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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'm sorry to hear you didn't get in - excellent applicants get declined every year and it's not always clear why. Good luck getting your feedback.

    I would certainly wait until you have feedback before making any rash decisions.

    And if you do get offers from Exeter and St Andrew's I'd think very carefully before declining them to take a gap year. You need to really know why you want to go to Oxford. If you've completely fallen in love with the course and the university and the city etc then fair enough. If you're more interested because you know you've got the grades and they're prestigious, then it's not necessarily the best place for you anyway.

    Unfortunately I have no actual experience to share with you - I interviewed at Cambridge for Japanese and was rejected (luckily!). All I can say about the interview process there was: the other students there for interview on the same day were all from private schools and had, what seemed to me, like extensive knowledge of Japanese. The majority had parent's who'd been able to pay for them to have private tuition and go on holiday to Japan. I felt horribly out of place with my limited knowledge! For the interview itself we were given a text to read, which had absolutely no relation to Japanese or Japanese studies. We then had to answer questions on the text in the interview.
    One of the questions I was given was: "Where would you go to get more information on this subject?" I replied that I would go to the library and do research there. One of the professors turned round and said something like "But where is that?" And I, all confused as to why he was asking me where the library was, went, "Uh, it's just sorta down there at the other end of the grass?" At which point both interviewers frowned and scribbled something down. Obviously I'd failed some kind of test there.
    Sorry that's probably not too relevant, as I knew my interview was disastrous at the time!

    As far as a gap year goes, if you do decide to take one and reapply, be really careful. Other universities might be more flexible, but Oxbridge are less likely to look on a gap year favourably if you're not doing something worthwhile with your time. "I'm taking a gap year so I can reapply cos I really wanna go to Oxbridge" is unlikely to impress them

    So I would definitely make sure that you're spending the year doing something useful, gaining skills you can discuss at interview and justify in your application, and using your languages.
    I know for Maths they don't advise gap years as they don't want you to forget your maths skills. I've not heard anyone say to not take a gap year for languages, but i presume they would want to be reassured that you're keeping your skills going and that you'll still be an A* candidate at least when you come to start your course.

    At least that way you can do the whole: fell in love with the course and the university, so disappointed to be rejected, but found the interview process and feedback very useful, therefore decided to take this feedback and act on it, spending a year honing my skills, developing x,y and z etc etc

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by sophia5892)
    I'm sorry to hear you didn't get in - excellent applicants get declined every year and it's not always clear why. Good luck getting your feedback.

    I would certainly wait until you have feedback before making any rash decisions.

    And if you do get offers from Exeter and St Andrew's I'd think very carefully before declining them to take a gap year. You need to really know why you want to go to Oxford. If you've completely fallen in love with the course and the university and the city etc then fair enough. If you're more interested because you know you've got the grades and they're prestigious, then it's not necessarily the best place for you anyway.

    Unfortunately I have no actual experience to share with you - I interviewed at Cambridge for Japanese and was rejected (luckily!). All I can say about the interview process there was: the other students there for interview on the same day were all from private schools and had, what seemed to me, like extensive knowledge of Japanese. The majority had parent's who'd been able to pay for them to have private tuition and go on holiday to Japan. I felt horribly out of place with my limited knowledge! For the interview itself we were given a text to read, which had absolutely no relation to Japanese or Japanese studies. We then had to answer questions on the text in the interview.
    One of the questions I was given was: "Where would you go to get more information on this subject?" I replied that I would go to the library and do research there. One of the professors turned round and said something like "But where is that?" And I, all confused as to why he was asking me where the library was, went, "Uh, it's just sorta down there at the other end of the grass?" At which point both interviewers frowned and scribbled something down. Obviously I'd failed some kind of test there.
    Sorry that's probably not too relevant, as I knew my interview was disastrous at the time!

    As far as a gap year goes, if you do decide to take one and reapply, be really careful. Other universities might be more flexible, but Oxbridge are less likely to look on a gap year favourably if you're not doing something worthwhile with your time. "I'm taking a gap year so I can reapply cos I really wanna go to Oxbridge" is unlikely to impress them

    So I would definitely make sure that you're spending the year doing something useful, gaining skills you can discuss at interview and justify in your application, and using your languages.
    I know for Maths they don't advise gap years as they don't want you to forget your maths skills. I've not heard anyone say to not take a gap year for languages, but i presume they would want to be reassured that you're keeping your skills going and that you'll still be an A* candidate at least when you come to start your course.

