Does sporting success help in getting into Oxbridge? Watch

AlexSmith1
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I was just wondering if having a high achievement in sport will be any benefit to me if I was wanting to apply for Oxbridge, or if they will even recognise it at all.

I have competed in national finals in my sport and am also completing an advanced apprenticeship in sporting excellence http://www.skillsactive.com/individual-home/item/3173 which is a talent scheme for the top athletes in a series of sports.

I'm not purely sporting and did achieve 9A*s in my GCSE's (but I presume GCSE's aren't particularly important )
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Origami Bullets
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I know someone who used to be on the national team (i.e. competing internationally) for his sport, who will swear blind that if you know the right people then it can help significantly. Of course, this sort of thing is entirely anecdotal, and his sport is one that Oxford is rather good at.

However, they will be most interested in your academic achievement and potential - you'll still need the same A Level grades that they require from everyone. GCSEs can be used to differentiate between candidates - they're swimming in people with AAAA at AS and A*AA+ predictions at A2, so GCSEs can be used - Oxford does this more than Cambridge.

You can mention it in your personal statement - but 75-80% of your PS still needs to be spent talking about your academic interests. Don't hide it, but I think the best that you can hope for is that it might tip the balance between you and another candidate.

You may, however, like to consider going to the US. Their colleges do recruit people on the basis of athletic achievements, and there are substantial funds available to students wishing to go over there. This is a good place to start exploring that idea http://www.fulbright.org.uk/study-in-the-usa
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Theflyingbarney
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Unless it's rowing, I'd wager probably not. They may acknowledge it as a good indicator of your dedication and commitment, and it's probably still worth mentioning in your personal statement anyway, but I don't think they'd place as much emphasis on it as other universities might in deciding whether to accept you.
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AlexSmith1
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
I know someone who used to be on the national team (i.e. competing internationally) for his sport, who will swear blind that if you know the right people then it can help significantly. Of course, this sort of thing is entirely anecdotal, and his sport is one that Oxford is rather good at.

However, they will be most interested in your academic achievement and potential - you'll still need the same A Level grades that they require from everyone. GCSEs can be used to differentiate between candidates - they're swimming in people with AAAA at AS and A*AA+ predictions at A2, so GCSEs can be used - Oxford does this more than Cambridge.

You can mention it in your personal statement - but 75-80% of your PS still needs to be spent talking about your academic interests. Don't hide it, but I think the best that you can hope for is that it might tip the balance between you and another candidate.

You may, however, like to consider going to the US. Their colleges do recruit people on the basis of athletic achievements, and there are substantial funds available to students wishing to go over there. This is a good place to start exploring that idea http://www.fulbright.org.uk/study-in-the-usa
Thank you for the help. Other than academic success what would you say that they look for in an applicant?
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AlexSmith1
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(Original post by Theflyingbarney)
Unless it's rowing, I'd wager probably not. They may acknowledge it as a good indicator of your dedication and commitment, and it's probably still worth mentioning in your personal statement anyway, but I don't think they'd place as much emphasis on it as other universities might in deciding whether to accept you.
I was thinking along the dedication and commitment lines and just as another interest if its worth mentioning or not. Obviously I understand academic success will always be the main priority.
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TheSK00T3R
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I know someone who does rowing, who got offered a place at Durham for it. Declined the offer, then got an offer for a full Harvard scholarship. Still declined it, but it shows that some universities are intersted, both home and away.
That being said, I don't think Oxbridge give out offers like that. In fact, for all but Medicine, the general consensus is they don't give a damn about anything except your undying passion for the subject your applying to study.
http://www.theguardian.com/education...ns-really-work
There is far less interest than is popularly thought in extra-curricular activity. An academic remarks with bafflement that a candidate has "got his violin grades on there".
And yeh, GCSE's do count, especially for Oxford. They'll look at your percentage A* and compare it with your school's average. The Cambridge equivalent is looking at your AS UMS scores.
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Theflyingbarney
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(Original post by AlexSmith1)
I was thinking along the dedication and commitment lines and just as another interest if its worth mentioning or not. Obviously I understand academic success will always be the main priority.
Yeah, as I said it's definitely something worth mentioning in your personal statement, and it should still work in your favour; but they won't take you in for sporting prowess over academic success. Definitely mention it, I'd say - even if Oxbridge do turn out to be indifferent towards it, other universities should like it.
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AlexSmith1
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(Original post by Theflyingbarney)
Yeah, as I said it's definitely something worth mentioning in your personal statement, and it should still work in your favour; but they won't take you in for sporting prowess over academic success. Definitely mention it, I'd say - even if Oxbridge do turn out to be indifferent towards it, other universities should like it.
Okay, thank you very much!
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Origami Bullets
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(Original post by AlexSmith1)
Thank you for the help. Other than academic success what would you say that they look for in an applicant?
More academic success, and undying passionly passion for the subject.
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Padwas
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If you a VERY good at sports the American unis normally are your best bet
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AlexSmith1
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
More academic success, and undying passionly passion for the subject.
Thank you very much! What sort of grades do Oxbridge look for at AS? AAAA? and how do you prove passion for a subject?
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Origami Bullets
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(Original post by AlexSmith1)
Thank you very much! What sort of grades do Oxbridge look for at AS? AAAA? and how do you prove passion for a subject?
AAAA is essentially the baseline for academic achievement, plus you need to be predicted the right grades at A2, and shine at interview.

