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Agrippina
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#101
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#101
(Original post by Stephanie1820)
Although we were always told that GCSEs were all important at my school (private, london, day) I totally messed them up -

2 A*, 2 A, 3 B, 2 C (in dual award science - *******s!!)

I still received an offer from St. Peters (Oxford) to read French Literature.

My school was really negative about me applying because they thought id just get slapped in the face about my GCSE results, but in the end i was 1 of the 5 (out of 40 who applied from my school) who got an offer.

What im saying is, once you've taken your GCSEs there's nothing you can do about them, so theres no point worrying about what the Unis will think. Just make sure you have a really good personal statement (show loads of enthusiasm) and make sure your teachers / reference writers believe in your capability in the subject.

In the end, my French Lit tutor cared about whether or not i was good at his subject, not about whether or not I had memorised the periodic table.

Good Luck! I'm sure you'll be fine!

x
Hey well done at getting an offer *impressed*!! Luckily both my English teachers seem really enthusiastic about my wanting to apply for Oxford, and they both think I "have it in me". Thank you for being encouraging !
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Tek
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#102
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#102
(Original post by dreamer)
In fact, I am an arts student who is psychologically satisfied by science as she thinks it's truth is somewhat 'better' than those of the arts, so ti makes her feel cleverer than the historians

Seriously though, I really do like science very much, but it's certainly not the case that I think less about the arts. On the contrary, I would have been very happy studying history, law or philosophy.

I get a big kick out of science though: it enables me to rationalise and feel some control over what is, in so many respects, a chaotic and unpredictable world. (I am aware that quantum mechanics makes my statement unsound, but since I have chosen to focus in biology and chemistry, and 'medium-scale' physics, it still works for me!). Not to say this isn't the case in other disciplines, but somehow science elicts this feeling in me more strongly than in other disciplines. I also enjoy the possibility that any discovery I make could have a very direct real world application.

Tek, have you read confessions of a philosopher by bryan magee? I think you would like this, as a historian with a philosophical bent.
I could never quite fathom science - it's all too technical for me! I think my mind is more suited to History in that I'm more analytical than, um, scientific? I could never understand the point of looking at chemical bonds and doing experiments: I do, however, have an intense interest in politics and history. I firmly believe that History is the "key to understanding the present" (Carr). Like you with science, I see learning from history as having real world applications.

I haven't read that book, but I will certainly investigate it.
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Tek
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#103
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#103
(Original post by dreamer)
In fact, I am an arts student who is psychologically satisfied by science as she thinks it's truth is somewhat 'better' than those of the arts, so ti makes her feel cleverer than the historians
What truths are these that can be satisfied by a chemical equation? Or by an inate experiment? What truths are these, that produce graphs with strange gradients?

The real truths lie in the story of mankind; how he has faced adversity, dealt with his troubles, and overcome his fears. Those are the truths which affect man, which affect how he thinks, acts, sleeps or breathes. Real truth is found in what we have done with the world, what we think of our fellow man, and how we can learn from others how best to treat our fellow man.

To favour these scientific truths over our real truths is to deal with the world superficially; yes, you can explain how global warming happens, but can you tell us why it happens; why it really began to happen in the first place; the way society produced individuals who, filled with greed, began to dismantle our world? To dismiss history in favour of science is to take the easiest way out of thought. Real knowledge, real happiness is found only through understanding the history of society; the history of mankind; our story; our real truths.
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MadNatSci
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#104
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#104
(Original post by Tek)
What truths are these that can be satisfied by a chemical equation? Or by an inate experiment? What truths are these, that produce graphs with strange gradients?

The real truths lie in the story of mankind; how he has faced adversity, dealt with his troubles, and overcome his fears. Those are the truths which affect man, which affect how he thinks, acts, sleeps or breathes. Real truth is found in what we have done with the world, what we think of our fellow man, and how we can learn from others how best to treat our fellow man.

To favour these scientific truths over our real truths is to deal with the world superficially; yes, you can explain how global warming happens, but can you tell us why it happens; why it really began to happen in the first place; the way society produced individuals who, filled with greed, began to dismantle our world? To dismiss history in favour of science is to take the easiest way out of thought. Real knowledge, real happiness is found only through understanding the history of society; the history of mankind; our story; our real truths.

