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The Official 2018 Oxford Applicants Thread

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    (Original post by iwishicouldfly14)
    Heya guys, tbh I feel like my GCSEs are a bit on the low side for Oxford But if you don't take the risk you'll never know - right?

    What did you get at GCSE? 6A*s, 3As, B
    What A levels will you be studying? Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Computing and possibly an EPQ (I also might take a language outside of school)
    What course will you be applying for? Physics or Maths (I don't know yet...) and maybe combined with Philosophy? What extra-curricular activities do you do? I'm a youth leader at my youth group, I play 5 instruments (but I've taken no gradings so I should probably get round to it soon). I used to co-lead my school's choir (I'm moving for 6th form...). I'm also in charge of a Facebook page for something weird. I've also read a lot of Physics/Maths books and I've been a non-paid leader at a sleepaway camp. Any colleges you're interested in? And why? I haven't started checking out colleges yet! Why Oxford and not Cambridge? Because I'm pretty certain about doing Physics and I don't really like the sound of Nat Sci.
    Your GCSEs are totally fine for Physics at Oxford, nothing to worry about there! I'm about to go into my second year so if you (or any other possible physics applicants) have any questions feel free to ask.
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    (Original post by Lau14)
    Your GCSEs are totally fine for Physics at Oxford, nothing to worry about there! I'm about to go into my second year so if you (or any other possible physics applicants) have any questions feel free to ask.
    Hi, got quite a few questions hope you dont mind. Firstly what were you gcses and a levels like? Secondly, how did you find the PAT and what did you do to prepare for it? Finally, how was your first year?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Quantum42)
    Hi, got quite a few questions hope you dont mind. Firstly what were you gcses and a levels like? Secondly, how did you find the PAT and what did you do to prepare for it? Finally, how was your first year?

    Thanks
    No problem

    GCSEs: 4A*, 5A, 3B + distinction in an ICT award equivalent to a GCSE
    AS levels (i.e. the grades I already had when I applied): A in A level maths + AAA in AS chemistry, physics, biology
    Predicted grades: A*A*A*A
    Achieved grades: A*A*A*A (maths - resat core 3 - physics, chemistry and further maths)
    PAT score: 56, only one above the cutoff for that year! I was hugely underprepared for the PAT, definitely did not do enough work for it (but I knew that at the time). Use the topics listed on the PAT website, make sure you know all of those (including anything you have to self teach because you won't have covered it all after your first year of A levels), do all the past papers thoroughly. Those are the most important things you can do really. I found the PAT quite difficult, as it is supposed to be. this puts a lot of people off since most people doing it will be used to getting 90% + fairly easily and when they suddenly have to work at something they get disheartened or stressed, so you just have to keep working at it.

    First year was hard but not unmanageably so, very busy and also fun. A few things are totally new (e.g. special relativity), and some are more based on things you're familiar with from A levels, especially if you did further maths (calculus, mechanics...). It goes so fast since it's a bit non stop from October to June!
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    GCSEs - 11 A* 1 A
    A Levels - Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Economics
    Degree Course - Maths Or Economics (Haven't decided yet
    Extracurricular - none at the moment, as I gave up my life for GCSEs, but I plan to train for Ten Tors.
    College - St John's?
    At the moment, I like the idea of Oxford because Oxford is a city and has a bit more to do than Cambridge and you don't have to take the STEP to do Maths.
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    (Original post by Lau14)
    No problem :)

    GCSEs: 4A*, 5A, 3B + distinction in an ICT award equivalent to a GCSE
    AS levels (i.e. the grades I already had when I applied): A in A level maths + AAA in AS chemistry, physics, biology
    Predicted grades: A*A*A*A
    Achieved grades: A*A*A*A (maths - resat core 3 - physics, chemistry and further maths)
    PAT score: 56, only one above the cutoff for that year! I was hugely underprepared for the PAT, definitely did not do enough work for it (but I knew that at the time). Use the topics listed on the PAT website, make sure you know all of those (including anything you have to self teach because you won't have covered it all after your first year of A levels), do all the past papers thoroughly. Those are the most important things you can do really. I found the PAT quite difficult, as it is supposed to be. this puts a lot of people off since most people doing it will be used to getting 90% + fairly easily and when they suddenly have to work at something they get disheartened or stressed, so you just have to keep working at it.

