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    Hello, after many months of contemplating, I've decided to try my chances of applying to either Oxford or Cambridge later in the year. Because of the A level reforms my school have not entered us for any AS exams apart from the subject we're planning to drop(so for me Latin.)
    I achieved 6 A*s,5 As, 1 B and 1 C at GCSES,and I'm predicted A*A*A in Psychology,English Literature and Biology respectively, and A in Latin AS. I'm worried that my GCSEs aren't good enough for Oxbridge. While I was very pleased with my GCSE results,and considering how bad the state school I go to is(in terms of results), I feel that I've done quite well. I went to the Oxford Law Open day on Monday and one of the tutors talked about how much emphasis they place on GCSES,which sort of discouraged me. I feel like everyone applying will have 9 A*s and then there's me with 6 lol.
    I don't want to waste one of my 5 choices applying to Oxbridge if i probably won't even get an interview. I know Cambridge place less focus on GCSEs,but more on ASs and UMS especially. However because of the reforms, some students may not have any AS or UMS to show, and so Cambridge might start placing more emphasis on GCSEs.

    I know my sixth form want me to apply to Oxbridge, but I want to make an informed decision and thought I'd make a thread on here.
    Thanks
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    Might be good to decide on the exact course you want to go for first before checking out the uni

    Or are you going for law?
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    The main thing for Oxford would surely be the LNAT. So start swotting for that and doing any past papers (if they are available!).

    Just to reassure you that with Oxford, things like your home postcode and your school get flagged up on the application. (For Cambridge, you can fill in some special form, IIRC.) So if you went to a bad state school, the admissions tutors will be made aware of this :yes: I would have thought your GCSEs would be fine since they are mostly A*s and As.

    I would encourage you to explore both universities and their environments well, so that you can make a truly informed decision. Law is, of course, one of the few fields in which having a degree from Oxbridge counts more :yes:
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    So I was at an Oxbridgw conference today at Aintree and ALL of the staff at both the uni's said that AS results mean much more than GCSE's. Someone at my college last year got a place to read Philosopy with no A*s at all.

    Think about it this way, would you regret it not applying?
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    The main thing for Oxford would surely be the LNAT. So start swotting for that and doing any past papers (if they are available!).

    Just to reassure you that with Oxford, things like your home postcode and your school get flagged up on the application. (For Cambridge, you can fill in some special form, IIRC.) So if you went to a bad state school, the admissions tutors will be made aware of this :yes: I would have thought your GCSEs would be fine since they are mostly A*s and As.

    I would encourage you to explore both universities and their environments well, so that you can make a truly informed decision. Law is, of course, one of the few fields in which having a degree from Oxbridge counts more :yes:
    Thanks for your response

    Yes, I plan on preparing for the LNAT in summer

    Ah I didn't know about that! So does that mean they look at your grades contextually then?

    Hopefully I'll be able to do that. I applied to the UNIQ Oxford Summer School for Law. I'll be finding out next week if I got accepted. I also plan on going to the Cambridge law open day in june
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    (Original post by AfcFob)
    So I was at an Oxbridgw conference today at Aintree and ALL of the staff at both the uni's said that AS results mean much more than GCSE's. Someone at my college last year got a place to read Philosopy with no A*s at all.

    Think about it this way, would you regret it not applying?
    I'll only have 1 AS grade(in Latin) when applying. The new a level reforms mean that some schools aren't entering their students for AS exams because they no longer count and AS and A2 have been decoupled. Was anything about this brought up in the conference?

    Probably lol
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Might be good to decide on the exact course you want to go for first before checking out the uni

    Or are you going for law?
    Yes Law
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    My GCSE results are a lot worse than yours but I got a Cambridge Law interview. I did have extenuating circumstances and a UMS average above 90, but compared to your grades, mine really are terrible. My friend got an interview for Law at Oxford with less A*s than you (3A*s and 8As I think) and something like AABB at AS.

    Your grades aren't bad, I don't have any stats but 6A*s and 5As seems about average for Oxbridge. Which subject is the C in?
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    (Original post by teenhorrorstory)
    Yes Law
    Ah gotcha

    My mum did law at Cambridge but that was eons ago when the requirements were much lower so I can't help you there - sorry :emo:
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    (Original post by teenhorrorstory)
    Thanks for your response

    Yes, I plan on preparing for the LNAT in summer

    Ah I didn't know about that! So does that mean they look at your grades contextually then?

