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To all those who got rejected from Oxbridge (from a current student) watch

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    (Original post by dragonkeeper999)
    Yeah, all the bad ones were generally organised by my DoS
    (Original post by alow)
    I'm at Homerton
    Varsity did a survey of supervision provision per course per college a couple of years ago (2013 article with 2011/12 data).

    Murray Edwards, Emma and Queens' refused to participate:

    Summary
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5787

    Course analysis:
    * Archaeology, Chem Eng, Classics, CompSci, Economics
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5849

    * Engineering, English, Geography, History of Art and History
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5851

    * Law, Maths, Land Economy, Linguistics and Medical and Veterinary Sciences
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5852

    * MML, Music, Natural Sciences, Philosophy and PPS
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5856
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Varsity did a survey of supervision provision per course per college a couple of years ago (2013 article with 2011/12 data).

    Murray Edwards, Emma and Queens' refused to participate:

    Summary
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5787

    Course analysis:
    * Archaeology, Chem Eng, Classics, CompSci, Economics
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5849

    * Engineering, English, Geography, History of Art and History
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5851

    * Law, Maths, Land Economy, Linguistics and Medical and Veterinary Sciences
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5852

    * MML, Music, Natural Sciences, Philosophy and PPS
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5856
    Very interesting. It usually isn't a good sign when they don't want to be compared to other colleges...
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    (Original post by alow)
    Very interesting. It usually isn't a good sign when they don't want to be compared to other colleges...
    Indeed.

    And it would be helpful for Varsity to do a follow-up to see if the situation (and variations in provision) has changed.
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    I remember there was a bit of a crackdown on supervisions over and above those which were considered strictly necessary - I suppose a revision supervision would fall into that category. There was also a paper going round about no single supervisions, and a slight frowning on pairs even (in Law, we always seemed to be in a four).
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    I remember there was a bit of a crackdown on supervisions over and above those which were considered strictly necessary- I suppose a revision supervision would fall into that category. There was also a paper going round about no single supervisions, and a slight frowning on pairs even (in Law, we always seemed to be in a four).
    I exclusively have supervisions in pairs. There would be too much to go through as 3 people.
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    (Original post by alow)
    I'm at Homerton, all of our ensuites are the same price and for third years they're pretty nice and big. The building all the third years are in is quite new too, <10 years old I think. I would really struggle to afford to live if I had to pay what you do.

    It kind of sounds like your DoS wasn't doing their job very well. Only one of my supervisors has actually been from Homerton and I just have supervisions at wherever my supervisors are based. Getting around Cambridge is easy enough that I don't have an issue with it.

    Maybe Murray Edwards has that reputation so they're always cautious to check first.
    Yeah, the only reason I can afford it is that I qualify for the maximum grant and Cambridge bursary, I have no idea how other students cope

    Hmmm, it does seem like we have a bit of a bad reputation with supervisors


    (Original post by jneill)
    Varsity did a survey of supervision provision per course per college a couple of years ago (2013 article with 2011/12 data).

    Murray Edwards, Emma and Queens' refused to participate:

    Summary
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5787

    Course analysis:
    * Archaeology, Chem Eng, Classics, CompSci, Economics
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5849

    * Engineering, English, Geography, History of Art and History
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5851

    * Law, Maths, Land Economy, Linguistics and Medical and Veterinary Sciences
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5852

    * MML, Music, Natural Sciences, Philosophy and PPS
    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5856
    "Murray Edwards College, Emmanuel College and Queens' College were the only colleges to refuse our request for this data"

    Bit worrying...

    Also, looking at the college who did provide data, there are some pretty significant differences - personally I don't understand why the university gets colleges to organise supervisions, it would make a lot more sense and be a lot fairer if this was down to departments...
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    Helpful... Did you go to Oxford or Cambridge? Because nearly everyone who has commented on the OP's post has, and they don't seem to feel that the OP is 'self -pitying' or feels the need to give such a dismissive response.

