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To Oxbridge students: Were you seen as the (one of the) smartest in your year? Watch

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    I was generally considered the cleverest in my year, but it was a smallish private school (about 60 in my year at 6th form) so definitely a big fish-small pond effect. We didn't have Oxbridge clubs/trips or anything, were just expected to sort things out for ourselves.
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    (Original post by cerlohee)
    I was an A* short of making my offer so went to my insurance
    It is worth pointing out to anyone confused that an "offer" does not equate to a place.

    Both Oxford and Cambridge tend to be pretty hard core in insisting that you meet the terms of the offer. I know of other examples of people who missed the offer by a grade and couldn't go.

    It will depend on the College I think but it is pretty rare as far as I know??
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    (Original post by laura5746352)
    I thought I'd ask this question, as today our year (Year 11) was given a talk about Oxford and Cambridge. But the thing is, only a few students were selected to have this talk. I guess I was fairly hurt by this. Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying "ohhh yes I'm so smarttt Oxford and Cambridge should be begging for me to join themm" it was more our school saying "only these people should consider Oxford and Cambridge" and as a person who'd like to go there, it was pretty much a smack in the face. I also don't think there was any reason behind it. I am aiming for As and A*s (courtesy of the odd B) and I don't like to think for GCSE that is a horrendous set of results - I doubt you need a set of 12 A*s. It's quite cruel to only choose a few people at this stage, it's almost a sort of favouritism. But! That's enough of my story, I'd like to hear yours. So tell me, if you're a person who went to Oxford or Cambridge, (or even still there) where you always perceived as the brightest (or in the 'top group'?) Also feel free to share other peoples stories (if you know them) as well! Many thanks !
    When I left school, in my yearbook I won the prize for 'person least likely to hold down a job'. Suppose that still could turn out to be true, though

    And I think it's really unfair that your school overtly selects those it considers 'Oxbridge material'. I'm not saying its unnatural to think some students have a better chance than others, but selecting students like that can only put off the others. I honestly believe that if more of us - teachers and students - took the time to understand the admissions process properly, then there wouldn't be so many unfair preconceptions about it, and there would be a better mix of students at Oxbridge.
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    (Original post by JezWeCan!)

    It will depend on the College I think but it is pretty rare as far as I know??
    It is pretty rare and such decisions are made on a case-by-case basis :yes:
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    (Original post by JezWeCan!)
    It is worth pointing out to anyone confused that an "offer" does not equate to a place.

    Both Oxford and Cambridge tend to be pretty hard core in insisting that you meet the terms of the offer. I know of other examples of people who missed the offer by a grade and couldn't go.

    It will depend on the College I think but it is pretty rare as far as I know??
    Rare to be accepted if you miss the offer? Not necessarily. It depends on many things, including which part of the offer you missed and by how much.

    e.g. any offer with a STEP element is likely to be accepted if you hit the STEP but miss something else in the offer

    For example, offer: A*A*A , 1, 1 in STEP II & III - but you get A*A*B 1,1 you would almost certainly be accepted
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Rare to be accepted if you miss the offer? Not necessarily. It depends on many things, including which part of the offer you missed and by how much.

    e.g. any offer with a STEP element is likely to be accepted if you hit the STEP but miss something else in the offer

    For example, offer: A*A*A , 1, 1 in STEP II & III - but you get A*A*B 1,1 you would almost certainly be accepted
    for maths I suppose yes, but I suppose if you applied for engineering and a had grade 1 in STEP 1 as your offer and you manage to get your grade 1 but somehow you end up with a C or something in physics I think there is a good chance you might not get in...
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    I know someone who went to Cambridge and she had dyslexia and yes my school didn't consider her to be clever either she was in the second lowest set. its really annoying when they do that thing where they only put certain students in for talks then the rest of us in crappy ones because apparently Oxbridge is only for a certain type of people.
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    (Original post by imsoanonymous123)
    for maths I suppose yes, but I suppose if you applied for engineering and a had grade 1 in STEP 1 as your offer and you manage to get your grade 1 but somehow you end up with a C or something in physics I think there is a good chance you might not get in...
    If the Engineering offer specified an A* in Physics and you got an A (and 1 in STEP I) youd almost certainly get in. But yeah a C might be pushing it.

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    (Original post by jneill)
    If the Engineering offer specified an A* in Physics and you got an A (and 1 in STEP I) youd almost certainly get in. But yeah a C might be pushing it.

