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    (Original post by gliitter)
    Hi there, I'm looking to apply for medicine and I had been thinking a lot about whether to apply to Oxford or Cambridge! I do like both of the courses but I do prefer the location and atmosphere at Oxford. I've been thinking Cambridge for a while now because I was a bit worried my GCSEs wouldn't be seen as 'competitive' enough for Oxford standards! I achieved 10 A*s and 2As and I suppose my number of A*s is relatively good but the proportion seems below average for Oxford. I haven't had a chance to ask anyone at Oxford about my GCSEs so any help would be really useful! I haven't received my A level predictions yet but my other stats are 2As in Geography and Maths AS level. Thank you for any help in advance!
    Hi there,

    I'm not sure where you've heard information about your GCSEs being not competitive enough for Oxford, but I can assure you this isn't the case: we say that in general a successful applicant has 5-7A* at GCSE, for Medicine this average is slightly higher (I believe around 8A*). Keep in mind that some GCSE students only take 9 or 10 GCSEs! Providing your predicted grades, personal statement and BMAT/UKCAT scores are also strong (you are right, it is competitive - but in more areas than just GCSEs!), you would be well placed to make an application for Medicine.

    Hope this reassures you,

    India
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    (Original post by SuperHuman98)
    I am tjinking about doing History at Oxford, what do admissions tutors think about my subjects History Geography Politics and Englishlanglit (combined) is this a good mix or too soft for Oxford??
    Hi there,

    There would be no issue with this combination of subjects in applying for History. Of course, History would be the subject admissions tutors "focus" on the most, and if you were to receive an offer then it would stipulate that one of your As would have to be in that subject (eg AAAB with B in History would not satisfy the conditions of the offer). If you enjoy those subjects and feel that you are able to achieve the right grades in them, then great! They are particularly well-placed for a Historian because there are so many areas of each one which overlap into historical study.

    As an aside on "soft subjects", Oxford accept both English Lit and English Lit/Lang as core offer subjects (not English Lang sole); English Lit is, however, generally better regarded and offers a slightly better grounding in the analytical/essay writing/research skills needed for an arts degree. Since you are applying for History, not English, this shouldn't be an issue for you - I just thought I would mention it for clarity, and to help anyone who may be reading this thread!India
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    (Original post by LMH OXFORD)
    Hi there,

    I'm not sure where you've heard information about your GCSEs being not competitive enough for Oxford, but I can assure you this isn't the case: we say that in general a successful applicant has 5-7A* at GCSE, for Medicine this average is slightly higher (I believe around 8A*). Keep in mind that some GCSE students only take 9 or 10 GCSEs! Providing your predicted grades, personal statement and BMAT/UKCAT scores are also strong (you are right, it is competitive - but in more areas than just GCSEs!), you would be well placed to make an application for Medicine.

    Hope this reassures you,

    India
    Hi, thank you for the reply! I think it was because on the website, it says that offer holders have an average of something like 94% A*. I have 83% A* so I think I felt a bit discouraged!
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    Dear LMH,

    What TSA score would lead to an interview for Economics and Management and would being part of UNIQ in anyway strengthen an application?

    Thanks

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    Hi, I am just wondering how many AS and A-Levels are good enough to be accepted into oxford, I know it is typically 3, but I'm yet to see and Oxford student on TSR with only 3 a-levels. I'm in year 12 and planning on doing just biology, chemistry and maths as any other subject I would be interested in isn't possible for me to do. So I will just have 3 A-Levels. I also have 11A* and 1A at GCSE, and will have work experience, volunteering etc. Thank you
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    (Original post by ElGenioEstúpido)
    Dear LMH,

    What TSA score would lead to an interview for Economics and Management and would being part of UNIQ in anyway strengthen an application?

    Thanks

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Hi there,

    We are currently waiting on one of our Economics tutors to give an answer on TSA scores for PPE/E&M, but I know this can (and does) vary from cohort to cohort, and is also subject to your performance in other areas of the application process.