    First year was hard but not unmanageably so, very busy and also fun. A few things are totally new (e.g. special relativity), and some are more based on things you're familiar with from A levels, especially if you did further maths (calculus, mechanics...). It goes so fast since it's a bit non stop from October to June!
    Thanks, that was really helpful. Just quickly what college are you at and how did you choose?
    Thanks again
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    (Original post by Quantum42)
    Thanks, that was really helpful. Just quickly what college are you at and how did you choose?
    Thanks again
    St Hugh's. First narrowed down the list of colleges to only ones that offered my subect (most of them, for physics)/weren't mature colleges or PPHs. Then I mostly looked for which ones had kitchen access - I'm a very fussy eater/don't particularly like the idea of being self catered, and preferably ones which offered accommodation for all years of the degree to get a short list of I think around 5-6. You can basically pick any criteria you want for this bit - do some research on college websites (they usually have their own prospecus and a prosectus written by students) and the TSR wiki has some useful college pages (even if some are a bit out of date). Then I went on the open days the summer before I applied and visited as many of these colleges as I could between department stuff (I stayed at Worcester which is also lovely!) and I really liked St Hugh's when we went there so I applied Although bear in mind that you might get reallocated at various points in the applications process.
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    (Original post by QuantumSnowy)
    What did you get at GCSE? 11 A*s, also an A* in EPQ

    What A levels will you be studying? Maths, Further Maths, Physics and English Literature

    What course will you be applying for? Physics and Philosophy (tho I would love just physics as well)

    What extra-curricular activities do you do? Err, a fair bit of music related stuff, R/C plane building, MUN and prolific (if i do say so myself) school newspaper writer

    Any colleges you're interested in? And why? No idea, in the slightest yet,

    Why Oxford and not Cambridge?Physics > Natsci imo (plus the philosophy option), and the bodleian library looks gorgeous (I like reading, sue me)
    Hey! What else will you be doing ie extra curriculars / work experience in order to strengthen your physics application ? I'm doing the EPQ but I'm not sure what else I can do yet 😅
    (Original post by Quantum42)
    GCSEs: 8A*s and 3As
    Sixth form plans: doing the IB with maths, physics and chemistry at hl
    Course interested in: Physics
    Why oxford not cambridge? Prefer the physics course over nat sci although that could still end up being an option.
    Anyone got any reading suggestions for physics?
    Hey, I'd recommend "Gravity" by Brian Clegg, "Quantum" by Manjit Kumar and "The Wonderful World of Relativity " by an author I can't remember ( I think it's Andrew something). All three are quite awesome! I'm kinda reading all of them simultaneously so I'm not yet done but I definitely recommend them!
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    (Original post by kennethdcharles)
    Hey! What else will you be doing ie extra curriculars / work experience in order to strengthen your physics application ? I'm doing the EPQ but I'm not sure what else I can do yet 😅

    Hey, I'd recommend "Gravity" by Brian Clegg, "Quantum" by Manjit Kumar and "The Wonderful World of Relativity " by an author I can't remember ( I think it's Andrew something). All three are quite awesome! I'm kinda reading all of them simultaneously so I'm not yet done but I definitely recommend them!
    Alright cool thanks, will give them a read!
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    (Original post by Quantum42)
    GCSEs: 8A*s and 3As
    Sixth form plans: doing the IB with maths, physics and chemistry at hl
    Course interested in: Physics
    Why oxford not cambridge? Prefer the physics course over nat sci although that could still end up being an option.
    Anyone got any reading suggestions for physics?
    https://www.balliol.ox.ac.uk/undergr...s-reading-list
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    What did you get at GCSE? 13 A* and an A in AS Level RE
    What A levels will you be studying? Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Latin and RE
    What course will you be applying for? Chemistry
    What extra-curricular activities do you do? Guides, volunteering
    Any colleges you're interested in? And why? University College as they seem to be very financially generous as well as being quite relaxed for one of the old colleges. The maths week they offer for science students also sounds very helpful
    Why Oxford and not Cambridge? Oxford seems much more lively and isn't too far from home. Also, Natural Sciences doesn't appeal to me as much as doing just Chemistry

    Honestly, I feel so out of my depth looking at the application process. Any advice about what I can start doing now to increase my chances of getting in would be greatly appreciated, as I don't even know where to start!
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    (Original post by Lydia99)
    What did you get at GCSE? 13 A* and an A in AS Level RE
    What A levels will you be studying? Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Latin and RE
    What course will you be applying for? Chemistry
    What extra-curricular activities do you do? Guides, volunteering
    Any colleges you're interested in? And why? University College as they seem to be very financially generous as well as being quite relaxed for one of the old colleges. The maths week they offer for science students also sounds very helpful
    Why Oxford and not Cambridge? Oxford seems much more lively and isn't too far from home. Also, Natural Sciences doesn't appeal to me as much as doing just Chemistry

    Honestly, I feel so out of my depth looking at the application process. Any advice about what I can start doing now to increase my chances of getting in would be greatly appreciated, as I don't even know where to start!
    13 A*s at GCSE puts you right at the very top of the application process! Well done on that. Anyone in your school get higher?
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    (Original post by Jono-Wolf)
    13 A*s at GCSE puts you right at the very top of the application process! Well done on that. Anyone in your school get higher?
    Thank you so much! Yes actually, one person sat one more GCSE than me and also had all A*s, so I'll just have to settle for second place. Considering my school only has a 50% pass rate, I can hardly complain!What did you get in your GCSEs?
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    (Original post by Lydia99)
    Thank you so much! Yes actually, one person sat one more GCSE than me and also had all A*s, so I'll just have to settle for second place. Considering my school only has a 50% pass rate, I can hardly complain!What did you get in your GCSEs?
    Wow you did really well if your school has a 50% success rate. Surely you're going to leave them form a better sixth form ahaha? I got 14 A*s and 2 As, but need a remark in french because I was 1 UMS off. I still had a few people beat me though, so I didn't get top spot
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    Didn't think I would be able to post on this thread but the GCSEs turned out better than expected!

