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    Hello.

    I'm 16, currently studying my GCSE's in Year 11. Recently, I've been thinking about University (Indeed it's still two years away but I feel I would be unprepared otherwise). I'm just going to throw a few things out there, if anyone could give me any advice / answer any questions, I would really appreciate it.

    So, firstly. What kind of grades am I going to need to get to be accepted into Oxford?

    These are the subjects I am currently studying:

    • English Literature
    • English Language
    • Maths
    • Double Science Award
    • History
    • DiDA (Two GCSES's) (Basically IT, I'm pissed off that my school even chose this course)
    • Citizenship
    • PE (Lol)
    • Spanish
    • Music


    So yeah, what kind of grades do I need to look at for a chance ?

    Then there's the AS and A2 choices, which are the biggest factor. So far, looking at what I'm good at and what I enjoy, these are probably the best options, not to mention they are (hopefully) good choices If I want to do a History degree at Oxford:

    • History(AS &A2)
    • English Literature(AS & A2)
    • Philosophy(AS and A2)
    • Photography(AS and A2)


    Photography is probably a weak choice, but I really enjoy it and I think I would be good at it. Plus, some people tell me sometimes that Oxford look out for a bit of personality.

    I know that I need to get AT LEAST 4 A's, Is it worth doing Photography at A2 ? Is it an extra grade? Will I be disadvantaged If I do 3 ?

    I thought I would quickly point out why I want to go to Oxford so badly; I'm not rich, I go to a pretty **** state school in North West London, but I'm achieving mainly A's and B's (Going to do all I can to get those up to A's). The teachers here are really nice, there's not much trouble or crime etc, It's just not particularly good. Due to this, I've always looked up to my grandfather who unfortunately passed away last year but he attended Hertford College, Oxford as an Artist. I feel very strongly about making him proud of me and following in his footsteps. I get a lot of support at home (Great family) So motivation is all there, now I just need to know how to get there ;P Which is why I'm here.

    I'm definitely going to make an Open application, but is there any colleges I should look out for particularly ? I'm really social, outgoing and love to meet new people, so social factor is really important. I also care a lot about the accommodation (Shallow I know, but I get a lot of inspiration from my surroundings), building (Prefer old buildings and the "Oxford" feel).

    So in terms of a history degree, what can I do to get extra credit as such in the interview ? Any books I should read, any activities I should do to show up on the application more ? I've already completed my Duke of Edinburgh award at Bronze level, anything else I should do ? I really love history so doing extra stuff is not really a problem, but I'm struggling to figure out what to do :P.

    Final thing, how much money should I start saving ? I've heard that Oxford is actually not a bad place to live in terms of costs, but how much should I be looking at per year; Where's the best place to get a student loan ?

    About the interview, I think I will do alright, I'm really chatty and am great with people, so I would appreciate advice directly on the topics I've raised.

    GOD. That is one heck of a lot to read; I would really appreicate any advice that you guys can give, besides "You're too young to be thinking about this" or "Just think about the interview" or "Just apply and find out", because this is really regressive.

    Thanks !!!!!
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    A good smattering of A*s and As, there's no cut-off point in terms of GCSE. They are far more interested in AS results and A2 predictions. Your choices seem pretty good, I'm automatically frowning at photography, but your other three choices are very sound, you just need to make sure you get the grades. I would re-think the 'definite Open Application' thing; you have loads of time to settle your thoughts and perhaps go on an Open Day, it's way too soon to decide, you may really fall for a college and want to apply there, so keep an open mind. Not too sure about History interviews, but I can guarantee you that you will definitely find it tough if it's anything like the Law interviews, so do not assume you will be fine. You will be able to live off loans, grants and bursaries, money shouldn't be a concern for you right now, getting there should be though!

    Despite your last little bit, it's very very early to be thinking about all of this. There will be plenty of time later for reading and making your application as good as it can be, and when that time comes, I'm sure you will be fine, and you can ask for more specific help. In the mean time, focus on getting the grades and doing the groundwork for an excellent application.
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    If you have preferences for factors colleges offer, why make an open application? You understand that it doesn't affect your chance of getting in right? (if the college you choose is more competitive you get 'pooled' to another).

