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Is aiming for Oxbridge too optimistic? watch

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    (Original post by Maddiee_xoxo)
    Hi, I just wanted to ask...
    For my GCSEs I got 4A*s, 1A and 6Bs.. Went to a pretty decent secondary school with good grades throughout my year group but in my personal opinion, the teachers that I had for my subjects were absolutely ****. I'm currently doing English Lit, History, Law and Psychology for my A Levels and got AABB in my mocks.. I didn't work at all for these mocks so I believe that I can get AAAA/AAAB for my actual grades if I work for them. I want to study Law at uni and I really really want to apply for Oxford (their entry requirements are AAAA), any point of applying?


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    You need to work harder. You say you didn't study for mocks, but these are the type of things you should be studying for to enable you to achieve your full potential.
    If you can study harder and read around your subject more then go for it. Also blaming your teachers for your GCSE grades is not the best attitude to have....They are good grades, so clearly they were doing many things right.
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    (Original post by uniqsummer)
    You need to work harder. You say you didn't study for mocks, but these are the type of things you should be studying for to enable you to achieve your full potential.
    If you can study harder and read around your subject more then go for it. Also blaming your teachers for your GCSE grades is not the best attitude to have....They are good grades, so clearly they were doing many things right.

    Okay obviously I did work for the mocks, I was slightly exaggerating to show that even without working TOO hard on them, i got decent grades. I did revise for them, but when I say revise, I mean pretty much 2 weeks before they started.
    I'm sorry but you have no idea how rubbish my teachers were, some of them were pretty good, but most of them didn't teach me anything, especially my science teachers, and that's why i got Bs. I put in all the work myself and taught myself the WHOLE syllabus, so I think I was the one doing many things right and I have the right to blame them.
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    (Original post by Colmans)
    There is a difference between-"has anybody ever got in with these results" and "are these results on target for indicating I have the right ability" isn't there?

    What subject are you thinking of applying for Medicine? Law? Maths? Sciences or Arts?
    For medicine especially GCSE results do count & the standard expected is higher.

    The typical student at a selective school is going to have an almost full house of A* at GCSE. The typical student from a poorly performing comprehensive will have mostly A* & A.
    Cambridge research shows that a student at a poor school who does very well at GCSE is especially likely to do well at Cambridge. Presumably because this indicates both raw ability and the right work ethic. However Cambridge research has also indicated that AS results are a better indicator of degree success than GCSE and so rely on these, if they exist, looking for an average across the right subjects of above 90% and typically 94-96%.

    Most people at good schools who get 5A* are not able to go on and get 95% at AS. That is not the same as suggesting that if you get 95% Cambridge would not give you an offer because you got "only" 5 A*. So there are no GCSE requirements. The only requirement is to be academically the best of your competition.
    Take for example I only achieved a low amount of GCSEs but obtained an A at As level in sociology, psychology and Btec health and social, would it be possible for me to access Cambridge?
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    (Original post by Troytheboy)
    Take for example I only achieved a low amount of GCSEs but obtained an A at As level in sociology, psychology and Btec health and social, would it be possible for me to access Cambridge?
    I would highly doubt it.
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    Well done guys for all the hard works you have done. I am not trying to be cynical here but, in order to get a chance at Oxbridge, you need to be someone from at least upper middle class family background, particularly from White background (Please google recent statistics). You might not get offer if you are from lower middle class or working class background, regardless of your results at GCSEs and A Levels. However, your lower socio-economic status may not be taken into consideration if your parents or grandparents were leaders (not only in politics but any other fields). This shows that you have inherited leadership potential so you can maintain the status quo of elite universities like Oxbridge.

    I do not know much about other elitist universities in London like UCL and LSE, but Oxbridge prefer students from private schools over students from state schools - once again, your result is secondary.

    Just to give you an example, in the academic year 2010-11, Oxford recruited just 3 Black students out of several thousands. 'A word is enough to a wise".

    Just to add one thing, I am not a person from Black/White ethnic background. And, I am trying to make my comment as objective as possible.
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    Haha in the same boat! I am in year 10 and just did my mocks and got 5 A* and all the rest A's, and want to do medicine or law at Oxbridge so have a year to improve loads but I heard they care more about alevels and like Cambridge wants better grades than oxford usually (oxford minimum AAA Cambridge A*AA) so we better start studying haha! Joking I wish there was like someone who could say what we could get at alevel


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    (Original post by alow)
    I would highly doubt it.

