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    I was rejected by Oxford post-interview for physics this year but have been accepted into my next best choice Warwick, for maths. Now I know the Maths department at Warwick has a very good reputation, and the flexibility of the course really appeals to me, but after getting my results I'm in two minds about what to do next year regarding reapplying.

    My grades were A*s in Maths, Further Maths and Economics, and a D1 (equivalent to 'above' an A*) in Pre-U Physics. I also got A's in my Spanish and Additional Further Maths AS's. I achieved a Distinction in AEA and a 1 in STEP (right on the 1/2 grade boundary), and my module scores are as follows:

    C1 - 97
    C2 - 88
    C3 - 96
    C4 - 97
    FP1 - 95
    FP2 - 98
    FP3 - 100
    S1 - 96
    S2 - 96
    D1 - 96
    M1 - 93
    M2 - 98
    M3 - 100
    M4 - 93
    M5 - 100

    Cambridge Maths is pretty much out of the question - I'd be very unlikely to get a 1,1 in STEP II and III, and whilst I get good grades, I'm not the sort who gets into all the BMO competitions and is naturally amazing. NatSci would also be a bit of a push (if not impossible) seeing as I haven't done Chemistry or Biology.

    That leaves reapplying for Physics at Oxford, or applying for Maths at Oxford.

    1) Will having my current grades put me at an advantage when applying a second time around? Or are they pretty much expected?

    2) If I were to reapply to Oxford for Maths rather than Physics, would it be okay to apply to the same college as before?

    3) Do you personally think it's worth rejecting my Warwick offer just to try and get the Oxbridge name (I will hopefully end up working in the city after uni, although I'm not sure yet)

    4) Is the Maths/Physics workload at Oxford likely to be more than at Warwick for Maths? I've been told the Maths workload at Warwick is ridiculously high - on a par with Oxbridge maybe?

    Obviously there are details about myself that will make the difference as well - I'd probably prefer the Oxford collegiate system, but also want a good social life so perhaps a lively campus is better for that. Regarding the course - I like the fact I can take lots of Physics modules under the Maths degree at Warwick, whereas Oxford's Maths and Physics courses seem much more restricted.

    Anyway, any help would be much appreciated, sorry for the long post
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    Short answer is no, it's not worth it.

    Long answer: Your grades are perfectly fine for applying post A-Level to Oxford. I applied post A-Level with just my A-Levels and received an unconditional offer - just remember they place a significant amount of weight on both the MAT and interview, so if you were to apply the biggest hurdles to getting an offer are still to come.

    1) It doesn't give you an advantage, in fact, if anything it puts you at a disadvantage since they'd rather you didn't take a gap year with maths (also, there's speculation you'll be expected to perform better on the MAT as well)

    2) From what I've read, it's recommended you apply to a different college. Personally, I wouldn't risk applying to the same college - you'll love whatever college you end up at so the risk isn't worth taking.

    3) No, Warwick is excellent for mathematics and you'll only arguably have better career prospects going to Oxbridge if you plan on working outside of the UK

    4) This is a difficult question to answer, because of Warwick's flexible course they don't have everyone doing the same amount of work. Some people at Warwick will have a higher workload than Oxbridge students, but from what I've seen of the Cambridge and Warwick course (for the average/recommended workload) and (obviously) of the Oxford course, you are worked slightly harder at Oxbridge.

    If you're interested in having a social life, you can't really go wrong with the collegiate system - I really don't think Warwick is more lively than Oxford by any stretch of the imagination (having visited and I have a couple of friends who are there). Undoubtedly the course is more restricted at Oxford than it is at Warwick, however, if you're interested in Physics the maths department have actually just introduced a new degree in Maths & Physics open to the current second years. So if you have a large interest in physics, you can always switch to that course in your third year and you will get quite a wide variety of options to pick from both maths and physics.

