Preparing for Oxford . . . Four Years Early Watch

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BanannalieFezLover
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Since I can remember, I've had my heart set on going to Oxford University. Recently, I've looked into it a bit (a lot) and found myself utterly adoring the course Philosophy and Modern Languages (I would take German) at Oxford (Oriel College, preferably). I've never wanted anything more.

I'm 14 and have just finished year 9, so I'll be starting my GCSEs this September. Basically, I'd like to know what to do in the next four years that'll make me stand out, be extra clever and get amazing GCSEs and A Levels.

I go to a grammar school (it's not the best, it's not the worst) and don't have much money to hand (my mum is on benefits, but she'll probably be working in four years, and I'm not sure if she'll still be a single parent as she has a fiancé at the moment).
Basically, I DON'T HAVE ANY INTERESTS! Well, ones that count. Watching American sit-coms and Hollyoaks obsessively and listening to Radio 1 religiously are hardly interesting. I like reading (I've started reading Primo Levi, Dan Brown and George Orwell to be more intelligent) and writing (I've nearly finished my first novel, but I doubt they would be impressed by a depressing gay romance story. I started writing an intelligent-er novel using rich vocabulary a few months back but never got past the first 200 words. I could finish the first chapter as something to show though?).

I am NOT sporty (but I don't mind badminton) and NOT musical (unless you count learning the recorder in year 2).

I like history and looking at historical places. I also like philosophy and am going to try and learn extra stuff about it over the next few years. I love German, but can't speak it very well at the moment. I listen to German podcasts and I watch Verbotene Liebe, eine Deutsche Seifenoper (I don't think that's the right grammar…).

I just need to do the expedition for my bronze DofE, then i can start my silver. I've tried getting a paper round with no luck and am happy to start a Saturday job at 16. I don't really like doing charity work within a shop but I'd do it for Oxford. I was deputy school council in my class last year but'll try and be head this year. I don't do any clubs or anything. I want to do work experience next summer, maybe at a magazine or newspaper.

My GCSEs? I'm aiming for 10 A*s and an A in my AS level. I don't know how likely that is though. I'm hoping to revise like hell but I'm worried about my science GCSEs (I'm taking three, compulsory). I'm awful at science. *facepalm* And A Levels seem a long way off.

No one that I know of in my family has been to uni and most are in dead-end jobs. I don't receive much support from my mum (she thinks I put too much effort in) and, meh.

Oh, and I have no confidence. Everyone says I'm really shy (which I hate). When I was little, I had speaking problems and couldn't pronounce certain letters but I could never hear that they were wrong. Today, I hear it all normally but still wonder if I'm pronouncing them right. People say I sound normal but I hate that I pronounce 'th' as 'f'. Basically, I hate talking in public. Also, I make enemies easily and so most people hate me, meaning I could never be a prefect or anything.

*Really long message, sorry. But PLEASE help me.
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NapoleonDynamite
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During your GCSE years, read , read, read, read.

Oh, and read a bit more

..and more.
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angryvivo
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join a sports team in your school. and try to organise activities- charity fundraisers etc. apply for the head boy positions etc... it doesn't matter if they don't go too well, you would atleast be comfortable. and don't forget one more thing- you need atleast 90% + in all of your modules.
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mzwoteva16
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For the time being, just enjoy your childhood. I didn't (and I'm sure most people don't) start thinking about uni till my school shoved all the Oxbridge/UCAS stuff at us at the end of my first year of A-Levels...

To do well in your GCSE's read a lot, focus in class, turn up on time and do your work and be nice to people. (That last one won't help with your grades but it will make you more friends and that's never a bad thing!)

Simples.
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Aesc
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They (supposedly) don't care about any of that stuff, they just want you to have read around and thought deeply about your subject. The only useful work experience would be if it was in Germany (might be possible at AS, certainly was for French) and possibly some tutoring. Read lots, and you'll probably be wanting to read the same books in German and English to look at how it translates, but I'd say that can wait until at least post-GCSE German.
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Fing4
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im so academic's younger sibling
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Delaney
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Oxford do not care about extra extracurriculars. Excel at your GCSE and A-Levels.
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Farhan.Hanif93
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Just to clarify, it's highly unlikely that they would even care in the slightest about you getting a paper round; being able to play an instrument; DofE award; or your ability to ride a unicycle. All they care about is the academics. If you know your subject well, and have the academic record to back it up then you have a good shot.

Also, it's good to start thinking about Oxbridge now but it's probably not wise to waste your childhood in the process.
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Iheartnerds
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(Original post by mzwoteva16)
Lul. :laugh:

I think imsoacademic decided on Oxbridge LOOONG before Year 9, she was probably flicking through the Oxbridge college rankings guide during break time in Nursery....
I heard she did it whilst still in her mother's womb.

EDIT: I got a warning for this WTF.
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Babs12123
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(Original post by BanannalieFezLover)

I go to a grammar school (it's not the best, it's not the worst) and don't have much money to hand (my mum is on benefits, but she'll probably be working in four years, and I'm not sure if she'll still be a single parent as she has a fiancé at the moment).
I'm pretty sure Oxford won't care about anything in your statement except that. And that's just for admissions stats.
I didn't even put most of my extracurriculars on my application as Oxford say they don't care unless it's related to your chosen course. I doubt other uni's will either.
It's probably not advantageous to be worrying so much already. Just work hard and enjoy yourself during GCSE's and wait until A levels to start freaking out about uni...
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Johnny Christ
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You're 14. Enjoy it.
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BanannalieFezLover
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Thanks guys, you really helped. I think I'll just try and get my GCSEs out of the way before I do amything else.

