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Completing IB's, planning on taking the A-level exams. watch

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    Basically I'm an expat doing IB at an international school in Brazil. Since I hadn't known when I was a youngling that higher mathematics would be required to do one of Computer Science or Engineering, I didn't pick the course and therefore will be returning to the UK when I graduate in order to do all the A-levels in a year.

    My dad is sorting out the question of where to study but it would be helpful to know places with a good reputation where I would be able to do that.

    Furthermore, what with Oxbridge applications being in October, would the fact that I'm doing everything in a year kill my chances to go there? It's been a lifelong dream, especially with my family having a bit of a history there, and I would hate for that to compromise my chances to go.

    Thanks for all the help!
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    I hope your not planning on doing ALL the A Level courses, cause that would defeat the purpose of your IB. Oxbridge gives out offers in basis of IB points, and yes, even though you don't have HL Mathematics, doing only a Maths A Level would sufifce.
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    I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I am planning on doing 3 or even 4 A-levels <_<. I'd want to apply exclusively with A-level grades and use my IB's basically as my GCSE's. My school does not have a good history with Oxford applications so my family and I decided to apply from within the UK.
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    I don't really think you can use your IB grades as your GCSE's.. but you should email admissions and ask before taking any of the A-levels. Anyway doing them all in one year shouldn't be too hard if you're taking similar subjects to what you did in IB unless the syllabus is very different. Out of interest what subjects did you take in IB?
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    Your IB grades would be more than sufficient to get you into Oxford - my school had 10 Oxbridge offers last year and 7 this year and the IB is compulsory for all of us. Whilst A-Levels will boost your application, its really not worth treating your IB results as GCSE ones as they are worth much more than that.
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    (Original post by Chris T)
    I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I am planning on doing 3 or even 4 A-levels <_<. I'd want to apply exclusively with A-level grades and use my IB's basically as my GCSE's. My school does not have a good history with Oxford applications so my family and I decided to apply from within the UK.
    Don't be ridiculous. The IB is what it says it is - international, benchmarked against a consistent standard.

    What you should do is check directly with Oxford what they would require on top of what you've already done. If standard level Maths covers the A level but doesn't give you the Further Maths, then why not just do that, and use the rest of the time more productively than just going over similar ground all over again. You could do the course by correspondence - 'college' reputation counts for nothing, it's outcomes Oxford will be interested in. Bear in mind that you will need a reference, and any tutor who has only known you since September 2011 is not going to be able to write anything of much use to you in time for the application deadline of 15 October. So you will need to ask someone at your current school (see the UCAS pages (and also the link in my sig to Apply 2011) about applying as an independent applicant for advice on this).

    You should also check out your fee status before you apply - it sounds to me like you might not be eligible for Home/EU fees, so you need to have confirmed this in good time.

    A final point: more is not necessarily better. Your IB grade will be really important no matter what you decide to do about taking A levels next year, so you'll need to get the best you can. The IB is taken as equivalent to A levels so if you get a 'poor' grade in that you run the risk of being seen as a resit candidate for everything other than the Further Maths A level you would be doing to cover the HS requirement. This is not helpful to your cause - and not just at Oxford, by the way.
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    Don't be ridiculous. The IB is what it says it is - international, benchmarked against a consistent standard.

    What you should do is check directly with Oxford what they would require on top of what you've already done. If standard level Maths covers the A level but doesn't give you the Further Maths, then why not just do that, and use the rest of the time more productively than just going over similar ground all over again. You could do the course by correspondence - 'college' reputation counts for nothing, it's outcomes Oxford will be interested in. Bear in mind that you will need a reference, and any tutor who has only known you since September 2011 is not going to be able to write anything of much use to you in time for the application deadline of 15 October. So you will need to ask someone at your current school (see the UCAS pages (and also the link in my sig to Apply 2011) about applying as an independent applicant for advice on this).

    You should also check out your fee status before you apply - it sounds to me like you might not be eligible for Home/EU fees, so you need to have confirmed this in good time.

    A final point: more is not necessarily better. Your IB grade will be really important no matter what you decide to do about taking A levels next year, so you'll need to get the best you can. The IB is taken as equivalent to A levels so if you get a 'poor' grade in that you run the risk of being seen as a resit candidate for everything other than the Further Maths A level you would be doing to cover the HS requirement. This is not helpful to your cause - and not just at Oxford, by the way.
    I'm not applying for Home/EU fees because I won't have lived in the UK long enough to be eligible for that. I've already got two references here at school so I can decide which one I want to use.

