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    I would've posted this in one of those "are my grades good enough for Oxbridge" posts but I want to go into quite a lot of detail and this is not by any means about my grades exclusively.

    I'm in year 12 and I want to go to Oxbridge because I have intense political ambition. Looking over the politicians of today and the past, a hugely disproportionate chunk of them went to Oxbridge, especially Oxford. Most of those who went to Oxford have the PPE degree too. This is not at all healthy for society but it is what it is and I want to play the game.

    Doing PPE at Oxford seemed realistic to me until about six months ago when I got my GCSE results. I was attending a somewhat decent comprehensive catholic school at the time and got the following grades: AAAABBBBBB. The As were in English lit, lang, RE and History. Obviously, I don't need telling that this isn't even close to Oxbridge standard.

    Luckily, for Sixth Form I'd got into a seriously good school. One of the best in the country. I got in on interview as it's highly selective. I wanted to study History, Maths, Politics and Economics. However, they told me that since I got a B in maths they didn't want me to study it there (they expect all their students to at least get As and essentially told me it was impossible that I'd do that). I really wanted to take maths because 90% of those who do PPE had a maths A-Level but, they weren't budging on the issue so I took English instead to save me a headache.

    I began to look further into the PPE course and found that (and I actually find this to be mind-numbingly stupid), they look a whole lot a GCSE results. Added to the fact that I didn't take maths I began to realise that PPE isn't going to happen, but I don't think I would've passed the poshness test to do such a course that entrenches the status quo in our society anyway.

    So I've thought about Human, Social and Political sciences at Cambridge. They seem to look at GCSEs a lot less and obviously are a lot less maths-focused for this course. Also, my A-Levels very much could end out being something like A*AA or at least AAA, which makes sense because the school I'm at is hugely better than the last and I'm working a lot harder.

    There's a notice going round for people who want to go on an Oxbridge conference, do I sign it to go?

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    (Original post by StudentRobbie)
    I would've posted this in one of those "are my grades good enough for Oxbridge" posts but I want to go into quite a lot of detail and this is not by any means about my grades exclusively.

    I'm in year 12 and I want to go to Oxbridge because I have intense political ambition. Looking over the politicians of today and the past, a hugely disproportionate chunk of them went to Oxbridge, especially Oxford. Most of those who went to Oxford have the PPE degree too. This is not at all healthy for society but it is what it is and I want to play the game.

    Doing PPE at Oxford seemed realistic to me until about six months ago when I got my GCSE results. I was attending a somewhat decent comprehensive catholic school at the time and got the following grades: AAAABBBBBB. The As were in English lit, lang, RE and History. Obviously, I don't need telling that this isn't even close to Oxbridge standard.

    Luckily, for Sixth Form I'd got into a seriously good school. One of the best in the country. I got in on interview as it's highly selective. I wanted to study History, Maths, Politics and Economics. However, they told me that since I got a B in maths they didn't want me to study it there (they expect all their students to at least get As and essentially told me it was impossible that I'd do that). I really wanted to take maths because 90% of those who do PPE had a maths A-Level but, they weren't budging on the issue so I took English instead to save me a headache.

    I began to look further into the PPE course and found that (and I actually find this to be mind-numbingly stupid), they look a whole lot a GCSE results. Added to the fact that I didn't take maths I began to realise that PPE isn't going to happen, but I don't think I would've passed the poshness test to do such a course that entrenches the status quo in our society anyway.

    So I've thought about Human, Social and Political sciences at Cambridge. They seem to look at GCSEs a lot less and obviously are a lot less maths-focused for this course. Also, my A-Levels very much could end out being something like A*AA or at least AAA, which makes sense because the school I'm at is hugely better than the last and I'm working a lot harder.

    There's a notice going round for people who want to go on an Oxbridge conference, do I sign it to go?

    Many Thanks
    Due to your GCSEs, I don't know about time but you would be definitely wasting a choice by applying. I am not demotivating you but keeping in mind the average applicant has 5A*s it definitely would be a waste of choice
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    The conference won't be a waste of time as you'll be able to speak to people from the university's who can give you a more accurate answer


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    Well, I know a friend who did well in his GCSEs (about 6 A*s, handful of As) and then in his AS, he got 4 As. Predicted 4 A*s.

