Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    I think it's far more complicated than that. As someone has pointed out above, there are some pretty good state schools out there and not all private schools are that great, etc. I think the whole spoonfeeding thing can be applied as much to state schools as it can to private. From what I've heard people say, private schools often tend to work outside the curriculum, etc. My A Level English Lit was pretty much spoonfed to me, coz the teachers were great. Likewise with my GCSE History.

    All this said, none of my tutors seemed that surprised when I got a mid-2.2 in my first year Oxford Mods exams. I got the distinct impression that they'd expected something like that all along, coz I'd come from a comp. I found that quite offensive at the time but I can see where they were coming from.

    Unfortunately I don't fit your model
    Fair enough, I guess there are a variety of factors at play.
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    I'm already in the application process, but would be happy to answer any questions and concerns
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Unkempt_One)
    Fair enough, I guess there are a variety of factors at play.
    I should emphasise I'm not dismissing what you said outright. I'm just saying it's more complex/less black-and-white than that. I at least feel that the whole "comp students fair better at uni coz they're used to teaching themselves" thing tends to get bigged up a bit, especially when it comes to Oxbridge students. Yes, private school students are incredibly lucky but I think it does the Oxbridge ones at least a disservice to claim that they don't know how to work independently or teach themselves.

    Now that I think about it, whilst my main two tutors never expected me to do well (either for being female or from a comp), there was at least one tutor who thought I'd end up smashing the other two. Had my third year been a bit different, it would have been interesting to see who came out on top. Undoubtedly out of myself and my tutorial partners (me comp, one grammar, one private), the grammar school guy was by far the cleverest. I think all things considered though, I gave them both a good chase towards the finish line :yes:
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    I should emphasise I'm not dismissing what you said outright. I'm just saying it's more complex/less black-and-white than that. I at least feel that the whole "comp students fair better at uni coz they're used to teaching themselves" thing tends to get bigged up a bit, especially when it comes to Oxbridge students. Yes, private school students are incredibly lucky but I think it does the Oxbridge ones at least a disservice to claim that they don't know how to work independently or teach themselves.

    Now that I think about it, whilst my main two tutors never expected me to do well (either for being female or from a comp), there was at least one tutor who thought I'd end up smashing the other two. Had my third year been a bit different, it would have been interesting to see who came out on top. Undoubtedly out of myself and my tutorial partners (me comp, one grammar, one private), the grammar school guy was by far the cleverest. I think all things considered though, I gave them both a good chase towards the finish line :yes:
    Yeah, I know that it's more complex than that, but you could probably write a long essay on all of the different factors. I agree though and I try not to hate private schoolers, which was partly why I was inviting debate on that point. You still have to wonder just what it is about schools like Eton which gives them those ludicrously high acceptance rates. :curious:
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Unkempt_One)
    Yeah, I know that it's more complex than that, but you could probably write a long essay on all of the different factors. I agree though and I try not to hate private schoolers, which was partly why I was inviting debate on that point. You still have to wonder just what it is about schools like Eton which gives them those ludicrously high acceptance rates. :curious:
    Well there's a perfectly simple explanation for that:

    - They all have to sit an academic entrance test. So you're guaranteed more highly intelligent individuals than you would be in less selective schools
    - Lots of them are in a position to apply
    - They are encouraged to apply and their school has the means and knowledge to help them apply
    - So lots of them do apply
    - So their school is more likely to have a higher acceptance rate than other schools

    It's as simple as that. I'm no fan of these big public schools getting 40% of their applicants in but having sat in orchestras with people from the top London private schools, I couldn't say they bought their way in with their money or education. These are people who are not only highly intelligent but able to communicate their ideas intelligently, and that doesn't just come from a private school education (though it undoubtedly helps with confidence, etc).

    If it did, people like me would never get a look in
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by laurie:))
    probability can go to hell as far as i'm concerned. oh and the enormity of the amount of information i have to remember for psychology scares me everytime i think about it.
    Eugh, the info-load, don't get me started.. On the downside I'm reduced to issuing proverb-sounding statements such as "you can only do what you can only do" lool On the upside, you can start pestering as early as January for the summer exams. (I need to stop saying 'pester'). But just stay strong and remember people have gotten through it in the past so you can too!