    Hopefully I'll be able to do that. I applied to the UNIQ Oxford Summer School for Law. I'll be finding out next week if I got accepted. I also plan on going to the Cambridge law open day in june
    Yes, there are about five contextual flags (I forget exactly what they are) and everything will be looked at contextually. So things like your school's A*-C rate (GCSEs) are noted, as well as things like being a young carer and/or being eligible for free school meals, afaik. (This is not to say you'd definitely get an interview if you were to apply - obviously all other aspects of your application would have to be strong, or at least demonstrate potential.)

    Hope you get onto UNIQ. When I was applying it had a different name but was essentially the same thing. I was lucky enough to go on the then-named Sutton Trust summer school for music at Oxford and it completely changed my perceptions about the place and made me eager to go! So I applied and the rest is history

    Do go have a look at Cambridge too :yep:
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    There is nothing wrong with using Oxbridge as one choice. Even if you get rejected you have 4 choices. I however suggest you ensure some of your options are options that will not turn you down so you will definitely have a couple of options to choose from. Also be prepared to face a rejection as there are more people rejected from Oxbridge than are accepted. Hopefully this will not apply to you but it is best to be prepared anyway.
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    (Original post by Shumaya)
    My GCSE results are a lot worse than yours but I got a Cambridge Law interview. I did have extenuating circumstances and a UMS average above 90, but compared to your grades, mine really are terrible. My friend got an interview for Law at Oxford with less A*s than you (3A*s and 8As I think) and something like AABB at AS.

    Your grades aren't bad, I don't have any stats but 6A*s and 5As seems about average for Oxbridge. Which subject is the C in?
    The C is in ICT,I did it in year 9

    Ohh congrats. Did you have lots of law related work experience? Also how was the interview?
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    (Original post by teenhorrorstory)
    Hello, after many months of contemplating, I've decided to try my chances of applying to either Oxford or Cambridge later in the year. Because of the A level reforms my school have not entered us for any AS exams apart from the subject we're planning to drop(so for me Latin.)
    I achieved 6 A*s,5 As, 1 B and 1 C at GCSES,and I'm predicted A*A*A in Psychology,English Literature and Biology respectively, and A in Latin AS. I'm worried that my GCSEs aren't good enough for Oxbridge. While I was very pleased with my GCSE results,and considering how bad the state school I go to is(in terms of results), I feel that I've done quite well. I went to the Oxford Law Open day on Monday and one of the tutors talked about how much emphasis they place on GCSES,which sort of discouraged me. I feel like everyone applying will have 9 A*s and then there's me with 6 lol.
    I don't want to waste one of my 5 choices applying to Oxbridge if i probably won't even get an interview. I know Cambridge place less focus on GCSEs,but more on ASs and UMS especially. However because of the reforms, some students may not have any AS or UMS to show, and so Cambridge might start placing more emphasis on GCSEs.

    I know my sixth form want me to apply to Oxbridge, but I want to make an informed decision and thought I'd make a thread on here.
    Thanks
    For courses other than medicine, if you have a reasonable chance of getting into Oxbridge you might as well. With 6 A*'s you certainly have a decent chance - although some applicants will have 12 A*'s or something crazy like that, the average is surprisingly low. Since you won't have AS's, the usual advice about Cambridge caring less about GCSE's doesn't apply as much. If you do apply to Cambridge, make sure you get as high UMS in Latin as you can (although I suspect they won't place too much weight on a single AS). I would definitely apply, and choose between them based on the courses.
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    I can't say much about law but I can give a few pointers about applying in general if it helps! I think the general outlook (before they changed the A-Levels) was that Oxford focused more on GCSEs and Cambridge more on AS results. In my school I know one girl applied to Cambridge because her GCSEs weren't spectacular but she got good AS results (she got an interview for law but no offer). Similarly I applied to Oxford because I had really good GCSEs but not the most impressive AS results. If you get onto the UNIQ summer school that'll really help your application - 2 out of 4 of my interviewers actually lectured on the summer school which made my interviews much more relaxed! We got shown a graph at UNIQ showing which basically showed number of A*s at GCSE and the amount of people getting interviews and offers - it showed that offers and interviews generally started getting given out around 4 A*s, and that wasn't taking into account contextual flags. Remember your results are compared against other people at your school - if you got 6 A*s where most people get 1 this will look better than if 6 A*s was more of an average result (if that makes sense?!)
    Don't let any of the stats put you off applying though - I thought I had no chance and only really applied because I enjoyed the UNIQ summer school, and I managed to get an offer! Good luck
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Ah gotcha

