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    I'm a sixteen-year-old student currently undertaking AS-levels at a school sixth-form. The subjects I've chosen are French, English Literature, English Language and Photography which I am also likely to take to A2. I've been predicted 'good' grades (although, quite obviously, there are no specifics yet). I achieved 3A*, 7A and a B at my GCSEs and I have plenty of interests too: for example I play oboe and am involved in local projects (though I'm not going to bore you all with that!). I've been considering a future degree in French and English, but really I'd just like some sensible opinions as to how likely I would be to gain entrance to Oxford and, if so, ideas of what interviewers really look for in candidates. I have plenty of friends at both Cambridge and Oxford- although they all have very different stories about how they got there- so more advice would certainly help! Thanks in advance.
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    good luck
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    Reading around the subject, go to seminars or summer schools.

    But the main thing is get good at your subject. If you achieve good AS grades, you should get invited to interview. That's your real chance to impress the admission's officer.
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    (Original post by The Bigtime)
    Reading around the subject, go to seminars or summer schools.

    But the main thing is get good at your subject. If you achieve good AS grades, you should get invited to interview. That's your real chance to impress the admission's officer.
    Thanks a lot. I'm off to one in November as it happens!
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    Photography isn't the strongest of subjects, which may be an issue but then again you have 3 strong academic subjects. I'm not too sure if universities like you having both english lit and lang... Hmmm. Can you not swap English lang for history or even another language, it would look better in my opinion and give you a wider scope of knowledge. Or even take Art instead of Photography as it is more traditional, or swap photog for History/Philosophy or something?.
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    (Original post by vegcar)
    I'm a sixteen-year-old student currently undertaking AS-levels at a school sixth-form. The subjects I've chosen are French, English Literature, English Language and Photography which I am also likely to take to A2. I've been predicted 'good' grades (although, quite obviously, there are no specifics yet). I achieved 3A*, 7A and a B at my GCSEs and I have plenty of interests too: for example I play oboe and am involved in local projects (though I'm not going to bore you all with that!). I've been considering a future degree in French and English, but really I'd just like some sensible opinions as to how likely I would be to gain entrance to Oxford and, if so, ideas of what interviewers really look for in candidates. I have plenty of friends at both Cambridge and Oxford- although they all have very different stories about how they got there- so more advice would certainly help! Thanks in advance.
    If you do well enough in your AS-levels and if your written work and ELAT score are decent, your chances of getting an interview are probably quite high. But beyond that it's impossible to tell, really.
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    (Original post by Jinxy)
    Photography isn't the strongest of subjects, which may be an issue but then again you have 3 strong academic subjects. I'm not too sure if universities like you having both english lit and lang... Hmmm. Can you not swap English lang for history or even another language, it would look better in my opinion and give you a wider scope of knowledge. Or even take Art instead of Photography as it is more traditional, or swap photog for History/Philosophy or something?.
    Yeah, I'm aware of that- I wanted to take art but the school's subject option pools wouldn't allow that combination. Same with History- they weren't in the right pools, so I figured English Language was complementary. Is this subject combination too narrow however?
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    (Original post by vegcar)
    Yeah, I'm aware of that- I wanted to take art but the school's subject option pools wouldn't allow that combination. Same with History- they weren't in the right pools, so I figured English Language was complementary. Is this subject combination too narrow however?
    Hm. I'd consider it narrow but you're better emailing/calling Oxford and asking what they think of it.

    Say you were just doing:
    English lit
    French

    English lit is very popular, most schools offer it in at least 3 of 4 option blocks. Then you have french and 2 more spaces, they really should have something better than english language or photography to accommodate you. I would recommend you drop English language and take a respected subject such as history, religious studies, science, languages. Or even psychology would be better than subjects overlapping. Keep photography if you enjoy it but don't have more than one 'weak subject' or overlapping subject.

    Doing english lit and lang is a bit like someone taking art and photography, not really broadening your horizons and really quite pointless/waste of an option (IMO).

    English language is not considered a top subject but english literature is. Only 2 of your subjects are considered highly academic and if you're wanting to go to Oxford, i'd really think about your choice of subjects....
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    (Original post by Jinxy)
    Hm. I'd consider it narrow but you're better emailing/calling Oxford and asking what they think of it.