    Obviously I'm going to do the best I can at IB's and am well on my way to doing so. Received 7's on all my internal assessments so far so with a good bit of review I think I'll be ready for the exams.

    I'm moving to the UK anyway so what I might do is just get private tutoring for the further maths A-level, going by your advice. Is there anything else I could do in my subsequent free time that would improve my chances? This has always been quite a big thing for me.


    Thanks for all the help everyone!
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    (Original post by Chris T)
    I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I am planning on doing 3 or even 4 A-levels <_<. I'd want to apply exclusively with A-level grades and use my IB's basically as my GCSE's. My school does not have a good history with Oxford applications so my family and I decided to apply from within the UK.
    Why? They won't give you any more credit just for doing the same thing twice. You'll be more likely to get the better grade by doing just the one (or 2 at a push- like maths and further maths) and using that with your application. Do you not have GCSE's then?
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    By the way, a quick thing: it says that "Inclusion of Mathematics Mechanics modules is highly recommended." To me, that basically means "DO IT." What are they and how should I go about doing them?
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    (Original post by LauriC)
    Why? They won't give you any more credit just for doing the same thing twice. You'll be more likely to get the better grade by doing just the one (or 2 at a push- like maths and further maths) and using that with your application. Do you not have GCSE's then?

    I do not, my school is weird. It's got a great reputation for getting into american uni's but a rather miserable one for ones in the UK. No one so far has gotten into Oxford so my dad contacted people he knows there and is making these arrangements for me. Rather than let my dad do everything though, I'm trying to find out what the best options are and go back to him with it so he can ask the people inside the university that he knows what the best way to go about it is.
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    (Original post by Chris T)
    I do not, my school is weird. It's got a great reputation for getting into american uni's but a rather miserable one for ones in the UK. No one so far has gotten into Oxford so my dad contacted people he knows there and is making these arrangements for me. Rather than let my dad do everything though, I'm trying to find out what the best options are and go back to him with it so he can ask the people inside the university that he knows what the best way to go about it is.
    Okay, but it's not that hush-hush, you don't need inside information and contacts! If you email or phone them they'' explain the best way for you to go about it They do actually want people to get in there!
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    (Original post by LauriC)
    Okay, but it's not that hush-hush, you don't need inside information and contacts! If you email or phone them they'' explain the best way for you to go about it They do actually want people to get in there!
    I'll do that as well, show some initiative, but I'm not one to refuse any help my parents give me :P. I'm just crossing my fingers and knuckling down!
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    (Original post by Chris T)
    I'm not applying for Home/EU fees because I won't have lived in the UK long enough to be eligible for that. I've already got two references here at school so I can decide which one I want to use.

    Obviously I'm going to do the best I can at IB's and am well on my way to doing so. Received 7's on all my internal assessments so far so with a good bit of review I think I'll be ready for the exams.

    I'm moving to the UK anyway so what I might do is just get private tutoring for the further maths A-level, going by your advice. Is there anything else I could do in my subsequent free time that would improve my chances? This has always been quite a big thing for me.


    Thanks for all the help everyone!
    A big thing for you, or for your parents, I wonder?

    What Oxford is interested in is academic potential and nothing else, really, but you won't demonstrate that simply by doing A levels as well as IB. It is only if the A levels are essential in plugging a gap that you should do them (and your father needs to get off your case and leave you to find out what you can for yourself - any college at Oxford will tell you what's required without him needing to exploit any old boys network or similar).

    So, all you would need to be doing - for your own self-respect, nothing to do with the application itself - is something constructive somewhere.
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    A big thing for you, or for your parents, I wonder?

    What Oxford is interested in is academic potential and nothing else, really, but you won't demonstrate that simply by doing A levels as well as IB. It is only if the A levels are essential in plugging a gap that you should do them (and your father needs to get off your case and leave you to find out what you can for yourself - any college at Oxford will tell you what's required without him needing to exploit any old boys network or similar).

    So, all you would need to be doing - for your own self-respect, nothing to do with the application itself - is something constructive somewhere.
    It's a big thing for me yeah. I'm only doing the A-levels precisely to plug a gap, as in, a requirement I'm not currently meeting due to my course schedule.

    Looks like I'll have time to compose my music then.

    Thanks for the help, though. It was much appreciated!
 
 
 
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