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ICL rather than Oxford just because of the language requirement? watch

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    Hi everybody,

    I'm a french student and I will be studying in the UK next year for a MSc in Computer Science. I have been made offers (among others) for both Oxford and Imperial College London.

    I already read topics on the web where people tell that basically the levels of the two programs are the same, so I figured I had to make the choice myself based on other criteria. the city of Oxford and the university seem more attractive to me than London so I figured my final choice would be Oxford.

    But there is an other side problem. As you may know there is a quite high language requirement for Oxford. They ask for a 110 TOEFL score. I took the TOEFL but I got only 108. That's not bad - and enough for Imperial and all the other universities I applied for. But now if I want to go to Oxford I have to retake it. And to be honest I had quite well prepared for the first time, and after the test I felt as though I had done quite well. So I guess if I want to reach 110 I may have to retake it several times (it costs around 250€ plus almost a whole day each time).

    So here is my question. Since I also have the offer from Imperial, does it seem right to you to change my mind and go there just because of this TOEFL thing? That's what I'm planning to do but I have to say the idea of choosing an university rather than an other because of the TOEFL just makes me feel really bad...

    And I forgot to mention, I already tried to ask Oxford about the TOEFL since I had heard it was possible to get in with slightly less than 110. But they just said they can't bend the rule since applications are considered individually, etc...
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    The IELTS has a higher ceiling than the TOEFL, meaning that careless mistakes have less of an impact on the total score. Oxford requires 7.5 out of 9 on the IELTS, with at least 7 in each skill. You might want to consider taking the IELTS (after prepping, of course), if you think you have a better shot at that.

    Also, have you had a look at the course options in both universities? Which course suits you better?
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    (Original post by Zefiros)
    The IELTS has a higher ceiling than the TOEFL, meaning that careless mistakes have less of an impact on the total score. Oxford requires 7.5 out of 9 on the IELTS, with at least 7 in each skill. You might want to consider taking the IELTS (after prepping, of course), if you think you have a better shot at that.
    I've already thought about it since IELTS speaking part is with a real person (Speaking is basically the part I failed at the TOEFL because the way it's done is really stressing). But there are not many tests scheduled and there is only one test center not really close to me geographically. But still I'll think about it you're probably right!

    I saw that they also accept "Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English". Do you know if it's easier or more difficult compared to the TOEFL?

    (Original post by Zefiros)
    Also, have you had a look at the course options in both universities? Which course suits you better?
    Yes I looked at the courses. It's hard to tell but both are OK for me (it's basically the same kind of stuff). I heard that Oxford courses are more theoretical though, closer to maths which is kind of a plus for me (if there is anyone who can confirm that that would be great!). But I don't know if it's worth retaking the language test^^
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    I think this is a hard question for us to answer and only you yourself could figure out the answer. How badly do you want to go to Oxford? Sure, both are very good universities but do you really want to go to to the oldest university in UK or are you indifferent? Afaik Oxford is more reputable in computing. If I were you I would try my best to continue my study in Oxford. But not sure if that's how it is for you. You might also want to consider other factors like the costs of living.

    Anyway I've never taken the language test so I cannot say anything about that, but you may want to try practicing in a different way, especially if speaking is the area you need to improve, as it takes a lot of practice and getting used to. Good luck!

    PS. I have also obtained an offer from Imperial for MSc in Computing Science (conversion) so if I do make the conditions hopefully I'll be going there... Which CS course are you gonna do? If you do choose Imperial I'll see you there then!
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    Thanks for the answer!
    Yes I have to confess that I like the old, full of tradition University thing. Plus London is quite expensive that also a reason why I wanted to go to Oxford in the first place... I guess what I have to do is do my best to meet the language requirement then!
    When it comes to the courses I like pretty much everything about distributed systems, parallel programming but there are some about these at both Oxford and Imperial...
 
 
 

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