I've heard that many Oxbridge colleges place a high importance on school prizes and the like. Will they necessarily look down upon someone applying who has not come top in their year group for the subject they wish to study? What would be their attitude to someone who has perhaps won prizes in other subjects, but not in the subject they wish to study at university, if these subjects are fairly irrelevant to the choice of course? I'm worried they might think: why are you applying to study X? You should be applying to study Y! and that they might interpret this as a sign of a lack of passion for the subject and that your real interests lie elsewhere.
If I genuinely want to do the subject I'm applying for above all others, but just haven't won any prizes for it or anything like that, could this be harmful to my application?
Thanks in advance for any replies.