Is cambridge harder to get into than oxford?

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World Hold On
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I have been told this by a few friends, but I dont see how it could be true? Unless better candidates apply to cambridge or cause they look at UMS? are the two unis looking for th esame thing generally?
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Drogue
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No. For some subjects it might be (maths at Cambridge, PPE/SPS at Oxford), but overall there's really no difference. Both universities are ranked equally(ish, depending on who you talk to) overall, yet can be are better or worse for different subjects. Moreover, any difference overall won't matter at all if it's not apparent for your subject.

Oxford very rarely pool people before admissions - I've seen 14:1 ratios of applicants per place at some colleges - so even though it does happen, it's likely to make little overall difference.
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Apagg
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Going solely by my school's experience, yes. For each of the past two years we've got 2 into Cam and 10 into Ox. However, that's entirely meaningless - there will be schools with experience of the opposite
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Drogue
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(Original post by Athena)
I thought the new working plan was supposed to stop that?
It is, though we've no idea how it will work in practice yet. But even with that, it means there's less of a lottery, so instead of having 2:1 and 10:1 at two colleges, they'll both be 6:1. Which while fairer, isn't easier or harder than it was before. The new system won't make it easier to get in, just fairer.
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Teebs
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(Original post by Apagg)
Going solely by my school's experience, yes. For each of the past two years we've got 2 into Cam and 10 into Ox. However, that's entirely meaningless - there will be schools with experience of the opposite
My school is one of those opposites :p: we had about twice as many people getting into Cambridge as Oxford.
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Trundle
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I actually thought that Oxford would be harder to get into than Cambridge because their interviews seem to go on forever! I couldn't have coped with more than one day of interviews.
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allymcb2
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(Original post by Apagg)
Going solely by my school's experience, yes. For each of the past two years we've got 2 into Cam and 10 into Ox. However, that's entirely meaningless - there will be schools with experience of the opposite
Yeah, we got 1 Oxford, 3 cambridge last year. 1 ox 1 cam this year but we get more into cambridge in general.
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shinyhappy
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My school got a grand total of one person in Oxford, and two into Cambridge. Despite having equal numbers of applicants to each. Ergo, Oxford is twice as hard to get into...
Honest...
=P
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sjuthani
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We have some weird results... 16 Cambridge, 4 Oxford. Bit weird really, and I think those who applied to Oxford and didn't get in might be thinking "what if..."

TBH, saddos like us can sit around and discuss Oxbridge admissions for yonks (and we do- take a look through the TSR archives!) simply because so much of it is mysterious...
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johnrambo
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(Original post by Teebs)
My school is one of those opposites :p: we had about twice as many people getting into Cambridge as Oxford.
THIBAULT! And you thought you had left us all behind to go on to greater things.
Yes, its true, our school was one of those opposites; although, the numbers applying to each varied as well, so its difficult to tell.

P.S. Thibault, I'm male. Coupled with my signature you should be able to work out who I am.
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World Hold On
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whats this new oxford plan, is it happening this year
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thomasjtl
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the new oxford plan was nothing like the radical overhall the telegraph declared it to be- the only thing it difinitively declared was that all departments had to have a formal admissions strategy, and it then went on to recommend things that could be included, but basically left it up to departments to decide which measures were appropriate- (obviously PPE with its many hundreds of applicants has to handle things differently to compsci with 50-60 applicants). It's just an encouragement to get colleges to cooperate more, so as to ensure that the best applicants get in regardless of which college they originally apply to.
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sTe\/o
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(Original post by World Hold On)
I have been told this by a few friends, but I dont see how it could be true?
No one really knows, so don't let anyone tell you any different. My personal opinion is that for the majority of subjects both unis are, for all intents and purposes, equally competitive. You can look at applicantslace ratios all you want, but I don't think they're very useful. Maybe you could argue that in recent times Cambridge has been slighty harder to get into overall (an incredibly useful thing to know...), but that was when they were top of the league tables - Oxford is top now, so patterns of application may have changed as well. It's really not worth overanalysing.
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crazynutter
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at my school we got i think we got roughly equal numbers of offers from both this year, four or five each. But about 4 times as many people applied to cambridge than oxford from my school.

there were two offers for engineering (my subject) one from oxford and one from cambridge, the cambridge offer was AAAB (A - Maths, F.Maths, Physics. B - Chemistry), my friend's oxford offer was AAA (A - Maths and Physics and either F.Maths or Chemistry). So the oxford offer was easier, no F.Maths. I've only ever known Cambridge to ask for A in further maths.
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sTe\/o
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(Original post by crazynutter)
at my school we got i think we got roughly equal numbers of offers from both this year, four or five each. But about 4 times as many people applied to cambridge than oxford from my school.

there were two offers for engineering (my subject) one from oxford and one from cambridge, the cambridge offer was AAAB (A - Maths, F.Maths, Physics. B - Chemistry), my friend's oxford offer was AAA (A - Maths and Physics and either F.Maths or Chemistry). So the oxford offer was easier, no F.Maths. I've only ever known Cambridge to ask for A in further maths.
I do get the impression that Cambridge have a much stronger Engineering Department, so Engineering could just be one of the handful of exceptions that prove the rule.

Actually, if no one minds me hijacking this thread slightly (and to be fair, it's a natural progression), which courses do you think are seen as better at one uni than the other according to majority opinion? Because for a lot of subjects there doesn't seem to be any sort of consensus. The only ones that occur to me are Maths (Cam), PPE (Ox) and Engineering (Cam). Any others?
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gooseymcgoose
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I think there's an equillibriating mechanism at stake anyway, as soon as one gets a reputation as difficult to get into then surely there must be a tendancy for applications to drop there, and voila, gets that bit easier to get in to.

The only way in which one could university could sustain a lead in average candidate quality is if Oxford/Cambridge actually became separate goals, and people actually saw getting into Cambridge as more of an achievement than getting into Oxford - but right now, most people say "I want to go to Oxbridge."
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gooseymcgoose
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I don't understand how Oxford is supposed to be the better university for PPE? Cambridge don't offer it. They offer Economics - and cambridge economics is pretty hot.
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sTe\/o
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(Original post by not)
I don't understand how Oxford is supposed to be the better university for PPE? Cambridge don't offer it. They offer Economics - and cambridge economics is pretty hot.
PPE is typically compared with SPS rather than Economics, although there's really no exact comparison. E&M is a better subject to compare with Economics.
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gooseymcgoose
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PPE is a stupid subject to compare to SPS. All the PPE-ers i've ever met worked for investment banks - how many SPS students aspire to that?
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sTe\/o
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(Original post by not)
PPE is a stupid subject to compare to SPS. All the PPE-ers i've ever met worked for investment banks - how many SPS students aspire to that?
Nevertheless, they're typically paired together for lack of a closer comparison. I didn't just make this up - it's something SPS students protest about all the time, so your criticism is quite valid.
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