There's some advice about writing your PS here http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...onal_Statement

However, you should talk about aspects of the subject that particularly interest you, relevant academic texts that you've read, relevant work experience (for vocational courses, not for academic ones), relevant extra curriculars and so on.
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AlexSmith1
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
AAAA is essentially the baseline for academic achievement, plus you need to be predicted the right grades at A2, and shine at interview.

There's some advice about writing your PS here http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...onal_Statement

However, you should talk about aspects of the subject that particularly interest you, relevant academic texts that you've read, relevant work experience (for vocational courses, not for academic ones), relevant extra curriculars and so on.
Thank you very much!
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techno-thriller
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Mist likely not, but in america yes
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AlexSmith1
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(Original post by TheSK00T3R)
I know someone who does rowing, who got offered a place at Durham for it. Declined the offer, then got an offer for a full Harvard scholarship. Still declined it, but it shows that some universities are intersted, both home and away.
That being said, I don't think Oxbridge give out offers like that. In fact, for all but Medicine, the general consensus is they don't give a damn about anything except your undying passion for the subject your applying to study.
http://www.theguardian.com/education...ns-really-work
There is far less interest than is popularly thought in extra-curricular activity. An academic remarks with bafflement that a candidate has "got his violin grades on there".
And yeh, GCSE's do count, especially for Oxford. They'll look at your percentage A* and compare it with your school's average. The Cambridge equivalent is looking at your AS UMS scores.
I also got 3 A's at GCSE, is a 75% A* rate from an average state school good enough for application to Oxbridge?
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AlexSmith1
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(Original post by Padwas)
If you a VERY good at sports the American unis normally are your best bet
What will the top American universities require at A level?
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AlexSmith1
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(Original post by techno-thriller)
Mist likely not, but in america yes
Which are the top American Uni's which will look for sporting success?
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TheSK00T3R
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(Original post by AlexSmith1)
I also got 3 A's at GCSE, is a 75% A* rate from an average state school good enough for application to Oxbridge?
Depends on what your applying for. For medicine, virtually all the entrants have 100%. For other things, it sounds alright, 'specially if you didn't go to a grammar school (I went to a state school, still grammar though). You can check all the stats on the Oxford University website.
Also bear in mind Oxford lean heavily on their aptitude tests, which can make up for bad GCSE's, or mess up good ones.
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AlexSmith1
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(Original post by TheSK00T3R)
Depends on what your applying for. For medicine, virtually all the entrants have 100%. For other things, it sounds alright, 'specially if you didn't go to a grammar school (I went to a state school, still grammar though). You can check all the stats on the Oxford University website.
Also bear in mind Oxford lean heavily on their aptitude tests, which can make up for bad GCSE's, or mess up good ones.
The A's were in subjects completely unrelated to the sort of areas I am looking into studying. Is the Oxford aptitude test difficult?
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techno-thriller
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(Original post by AlexSmith1)
Which are the top American Uni's which will look for sporting success?
Can't say for definite, but you kind of have to be known for your sporting good. All of them look for some kind though
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