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My hypothetical gap year and applying to Oxbridge Watch

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    (Original post by A level Az)
    Really feel for your situation, and I am in a similiar one myself. I think I may be able to get A*A*A in Mathematics, Chemistry and English Lang/Lit respecitively this year, and am not so keen on the course I applied for, as I was rushed into it . Now that I think about it, I should have applied for Natural Sciences instead, and Nottingham is currently the only university I've applied to that allows me to transfer to that degree . I don't think I aimed high enough either, but that was due to poor GCSE results really. If I do pluck up the courage to withdraw my application and apply next year (bring on the fees :/) then I'd probably apply to Cambridge/UCL etc. I just know that if I had planned beforehand, and had been given more time and guidance, that I would have had a good chance at applying to Oxbridge and being confident with my application. If I withdraw my application this year, I'm not sure what I'd do in the Gap Year to strengthen my personal statement.
    Mm, it's a horrible feeling isn't it? The thing is, I for one don't think I can conclusively say 'psychology isn't for me' until I actually study it at uni. Because though I'm falling more and more out of love with it and feeling more into Shakespeare, theatre, literature etc, what's to say that it means I should abandon the subject and this year's application entirely?... Although having said that, if I was in Y12 right now I would be prepping myself for an English lit application rather than psych.

    I think I will say, for you (and for myself), that it's better to play safe. Unless you're dead dead certain that your subject and you aren't meant to be (as I already said, I don't think you can know this unless you actually immerse yourself in the course at uni!) then I would keep with the application process, visit the unis and see whether that changes anything, and ultimately if you like it enough then go there. You can make a reapplication whilst in first year; drawback is time/ effort (you won't be able to dedicate all your efforts into the app like if you were on a gap year) and obvs not having much/any success the second time round either, in which case you might be stuck at your uni. But with the fee increase, I feel this is probably one of the better options.

    About the 'what to do with my gap year?' that's something you have to find out about. What will make your application look stronger? How could you raise a bit of money for uni? What have you always wanted to do? I'd say talk to your careers advisor (I won't be doing this since mine is ****), to friends, other people taking one, google always yields wonders, brochures, TSR obvs etc etc.

    I agree with whoever said that UCAS is a rushed process. I mean, this decision will effect the rest of my life? And I didn't even know GCSE's were important for university. Sometimes I hate my school for being so caught up in making sure everyone achieves A-C grades so that as a whole the school look great, but when it comes down to the actual students, they are lost. I know so many people who are applying to university just for the "ride".

    Anyway, yeah; get AAA and most likely go Nottingham as I know that I will not stand much of a chance at Oxbridge. Get A*A*A; either stick with Nottingham and hope that I can get into Oxbridge as a postgraduate (if I'm still up for it) or drop out and try Cambridge.

    Luckily Nottingham have given me two offers (AAA for Masters, ABB for Bachelors) so hopefully I'll be getting in, its just a case of is that what I want. Like you, I also have great expectations from friends and family, and always seem to disappoint. Getting into Oxbridge as opposed to just a "good uni" like Nottingham would really give me a huge boost in confidence.

    (Don't want to sound like I'm insulting Notts here :P, I bet its great, and its most likely where I'll end up anyway)
    Well I don't think it's fair to blame your school for you not working hard enough. But yes there is a lot of missing/ imperfect information surrounding uni applications and we probably could have all benefited from having the gaps filled earlier on. But still, that's life, what can we do?

    AAA almost definitely wouldn't be a good enough. Perhaps people will still get in with those grades, but it's decidedly risky to reapply without A*s. Oxford do want an A* now; plus being a reapplicant you are expected to be that much better, I think.

    I can identify with the whole prestige thing, but for me that's not a good enough reason to want to reapply for Oxbridge. Prestige-chasers are never satisfied, and if on Results day it turns out that my dad regards me a failure for 'only' getting into an AAB or lower uni, he can bloody well go die since he went to fricking Westminster. And dropped out too I think. So sod the parents, it's about what YOU want at the end of the day!

    Notts is great, actually. For a while I regretted replacing them on my app. Actually I still do in a way. Don't feel you're 'settling' for them. And hey, it'll work out how it has to. As long as we both don't make any rash decisions, we'll be fine.
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    (Original post by Alex-jc123)
    How does this "hypothetical gap year and applying to Oxbridge" sound:

    - work experience in a law firm

    - charity work for Oxfam

    - two full fast-track A-levels of philosophy and economics

    - brief work for the Conservative Party (I am a member hehe)

    ???

    I am applying for law btw
    All's well and good but as has already been established in this thread, a great gap year plan does not translate to success for Oxbridge. So your plan sounds achievable and good, but who knows how things will end up?
    Interested to know however, what's a fast-track A level and where do you do it? In my original (slightly cringeworthy) plan I only considered doing AS.
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    (Original post by xCHiiBiEverlastingx)
    All's well and good but as has already been established in this thread, a great gap year plan does not translate to success for Oxbridge. So your plan sounds achievable and good, but who knows how things will end up?
    Interested to know however, what's a fast-track A level and where do you do it? In my original (slightly cringeworthy) plan I only considered doing AS.
    I hope to get into either UCL, King's, LSE, Durham or Oxford so I am not investing all of my hopes into one university.

    A fast-track procedure is where you take your AS exams in January and your A2 ones in June. You have to show sufficient competence to your school/college for you to be allowed to pursue it. However, if my college do not allow me to do this then I shall simply phone up some exam boards and book the exams at a local test centre (as private candidates do). Self-teaching is perhaps an easier contemplation
 
 
 
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