    Applied to Cambridge to study engineering. He got rejected.

    Now I am not saying this to de-motivate you, and idk if engineering is more competitive than politics, but you already have a uphill climb due to those GCSEs, and not being able to do maths.

    Maybe they'll accept you if you get their required grades, who knows, but my advice is to not depend on Oxbridge. Apply to 1 of them, sure, but keep in mind that it's hard to get into, and choose your other 4 uni options carefully.

    But good luck tho, save our government in the future
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    Oxford - yes
    Cambridge - maybe not

    OP, if you want to study mathematics at A-level, you could try to self-teach it or learn it with a private tutor, then sign up for the exams as a private candidate. In fact, you could even try to fast-track yourself through mathematics so you already have a good, full A-level grade when you apply, which could boost your application. However, I do not think this would be a brilliant idea right now since it is almost February and four months may not be enough to learn what you need with your other four A-levels. I suggest focusing on your A-levels right now so you do well and if you are so keen on mathematics, you could try this option next year. If not, stick to what you are doing now.

    Go to the conference since it could be useful anyway. I attended a very useful Cambridge talk even though I had no chance of getting in because I could apply what they said to other universities to a certain extent.

    Good luck becoming the Prime Minister or the Chief of MI5/SIS!
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    (Original post by StudentRobbie)
    I would've posted this in one of those "are my grades good enough for Oxbridge" posts but I want to go into quite a lot of detail and this is not by any means about my grades exclusively.

    I'm in year 12 and I want to go to Oxbridge because I have intense political ambition. Looking over the politicians of today and the past, a hugely disproportionate chunk of them went to Oxbridge, especially Oxford. Most of those who went to Oxford have the PPE degree too. This is not at all healthy for society but it is what it is and I want to play the game.

    Doing PPE at Oxford seemed realistic to me until about six months ago when I got my GCSE results. I was attending a somewhat decent comprehensive catholic school at the time and got the following grades: AAAABBBBBB. The As were in English lit, lang, RE and History. Obviously, I don't need telling that this isn't even close to Oxbridge standard.

    Luckily, for Sixth Form I'd got into a seriously good school. One of the best in the country. I got in on interview as it's highly selective. I wanted to study History, Maths, Politics and Economics. However, they told me that since I got a B in maths they didn't want me to study it there (they expect all their students to at least get As and essentially told me it was impossible that I'd do that). I really wanted to take maths because 90% of those who do PPE had a maths A-Level but, they weren't budging on the issue so I took English instead to save me a headache.

    I began to look further into the PPE course and found that (and I actually find this to be mind-numbingly stupid), they look a whole lot a GCSE results. Added to the fact that I didn't take maths I began to realise that PPE isn't going to happen, but I don't think I would've passed the poshness test to do such a course that entrenches the status quo in our society anyway.

    So I've thought about Human, Social and Political sciences at Cambridge. They seem to look at GCSEs a lot less and obviously are a lot less maths-focused for this course. Also, my A-Levels very much could end out being something like A*AA or at least AAA, which makes sense because the school I'm at is hugely better than the last and I'm working a lot harder.

    There's a notice going round for people who want to go on an Oxbridge conference, do I sign it to go?

    Many Thanks
    Considering everything, it may be pretty pointless if you were to apply to Oxford.

    However, Cambridge on the other hand is much more realistic because they focus more on AS/A-Levels compared to GCSEs.
    Sign up for the conference.

    You'll need to work your *** off over the next 2 years if you really want to get in. I mean you should be aiming for AAAA at AS-Level and as close to straight A*s for A-Level.