    (Original post by Unkempt_One)
    State school applicant here who just had his interview. My school has quite a lot of people applying to Oxbridge though; I can only hope I'll be one of the people to get a place.
    Hey, good luck, which subject did you interview for?

    (Original post by TheatreLovely)
    I keep myself motivated by the thought of being able to go to a really good university and be with like-minded people.

    I think my studies are going well so far, but I am a little bit worried about getting low marks in my English literature course work... Language exams are also quite easy to mess up, so I am a little apprehensive over that as well. It is quite hard to measure how well you're doing, except for assesments and the like.

    How about you?
    We have similar motivations I think. For the Lit coursework, just try not to stray too far from the AOs and you should be fine. I know OCR have that 'two marked drafts only' policy which only complicates life.

    My studies aren't going exceptionally at the moment. I'm doing very well in one subject, and only averagely in the two others. But I've worked my behind off and seen encouraging results in both so that's kinda keeping me alive atm...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Oldmantax)
    I'm doing Maths, Further Maths History and RS at AS level. Preparing for exams by typing up all my notes from lessons at the end of the week...not much more than that. I don't work that hard, I prefer to spend time doing extra curricular, socialising and reading around the subject, rather than actually doing work!

    Not entirely sure what the 'alumni thing' is? We have several alumni at Oxbridge, and if you know some personally it's often recommended to have a chat or even visit, but that's down to individuals. The school organises a trip for top students to the Oxbridge open days, staying in colleges, and also gets in a few speakers. There's also an Oxbridge club, to talk to Year 13s applying this year, listen to presentations from other candidates (e.g. someone applying for Philosophy did a talk on personal identity, then there was a Q+A, gives him something to talk about at interview, allows us to get a bit of general knowledge and some thinking skills), do some stuff on interview skills and admissions tests. The school also offers practice interviews with appropriate teachers, to give you an idea of the interview experience. The club is run by Oxbridge alumni, which is great, and they will write your reference for you, as they know what to say for Oxbridge.

    All this at a state school! I'm so lucky!
    Very lucky, I've learnt that state school is not always synonymous with 'enemies of Ofsted'. It's looking good so far, make sure you get the most you can out of it, I'd die for opportunities like that. I'm going to make "extra curricular, socialising... reading around the subject" and general spare time my new years res! What kind of things do you enjoy reading, and what ECs are you involved in?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Unkempt_One)
    This is interesting. I heard something funny about this.
    Private school: First in the first year, second in the second year, third in the third year.
    State school: Third in the first year, second in the second year, first in the third year.

    I guess if that is the case then it's probably due to the intrinsic intelligence of the candidates. In my opinion the reason many private schools have ludicrously high Oxbridge acceptance rates is because of the sheer value they add to their candidates, not just through extra qualifications and whatnot but also through intellectual training. As a result they are just simply much more prepared for the dreaded interview than state school candidates of similar ability. However, at university learning becomes much more independent, and this change is perhaps much harder for ex-private school students than ex-public school students, and when the years progress and the material gets increasingly more demanding, the private school applicants who relied on value added rather than sheer ability begin to struggle noticeably.

    Does anyone agree with me or think this is BS?
    BS tbh :P

    I'm only first year, but the private schoolers I know in the second and third years are in no way struggling. I don't think it's possible to group all state school/private school students into specific groups. Every person is unique so some may struggle in the 3rd or 4th years but I in know way think that it is a general pattern seen across oxbridge with private schoolers....
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm from a comprehensive. Had absolutely eff all support applying, my school wanted to charge me to sit the HAT as presumably I was the first person to have done it and they didn't have a clue about it. Although to be fair a group of us went up the open day in June, but that was only because it coincided with a trip to London so we "called in" on the way back.