    In regards to the more flexible course at Warwick, I don't actually see much point in specialising in your first year - considering most people don't really know enough about undergraduate maths to make an informed decision. Oxford's first year course is very varied, just restricted, but gives a really good indication of what kind of mathematics you both enjoy and are good at. There's then quite a few options in the second year (nowhere near as flexible as Warwick's course) but it's flexible enough for you to be able to completely fill your time up with the kind of maths most undergraduates should know, but you also enjoy.
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    Congrats on the amazing results.
    To answer, it's still a risky thing. You have had 2 years of sixth form, so when do MAT they probably expect you to do well, considering you have also done very well in AEA and STEP I. I imagine they will consider this in the interview.
    Good grades even if they exceed the requirements may not mean that you get accepted, there have been cases were students get straight A*s but don't get in.
    I've heard that Maths at Warwick, Oxford and Imperial are more or less on the same level. It's just a matter of preference between the course and uni.
    One thing worth noting is that, Maths departments don't like you taking a year off, unless you plan to do maths, in some cases people will take STEP or something like that to show that they are keeping their maths fresh etc.
    You will have a great career if you go to Warwick anyway because Warwick is a very well respected Maths department.
    But if you really prefer Oxford and its your dream Uni etc, follow your dream.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    Short answer is no, it's not worth it.

    Long answer: Your grades are perfectly fine for applying post A-Level to Oxford. I applied post A-Level with just my A-Levels and received an unconditional offer - just remember they place a significant amount of weight on both the MAT and interview, so if you were to apply the biggest hurdles to getting an offer are still to come.

    1) It doesn't give you an advantage, in fact, if anything it puts you at a disadvantage since they'd rather you didn't take a gap year with maths (also, there's speculation you'll be expected to perform better on the MAT as well)

    2) From what I've read, it's recommended you apply to a different college. Personally, I wouldn't risk applying to the same college - you'll love whatever college you end up at so the risk isn't worth taking.

    3) No, Warwick is excellent for mathematics and you'll only arguably have better career prospects going to Oxbridge if you plan on working outside of the UK

    4) This is a difficult question to answer, because of Warwick's flexible course they don't have everyone doing the same amount of work. Some people at Warwick will have a higher workload than Oxbridge students, but from what I've seen of the Cambridge and Warwick course (for the average/recommended workload) and (obviously) of the Oxford course, you are worked slightly harder at Oxbridge.

    If you're interested in having a social life, you can't really go wrong with the collegiate system - I really don't think Warwick is more lively than Oxford by any stretch of the imagination (having visited and I have a couple of friends who are there). Undoubtedly the course is more restricted at Oxford than it is at Warwick, however, if you're interested in Physics the maths department have actually just introduced a new degree in Maths & Physics open to the current second years. So if you have a large interest in physics, you can always switch to that course in your third year and you will get quite a wide variety of options to pick from both maths and physics.

    In regards to the more flexible course at Warwick, I don't actually see much point in specialising in your first year - considering most people don't really know enough about undergraduate maths to make an informed decision. Oxford's first year course is very varied, just restricted, but gives a really good indication of what kind of mathematics you both enjoy and are good at. There's then quite a few options in the second year (nowhere near as flexible as Warwick's course) but it's flexible enough for you to be able to completely fill your time up with the kind of maths most undergraduates should know, but you also enjoy.
    The MAT seems slightly easier than STEP, then again the PAT also seemed fine until I sat it under exam conditions... I guess taking a year out would mean they'd expect more. I don't really see myself working outside the UK so that's not an issue.

    (Original post by jarasta)
    Congrats on the amazing results.
    To answer, it's still a risky thing. You have had 2 years of sixth form, so when do MAT they probably expect you to do well, considering you have also done very well in AEA and STEP I. I imagine they will consider this in the interview.
    Good grades even if they exceed the requirements may not mean that you get accepted, there have been cases were students get straight A*s but don't get in.
    I've heard that Maths at Warwick, Oxford and Imperial are more or less on the same level. It's just a matter of preference between the course and uni.
    One thing worth noting is that, Maths departments don't like you taking a year off, unless you plan to do maths, in some cases people will take STEP or something like that to show that they are keeping their maths fresh etc.
    You will have a great career if you go to Warwick anyway because Warwick is a very well respected Maths department.
    But if you really prefer Oxford and its your dream Uni etc, follow your dream.
    For some reason I'd assumed it was Cambridge only who didn't like their maths undergrads taking a year out, but it should probably apply to Oxford and others too. Oxford was never a dream uni, and in fact I didn't want to go until I visited Worcester college, so not too many broken dreams there

    Thanks for the replies, looks like I'll be going with Warwick for now
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    Tbh I'd consider Cambridge Maths with Physics; some colleges don't mind (encourage even) taking a gap year - Queens' off the top of my head but there are others if you want the information.