Very poetic

But I think you need to understand how things work. How can we stop global warming if we only know the reasons why and not the how? And I think science teaches us more about ourselves, as we learn more about the world around us.
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LilMissSunshine
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#105
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#105
(Original post by MadNatSci)
Very poetic

But I think you need to understand how things work. How can we stop global warming if we only know the reasons why and not the how? And I think science teaches us more about ourselves, as we learn more about the world around us.
Couldn't agree more!
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Tnacilppa
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#106
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#106
(Original post by Tek)
What truths are these that can be satisfied by a chemical equation? Or by an inate experiment? What truths are these, that produce graphs with strange gradients?

The real truths lie in the story of mankind; how he has faced adversity, dealt with his troubles, and overcome his fears. Those are the truths which affect man, which affect how he thinks, acts, sleeps or breathes. Real truth is found in what we have done with the world, what we think of our fellow man, and how we can learn from others how best to treat our fellow man.

To favour these scientific truths over our real truths is to deal with the world superficially; yes, you can explain how global warming happens, but can you tell us why it happens; why it really began to happen in the first place; the way society produced individuals who, filled with greed, began to dismantle our world? To dismiss history in favour of science is to take the easiest way out of thought. Real knowledge, real happiness is found only through understanding the history of society; the history of mankind; our story; our real truths.
I agree entirely. What use is knowing what we are made of when we do not know the inner passions that drive us? What use is knowing how humans evolved when we do not know why we are here? What use is understanding the creation of new life without being able to feel and describe love? For me science answers interesting questions. But the arts answer the most important questions. Reading King Lear one cannot help but tremble at humanity's weakness yet looking at Monet's art one cannot but be struck by such beauty. Without being placed in the context of the intensity and vitality of art (and the arts more generally) science is little more than (to quote Wordsworth) "barren leaves."

This is my opinion and I know there will be disagreements. I also hope I don't seem too strange but that is something I believe strongly.

Adam
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bandeauballet
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#107
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#107
I always found studying history kinda depressing. It's all about human selfishness. Every single turn in events or situation was the result of greed on the part of at least one party. I didn't learn much apart from 'Humans will always act in their own self interest'.
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neildm
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#108
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#108
(Original post by Tnacilppa)
I agree entirely. What use is knowing what we are made of when we do not know the inner passions that drive us? What use is knowing how humans evolved when we do not know why we are here? What use is understanding the creation of new life without being able to feel and describe love? For me science answers interesting questions. But the arts answer the most important questions. Reading King Lear one cannot help but tremble at humanity's weakness yet looking at Monet's art one cannot but be struck by such beauty. Without being placed in the context of the intensity and vitality of art (and the arts more generally) science is little more than (to quote Wordsworth) "barren leaves."

This is my opinion and I know there will be disagreements. I also hope I don't seem too strange but that is something I believe strongly.

Adam
Too correct, i.e. there will be disagreements. Science has been making great leaps on all fronts. Remember, during the greatest days of the arts, the people thought the earth was flat and there were so many misconceptions that have been solved by science. Even the social sciences rely heavily on the sciences these days. Particle physics and genome research may provide answers related to our existence at some point in the future. (which the arts will not do on their own) Even now, science has done incredible things to improve our quality of life, extend it and perhaps someday make our lives permanent? You're only getting to **** off the sciences in favour of the arts to so many people through the internet, and improved communication because of... SCIENCE!
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neildm
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#109
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#109
P.S.: An insight into most of the arts you study for can be gained through introspection. No offence to history or english or anything, I do find all the arts interesting, but I am mostly satisfied by looking at my own life, and things I say and do and how I might've/can in the future done/do them differently/better.

Real happiness, to one poster above seems to be about understanding the history of society. Perhaps its different from person to person, but I get real happiness by being with the people I love (family and friends) and talking to them, just very simple stuff, nothing to do necessarily with arts or sciences or studies - just spending time with them.
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Tek
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#110
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#110
(Original post by MadNatSci)
Very poetic

