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    hello lovely posters bit of a last-minute decision to try oxbridge and having a bit of a dilemma about which to choose. want to take english literature, got 7A*'s and 2A's GCSE, 5A's with strong UMS' at AS and predicted 3A*'s at A2, solid personal statement.

    basically, if i was to apply tomorrow, which out of oxford or cambridge would i be more likely to get into (if any)? it'd be a real help to get some straight, unbiased and objective answers, seriously stressing as the school deadline is this friday, any help unbelievably appreciated

    thank you very much
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    Pick the one you like most. Look at the courses, cities, colleges, e.t.c. I don't think it will make that much difference which one you pick in terms of getting in, as English is a subject where they look at your ability in the subject more than overall marks. However Oxford have an admissions test (ELAT) at all the colleges, whereas you can do a prepatory study at some Cambridge colleges instead. Also, Cambridge do look at your UMS scores, so if you have a very high score (190+) in English Lit, this could help you if you apply there. There are small differences though, with the course probably being the most important thing. I am not actually looking to do English Lit though, so if the courses are the same ignore that piece of info.
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    More important than 'which is easier to get into' (a question which, incidentally, I think the answer to is 'they're about the same'), is which course you'd rather do, and where you'd rather be.
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    Have you visited either of them? I much preferred Oxford when I visited, for me it just had a nicer feel. But definitely look at each syllabus, you may find something appealing in one! In terms of entry, Oxford have a streaming system, by which they rule people out who didn't do very well on the test (3rd Nov) whereas Cambridge will ask you to sit a test on the day of the interview, so if you do badly in the exam you can make up for it at interview!!!
    Good luck!!!!
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    Sounds like you've definitely got a good chance! I looked at both Oxford and Cambridge last year as well, and will be starting english lit at cambridge in a week - it took me a while to choose between Oxford and Cambridge, so I still remember all how I made my decision Hope this helps!

    You should definitely check out the admission statistics on the the oxford and cambridge sites, but tbh I think you've got an equal chance either way. Even if there is a difference, it's not likely to be significant. And although some people say that which college you apply to makes a difference, overall I don't think it does. Both universities say that it doesn't - if you're good enough, you should be pooled. But again, check out the statistics. The main difference I can think of is that Cambridge gives interviews more easily than Oxford (Cambridge interviews about 90% of applicants) so if you think that the interview would be one of your strengths, it might be worth thinking about that. Also, for Cambridge you have to fill out an additional questionaire (the SAQ) where you fill in your UMS scores, so if they're really high it might give you an edge there. And Oxford (I think) have a test everyone has to do for english - though some Cambridge colleges have a written test they give you at interview anyway, so I don't know how much of a difference that makes.

    I think you should focus on finding out which uni is best for you - it's not all about being "right" for the university, the university has to be right for you too! You would if all goes well be spending three years there, so be sure to pick the one you like. The cities of Oxford and Cambridge are pretty different - Cambridge is a lot quieter and smaller, Oxford is bigger and probably more lively. I visited them both and knew immediately which one suited me best, though they're both lovely places. Maybe you should check out the town websites and see which one you like the look of? I also really can't stress enough how important it is that you read through the english lit page in the syllabus for both places a few times. That was what really decided it for me! Both courses are pretty traditional, but Cambridge is less so - I hated the look of the oxford course, and I think I would have really struggled to be interested in the material. It depends on your interests!
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    (Original post by griffle)
    hello lovely posters bit of a last-minute decision to try oxbridge and having a bit of a dilemma about which to choose. want to take english literature, got 7A*'s and 2A's GCSE, 5A's with strong UMS' at AS and predicted 3A*'s at A2, solid personal statement.

    basically, if i was to apply tomorrow, which out of oxford or cambridge would i be more likely to get into (if any)? it'd be a real help to get some straight, unbiased and objective answers, seriously stressing as the school deadline is this friday, any help unbelievably appreciated

    thank you very much
    X X X
    Which is easier to get into to study english lit. Oxford or Cambridge?
    and you're studying English lol
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    thank you so much for your responses guys a real help i think you're right, i should choose the uni i like rather than which one would like me as of 10 minutes ago, based on what you have all said about UMS', the lack of ELAT, the higher chance of interview, the more modern course content and the lovely town, i think cambridge is for me i will now be applying for newnham college for definate, so thank you for your help again so so much good luck to all of you applying to anywhere this year X X X X X


    (Original post by Angela_Beth)
    Sounds like you've definitely got a good chance! I looked at both Oxford and Cambridge last year as well, and will be starting english lit at cambridge in a week - it took me a while to choose between Oxford and Cambridge, so I still remember all how I made my decision Hope this helps!