    You say you're unlikely to get a 1,1 in STEP II/III but you've got 10 months to prepare for the exams (assuming you get an offer). The average Cambridge maths applicant right now would've just about finished C3/C4 and maybe briefly looked at STEP.
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    (Original post by CrazyKid123)
    Tbh I'd consider Cambridge Maths with Physics; some colleges don't mind (encourage even) taking a gap year - Queens' off the top of my head but there are others if you want the information.

    You say you're unlikely to get a 1,1 in STEP II/III but you've got 10 months to prepare for the exams (assuming you get an offer). The average Cambridge maths applicant right now would've just about finished C3/C4 and maybe briefly looked at STEP.
    I'd be surprised if Cambridge were to give the standard 1,1 offer to someone post A-Level. Doing your A-Levels then taking STEP (and just STEP) the year after is significantly easier than doing it all at the same time.
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    (Original post by CrazyKid123)
    Tbh I'd consider Cambridge Maths with Physics; some colleges don't mind (encourage even) taking a gap year - Queens' off the top of my head but there are others if you want the information.

    You say you're unlikely to get a 1,1 in STEP II/III but you've got 10 months to prepare for the exams (assuming you get an offer). The average Cambridge maths applicant right now would've just about finished C3/C4 and maybe briefly looked at STEP.
    (Original post by Noble.)
    I'd be surprised if Cambridge were to give the standard 1,1 offer to someone post A-Level. Doing your A-Levels then taking STEP (and just STEP) the year after is significantly easier than doing it all at the same time.
    Also, I 'only' got a 1 in STEP I rather than an S. Cambridge usually give out a 1,1 offer for STEP II and III on the basis STEP I is too easy, so I would have been expected to get an S in that :s
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    (Original post by ZLN)
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    I think, ultimately, you should probably decide how much you want to have a gap year. With your results, I'm sure you would get offers from Warwick and Imperial etc. again, even if you have taken a year off. If you'd really like to take a year off and earn some money/do some travelling, then you don't really lose anything by having another go. If not, just go to Warwick.

    As an aside, one of the physicists at my college didn't get into oxford for physics first time round and he reapplied to a different college and got in second time round. I don't think having taken a year old necessarily leaves you at a significant disadvantage. They might expect you to do slightly better at the PAT, but ultimately if you still do well in the PAT and the interview, you will get an offer.
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    (Original post by SHELDON123)
    I think, ultimately, you should probably decide how much you want to have a gap year. With your results, I'm sure you would get offers from Warwick and Imperial etc. again, even if you have taken a year off. If you'd really like to take a year off and earn some money/do some travelling, then you don't really lose anything by having another go. If not, just go to Warwick.

    As an aside, one of the physicists at my college didn't get into oxford for physics first time round and he reapplied to a different college and got in second time round. I don't think having taken a year old necessarily leaves you at a significant disadvantage. They might expect you to do slightly better at the PAT, but ultimately if you still do well in the PAT and the interview, you will get an offer.
    That was another thing I forgot to ask - Warwick wouldn't hold a grudge would they if I were to take a year out and apply again? Would I likely get an unconditional offer considering my grades (including STEP and AEA)?

    I'd be more inclined to take a year out if I had any idea what I wanted to do Again, I think I'm leaning towards not reapplying
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    As a side note, I've looked more into Cambridge NatSci and I could apply, even though having one more science would be very useful. If I applied to a college that didn't require the TSA, then assuming my grades are what they want, the interview would be the only large hurdle (as well as any A Levels I decide to take, e.g. I could do Biology AS or maybe even the A Level this year). I'll look into it a bit more.
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    (Original post by ZLN)
    That was another thing I forgot to ask - Warwick wouldn't hold a grudge would they if I were to take a year out and apply again? Would I likely get an unconditional offer considering my grades (including STEP and AEA)?

