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Too old to start studying?

Hey guys,

I have the following problem: I applied for mathematics at Oxford last year (for 2011 entry). I "nearly" got in (they told me that as I asked for feedback) (The worst part was the test and I wasn't really prepared for it as I'm from Germany and didn't really know what to expect)

I'm planning to start reading mathematics in Germany in October and maybe apply for an "visiting year" at Oxford.

But then I thought that I could also reapply(Oxford) this year for 2012 Entry (I've actually got nothing to lose). The thing is: I would be around 21 when starting at Oxford.

Do you think it would actually make sense in terms of my age or should I go for an visiting year instead?

Thanks in advance

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Original post by herrpink

Original post by herrpink
Hey guys,

I have the following problem: I applied for mathematics at Oxford last year (for 2011 entry). I "nearly" got in (they told me that as I asked for feedback) (The worst part was the test and I wasn't really prepared for it as I'm from Germany and didn't really know what to expect)

I'm planning to start reading mathematics in Germany in October and maybe apply for an "visiting year" at Oxford.

But then I thought that I could also reapply(Oxford) this year for 2012 Entry (I've actually got nothing to lose). The thing is: I would be around 21 when starting at Oxford.

Do you think it would actually make sense in terms of my age or should I go for an visiting year instead?

Thanks in advance


No, you wouldn't be too old. You would be considered a mature student, and in fact there are even dedicated colleges to just mature/graduate students. :smile:
Reply 2
Original post by im so academic
No, you wouldn't be too old. You would be considered a mature student, and in fact there are even dedicated colleges to just mature/graduate students. :smile:



Thanks for your fast response.

I would be considered a mature student even if I apply for an undergraduate degree?

And I have doubts about it also in terms of fellow students. I think it would be weird for me if everybody else would be around 18.

Thanks again in advance
Reply 3
Nah mate I wouldnt worry about it to be honest your peers will be 18-21 and Im sure many students will be 19/20 as well
Original post by herrpink

Original post by herrpink
Thanks for your fast response.

I would be considered a mature student even if I apply for an undergraduate degree?

And I have doubts about it also in terms of fellow students. I think it would be weird for me if everybody else would be around 18.

Thanks again in advance


Yes, a mature student is classified as being aged 21 at the time of matriculation.

Don't worry, although most will be around 18, there is a community of mature students - and of course a sizeable graduate community.
Reply 5
Original post by im so academic
No, you wouldn't be too old. You would be considered a mature student, and in fact there are even dedicated colleges to just mature/graduate students. :smile:


None of them offers maths, though.

Original post by herrpink
And I have doubts about it also in terms of fellow students. I think it would be weird for me if everybody else would be around 18.

Thanks again in advance


You shouldn't be surprised if people don't even notice that you're three years older than they are. There are a few mature undergraduates in my year at my college and in each case I had to have it pointed out to me. Perhaps I'm just unobservant but an age gap of a couple of years really isn't an issue.
Original post by BJack
None of them offers maths, though.


Trust, but I was just saying that 21 isn't too old to start an undergraduate degree at Oxford.
Reply 7
thank you guys for your responses,
this was really encouraging :smile:
Reply 8
Don't worry about it. I will be starting university at twenty. (redoing year 12; change of subjects)
Reply 9
I'm starting at 27 your never to old to start uni :smile:
Reply 10
If i would be applying to oxford as i am twenty, though when i start i would be 21 ( june 17 ), during application process would i be considered as mature student or not ? And correct me if i am wrong, but mature students can apply only to certain colleges within oxford or am i wrong ? God i hope i am, i would love to go to Magdalen.

And another question, i am an international student so i am not too familiar with this stuff, but as i know the gap year is considered the year after you finish school, my question is, if i take a gap year, should i apply during it, as application process is in October ( if that is the case, then it doesn't give you too much time after you finish school ;P, but that's alright :smile: ), or should i apply after my gap year, the next year, though then it would make 2 "gap" years, which i hope is not the case.
In my country we start school at 7, thus we finish at 19, if the gap year were to mean that you apply after the gap year, during next year, that would make me 20 when applying, but 21 when the autumn term would start and that would be a unwanted.
I am thinking about taking a gap year, during which i would go to university in my home country and then from there i would apply to oxford and start as a freshman. Also would recommendation from a professor make a big difference comparing it to a recommendation from a public school teacher ?

I would really appreciate if someone could clear these things out for me ^_^

As well, could someone talk are there any advantages or disadvantages applying during/after the first year of university ( depending how the gap question is to be clarified ) to oxford ?

( maybe not quite the right place to post all these questions there, but still ^^ )
(edited 12 years ago)
Reply 11
Original post by Steve.
If i would be applying to oxford as i am twenty, though when i start i would be 21 ( june 17 ), during application process would i be considered as mature student or not ? And correct me if i am wrong, but mature students can apply only to certain colleges within oxford or am i wrong ? God i hope i am, i would love to go to Magdalen.

You're considered a mature student if you'd be 21 when you start, although I don't know that it makes any difference to the application process. Although there are colleges that only admit mature students, there are no colleges that won't admit mature students and there are certainly a few mature undergraduates at Magdalen. (And a few inmmature ones too, but that's another story....)