… So it wouldn't help to learn shorthand? I already know 5 letters! XD
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cinnamon442
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Work hard for your GCSEs, don't miss classes, do the work on time and work out a technique for revising that works for you. But the main thing is to relax and try and enjoy your life now, A Levels and University are a lot more work than you can quite comprehend at this stage and there's no way really to prepare for it other than acclimatising to the level of work each year at school. You don't want to burn out early.

But, you want to be a well-rounded individual, not just academic. Just relax a bit, join a club at school to do with something you're interested in and make some friends. Hang out at the weekends with people and try and make some time to just do nothing and chill out. Read things that interest you, not just that you think you should be reading. You'll be introduced to a wide range of new things throughout GCSEs and A Levels and you'll have plenty of opportunity to discover what area you really like and what authors you think are interesting. No need to force yourself to do it all now.
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Reminisce
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(Original post by angryvivo)
join a sports team in your school. and try to organise activities- charity fundraisers etc. apply for the head boy positions etc... it doesn't matter if they don't go too well, you would atleast be comfortable. and don't forget one more thing- you need atleast 90% + in all of your modules.
She's in her GCSEs dammit... I don't think that is necessary for all courses to secure A*s in GCSE...

And yeah, just focus on GCSEs and enjoy it! Summer after AS is an absolute hell.
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GodspeedGehenna
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:facepalm2: Kids these days.
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Usn1
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(Original post by BanannalieFezLover)
Since I can remember, I've had my heart set on going to Oxford University. Recently, I've looked into it a bit (a lot) and found myself utterly adoring the course Philosophy and Modern Languages (I would take German) at Oxford (Oriel College, preferably). I've never wanted anything more.

I'm 14 and have just finished year 9, so I'll be starting my GCSEs this September. Basically, I'd like to know what to do in the next four years that'll make me stand out, be extra clever and get amazing GCSEs and A Levels.

I go to a grammar school (it's not the best, it's not the worst) and don't have much money to hand (my mum is on benefits, but she'll probably be working in four years, and I'm not sure if she'll still be a single parent as she has a fiancé at the moment).
Basically, I DON'T HAVE ANY INTERESTS! Well, ones that count. Watching American sit-coms and Hollyoaks obsessively and listening to Radio 1 religiously are hardly interesting. I like reading (I've started reading Primo Levi, Dan Brown and George Orwell to be more intelligent) and writing (I've nearly finished my first novel, but I doubt they would be impressed by a depressing gay romance story. I started writing an intelligent-er novel using rich vocabulary a few months back but never got past the first 200 words. I could finish the first chapter as something to show though?).

I am NOT sporty (but I don't mind badminton) and NOT musical (unless you count learning the recorder in year 2).

I like history and looking at historical places. I also like philosophy and am going to try and learn extra stuff about it over the next few years. I love German, but can't speak it very well at the moment. I listen to German podcasts and I watch Verbotene Liebe, eine Deutsche Seifenoper (I don't think that's the right grammar…).

I just need to do the expedition for my bronze DofE, then i can start my silver. I've tried getting a paper round with no luck and am happy to start a Saturday job at 16. I don't really like doing charity work within a shop but I'd do it for Oxford. I was deputy school council in my class last year but'll try and be head this year. I don't do any clubs or anything. I want to do work experience next summer, maybe at a magazine or newspaper.

My GCSEs? I'm aiming for 10 A*s and an A in my AS level. I don't know how likely that is though. I'm hoping to revise like hell but I'm worried about my science GCSEs (I'm taking three, compulsory). I'm awful at science. *facepalm* And A Levels seem a long way off.

No one that I know of in my family has been to uni and most are in dead-end jobs. I don't receive much support from my mum (she thinks I put too much effort in) and, meh.

Oh, and I have no confidence. Everyone says I'm really shy (which I hate). When I was little, I had speaking problems and couldn't pronounce certain letters but I could never hear that they were wrong. Today, I hear it all normally but still wonder if I'm pronouncing them right. People say I sound normal but I hate that I pronounce 'th' as 'f'. Basically, I hate talking in public. Also, I make enemies easily and so most people hate me, meaning I could never be a prefect or anything.

*Really long message, sorry. But PLEASE help me.
Your doing well, dont worry so much.
Just make sure you get A*'s in english at GCSE (bare minimum) and all A's UMS 90%+ for 4 AS subjects at a level.
Not sure about the extracirriculars although you certainly need some.
maybe enter some novel writing competitions?
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Toni42
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Hate to say but the huge numbers of people who aim at oxbridge young and fail (myself included) don't put it on a pedestal. You go to university to learn about what you are passionate about you don't just go to a university because its a university. Work hard, socalise, try new things but don't spend the next four years working for something like Oxford. Yes it would be amazing to get in but there are lots of other amazing unis. Oxbridge isn't and should never be the only option!
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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How certain are you that you want to do these courses? Modern languages at Oxford is quite different to everywhere else, in that the focus is on literature rather than the language itself :yes:

If you really want to do something, start reading philosophers and German literature. It's a bit early though so really just see how your GCSEs go before deciding anything. Don't get too attached to the idea of Oxford: if it doesn't happen, you'll be devastated otherwise :yes:
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Astronomical
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:facepalm:

If you want to be more intelligent just to get into Oxford, you will most likely fail, because you won't enjoy it. Find something that interests you, and learn about it for its own sake, not because of Oxford. There are plenty of smart people, with perfect grades - they won't make you stand out at all.

If your only motivation to do well is to go to Oxford, then I'm sorry, but you'll most likely not be going there.
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Carnivores
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I think ISA is introducing TSR to the rest of her family.
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