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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    The highlighted sections are pretty much all anybody really needs to take away from your post. Not everybody has extenuating circumstances and, contrary to what a lot of people think, the criteria for extenuating circumstances are actually quite stringent.

    I realise that you're trying to do a nice thing here, but the fact remains that most people with poor GCSE grades don't have acceptable extenuating circumstances and are, for that reason, disadvantaged in applying to Oxford. I'm the first one to say that people should apply anyway, but you've highlighted the wrong bits of your post (apologies for removing that in the quote), and they're likely to give false hope and, dare I say, set people up for disappointment.
    I wouldn't want to give anyone false hope or set them up for disappointment. I guess i was just trying to reassure those who have a genuine reason for under-performing at GCSE. I think if you don't have extenuating circumstances then you would be rejected on the basis of GCSEs. I thought I would be rejected anyway until I asked Oxford and they said I could make a competitive application. I hope I haven't given anyone false hope.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    ... contrary to what a lot of people think, the criteria for extenuating circumstances are actually quite stringent.
    Although I agree with much of what you say I find this sort of statement disquieting on TSR. How do you know this? Personally, I think people with extenuating circumstances should apply and let the judges decide.
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    Unless it's medicine, of course.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    ...I realise that you're trying to do a nice thing here, but the fact remains that most people with poor GCSE grades don't have acceptable extenuating circumstances and are, for that reason, disadvantaged in applying to Oxford...
    I have found your posts to be the misleading ones, particularly when they are not placed in the context of a particular subject. Are you actually an Oxford student or graduate? If so, how long ago? Were you a medic perhaps, and are overgeneralizing from that?

    For my subject, History, if someone is genuinely predicted to achieve the entrance requirements (AAA), is confident of achieving them, and has a passion for the subject, then they should apply. There is almost no GCSE profile so poor that a stellar HAT could not convert it into an interview, and everyone with an interview has a shot.
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    (Original post by shoshin)
    I have found your posts to be the misleading ones, particularly when they are not placed in the context of a particular subject. Are you actually an Oxford student or graduate? If so, how long ago? Were you a medic perhaps, and are overgeneralizing from that?

    For my subject, History, if someone is genuinely predicted to achieve the entrance requirements (AAA), is confident of achieving them, and has a passion for the subject, then they should apply. There is almost no GCSE profile so poor that a stellar HAT could not convert it into an interview, and everyone with an interview has a shot.
    Thanks for your post. It's quite reassuring to read that going into the HAT on Wednesday. I hope I get a score good enough to merit an interview and that my GCSEs and extenuating circumstances are not a problem. I thought it better to apply after A Level so I've already met the requirements, hopefully that helps having AAA already but idk. So nervous about the HAT rn!
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    Although I agree with much of what you say I find this sort of statement disquieting on TSR. How do you know this? Personally, I think people with extenuating circumstances should apply and let the judges decide.
    I agree. I think just about anybody who's interested should apply -- the whole business of people meticulously researching where they have the best chance of getting in and applying that way has the overall effect of making life more difficult for themselves because the bar for interview (which is necessary for an offer from Oxford) will be higher if the average applicant is stronger in that year.

    While I haven't applied to Oxford, I am applying to other universities to study medicine, which is quite competitive. I think as far as competitive universities/courses go, their advice is more or less the same: they're not going to accept sob stories for poor exam performance.

    That's been my impression from Oxford anyway. I didn't quite make the grades for what I'd wanted to apply for before my exams (Biological Sciences), sent them an email about some relatively minor extenuating circumstances and got a fairly blunt reply that unless I'd been seriously ill during an exam, I should apply elsewhere. And this is despite my having pretty good GCSE grades and wanting to apply for a subject that interviews about 70 - 75 percent of applicants...

    That said, people should still apply and see what happens if they'd really like to go there.
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    (Original post by shoshin)
    I have found your posts to be the misleading ones, particularly when they are not placed in the context of a particular subject. Are you actually an Oxford student or graduate? If so, how long ago? Were you a medic perhaps, and are overgeneralizing from that?
    What have I said that's misleading? No, I'm not an Oxford student or graduate or medic, and I don't see why I need to be either of those things to have a valid opinion on the matter. I realise that medicine is the exception to a lot of advice about Oxford. I don't think that I've said anything that doesn't apply to every course at Oxford, given that every course at Oxford is competitive.