And another question, i am an international student so i am not too familiar with this stuff, but as i know the gap year is considered the year after you finish school, my question is, if i take a gap year, should i apply during it, as application process is in October ( if that is the case, then it doesn't give you too much time after you finish school ;P, but that's alright :smile: ), or should i apply after my gap year, the next year, though then it would make 2 "gap" years, which i hope is not the case.


You would apply during your gap year. (Or you could even apply in your last year of school for deferred entry, if you're not in your last year yet.)

Also would recommendation from a professor make a big difference comparing it to a recommendation from a public school teacher ?


There reference is about you, not your referee. It should be written by somebody who knows your recent education well.

As well, could someone talk are there any advantages or disadvantages applying during/after the first year of university ( depending how the gap question is to be clarified ) to oxford ?


No.
Reply 12
Original post by Steve.
...but mature students can apply only to certain colleges within oxford or am i wrong ? God i hope i am, i would love to go to Magdalen...


Like BJack says. But tell me, what subject are you thinking of studying?
Reply 13
I am deliberating between physics and philosophy and ppe, there were some thoughts about doing double major, but with such courses the workload probably would just kill me, or not ...

Back to your question, probably PPE, even though physics and philosophy sounds just so goooood ...
I find physics fascinating, i love what ppe offers too, dunno, it's just that i have found philosophy and politics to be a lot more natural and it's things i loved from childhood, physics didn't really come till about 9 grade, though as i said i find them fascinating now, i will try somehow to pursue the education in physics as well, maybe second undergraduate, though that would take a bit too much time, dunno ;/, sadly now as the picture gets clearer and clearer, it looks harder and harder to stuff physics somewhere there, second degree looks most likely, though as i said taking 4 more years, is not desirable and doesn't seem likely. Aww, i have pondered too much, sorry for my rant here

Bjack, your answers are greatly appreciated :^_^:, thanks : )
(edited 12 years ago)
Reply 14
Original post by Steve.
I am deliberating between physics and philosophy and ppe...


Harris Manchester (the sole 'mature students only' college) doesn't offer Physics & Philosophy, but it does offer PPE.

Although it is correct to say that mature students may apply to any college, there is some anecdotal evidence on TSR which suggests that if you are applying for a course that is also offered by Harris, then there is a good chance that you will be interviewed there anyway (either reallocated pre-interview or pooled during the interview period).

Best of luck :smile:
(edited 12 years ago)
Reply 15
That is SO, so uncool, i hope it just stays anecdotal. I wanna go to Magdalen or Merton D:, though anyway, i will be applying either way, now that i know, during my gap year, so i will not be considered as mature as i will be twenty in the year the school will start.
(edited 12 years ago)
Reply 16
Original post by Steve.
That is SO, so uncool, i hope it just stays anecdotal. I wanna go to Magdalen or Merton D:, though anyway, i will be applying either way, now that i know, during my gap year, so i will not be considered as mature as i will be twenty in the year the school will start.


Didn't want to make my last post too long with a rambling explanation, but actually I tend to think that there will be at least some truth in these rumours. The logic would be that if a mature student gets a place in a college other than HMC, it will be at the expense of another strong (younger) applicant. This seems fair enough because the successful mature candidate will have been an even stronger prospect - except that there may then be an empty space at HMC because they did not have enough suitable mature applicants in that subject.

Anyway, sounds like you have a plan. All the best :smile:
Reply 17
Thanks for sharing answering :smile:))).

Hmmm, it looks like it depends from which side you would look the mature student's or not mature student's, the first would make you think that HMC is to fit any mature students needs and if that is the case, i guess university wouldn't mind too much for their dear mature students if they would want to choose a different college, from not mature student's point of view you may say that HMC may be like a concentration camp, to segregate the mature ones from not mature.

However, as most of the time the truth is probably somewhere in between, from what i have heard i would draw the third opinion, which would be that HMC was created to suit mature students, one may argue that not everyone who is 21 is mature, however there actual mature students who are doing second undergraduate or something, who are 25 ++, now that is mature, they wouldn't want to mix with kids, probably, well at least wouldn't want to mix with kids too much, so that's i think why HMC was created, so if someone who is just 21 would want to be kid and go to some other college i would believe that should be possible, however there should be some merit that they would want to stock HMC at least full to some degree, as they have already created it, wouldn't be too nice if it would be half empty. So in conclusion if you are mature student who is not too old, probably until 22, it would be possible if you would fit all the standards to choose the college whichever fancies you.

This of course is probably all wrong as i just wrote it, based on no research, from my head after reading few posts :wink:
(edited 12 years ago)
Reply 18
Original post by Steve.
I am deliberating between physics and philosophy and ppe, there were some thoughts about doing double major, but with such courses the workload probably would just kill me, or not ...

You can't really take more than one course. If you were to do PPE at Magdalen, you wouldn't need to worry about the workload too much. :shifty:
Reply 19
What do you quite mean by "you can't really", that's a pity ;/, not that i would do double undergrads but still.

And now it would really be great if you would care to exaggerate about Magdalen PPE workload, because i have heard that at least a few times before, though it was always nothing more then vague statements, put details please :smile:
(edited 12 years ago)

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