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    My situation:

    May 2009 IB Candidate, results:
    Maths HL 6
    Geo hl 6
    Eng HL 6 (1 mark off 7)
    German b sl 6
    spanish a1 sl 6
    chemistry sl 5
    bonus 3

    total 38
    applied to E&M at Oxford in the year I took the exams, got an interview (74 % at TSA), but could't attend one (illness) -> rejected.

    The question is: is it worth retaking my maths hl exam in the oncoming may 10 session, and then apply to oxford?. Please be 100% frank with me, I just want to know how does it look like from the perspective of those who are now at Oxford or those who hold an offer.

    Thanks.
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    oh btw: my extenuating circumstance would be that I self-taught maths hl . Don't know if it matters, but...
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    (Original post by bubububu)
    oh btw: my extenuating circumstance would be that I self-taught maths hl . Don't know if it matters, but...
    That's not an extenuating circumstance in my opinion.
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    I think it is because the school didn't provide a maths hl teacher. You know - if you want to study economics at a good uni, then maths sl is probably not sufficient.
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    Getting into E&M with 38 is a stretch, as they require 38-40 and E&M is one of the more competetive subjects, so I think it's most likely not because of the missed interview that you got rejected. If you're serious about going to Oxford, retake it. Maths is really important for E&M. If you're gonna be studying anyway, also do English as you were only one point off, that would make your total 40, which would make you a better candidate in their eyes. But again, think about how badly you want Oxford and not another uni, which can also be good.
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    You'll have to ask them first if they accept resits. I know they don't for med, might be different for EM, but EM is even more oversubscribed.

    You also might want to ask if the offer will be A*AA next year, because they might change the IB offer to 776HL then. (It used to be like that a year ago, they actually lowered it this year to 766, didn't they?)
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    Getting in with 38 will be tough, since every conditional offer I've seen has been 39 or more. Given that you also have no 7s at HL, I'd say that your chances of getting in with those grades is pretty much impossible.

    If you are confident on being able to achieve a 7 in Maths HL by retaking, then I'd suggest you do that. I'd maybe additionally suggest retaking Chemistry, since getting a 7 there would bump your total up by 2 points.

    In any case you'll at least need to retake one of your HL subjects in order to get a minimum of 39 and HL766.

    (Original post by sandeep90)
    That's not an extenuating circumstance in my opinion.
    It is highly unusual for IB students to self-study Maths HL (I had never heard of anyone doing it until now).
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    Thanks! very helpful.
    I wanted to retake chemistry as well but it's sadly after the deadline for may session (totally unprepared for P3, since we changed the option like milion times and tbh I didn't know which one would come up on the exam, and got like 5 points for p3 - other components were OK. Yes, my school is totally messed up I know. There are other things as well, but I don't think it matters now...). I registered only for maths... if I get 7 in maths, what would be my chances then?
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    Go to another university
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    (Original post by bubububu)
    I think it is because the school didn't provide a maths hl teacher. You know - if you want to study economics at a good uni, then maths sl is probably not sufficient.
    But lots of people self teach maths and still do really well. I self taught P1 and dropped a single raw mark on the exam - and Maths isn't my strongest suite either. Obviously it sucks that you didn't have a teacher, but it does mean that you can't be top of the game for Maths do begin with if you can't learn it from a textbook. Whether or not that's rare at HL, it shouldn't be impossible.

    As others have said though, I think it'll be the "no 7s at HL" that counts against you.
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    (Original post by bubububu)
    Thanks! very helpful.
    I wanted to retake chemistry as well but it's sadly after the deadline for may session (totally unprepared for P3, since we changed the option like milion times and tbh I didn't know which one would come up on the exam, and got like 5 points for p3 - other components were OK. Yes, my school is totally messed up I know. There are other things as well, but I don't think it matters now...). I registered only for maths... if I get 7 in maths, what would be my chances then?
    You'd be applying for entry in 2011, so you could still retake exams in Nov '10, or even May '11 (not sure if the IBO regulations allow this though).