    Say you were just doing:
    English lit
    French

    English lit is very popular, most schools offer it in at least 3 of 4 option blocks. Then you have french and 2 more spaces, they really should have something better than english language or photography to accommodate you. I would recommend you drop English language and take a respected subject such as history, religious studies, science, languages. Or even psychology would be better than subjects overlapping. Keep photography if you enjoy it but don't have more than one 'weak subject' or overlapping subject.

    Doing english lit and lang is a bit like someone taking art and photography, not really broadening your horizons and really quite pointless/waste of an option (IMO).

    English language is not considered a top subject but english literature is. Only 2 of your subjects are considered highly academic and if you're wanting to go to Oxford, i'd really think about your choice of subjects....
    Okay- thank-you very much for your help!
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    (Original post by vegcar)
    Okay- thank-you very much for your help!
    Welcome!
    Remember, at the end of the day if these are the subjects you know you will do best in, better than swapping to others, stick with them as you are more likely to get higher grades.
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    (Original post by Jinxy)
    Welcome!
    Remember, at the end of the day if these are the subjects you know you will do best in, better than swapping to others, stick with them as you are more likely to get higher grades.
    Thanks. Yep, I took English Language as I got full makrs in the GCSE exam, but I think if it inhibits my chances of getting on particular courses at University, it's worth looking at again!
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    (Original post by vegcar)
    Thanks. Yep, I took English Language as I got full makrs in the GCSE exam, but I think if it inhibits my chances of getting on particular courses at University, it's worth looking at again!

    :yep:
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    Also I'd bear in mind the way that Oxford teaches French- I know you write a lot of essays and other pieces of work in English a lot of the time, which put me off applying as I wanted to be more immersed in French. Would you want that?
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    (Original post by MewMachine)
    Also I'd bear in mind the way that Oxford teaches French- I know you write a lot of essays and other pieces of work in English a lot of the time, which put me off applying as I wanted to be more immersed in French. Would you want that?
    I should think so- I love to write, whether in French or English, and essay writing is one of my strengths. But I do see what you mean; is there not a year in France?

    And, by the way, I wish I could join in you in loving the Subjunctive!
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    Yep there's still a year abroad. Although I know Em Partington did a sneaky half year abroad so she could be president without taking a sabbatical, since technically that was all she needed to do. Most people I think spend a full year in France
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    (Original post by vegcar)
    I should think so- I love to write, whether in French or English, and essay writing is one of my strengths. But I do see what you mean; is there not a year in France?

    And, by the way, I wish I could join in you in loving the Subjunctive!
    Oh no of course you still get the full year in France like someone has already mentioned I love essay writing too, but it's just important to make sure that it's what you like. Go to the Modern Languages open day, it's really helpful, they also had a room about Joint Honours so I learnt a bit about English there too
    aussi, je ne sois pas un amant du subjontif (see what I did there :ninja:)
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    (Original post by MewMachine)
    Oh no of course you still get the full year in France like someone has already mentioned I love essay writing too, but it's just important to make sure that it's what you like. Go to the Modern Languages open day, it's really helpful, they also had a room about Joint Honours so I learnt a bit about English there too
    aussi, je ne sois pas un amant du subjontif (see what I did there :ninja:)
    Okay- thanks a lot! I think I'll definitely be off to next year's open day. And I did see what you were doing, although as a lowly AS-Level student, I'm not even going to begin considering a reply of equal subjunctive awesomeness...
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    Yeah, I'd say pretty much what's been said above. Just a suggestion; could you take history/another language at AS level either outside school or maybe next year? That way, photography is an 'added bonus' rather than being a core subject. Plus, it shows that you like your workload :-).

    Though having said that, I did Economics, politics, and Eng Lit for A Level and I got in, so I wouldn't worry!
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    (Original post by Mrs Carrothead)
    Yeah, I'd say pretty much what's been said above. Just a suggestion; could you take history/another language at AS level either outside school or maybe next year? That way, photography is an 'added bonus' rather than being a core subject. Plus, it shows that you like your workload :-).

    Though having said that, I did Economics, politics, and Eng Lit for A Level and I got in, so I wouldn't worry!
    Aw, thanks! I emailed admissions and they said much the same: photography wouldn't necessarily hurt but to make a competetive offer, they'd prefer an academic subject so I'm currently in talks with school staff about a possible switch from Photograph to RE or History..Fingers crossed! And yeah, if it transpires a move isn't possible, perhaps a History AS with my 3 A's next year may help!
 
 
 
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