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    I applied for History at Brasenose and was pooled to St Anne's where I was offered a place. I was slightly disappointed (as it had been my dream to go to BNC) but concluded that I must have performed relatively badly and was lucky to get a place at any college.

    However I emailed the Admissions Officer for my HAT score and was told that I got 87%, the sixth highest mark this year. Also, my 'Total Overall Rank' (where marks are allocated for interview + HAT + written work + GCSEs) was 16 out of 1137 interviewed and 233 places offered.

    That being the case, I'm now puzzled as to why Brasenose didn't offer me a place. I haven't been able to stop myself wondering if the tutors thought that because of my financial/educational background I would be better suited to St Anne's, which is notably 'left wing'. Perhaps this is just a chip on my shoulder but I've been left feeling I was treated unfairly.

    So, does anyone, perhaps with a similar story, have another explanation for the reallocation? Also, would it seem ungrateful/accusatory if I emailed BNC and asked for an explanation?

    Thanks
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    I can't give you any help really. Just thought I'd say that I wouldn't think it to be ungrateful, accusatory or a bad idea at all to email for an explanation congrats on the offer, even if it isn't what you initially wanted, it's still an incredible acheivement. x
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    Isn't there a degree of randomness to pooling? I really don't see them picking a new college for you because they thought your background was wrong; isn't it much more likely that they thought you were good enough for Brasenose but there were too many other good candidates and St. Anne's had an opening?
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    (Original post by punkyrocker)
    I can't give you any help really. Just thought I'd say that I wouldn't think it to be ungrateful, accusatory or a bad idea at all to email for an explanation congrats on the offer, even if it isn't what you initially wanted, it's still an incredible acheivement. x
    Thanks
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    (Original post by numb3rb0y)
    Isn't there a degree of randomness to pooling? I really don't see them picking a new college for you because they thought your background was wrong; isn't it much more likely that they thought you were good enough for Brasenose but there were too many other good candidates and St. Anne's had an opening?
    Well hopefully because I would be fine with that In fairness the senior tutor didn't seem like someone who would choose candidates for background.
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    it's not totally out of the question that brasenose got, say, four out of the top fifteen candidates, and had already offered two deferred places, which would put you out of their top six (which is a plausible number of historians for them to take).

    alternatively: did you interview at st anne's? it's conceivable that your interview at bnc wasn't great and your interview at st anne's was, in which case it's unsurprising that st anne's took you (and that you did well in the rankings).
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    (Original post by probably not)
    it's not totally out of the question that brasenose got, say, four out of the top fifteen candidates, and had already offered two deferred places, which would put you out of their top six (which is a plausible number of historians for them to take).

    alternatively: did you interview at st anne's? it's conceivable that your interview at bnc wasn't great and your interview at st anne's was, in which case it's unsurprising that st anne's took you (and that you did well in the rankings).
    Hmmm Brasenose isn't Merton though. It's not notably academic so the odds against it getting even four are fairly high. I did actually interview at St Anne's and got on really well with the tutors, certainly it was my best interview so that suggestion makes sense I suppose the nicest possibility is that they liked me and asked to take me, whereas Brasenose weren't fussed :p: Still, I suspect that the method of choosing isn't quite as mechanical as a strict question of ranking anyway!
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    (Original post by Harlequin Jester)
    Hmmm Brasenose isn't Merton though. It's not notably academic so the odds against it getting even four are fairly high. I did actually interview at St Anne's and got on really well with the tutors, certainly it was my best interview so that suggestion makes sense I suppose the nicest possibility is that they liked me and asked to take me, whereas Brasenose weren't fussed :p: Still, I suspect that the method of choosing isn't quite as mechanical as a strict question of ranking anyway!
    You hold some strange ideas about the quality of the colleges. You really should just treat them all as essentially equal - there is certainly no validity for a prospective undergraduate in internal ranking tables. To say that an Oxford college isn't notably academic is, frankly, fatuous.

    The two most likely explanations were given at post 6 above; there really is no cause to be seeking explanations.
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    As far as I know, those 'Overall Ranks' don't actually dictate the order in which colleges can choose their students. So Brasenose would still be able to choose the candidate ranked #61 over the candidate ranked #27 if they wished to do so for some reason (for example because candidate #61 had a particularly strong interview).
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    As far as I know, those 'Overall Ranks' don't actually dictate the order in which colleges can choose their students. So Brasenose would still be able to choose the candidate ranked #61 over the candidate ranked #27 if they wished to do so for some reason (for example because candidate #61 had a particularly strong interview).
    If they include the interview in a ranking system with all the other variables, it seems a little pointless to then just ignore said ranking system!
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    (Original post by Turdburger)
    If they include the interview in a ranking system with all the other variables, it seems a little pointless to then just ignore said ranking system!
    Not necessarily. If the ranking system in its entirety is used to determine whether a candidate is good enough generally, the interview might reveal a personal preference for a candidate - one a tutor would prefer to teach (or not) over another.
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    (Original post by Harlequin Jester)
    Hmmm Brasenose isn't Merton though. It's not notably academic so the odds against it getting even four are fairly high. I did actually interview at St Anne's and got on really well with the tutors, certainly it was my best interview so that suggestion makes sense I suppose the nicest possibility is that they liked me and asked to take me, whereas Brasenose weren't fussed :p: Still, I suspect that the method of choosing isn't quite as mechanical as a strict question of ranking anyway!
    While it may be true that in a year Merton are massivley likely to be more academic than BNC, within individual subject groups you just cant say this. My subject year at BNC all got 1sts last year... (6 of us)
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    Don't worry about it.

