Should I bother applying for Oxbridge?

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    Hi guys. I want to study Law (LLB) at university. I'm applying to the following universities:-

    1. University of Warwick
    2. University of York
    3. University of Birmingham
    4. Cardiff University

    I have absolutely no idea what university to apply to as my fifth choice next year so my head of sixth form suggested that I apply to either Oxford or Cambridge. At first I burst out laughing because I thought surely he can't be serious with my GCSE results?

    English Literature - B
    English Language - B
    Graphic Products - B
    Media Studies - B
    Mathematics - C
    Core Science - C
    Additional Science - C
    BTEC Level 2 in Business Studies - Merit
    BTEC Level 2 in Health & Social Care - Distinction*
    OCR Cambridge Nationals in ICT - Pass

    Look, I know what you're thinking. I really do. The truth of it is, I simply didn't care back then. I couldn't care less whether I went to university let alone Oxford or Cambridge. I chose appalling GCSE options, I know. I wanted the least amount of examinations possible (hence the BTEC's). I didn't revise for my GCSE's at all and I only made an application to my school's sixth form on results day. Believe me, I really do regret my poor decisions. I was far more interested in going out with my friends than actually sitting down and looking at a school book every now and again but obviously there is no going back now. I can't rewind time (hell, I wish I could). I chose A levels in Law, Psychology and Philosophy & Ethics last year (I achieved AS grades CCC without any revision). I had a MASSIVE brainstorm on AS results day and I really began to reconsider my options. So the next day I got in touch with another sixth form in my area exactly a week before we were due to start the new school year and asked if there was any possible chance of doing years 12 and 13 again at their school, they agreed and now I'm doing A levels in History, English Language and Literature (combined), Religious Studies and Sociology (obviously these options are A LOT more suited to the course I wish to study at university than my previous choices). I really really really know that I can achieve good grades if I apply myself (and I am going to do exactly that, believe me).

    I just don't know whether Oxford or Cambridge will even CONSIDER my application due to my terrible GCSE results and the fact that I've started year 12 again but chosen different options. Not only that but I can't even present the universities with outstanding AS results due to the reform of A levels, I will only have my predicted grades. I mean, realistically, I guess I am punching above my weight with Warwick?

    I'm just thinking if I make my personal statement the GREATEST, do I stand a chance with Oxbridge? Is it worth wasting my fifth choice on?

    No harsh comments please. A simple yes or no will do nicely.
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    Sorry but no, not a chance

    Edit: maybe a slight shot at Cambridge if you get very, very high ums at AS this year but still not Oxford as they take into account GCSEs quite heavily. At the moment Warwick might also bit a bit ambitious, but very viable provided AS results are strong
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    (Original post by midgemeister7)
    Sorry but no, not a chance

    Edit: maybe a slight shot at Cambridge if you get very, very high ums at AS this year but still not Oxford as they take into account GCSEs quite heavily. At the moment Warwick might also bit a bit ambitious, but very viable provided AS results are strong
    I take it you didn't read my question otherwise you would have read the part where I said I am doing REFORMED A levels. There will be no AS examinations this year, thus no AS results to present the universities with.

    **** this doesn't look good at all. I really am ****ed. Maybe I should consider doing a gap year and applying again with my final A2 grades but then I will be TWO WHOLE YEARS behind everyone else because I'm redoing year 12. :/
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    (Original post by tantalised)
    Hi guys. I want to study Law (LLB) at university. I'm applying to the following universities:-

    1. University of Warwick
    2. University of York
    3. University of Birmingham
    4. Cardiff University

    I have absolutely no idea what university to apply to as my fifth choice next year so my head of sixth form suggested that I apply to either Oxford or Cambridge. At first I burst out laughing because I thought surely he can't be serious with my GCSE results?

