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    Hi, I've just finished my A2s and missed my Cambridge offer to study English. I only did 2 A Levels due to very extreme extenuating circumstances regarding my health and vision ( therefore dropped biology and chemistry, more practical subjects). Now I've finished with 2As in English Literature and Religious studies. ( My offer was A*A). I'm horrified I missed my English A*, as I was averaging 98.5% till my last exam where I got a B I really enjoyed that exam too...

    So now I'm in a really difficult situation, but am determined to get out of it. I'd like to - one day- apply for Oxford's English course. I have some concerns, however. I know Universities of Oxford's level would not take my English grade too well, especially if that's the subject I'm applying for, even if I retake the exam I got a B in and get an A* overall. Would it be worth completing another English A Level of a different board and spec in a year and getting an A* in that so universities have more faith in my ability?

    I only have 2 A Levels. And I suppose Oxford want more. So I am doing 2 other full A Levels, perhaps Classics and Politics/ History to go with my new English A Level ( thankfully the A Level reforms make this easier).

    Then, hopefully, after getting these grades in a year, I'd apply! Does this all sound good? My situation is so complicated so it's hard to find advice...
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    I'm sure the uni will have dealt with similar situations in the past so have you tried contacting them for advice? I'd retake the exam you didn't do well in rather than trying to switch boards and do the whole thing in a short amount of time.
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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    I'm sure the uni will have dealt with similar situations in the past so have you tried contacting them for advice? I'd retake the exam you didn't do well in rather than trying to switch boards and do the whole thing in a short amount of time.
    I think I can. I'd retake but they're not going to take that seriously.,
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    (Original post by OriginalLifelin)
    I think I can. I'd retake but they're not going to take that seriously.,
    they aren't? it's not an uncommon thing for a capable candidate to retake an exam for whatever reason. I don't believe the attitude towards retakes, especially when you improve your grade to A* standard, is that discriminatory (except in the case of, say, medicine). in any case, it's definitely worth making contact with admissions before you make any decisions, I think
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    (Original post by pluston)
    they aren't? it's not an uncommon thing for a capable candidate to retake an exam for whatever reason. I don't believe the attitude towards retakes, especially when you improve your grade to A* standard, is that discriminatory (except in the case of, say, medicine). in any case, it's definitely worth making contact with admissions before you make any decisions, I think
    I called them a few hours ago and they weren't very helpful.... They said ' do what's best for you'...
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    (Original post by OriginalLifelin)
    I called them a few hours ago and they weren't very helpful.... They said ' do what's best for you'...
    I think you need to do just that and worry about this later.


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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    I think you need to do just that and worry about this later.


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    But I still don't know whether I shoukd resit the paper if do a different English A Level... I'm honestly okay with either, the only reason I'm considering doing the whole thing again is because they look down at resits don't they ? I want to maximise my chances. Having applied to Cambridge, I know how competetive it is.
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    (Original post by OriginalLifelin)
    But I still don't know whether I shoukd resit the paper if do a different English A Level... I'm honestly okay with either, the only reason I'm considering doing the whole thing again is because they look down at resits don't they ? I want to maximise my chances. Having applied to Cambridge, I know how competetive it is.
    I've already answered your question so now we're just going round in circles. Good luck!


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    (Original post by OriginalLifelin)
    But I still don't know whether I shoukd resit the paper if do a different English A Level... I'm honestly okay with either, the only reason I'm considering doing the whole thing again is because they look down at resits don't they ? I want to maximise my chances. Having applied to Cambridge, I know how competetive it is.
    You've already decided to do another 2 'new' "A" Levels. That's a lot of pressure to put on yourself after what sounds like a tough last year. I'd really want a cast-iron guarantee that it would be worthwhile to add switching exam boards for the English "A" resit to that. And I doubt anyone can offer that guarantee.

    I'd also add what many others have said elsewhere - don't get hypnotised into believing that getting into Oxbridge is all that counts. I should know - I went, and hated it!
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    (Original post by OriginalLifelin)
    I called them a few hours ago and they weren't very helpful.... They said ' do what's best for you'...
    Commiserations on the A-level outcome which we appreciate is tough for you to come to terms with right now.

    To be fair to the people you spoke to, the advice you are seeking appears to go beyond just admissions guidance. Based on what you've said, we would suggest re-sitting the module you achieved a B in (assuming this is possible) because it seems to us that getting an A* in English is important to you.

    More generally, you will need to work out how to spend the next year and may have to decide how easy it is to combine employment with study. Unless you are able to live at home and be supported this way, we think starting new A-level courses is a major undertaking. Picking up one of the two dropped A-levels could be an option - our advice would be to go back to your school and seek their advice. We appreciate though that your health situation may not make this feasible.

    If reading English at Oxford or Cambridge is still your aim, then you could reapply by the October deadline and to ask your referee to provide a commentary on your circumstances. It would be better to do this taking a 3rd A-level so that you can meet the AAA standard offer. However, you may have reasons for wanting to take a time-out - the Universities will still be here in 12 months time so, in conclusion, you will ahve to do what you decide is best overall.
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    (Original post by BrasenoseAdm)
    Commiserations on the A-level outcome which we appreciate is tough for you to come to terms with right now.

    To be fair to the people you spoke to, the advice you are seeking appears to go beyond just admissions guidance. Based on what you've said, we would suggest re-sitting the module you achieved a B in (assuming this is possible) because it seems to us that getting an A* in English is important to you.

    More generally, you will need to work out how to spend the next year and may have to decide how easy it is to combine employment with study. Unless you are able to live at home and be supported this way, we think starting new A-level courses is a major undertaking. Picking up one of the two dropped A-levels could be an option - our advice would be to go back to your school and seek their advice. We appreciate though that your health situation may not make this feasible.

    If reading English at Oxford or Cambridge is still your aim, then you could reapply by the October deadline and to ask your referee to provide a commentary on your circumstances. It would be better to do this taking a 3rd A-level so that you can meet the AAA standard offer. However, you may have reasons for wanting to take a time-out - the Universities will still be here in 12 months time so, in conclusion, you will ahve to do what you decide is best overall.
    English at Oxbridge is my dream; to study such a wonderful and sometimes Personall subject in small groups means all your ideas r heard and explored by experts and I find that to be a really exciting oppurtunity. I am strongly considering resitting the last English module, you're absolutely right getting an A* in English is important to me, perhaps more than getting into a good university to study it. I worked super hard at the A Level (hence my other higher module grades) and am trying my best to bounce back from what really was a rogue bad day in the exam hall. This is a test of my character, and I really do appreciate the guidance you just gave me which will help me get back on track! Thank you
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    I missed my Oxford grades last year by 1 mark, moved on, went to Bristol and LOVE it! My two friends form school went to Oxford, one is miserable and one dropped out... Everyone jokes I had a lucky escape. Oxbridge isn't everything, you shouldn't judge yourself on your ability to achieve a place there.
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    (Original post by Abi790)
    I missed my Oxford grades last year by 1 mark, moved on, went to Bristol and LOVE it! My two friends form school went to Oxford, one is miserable and one dropped out... Everyone jokes I had a lucky escape. Oxbridge isn't everything, you shouldn't judge yourself on your ability to achieve a place there.
    Thanks for the advice if I got an offer from universities like Durham and UCL I'd still go in a heartbeat because both offer some form of small group teaching. Hence the 'universities of Oxford's standard' in the OP. They probably want applications just as strong.
 
 
 
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