    It's a cliche, but it's true - whatever college you end up you end up loving.

    You'll definately love it at St. Anne's.
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    I don't know how the Oxford pooling system is managed, but the equivalent process at Cambridge is fairly transparent and well documented on its website together with statistics. If the aim is for an applicant to stand an equal chance of admission irrespective of first-choice college, then popular colleges will see more suitable applicants than they have places, whilst less popular colleges will see fewer.

    So the over-subscribed colleges must 'export' their surplus to a pool, from which the under-subscribed colleges draw. I would like to discover how colleges choose the applicants they keep vs those they pool. I conjecture they keep the 'best'. It is up to the undersubscribed colleges to choose from the pool.

    This does lead to interesting questions about choosing first-preference colleges.
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    (Original post by Turdburger)
    If they include the interview in a ranking system with all the other variables, it seems a little pointless to then just ignore said ranking system!
    But the ranking system was imposed by the faculties as part of that move to take power away from the colleges. Colleges may not necessarily agree with the order in which their candidates are ranked, and as they have the power to ignore the ranking (within reason, obviously), I can see no real reason why they shouldn't.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    You hold some strange ideas about the quality of the colleges. You really should just treat them all as essentially equal - there is certainly no validity for a prospective undergraduate in internal ranking tables. To say that an Oxford college isn't notably academic is, frankly, fatuous.

    The two most likely explanations were given at post 6 above; there really is no cause to be seeking explanations.
    Just to qualify; of course I don't think the tables reflect the quality of the colleges per se. However if a college has a reputation like Merton's then it may well attract applicants who consider themselves (often rightly) to be among the strongest of their cohort. That was the only context I was referring to.
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    The Oxford system is a total mystery. I had a rubish interview at st Hildas, had amuch better one at Queens, and then got offered a place at st Hildas! Who knows how it works. It would be interesting to find out, so if it is really nagging you that much I doubt theres any harm in asking!
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    (Original post by welshforever92)
    The Oxford system is a total mystery. I had a rubish interview at st Hildas, had amuch better one at Queens, and then got offered a place at st Hildas! Who knows how it works. It would be interesting to find out, so if it is really nagging you that much I doubt theres any harm in asking!
    It's quite likely that you (along with many other people) are just a bad judge of your interview performance.
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    (Original post by Harlequin Jester)
    I applied for History at Brasenose and was pooled to St Anne's where I was offered a place. I was slightly disappointed (as it had been my dream to go to BNC) but concluded that I must have performed relatively badly and was lucky to get a place at any college.

    However I emailed the Admissions Officer for my HAT score and was told that I got 87%, the sixth highest mark this year. Also, my 'Total Overall Rank' (where marks are allocated for interview + HAT + written work + GCSEs) was 16 out of 1137 interviewed and 233 places offered.

    That being the case, I'm now puzzled as to why Brasenose didn't offer me a place. I haven't been able to stop myself wondering if the tutors thought that because of my financial/educational background I would be better suited to St Anne's, which is notably 'left wing'. Perhaps this is just a chip on my shoulder but I've been left feeling I was treated unfairly.

    So, does anyone, perhaps with a similar story, have another explanation for the reallocation? Also, would it seem ungrateful/accusatory if I emailed BNC and asked for an explanation?

    Thanks
    A polite email or phone call would do the the trick. Try the compliment negative compliment approach. Thank them first for your offer and then ask them why they decided it would be better for you to go to St. Anne's and then after explanation/refusal of explanation say "thank you for your time". I find this approach works a treat as people go away thinking, "what a nice, polite person. . ."

    If they give you an explanation, that's great, if not, you will have to leave it at that. Most universities operate under the policy that they don't have to tell you but you are entitled to ask in the first place.

    Good luck with your enquiry x
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    Although i am a Cambridge applicant, from talking to tutors at open days it did come across that admissions tutors like to 'engineer' the combination of students they admit to produce an environment with a range of different backgrounds and personalities which will fit into and add to, their current student body. I personally think that politics may play a large role in whether you are pooled or admitted, because i think that is one trait that i think colleges would like most of their students to have in common. For example i can imagine a college such as kings in Cambridge (so left wing they have a hammer and sickle painted on the wall of their bar) would never admit someone who came into interview with strong right wing views; and at the same time im sure many colleges with more right wing views are happy to accept them if they have excellent application stats.
    What im trying to say is that im sure the colleges came to an agreement as to where you would fit in best socially while studying at oxford, ( after all the admissions folk are sure to be excellent judges of character) rather than the one you initially applied to, and as you mentioned that St annes is quite left wing; you probably will fit in much more there than at Brasenose.
    btw, i dont know anything about oxford college reputations, I can barely name 3 of them.
 
 
 
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