I wasn't top of my class in terms of exam scores for politics or economics at A level. I think I was as good as or better than anyone though in actual understanding, I just couldn't be bothered to do any work when I felt I'd get an A anyway.
Either way, the other two people who were in the same sort of area for grades both applied to Oxford and both failed on their first try, applied again and one of them got an offer.
I was top in Psychology - but seeing as the only two other people who probably could've done better than me didn't take Psychology, and I got full UMS marks/nearly full marks on most of my modules, coming top wasn't hard!
I think it might just be that we're all more likely to belong to freak years because we're all Oxbridge students/applicants. A freak year will have far more of them, and so they are quite likely to belong to freak years.
I guess you might be partially right, and I think it's certainly true that other people in your year applying to Oxbridge would encourage you to apply, but I'm not sure if it's that great an effect. After all, there's always a -few- people in each year who are clever enough to encourage each other academically.
I didn't get top. In fact I got a rather low A in Spanish.
this thread implies that A levels are indicative of intelligence (like, there's a close relationship), when i dont think that's the case really. Oxford offers are based around a lot more than just A level grades. That said, i think (emphasis on think) i got the highest score in History. I think 2 people got a distinction in the AEA for it, but the other dude got BBC and a distinction (which is a crazy set of results!), so its not quite the same :P
A levels are more about jumping through hoops than intelligence really, so making your offer is more about ticking the box rather than actually demonstrating your intelligence. imo, anyway.
I got the top economics score as well come to think of it. Dont know about my classics class, there was some girl doing classics whose going to the same oxford college as me to do it, so i imagine she got higher.
At AS, I did better in geography and government & politics compared to history, the subject I applied for, though the difference was only about ten marks in the end. This year I had identical marks for history and geography overall though I did better in history at A2 than I did in any of my other subjects. I don't know how my classmates did, to be honest.
I got the best marks in my year for History, but it was still only a B, so coming to Oxford I quickly became accustomed to not being the best! Moreover I got better UMS in all of my other subjects (English, Maths, French, further maths) than I did in history despite this being the subject I applied for! As everyone else has said already, it doesn't seem to be very relevant how you did in A levels once you start your degree, it is all very different. A levels, and UMS marks specifically, are not a good indicator as to who will succeed at degree level.
Not even close, about 20th id guess. But thats about 550 UMS, I just have a very strong year.
I got beaten by someone in my English class (I got 292, he got 296), but he's applying to Cambridge whereas I want to apply to Oxford so i'll let him off.
I got the best mark in my year for A2 English Literature (which I suppose I think of as the most relevant subject to Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic) - I scored 300/300 which was a real shock for me because I wasn't too happy with the Shakespeare essay I'd written! I did well in History as well, dropped down a bit in Religious Studies and French compared to my AS scores - but to be honest I haven't got round to asking my friends exactly what they scored.
I smacked Physics and Maths, highest A grade in my class and school.. I was beaten in Economics though.
I came top in my year in Politics and English Lit at AS and the head talked about that in his little reference bit on the Oxford form so i guess it helped a bit.