Considering applying to Oxford, need some advice. Watch

datboidanny
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I am just starting year 13, having received the following grades in AS:
As in mathematics and further mathematics
A in Biology
B in Chemistry
B in psychology (dropped now)

I am looking to apply for Biochemistry at university and am considering oxford, I did not get the GCSEs most recommend before applying, 2A*s 6As and 6Bs (been told 7A*s is the average).
This course seems slightly less competitive (27% accepted) and does not require any written work or tests. The entry requirements are A*AA which I should be able to achieve.
I was told today that lots of my As were quite low in UMS points (I don't think they see those), so one teacher (who I haven't met before discouraged me from applying)
I have done some related reading (1/2 recommended books) as well as attending a long biochemistry summer school at a different university.
I might also get extra consideration as I may be a first generation student, (not sure if open university counts).
I am interested in the subject, however, I am not sure if it is to the level required for oxford.


Please give me advice and your opinion, (what you think is best for me, be honest)

Thanks
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Doones
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(Original post by datboidanny)
I am looking to apply for Biochemistry at university and am considering oxford,
I've moved your thread to the Oxford forum

If you are realistically on target to meet or exceed the entry requirements then it's worth applying.

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AfcFob
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Would you regret not applying in the future? If you think you would regret not trying for it then do it! I'm in a similar situation but but I want to apply for Biological Sciences. My biology teacher is the one who thinks I could do it so I'm going to try anyway!! I have 1A* 8A's and 2B's which is below average (the average ranges from 4-9A*) but I know id regret not going for it

If you want to talk about it because we're in similar situations (I need A*AA too) feel free to PM me
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TheMadScientist
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(Original post by datboidanny)
I am just starting year 13, having received the following grades in AS:
As in mathematics and further mathematics
A in Biology
B in Chemistry
B in psychology (dropped now)

I am looking to apply for Biochemistry at university and am considering oxford, I did not get the GCSEs most recommend before applying, 2A*s 6As and 6Bs (been told 7A*s is the average).
This course seems slightly less competitive (27% accepted) and does not require any written work or tests. The entry requirements are A*AA which I should be able to achieve.
I was told today that lots of my As were quite low in UMS points (I don't think they see those), so one teacher (who I haven't met before discouraged me from applying)
I have done some related reading (1/2 recommended books) as well as attending a long biochemistry summer school at a different university.
I might also get extra consideration as I may be a first generation student, (not sure if open university counts).
I am interested in the subject, however, I am not sure if it is to the level required for oxford.


Please give me advice and your opinion, (what you think is best for me, be honest)

Thanks
Last year 75% of biochemistry applicants (80% excluding EU and international applicants) received interviews, so even with a below-average set of previous results you still have a decent chance of being shortlisted.

If you're genuinely interested in doing biochemistry at Oxford, and think you would be able to cope with and enjoy the high-intensity nature of the course, then you should apply. If you don't really enjoy biochemistry, or feel like the workload would be too much, then those are perfectly valid reasons for not applying. The determining factor for you should absolutely be where will be best for you - not how likely it is that you'll get in.
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StationToStation
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It's worth applying if you really want to study at Oxford. Your GCSEs aren't strong but they're not really bad either, so it would most likely come down to the interview and ps. Then again, I'm not sure what you meant by "I am interested in the subject, however, I am not sure if it is to the level required for oxford." - Oxford is hard, and if you're not genuinely passionate about your subject, you're going to struggle. Good luck, whatever you choose
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brendan.
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(Original post by datboidanny)
I am just starting year 13, having received the following grades in AS:
As in mathematics and further mathematics
A in Biology
B in Chemistry
B in psychology (dropped now)

I am looking to apply for Biochemistry at university and am considering oxford, I did not get the GCSEs most recommend before applying, 2A*s 6As and 6Bs (been told 7A*s is the average).
This course seems slightly less competitive (27% accepted) and does not require any written work or tests. The entry requirements are A*AA which I should be able to achieve.
I was told today that lots of my As were quite low in UMS points (I don't think they see those), so one teacher (who I haven't met before discouraged me from applying)
I have done some related reading (1/2 recommended books) as well as attending a long biochemistry summer school at a different university.
I might also get extra consideration as I may be a first generation student, (not sure if open university counts).
I am interested in the subject, however, I am not sure if it is to the level required for oxford.


Please give me advice and your opinion, (what you think is best for me, be honest)

Thanks
Hey, I graduated from Oxford in Biochemistry in 2015, so might be able to offer some help..

Sorry to hear that you are being discouraged to applying to Oxford. It's scenarios like this which are hurting all of the access work that Oxford undertakes! If you have a passion for biochemistry and you are likely to meet the entrance requirements, I would consider applying. From what you have said, it looks like you do have a strong interest for biochemistry - it's not something that you are explicitly taught in school so you have to go out of your own way to find out what it is and entails. That you've already been reading around the subject and have attended a biochemistry summer school at another university shows that you have the drive to study the subject. As for "I am not sure if it is to the level required for oxford", whilst I agree with the others that come interview you will need to show that you really are interested in the subject, I would hedge my bets that what you really mean by this is that you're unsure just what calibre successful applicants are. I remember myself when applying that I had this feeling of inadequacy, not quite sure that I would match up to the others. This worry is normal and you're certainly not alone in thinking it, but please don't let that put you off applying if you are genuinely passionate.

Note that the success rate has dropped in recent years (19% now I think), but approximately 75% of applicants are still interviewed, and you are correct that there are no additional entrance exams or written work. Thus, there's a great chance that you will be welcomed to interview, which in itself is a great experience, even if ultimately you were not offered a place. Oxford would be 1 of 5 applications, so as long as you are wise about your other choices, it might just be worth having a go!

If you have any questions feel free to message or quote me on here - I can try and help.
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username2752874
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(Original post by datboidanny)
I am just starting year 13, having received the following grades in AS:
As in mathematics and further mathematics
A in Biology
B in Chemistry
B in psychology (dropped now)

I am looking to apply for Biochemistry at university and am considering oxford, I did not get the GCSEs most recommend before applying, 2A*s 6As and 6Bs (been told 7A*s is the average).
This course seems slightly less competitive (27% accepted) and does not require any written work or tests. The entry requirements are A*AA which I should be able to achieve.
I was told today that lots of my As were quite low in UMS points (I don't think they see those), so one teacher (who I haven't met before discouraged me from applying)
I have done some related reading (1/2 recommended books) as well as attending a long biochemistry summer school at a different university.
I might also get extra consideration as I may be a first generation student, (not sure if open university counts).
I am interested in the subject, however, I am not sure if it is to the level required for oxford.


Please give me advice and your opinion, (what you think is best for me, be honest)

Thanks
Well first, I'm uncertain on whether you'd be able to get an A*AA prediction-(given your low UMS points) If you can, then apply. The average number of A* of an Oxford student is 4-9 (official stat from their website) so I think it's more 5-6A* than 7. You'll likely get an interview at the least. I've seen through past threads most of the questions asked at interview focus around A Level organic chemistry, so just keep an eye out for that.
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brendan.
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(Original post by nexttime)
https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/bm...ons-statistics

Your gcses are very low by those standards. No one got an interview last year with below 40%A*, let alone below 20%. The mean percentage for pet-holders was 87%.

Factors in your favour are: relatively small course, so space for statistical variation, and the fact that you have 5 choices with a reasonable chance of landing at least one backup.

Your decision.
This is for Biomedical Sciences though, not Biochemistry which the OP is interested in applying for.
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