    Good luck!
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    How much time would you be wasting, really, by applying? Sure, you have an earlier deadline to complete all your UCAS stuff, but it's good to get it out of the way early, and fill in an extra form or two - what else do you have to lose? It's one choice on your UCAS form, if you're confident you'll get other offers, why not give it a go?
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    Tbh I don't think it's worth it, I've actually come from a similar place... I only got 2 A's at GCSEs but thought it'd be a good idea to apply so I don't wonder what would've happened... the TSA is a tough exam and I scored above average and still didn't get in, preparing for the TSA costed a lot of time which made me fall behind in my subjects. So my grades weren't as good but I scored above average on the TSA and got rejected still.... in all honesty I think you should pass... you can do it if you feel you have to but be prepared for a rejection. Sorry to be harsh but it's tough and it will come down to GCSEs sooner or later.

    Might I also add, if you're annoyed at politicians coming from a PPE background and want to get into politics don't try and be them, the public hates them and sooner or later they're going to want something different. PPE at oxford to get into politics is a route that will ensure people hate you when you become a politician. Theresa May went to oxford, sure... but she did geography. Gordon brown went to Edinburgh, John Major didn't even go to university. If you're truly passionate about politics you'll know that elitism is its biggest problem and won't try to use it as a door to entry if you have decent morals.
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    (Original post by StudentRobbie)
    There's a notice going round for people who want to go on an Oxbridge conference, do I sign it to go?

    Many Thanks
    Definitely go to the conference.

    If you are realistically on target for A*AA (the typical requirement) then HSPS can be a justifiable goal. But only if you can also demonstrate a genuine passion for the course, and not just because it's a PPE "lite". It isnt.

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    (Original post by Rohit_Rocks10)
    Due to your GCSEs, I don't know about time but you would be definitely wasting a choice by applying. I am not demotivating you but keeping in mind the average applicant has 5A*s it definitely would be a waste of choice
    Don't worry about demotivating me haha I'll still work hard either way. You're right, I'm clearly a long way behind the average applicant at GCSE and that will almost certainly be a problem. Big thanks for the advice

    (Original post by Skye.16)
    The conference won't be a waste of time as you'll be able to speak to people from the university's who can give you a more accurate answer
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    Good call, I put my name down, cheers

    (Original post by Google22)
    Well, I know a friend who did well in his GCSEs (about 6 A*s, handful of As) and then in his AS, he got 4 As. Predicted 4 A*s.

    Applied to Cambridge to study engineering. He got rejected.

    Now I am not saying this to de-motivate you, and idk if engineering is more competitive than politics, but you already have a uphill climb due to those GCSEs, and not being able to do maths.

    Maybe they'll accept you if you get their required grades, who knows, but my advice is to not depend on Oxbridge. Apply to 1 of them, sure, but keep in mind that it's hard to get into, and choose your other 4 uni options carefully.

    But good luck tho, save our government in the future
    Thanks, I'll make sure to thank you in my speech if I ever get in haha. Good anecdote, people with much better GCSEs than myself getting rejected is obviously a good argument for me limiting my hopes. Big thanks

    (Original post by Michiyo)
    Oxford - yes
    Cambridge - maybe not

    OP, if you want to study mathematics at A-level, you could try to self-teach it or learn it with a private tutor, then sign up for the exams as a private candidate. In fact, you could even try to fast-track yourself through mathematics so you already have a good, full A-level grade when you apply, which could boost your application. However, I do not think this would be a brilliant idea right now since it is almost February and four months may not be enough to learn what you need with your other four A-levels. I suggest focusing on your A-levels right now so you do well and if you are so keen on mathematics, you could try this option next year. If not, stick to what you are doing now.

    Go to the conference since it could be useful anyway. I attended a very useful Cambridge talk even though I had no chance of getting in because I could apply what they said to other universities to a certain extent.

    Good luck becoming the Prime Minister or the Chief of MI5/SIS!
    Thanks for the insight. I have actually considered redoing maths GCSE because I'm sure I could get an A in it, but I don't think it's worth my time and I think they've basically abolished the old exams now? I've signed up for the conference so it'll be good to have a chat with them. When you say you had no chance of getting in, was your situation still better than mine? Cheers for the insight.

    (Original post by ozmo19)
    Considering everything, it may be pretty pointless if you were to apply to Oxford.