    You should definitely check out the admission statistics on the the oxford and cambridge sites, but tbh I think you've got an equal chance either way. Even if there is a difference, it's not likely to be significant. And although some people say that which college you apply to makes a difference, overall I don't think it does. Both universities say that it doesn't - if you're good enough, you should be pooled. But again, check out the statistics. The main difference I can think of is that Cambridge gives interviews more easily than Oxford (Cambridge interviews about 90% of applicants) so if you think that the interview would be one of your strengths, it might be worth thinking about that. Also, for Cambridge you have to fill out an additional questionaire (the SAQ) where you fill in your UMS scores, so if they're really high it might give you an edge there. And Oxford (I think) have a test everyone has to do for english - though some Cambridge colleges have a written test they give you at interview anyway, so I don't know how much of a difference that makes.

    I think you should focus on finding out which uni is best for you - it's not all about being "right" for the university, the university has to be right for you too! You would if all goes well be spending three years there, so be sure to pick the one you like. The cities of Oxford and Cambridge are pretty different - Cambridge is a lot quieter and smaller, Oxford is bigger and probably more lively. I visited them both and knew immediately which one suited me best, though they're both lovely places. Maybe you should check out the town websites and see which one you like the look of? I also really can't stress enough how important it is that you read through the english lit page in the syllabus for both places a few times. That was what really decided it for me! Both courses are pretty traditional, but Cambridge is less so - I hated the look of the oxford course, and I think I would have really struggled to be interested in the material. It depends on your interests!
    hey thank you for this, congratulations on getting in that's incredible! which college? i think you're very right about the more modern content of the cambridge course, much more my scene, plus it's rather beautiful how was the interview for you? and if you don't mind me being nosy, would there be any chance of you letting me know your AS / GCSE grades? everyone seems to have 27A*s which is slightly distressing X X X
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    (Original post by griffle)
    hey thank you for this, congratulations on getting in that's incredible! which college? i think you're very right about the more modern content of the cambridge course, much more my scene, plus it's rather beautiful how was the interview for you? and if you don't mind me being nosy, would there be any chance of you letting me know your AS / GCSE grades? everyone seems to have 27A*s which is slightly distressing X X X
    You're welcome. I used TSR a lot last year when I was applying, so I feel like I'm kind of paying it forward! :woo: Come on, seven A*s is hardly shabby! :p: Since you ask, I got 10A* at GCSE, and 4 As at AS. But I think it's true what they say - I do know quite a few people who didn't get great grades at GCSE (which you did, by the way) or got the odd B at AS, but still managed to get in because they had a great PS or a great interview. And I know people with grades quite a bit higher than mine who got rejected. So don't let grades put you off.

    My interview went a lot better than I thought it would! I actually enjoyed it a bit. I was nervous at the beginning of the subject specific interview, but as they asked me about books from my personal statement that I really liked and was happy to talk about, I relaxed pretty quickly. The general interview was them basically asking me questions about myself, with a few english-related questions thrown in for good measure. Why do you want to do english, what's the point of it, what recent developments can you tell me about, how have your other subjects helped you....

    My interviewers were pretty nice as well - older students told me that the interview is mostly a way of seeing if you'd be good in supervisions and if they'd enjoy teaching you, which made me a bit less nervous. Prepare to be challenged though! They will lead the conversation in more difficult directions depending on what you say, and try to make you think on your feet. They say that if you walk out the interview having been able to answer every question or if the questions were all pretty simple, it probably hasn't gone that well.

