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    So I'm new to this! I've seen TheStudentRoom around a lot and it seems really helpful so I thought why not check it out regarding my own questions.

    Basically, I'm a really paranoid person and I was wondering what you thought my chances were of getting into a prestigious university. I'm in year 10, only 14 (I know I'm really young but I'm just really curious!).

    So last year I did my Core Science GCSE, Spanish GCSE, English GCSE and Maths iGCSE. I got A*s in all of these four subjects (I still have an A in my maths GCSE from year 8 because I haven't retaken it yet).

    Do you guys think I have a chance at getting into somewhere like the Oxbridge universities? I know I still have many GCSES still to do as well as A-levels but yeah..
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    (Original post by girlalmighty)
    So I'm new to this! I've seen TheStudentRoom around a lot and it seems really helpful so I thought why not check it out regarding my own questions.

    Basically, I'm a really paranoid person and I was wondering what you thought my chances were of getting into a prestigious university. I'm in year 10, only 14 (I know I'm really young but I'm just really curious!).

    So last year I did my Core Science GCSE, Spanish GCSE, English GCSE and Maths iGCSE. I got A*s in all of these four subjects (I still have an A in my maths GCSE from year 8 because I haven't retaken it yet).

    Do you guys think I have a chance at getting into somewhere like the Oxbridge universities? I know I still have many GCSES still to do as well as A-levels but yeah..
    I think you have a really good chance. You just need to do really well in your A levels and make sure you choose what subjects you want to study wisely. Almost all universities look at work experience and extra curricular activities too- not just grades! A large influence is put in your personal statement too so make sure it's brilliant.

    Even if you don't get into Oxford/Cambridge there's still loads of amazing universities out there, some of which get better results for certain individual subjects. At the end of the day you want the best university for your subject, social preferences etc. good luck!


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    (Original post by Leanne1455)
    I think you have a really good chance. You just need to do really well in your A levels and make sure you choose what subjects you want to study wisely. Almost all universities look at work experience and extra curricular activities too- not just grades! A large influence is put in your personal statement too so make sure it's brilliant.

    Even if you don't get into Oxford/Cambridge there's still loads of amazing universities out there, some of which get better results for certain individual subjects. At the end of the day you want the best university for your subject, social preferences etc. good luck!


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    I do extra-curricular such as netball, and I'm also in First Story. I don't know if you know what that is but it's a writing programme where small group of kids are picked form the group to do weekly workshops with an author and chip in for an anthology at the end of the course.

    However, I did only do three days of work experience. :/ It was at a nursery (and to be honest I'm not looking towards working with children in the future at all so I'm not sure about that to be honest) because it was a meant to be for a week. However, the first day of the week the nursery was closed and the last day of the week I sick so I only did three days. Do you think that would be a problem or?
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    (Original post by girlalmighty)
    I do extra-curricular such as netball, and I'm also in First Story. I don't know if you know what that is but it's a writing programme where small group of kids are picked form the group to do weekly workshops with an author and chip in for an anthology at the end of the course.

    However, I did only do three days of work experience. :/ It was at a nursery (and to be honest I'm not looking towards working with children in the future at all so I'm not sure about that to be honest) because it was a meant to be for a week. However, the first day of the week the nursery was closed and the last day of the week I sick so I only did three days. Do you think that would be a problem or?
    Not at all. Your sixth form or college will probably want you to do a weeks worth of work experience anyway. In year 10 I did work experience at a local company which was nothing to do with my school work. However last year I did a weeks work experience teaching languages in a primary school. I'm starting my degree in modern languages and translation studies this September at Birmingham with an unconditional offer. I know somebody who applied for Oxford this year we good AS grades and a brilliant work experience and personal statement. She didn't get an interview however she was applying for law which is really popular. Also it depends on the number of applicants each year. What do you want to study?


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    Your work experience is not what will get you accepted or rejected to Oxbridge. Your grades, ability and enthusiasm for your subject will do that.

    You haven't specified what you want to study, but a good string of A/A*s at GCSE and then at A-level will always stand you in good stead. Make sure you choose sensible A-level subjects, and that you take enough exams at the end of year 13 if your school is one to stagger exams. They will want you to be completing at least three full A2s at the same time, and may not count grades from exams you have taken earlier.
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    (Original post by girlalmighty)
    So I'm new to this! I've seen TheStudentRoom around a lot and it seems really helpful so I thought why not check it out regarding my own questions.

