Hi, not to be corny or anything but HELP! :)

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violagrrl
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Hi, I was randomly on a search for something and I came across this forum that has so far been really useful, but I need to ask people a question:

Basically I am in year 11 in a state school doing 13 GCSE's (wishing it was less!) And I am starting to think about universities, (mainly on the fact that this time next year I will be visiting them) and so my parents and careers person want me to look at Oxbridge. After looking at the website I have decided to aim to go to a college in Oxford. So I was wondering what advice people would give me to get a 'head start' on things. I am going to be studying either Modern History or a joint in Ancient and modern.

Currently I have a subscription for BBC History magazines, I have just started to read history related books, (the first is by David Low, entitled 'Years of Wrath' which includes many of the cartoons used in source questions in my exam.) I am also going to two different museums in the holidays for extra work experience, ones a general history centre and the other is a heritage centre of my area.

So could people give me advice on what other things I could do, or useful books, or general hints, thank you,

Rachel
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fred86
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(Original post by violagrrl)
Hi, I was randomly on a search for something and I came across this forum that has so far been really useful, but I need to ask people a question:

Basically I am in year 11 in a state school doing 13 GCSE's (wishing it was less!) And I am starting to think about universities, (mainly on the fact that this time next year I will be visiting them) and so my parents and careers person want me to look at Oxbridge. After looking at the website I have decided to aim to go to a college in Oxford. So I was wondering what advice people would give me to get a 'head start' on things. I am going to be studying either Modern History or a joint in Ancient and modern.

Currently I have a subscription for BBC History magazines, I have just started to read history related books, (the first is by David Low, entitled 'Years of Wrath' which includes many of the cartoons used in source questions in my exam.) I am also going to two different museums in the holidays for extra work experience, ones a general history centre and the other is a heritage centre of my area.

So could people give me advice on what other things I could do, or useful books, or general hints, thank you,

Rachel
what you're suggesting sounds good just make sure you keep in up and keep interst in other stuffs, extra curricular etc u know the score and you should be fine - good luck what gcses u predicted btw and prospective a level subjects?
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hildabeast
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Well it's a while off of course, but the most important thing (aside from concentrating on your GCSEs and A Levels) seems to be to read extensively outside your syllabus. Reading magazines such as 'History Today' or 'The Historian' is probably a good idea because it might lead you to develop an interest in particular aspects or periods of history. If you can show enthusiasm for your subject, and can demonstrate this through a particular interest in certain areas of it, this definitely seems to help. You should also probably start to think about broader questions regarding the nature of history and how it is useful in modern times, but this is probably something to look at whilst studying A Level history. A good book to read on this topic is Marwick's 'The Nature of History'. But for now the most important thing is to concentrate on getting good GCSEs, and then work hard for your A Levels.

Good Luck!!!
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violagrrl
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English lit (pred. A)
English lang (A)
Maths (A)
Statistics (B)
Physics (A)
Biology (B)
Chemistry (B)
History (A*)
H.E/ Food tech (A*)
French (B)
Music (A*)
R.E (A*)
ICT (A*)

Then at A Level

History
Music
English Lit
Either Photography or ICT or (Something else) (I'm really not sure of a good last subject)

Extra curricular: School: Choir/Orchestra/Netball team then the open days, speech days etc.
Outside school: Youth Orchestra/Chamber choir/String group/Youth clubs/Viola and piano lessons/ Ice Skating

Think thats about it!
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hildabeast
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Right, well you just need to concentrate on getting as many of those GCSEs up to A*/A as possible. As far as A level choices are concerned they sound fine, but if I were you I would be careful about my fourth choice. Make sure it's a good, well-respected academic subject, perhaps a science or maths to balance out the arts and humanities mix. Of course this is just an opinion, but I am studying at Oxford now and the one thing I really wish I had done was A Level maths, even though I'm reading an arts subject, because I think it would have been generally beneficial.