    OP: well done for being able to express how you're feeling - a lot of people feel they can't possibly express any sort of disappointment or frustration with the Oxbridge system for fear of appearing entirely ungrateful and self-centred. But this isn't the case - it's very common to feel like this in the first term (or dare I say the first two terms!). It will seem hopeless, but it honestly isn't. Do your best (after all, you can't do more than that), always seek help and advice from your DoS and Tutor and try to retain some perspective. It will get easier.
    Yes, I did go to Oxbridge. I also have the distinct advantage over most posting here in that I attended other universities too so have something to compare to.

    The 'feelings' you go on to mention are indeed common. But they are common everywhere. And whilst oxbridge is academically tough, other unversities like LSE, UCL, Imperial all are also extremely tough and academic.
    What is also true is you have a bit of self selection here. Its not just the oxbridge environment, its the selection fo people who go to study at oxbridge who will tend to be the over-achievers who have mostly coasted through school/college through natural abilities and are now feeling the pressure.

    But honestly the same things occur everywhere. What makes you think a BBB student who is at Keele uni (not offending Keele, just thinking of a non-Russell uni) isn't finding it academically as tough as an A+A+A+ (or whatever top marks is now) at Oxbridge?

    The OP essentially is posting a warnign about going to Oxbridge. But that same warning could also be applied to ever pushing yourself to your limits or out your comfort zone.

    Myself I found uni in London far more challenging. Really lonely without the support of the college system, one face in thousands, expensive as hell making day to day budgeting a huge stress and a completely different exam and assessment style which took a lot of getting used to.

    Cardiff was wonderfully relaxed on the other hand, probably overly so.
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    Also I appreciated the condensed terms at oxbridge and the rules agaisnt term time paid employment as it mean i could only study and have fun at uni and earn the required cash in holidays.
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    (Original post by dragonkeeper999)
    100% agree with OP's message - Oxbridge really isn't for everyone, and at times I feel (current Cambridge undergrad here) they rest on their laurels and don't bother trying to improve their courses/ organisation/ anything - instead claiming that university is all about "self-studying" so they don't need to bother teaching us anything (to a certain extent, yes some independent study is obviously required - but they are meant to be there to at least teach the core content, guide our independent reading, set suitable homework, actually mark and give feedback on our work, etc.). Students feel pressured to stick it out because "it's Cambridge" and having gone through so much effort to get here it seems like giving up to switch universities.

    Spoiler:
    Show


    Things that make me very frustrated about Cambridge:
    • Inconsistencies in marking of coursework and even exam papers (it's often noted on the external examiners reports, but no action is take on it)
    • Inequalities in quality and number of supervisions between colleges
    • Inconsistencies in financial support and living costs between colleges - meaning that some of us end up taking on part-time work (which the uni technically bans) in order to make ends meet, while richer students can spend that time studying/ relaxing
    • Poor communication from my department - particularly on things like when our labs are, important meetings we are meant to attend, how to submit work, when deadlines are, feedback on submitted work, etc.
    • Very little guidance on how to write assessed work, how it is marked or what the content of exams will be
    • Poor student support (it is generally left to colleges to provide pastoral care, but if your tutor isn't very useful/ super busy/ unsympathetic, it's really hard to know where else to look for support) - often students are encouraged to take the year off studying so they can "recover" rather than the uni having to deal with them
    • Very little flexibility and leeway in terms of course options - you can't take modules from other subjects to diversify your studies, can't easily pick up or drop modules, can't chose to study part-time if external pressures mean you can't keep up with the full-time course
    • Terrible exam and assessment structure - for my course, 75% of our final degree result is based on one week of intense exams this summer, with the other 25% for arbitrarily marked lab reports throughout the final year. This means all the pressure is on this one week of hell, and if you're sick for it you're completely screwed...
    • No retake options or flexibility if you miss the grades/ exams, even if due to illness - they don't take into account extenuating circumstances except in VERY major cases, even then the best you can get is being allowed to retake the year/ being put forward into the next year if you can't take the previous year exams due to poor health/ being allowed to take a year out to recover/ having your name removed off the publicly displayed results lists