    For my subject, History, if someone is genuinely predicted to achieve the entrance requirements (AAA), is confident of achieving them, and has a passion for the subject, then they should apply. There is almost no GCSE profile so poor that a stellar HAT could not convert it into an interview, and everyone with an interview has a shot.
    I know that -- there is somebody on this website whom I've spoken to on occasion who's currently studying History at Oxford and got only 2 A*s at GCSE. However, he has been quite clear about the fact that he went to a bad school for his GCSE years (i.e. a low-performing school), and I've not denied that Oxford contextualises GCSEs to see how you've done compared to your school. I am simply saying that if you need an interview to have a chance of getting an offer, and interview shortlists are based on contextualised GCSEs and entrance test scores, then you'll need to do well on both measures to stand a realistic chance provided there aren't any extenuating circumstances and, in the majority of cases, there aren't.

    I'm all for not being down on people but let's get real: you're competing with other people, most of whom will have that stellar HAT score and great GCSEs. If there are more of these than there are interview slots, then a weaker candidate won't get an interview. They should still apply, because there's a chance that the underlined won't be the case, but I don't see what's misleading about asking people not to fool themselves into thinking that they have a high chance of acceptance. Entry is competitive and merit-based at the end of the day and somebody has to be rejected.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    What have I said that's misleading? No, I'm not an Oxford student or graduate or medic, and I don't see why I need to be either of those things to have a valid opinion on the matter....I am simply saying that if you need an interview to have a chance of getting an offer, and interview shortlists are based on contextualised GCSEs and entrance test scores, then you'll need to do well on both measures to stand a realistic chance provided there aren't any extenuating circumstances and, in the majority of cases, there aren't
    You don't need to be an Oxford student or graduate to have an opinion, but you are expressing them as facts, and you are factually incorrect. I am a recent Oxford graduate, but would never be so certain of my opinions on selection in my own subject as you are regarding every subject.

    For some subjects at Oxford, interview selection is very heavily biased towards the entrance test rather than GCSEs. I am telling you from personal experience that if a candidate scores well enough on the aptitude test for History, they will get an interview almost regardless of GCSE profile. The latest candidate you are trying to discourage has even already got the AAA A2 entrance requirement. If he were to get 70+ in his HAT he would be going into the interview with good prospects, and without relying on any GCSE contextualization favours.

    By all means keep spouting your opinions, but bear in mind that people often ask for advice on this forum in the expectation that someone with experience of Oxford is going to be replying. So please preface them with 'I'm not a student myself, but imho..' or similar,

    (Original post by Hydeman)
    ...I'm all for not being down on people but let's get real: you're competing with other people, most of whom will have that stellar HAT score and great GCSEs...
    No they won't. Most of them won't have a stellar HAT score. That's the point of the HAT.
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    (Original post by shoshin)
    You don't need to be an Oxford student or graduate to have an opinion, but you are expressing them as facts, and you are factually incorrect. I am a recent Oxford graduate, but would never be so certain of my opinions on selection in my own subject as you are regarding every subject.

    For some subjects at Oxford, interview selection is very heavily biased towards the entrance test rather than GCSEs. I am telling you from personal experience that if a candidate scores well enough on the aptitude test for History, they will get an interview almost regardless of GCSE profile. The latest candidate you are trying to discourage has even already got the AAA A2 entrance requirement. If he were to get 70+ in his HAT he would be going into the interview with good prospects, and without relying on any GCSE contextualization favours.