    Weird thing is I don't regret anything or wish I'd had extra support, I've reached the interview stage (which incidentally were the first interviews I'd ever done in my life- no preparation) and I was really pleased with them and enjoyed the experience. The interviewers seemed pretty interested in how I was taught in school too, class sizes, teaching style, etc. I certainly won't be losing any sleep if I don't get in and I won't be blaming my school.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Joe909)
    Prejudice Private school Prick for the earlier comment.

    I'm at state school aswell, My schools setting up extra awards I can get etc, Its not a lot but its really good help !
    Thats an amazing amount of help to be honest! At least your school are enthusiastic about your attempt!
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I know a fair bit about maths in Cambridge if anybody has a lack of info there, and could answer questions on other stuff if I know anything if people need it.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Kroll)
    Hey, good luck, which subject did you interview for?
    I was interviewed for Physical NatSci.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I know this probably won't be as much use as talking to a current undergrad, but I'm currently in year 13 at a North East England state school with an offer from Oxford for History (didn't get into my first choice college (New) but got pooled to Keble ), and I also went on the UNIQ Summer School for History last summer, and if anyone has any questions or stuff I'd be more than willing to answer them
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Only just seen this thread. I'm an Oxford law graduate from a fairly average state school, and I'm really happy to answer any questions - feel free to quote me here or, if you prefer, send me a pm.

    Once I settled into Oxford I didn't feel that schooling or class or whatever you call it came into it very much. I do second the comment that there tend to be far more obnoxious and arrogant people at interview than there are studying the course (presumably the tutors don't like them either!), so don't let them put you off.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I'm thinking of MAYBE going to Cambridge, the MML summer school looks brilliant (I want to take Spanish and possibly Dutch),but I don't think I've got the grades. Is it worth applying anyway do you think?

    I'd say I go to an alright 6th form, at GCSE the school does really really well (mostly because they kick us out of the subjects if we're not going to do well), but at A-level it seems to go down a little. We've got about 5 people applying for Oxbridge but hardly anyone ever gets in. It's technically near the top of the state comp league tables, but I have no idea how. 0.o
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Kroll)
    Very lucky, I've learnt that state school is not always synonymous with 'enemies of Ofsted'. It's looking good so far, make sure you get the most you can out of it, I'd die for opportunities like that. I'm going to make "extra curricular, socialising... reading around the subject" and general spare time my new years res! What kind of things do you enjoy reading, and what ECs are you involved in?
    ECs:
    Chair of Student enterprise group selling Fairtrade goods
    Chair of Fairtrade Schools group, aiming for Fairtrade School status
    Member of Fairtrade town group, just acheived Fairtrade town status
    Member of 'Environmentalist' group, growing and selling food in community, and promoting sustainability within school
    Member of Catering committee to improve school canteen
    Member of Student Council
    Member of Oxbridge group
    Member of Amnesty international group
    Member of school debating union (often chairing, or speaking at debates)
    Karate - one belt off Black
    Grade 7 standard violin
    Member of school orchestra
    Member of Local adult orchestra
    Member of area youth orchestra (run by County)
    Member of County orchestra (annual residentials culminating in concerts)
    Chair and Treasurer of Local District Youth council - a youth group to run alongside the district council
    Member of county youth council (similar)
    Hopefully soon (when elections happen) Head boy of my school, and member of UK Youth Parliament
    Work experience at Insurance Broker and District Council
    Some UKMT Maths challenge stuff - lots of awards (a whole mix, can't remember) from individual ones, and represented school at team maths challenges
    I work at B+B of the year 2010
    I think that's all, but I've probably forgotten something.

    As for reading I've read some introductory books, and I'm now reading Russell's History of Western Philosophy, along with original texts that Russell discusses - currently Plato's Republic. I've read an economic history of the 20th C. Done some reading around Politics, as well, a book on different Political Ideologies. I need to read a bit more Economics, so I got myself a shiny new textbook with my christmas bonus!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by flywithemma)
    I know this probably won't be as much use as talking to a current undergrad, but I'm currently in year 13 at a North East England state school with an offer from Oxford for History (didn't get into my first choice college (New) but got pooled to Keble ), and I also went on the UNIQ Summer School for History last summer, and if anyone has any questions or stuff I'd be more than willing to answer them
    hey! I was wondering what the UNIQ summer school's like? I'm thinking of applying to go for english
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by doloroushazy)
    hey! I was wondering what the UNIQ summer school's like? I'm thinking of applying to go for english
    brilliant you get a student's view of Oxford for a week, you get to meet lots of current students and also other prospective students (who by the end of it are your best friends it's lovely to keep in contact with other people afterwards, especially if you don't have many people at your school going through the Oxford application process..), the lectures and tutorials I attended and essay I had to write were challenging, but not TOO hard, and also really interesting, and the social activities (especially the end of week dinner/disco) were fun