    I'd be more inclined to take a year out if I had any idea what I wanted to do Again, I think I'm leaning towards not reapplying
    I'd be amazed if, with your results, you didn't get an offer again from Warwick...
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    The people above have gone into a lot of detail which I agree with so I won't repeat what's been said. I'll just add some things where I can.

    To disclose: I studied at Warwick and now work in IT in a large bank.

    (Original post by ZLN)
    I was rejected by Oxford post-interview for physics this year but have been accepted into my next best choice Warwick, for maths. Now I know the Maths department at Warwick has a very good reputation, and the flexibility of the course really appeals to me, but after getting my results I'm in two minds about what to do next year regarding reapplying.

    My grades were A*s in Maths, Further Maths and Economics, and a D1 (equivalent to 'above' an A*) in Pre-U Physics. I also got A's in my Spanish and Additional Further Maths AS's. I achieved a Distinction in AEA and a 1 in STEP (right on the 1/2 grade boundary), and my module scores are as follows:

    C1 - 97
    C2 - 88
    C3 - 96
    C4 - 97
    FP1 - 95
    FP2 - 98
    FP3 - 100
    S1 - 96
    S2 - 96
    D1 - 96
    M1 - 93
    M2 - 98
    M3 - 100
    M4 - 93
    M5 - 100

    Cambridge Maths is pretty much out of the question - I'd be very unlikely to get a 1,1 in STEP II and III, and whilst I get good grades, I'm not the sort who gets into all the BMO competitions and is naturally amazing. NatSci would also be a bit of a push (if not impossible) seeing as I haven't done Chemistry or Biology.

    That leaves reapplying for Physics at Oxford, or applying for Maths at Oxford.

    1) Will having my current grades put me at an advantage when applying a second time around? Or are they pretty much expected?

    2) If I were to reapply to Oxford for Maths rather than Physics, would it be okay to apply to the same college as before?

    3) Do you personally think it's worth rejecting my Warwick offer just to try and get the Oxbridge name (I will hopefully end up working in the city after uni, although I'm not sure yet)

    4) Is the Maths/Physics workload at Oxford likely to be more than at Warwick for Maths? I've been told the Maths workload at Warwick is ridiculously high - on a par with Oxbridge maybe?

    Obviously there are details about myself that will make the difference as well - I'd probably prefer the Oxford collegiate system, but also want a good social life so perhaps a lively campus is better for that. Regarding the course - I like the fact I can take lots of Physics modules under the Maths degree at Warwick, whereas Oxford's Maths and Physics courses seem much more restricted.

    Anyway, any help would be much appreciated, sorry for the long post
    1. Possibly, but you still have the issue of the gap year.

    2. I don't know enough about Oxford's admissions process to answer that.

    3. Having the oxbridge name is not necessarily a positive thing. From what I've heard from recruiters, they're aware of the level of social activities at different universities and how this impacts people's soft skills.

    4. The workload for maths can get high especially near exams and deadlines. I don't know what it's like at Oxford but I would imagine that is likely to be high as well.

    (Original post by ZLN)
    That was another thing I forgot to ask - Warwick wouldn't hold a grudge would they if I were to take a year out and apply again? Would I likely get an unconditional offer considering my grades (including STEP and AEA)?

    I'd be more inclined to take a year out if I had any idea what I wanted to do Again, I think I'm leaning towards not reapplying
    Warwick has a transparent admissions policy - they don't do grudges. I couldn't say if they would give you an unconditional offer or if they might ask you sit another step paper.

