Are my AS grades good enough for Oxford or Durham?!

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esmeserena
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#1
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#1
Hey guys, I got 10A*s at GCSE and but fell short of my predictions at AS and got high A's in Eng Lit and Politics but average B's in French and History. I know these are good scores but my problem is that I want to study history at durham, and was previously considering oxford, but I only got a B, I just want to know if I'm still a realistic history applicant for Oxford, Durham or any other uni's of that calibre???
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dragonkeeper999
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#2
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#2
You might not have the perfect grades, but there's still a chance of an offer if your personal statement, predicted grades and interviews go well. If you can persuade your teachers to predict you an A for History A2 you would probably have a better chance Check the entrance requirements for each university and try to make sure your predicted grades match them - for example you will probably need an A or even A* prediction in History. Other similar universities may have slightly lower entrance requirements though - have a look around

As long as you pick three other sensible choices for your UCAS form you could still apply to Oxford and Durham - don't get your hopes up but if you don't apply you can't get in! Your teachers are probably the best people to go for for more specific advice - they will know whether you are likely to pull up your grades and may be able to suggest other universities to consider too.
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perflous
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#3
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#3
Durham look at GCSEs quite a bit from what I've heard; I'd say definitely apply to Durham as you might as well give it a shot, but think about whether you're willing to go through the hassle of an Oxbridge application. I have to say I don't think it's that likely you'd get an offer from Oxford, but there's no harm in researching it and the necessary tests you may have to sit.
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stmary
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#4
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#4
I didn't get good grade in my AS, but I have booked in to do UKCAT in the next 2 weeks because I really want to do medicine. Is there any point in doing this? I am planning to resit a couple of my AS modules.
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XmollyX
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#5
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#5
I didn't apply to Oxbridge (not really my thing) but I got an offer from Durham to study History and met the conditions (just got my results today ) although I have declined it in favour of another uni. I got 8 A*s and 5 As at GCSE, and AAAAa at A-level. I was one mark off an A* in History

I don't want to sound like a downer but you would definitely have to resit the History and probably the french as well (or drop it).

Unfortunately though, even then things are ridiculously competitive, and those types of universities generally prefer people who achieve the high grades without resitting. The issue is, because you want to do history the universities would want you to be showing off your ability in that subject, it should really be your highest grade, or at least on level with the others.

I don't know about Oxford, but for Durham you would have to show that you would definitely be able to get at least an A in history, and the only way to do that (depending on what B you got) is with resists, and asking your teacher to put a predicted grade of an A*.

For Oxford I think you only need AAA for history, not the A*AA like Durham, so that would probably be a better option to apply for that. Durham is number 1 for History in the UK, so I'm not sure they would offer a place to someone who wasn't getting the absolute top marks in that subject, unless you can provide mitigating circumstances/reasons for your lower grade.

You never know though, with a great personal statement, a brilliant reference, and an A* predicted grade from your teacher, the admissions staff may be kind to you.

Good Luck!
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XmollyX
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#6
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#6
(Original post by perflous)
Durham look at GCSEs quite a bit from what I've heard; I'd say definitely apply to Durham as you might as well give it a shot, but think about whether you're willing to go through the hassle of an Oxbridge application. I have to say I don't think it's that likely you'd get an offer from Oxford, but there's no harm in researching it and the necessary tests you may have to sit.
Its actually harder to get into Durham for History than Oxford. Durham are 1 in the UK and want A*AA, Oxford are further down so only require AAA.
People seem to think Oxbridge are the be all and end all.
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Davelittle
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#7
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(Original post by XmollyX)
Its actually harder to get into Durham for History than Oxford. Durham are 1 in the UK and want A*AA, Oxford are further down so only require AAA.
People seem to think Oxbridge are the be all and end all.
You have to do the HAT admissions test for Oxford, which is very challenging.
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XmollyX
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Davelittle)
You have to do the HAT admissions test for Oxford, which is very challenging.
It is, but at least doing that you get a chance to show off to the uni, and prove how good you are at history if you performed poorly on a previous a-level exam. Plus you have interviews in which you can get to know the staff and present yourself well.

At Durham there are no interviews so everything boils down to your grades and your personal statement. Grades are literally everything at Durham so they have to be near perfect.
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perflous
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#9
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#9
(Original post by XmollyX)
Its actually harder to get into Durham for History than Oxford. Durham are 1 in the UK and want A*AA, Oxford are further down so only require AAA.
People seem to think Oxbridge are the be all and end all.
Oxford may claim to only require AAA, but you're forgetting there's a rigorous process of testing and interviewing. Durham may have more applicants per place for History, but in general, Oxford is harder to get into - more applicants have higher grades and will be predicted a couple of A*'s at least, despite Oxford 'only requiring' AAA. If AAA in itself was enough to get in to Oxford, many more people would go there each year. Oxford only require AAA so that candidates who have been interviewed and made an offer (these candidates are likely to have A* predicted grades) are likely to make it. Durham do not have the money to interview thousands of candidates so have to make A*AA offers to guarantee that they are taking the best of the best without having met them in person.

Both are excellent universities; both are ranked very highly, but the subject rankings mean relatively little compared to the university's overall status and application process. If Durham is a long shot for OP, then so is Oxford.
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