    Academically and in terms of oxford, photography counts for nothing. Do it if you enjoy it though, but bear in mind the other 3 are going to need to be what the offer is based on (i.e. As, A*s)
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    Having just applied for Hertford for history:

    Go for it. Why not. If you enjoy history, there's absolutely no harm in getting started. Go to museums, go to public lectures (there are some really good ones out there, try lecturelist or LSE etc). Start reading books you're interested in - don't punish yourself with tomes, but try something like the Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret Macmillan.

    Might want to get those As and Bs up, good grades can only improve your application, and aim for A*s. I'm curious about what school you're at as I'm in NW London!
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    Haverstock... I probably made it sound worse than it is, the headmaster is working wonders but it is still getting no where near the top grades in Camden.

    That's the problem, I've got A*'s (History, English Lit and Lang, Science), but they aren't streaming out of my mind.... That's one of the things that I thought would stop me.
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    (Original post by Joe909)
    Haverstock... I probably made it sound worse than it is, the headmaster is working wonders but it is still getting no where near the top grades in Camden.

    That's the problem, I've got A*'s (History, English Lit and Lang, Science), but they aren't streaming out of my mind.... That's one of the things that I thought would stop me.
    I only got 2A*s, the rest were As and Bs, and I've just been interviewed for English, I reckon if they thought my grades weren't good enough they probably wouldn't have interviewed me. I know a girl who was rejected without interview for physics with 11 A*s, so basically, don't worry too much about what grades you'll get, and just do your best, I really don't think it matters half as much as your personal statement/aptitude test etc.
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    (Original post by Joe909)
    I know that I need to get AT LEAST 4 A's, Is it worth doing Photography at A2 ? Is it an extra grade? Will I be disadvantaged If I do 3 ?
    No, you do not. The "standard offer" is AAA.

    see: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under..._entrance.html

    They wouldn't be bothered one way or the other about your photography A2; any offer would be based on the other 3. As long as these 3 are "academic" A-levels (which in your case they are), then there will be no disadvantage in doing "only" 3. If you have AAA prediction in these, then the HAT and the interview are what you should be concentrating on.

    If you haven't already done so, read the information here:
    http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...ry_how_to.html

    The links to the HAT pages, with specimen papers and marking schemes, might be especially useful.

    :sheep:
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    (Original post by Joe909)
    Hello.

    I'm 16, currently studying my GCSE's in Year 11. Recently, I've been thinking about University (Indeed it's still two years away but I feel I would be unprepared otherwise). I'm just going to throw a few things out there, if anyone could give me any advice / answer any questions, I would really appreciate it.

    So, firstly. What kind of grades am I going to need to get to be accepted into Oxford?

    These are the subjects I am currently studying:

    • English Literature
    • English Language
    • Maths
    • Double Science Award
    • History
    • DiDA (Two GCSES's) (Basically IT, I'm pissed off that my school even chose this course)
    • Citizenship
    • PE (Lol)
    • Spanish
    • Music


    So yeah, what kind of grades do I need to look at for a chance ?

    Then there's the AS and A2 choices, which are the biggest factor. So far, looking at what I'm good at and what I enjoy, these are probably the best options, not to mention they are (hopefully) good choices If I want to do a History degree at Oxford:

    • History(AS &A2)
    • English Literature(AS & A2)
    • Philosophy(AS and A2)
    • Photography(AS and A2)


    Photography is probably a weak choice, but I really enjoy it and I think I would be good at it. Plus, some people tell me sometimes that Oxford look out for a bit of personality.

    I know that I need to get AT LEAST 4 A's, Is it worth doing Photography at A2 ? Is it an extra grade? Will I be disadvantaged If I do 3 ?