    I imagine with marking oxbridge is little different to anywhere else.
    I'm unsure if anyone else suffered the curse of the 68%. My eternal mark.
    High 2.1. Good enough you can't massively complain, but not hitting the '1st' level hence flagging up the marker as overly generous.. I do wonder if like the 'he has made strides playing badminton' comment PE teachers always say its just a fob off without checking...
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    (Original post by CatherineE-S)
    Not getting into Oxbridge is not the end of the world; take it from a current student at Oxford. You might love your subject, or you might love the idea of studying at Oxbridge. Whatever your reason for applying, rejection might just be the best thing to happen to you.
    I applied to Cambridge and was rejected. The next year, after achieving 3 A*s in my A levels, I was accepted by Oxford. I thought it was the best thing in the world, and at the time, I could not have been happier.
    But after being here for a term (and a few weeks into my second term), let me tell you, it is not what it seems. Sure, there is the natural small fish in a big pond; all of a sudden you're not the best, you're lucky to be average. But that isn't what makes studying here difficult. What makes it difficult (I would say horrendous), is that no matter what you do, it is never good enough. And when you have to write 4 essays in a week on subjects you don't know much (or for me, anything) about, you find yourself in a very dark place. You fluctuate from having hope and motivation that you will be able to get by. But then you start the reading, and realise that you don't understand it, that you don't like your subject anymore, and there is no hope. You have to accept that what you hand in will be bad, that you will be brutally judged on it; that is hard to accept. It is impossible to deal with. So you comfort yourself by socializing, or watching netflix, or getting involved in too many societies. And that just makes the mess at the end worse. Having realised this, I find it impossible to even start essays. I will often just sit there, miserable, inconsolable, doing nothing. It doesn't make for a good end product.
    It is a dark place from which there is no escape. And almost everyone I have talked to feels the exact same way. By the time you reach the end of term, you are sleep deprived, nutrient deprived, and often delusional. Nothing can be done about that. It is what Oxbridge does to you.
    Not only that, but most of the time (especially in arts subjects) your tutorials/supervisions don't match up with lectures; you have to write essays for subjects you have never even heard about, never mind had lectures on. And if you're unlucky enough to have four essays in a week, due to bad and unorganised scheduling (which can't be avoided when you're dealing with world leading academics), you can't even begin to imagine the emptiness and darkness that brings to your life.
    So please don't see getting rejected as a bad thing. Most other unis are actually better organised, and as a result your work will probably be better. You wont come to hate your subject. You will actually be able to have an enjoyable life. And trust me, I am not saying this to comfort you. I am saying this because I am so dejected and fed up by the whole Oxbridge system, that I feel a genuine need as a human being to warn people. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had ended up at any other uni. I have forgotten what it feels like to have enough sleep, nutrients, a decent social life. All that is just a distant memory, and I am still only just getting by, by the skin of my teeth.
    Rejection is probably the best thing that could have happened to you. And I am writing this as someone who has no history of depression or mental illness. I don't suffer from them. This is just what Oxbridge does to you.
    I realise that it might be selfish and make me seem self absorbed to be moaning at being at such an institution. And I do appreciate the opportunity. I am grateful to have it. But it really is not all it seems. That I can assure you.
    Why don't you hire an academic to do your work like all the other
    affluent connected people? Don't worry though, a friend know someone who went there, and Oxbridge grades are bumped up as they don't like the knock on their reputation that would come with giving students 2.2s, and 3rds. Even a totally useless guy who failed all his assignments was given a 2.1.
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    (Original post by Davman)
    Even a totally useless guy who failed all his assignments was given a 2.1.
    At Oxbridge the vast majority of marks are in the exams, not assignments.

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    I was fully expecting her to say something along the lines of - "To all those who got rejected from Oxbridge....BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME, LOSERS!"
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    (Original post by Withengar)
    I was fully expecting her to say something along the lines of - "To all those who got rejected from Oxbridge....BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME, LOSERS!"
    I mean, OP did apply to Cambridge and then re-applied to Oxford, so I'm sure they know the rejection feelings...
 
 
 
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