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Is it risky to apply to only universities within the 'top 5'? Watch

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    If you are not scared by the idea of getting rejected by all of them, I'd say go for it. IF it's the worst possible outcome, you can always enter extra or wait a year and apply Again. Last year I applied to some safer ones that I weren't really that happy with anyway, and I ended up waiting. I now have offers from 4 universities that I'm super happy with, so don't be afraid of trying - at least you'll known that you gave it your all
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    (Original post by jneill)
    ?

    Durham *is* consistently top 5 (certainly since 2011, I can't be bothered to check further back).

    St Andrews was usually 6th but that's not exactly a million miles out of the top 5. Just d/checked and 5th= in 2016, and 4th in 2015.
    Is this for the same league table website?

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    It's not usually possible to apply to all top 5 unis because Oxford and Cambridge are usually both in the top 5.
    Applying to 5 of the top 5 or 6 is fine though. You might get a couple of rejections but you're more likely to get an offer from a quality uni. There are other factors to consider though(eg. they're in London), which might mean that you don't want to apply to some of the top ones.
    Would you be happy going to one below this?
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    (Original post by Moonstruck16)
    Is this for the same league table website?

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    Yes - CUG.
    Follow my earlier link.
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    (Original post by e2014)
    I'm only a GCSE student but I was just curious about this. If I was to, hypothetically speaking, get all or majority A* at GCSE and then go on to get A*AA/A*A*A at sixth form, would it still be a bad idea to apply to only the top universities? Would this put me at a risk of not getting a place at all? The places I'd probably apply for would be:
    Oxford
    Durham
    LSE
    Imperial
    St Andrews
    As you can only apply to 5 places, would applying to these places, considering how popular and hard to get into they are, be a risky choice to make?
    What's the course (if you've decided)? It's unlikely you'll apply to Imperial and LSE.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    What's the course (if you've decided)? It's unlikely you'll apply to Imperial and LSE.
    According to this it's law. So yep that rules out Imperial and St Andrews. So swap in UCL for Imperial.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Yes - CUG.
    Follow my earlier link.
    Why would you only consult one league table. I was told when applying to university that if you must resort to that when choosing your university, to never just settle for one. And to look at international ones. For more than just the past year.

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    (Original post by Moonstruck16)
    Since when were St Andrews and Durham top 5...?

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    Guardian 2016 - Durham 6th, st andrews 3rd.

    Guardian 2015- Durham 8th, st andrews 3rd

    times 2016- durham 5th, st andrews 3rd

    times 2015 - durham 6th, st andrews 3rd

    complete university guide 2016 - durham 5th, st andrews 6th

    complete university guide 2015- durham 5th, st andrews 4th.

    As you can see despite the small fluctuations both durham and st andrews are pretty consistently in or around the top 5, and you also need to remember that some of the unis ahead of them in these kind of tables offer a narrower range of subjects, such as imperial, so sometimes do better in league tables depending on the metrics used
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    (Original post by Moonstruck16)
    Why would you only consult one league table. I was told when applying to university that if you must resort to that when choosing your university, to never just settle for one. And to look at international ones. For more than just the past year.

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    Are you international?

    All the rankings use slightly (or in some cases significantly) different weightings and data. That's why they are different. For UK students the national rankings by CUG and The Guardian are fine as far as they go. The Guardian ranking upweights student satisfaction and doesn't include research ratings - which for undergrads makes sense. But some feel that The Guardian can be a bit leftfield so CUG tends to be the most quoted...

    If you are international use QS, THE, etc if you want, but they tend to give significant weight to academic citations etc which, again, is not that relevant to undergrads.

    Bottomline, yes, don't use a single ranking and understand how the rankings are compiled and which criteria are important to you. Most importantly don't rely only on rankings for your decision making.
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    (Original post by e2014)
    I'm only a GCSE student but I was just curious about this. If I was to, hypothetically speaking, get all or majority A* at GCSE and then go on to get A*AA/A*A*A at sixth form, would it still be a bad idea to apply to only the top universities? Would this put me at a risk of not getting a place at all? The places I'd probably apply for would be:
    Oxford
    Durham
    LSE
    Imperial
    St Andrews
    As you can only apply to 5 places, would applying to these places, considering how popular and hard to get into they are, be a risky choice to make?
    If you have very good grades, a very good personal statement and lots of evidence of extra curricular work I don't see why not, it would be best to have at least one back up though just in case
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    What's the course (if you've decided)? It's unlikely you'll apply to Imperial and LSE.
    What do you mean its unlikely?
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    (Original post by morgan8002)
    It's not usually possible to apply to all top 5 unis because Oxford and Cambridge are usually both in the top 5.
    Applying to 5 of the top 5 or 6 is fine though. You might get a couple of rejections but you're more likely to get an offer from a quality uni. There are other factors to consider though(eg. they're in London), which might mean that you don't want to apply to some of the top ones.
    Would you be happy going to one below this?
    I actually live in London so going to one here would mean I could live at home! I do however think that I'd probably rather go to a uni away from home to get more of an experience.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    According to this it's law. So yep that rules out Imperial and St Andrews. So swap in UCL for Imperial.
    Oops! Can't believe I didn't realise Imperial and St Andrews don't offer law. :/
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    OP hasn't stated the subject (by the looks of it, it might be Econ). In some subjects, it's absolutely unwise to only apply for the top 5 (i.e. Econ, Law etc), as there are simply far too many qualified applicants So I've gone safe with my advice to OP.

    Even then, choosing the top 5 on a league table is poor decision making.

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    How can it be econ? OP is considering applying to Imperial, who don't do any course of the sort. I'm thinking maths
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    (Original post by e2014)
    Oops! Can't believe I didn't realise Imperial and St Andrews don't offer law. :/
    That's the danger of using general rankings instead of subject-specific rankings (assuming you should use rankings at all... ).

    Be VERY careful about rankings. They change from year to year and may not be ranking things that are actually important to you.
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    (Original post by tanyapotter)
    How can it be econ? OP is considering applying to Imperial, who don't do any course of the sort. I'm thinking maths
    I missed the inclusion of Imperial, my bad. The OP has since said they're looking at Law, so them including Imperial still doesn't make sense aha.
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    (Original post by e2014)
    What do you mean its unlikely?
    LSE and Imperial offer a very different range of subjects with the former being a Social Science specialist Uni and the latter having a Natural Science specialism.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    LSE and Imperial offer a very different range of subjects with the former being a Social Science specialist Uni and the latter having a Natural Science specialism.
    Would say STEM in general
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Would say STEM in general
    Oh yeah STEM - that'd be more accurate.
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    I missed the inclusion of Imperial, my bad. The OP has since said they're looking at Law, so them including Imperial still doesn't make sense aha.
    law?! that's even further from what imperial offer haha. OP needs to get researching!
 
 
 
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