    If you have taken part in a UNIQ summer school then you would very likely have received advice and had experiences which would enable you to understand our admissions process better and make a stronger application; that's one of the aims of the UNIQ programme! It does not, however, mean that your application would be "prioritised" in any way because you were part of the scheme, as that wouldn't be fair practice for the university. The ways which UNIQ does benefit participants' applications are far more personal and holistic, and rely on you making something out of the experience - which uses a lot of the skills admissions tutors will look for.

    Hope this helps,
    India
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    (Original post by jazz_xox_)
    Hi, I am just wondering how many AS and A-Levels are good enough to be accepted into oxford, I know it is typically 3, but I'm yet to see and Oxford student on TSR with only 3 a-levels. I'm in year 12 and planning on doing just biology, chemistry and maths as any other subject I would be interested in isn't possible for me to do. So I will just have 3 A-Levels. I also have 11A* and 1A at GCSE, and will have work experience, volunteering etc. Thank you
    Hi there,

    Three AS/A Levels are all that is needed; there are plenty who have been accepted to Oxford with three subjects, they just might not be in evidence here! When the offer stipulates three A-Levels, we really do mean it - that's all you need! Indeed, it is often said that doing fewer A-Levels can be better, as you have more time for focused revision (this is of course subjective). It is a myth that Oxford are more likely to take students with unusually high numbers of A Level subjects (say 5 or more) - they would much rather admit someone who has time to explore their chosen degree subject outside of the often narrow confines of the A-Level syllabus, and consequently has more specific, unique, academic material to bring to an interview.

    A note on work experience/volunteering/other miscellaneous extra-curriculars: Oxford is only really interested in academic or subject-related extra curricular activities in personal statements. At LMH, we prefer to call them "super-curriculars"; activities which go above and beyond the A-Level syllabus and demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and commitment. If your volunteering and work experience don't relate directly to the subject you want to study here, then you should only include them in a short paragraph towards the end of your statement (this will be more than satisfactory for any other top universities where you may also be applying!).

    Hope this helps,
    India
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    (Original post by LMH OXFORD)
    Hi there,

    Three AS/A Levels are all that is needed; there are plenty who have been accepted to Oxford with three subjects, they just might not be in evidence here! When the offer stipulates three A-Levels, we really do mean it - that's all you need! Indeed, it is often said that doing fewer A-Levels can be better, as you have more time for focused revision (this is of course subjective). It is a myth that Oxford are more likely to take students with unusually high numbers of A Level subjects (say 5 or more) - they would much rather admit someone who has time to explore their chosen degree subject outside of the often narrow confines of the A-Level syllabus, and consequently has more specific, unique, academic material to bring to an interview.

    A note on work experience/volunteering/other miscellaneous extra-curriculars: Oxford is only really interested in academic or subject-related extra curricular activities in personal statements. At LMH, we prefer to call them "super-curriculars"; activities which go above and beyond the A-Level syllabus and demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and commitment. If your volunteering and work experience don't relate directly to the subject you want to study here, then you should only include them in a short paragraph towards the end of your statement (this will be more than satisfactory for any other top universities where you may also be applying!).

    Hope this helps,
    India
    Thank you so much, this has really eased my mind about making a final decision! I do feel like I would achieve higher by just doing 3 subjects so I think I will just continue with that. and thank you also for the info on work experience and volunteering, the ones I am planning to do are very much course-related for me so that was good to know.
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    A few questions:
    Do Oxford release things like the average HAT/ELAT/PAT score of successful applicants?

    Also India, what were your GCSE and A2 grades ( for A2 what subjects?)
    When considering GCSE grades, do Oxford consider which subjects you get A*s in? ( eg. getting good grades in arts and sciences, vs just arts or just sciences)
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    (Original post by OriginalLifelin)
    A few questions:
    Do Oxford release things like the average HAT/ELAT/PAT score of successful applicants?

    Also India, what were your GCSE and A2 grades ( for A2 what subjects?)
    When considering GCSE grades, do Oxford consider which subjects you get A*s in? ( eg. getting good grades in arts and sciences, vs just arts or just sciences)
    Hi there,

    Oxford release admissions test results to everyone, regardless of outcome (they go to your school/sixth form college), but this happens after offers have been given out. To help you interpret your own mark, they do also release the average.

