Are some Oxford colleges harder to get into than others?

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longsightdon
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I've been allocated to Christ church and one of my teachers said it is a lot harder to get into than other colleges. I know that CC is very popular but is this true? Thanks.
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brendan.
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(Original post by longsightdon)
I've been allocated to Christ church and one of my teachers said it is a lot harder to get into than other colleges. I know that CC is very popular but is this true? Thanks.
The fact that you've been allocated ChCh would suggest that it wasn't one of the most popular college choices for your subject this year, but this is simply down to the tastes of the applicant pool. The college you are interviewed at shouldn't effect your chances of receiving an offer. If you deserve to be offered a place, you will be pooled to other colleges instead.

ChCh is a famous college ('cause of Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, prime ministers etc.) so many have heard of it, and typically the famous colleges are quoted as being harder to get into, but this isn't really the case. However, ChCh is amazing (not biased at all...) :grin:
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Baron of Sealand
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Oxford said there's no difference, and indeed based on published information there's no way of knowing.

It's true that some colleges have more applicants and some have fewer, and the acceptance rates vary. But acceptance rates mean nothing. If it's easier to get into Somerville than to Worcester, then you can also say it's easier to get into Oxford than Brookes, by the same logic.

But no, ChCh isn't the most applied to college and the acceptance rate also isn't the lowest. It's relatively slightly more popular than some of the other colleges, but there's no big difference and people only assume that they're the best and most popular one because The Boy Who Lived went there.
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Pars12
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(Original post by longsightdon)
I've been allocated to Christ church and one of my teachers said it is a lot harder to get into than other colleges. I know that CC is very popular but is this true? Thanks.
They try to balance the numbers but also the spread of applicants for any particular college. This is done on a subject-by-subject basis so the concept of "harder to get into" is a bit multi-dimensional.

Nice college, big quad, 'though.
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nexttime
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(Original post by longsightdon)
I know that CC is very popular
Actually it isn't. Its a bit above average in terms of the number of applicants it attracts, but not even top third if you measure per place.
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longsightdon
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(Original post by nexttime)
Actually it isn't. Its a bit above average in terms of the number of applicants it attracts, but not even top third.
oh wow my bad what are the most popular colleges?
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nexttime
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(Original post by longsightdon)
oh wow my bad what are the most popular colleges?
Worcester has been most popular for about a decade. Brasenose, Balliol, Magdalen are also popular.
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Josb
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Yes, All Souls is quite selective.
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RichE
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(Original post by longsightdon)
oh wow my bad what are the most popular colleges?
In terms of absolute numbers, Brasenose has been the most popular for the last four admissions cycles (2012-2015), and Worcester was for the previous six and remains relatively popular. Other popular colleges this year are St John's, Keble, Balliol, Magdalen, New.
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hermionegrangcr
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(Original post by RichE)
In terms of absolute numbers, Brasenose has been the most popular for the last four admissions cycles (2012-2015), and Worcester was for the previous six and remains relatively popular. Other popular colleges this year are St John's, Keble, Balliol, Magdalen, New.
The 'Harry Potter' effect. Emma Watson was at Worcester for 1 year and Christ Church is modelled as a Harry Potter location.
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BJack
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(Original post by hermionegrangcr)
The 'Harry Potter' effect. Emma Watson was at Worcester for 1 year and Christ Church is modelled as a Harry Potter location.
Emma Watson was at Worcester in 2011–12; it was the six years before then that it was the most popular college.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Josb)
Yes, All Souls is quite selective.
Which is ironic, given its name, eh?
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nexttime
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(Original post by hermionegrangcr)
The 'Harry Potter' effect. Emma Watson was at Worcester for 1 year
Worcester was most popular before Emma Watson.

Brasenose, on the other hand, saw a remarkable jump in applications the year David Cameron became PM.
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BrasenoseAdm
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(Original post by nexttime)
Worcester was most popular before Emma Watson.

Brasenose, on the other hand, saw a remarkable jump in applications the year David Cameron became PM.
Direct applications in 2010 were about 17.6% higher than in 2009.

While it is true that Brasenose receives a large number of direct applications, very few open applications are reallocated to us. Since there are around 3,800 open applications to reallocate every year (more than 3x more than even the most popular colleges in terms of direct applications), this tends to even things up. There are further reallocations at the pre-interview stage because selection is carried out by academics with both college and departmental hats. Essentially, all candidates with sufficiently strong profiles (including test scores) should be interviewed and by this stage the college pools are in proportion to available places. Further reallocation takes place post-interview as high ranked applicants in excess of college quota are reallocated.

Overall, the odds of getting a place at Oxford if you apply to Brasenose are statistically in line with Oxford as a whole (between 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 for most courses). Around half of our direct applicants who get places receive an offer from another college.

While some courses are harder to get into than others in the sense they have a very high number of applicants than places, there are no easy colleges in admissions terms. If there were, every candidate would make a direct application to them and it would follow that Brasenose must be 'one of the easiest colleges'.
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