??? Or will it solely be AS/Interview/Extra-curricular stuff?

            On that note, do you HAVE to do a lot of extra curricular activities?
            Someone told me you have to be either very sporty or a talented musician to stand a good chance - someone tell me this isn't true as I am neither.
            And what extra curricular activities would you recommend for someone whom is neither?

            I currently do 5 AS levels, plan to do 4 A levels: english lit, geography, economics, french and history. Which would you best suggest I drop? (and i WILL drop one)

            In terms of courses....
            Law, English Lang/Lit, PPE, History and Geography all seem appealing - can any students of these subjects advise me on what to do etc...

            Any other comments, please just say!

            Also: merry christmas!
            Yes, GCSEs are taken into account before interview. Your GCSE grades are brilliant, which should stand you in good stead. Extra-curricular stuff doesn't actually matter that much, so don't panic about mentioning loads on your personal statement (unless they're subject related).

            Concentrate on getting As in AS Levels: they matter so much more than hobbies. Don't make a decision on what you're going to drop yet, as you haven't even taken your AS exams yet and you might feel differently about a particular subject at the end of the year. My recommendation would be to drop economics.

            And remember to decide on your course before your university! Oxbridge want people with a passion who will read up about their subject in their own time, not just those who have good grades but show little outside interest in their subject and are mainly concerned about getting into a prestigious university. You can find out more about the courses on the Admissions pages of the Oxford and Cambridge websites. (They differ.)
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            (Original post by Xx.MissEG.xX)
            I don't know how important extra-curricurals are, I guess not as much, but work experience/volunteering work related to the subject you want to do would be pretty good.
            I agree with this.
            Although not a current student, I have an offer from Oxford to read history, and in my interview they specifically asked/were interested in the fact that I'd done work experience type stuff at a museum, and then even asked about some (sort of unrelated) archaeology I mentioned on my PS.
            But the main point I think is to do volunteering and ECs because you ENJOY them, rather than just because you think they'll look good. Don't stress too much. I am not sporty OR musical in the slightest, and it doesn't appear Oxford held this against me!
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              (Original post by flywithemma)
              I agree with this.
              Although not a current student, I have an offer from Oxford to read history, and in my interview they specifically asked/were interested in the fact that I'd done work experience type stuff at a museum, and then even asked about some (sort of unrelated) archaeology I mentioned on my PS.
              But the main point I think is to do volunteering and ECs because you ENJOY them, rather than just because you think they'll look good. Don't stress too much. I am not sporty OR musical in the slightest, and it doesn't appear Oxford held this against me!
              Work experience at a museum/archeology are hardly a Duke of Edinburgh Award or playing a flute at Grade 8.
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              (Original post by im so academic)
              Work experience at a museum/archeology are hardly a Duke of Edinburgh Award or playing a flute at Grade 8.
              well maybe that's true, but they explicitly asked me about my work experience/archeology in my Oxford interview and didn't so much as mention my Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
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                (Original post by flywithemma)
                well maybe that's true, but they explicitly asked me about my work experience/archeology in my Oxford interview and didn't so much as mention my Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
                Exactly, because it's sort of relevant to History. Congrats on your offer btw! :awesome:
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                (Original post by Maxm79)
                Hey there, first of all, I'm thinking of going to oxbridge (which, am unsure at this moment) and I just want some general advice.

                For my GCSEs, I got 11A*s and 1A - is this actually taken into account when I apply??? Or will it solely be AS/Interview/Extra-curricular stuff?

                On that note, do you HAVE to do a lot of extra curricular activities?
                Someone told me you have to be either very sporty or a talented musician to stand a good chance - someone tell me this isn't true as I am neither.
                And what extra curricular activities would you recommend for someone whom is neither?

                I currently do 5 AS levels, plan to do 4 A levels: english lit, geography, economics, french and history. Which would you best suggest I drop? (and i WILL drop one)

                In terms of courses....
                Law, English Lang/Lit, PPE, History and Geography all seem appealing - can any students of these subjects advise me on what to do etc...

                Any other comments, please just say!

                Also: merry christmas!
                I won't repeat what has been said but..

                In terms of unanswered questions. PPE will be tricky without any maths past GCSE. (It is already the most competitive of the ones you list.)
                Drop the subject you like least and are least likely to get high marks in unless (bizarrely) this is the subject you decide to study for degree. Otherwise they are all equally acceptable for humanities courses.

                Spend some time reading up in detail the subject descriptions for each course. Next summer will come soon enough and until you choose the course it will be hard to focus your extra reading in the right area.

                With very strong GCSEs especially if you go on to get high UMS Cambridge may be a better bet and they depend less on entrance tests. (The exception will be law.)
               
               
               
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