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    Hello. I am a junior from the US. I am considering applying to, well, probably Cambridge. I heard that they take into account more how ambitious you are; how driven; how far you will go in the future, rather than simply what you've accomplished already. Is this right? I mean, in comparison to Oxford. Also, is it true that you don't even tell Oxford your extracurriculars? So, they basically admit you soley on academic merit? That's so foreign to me. That's the only university I've ever heard of that does that. Well, I get good grades in school, am in national honor society, honors classes, AP classes, etc. I also have a ton of extracurriculars, all of which I am very passionate about. I'm not one of those people who, you know, does a ton of activities half-heartedly, I like to think. Will this help me if I do apply to Cambridge? I'm having trouble finding a lot of information on applying from the U.S. Even on their website, they dont have a lot of information of Americans. Thanks so much!
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    At both Oxford and Cambridge the main focus of the admissions process is on the academic side of things and they are both very similar in their selection procedures. Whoever told you Oxford ignore extra curricular achievements was lying; both universities take them into account as a means of examining candidates in a more general sense, but academic achievements are always the most important thing. Basically the admissions process, which I know is a lot different from that of US schools, is centred around the interview system in which tutors assess your academic potential and get to know a little more about you as a person. I know Oxford send a team of interviewers out to a few cities in the US, and i imagine Cambridge do the same. Of course your extra curricular activities will show that you are an active and hard-working individual but it is your academic achievements which are the most important. Also, contrary to popular opinion (and certainly that of Ms Clinton) Oxford is not anti-American; in fact there are loads of American students around, especially in my college.

    Good Luck!!!

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    Wow! Thanks for replying so quickly! I thought that I read on Oxford's website that they don't take into account extracurriculars, but I must be mistaken. Um... also, in the US it's better to take challenging AP and honors classes, and get, maybe a B rather than an A, rather than taking easy courses and getting all A's. Do they recommend this for students considering applying to British colleges as well? Thanks!
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    (Original post by Yankee)
    Wow! Thanks for replying so quickly! I thought that I read on Oxford's website that they don't take into account extracurriculars, but I must be mistaken. Um... also, in the US its better to take challenging AP and honors classes, and get, maybe a B rather than an A, rather than taking easy courses and getting all A's. Do they recommend this for British colleges as well? Thanks!
    I'm really sorry but i don't understand what AP and honours classes are

    The British Higher Education system is totally different to the American one; you're probably better to check with individual universities. If you go to their websites I'm sure they'll have section on international admissions and maybe an email address or phone number you could try.

    Sorry!!!

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    (Original post by hildabeast)
    I'm really sorry but i don't understand what AP and honours classes are

    The British Higher Education system is totally different to the American one; you're probably better to check with individual universities. If you go to their websites I'm sure they'll have section on international admissions and maybe an email address or phone number you could try.

    Sorry!!!

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    Oh ok. Thank you so much for your help! =) But just FYI, AP=Advanced Placement (it's a college level class. we take an exam at the end of the year and if we get a 3,4, or 5 we get college credit). Honors classes are more difficult that regular classes. ie- right now I am in honors English, which means that we read more difficult material that the regular classes, take more tests, write more papers, etc...) But it really doesn't matter. Thanks again for your help! =)
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    (Original post by Yankee)
    Oh ok. Thank you so much for your help! =) But just FYI, AP=Advanced Placement (it's a college level class. we take an exam at the end of the year and if we get a 3,4, or 5 we get college credit). Honors classes are more difficult that regular classes. ie- right now I am in honors English, which means that we read more difficult material that the regular classes, take more tests, write more papers, etc...) But it really doesn't matter. Thanks again for your help! =)
    Right. Obviously British universities deal mainly with British school-leaving qualifications and these are called A Levels. They are unlike US qualifications as students usually take only three or four subjects up to the age of 18 and they are then assessed for indiviual qualifications in these subjects graded on a scale from A to E. I know that if I was to apply to an American university with my A Level grades I would most likely get advanced credits because they are considered more in-depth than a standard US high school graduation. Therefore yes, I think universities would look more favourably on your qualifications if they are in-depth in the subject areas you are interested in studying. However, if you are thinking of applying to Oxbridge they would normally demand AAA at A Level, ie. the highest level of achievement, and therefore you should really be expecting to get the highest grades in whatever qualifications you take.

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