    My mum did law at Cambridge but that was eons ago when the requirements were much lower so I can't help you there - sorry :emo:
    Really? That's so cool

    OP, your grades aren't bad at all. I got 5A*s and 6As myself, and managed to get an offer for NatSci at Cambridge. It might be different for law though, but they do say that Cambridge generally place less emphasis on GCSE grades. They obviously contextualise your grades too, so if your school was relatively mediocre and you got those grades, it's a positive! I'd say have a look at the courses at either uni and decide which you like better. Your GCSEs seem more than fine for either.

    Also have a look at the admissions process for Cambridge!
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    (Original post by teenhorrorstory)
    The C is in ICT,I did it in year 9

    Ohh congrats. Did you have lots of law related work experience? Also how was the interview?
    I'd actually decided to take a gap year as I wasn't sure what I wanted to study, but after one awesome episode of Suits, I decided that I wanted to do law. This was like a week before the Oxbridge UCAS deadline so I had to write my personal statement in two days and badger my teachers for references/predicted grades. I only had time to skim through one law related book so I included that.

    The interviews were terrible and highlighted the fact that I had no idea what the academic study of law entails, and I ended up taking that gap year. The buildings were pretty though

    If the C was in ICT, I think you should definitely apply. It's only one of your five choices and providing the rest of your application is good, you have just as much of a chance as anyone else.
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    Why don't you find out more about the courses and then visit if you can. It might help you decide (and also improve your application if you do choose to apply)! There's probably no point applying to either 'just because it's Oxbridge' or because your school are being pushy... but go for it with finding out more!!
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    (Original post by teenhorrorstory)
    However because of the reforms, some students may not have any AS or UMS to show, and so Cambridge might start placing more emphasis on GCSEs.
    Nope, they are introducing additional Admissions Assessments (i.e. tests!) for most courses. GCSEs will be no more important than previously (in other words, not very...)

    More info here about the assessments:
    http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ns-assessments

    And Law already has the Cambridge Law Test, so that remains the same as before.
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    (Original post by teenhorrorstory)
    Hello, after many months of contemplating, I've decided to try my chances of applying to either Oxford or Cambridge later in the year. Because of the A level reforms my school have not entered us for any AS exams apart from the subject we're planning to drop(so for me Latin.)
    I achieved 6 A*s,5 As, 1 B and 1 C at GCSES,and I'm predicted A*A*A in Psychology,English Literature and Biology respectively, and A in Latin AS. I'm worried that my GCSEs aren't good enough for Oxbridge. While I was very pleased with my GCSE results,and considering how bad the state school I go to is(in terms of results), I feel that I've done quite well. I went to the Oxford Law Open day on Monday and one of the tutors talked about how much emphasis they place on GCSES,which sort of discouraged me. I feel like everyone applying will have 9 A*s and then there's me with 6 lol.
    I don't want to waste one of my 5 choices applying to Oxbridge if i probably won't even get an interview. I know Cambridge place less focus on GCSEs,but more on ASs and UMS especially. However because of the reforms, some students may not have any AS or UMS to show, and so Cambridge might start placing more emphasis on GCSEs.

    I know my sixth form want me to apply to Oxbridge, but I want to make an informed decision and thought I'd make a thread on here.
    Thanks
    I happened to make this for another thread, might be relevant here! This is for Peterhouse, other Colleges may do things slightly differently, but GCSEs aren't any more important for Law than for any other subject - i.e. not very, and only in context against the rest of your school. GCSEs will not be any more important in the 2017 round than they have been in the past. If you have any questions about the Admissions Assessments, you can get answers from the horse's mouth here:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=3938239

    (But for Law, it is still the Cambridge Law test and things will be very much the same as previously).

    The differences between what Oxford and Cambridge each value more are exaggerated. Both universities are looking for students with the potential to flourish on their courses. Choose the course you like best.
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    Thank you all for your encouragement.
    I know that Oxbridge is incredibly competitive and I'm more likely to get rejected than an offer, but there's no harm in trying so hopefully I'll be able to apply later this year
 
 
 
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