    However, Cambridge on the other hand is much more realistic because they focus more on AS/A-Levels compared to GCSEs.
    Sign up for the conference.

    You'll need to work your *** off over the next 2 years if you really want to get in. I mean you should be aiming for AAAA at AS-Level and as close to straight A*s for A-Level.

    Good luck!
    Took the advice you and many others gave and signed up for it. I'll keep working hard as you say and go for Cambridge rather than Oxford most likely

    (Original post by liziepie)
    How much time would you be wasting, really, by applying? Sure, you have an earlier deadline to complete all your UCAS stuff, but it's good to get it out of the way early, and fill in an extra form or two - what else do you have to lose? It's one choice on your UCAS form, if you're confident you'll get other offers, why not give it a go?
    Thanks for the input. I guess I may as well at lest try.

    (Original post by zayn008)
    Tbh I don't think it's worth it, I've actually come from a similar place... I only got 2 A's at GCSEs but thought it'd be a good idea to apply so I don't wonder what would've happened... the TSA is a tough exam and I scored above average and still didn't get in, preparing for the TSA costed a lot of time which made me fall behind in my subjects. So my grades weren't as good but I scored above average on the TSA and got rejected still.... in all honesty I think you should pass... you can do it if you feel you have to but be prepared for a rejection. Sorry to be harsh but it's tough and it will come down to GCSEs sooner or later.

    Might I also add, if you're annoyed at politicians coming from a PPE background and want to get into politics don't try and be them, the public hates them and sooner or later they're going to want something different. PPE at oxford to get into politics is a route that will ensure people hate you when you become a politician. Theresa May went to oxford, sure... but she did geography. Gordon brown went to Edinburgh, John Major didn't even go to university. If you're truly passionate about politics you'll know that elitism is its biggest problem and won't try to use it as a door to entry if you have decent morals.
    Found this comment very interesting because you seemed in a very similar position to me. It's nice of you to point out some of those former leaders who didn't do Oxford/PPE but lets be real, you and me both know that 1% of people went to Oxbridge and 50%+ of our political leaders. Good point about the GCSEs though, I've heard that in the case of a tie-breaker it's used as a decider, and if it is, I'm screwed. No two ways about it, I'd be totally screwed.

    (Original post by jneill)
    Definitely go to the conference.

    If you are realistically on target for A*AA (the typical requirement) then HSPS can be a justifiable goal. But only if you can also demonstrate a genuine passion for the course, and not just because it's a PPE "lite". It isnt.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Big thanks, I'll make sure to treat HSPS as it's own course as opposed to replacement. I'll strive for A*AA, too early to say if I can but I'll give it my best shot.
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    (Original post by StudentRobbie)
    Found this comment very interesting because you seemed in a very similar position to me. It's nice of you to point out some of those former leaders who didn't do Oxford/PPE but lets be real, you and me both know that 1% of people went to Oxbridge and 50%+ of our political leaders. Good point about the GCSEs though, I've heard that in the case of a tie-breaker it's used as a decider, and if it is, I'm screwed. No two ways about it, I'd be totally screwed.
    Glad I could help, look you've got to approach it realistically and if there's a part of you that really wants to give it a try, do it. It's motivating to push yourself but just be prepared for a setback, it'll either work out as a great surprised or be a good life lesson that'll help in the future. It's true that most leaders are from an oxbridge background but only a few are from PPE, and most have come from their own background which doesn't include PPE or oxbridge. So don't feel like PPE is your only way in, a true leader creates his own path and doesn't follow one hence why most our political leaders suck they either followed a path or don't have one. To be honest, GCSEs will be one of the first thing they look at and of top of that it'll be used as a tie-breaker. There are some stats from oxford for PPE that show the number of applicants that got an offer/interviewed/rejected grouped by the number of A's/A*'s. whilst the lowest is 3 A/A*'s, the lowest number of A*'s is 2. http://www.ppe.ox.ac.uk/images%5Ccou...stics_2016.pdf