    English Literature - B
    English Language - B
    Graphic Products - B
    Media Studies - B
    Mathematics - C
    Core Science - C
    Additional Science - C
    BTEC Level 2 in Business Studies - Merit
    BTEC Level 2 in Health & Social Care - Distinction*
    OCR Cambridge Nationals in ICT - Pass

    Look, I know what you're thinking. I really do. The truth of it is, I simply didn't care back then. I couldn't care less whether I went to university let alone Oxford or Cambridge. I chose appalling GCSE options, I know. I wanted the least amount of examinations possible (hence the BTEC's). I didn't revise for my GCSE's at all and I only made an application to my school's sixth form on results day. Believe me, I really do regret my poor decisions. I was far more interested in going out with my friends than actually sitting down and looking at a school book every now and again but obviously there is no going back now. I can't rewind time (hell, I wish I could). I chose A levels in Law, Psychology and Philosophy & Ethics last year (I achieved AS grades CCC without any revision). I had a MASSIVE brainstorm on AS results day and I really began to reconsider my options. So the next day I got in touch with another sixth form in my area exactly a week before we were due to start the new school year and asked if there was any possible chance of doing years 12 and 13 again at their school, they agreed and now I'm doing A levels in History, English Language and Literature (combined), Religious Studies and Sociology (obviously these options are A LOT more suited to the course I wish to study at university than my previous choices). I really really really know that I can achieve good grades if I apply myself (and I am going to do exactly that, believe me).

    I just don't know whether Oxford or Cambridge will even CONSIDER my application due to my terrible GCSE results and the fact that I've started year 12 again but chosen different options. Not only that but I can't even present the universities with outstanding AS results due to the reform of A levels, I will only have my predicted grades. I mean, realistically, I guess I am punching above my weight with Warwick?

    I'm just thinking if I make my personal statement the GREATEST, do I stand a chance with Oxbridge? Is it worth wasting my fifth choice on?

    No harsh comments please. A simple yes or no will do nicely.
    Hi Tentalised - I'm more or less in the same boat as you!

    My GCSEs were nothing special (more or less the same as yours in fact) and my A-Levels were slightly off the mark (AAB and an A* in my EPQ). But, I am re-sitting to get the other A and perhaps might even try to get an A* in one of the other subjects as well.

    My point is, let's be realistic: we don't stand much of a chance. But hell, what have we to loose! I'm not applying for an especially competitive subject like Law (I'm hoping to do arch and anth), but, with a good PS and perhaps some experience working in Law, a good grade on the LNAT, reading lots of academic books on the subject, it would improve your chances.

    In the end, I decided to contact my college of choice at Oxford and they said they would consider my application if I decided to re-sit. At the end of the day, it's all about standing out (which you'll certainly do with your grades but in a good way!

    You'll never know if you don't apply. As long as you've got a good back-up option in case you screw up, i.e. non-Russell Group, then go for it!

    I'm not one to be overly negative and, perhaps some pessimistic TSR user is looking at me thinking I'm a complete buffoon, but you'll almost feel proud just for applying, and maybe - just maybe - being offered an interview. Most people won't give in, so hell, give it a go.

    At the end of the day, self doubt killed more dreams than failure ever did.

    Good Luck!
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    (Original post by tantalised)
    I take it you didn't read my question otherwise you would have read the part where I said I am doing REFORMED A levels. There will be no AS examinations this year, thus no AS results to present the universities with.

    **** this doesn't look good at all. I really am ****ed. Maybe I should consider doing a gap year and applying again with my final A2 grades but then I will be TWO WHOLE YEARS behind everyone else because I'm redoing year 12. :/
    Ah right, I had read but didn't initially understand as I've finished A Levels and forgot it had changed. You might have a chance if you apply post A2 but I suppose that would leave you 2 years behind. That said, it is probably your best option if you wish to get into a top university and there is nothing to show after year 12.
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    (Original post by King Haribo)
    Hi Tentalised - I'm more or less in the same boat as you!

    My GCSEs were nothing special (more or less the same as yours in fact) and my A-Levels were slightly off the mark (AAB and an A* in my EPQ). But, I am re-sitting to get the other A and perhaps might even try to get an A* in one of the other subjects as well.

    My point is, let's be realistic: we don't stand much of a chance. But hell, what have we to loose! I'm not applying for an especially competitive subject like Law (I'm hoping to do arch and anth), but, with a good PS and perhaps some experience working in Law, a good grade on the LNAT, reading lots of academic books on the subject, it would improve your chances.

    In the end, I decided to contact my college of choice at Oxford and they said they would consider my application if I decided to re-sit. At the end of the day, it's all about standing out (which you'll certainly do with your grades but in a good way!