But I think you need to understand how things work. How can we stop global warming if we only know the reasons why and not the how? And I think science teaches us more about ourselves, as we learn more about the world around us.
Yes, and scientists are equally valued; but they just don't reach the same, deep levels historians reach. Scientists appreciate the surface value of how things work: historians appreciate how society works, how human beings work; historians think on deeper and more valuable levels than scientists. Scientists are but the products of society; historians seek to understand this society.
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yawn1
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#111
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#111
(Original post by Tek)
Yes, and scientists are equally valued; but they just don't reach the same, deep levels historians reach. Scientists appreciate the surface value of how things work: historians appreciate how society works, how human beings work; historians think on deeper and more valuable levels than scientists. Scientists are but the products of society; historians seek to understand this society.
Ah - but scientists are more intelligent - they think on a deeper level intrinsically and can do all that historians do quite adequately. Can you do the same with science?
Add. - whose to say which contribution is more valuable? You display your limitations by your conjecture
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Tek
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#112
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#112
(Original post by yawn1)
Ah - but scientists are more intelligent - they think on a deeper level intrinsically and can do all that historians do quite adequately. Can you do the same with science?
Add. - whose to say which contribution is more valuable? You display your limitations by your conjecture
Ha! They do not think deeply! They examine and record! Measure and pour! Prod and poke! They are but pawns in the universe; they refuse to be drawn into the deeper meanings of self; they choose to escape: the easiest way out. They refuse to face the true meaning of self; the true meaning of society; they are but cowards spawned by more cowards! Historians - real, brave people - analyse and seek to understand the human race at its deepest, most intimate level; it is for this courage that they are prized above the scientist. It is for this courage, Ladies and Gentlemen, that historians are the most valued contributors to the understanding of society.
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neildm
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#113
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#113
(Original post by Tek)
Ha! They do not think deeply! They examine and record! Measure and pour! Prod and poke! They are but pawns in the universe; they refuse to be drawn into the deeper meanings of self; they choose to escape: the easiest way out. They refuse to face the true meaning of self; the true meaning of society; they are but cowards spawned by more cowards! Historians - real, brave people - analyse and seek to understand the human race at its deepest, most intimate level; it is for this courage that they are prized above the scientist. It is for this courage, Ladies and Gentlemen, that historians are the most valued contributors to the understanding of society.
Thats why you won't understand astrophysics. Looking at the 'true meaning of society' is what historians do huh? Well, how come there are many versions of the true meaning of society? Well, I don't know why I'm having this debate - I'm quite secure that my subject (engineering) is an excellent choice and the only two better subjects to study in my opinion would be physics or maths, or perhaps some for of cognitive science. (with chem)
History is an excellent subject to study, don't be put off in the least by what we say about science - after all, its only our opinion. You'll have plenty of career opportunities if you've graduated with a good class of degree from a good institution. Masel tov!
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dreamer
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#114
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#114
(Original post by Tek)
Ha! They do not think deeply! They examine and record! Measure and pour! Prod and poke! They are but pawns in the universe; they refuse to be drawn into the deeper meanings of self; they choose to escape: the easiest way out. They refuse to face the true meaning of self; the true meaning of society; they are but cowards spawned by more cowards! Historians - real, brave people - analyse and seek to understand the human race at its deepest, most intimate level; it is for this courage that they are prized above the scientist. It is for this courage, Ladies and Gentlemen, that historians are the most valued contributors to the understanding of society.
Tek, I love your provocative nature. Although you are talking a steaming mound of hydrogen sulphide. You accuse US of being escapists? Historians are concerned with the PAST, that which is finished. The ultimate in not reacting to the moment, in navel-gazing, in reflecting over that which ultimately cannot be changed. You are constructing a fragmented viewpoint that can never be literally true as you don't and never will have all the evidence, and there is not such thing as an ultimate truth anyway in history as even the events of five minutes ago can be interpreted differently by different people, all arguing passionately that their view is 'right'. Surely science, with its aim to build on a body of knowledge that is common to all humanity, to construct laws that are universal and transcend ourselves, surely that is a product of humans at their best?