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    damn those offers are so dank then; if i applied for engineering i would have the easy life
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    (Original post by imsoanonymous123)
    damn those offers are so dank then; if i applied for engineering i would have the easy life
    STEP =/= easy.

    (and only a very few colleges use if for engineering offers)

    Edit to add: just remembered you are a mathmo! Yeah, can understand your jealousy of Engineering STEP offers But then again these guys aren't supposed to be mathematicians, they are just mechmos.
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    (Original post by laura5746352)
    I thought I'd ask this question, as today our year (Year 11) was given a talk about Oxford and Cambridge. But the thing is, only a few students were selected to have this talk. I guess I was fairly hurt by this. Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying "ohhh yes I'm so smarttt Oxford and Cambridge should be begging for me to join themm" it was more our school saying "only these people should consider Oxford and Cambridge" and as a person who'd like to go there, it was pretty much a smack in the face. I also don't think there was any reason behind it. I am aiming for As and A*s (courtesy of the odd B) and I don't like to think for GCSE that is a horrendous set of results - I doubt you need a set of 12 A*s. It's quite cruel to only choose a few people at this stage, it's almost a sort of favouritism. But! That's enough of my story, I'd like to hear yours. So tell me, if you're a person who went to Oxford or Cambridge, (or even still there) where you always perceived as the brightest (or in the 'top group'?) Also feel free to share other peoples stories (if you know them) as well! Many thanks !
    I didn't get invited on any of the Oxbridge conferences or trips at my school but I applied anyway and got a place! Don't let your school overlooking you put you off applying because their perception of an ideal Oxbridge applicant is probably wrong. Make sure you look into things like summer schools such as UNIQ and the Oxbridge conferences that your school might not tell you about because a lot of the other offer holders I know from different schools found them really useful. Also it's way more satisfying to get an Oxbridge place and prove your school wrong for not supporting you than get a place from being spoon fed the whole way.
    Finally, as for how I'm perceived academically by my school and peers I think this quote sums it up;

    (Original post by ethanstoddart)
    the others may be passionate and all but they're definitely not anything amazing to be honest
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    P.S Don't think Fearon would be pleased to see you chatting :poo: about your peers on the internet Ethan not the move of a 'true intellect' :dunce:
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    I was on the school's Gifted and Talented list for music and was towards the top of the year and always getting good or at least solid grades, but I wasn't on the borough-wide Gifted and Talented list, due to my Year 7 CAT results (I'm not good at maths and things like spatial awareness). My school (a bog-standard, somewhat dodgy comprehensive school in West London) refused to let me learn Latin, since I wasn't on the borough-wide G&T list. My form tutor spoke to the deputy head about it because she believed I was clever enough and that it might help me later on in life, but school said no :mad:

    When it came for Oxbridge taster days and stuff, I was always invited and selected. But by the time we got to Year 13 and applications were going to be made, my school were less supportive. This was because I had got aaac at AS, with the C in Physics AS. My school's Oxbridge coordinator was pretty rude about it and heavily implied that it was a wasted application, though she didn't stop me from applying.

    Guess who was the only person from my school to get into Oxford OR Cambridge in about a four-year period? :pierre:


    Thank-you for your reply ! (and to everyone elses, of course) you deserve an award
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    (Original post by Kvothe the arcane)
    My GCSEs were too rubbish to be in the Oxbridge group (though was in Russel Group group). I now hold an Cambridge offer.
    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing that with me, I'm starting to feel much more motivated
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    Oh my god. I feel so bad that your school actually did this. Please don't be discouraged in any way.

    From anecdotal evidence of my own life I can tell you that how much confidence your teachers have in you have NOTHING to do with your likelihood of getting into Cambridge.

    This guy in my school got 42/45 predicted for IB, and he was our teachers' FAVOURITE student. Yeah sure, he was a bright kid and knew how to make teachers happy, but he didn't even get an interview at Cambridge.

    Le me on the other hand -- hated by many of my teachers, simply because I don't listen in class (we all learn differently right?). My business teacher even calculated my predicted grade wrongly--from a 7 to a 6, and when I asked her why she said that I'm not good enough, that I'm just in denial. But when she was forced to calculate the percentages again in front of the IB coordinator my score turned out to be a 7. "Accident".

    My English teacher also predicted me a 6 instead of 7.

    In the end I got 777 and an Oxford offer. If there was a kind of Oxbridge talk at my school, you can be sure I would not have been invited. Rmb that teachers are humans too, and they're full of bias and favoritism.