    I'm not going to post a full run down of all my grades (which are quite old now!) because I think there is a danger of people on forums like this one collecting other people's academic profiles up as examples of what they "should" have achieved to apply to Oxford - both myself and Marrium, our outreach officer, have been through the admissions process within the last 5-6 years, but in this context we are here to help people in a professional context :-) As a general overview, I have 4 full A-Levels, all in arts/hums subjects.

    For subjects such as Medicine, A*s in specific subjects (Maths/Science) may be considered more closely, but for Arts degrees tutors generally take a broader view of your overall GCSE record. I know of a couple of people who have been interviewed for subjects for which they received a B at GCSE - anecdotes should never be taken as gospel, but it does demonstrate that GCSE grades are only considered part of a whole when applying to Oxford.

    Don't hesitate to ask if you have anything else to ask!India
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    Hey, is it possible for a non-British student to apply for a joint course involving English? The literature I've studied at school is that of my own country, and everything I know about English Literature I've learnt on my own, and I could mention this in my PS.
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    (Original post by Rhaenys10)
    Hey, is it possible for a non-British student to apply for a joint course involving English? The literature I've studied at school is that of my own country, and everything I know about English Literature I've learnt on my own, and I could mention this in my PS.
    Hi there,

    It is more than possible for an international student to secure a place on an English or related joint school course, but you would still need to offer an A-Level or national equivalent in English Literature or combined Literature and Language, and satisfy the minimum requirements for spoken & written language (as do all international students on every course). This can include English at Higher Level in a Baccalaureate. For reference, here is the English admissions page:

    https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...erature?wssl=1

    Although you sound very motivated in your independent study of English Literature, the qualification requirement is an essential part of your application.
    You don't say which joint school course you are interested in, but if it is (for example) English and Modern Languages, would it perhaps be better for you to apply for a language which you have already studied at school? Oxford language courses are very literary, and you can study a second one from scratch if you wish to do so.

    Hope this helps,

    India
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    Hi there, I have already posted this on the Oxford Prospective Students thread and created a separate thread, yet no reply has come of it. I am writing this in the hope someone can provide some help, as I have no one to talk to about Oxford applications.

    I am currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Economics and History (Government & Politics AS; A grade achieved). My GCSEs were (6A*, 2A, 1B; 3rd in school). My AS were A in Maths and Gov. Pol with AAB in Further Maths. I am especially interested in Economics & Management, yet realise that the grades aren't competitive. Therefore, do you think that I would at least get an interview with these grades or should I avoid applying, assuming my Personal Statement is good?
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    (Original post by mathcon)
    Hi there, I have already posted this on the Oxford Prospective Students thread and created a separate thread, yet no reply has come of it. I am writing this in the hope someone can provide some help, as I have no one to talk to about Oxford applications.

    I am currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Economics and History (Government & Politics AS; A grade achieved). My GCSEs were (6A*, 2A, 1B; 3rd in school). My AS were A in Maths and Gov. Pol with AAB in Further Maths. I am especially interested in Economics & Management, yet realise that the grades aren't competitive. Therefore, do you think that I would at least get an interview with these grades or should I avoid applying, assuming my Personal Statement is good?
    Hi there,

    We're glad you've found us as we are always keen to talk to prospectice applicants!

    Firstly, I'd just like to clarify your grades. Have you only studied to AS Level so far, or have you fast-tracked any A2s? Your post does not make this clear. Am I correct in saying you have an A in Maths AS, an A in Government and Politics, then a further two As and a B? The entry requirements for E&M are A*AA, with Maths A-Level included in the three - you seem to have more than enough relevant A-Levels to make up an offer, and I am sure Economics would be particularly useful to you.

    As a general rule, if you are on track (and predicted) to achieve the offer of A*AA, then it is worth making an application. Your GCSEs are within the average a successful applicant has and would also be considered contextually (since you say they were the 3rd highest in your school, so were clearly a great achievement). Cambridge are more specific about UMS at AS Level than Oxford, although that's not to say it is easier to receive an offer for E&M here!