I did A Level:
English Lang/Lit (A)
History (A)
Government and Politics (A)
Philosophy (A)
General Studies (A)

GCSEs:
4A*/4A/3B
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MrKeen
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Apparently they dont give a toss about extra curricular activities when it comes to admissions. All they really care about is how clever you are, whether they'd enjoy teaching you for three years and how much you like your subject. It's a shame really!
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oldthrashbarg
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(Original post by MrKeen)
Apparently they dont give a toss about extra curricular activities when it comes to admissions. All they really care about is how clever you are, whether they'd enjoy teaching you for three years and how much you like your subject. It's a shame really!
I don't agree entirely. I've got a place to read ASNaC in Cambridge, and at the interview they seemed very interested in my work experience (I've worked as a custodian at a couple of museums in my spare time). This probably has something to do with the fact that I'm not British (so no A-levels), but I think that if you can demonstrate a connection between your interest in the course, and the reasons for the extra-curricular stuff, then that would count in your favour.

I think it would also pay to try and think laterally about the subjects you have done, finding out how they relate you each other and how the knowledge of one can help in studying another, proving that you can think independently of the textbooks.

Good luck!
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MrKeen
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Sure I agree with you that if an extra-curricular relates to the subject you want to do, then of course thats brilliant from their point of view. But as an Oxford professor said in a talk at my school- 'Interesting activities like parachuting out of planes may be good, but it wont get you into Oxbridge'.
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violagrrl
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I know that the museum work might be useful as its history related, aren't some of the colleges big on music as well? I would like to be in the orchestra where ever I go...

I wouls like to go on a shadow event or the such like, but I think my schools results are quite good so I wouldn't be considered
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kildare
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I got an offer from Oxford for Modern History this year, so feel free to PM me with any specific questions. I'll post something in this thread once I sort out the mini-disaster I've just had with my Extended Essay.
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d0c
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Aha! Violagurl! You'd be perfect to make (our trio ) into a quartet! Viola players seem to be a very rare species, indeed, almost extinct. :P I'm sure Pembroke wouldn't mind teaching you history. So apply to Pembroke, CAMbridge. What sort of music do you play solo? Have you composed any music for viola for your GCSE? I'd like to hear some from an original viola player.
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violagrrl
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lol! WEll currently I have an annoying teacher who doesn't want me to do grades so I am grade six viola, and apart from arranign variations for the piper oo dundee for quartet, I haven't actually done much composing for viola, the music I play isn't actually that interesting, but me and my friend a *sniff* violin player have just starting practising to go busking in the Easter! That will be kool! Are you left handed? At orchestra there is a thing about how me and the other two girl viola players are all left handed and it makes us (together with the fact that we are viola players) some what dappy! I have been known in orchestra *Proud smile* to hit my stand with my bow causing my music to fall, so I throw (quite literally) my viola up into the air, caught the music and then my viola while everyone was in hysterics!! There are many viola stories from the tour I went on and the orchestras I'm in (one starts at 8:30 am and its half an hour away so there have been very many odd moments!!)

Do you have any viola stories to share?
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sixthirtythree
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(Original post by d0c)
Aha! Violagurl! You'd be perfect to make (our trio ) into a quartet! Viola players seem to be a very rare species, indeed, almost extinct. :P I'm sure Pembroke wouldn't mind teaching you history. So apply to Pembroke, CAMbridge. What sort of music do you play solo? Have you composed any music for viola for your GCSE? I'd like to hear some from an original viola player.
As the pianist, I approve fully I hope we're all of the same ability-ish? I'd hate to the worst one D0c, you voted for Pem on best Cam college, yes?

Oh and I'll see you on the 24th April then
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violagrrl
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Do you have any viola stories to share?

I said that earler, Sorry I meant jokes, they are always funny to hear!
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by hildabeast)
Well it's a while off of course, but the most important thing (aside from concentrating on your GCSEs and A Levels) seems to be to read extensively outside your syllabus. Reading magazines such as 'History Today' or 'The Historian' is probably a good idea because it might lead you to develop an interest in particular aspects or periods of history. If you can show enthusiasm for your subject, and can demonstrate this through a particular interest in certain areas of it, this definitely seems to help. You should also probably start to think about broader questions regarding the nature of history and how it is useful in modern times, but this is probably something to look at whilst studying A Level history. A good book to read on this topic is Marwick's 'The Nature of History'. But for now the most important thing is to concentrate on getting good GCSEs, and then work hard for your A Levels.