    You'll never know if you don't apply. As long as you've got a good back-up option in case you screw up, i.e. non-Russell Group, then go for it!

    I'm not one to be overly negative and, perhaps some pessimistic TSR user is looking at me thinking I'm a complete buffoon, but you'll almost feel proud just for applying, and maybe - just maybe - being offered an interview. Most people won't give in, so hell, give it a go.

    At the end of the day, self doubt killed more dreams than failure ever did.

    Good Luck!
    You know what, after reading your answer I'm just going to go for it because why the hell not? What's the worst that can happen? Not a lot really other than they'll say no but hey, at least I've tried! Thank you for your optimism! Let me know how you get on with your application to Oxford. I really really hope you do it! I believe in you!

    Thanks again
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    (Original post by King Haribo)
    My point is, let's be realistic: we don't stand much of a chance.
    You do have a chance!

    Just the other day in the 'Ask an admissions tutor' thread, Peterhouse said that it wasn't all that uncommon for applicants with a B at AS to get an offer.

    Oxford is a different kettle of fish though because of their focus on GCSEs...
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    (Original post by Abstract_Prism)
    You do have a chance!

    Just the other day in the 'Ask an admissions tutor' thread, Peterhouse said that it wasn't all that uncommon for applicants with a B at AS to get an offer.

    Oxford is a different kettle of fish though because of their focus on GCSEs...
    Who has a chance? Me or King Haribo? Lol...
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    oxbridge is a definite no, sorry, if anything because of the btecs but otherwise york may be a possibility?
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    It's certainly an unusual portfolio of GCSE results, particularly given the Media Studies, Graphic Products (what is this?!) and BTECs along with the C grades in sciences and maths. I would at first glance say a competitive application is unlikely, but sometimes things can surprise even me.
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    (Original post by tantalised)
    I take it you didn't read my question otherwise you would have read the part where I said I am doing REFORMED A levels. There will be no AS examinations this year, thus no AS results to present the universities with.
    That is not quite true. Applicants to Cambridge must provide the full details, including UMS, of all exams taken, whether certificated or not, and this will include the full detail of your abortive AS year.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    That is not quite true. Applicants to Cambridge must provide the full details, including UMS, of all exams taken, whether certificated or not, and this will include the full detail of your abortive AS year.
    I meant I will have no NEW AS grades to present the universities with due to A level reform...
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    (Original post by tantalised)
    I meant I will have no NEW AS grades to present the universities with due to A level reform...
    Ah! But your anticipated problem lies in the old record, not, at this stage, in the record that will be written on the newly-turned leaf.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Ah! But your anticipated problem lies in the old record, not, at this stage, in the record that will be written on the newly-turned leaf.
    I've emailed admissions at Cardiff, York, Warwick and Birmingham, all of which have said that my application will NOT be disadvantaged. So I don't actually have a problem lol...
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    (Original post by tantalised)
    I've emailed admissions at Cardiff, York, Warwick and Birmingham, all of which have said that my application will NOT be disadvantaged. So I don't actually have a problem lol...
    Get in touch with both Oxford and Cambridge and talk to them about what they're looking for and what is the best route for someone like you who has turned around your results and motivation.

    They're generally more likely than other universities to take into account your full application - but you need to understand what they'll be looking at and when (and to get yourself known to them so that when they receive your application it isn't a surprise and they take the time to consider your full application and not just reject based on GCSE/first AS results).

    Cambridge have a good reputation for consideration of mature applicants coming through Access courses, Oxford are more welcoming to BTECs...finding out how best to present your application to get a good review is going to take a bit of research on your part.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Get in touch with both Oxford and Cambridge and talk to them about what they're looking for and what is the best route for someone like you who has turned around your results and motivation.

    They're generally more likely than other universities to take into account your full application - but you need to understand what they'll be looking at and when (and to get yourself known to them so that when they receive your application it isn't a surprise and they take the time to consider your full application and not just reject based on GCSE/first AS results).

    Cambridge have a good reputation for consideration of mature applicants coming through Access courses, Oxford are more welcoming to BTECs...finding out how best to present your application to get a good review is going to take a bit of research on your part.
    Thank you for your answer. I totally agree! I have actually spoken to Murray Edwards College Cambridge who were really helpful. They told me it would be worth applying if I achieved the desired grades at A2.
 
 
 
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