OABello
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I am doing my GCSEs and I plan to study History at Oxford. How much studying should I do and what grades should I aim to get. Also, should I do A levels or IB.
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Lau14
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(Original post by OABello)
I am doing my GCSEs and I plan to study History at Oxford. How much studying should I do and what grades should I aim to get. Also, should I do A levels or IB.
You should aim to do as well as you can in your GCSEs, because a strong GCSE profile is important when applying to Oxbridge. Note that a good set of GCSEs doesn't mean stressing yourself out to get straight A*! (I recieved an offer for Physics with 4A*, 5A and 2B at GCSE, so what they're really looking for is a consistently good academic record I think? There are people who know more about this than me though)
Try to stay fairly calm, it'll make things a lot easier and more pleasant for you if you can. For History at Oxford you will sit the History aptitude test in November of your second year at college, and this will be the main factor in deciding whether or not you get an interview. Then the HAT combined with your interview performance and UCAS application will decide whether you get a place.

In terms of how much revision you should do, this really depends on you - there is no set formula for so many hours of revision giving you an A*. A revision timetable (even a very flexible one) will probably help you use your time best though. Draw a grid showing the days of the week, and then mark into each day the times you can't revise (when you're in school, if you have a part time job, when you're eating and sleeping). The remaining time is yours to split between revision and some free time - this is important to keep stress down! Take short breaks regularly during revision, as your brain can't just keep taking things in and revision will stop being effective very fast otherwise. If in doubt with how much revision you should do, put down less and increase the time as you go along - if you put down too much and then fail to stick to it you're more likely to just drop it.

To figure out how much revision you think you should be doing, prioritise your subjects. You're probably better at some subjects than others (understanding and remembering things from them), so they need less revision. Spend the most time on any subjects you struggle with. Don't neglect any subjects, even if it's only a little bit of time each week. Find an effective revision method - posters/mind maps, sticking post it notes/posters of things you can't remember easily in a place you see every day, index cards with questions/words on one side and the answer/definition on the back. It would probably help to reread the books etc for English Lit, possibly closer to the exam if you have time, to familiarise yourself so you can find quotes faster.

Both A levels and the IB are accepted qualifications for History at Oxford. Most English applicants sit A levels, but applicants from other countries sit other equivalent qualifications depending on what's offered. I don't know anything about the IB honestly, so I can't really comment. Is one more usual for people in the area where you live?

Good luck
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Mahel
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(Original post by OABello)
I am doing my GCSEs and I plan to study History at Oxford. How much studying should I do and what grades should I aim to get. Also, should I do A levels or IB.

IB for a place like Oxford, it's more structured and has more enrichment. Also, A Levels are being reformed next year so it's a bad time to pick them while the IB is strong and going. Also, you can take your IB qualifications to Harvard as much as you could to Oxford.
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OABello
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(Original post by Lau14)
You should aim to do as well as you can in your GCSEs, because a strong GCSE profile is important when applying to Oxbridge. Note that a good set of GCSEs doesn't mean stressing yourself out to get straight A*! (I recieved an offer for Physics with 4A*, 5A and 2B at GCSE, so what they're really looking for is a consistently good academic record I think? There are people who know more about this than me though)
Try to stay fairly calm, it'll make things a lot easier and more pleasant for you if you can. For History at Oxford you will sit the History aptitude test in November of your second year at college, and this will be the main factor in deciding whether or not you get an interview. Then the HAT combined with your interview performance and UCAS application will decide whether you get a place.

In terms of how much revision you should do, this really depends on you - there is no set formula for so many hours of revision giving you an A*. A revision timetable (even a very flexible one) will probably help you use your time best though. Draw a grid showing the days of the week, and then mark into each day the times you can't revise (when you're in school, if you have a part time job, when you're eating and sleeping). The remaining time is yours to split between revision and some free time - this is important to keep stress down! Take short breaks regularly during revision, as your brain can't just keep taking things in and revision will stop being effective very fast otherwise. If in doubt with how much revision you should do, put down less and increase the time as you go along - if you put down too much and then fail to stick to it you're more likely to just drop it.

To figure out how much revision you think you should be doing, prioritise your subjects. You're probably better at some subjects than others (understanding and remembering things from them), so they need less revision. Spend the most time on any subjects you struggle with. Don't neglect any subjects, even if it's only a little bit of time each week. Find an effective revision method - posters/mind maps, sticking post it notes/posters of things you can't remember easily in a place you see every day, index cards with questions/words on one side and the answer/definition on the back. It would probably help to reread the books etc for English Lit, possibly closer to the exam if you have time, to familiarise yourself so you can find quotes faster.

Both A levels and the IB are accepted qualifications for History at Oxford. Most English applicants sit A levels, but applicants from other countries sit other equivalent qualifications depending on what's offered. I don't know anything about the IB honestly, so I can't really comment. Is one more usual for people in the area where you live?

Good luck
You don't know how much I appreciate what you have just written. I am so grateful that thoughtful people like you still exist! Thank you so much.
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OABello
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(Original post by Mahel)
IB for a place like Oxford, it's more structured and has more enrichment. Also, A Levels are being reformed next year so it's a bad time to pick them while the IB is strong and going. Also, you can take your IB qualifications to Harvard as much as you could to Oxford.
Merci beacoup!
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Lau14
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(Original post by OABello)
You don't know how much I appreciate what you have just written. I am so grateful that thoughtful people like you still exist! Thank you so much.
No problem
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