    FYI I only got 4 A*s for gcse, but I aced my Oxford entrance exam. Hope it helps.


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    Other way round: I am considered to be the brightest student in my year group (150 people) and still got rejected - grades don't mean too much if they meet the requirements.
    (Hope that doesn't sound arrogant, but everybody tells me that they perceive me as the brightest student and I also have the best grades - but I was an international applicant (EU) and nobody ever applied to Oxbridge from my school)


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    Well I can't believe that's what's happening in your school. Even though the head of sixth form really stresses about the amount of commitment and difficulty it takes for Oxbridge application, he still encourage most people with good grades to apply for it. Though we managed to pull a 1 in 6 for getting into oxford (just as it says on the website ).

    I think they are encouraging more to apply because only one got an offer last year from Cambridge, and he didn't make it.

    In terms of the smartest kids, there three that peaks and biology and chemistry which got into Cambridge Nat Sci and medicine, and one incredibly good and maths but didn't get invited to interview(but lazy and chilled). I am probably more like a geek/nerd who likes physics a lot and can't stop talking about science.

    So my advice is to do what you love, if you think you have a slim (simply because no one is guaranteed Oxbridge) chance then definitely go for it! In the end, they are looking for people with potential, or at least those that makes them believe they have potential (cough cough,.....)
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    (Original post by laura5746352)
    I thought I'd ask this question, as today our year (Year 11) was given a talk about Oxford and Cambridge. But the thing is, only a few students were selected to have this talk. I guess I was fairly hurt by this. Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying "ohhh yes I'm so smarttt Oxford and Cambridge should be begging for me to join themm" it was more our school saying "only these people should consider Oxford and Cambridge" and as a person who'd like to go there, it was pretty much a smack in the face. I also don't think there was any reason behind it. I am aiming for As and A*s (courtesy of the odd B) and I don't like to think for GCSE that is a horrendous set of results - I doubt you need a set of 12 A*s. It's quite cruel to only choose a few people at this stage, it's almost a sort of favouritism. But! That's enough of my story, I'd like to hear yours. So tell me, if you're a person who went to Oxford or Cambridge, (or even still there) where you always perceived as the brightest (or in the 'top group'?) Also feel free to share other peoples stories (if you know them) as well! Many thanks !
    I think we could all give examples of people who were regarded as very strong applicants who didn't get offers and "not Oxbridge material" students in GCSE year who did. Sometimes people don't really apply themselves until sixth form or have abilities which are heavily skewed towards a few subjects. Sometimes the straight GCSE A* people apply for the very highly competitive subjects and underestimate the competition.
    Don't be too hard on your school though. By saying to you now that your GCSE grades are predicted to be below the typical Oxbridge candidate (for your school) they may just motivate you to work harder, focus your mind and prove them wrong. Sometimes it is important to force pupils and their parents to realise there is life beyond Oxbridge and consider other places.

    Cambridge produce lots of charts showing the typical spread of GCSE A* grades and AS UMS for different courses. You are quite correct that for the overwhelming majority of courses there are people with 4-6A* getting offers all the time. A "relevant B" such as in Maths or English may be a problem and you will be disadvantaged as you won't have AS UMS in most subjects but I wouldn't give up just yet. Turn your annoyance into working as hard as you can for your GCSEs.
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    (Original post by laura5746352)
    I thought I'd ask this question, as today our year (Year 11) was given a talk about Oxford and Cambridge. But the thing is, only a few students were selected to have this talk. I guess I was fairly hurt by this. Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying "ohhh yes I'm so smarttt Oxford and Cambridge should be begging for me to join themm" it was more our school saying "only these people should consider Oxford and Cambridge" and as a person who'd like to go there, it was pretty much a smack in the face. I also don't think there was any reason behind it. I am aiming for As and A*s (courtesy of the odd B) and I don't like to think for GCSE that is a horrendous set of results - I doubt you need a set of 12 A*s. It's quite cruel to only choose a few people at this stage, it's almost a sort of favouritism. But! That's enough of my story, I'd like to hear yours. So tell me, if you're a person who went to Oxford or Cambridge, (or even still there) where you always perceived as the brightest (or in the 'top group'?) Also feel free to share other peoples stories (if you know them) as well! Many thanks !
    The only person who can do it is you. These kinds of pre-selections can be arbritrary (just like the admissions process can be), so don't let it discourage you from trying.
 
 
 
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