    At least that way you can do the whole: fell in love with the course and the university, so disappointed to be rejected, but found the interview process and feedback very useful, therefore decided to take this feedback and act on it, spending a year honing my skills, developing x,y and z etc etc

    Good luck!
    Wow! cheers for all the advice. I heard the same thing about maths, but I don't think it made a blind bit of difference to them at the time and won't in a year either. I didn't get the benefit of any of this private tuition so I suppose they probably looked down on me for it, assuming I could afford it. It was probably naïve to assume that they meant it when they said I needed no prior knowledge of the language. Sorry to hear that you're in the same position, have you decided what you're gonna do yet?
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    (Original post by oclark44)
    Wow! cheers for all the advice. I heard the same thing about maths, but I don't think it made a blind bit of difference to them at the time and won't in a year either. I didn't get the benefit of any of this private tuition so I suppose they probably looked down on me for it, assuming I could afford it. It was probably naïve to assume that they meant it when they said I needed no prior knowledge of the language. Sorry to hear that you're in the same position, have you decided what you're gonna do yet?
    this was back in 2010 for me.
    And to be honest, I was quite happy to be rejected. It would have been very very hard to say no if I'd got an offer from Oxbridge, and I loved Cambridge when I visited with my college, but when I stayed with other prospective applicants for my interview I felt so out of place.
    When I told people I came from a single parent family, or that we didn't have a car for example, they all looked at me with either pity, disgust, or complete disbelief

    I don't know if they'll have looked down on you for it. That was just my personal experience with Japanese. I just felt like it made a difference as my application was probably quite superficial in comparison, and obviously I knew i tanked my interview.I mean, all I had to talk about for Japanese was reading a couple of books, watching some films, studying Japan for my GCSE Art project, and making a kimono for GCSE Textiles. When I heard other applicants discussing Japanese philosophy and politics and their favourite kanji I realised how little I really knew!

    Seeing as you think your interviews went well (and to get put into the pool/interviewed by lots of different colleges, you must have been making a good impression to not just get a rejection straight out!), it could just be a simple matter of numbers of applicants versus places.

    So yeh, same advice for above. Relax, wait for your feedback, see about your other offers, and take some time to think about what you'd really like to do
    Also, if you do get invited to any post-applicant visit days, definitely take advantage.

    I got offers from my other 4 unis, and ended up at Newcastle, the only university I didn't visit before I submitted my application, which I only applied to because I had a space on my UCAS and my mum said I might as well fill it... and which I realised was the right place for me after re-visiting my original top 2 choices for interviews/applicant days and then going to a post-offer day there
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    eek, actually 2009. I started university in 2010. I'm getting old!
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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.
    Hey we must have been there at the same time... if its any consolation I got rejected too for Persian and Arabic and now am pretty sure about firming my offer from Exeter...dont be put off about going somewhere else..I heard somewhere that the rejected oxbridge candidates are the second best thing:rolleyes: and Exeter and Andrews do have good departments for your subject....anyhow good luck with it all...

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    (Original post by elhm1800)
    Hey we must have been there at the same time... if its any consolation I got rejected too for Persian and Arabic and now am pretty sure about firming my offer from Exeter...dont be put off about going somewhere else..I heard somewhere that the rejected oxbridge candidates are the second best thing:rolleyes: and Exeter and Andrews do have good departments for your subject....anyhow good luck with it all...

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    Exeter and Andrews definitely have great Arabic, but I'm pretty sure it was the "Arabs" who rejected me at Oxford so that's put me off. They really don't like you doing Arabic as a kind of half and half with a subject like Russian, which I knew before I applied, but didn't think it would mean I get rejected by five different colleges. I'm preparing to do a C2 Spanish next year, which I narrowly missed out on this year (probs would have passed if I didn't have to get up at 6 o'clock in the morning and look so young), so I'm going to apply to Cambridge for Russian and Spanish next year, and add in a few other places like UCL, I think there are places with better Russian departments. Best of luck, you'll have a great time.
 
 
 
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