    E&M is a highly competitive course, and even with suitably high AS/predicted A2 grades it would be impossible to say whether or not you would receive an interview or not from this alone: it is also subject to good performance in the TSA test, a strong personal statement, and any references/mitigating circumstances. From what I am inferring about your grades, however, you would have nothing to lose from applying - and of course, I would urge you to consider LMH, where we take three E&M students a year (an unusually high quota for such a small intake course)

    Hope you find this helpful,

    India
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    (Original post by LMH OXFORD)
    Hi there,

    We're glad you've found us as we are always keen to talk to prospectice applicants!

    Firstly, I'd just like to clarify your grades. Have you only studied to AS Level so far, or have you fast-tracked any A2s? Your post does not make this clear. Am I correct in saying you have an A in Maths AS, an A in Government and Politics, then a further two As and a B? The entry requirements for E&M are A*AA, with Maths A-Level included in the three - you seem to have more than enough relevant A-Levels to make up an offer, and I am sure Economics would be particularly useful to you.

    As a general rule, if you are on track (and predicted) to achieve the offer of A*AA, then it is worth making an application. Your GCSEs are within the average a successful applicant has and would also be considered contextually (since you say they were the 3rd highest in your school, so were clearly a great achievement). Cambridge are more specific about UMS at AS Level than Oxford, although that's not to say it is easier to receive an offer for E&M here!

    E&M is a highly competitive course, and even with suitably high AS/predicted A2 grades it would be impossible to say whether or not you would receive an interview or not from this alone: it is also subject to good performance in the TSA test, a strong personal statement, and any references/mitigating circumstances. From what I am inferring about your grades, however, you would have nothing to lose from applying - and of course, I would urge you to consider LMH, where we take three E&M students a year (an unusually high quota for such a small intake course)

    Hope you find this helpful,

    India
    I am in A2 right now, with AS finished. What I meant with AAB was that I had gotten AAB in the three papers I did in Further Maths (two in the mid-80s and one in the mid-70s). My other grades were A in Gov. Pol and Maths. History and Economics have become linear, therefore, I did not give their AS.
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    Hi LMH ,
    I am a post A level candidate and would be interested in applying for biochemistry at Oxford. I have A*A*A at A level in maths, biology and chemistry but less strong GCSE's (2A* 6A 3B) with A's in all the subjects I took at A level. I understand biochemistry is somewhat essay based for a science and I also have an A in AS level history and EPQ related to biochemistry. Based solely on academics, what are my chances of getting an offer?
    Thanks
    I missed the A* in chemistry by 3 ums, which is 1% of the A level grade not sure if you guys will hear about that tho x
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    (Original post by mathcon)
    I am in A2 right now, with AS finished. What I meant with AAB was that I had gotten AAB in the three papers I did in Further Maths (two in the mid-80s and one in the mid-70s). My other grades were A in Gov. Pol and Maths. History and Economics have become linear, therefore, I did not give their AS.
    Thanks for clarifying - I would assume that is an A overall for Further Maths? As it happens, that doesn't change my advice on predicted grades, especially if you are on track in Maths, the only compulsory subject for E&M :-)

    India
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    (Original post by k.russell)
    Hi LMH ,
    I am a post A level candidate and would be interested in applying for biochemistry at Oxford. I have A*A*A at A level in maths, biology and chemistry but less strong GCSE's (2A* 6A 3B) with A's in all the subjects I took at A level. I understand biochemistry is somewhat essay based for a science and I also have an A in AS level history and EPQ related to biochemistry. Based solely on academics, what are my chances of getting an offer?
    Thanks
    I missed the A* in chemistry by 3 ums, which is 1% of the A level grade not sure if you guys will hear about that tho x
    Hi there,

    Your grades sound like you would make a suitable Biochemistry candidate, although of course, I cannot guarantee anything - that job is only for an admissions tutor who can see your full application! Your GCSE results would be considered in context with your school, so would not necessarily disadvantage you, especially since you are a post A-Level candidate, and the university already has solid proof that you have achieved more than the standard offer!

    The Biochemistry admissions website states that offers will be made of "A*AA, including chemistry and another science or mathematics, and with the A* in maths, physics, chemistry or biology, or a closely related subject". Since you have an A* in Biology and Maths, your high A in Chemistry should not pose an issue (we do not ask for UMS on the UCAS form, but you are welcome to enter them if you like).