    I agree about not reapplying. Go to Warwick it's awesome :awesome:
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    (Original post by ttoby)

    3. Having the oxbridge name is not necessarily a positive thing. From what I've heard from recruiters, they're aware of the level of social activities at different universities and how this impacts people's soft skills.
    Comments like this are ridiculous. The 'levels of social activity' at Oxford are just as high as at every other university and you've obviously not been if you think it's just full of nerds that don't have fun. In fact, the college system means that there could well be more going on.
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    (Original post by SHELDON123)
    Comments like this are ridiculous. The 'levels of social activity' at Oxford are just as high as at every other university and you've obviously not been if you think it's just full of nerds that don't have fun. In fact, the college system means that there could well be more going on.
    It sounds ridiculous but it isn't my opinion. It's the view of senior managers at a graduate recruiter based on the performance of people they hire.

    There are of course many exceptions to this but what you need to take away from this is that whilst having strong academic ability is great, soft skills are so important as well so it's important to choose a university that would best help you develop them.
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    (Original post by ttoby)
    It sounds ridiculous but it isn't my opinion. It's the view of senior managers at a graduate recruiter based on the performance of people they hire.

    There are of course many exceptions to this but what you need to take away from this is that whilst having strong academic ability is great, soft skills are so important as well so it's important to choose a university that would best help you develop them.
    Regardless of whether it's their view or not, it's very incorrect. The whole collegiate system makes it much more difficult to avoid social-interactions than being at a non-collegiate system in my opinion. Also, considering the general consensus is that Oxbridge students do no more work than Warwick students (for maths) the argument around Oxbridge students having less time to socialise also doesn't make much sense.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    Regardless of whether it's their view or not, it's very incorrect. The whole collegiate system makes it much more difficult to avoid social-interactions than being at a non-collegiate system in my opinion. Also, considering the general consensus is that Oxbridge students do no more work than Warwick students (for maths) the argument around Oxbridge students having less time to socialise also doesn't make much sense.
    I've been trying to write a reply to this but I don't want to say too much about the recruitment process. As for my own opinion on their view, I find it surprising but I don't know sufficiently many oxbridge students to judge whether it is justified.
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    (Original post by ttoby)
    It sounds ridiculous but it isn't my opinion. It's the view of senior managers at a graduate recruiter based on the performance of people they hire.

    There are of course many exceptions to this but what you need to take away from this is that whilst having strong academic ability is great, soft skills are so important as well so it's important to choose a university that would best help you develop them.
    I have to say I've never met any recruiter like this. I don't mean this in a harsh way whatsoever, but it does sound like the kind of thing you would tell someone who doesn't go to Oxbridge to encourage them to apply to your company. I guess you never know though...
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    (Original post by SHELDON123)
    I have to say I've never met any recruiter like this. I don't mean this in a harsh way whatsoever, but it does sound like the kind of thing you would tell someone who doesn't go to Oxbridge to encourage them to apply to your company. I guess you never know though...
    That along with the whole "grades/university aren't everything, most of them don't have a personality/any social skills" when in reality I've only met one person at Oxford who lacks social skills or seems like they wouldn't fit in at my secondary school/college (I went to a bad secondary school, slightly above average college so it's not like I was bought up with the whole upper class/rah stereotype Oxford has). If certain companies actually put Oxbridge graduates at a disadvantage over a silly stereotype, that's their loss because, unfortunately for other graduates, the reality is the majority of Oxbridge students do offer the 'whole package'.
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    (Original post by ttoby)
    I've been trying to write a reply to this but I don't want to say too much about the recruitment process. As for my own opinion on their view, I find it surprising but I don't know sufficiently many oxbridge students to judge whether it is justified.
    Ultimately, most of your social development doesn't happen at university - it happens at a much younger age. It's not as if the 13 years of life going to a "normal" school and socialising with "normal" people is suddenly thrown out of the window because you sign on to do a 3/4 year degree at Oxbridge, that's why it's silly.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    Ultimately, most of your social development doesn't happen at university - it happens at a much younger age. It's not as if the 13 years of life going to a "normal" school and socialising with "normal" people is suddenly thrown out of the window because you sign on to do a 3/4 year degree at Oxbridge, that's why it's silly.
    Certainly you do develop a lot before university, but university builds on that and it does so in a big way (in my experience anyway). I wouldn't go as far as to say that some universities have a negative effect on people's social skills, however the types of areas that are built on a lot would vary depending on a number of factors.
 
 
 
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