    By all means keep spouting your opinions, but bear in mind that people often ask for advice on this forum in the expectation that someone with experience of Oxford is going to be replying. So please preface them with 'I'm not a student myself, but imho..' or similar,
    I don't think this condescending tripe is worth a reply but I'll just say this -- your being a recent Oxford graduate isn't worth a sack of s**t as far as the validity of your admissions advice is concerned. I've discouraged nobody (let alone this being the 'latest' in a series, as you've implied) from applying and the fact that you pretend I have shows your immature approach to debate. Go back and actually read my conversation with that person -- not once have I said that the go-ahead he's received from Oxford is somehow fake.

    Don't expect any further reply from me. I don't have time to be debating with some condescending prick who interjects in conversations he hasn't even read and has the gall to state that I regularly go around discouraging people from applying to Oxford.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    I don't think this condescending tripe is worth a reply but I'll just say this -- your being a recent Oxford graduate isn't worth a sack of s**t as far as the validity of your admissions advice is concerned...I don't have time to be debating with some condescending prick who interjects in conversations he hasn't even read...
    I sense that I haven't won you over to my point of view.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    Is it? So G' C' S' E' s would be incorrect?

    And why capitalise everything?
    What even?

    You cannot use an apostrophe to make a singular word plural, just like how you can't add a 'z' to make something plural. "GCSE's" is wrong in the same way "GCSEz" is.

    "'s" is a possessive of something. "GCSE's" is not inherently incorrect but it means "of GCSE" not multiple GCSEs. "G' C' S' E'" makes absolutely no sense - General's Certificate's of Secondary's Education's? What does that even mean?

    Abbreviations are capitalised to show that they are abbreviations. Examples are TSR, BBC, UCAS, WTO, UN, USA, UK, HM, UCL, GCE, BA, MIA, PS, HEI, RSVP etc.

    If a word isn't all capitalised, you're suggesting that it can be pronounced as a word like 'apple' can be. Hence, acronyms don't have to be capitalised, eg Edoméx, scuba, laser, radar, asap etc. But this is not a rule, and acronyms can have all letters capitalised: NATO, TESOL, AIDS, SAT etc.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    What even?

    You cannot use an apostrophe to make a singular word plural, just like how you can't add a 'z' to make something plural. "GCSE's" is wrong in the same way "GCSEz" is.

    "'s" is a possessive of something. "GCSE's" is not inherently incorrect but it means "of GCSE" not multiple GCSEs. "G' C' S' E'" makes absolutely no sense - General's Certificate's of Secondary's Education's? What does that even mean?

    Abbreviations are capitalised to show that they are abbreviations. Examples are TSR, BBC, UCAS, WTO, UN, USA, UK, HM, UCL, GCE, BA, MIA, PS, HEI, RSVP etc.

    If a word isn't all capitalised, you're suggesting that it can be pronounced as a word like 'apple' can be. Hence, acronyms don't have to be capitalised, eg Edoméx, scuba, laser, radar, asap etc. But this is not a rule, and acronyms can have all letters capitalised: NATO, TESOL, AIDS, SAT etc.
    An abbreviation is a shortened form of word or phrase. Often, the missing letters are replaced by an apostrophe. So G' C' S' E' is acceptable, if a little ugly. I think people put in an apostrophe because it feels wrong to put an "s"
    on the "E".

    All of your examples are what some people would call "initiallisms". That is why they are capitalised. Not all abbreviations (and thinking about, it not all initiallisms) are capitalised.

    You are on slippery ground if you start invoking rules with the english language. But we both know all this. I'll let you have the last post.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    An abbreviation is a shortened form of word or phrase. Often, the missing letters are replaced by an apostrophe. So G' C' S' E' is acceptable, if a little ugly. I think people put in an apostrophe because it feels wrong to put an "s"
    on the "E".

    All of your examples are what some people would call "initiallisms". That is why they are capitalised. Not all abbreviations (and thinking about, it not all initiallisms) are capitalised.

    You are on slippery ground if you start invoking rules with the english language. But we both know all this. I'll let you have the last post.
    ...OK I did not realise you meant G'C'S'E' that way. I'm talking about people using 's to make a singular term plural, not talking about the way to abbreviate it or making it a possessive.

    Yes indeed ' can be used to abbreviate. I'd consider G'C'S'E' wrong however since no-one says it that way.
 
 
 
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