    Also, your EPQ sounds great! Make sure you put it into your personal statement. Oxford really like EPQs, so they are worth doing if your school gives you the opportunity. I was interviewed by three different colleges when I applied to Oxford, and every single one of them wanted to ask me about my EPQ

    Best of luck with your application,

    India
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    (Original post by LMH OXFORD)
    Hi there,

    It is more than possible for an international student to secure a place on an English or related joint school course, but you would still need to offer an A-Level or national equivalent in English Literature or combined Literature and Language, and satisfy the minimum requirements for spoken & written language (as do all international students on every course). This can include English at Higher Level in a Baccalaureate. For reference, here is the English admissions page:

    https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...erature?wssl=1

    Although you sound very motivated in your independent study of English Literature, the qualification requirement is an essential part of your application.
    You don't say which joint school course you are interested in, but if it is (for example) English and Modern Languages, would it perhaps be better for you to apply for a language which you have already studied at school? Oxford language courses are very literary, and you can study a second one from scratch if you wish to do so.

    Hope this helps,

    India
    Thanks a lot for your response! English and Modern Languages is the exact course I'm applying for. It's not that I haven't studied English at all, it's just that I haven't sat the baccalaureate in this subject. Over the four years of college, I have had courses in both English Language and British and American Civilisation. The language I've chosen for my joint course is German, which I have studied at school too.

    As for the minimum requirements for languages - I think I satisfy them. I passed the Cambridge Proficiency Exam with A, and I've also done the Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (it's the German equivalent of IELTS), which I got almost full grades in.

    I've already sat the Romanian Baccalaureate - which I passed with the equivalent of A*A*A*. My subjects were Romanian Language and Literature, Mathematics and Biology - they were more or less mandatory, there was no way for me to choose English or German, but this doesn't mean that I'm not prepared in these subjects.

    I will also be sending written work, and that's going to help too, I guess.
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    (Original post by Rhaenys10)
    Thanks a lot for your response! English and Modern Languages is the exact course I'm applying for. It's not that I haven't studied English at all, it's just that I haven't sat the baccalaureate in this subject. Over the four years of college, I have had courses in both English Language and British and American Civilisation. The language I've chosen for my joint course is German, which I have studied at school too.

    As for the minimum requirements for languages - I think I satisfy them. I passed the Cambridge Proficiency Exam with A, and I've also done the Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (it's the German equivalent of IELTS), which I got almost full grades in.

    I've already sat the Romanian Baccalaureate - which I passed with the equivalent of A*A*A*. My subjects were Romanian Language and Literature, Mathematics and Biology - they were more or less mandatory, there was no way for me to choose English or German, but this doesn't mean that I'm not prepared in these subjects.

    I will also be sending written work, and that's going to help too, I guess.
    I don't doubt that your English more than satisfies the reading and writing requirements, but it would be incredibly unusual for the English Faculty to admit a student who did not have a formal qualification in the subject (especially as it is compulsory for those who have studied A-Levels). It may be worth you contacting the faculty directly, as your circumstances are quite different to the standard profile of an English applicant.

    I've also double checked the International Qualifications page of the central university admissions webpage for you, (https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...cations?wssl=1) which confirms the following:

    "There are also specific entrance requirements for some courses, particularly in the sciences, so please check the requirements for your course. The qualifications below will only be sufficient alternatives to A-level where they cover the same content as the required A-levels, to the appropriate standard.

    If your qualification is listed as being insufficient to make a competitive application to Oxford, then you will need to undertake further study if you wish to apply."

    This is what makes me say that your current qualifications may not be suitable to make an application for EML, as excellent as they are! The same webpage provides a link to the British Council who should be able to advise you on where you would be able to study for British A-Levels to put you in the right place to make a competitive application; you are clearly very motivated by your studies, so I am sure it would be well within your reach. Oxford do have to reinforce their compulsory admissions requirements quite vigorously, often because the formal qualifications they request are an essential part of assessing a students' ability.

    I hope this helps to clarify my first response - please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any more questions!

    India
 
 
 
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