    (Original post by alow)
    I would highly doubt it.
    so how would I gain access?, Is there little chance for attending a top university?
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    (Original post by Troytheboy)
    so how would I gain access?, Is there little chance for attending a top university?
    What course?

    Your subjects are too soft and they don't really like you to have more than one of such subjects. Plus you're doing a BTEC which is pretty much a no-go.
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    (Original post by whipper_snapper1)
    Well done guys for all the hard works you have done. I am not trying to be cynical here but, in order to get a chance at Oxbridge, you need to be someone from at least upper middle class family background, particularly from White background (Please google recent statistics). You might not get offer if you are from lower middle class or working class background, regardless of your results at GCSEs and A Levels. However, your lower socio-economic status may not be taken into consideration if your parents or grandparents were leaders (not only in politics but any other fields). This shows that you have inherited leadership potential so you can maintain the status quo of elite universities like Oxbridge.

    I do not know much about other elitist universities in London like UCL and LSE, but Oxbridge prefer students from private schools over students from state schools - once again, your result is secondary.

    Just to give you an example, in the academic year 2010-11, Oxford recruited just 3 Black students out of several thousands. 'A word is enough to a wise".

    Just to add one thing, I am not a person from Black/White ethnic background. And, I am trying to make my comment as objective as possible.
    Did you not consider the fact that perhaps it was a case of less black students applying? Or less black students having the appropriate grades to get in? Think about it.
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    (Original post by thechemistress)
    Did you not consider the fact that perhaps it was a case of less black students applying? Or less black students having the appropriate grades to get in? Think about it.
    The same can be said for those from poorer backgrounds, state schools, certain areas etc. If they don't have the right subjects or grades, they won't get in regardless of how many of the same type of people apply. They won't take them for the sake of proportions if they aren't good enough.
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    (Original post by Troytheboy)
    so how would I gain access?, Is there little chance for attending a top university?
    Study somewhere else, get a 1st/high 2.1 and do a Masters at Cambridge? Email some other universities and see, but it's next to impossible to get into Oxbridge with the subjects you're doing.
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    (Original post by Paralove)
    The same can be said for those from poorer backgrounds, state schools, certain areas etc. If they don't have the right subjects or grades, they won't get in regardless of how many of the same type of people apply. They won't take them for the sake of proportions if they aren't good enough.
    Exactly.
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    (Original post by thechemistress)
    Did you not consider the fact that perhaps it was a case of less black students applying? Or less black students having the appropriate grades to get in? Think about it.
    You might also consider that its not true - at least 20 black students were accepted in 2010, and that's only looking at undergraduates from the UK (32 in 2011), 27 in 2009. Black student are actually over-represented at Oxford compared to how many get AAA at a-level.
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    (Original post by Troytheboy)
    Take for example I only achieved a low amount of GCSEs but obtained an A at As level in sociology, psychology and Btec health and social, would it be possible for me to access Cambridge?
    (Original post by alow)
    I would highly doubt it.
    (Original post by Troytheboy)
    so how would I gain access?, Is there little chance for attending a top university?
    There are top universities that aren't Cambridge, but 2 softish A-levels and a BTEC? For an 18 year old it is difficult to imagine that any amount of contextual data might make good on that.

    The only way, I would think, would be to apply for entry the year after, making clear in your application that you intend in the interim to do two more A-levels in more standard subjects (e.g. history and biology) and are happy to have an offer made conditional on these.
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    (Original post by whipper_snapper1)
    Well done guys for all the hard works you have done. I am not trying to be cynical here but, in order to get a chance at Oxbridge, you need to be someone from at least upper middle class family background, particularly from White background (Please google recent statistics). You might not get offer if you are from lower middle class or working class background, regardless of your results at GCSEs and A Levels. However, your lower socio-economic status may not be taken into consideration if your parents or grandparents were leaders (not only in politics but any other fields). This shows that you have inherited leadership potential so you can maintain the status quo of elite universities like Oxbridge.

    I do not know much about other elitist universities in London like UCL and LSE, but Oxbridge prefer students from private schools over students from state schools - once again, your result is secondary.

    Just to give you an example, in the academic year 2010-11, Oxford recruited just 3 Black students out of several thousands. 'A word is enough to a wise".

    Just to add one thing, I am not a person from Black/White ethnic background. And, I am trying to make my comment as objective as possible.
    Comments like yours do more to stop disadvantaged students from getting into Oxbridge than anything else. They perpetuate ill-informed myths and put people off applying. If you had been to either university you would know it simply isnt true. There are a huge range of students from all sorts of backgrounds and racial groups.

