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    Ok, so I applied to Oxford this year for Russian and Arabic at St. John's, and got rejected. My GCSEs are really strong compared to other modern languages applicants (10 A*), teaching myself Spanish and doing it a year early. My predicted grades are good, four A* in Russian, Spanish, Maths and Further Maths. My teachers put me down as a dead cert, though I obviously was pretty sceptical as I'd heard about people who had had surprise rejections in the past. I thought the interviews went really well ( I had eight, two at John's, two at Wadham, one at Somerville, one at LMH and one at Magdalen) but the admissions office doesn't open for feedback until the 12th so I don't know if they actually did. At any rate, I thought I'd enjoy a gap year, so though I applied to Exeter and St. Andrew's I haven't heard back from them yet and so I don't have a lot of choice. I was wondering if anyone had any experience of similar courses at Cambridge and could tell me if they thought there were any significant differences. I come from an independent school so I don't know if that worked against me. Anyways, cheers in advance for your help, sorry it's a lot less cheery than all the other TSR posts, this thing's got me pretty down.
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    (Original post by oclark44)
    Ok, so I applied to Oxford this year for Russian and Arabic at St. John's, and got rejected. My GCSEs are really strong compared to other modern languages applicants (10 A*), teaching myself Spanish and doing it a year early. My predicted grades are good, four A* in Russian, Spanish, Maths and Further Maths. My teachers put me down as a dead cert, though I obviously was pretty sceptical as I'd heard about people who had had surprise rejections in the past. I thought the interviews went really well ( I had eight, two at John's, two at Wadham, one at Somerville, one at LMH and one at Magdalen) but the admissions office doesn't open for feedback until the 12th so I don't know if they actually did. At any rate, I thought I'd enjoy a gap year, so though I applied to Exeter and St. Andrew's I haven't heard back from them yet and so I don't have a lot of choice. I was wondering if anyone had any experience of similar courses at Cambridge and could tell me if they thought there were any significant differences. I come from an independent school so I don't know if that worked against me. Anyways, cheers in advance for your help, sorry it's a lot less cheery than all the other TSR posts, this thing's got me pretty down.
    I understand how you feel. In the same position as you

    What did you get for AS? Your grades seem really good and the fact that you had 8 interviews is quite significant (for you to have been interviewed that many times means that somewhere must've wanted you). It's unfortunate you didn't get an offer. Did you do the OLAT or MLAT? A bad score in that could have potentially hurt your application. Other than that, the only thing I can think of is that it might be down to interview performance and them not feeling you are really passionate about Russian and Arabic.
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    (Original post by oclark44)
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    Having eight interviews spread across so many colleges is really unusual (although your bracketed interviews only add up to seven!). Purely from that I would guess that they were trying hard to find space for you somewhere but unfortunately weren't able to in this admissions cycle, in which case taking a gap year and reapplying could definitely be worth it. Just be aware that getting in second time round is far from guaranteed, so make sure you're doing something worthwhile with your time.
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    A general question about reapplying to Oxbridge during a gap year: If you already have your A2 results, do they still care about your GCSEs? Also, for arts subjects at Oxford the grade requirements are AAA however I believe many people exceed their offers. So if someone got AAA in their A2s would there be any point in applying to Oxford? Basically do they expect candidates to have > AAA?
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    A general question about reapplying to Oxbridge during a gap year: If you already have your A2 results, do they still care about your GCSEs? Also, for arts subjects at Oxford the grade requirements are AAA however I believe many people exceed their offers. So if someone got AAA in their A2s would there be any point in applying to Oxford? Basically do they expect candidates to have > AAA?
    I'm still not convinced by the TSR "Oxford particularly loves GCSEs"-brigade, given how many subjects have pre-interview tests for shortlisting at Oxford.

    Any way, regarding A level offers, you certainly don't need more than the subject's grade requirements to get a place. The reality is that most successful candidates will get better than AAA because Oxford-calibre students are likely to get A*s at A level. That said, if you do well in the admissions test (should you have one) and the interviews, they are unlikely to care whether you got AAA or A*A*A*.
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    Thanks for your help, I forgot to mention my faculty interview at the oriental institute! My parents said the same thing about the interviews. I applied to the other universities without really looking into the courses, and the more I find out the less I like, so I'm definitely taking a gap year and applying to a different set next time round. Do you know any oxbridge modern languages/ oriental studies reapplicants who took gap years and what happened to them?
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    (Original post by TheTechN1304)
    I understand how you feel. In the same position as you

    What did you get for AS? Your grades seem really good and the fact that you had 8 interviews is quite significant (for you to have been interviewed that many times means that somewhere must've wanted you). It's unfortunate you didn't get an offer. Did you do the OLAT or MLAT? A bad score in that could have potentially hurt your application. Other than that, the only thing I can think of is that it might be down to interview performance and them not feeling you are really passionate about Russian and Arabic.
    Yeah, I do a slightly different course called Pre-U so I don't have an AS equivalent. I did the OLAT and MLAT and my practice paper marks were full marks and one or two off, so I'm fairly certain it wasn't that. The interview is the only thing I can think of 'cos it's so difficult to get a read on, I guess I'll just have to wait for feedback and see how much they want to share. Really sorry to hear the same happened to you(
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    (Original post by oclark44)
    Do you know any oxbridge modern languages/ oriental studies reapplicants who took gap years and what happened to them?
    I know quite a number of people who reapplied successfully, including one for modern languages (at Cambridge). It doesn't really matter what you do with your gap year, as long as you're keeping yourself occupied.

    My reapplication was rather different to how yours will be — I applied for a different subject after doing relatively poorly on the admissions test and interviews, by my own reckoning. I was fairly confident that if I did better, I'd get in second time round. Seeing various schoolmates of similar academic ability getting in was rather reassuring in that respect.
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    (Original post by BJack)
    I know quite a number of people who reapplied successfully, including one for modern languages (at Cambridge). It doesn't really matter what you do with your gap year, as long as you're keeping yourself occupied.

    My reapplication was rather different to how yours will be — I applied for a different subject after doing relatively poorly on the admissions test and interviews, by my own reckoning. I was fairly confident that if I did better, I'd get in second time round. Seeing various schoolmates of similar academic ability getting in was rather reassuring in that respect.
    Thanks! It's massively reassuring to hear that being rejected the first time isn't as bad as it seem and that I've got more gap year options than it seems. Cheers again for da help.
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    (Original post by oclark44)
    Yeah, I do a slightly different course called Pre-U so I don't have an AS equivalent. I did the OLAT and MLAT and my practice paper marks were full marks and one or two off, so I'm fairly certain it wasn't that. The interview is the only thing I can think of 'cos it's so difficult to get a read on, I guess I'll just have to wait for feedback and see how much they want to share. Really sorry to hear the same happened to you(
    I do PreU also
 
 
 
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