    What did you get at GCSE? 10A*s
    What A levels will you be studying? Maths, English lit, politics and RS
    What course will you be applying for? PPE or Theology and Religion
    What extra-curricular activities do you do? Public speaking, Girlguiding, badminton, run at national level, member of school council, Duke of Ed Gold (done my bronze and silver!) and help out with school publications doing the cover graphics!
    Any colleges you're interested in? And why? I don't currently know enough about them, I'd like to visit them all come this summer. I'll also be applying for UNIQ which may give me a good indication if I'm lucky enough to get in!
    Why Oxford and not Cambridge? Cambridge don't do PPE.
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    (Original post by Jono-Wolf)
    Wow you did really well if your school has a 50% success rate. Surely you're going to leave them form a better sixth form ahaha? I got 14 A*s and 2 As, but need a remark in french because I was 1 UMS off. I still had a few people beat me though, so I didn't get top spot
    My school only lets me take ten iGCSEs, but I have 9 (hopefully soon to be 10) A*'s, will doing less put me at a disadvantage in the application?


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    (Original post by Jono-Wolf)
    Wow you did really well if your school has a 50% success rate. Surely you're going to leave them form a better sixth form ahaha? I got 14 A*s and 2 As, but need a remark in french because I was 1 UMS off. I still had a few people beat me though, so I didn't get top spot
    Honestly there aren't any sixth forms in the area that do much better, plus I feel quite loyal to the place! Wow, you did amazingly, I can't even imagine doing 16 GCSEs! And people did better than you? Your school must be amazing.


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    (Original post by MethylOrange_)
    My school only lets me take ten iGCSEs, but I have 9 (hopefully soon to be 10) A*'s, will doing less put me at a disadvantage in the application?


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    I can't imagine so. I go to a state school and they were reluctant to even allow us do 10. As long as you have 9 GCSEs that's enough for a competitive application and I highly doubt someone with fewer GCSEs would be discriminated against.
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    (Original post by kennethdcharles)
    Hey! What else will you be doing ie extra curriculars / work experience in order to strengthen your physics application ? I'm doing the EPQ but I'm not sure what else I can do yet 😅

    Hey, I'd recommend "Gravity" by Brian Clegg, "Quantum" by Manjit Kumar and "The Wonderful World of Relativity " by an author I can't remember ( I think it's Andrew something). All three are quite awesome! I'm kinda reading all of them simultaneously so I'm not yet done but I definitely recommend them!
    This summer I just did a week work experience with STFC at Daresbury Laboratory for "Accelerator Science", where they have three particle accelerator projects going right now, which only affirmed my interest in doing physics (my parents are trying to persuade me to do engineering).

    AFAIK in regards to Oxbridge, extra curriculars aren't amazingly important, things like Work Experience can help as a way of showcasing your interest, but aren't the only way to do so, I would definitely recommend doing WE though, as its an enjoyable experience, spend enough time on google and you'll find plenty of opportunities, as long as you do it relatively early. (Can someone more experienced than me pls tell me if I'm wrong)

    Nice to see so many physics applicants tho
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    (Original post by QuantumSnowy)
    This summer I just did a week work experience with STFC at Daresbury Laboratory for "Accelerator Science", where they have three particle accelerator projects going right now, which only affirmed my interest in doing physics (my parents are trying to persuade me to do engineering).

    AFAIK in regards to Oxbridge, extra curriculars aren't amazingly important, things like Work Experience can help as a way of showcasing your interest, but aren't the only way to do so, I would definitely recommend doing WE though, as its an enjoyable experience, spend enough time on google and you'll find plenty of opportunities, as long as you do it relatively early. (Can someone more experienced than me pls tell me if I'm wrong)

    Nice to see so many physics applicants tho
    Definitely! 😂
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    What did you get at (I)GCSE? 9 A* and 1 E (compulsory home language due to government I'm an international student)
    What A levels will you be studying? Maths, History, Geography and Economics
    What course will you be applying for? Economics and Management
    What extra-curricular activities do you do? Captain of netball team, Interned during the summer at a top banking firm and got selected by a NGO to participate in an international program, DOE bronze+silver, Nepal earthquake reliefAny colleges you're interested in? And why? Don't have a specific one but would like to go to a college with good/large roomsWhy Oxford and not Cambridge? Less maths and I preferred its campus when I went to visit :P

    How bad do u guys think the E will impact my chances?? :/
 
 
 
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