    Basically, I'm a really paranoid person and I was wondering what you thought my chances were of getting into a prestigious university. I'm in year 10, only 14 (I know I'm really young but I'm just really curious!).

    So last year I did my Core Science GCSE, Spanish GCSE, English GCSE and Maths iGCSE. I got A*s in all of these four subjects (I still have an A in my maths GCSE from year 8 because I haven't retaken it yet).

    Do you guys think I have a chance at getting into somewhere like the Oxbridge universities? I know I still have many GCSES still to do as well as A-levels but yeah..

    (Original post by Leanne1455)
    I think you have a really good chance. You just need to do really well in your A levels and make sure you choose what subjects you want to study wisely. Almost all universities look at work experience and extra curricular activities too- not just grades! A large influence is put in your personal statement too so make sure it's brilliant.

    Even if you don't get into Oxford/Cambridge there's still loads of amazing universities out there, some of which get better results for certain individual subjects. At the end of the day you want the best university for your subject, social preferences etc. good luck!


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    This advice is total rubbish, please ignore it OP. Extra-curriculars have very little impact on your chances, same for your personal statement (this may be false at other universities though). What will have an impact are your grades and you aptitude and motivation for your chosen subject.
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    (Original post by james22)
    This advice is total rubbish, please ignore it OP. Extra-curriculars have very little impact on your chances, same for your personal statement (this may be false at other universities though). What will have an impact are your grades and you aptitude and motivation for your chosen subject.
    😐


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    Let's face it people with the best grades apply to this type of Uni. So put yourself in the position of an admissions tutor. You have two applicants with the same grades but one of them has a wide extra curricular timetable/excellent work experience. Which one would you choose to invite to an interview if competition is high?

    So yes it may work differently to other universities in the respect that they pay more attention to grades than the rounded individual but it could still play a big role so it's really not rubbish advice at all.


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    (Original post by Leanne1455)
    Let's face it people with the best grades apply to this type of Uni. So put yourself in the position of an admissions tutor. You have two applicants with the same grades but one of them has a wide extra curricular timetable/excellent work experience. Which one would you choose to invite to an interview if competition is high?

    So yes it may work differently to other universities in the respect that they pay more attention to grades than the rounded individual but it could still play a big role so it's really not rubbish advice at all.


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    work experience is important for medicine, but much less so for most other courses

    the personal statement is important for Universities which don't systematically interview before deciding on offers, but widely irrelevant for Oxford and Cambridge
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    (Original post by Leanne1455)
    Let's face it people with the best grades apply to this type of Uni. So put yourself in the position of an admissions tutor. You have two applicants with the same grades but one of them has a wide extra curricular timetable/excellent work experience. Which one would you choose to invite to an interview if competition is high?

    So yes it may work differently to other universities in the respect that they pay more attention to grades than the rounded individual but it could still play a big role so it's really not rubbish advice at all.


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    Yeah...no. They'd interview both candidates and evaluate them academically, they don't CARE what ECs you have. Both universities interview the majority of candidates. If you've got ECs in your subject (so called 'super-curriculars') then they'd care or if it were medicine, they'd care but ECs are the last thing they care about. I didn't have any ECs, and they weren't mentioned at all, my interviews were purely academic. The only thing lots of ECs can show is good time management if you do a lot outside of school and still manage to get good grades, but it's not an important factor.
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    (Original post by Leanne1455)
    Let's face it people with the best grades apply to this type of Uni. So put yourself in the position of an admissions tutor. You have two applicants with the same grades but one of them has a wide extra curricular timetable/excellent work experience. Which one would you choose to invite to an interview if competition is high?
    They base it on the tests they do, not extra curriculars.

    So yes it may work differently to other universities in the respect that they pay more attention to grades than the rounded individual but it could still play a big role so it's really not rubbish advice at all.


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    How many Oxbridge admissions tutors have you spoken to for you to find this out? It is total rubbish, and is harmful information to people trying to make informed decisions about there future. If you don't know what you are talking about then please don't give advice about it.

    Source: Oxford student, and my tutors.
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    (Original post by james22)
    They base it on the tests they do, not extra curriculars.



    How many Oxbridge admissions tutors have you spoken to for you to find this out? It is total rubbish, and is harmful information to people trying to make informed decisions about there future. If you don't know what you are talking about then please don't give advice about it.