    I thought I would quickly point out why I want to go to Oxford so badly; I'm not rich, I go to a pretty **** state school in North West London, but I'm achieving mainly A's and B's (Going to do all I can to get those up to A's). The teachers here are really nice, there's not much trouble or crime etc, It's just not particularly good. Due to this, I've always looked up to my grandfather who unfortunately passed away last year but he attended Hertford College, Oxford as an Artist. I feel very strongly about making him proud of me and following in his footsteps. I get a lot of support at home (Great family) So motivation is all there, now I just need to know how to get there ;P Which is why I'm here.

    I'm definitely going to make an Open application, but is there any colleges I should look out for particularly ? I'm really social, outgoing and love to meet new people, so social factor is really important. I also care a lot about the accommodation (Shallow I know, but I get a lot of inspiration from my surroundings), building (Prefer old buildings and the "Oxford" feel).

    So in terms of a history degree, what can I do to get extra credit as such in the interview ? Any books I should read, any activities I should do to show up on the application more ? I've already completed my Duke of Edinburgh award at Bronze level, anything else I should do ? I really love history so doing extra stuff is not really a problem, but I'm struggling to figure out what to do :P.

    Final thing, how much money should I start saving ? I've heard that Oxford is actually not a bad place to live in terms of costs, but how much should I be looking at per year; Where's the best place to get a student loan ?

    About the interview, I think I will do alright, I'm really chatty and am great with people, so I would appreciate advice directly on the topics I've raised.

    GOD. That is one heck of a lot to read; I would really appreicate any advice that you guys can give, besides "You're too young to be thinking about this" or "Just think about the interview" or "Just apply and find out", because this is really regressive.

    Thanks !!!!!
    Firstly, I'd try to get your grades up to mostly As, with some A*s. The average applicant has 5-6 A*s, but don't be daunted by that, because students have got in with less - it's only an average. Ideally the Bs will be in completely unrelated subjects to your preferred course.

    I would also rethink photography: you enjoy it, so it's something you can do as a hobby. It's not one of Oxford's approved subjects (http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...lacklist-claim). Arts applicants generally do well with English, History, and a language. Doing photography at A-Level won't show you have 'a bit of personality': if anything it'll weaken your application. I ended up choosing German over Music, because I thought it would look better on my application.

    Are you sure you're going to make an open application? Choosing a college can be exciting, and it shows that you've put a bit of thought into it rather than just wanting to go to the university. The colleges can have very different atmospheres, and you can narrow your choices down just by thinking about whether you want a big college, an old college, a central college, etc. The Oxford website has some useful info on choosing a college, as does TSR: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...tion_or_not.3F. Additionally, if you make an open application and you're successful you're more likely to be put into one of the poorer, more unpopular colleges and you may regret not stating a preference.

    Oxford looks for students with an exceptional interest in their field: http://www.spc.ox.ac.uk/text/330/rea...ists_2009.html has an undergraduate reading list, but don't feel confined to it. Read the things you enjoy: although I'm not a History student, I've just bought Antonia Fraser's biography of Marie Antoinette. Oxford doesn't care much about extra-curricular activities unless they're related to the course. For example, if you joined a local history society, subscribed to History Today, or visited a lot of museums they would be something worth mentioning.

    Don't worry about savings yet. I have a savings account that I've been gradually building up, but seeing as you won't be paying your fees upfront and you may qualify for the most generous bursaries in the country if you do get in, you don't need to focus on the cost too much. And don't even think about a student loan yet! Focus on your GCSEs first and foremost.

    http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/prosunde....htm#interview
    -Some very useful general advice on applying to read History at Oxford.

    Also bear in mind that you will have to take a History Aptitude Test before you're even considered for interview. You also need to send in a marked essay on a historical topic. The sort of questions you might get in an interview are:

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Do you think that all of History is a History of Thought?
    Would History be worth studying if it didn’t repeat itself?
    Is national character a useful concept in History?
    What do you think of when you hear the word 'nostalgia'?
    How can one define a revolution?
 
 
 
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