    but yeah, seriously, if you have the chance, apply, it's really useful for getting a taste of what uni, and Oxford in particular, is like, and also there's some great advice specifically for the Oxford application process

    ...oh, and the best bit? It's allll free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Oldmantax)
    ECs:
    Chair of Student enterprise group selling Fairtrade goods
    Chair of Fairtrade Schools group, aiming for Fairtrade School status
    Member of Fairtrade town group, just acheived Fairtrade town status
    Member of 'Environmentalist' group, growing and selling food in community, and promoting sustainability within school
    Member of Catering committee to improve school canteen
    Member of Student Council
    Member of Oxbridge group
    Member of Amnesty international group
    Member of school debating union (often chairing, or speaking at debates)
    Karate - one belt off Black
    Grade 7 standard violin
    Member of school orchestra
    Member of Local adult orchestra
    Member of area youth orchestra (run by County)
    Member of County orchestra (annual residentials culminating in concerts)
    Chair and Treasurer of Local District Youth council - a youth group to run alongside the district council
    Member of county youth council (similar)
    Hopefully soon (when elections happen) Head boy of my school, and member of UK Youth Parliament
    Work experience at Insurance Broker and District Council
    Some UKMT Maths challenge stuff - lots of awards (a whole mix, can't remember) from individual ones, and represented school at team maths challenges
    I work at B+B of the year 2010
    I think that's all, but I've probably forgotten something.

    As for reading I've read some introductory books, and I'm now reading Russell's History of Western Philosophy, along with original texts that Russell discusses - currently Plato's Republic. I've read an economic history of the 20th C. Done some reading around Politics, as well, a book on different Political Ideologies. I need to read a bit more Economics, so I got myself a shiny new textbook with my christmas bonus!
    You absolute hero, hats off. Clearly, to be managing with all that and still maintain solid grades, you have excellent reason to be thinking of applying... You have, however, brought to my attention that I need to up my game by like eleventy notches..
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by flywithemma)
    brilliant you get a student's view of Oxford for a week, you get to meet lots of current students and also other prospective students (who by the end of it are your best friends it's lovely to keep in contact with other people afterwards, especially if you don't have many people at your school going through the Oxford application process..), the lectures and tutorials I attended and essay I had to write were challenging, but not TOO hard, and also really interesting, and the social activities (especially the end of week dinner/disco) were fun

    but yeah, seriously, if you have the chance, apply, it's really useful for getting a taste of what uni, and Oxford in particular, is like, and also there's some great advice specifically for the Oxford application process

    ...oh, and the best bit? It's allll free
    Sounds good but I'm wondering, are there minimum grade requirements for applicants?
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
    Help with your A-levels

    All the essentials

    The adventure begins mug

    Student life: what to expect

    What it's really like going to uni

    Rosette

    Essay expert

    Learn to write like a pro with our ultimate essay guide.

    Uni match

    Uni match

    Our tool will help you find the perfect course for you

    Study planner

    Create a study plan

    Get your head around what you need to do and when with the study planner tool.

    Study planner

    Resources by subject

    Everything from mind maps to class notes.

    Hands typing

    Degrees without fees

    Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

    A student doing homework

    Study tips from A* students

    Students who got top grades in their A-levels share their secrets

    Study help links and info

    Can you help? Study help unanswered threadsRules and posting guidelines

    Sponsored content:

    HEAR

    HEAR

    Find out how a Higher Education Achievement Report can help you prove your achievements.

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.