    Oxford explained some of the issues about black students, read this:
    http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/behind_the...es/101307.html

    If you study the Cambridge admissions website & handbook you can see they make enormous attempts to attract suitable applications and to give special consideration to applicants from under-represented areas. In private schools you may be surprised to hear that the assumption is that Cambridge are prejudiced against them because the standard required of their pupils is higher. This is where many of the "you must have all A*" and "you must average 95%" perceptions come from.

    They want the best academically, they couldn't care how you speak or what your parents do.
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    Guys,
    Thank you for your insightful comments.
    First of all, do you think that there only handful of black students who achieve 5 A*s?
    Of course, if people are less optimistic with institution they are more likely to avoid such a place. This may be one of the possible factors that deters Black students from applying to Oxbridge.
    If there is no equal representation of students from all section of the society, who is to blame for? Individual or the state?
    The crux of the problem is some people think that other racial groups are not capable to get to the top of social hierarchy 'because they are biologically inferior' (This was what Darwin and Lombrosso said). This speculation has now been proved wrong. During the 1960s, Americans did never though that they would have Black president in 40 years time.

    For the statistics, please visit an independent jorualistic analysis:
    http://www.theguardian.com/education...ishes-oxbridge
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    How on earth did you turn this into a race and socio-economic discussion?
    Do you even care what the OP is wanting to discuss at all?

    If you are going to start discussions like this a) take it to a new thread and b) you might want to do a little bit more research.
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    (Original post by whipper_snapper1)
    Guys,
    Thank you for your insightful comments.
    First of all, do you think that there only handful of black students who achieve 5 A*s?
    Of course, if people are less optimistic with institution they are more likely to avoid such a place. This may be one of the possible factors that deters Black students from applying to Oxbridge.
    If there is no equal representation of students from all section of the society, who is to blame for? Individual or the state?
    The crux of the problem is some people think that other racial groups are not capable to get to the top of social hierarchy 'because they are biologically inferior' (This was what Darwin and Lombrosso said). This speculation has now been proved wrong. During the 1960s, Americans did never though that they would have Black president in 40 years time.

    For the statistics, please visit an independent jorualistic analysis:
    http://www.theguardian.com/education...ishes-oxbridge
    In 2009: 29,000 white students got the requisite grades for Oxford (AAA excluding General Studies) compared to just 452 black students.
    315 black students per year secure A*AA
    http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/a...sentation.html
    For 2009 entry 15.0% of students admitted to University of Cambridge were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity (BAME) backgrounds. According to Office for National Statistics 11.3% of the population of England and Wales in mid-2007 were from BAME backgrounds.

    Encouraging students to apply, and to courses other than the most competitive such as Medicine and Law will increase the number attending. You made the leap from the number of black students at Oxford to a series of sweeping statements saying that the problem was that Cambridge are prejudiced against non upper middle class students or that people hold Darwinist views about race & IQ.. It is this sort of ignorant comment that puts people off. So if you care about the problem don't make it worse.
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    (Original post by cambio wechsel)
    There are top universities that aren't Cambridge, but 2 softish A-levels and a BTEC? For an 18 year old it is difficult to imagine that any amount of contextual data might make good on that.

    The only way, I would think, would be to apply for entry the year after, making clear in your application that you intend in the interim to do two more A-levels in more standard subjects (e.g. history and biology) and are happy to have an offer made conditional on these.
    I cannot do biology as I have a B in additional science but a c in core, my GCSEs are not great due to me being 'cool' and fooling around, but honestly I am capable of an A. Do you believe English a level will be a good choice?. I want to take into.consideration if I fail I wish to to do mental health nursing instead, would this lessen my chances?
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    (Original post by Troytheboy)
    I cannot do biology as I have a B in additional science but a c in core, my GCSEs are not great due to me being 'cool' and fooling around, but honestly I am capable of an A. Do you believe English a level will be a good choice?. I want to take into.consideration if I fail I wish to to do mental health nursing instead, would this lessen my chances?
    I suggested biology as an example just because I imagined your interest might be in PBS (is it?) and because it seemed to fit with psychology and health. But, and though you'll need to refer to the entry requirements for the course in which you're interested, any "traditional" A levels will do.

    The thing is, though, that most applicants to Cambridge, even most of those with great (and appropriately chosen) GCSEs and A levels gotten first time around, don't get in. You have to prepare yourself for the likelihood of failure, as they have to, and wonder whether the year off is worth the slim enough chance it affords.
 
 
 
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