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Truth or fiction watch

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    I was flicking through a book on Oxbridge, and it said that to get into Oxbridge, state school students need a minium of half their GCSEs at A*/A, and then the rest at Bs. It also said that public / private school students needed mostly A*s and As.

    I was wondering, is their any truth in this?
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    Pretty much. People have got in with worse though. Look at the GCSE thread stickied at the top of this forum.
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    (Original post by brimstone)
    I was wondering, is there any truth in this?
    It's by no means a requirement, but it can only help.
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    as a figure, it seems to have been plucked out of the air

    what if you do a million, or two, gcses?
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    I doubt it. It's true that most applicants have those grades, but I don't think there's an official requirement on it, otherwise there wouldn't be people on here who have got in with Ds.
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    Very much plucked out the air.

    Which book was it? Apart from the non-existence of a Uniform Oxbridge Admissions Process, Most books are written by people with sketchy-at-best experience of the process - rarely by tutors. Their priority is making money by putting in infomation, not the 100% accuracy of that information.

    Saying that tutors are biased in favour of state schoolers is wrong - they look at candidates as individuals and ask whether they have much to offer. It isn't a mechanistic thing; rather, if a student has a fairly poor piece of work, the tutors will ask whether it is because they are incompetent or whether they ahve been let down by their school. Similarly, the nature of questioning means that tutors can cut through public school coaching like a hot knife through butter. But the scenario of there being two equal candidates and Oxbridge taking the state one is a lie - system doesnt work like that. Plus it pisses me off when public schools moan and whine about how many state schoolers are getting into Oxbridge - er, since when did the public schools have a right to Oxbridge entry?
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    I doubt it. It's true that most applicants have those grades, but I don't think there's an official requirement on it, otherwise there wouldn't be people on here who have got in with Ds.
    And you wouldn't have got an offer yourself! :p:
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    it seems to help
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    (Original post by brimstone)
    I was flicking through a book on Oxbridge, and it said that to get into Oxbridge, state school students need a minium of half their GCSEs at A*/A, and then the rest at Bs. It also said that public / private school students needed mostly A*s and As.

    I was wondering, is their any truth in this?
    I think I know which book you are talking about. If I remember correctly the way it was phrased was not that you "need" these grades rather this is what most people with offers basically have, round about. I doubt any author would be stupid enough to say that you can't get in with anything lower.

    (Original post by MatthewH)
    But the scenario of there being two equal candidates and Oxbridge taking the state one is a lie - system doesnt work like that.
    How would you know? I'm not going to comment on whether or not oxbridge is biased in favour of state school pupils or not because I don't know, but in such a scenario do you not agree that it is something more of an achievement getting good grades in a class of 30 mixed ability students (as in an average state school) than in a class of say 10 students of the same ability as you? I think that's the point the author was trying to make when saying public schoolers should aim for higher number of A*'s. Obviously not being a tutor I wouldn't know but it doesn't seem such an unreasonable thing to say..
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    I take it you read it in that completely r etarded book by Elfi Pallis (who claims to be a socialist but has completely crap ideas on admissions and access and has actually really damaged the access system).

    MB
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    You get your interview pretty much on the basis of your A Levels (at least several people on TSR are testiment to that, along with some people I know in Trinity) and your interview counts for the majority of the probability you get an offer. Obviously, all other things being equal, the student with better GCSEs will more likely get an offer but it's certainly not a requirement.

    As example, TomX on TSR got only 1 B at GCSE and the rest worse but got an interview and got pooled. I know someone with only 2A*S doing maths (Wrangler on TSR) and I know someone who only had 1A* who did maths.
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    (Original post by musicbloke)
    I take it you read it in that completely r etarded book by Elfi Pallis (who claims to be a socialist but has completely crap ideas on admissions and access and has actually really damaged the access system).

    MB
    I take it you don't like that book then? Nah, it was a bit weird really... and very 'angry'.
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    (Original post by Hashshashin)
    And you wouldn't have got an offer yourself! :p:
    Well, technically I could have because more than half of my grades were A*/A and I didn't get anything lower than a B, which the OP suggested state school students needed. But you're right, it does show how ridiculous comments like 'you won't even get an interview without at least 8 A*s' are in reality!
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    How about grammar schools? Do they count as state schools?

    It wouldn't really be fair, then-I go to a girl's grammar, and a lot of people get A/A*s in all their subjects, never mind half of them..
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    No, it's not true at all. What's probably true is that most people applying do have those grades, after all self selection is the most important element of the whole procedure. However they are a lot more understanding of individual cases than some other Uni's (*cough*Durham*cough*), such as my own.
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    (Original post by brimstone)
    I take it you don't like that book then? Nah, it was a bit weird really... and very 'angry'.
    Well she's a friend of my family around the left and issues on Israel/Palestine, but in my books she's gone really off the wall with that book and also the email she sent round students trying to get current students to fill in stuff for her website (she claimed it had something to do with HEFCE but I couldn't find anything about that). Just for the records, she sent her kid to a private school, all the 'research' was done at Oxford and hence doesn't necessarily apply to Cambridge (that's if it applies at all - something I doubt). You'll do better to just talk to admissions tutors. They'll be glad to answer your questions.

    MB
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    (Original post by musicbloke)
    Well she's a friend of my family around the left and issues on Israel/Palestine, but in my books she's gone really off the wall with that book and also the email she sent round students trying to get current students to fill in stuff for her website (she claimed it had something to do with HEFCE but I couldn't find anything about that). Just for the records, she sent her kid to a private school, all the 'research' was done at Oxford and hence doesn't necessarily apply to Cambridge (that's if it applies at all - something I doubt). You'll do better to just talk to admissions tutors. They'll be glad to answer your questions.

    MB

    Fully agree i read the book and its biased adly informed.

    Its best use would be to try and over simplify a system to explain it to parents of applicats and it doesnt do that well either!
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    (Original post by marshmallow_mayhem)
    How about grammar schools? Do they count as state schools?

    It wouldn't really be fair, then-I go to a girl's grammar, and a lot of people get A/A*s in all their subjects, never mind half of them..
    Grammar schools do count as state schools. Whether admissions tutors distinguish between state grammars and state comprehensives, I don't know, but the system at Cambridge takes into account how good the school is in terms of results rather than just whether it's private or state, so I'd imagine they do.
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    Grammar schools do count as state schools. Whether admissions tutors distinguish between state grammars and state comprehensives, I don't know, but the system at Cambridge takes into account how good the school is in terms of results rather than just whether it's private or state, so I'd imagine they do.
    The additional Oxford form asks you referee what sort of school you have attended both 11-16 and for 6th form- I guess they do distinguish between grammar schools and general state schools a bit.
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    (Original post by musicbloke)
    You'll do better to just talk to admissions tutors. They'll be glad to answer your questions.
    Thank you for that advice
 
 
 
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