    Here's a few random interview tips I learnt. But keep in mind, I haven't actually been to Cambridge yet! These are just a few things I thought helped me out during my interview. Being honest is a good policy - faking enthusiasm about something you don't really like is pointless, as they'll see straight through it. Mentioning something you really love is best. Reading around an author, period or genre is a good idea - for example, I did The Great Gatsby at AS so I read a few more of Fitzgerald's books, a bit of Hemingway and a few other bits and pieces from the time. Knowing a bit about the period is a plus. They ask for a few essays you've already written to look at, and they do ask questions on them - make sure to reread them and possibly the books so you can argue your points! Keeping up with literature in the news is also a good idea. Random-but-interesting facts are really useful. Reread the books in your PS before you go for interview, it's impossible to tell what they'll ask you about! They focused on areas that I really didn't expect during mine. Oh, and don't forget that Oxbridge is not the be-all and end-all. There are a lot of great universities out there, I'm sure they all have their own pros and cons.

    Ok, I'll stop rambling now I probably don't know as much as some others on this site, but if you want to ask me anything go ahead and send me a PM and I'll do my best.
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    (Original post by Angela_Beth)
    You're welcome. I used TSR a lot last year when I was applying, so I feel like I'm kind of paying it forward! :woo: Come on, seven A*s is hardly shabby! :p: Since you ask, I got 10A* at GCSE, and 4 As at AS. But I think it's true what they say - I do know quite a few people who didn't get great grades at GCSE (which you did, by the way) or got the odd B at AS, but still managed to get in because they had a great PS or a great interview. And I know people with grades quite a bit higher than mine who got rejected. So don't let grades put you off.

    My interview went a lot better than I thought it would! I actually enjoyed it a bit. I was nervous at the beginning of the subject specific interview, but as they asked me about books from my personal statement that I really liked and was happy to talk about, I relaxed pretty quickly. The general interview was them basically asking me questions about myself, with a few english-related questions thrown in for good measure. Why do you want to do english, what's the point of it, what recent developments can you tell me about, how have your other subjects helped you....

    My interviewers were pretty nice as well - older students told me that the interview is mostly a way of seeing if you'd be good in supervisions and if they'd enjoy teaching you, which made me a bit less nervous. Prepare to be challenged though! They will lead the conversation in more difficult directions depending on what you say, and try to make you think on your feet. They say that if you walk out the interview having been able to answer every question or if the questions were all pretty simple, it probably hasn't gone that well.

    Here's a few random interview tips I learnt. But keep in mind, I haven't actually been to Cambridge yet! These are just a few things I thought helped me out during my interview. Being honest is a good policy - faking enthusiasm about something you don't really like is pointless, as they'll see straight through it. Mentioning something you really love is best. Reading around an author, period or genre is a good idea - for example, I did The Great Gatsby at AS so I read a few more of Fitzgerald's books, a bit of Hemingway and a few other bits and pieces from the time. Knowing a bit about the period is a plus. They ask for a few essays you've already written to look at, and they do ask questions on them - make sure to reread them and possibly the books so you can argue your points! Keeping up with literature in the news is also a good idea. Random-but-interesting facts are really useful. Reread the books in your PS before you go for interview, it's impossible to tell what they'll ask you about! They focused on areas that I really didn't expect during mine. Oh, and don't forget that Oxbridge is not the be-all and end-all. There are a lot of great universities out there, I'm sure they all have their own pros and cons.

    Ok, I'll stop rambling now I probably don't know as much as some others on this site, but if you want to ask me anything go ahead and send me a PM and I'll do my best.
    TSR is a pretty beautiful place, it's much appreciated woww wonderful grades, and thank you i guess mine aren't dismal but there are so many GCSE rumours flying around i really needed to hear that grades aren't everything! ahh that's very interesting about the interview, it seems to be less intimidating that it's portrayed, more questioning and putting emphasis on your personal statement book choices then i guess, i'd better choose carefully then need to brush up on some developments too, that's really helpful to know. challenging sounds about right, i've heard from friends who've come out of them completely traumatised but then go on to get a place just like you, hopefully they'll focus on the periods / books that i'm happier to discuss i guess. those tips were unbelievably useful from a fellow cambridger, copious thanks again, i'm putting them in pride of place in my little "oxbridge tips" word document so i'll brush up for sure before i set off and i think you're very right, i'm going into the whole thing with the "it'd be nice" view if i did get in, but if i don't, i'm sure york/bristol/durham/leeds will be equally wonderful if i get a place it was a lovely ramble, i'll be sure to keep you in mind for any golden pre-interview / pre-breakdown tips and i'll drop you a message or something you've been a mine of info seriously, good luck for when you start! X X X X
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