    Source: Oxford student, and my tutors.
    My law tutor is an Oxford graduate so please get from your high horse.


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    (Original post by Leanne1455)
    My law tutor is an Oxford graduate so please get from your high horse.


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    My maths tutor is an Oxford admissions tutor, I have spoken to many admissions tutors. They all say the same thing. What exactly does your law tutor tell you and when did they graduate?
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    She graduated a few years ago. The advice she gave to an Oxford applicant in my class was, as you say, to focus on the grades first and foremost but that w personal statement and work experience are important in making you stand out. Extra curricular like most universities just show the rounded individual. I think it is ridiculous to say just concentrate on the academic performance as what happens if you aren't accepted to Oxbridge and are applying to a "normal" university who do look at these things. One person I know for example was a straight A student who didn't get an interview there. She's now going to Durham based on academic performance, excellent personal statement and work experience in a law firm.


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    (Original post by Leanne1455)
    She graduated a few years ago. The advice she gave to an Oxford applicant in my class was, as you say, to focus on the grades first and foremost but that w personal statement and work experience are important in making you stand out. Extra curricular like most universities just show the rounded individual. I think it is ridiculous to say just concentrate on the academic performance as what happens if you aren't accepted to Oxbridge and are applying to a "normal" university who do look at these things. One person I know for example was a straight A student who didn't get an interview there. She's now going to Durham based on academic performance, excellent personal statement and work experience in a law firm.


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    For an Oxbridge application, this is bad advice. Personal statements don't really matter, and nor do extra curriculars. Some tutors won't even read your PS, and several advise you to write it for your second choice university.

    These things do matter to other places, but not Oxbridge. Not sure why you brought up a straight A students not getting an interview, as almost every applicant has straight As and many don't get interviews. It isn't rare.
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    (Original post by james22)
    For an Oxbridge application, this is bad advice. Personal statements don't really matter, and nor do extra curriculars. Some tutors won't even read your PS, and several advise you to write it for your second choice university.

    These things do matter to other places, but not Oxbridge. Not sure why you brought up a straight A students not getting an interview, as almost every applicant has straight As and many don't get interviews. It isn't rare.
    With my experience of the system and everyone I've spoken to says this. They didn't even mention or care about my PS at interview.
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    That's quite bad don't you think?


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    Personal statement usage is widely dependant on course and college - but they are important and should be worked on - even if it means they are only really considered by your other uni choices.

    To the OP - continue working hard at your GCSEs to get as many A/A*s as possible. Choose decent A Levels and do some reading around your subject of choice. There's no rush - just enjoy your time that you have now and enjoy your learning, leave the admissions worries till lower sixth
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    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    To be honest, I don't know, at all, what I want to study. I want to take either medicine or law. The thing is, I do enjoy the sciences, so I think that I would find it easy and well, suited to me to take my a-levels around chemistry/biology. However, I'm not sure if I actually want to take medicine as a career, so.
    On the other hand, law is, whilst something I'm not very well informed about, something that I would be intrigued in learning about and potentially having a career around. Though the problem with this is, I would have to take essay-based a-levels like history and english, and I wouldn't really enjoy those at all.
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    (Original post by girlalmighty)
    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    To be honest, I don't know, at all, what I want to study. I want to take either medicine or law. The thing is, I do enjoy the sciences, so I think that I would find it easy and well, suited to me to take my a-levels around chemistry/biology. However, I'm not sure if I actually want to take medicine as a career, so.
    On the other hand, law is, whilst something I'm not very well informed about, something that I would be intrigued in learning about and potentially having a career around. Though the problem with this is, I would have to take essay-based a-levels like history and english, and I wouldn't really enjoy those at all.
    To clarify on the whole extracurricular debate, Oxford/Cambridge will always prefer to take the student with more aptitude at their subject than one who is slightly more 'well-rounded'. Sure in the hypothetical scenario of an absolute dead heat between two applicants, ECs might make a difference - but in real life this never happens.

    Your position now is a solid base to apply from. Reading up on medicine and law beyond your current syllabus will help both with deciding which you prefer and prepare you for Oxbridge interviews. After that the crucial step is doing well at A Levels. Note for Medicine at Oxford (and to a slightly lesser extent at Cambridge) you will also want as many A* at GCSE as possible.

    Don't worry though - you have plenty of time on your side .

    And btw you don't actually need essay subjects at A Level to make a successful application for Law (at least at Cambridge).
 
 
 
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