Good Luck!!!
Yes, I agree with Hildabeast when she suggests thinking about broader questions regarding the nature of history - It seems that the whole area of Historiography and philosophy of history is V important when you come to interview (esp as it requires a good depth of critical analysis)......even though this is a long way away it is nice to think about it as early as poss so when u do get to interview the conversation is flowing.

However, I would stay far from Marwick for the time being (and for that matter, Carr 1961: what is history?) - these books are not very accessible (in terms of language) and require 100 reads before digestion of points. Carr especially is an old fart (who i think is dead now), and he tries to write, unsuccessfully I think, in a witty/humourous style which, if you are not an old fogey, u will not likely enjoy. (However, he has some good points to make). I would suggest Gardner & Black: Studying History first....and then perhaps move on to Marwick.....and then Carr.......
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d0c
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LOL What a story! :P Unfortunately, it'll be very trying to find one quite like yours. Even fewer are those about violists, but we did have a funny viola player in our orchestra. His southern european accent made it even funnier, especially his infamous lectures on meeting girls from different countries.. He's left now..

About grades, I definitely recommend you doing the highest grades you can before uni, keeping in mind that grade 7 distinction is better than grade 8 merit. You won't have much free time for music and all those stuff, which is why I prefer Cambridge to anywhere else, cos they have lots of music on. Why not come to the open day on April 24.. it'll be a laugh :P Bring your mate as well, and busk about in Cambridge. It's shame you haven't composed for viola.. I was hoping to hear it It'd be great to play some violin-viola-piano trio.. in fact, I'm playing in a mozart trio for a school concert, its really marvellous. Kegelstatt trio by Mozart, if you're interested in listening to it.

deianra, don't worry, it's only as good as you hear it. What sort of music do you like to play? I'm a Bach boy myself; right-handed, by the way.

Pem sent me a college prospectus, and it takes only 8 people a year for medicine My mate and I are both heading for Pembroke for medicine, its a rare chance that we'll both get in. I hope we do get in.

So I'll see you both on 24, violagurl, yea?

.. now all we need is a cello
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hildabeast
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(Original post by d0c)
:.. now all we need is a cello
Erm, I'm a cellist but I don't have an instrument at the moment and I'm VERY out of practice.
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hitchhiker_13
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(Original post by violagrrl)
Do you have any viola stories to share?

I said that earler, Sorry I meant jokes, they are always funny to hear!

I play the viola, so I am allowed to tell these, in the same way I am allowed to tell blonde jokes and other people aren't.


What's the difference between a viola and a trampoline?
You take your shoes off before you jump on a trampoline.


What's the definition of a minor second?
2 violas playing in unison.

I'd like to add I think these jokes are in very bad taste
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Pollo Loco
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How about:

Whats the difference between a violin and a viola?

You can make a bigger fire witha viola!


Viola player by the way.


P.S. if you want to see lots of viola jokes
http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/jokes/viola.html
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sixthirtythree
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(Original post by d0c)
About grades, I definitely recommend you doing the highest grades you can before uni, keeping in mind that grade 7 distinction is better than grade 8 merit.
That's not true. Grade 7 Merit is equal to Grade 8 Pass and Grade 7 Distinction is higher than Grade 8 Pass but not higher than Grade 8 Merit.

It'd be great to play some violin-viola-piano trio..
Yeah

deianra, don't worry, it's only as good as you hear it. What sort of music do you like to play? I'm a Bach boy myself; right-handed, by the way.
I used to play the violin, but then gave it up because it hurt my fingers, heh. What standard are you? I used to be a Bach girl, but then I got seduced by Grieg and Chopin. Bach is still good, I've got a beautiful Bach going on at the moment which I will be playing in a music festival recital along with a Chopin Nocturne

Pem sent me a college prospectus, and it takes only 8 people a year for medicine My mate and I are both heading for Pembroke for medicine, its a rare chance that we'll both get in. I hope we do get in.
Is it just me or is 8 people a lot?

So I'll see you both on 24, violagurl, yea?
Great, I'll run about Pem yelling "DOOOOOCCC." Then they'll kick me out... :rolleyes:
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