Oxbridge applications: what makes you stand out from the crowd?

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ABCD
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I know a few mates who are now studying at oxbridge. They have average gcse grades, but both of them have very prestigious international awards, that only a few people can get , unlike DoE..etc Anyways, if you have been offered a place at oxbridge, could you tell me what achievement you have had that made you stand out from the crowd?
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hildabeast
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(Original post by ABCD)
I know a few mates who are now studying at oxbridge. They have average gcse grades, but both of them have very prestigious international awards, that only a few people can get , unlike DoE..etc Anyways, if you have been offered a place at oxbridge, could you tell me what achievement you have had that made you stand out from the crowd?
Erm, good performance in interview, perhaps??
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Saintsin
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The way you think is an important factor, you might be excellent at A levels but that only shows your good at understanding. Oxbridge want people with innovative thoughts.
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Joey_Johns
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(Original post by Saintsin)
The way you think is an important factor, you might be excellent at A levels but that only shows your good at understanding. Oxbridge want people with innovative thoughts.

Depends. My subject is mainly about understanding the applying that knowledge.
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Saintsin
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(Original post by Joey_Johns)
Depends. My subject is mainly about understanding the applying that knowledge.
Maybe, but you know what I mean. Oxbridge don't want students that just soak information, they want you to show some flair and that you put your knowledge into good use to improve an idea.
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by Saintsin)
The way you think is an important factor, you might be excellent at A levels but that only shows your good at understanding. Oxbridge want people with innovative thoughts.
I dont think they particularly look for innovation (although it is always good to demonstrate this), but more for the ability to think critically and apply 'old' knowledge to 'new', sometimes strange, situations. If you can master this then you will be well on your way to standing out.
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ogs
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Varied education i suppose in my case! Village primary school 20 ps.. to the local secondary school bout 400, and then an inner london failing school with 2000 people, every background, then a london grammar, followed by an independant school!
but perhaps it was just the enthusiasm that i had for the subject!
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kildare
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Lol, I mentioned my 'varied education' too. Irish Christian Brothers on one hand, and the staff of the International School of Geneva on the other :P.
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devilschild
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I really dont think that there was anything that made my application stand out that much, although my AS marks were fairly good. i dont really have any good sports/ music achievements or anything and I didnt think my interviews went particularly well so was really surprised to get an offer.
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crana
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(Original post by devilschild)
I really dont think that there was anything that made my application stand out that much, although my AS marks were fairly good. i dont really have any good sports/ music achievements or anything and I didnt think my interviews went particularly well so was really surprised to get an offer.
haha
sounds familiar - my AS marks werent as high as yours though - but the lack of sporting/music/etc achievements sounds just like me

Rosie xx
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androidkiller
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Yourself? Seriously, how your interview goes and you apply your knowledge to the tasks is probably the most important.

The Japanese study may have helped a little though!
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naelse
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I had gold DofE, grade 5 singing and some public speaking competition wins.

But i think what was the most important to them was what I had read and why and what I thought of it. The only things that they seemed impressed with at all during my interviews was the fact that I had read some more obscure books, apart from the obligatory Aneid and Odyssey (this was for classics).
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by naelse)
I had gold DofE, grade 5 singing and some public speaking competition wins.

But i think what was the most important to them was what I had read and why and what I thought of it. The only things that they seemed impressed with at all during my interviews was the fact that I had read some more obscure books, apart from the obligatory Aneid and Odyssey (this was for classics).
I recently made friends with one of the people who interviewed me...and according to her, the thing that secured my offer was (i) the depth of my reading, and (ii) the comments I was able to make on the texts and thus demonstrating my critical skills. She said all the extra curricular stuff wasn't too important, and she couldn't even remember what sports I am good at, or what community work I did. But I guess each interviewer has thier own priority.
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PhilomenaGuinea
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how / why did u make friends wth ur interviewer?
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by PhilomenaGuinea)
how / why did u make friends wth ur interviewer?
Well we had lunch after the interview (and didn't discuss the interview), and then when I was anxious about the decision I called her and we began to get on well (but she still wouldn't give me a decision until the new year), and then when they wrote to me offering me a place I needed her to clarify some things, so we have just had a few conversations.....and then when I visited cambridge again the other day I went to see her for no reason other than to check upon her well being and she was extremely happy to see me...so we are friends now.
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TheWolf
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
I recently made friends with one of the people who interviewed me...and according to her, the thing that secured my offer was (i) the depth of my reading, and (ii) the comments I was able to make on the texts and thus demonstrating my critical skills. She said all the extra curricular stuff wasn't too important, and she couldn't even remember what sports I am good at, or what community work I did. But I guess each interviewer has thier own priority.
lol you made friends the people who interviewed you?
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TheWolf
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Well we had lunch after the interview (and didn't discuss the interview), and then when I was anxious about the decision I called her and we began to get on well (but she still wouldn't give me a decision until the new year), and then when they wrote to me offering me a place I needed her to clarify some things, so we have just had a few conversations.....and then when I visited cambridge again the other day I went to see her for no reason other than to check upon her well being and she was extremely happy to see me...so we are friends now.
ahh ok ffair enough quite handy to be a friend of the person who interview you
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by TheWolf)
ahh ok ffair enough quite handy to be a friend of the person who interview you
But would have been more handy if I had made friends with her BEFORE my interview I guess....
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bOdOING2
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som1 mentioned varied education, Im thinking of applying to Oxbridge and would my 'varied' education make me stand out? Here goes:

I started primary school in China in quite a poor rural town, and then moved to Beijing and and was there for year 3 - 4. Then I went to Bristol for two years, and then moved to Hawaii for a year. I then moved here to cardiff and attended a local comprehensive and two years ago I moved to a private school.

Would this make them dislike me cos I moved around too much or would this work to my favor cos it kinda shows I can adapt to a range to Environments?
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Saintsin
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
But would have been more handy if I had made friends with her BEFORE my interview I guess....
I had some similar experience, I had lunch before the interview and the person next to me started to be friendly and talked about what I liked and other course related subjects.... and some how we started talking about terminators! She pointed out a guy and told me he would be interviewing me afterwards, the conversation continued about computer ethics and other things and we go on very well, once I finished lunch she told me I will also be interviewing you. GULP.
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