    So I think you should look elsewhere, many who can't get into oxbridge go to Exeter... that's not why I applied but I do fit the category lol, but whatever your choice know that it's an extremely slim chance. Some people have suggested you apply to Cambridge which I think is a better idea but still really tough... just make sure you have a realistic plan but also do have a 'long shot' plan. I love pushing my luck, it's taught me a lot and has done me very good.
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    (Original post by StudentRobbie)
    Thanks for the insight. I have actually considered redoing maths GCSE because I'm sure I could get an A in it, but I don't think it's worth my time and I think they've basically abolished the old exams now? I've signed up for the conference so it'll be good to have a chat with them. When you say you had no chance of getting in, was your situation still better than mine? Cheers for the insight.
    I heard there is one final old GCSE maths exam for those who want to retake it in June, if that helps.

    My GCSEs were much worse. Go down a grade in three of your As and go down a grade in every subject that was not A and you will get my GCSEs. So, nope, yours is better than mine.

    You are welcome :hugs:
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    (Original post by StudentRobbie)
    Don't worry about demotivating me haha I'll still work hard either way. You're right, I'm clearly a long way behind the average applicant at GCSE and that will almost certainly be a problem. Big thanks for the advice



    Good call, I put my name down, cheers



    Thanks, I'll make sure to thank you in my speech if I ever get in haha. Good anecdote, people with much better GCSEs than myself getting rejected is obviously a good argument for me limiting my hopes. Big thanks



    Thanks for the insight. I have actually considered redoing maths GCSE because I'm sure I could get an A in it, but I don't think it's worth my time and I think they've basically abolished the old exams now? I've signed up for the conference so it'll be good to have a chat with them. When you say you had no chance of getting in, was your situation still better than mine? Cheers for the insight.



    Took the advice you and many others gave and signed up for it. I'll keep working hard as you say and go for Cambridge rather than Oxford most likely



    Thanks for the input. I guess I may as well at lest try.



    Found this comment very interesting because you seemed in a very similar position to me. It's nice of you to point out some of those former leaders who didn't do Oxford/PPE but lets be real, you and me both know that 1% of people went to Oxbridge and 50%+ of our political leaders. Good point about the GCSEs though, I've heard that in the case of a tie-breaker it's used as a decider, and if it is, I'm screwed. No two ways about it, I'd be totally screwed.



    Big thanks, I'll make sure to treat HSPS as it's own course as opposed to replacement. I'll strive for A*AA, too early to say if I can but I'll give it my best shot.
    Anytime 😊
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    (Original post by StudentRobbie)
    It's nice of you to point out some of those former leaders who didn't do Oxford/PPE but lets be real, you and me both know that 1% of people went to Oxbridge and 50%+ of our political leaders.
    That's likely because those with political ambitions choose to go to Oxford to do PPE in the first place. It's not that PPE makes them good politicians.

    If you have political ambition you could go to any university. After all, people don't vote for you because you went to Oxford to do PPE.
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    It should be pointed out that going to decent/good schools is a disadvantage. If you went to a good school universities expect more from you than if you went to a terrible one.
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    Go for it, you have nothing to lose.
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    Honestly just go for it. I was in a similiar position last year. I was asking frantic questions on here because I hate the thought of wasting my time. I have pretty bad GCSE grades but I'm sitting here with a Cambridge History offer. Just work your butt off
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    Choose the course first, not the university. Doing a course you don't care about for 3/4 years could mean you end up with a 2:2 or less which is below what most employers seek.

    I always think that it's worth applying though, unless you don't meet the basic requirements. It's only one choice out of 5, and if you apply wisely then you should get the rest of your offers. It's better to apply and get rejected, than to not and always have regrets.
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    (Original post by Rohit_Rocks10)
    Due to your GCSEs, I don't know about time but you would be definitely wasting a choice by applying. I am not demotivating you but keeping in mind the average applicant has 5A*s it definitely would be a waste of choice
    I'd also like to add that the average SUCCESSFUL applicant has 8.3A* too.
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    I would definitely go for it anyway, your GCSE results won't hold you back, if your predicted grades are good enough and you especially do well on the entrance exams (TSA I think?), its likely you'd get interviewed.
 
 
 
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