I do Maths, FM, Economics and History... acceptable combination for Oxbridge?

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username1308310
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Hi,


I'm a year 12 student with an ok set of GCSE grades and am currently doing History, Economics, Maths and Further maths A levels.


I previously wanted to study law but after I chose my A levels my interest has shifted more towards History. This was also the result of my history teacher kindly telling me that she thinks I have a better chance of getting into Oxbridge History than I do with law/economics/E&M/LE (statistically but also my school has a much stronger record of sending history candidates into Oxbridge than other subjects) etc, or should I go for other courses?


Before people roast me for "selling my soul" in an attempt to get into Oxbridge, I actually am deeply interested in History (so much that I queued for ages to take a selfie with David Starkey). and I don't think three years of history would no be a burden.


My worry is that I know that my subject combination is not a very conventional one for an aspiring historian, and I do not know if this will put my application in a weaker position compared to applicants with hardcore essay subjects (like History, Philosophy, Politics and English etc).


Also, I did enter a history essay competition (heard nothing from it) and will be doing EPQ, but is there anything else I can do to prove that I can actually write essays?


Thanks
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MattEconomics
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Hey man

Firstly your A levels are fine, all very well respected - I do the same A levels as you and it has not been a problem to secure top university offers.

As for Oxbridge - was interviewed at Oxford for Economics & History (didn't get an offer)

It is true that a significantly greater percentage of history applicants are accepted (by Oxford, don't know about Cambridge) than either law or economics applicants.

If you are trying to maximise your chances, I'd carefully consider all three application exams - the HAT (history) LNAT (law) and TSA (economics) when decidedly what to apply for.

The entrance test is what gets you to the interview stage and that is the only way to get an offer.

Hope this helps & good luck to you!

Matt
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by TommyBrecon)
Hi,


I'm a year 12 student with an ok set of GCSE grades and am currently doing History, Economics, Maths and Further maths A levels.


I previously wanted to study law but after I chose my A levels my interest has shifted more towards History. This was also the result of my history teacher kindly telling me that she thinks I have a better chance of getting into Oxbridge History than I do with law/economics/E&M/LE (statistically but also my school has a much stronger record of sending history candidates into Oxbridge than other subjects) etc, or should I go for other courses?


Before people roast me for "selling my soul" in an attempt to get into Oxbridge, I actually am deeply interested in History (so much that I queued for ages to take a selfie with David Starkey). and I don't think three years of history would no be a burden.


My worry is that I know that my subject combination is not a very conventional one for an aspiring historian, and I do not know if this will put my application in a weaker position compared to applicants with hardcore essay subjects (like History, Philosophy, Politics and English etc).


Also, I did enter a history essay competition (heard nothing from it) and will be doing EPQ, but is there anything else I can do to prove that I can actually write essays?


Thanks
Hi,

I think the short answer is that you should apply for whichever subject you are most interested in and not worry about application statistics. One of the things which is assessed at interview is motivation/fit for the course applied to. If you're dedicated to the course (you keep dreaming about History, or can't stop thinking about Economics) then this will show through, and you shouldn't be concerned about application numbers.

For History, our typical condition offer is A*AA with History and another essay-based or partly-historical subject (e.g. Economics). Note that History is not, in fact, essential to apply for History so they are many different combinations which applicants have.

Entering an essay competition (writing in your spare time) and doing the EPQ are great ways of building and demonstrating your essay-writing skills.
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smile:D
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(Original post by TommyBrecon)
Hi,


I'm a year 12 student with an ok set of GCSE grades and am currently doing History, Economics, Maths and Further maths A levels.


I previously wanted to study law but after I chose my A levels my interest has shifted more towards History. This was also the result of my history teacher kindly telling me that she thinks I have a better chance of getting into Oxbridge History than I do with law/economics/E&M/LE (statistically but also my school has a much stronger record of sending history candidates into Oxbridge than other subjects) etc, or should I go for other courses?


Before people roast me for "selling my soul" in an attempt to get into Oxbridge, I actually am deeply interested in History (so much that I queued for ages to take a selfie with David Starkey). and I don't think three years of history would no be a burden.


My worry is that I know that my subject combination is not a very conventional one for an aspiring historian, and I do not know if this will put my application in a weaker position compared to applicants with hardcore essay subjects (like History, Philosophy, Politics and English etc).


Also, I did enter a history essay competition (heard nothing from it) and will be doing EPQ, but is there anything else I can do to prove that I can actually write essays?


Thanks
I'm a current history student at Cambridge. You really only need History, and the fact you're doing an EPQ will help with your essay writing skills anyway (although I don't think that would be a problem with economics and history).

In terms of degree course, I would go with what you enjoy. If you think you would prefer studying history for 3 years go for that- and likewise for law/economics. However, what I would highlight is that don't pick law/E+M/economics because you think they're more employable (I appreciate this wasn't in the original post, but from my experience this is something people worry about when they pick History). With a few isolated exceptions, employers aren't interested in what you study, but the skills you've learnt from it and that you've done well.

In terms of pre-application preparation- I'd just do lots of reading. EPQ will probably be good essay-writing practise anyway, but once you've finished your exams you could ask your teacher for suggested essay questions, if you wanted to hone your skills.
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username1308310
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(Original post by smile:D)
In terms of pre-application preparation- I'd just do lots of reading. EPQ will probably be good essay-writing practise anyway, but once you've finished your exams you could ask your teacher for suggested essay questions, if you wanted to hone your skills.
Thanks With regards to "lots of reading", I was suggested to read books like "In Defence of History" and also books by Niaill Ferguson, but do you have any particular books you would recommend?
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smile:D
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(Original post by TommyBrecon)
Thanks With regards to "lots of reading", I was suggested to read books like "In Defence of History" and also books by Niaill Ferguson, but do you have any particular books you would recommend?
Books like those are definitely good. To be honest, it doesn't really matter what you read (within reason)- so long as you have an opinion on it and can talk about it at interview. If there's a particular topic you're interested in, then I would read some books about that and think about the main arguments and how convinced you are by them.
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