And on another note, being a scientist does not precldue thinking about the huamn condition. Historians 'courageous'? I think even on a practical note, you would agree that work which can cause you to lose our eyesight (galileo, die in a volcanice eruption (pliny) or through radioactive poisoning (curie) is courageous. Analysing why Hitler came to power doesn't really have the same punch does it.
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claire_james
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#115
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#115
(Original post by Eeyore)
Hi there! This is directed mainly at current Oxford students reading English Lit, but if anyone else has any advice fire away!
I am currently in year 12 at a pretty good state school, and I really want to go to Oxford to study English Lit. However I'm not sure how good my chances of getting in are.... I could use some advice, so perhaps if you could glance over the info below and get back to me? Thanks!
- I was home educated from the age of 8 til I joined the Sixth Form last September and consequently I'm very self-motivated and am quite happy with independent study having done it most of my life.
- I'm taking AS levels English Lit, Music, Psychology, Geography and General studies, and planning to drop geography next year to end up with full A levels in the first three, and also take history at AS next year too.
- I do quite a bit of reading around my subject - e.g. other books by the authors I'm studying in class, etc.
- At the beginning of my A level study I was writing A grade essays for English Lit while everyone else was writing E or U grade essays.
- I got A for GCSE English Lit and A* with a top five mark for GCSE English Lang.
- I play the viola at grade 6 standard (just got Honours, woo-hoo!) and flute at grade 7, plus a bit of piano.
- I play and sing in numerous music groups both in and out of school.
- I am about to start working towards my Duke of Edinburgh Award.
- I have lots of interests besides English Lit - obviously classical music, but also archaeology, horses, etc.

So, realistically, what are my chances? I'd really appreciate any advice.
Your chances are very slim as your grades aren't good enough. sorry to put it so bluntly but i got all a*'s thats why they excepted me. just a's will not be good enough sorry!!!
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neildm
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#116
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#116
(Original post by claire_james)
Your chances are very slim as your grades aren't good enough. sorry to put it so bluntly but i got all a*'s thats why they excepted me. just a's will not be good enough sorry!!!
They, excepted you? From the acceptance list?
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leda swanson
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#117
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#117
(Original post by Eeyore)
Hi there! This is directed mainly at current Oxford students reading English Lit, but if anyone else has any advice fire away!
I am currently in year 12 at a pretty good state school, and I really want to go to Oxford to study English Lit. However I'm not sure how good my chances of getting in are.... I could use some advice, so perhaps if you could glance over the info below and get back to me? Thanks!
- I was home educated from the age of 8 til I joined the Sixth Form last September and consequently I'm very self-motivated and am quite happy with independent study having done it most of my life.
- I'm taking AS levels English Lit, Music, Psychology, Geography and General studies, and planning to drop geography next year to end up with full A levels in the first three, and also take history at AS next year too.
- I do quite a bit of reading around my subject - e.g. other books by the authors I'm studying in class, etc.
- At the beginning of my A level study I was writing A grade essays for English Lit while everyone else was writing E or U grade essays.
- I got A for GCSE English Lit and A* with a top five mark for GCSE English Lang.
- I play the viola at grade 6 standard (just got Honours, woo-hoo!) and flute at grade 7, plus a bit of piano.
- I play and sing in numerous music groups both in and out of school.
- I am about to start working towards my Duke of Edinburgh Award.
- I have lots of interests besides English Lit - obviously classical music, but also archaeology, horses, etc.

So, realistically, what are my chances? I'd really appreciate any advice.
i just got a place at cambridge to read l'onglais... in your personal statement, stress your music, and link it as tenaciously as possible to your burning desire to read english. your number of A*s probably doesn't signify that much, they care much more about AS results, will actually ask for them, and don't generally require 4 A-levels, although it can help obviously to demonstrate how you are totally transcending such delimiting quantities of academia. if your interview is anything like mine was, they won't actually ask you anything so distanced from who You actually are as to ask what your hobbies are and how you intend them to be important to your degree, so much as subtley ascertain how well you can actually think. hence stress your extra-curriculars in personal statement.

also, they will ALWAYS ascertain whether you have read Shakey's Sonnets or not, so pretend you have, or better still, read them -gasp- and be able to explain how they link to your being sufficient osbridge material. you're supposed to be interested in the subject, not just in yourself, so you're supposed to have read pre-Romantic poesy, creatively.
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Tek
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#118
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#118
(Original post by dreamer)
Tek, I love your provocative nature. Although you are talking a steaming mound of hydrogen sulphide.
Damn, did someone only just realise that?

All I was doing was using emotive phrases to disguse the fact that I wasn't saying anything at all!
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Ensocopier
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#119
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#119
To the person who said you need all A*:

You Pr*ick. You think you need all A*s to get in. Your going to be in for a shock when you get there.
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Tek
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#120
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#120
(Original post by claire_james)
Your chances are very slim as your grades aren't good enough. sorry to put it so bluntly but i got all a*'s thats why they excepted me. just a's will not be good enough sorry!!!
This person?
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