    If you get a 7 in Maths HL, I reckon you have a decent chance (especially if you manage 70+ in the TSA next time as well).
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    (Original post by Bekaboo)
    But lots of people self teach maths and still do really well. I self taught P1 and dropped a single raw mark on the exam - and Maths isn't my strongest suite either. Obviously it sucks that you didn't have a teacher, but it does mean that you can't be top of the game for Maths do begin with if you can't learn it from a textbook. Whether or not that's rare at HL, it shouldn't be impossible.

    As others have said though, I think it'll be the "no 7s at HL" that counts against you.
    I was in the IMO team of my country 2 years ago... and you don't think that maths hl says something about maths abilities.
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    (Original post by Roundabout)
    You'd be applying for entry in 2011, so you could still retake exams in Nov '10, or even May '11 (not sure if the IBO regulations allow this though).

    If you get a 7 in Maths HL, I reckon you have a decent chance (especially if you manage 70+ in the TSA next time as well).
    I decided to retake maths and just see what happens. Maybe it won't be a straight rejection

    Thanks guys
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    (Original post by bubububu)
    I was in the IMO team of my country 2 years ago... and you don't think that maths hl says something about maths abilities.
    Pardon? I think that getting a 7 at HL must say something about a person's ability, but no of course I don't think being entered for the course/exam says something about your ability. By that logic somebody could take it and get a bare pass and that would have to mean that they're really good at Maths too??
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    (Original post by Bekaboo)
    Obviously it sucks that you didn't have a teacher, but it does mean that you can't be top of the game for Maths do begin with if you can't learn it from a textbook.
    I referred to this. It is not true that I can't be top of the game for maths just because I didn't get a 7.
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    (Original post by bubububu)
    I referred to this. It is not true that I can't be top of the game for maths just because I didn't get a 7.
    Top is, by its definition, a superlative. People who are "top" do very well. Maths is one of the few subjects where people who are very good at it can usually self teach. I know a LOT of people who did, and still got near to full marks (e.g. 95% not 'just' an A, before anyone plays the A-levels are easier card). If you couldn't get a 7 without a teacher then obviously you can't be that much of a natural - surely that stands to reason?
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    (Original post by Bekaboo)
    Top is, by its definition, a superlative. People who are "top" do very well. Maths is one of the few subjects where people who are very good at it can usually self teach. I know a LOT of people who did, and still got near to full marks (e.g. 95% not 'just' an A, before anyone plays the A-levels are easier card). If you couldn't get a 7 without a teacher then obviously you can't be that much of a natural - surely that stands to reason?
    lol what? A, or 7 is just a grade. If you learn a lot, you will achieve it; with or without a teacher. It's as simple as that. I didn't submit portfolio = didn't have 7, lol. Why do you think some maths courses want you to pass things like STEP (which is probably the most IMO-like exam)? That is because they know A level or IB maths, whether it's 100% or 90%, tells only how much time was allocated by a candidate to learn certain things which are then assessed in a standarised way.

    and next time if you write such a passage of nonsense think for a while.... problem solved, thread closed.
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    (Original post by bubububu)
    lol what? A, or 7 is just a grade. If you learn a lot, you will achieve it; with or without a teacher. It's as simple as that. I didn't submit portfolio = didn't have 7, lol. Why do you think some maths courses want you to pass things like STEP (which is probably the most IMO-like exam)? That is because they know A level or IB maths, whether it's 100% or 90%, tells only how much time was allocated by a candidate to learn certain things which are then assessed in a standarised way.

    and next time if you write such a passage of nonsense think for a while.... problem solved, thread closed.
    Why on earth didn't you submit a portfolio? It's practically impossible to get a 7 without it, as it accounts for 1/5 of your grade.
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    Well I did one, but from previous session, turned out to be not applicable . it was this Koch Snowflake thing I guess. and when I was informed that 'sorry you portfolio is in some sense expired', I didn't have enough time to write another one because of all those tokish essays, EE, and especially world literature one (although here i succeeded ). and i didn't worry much because I applied only to oxford in the UK, and after being rejected I felt like 'well so what, I'll just stay in the country".
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    Just so you know, I think you can still register additional subjects after the deadline - it's just more expensive. Overall I think chances of getting into ox are very slim, so it might not be worth it.
 
 
 
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