Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

How is contextual information used in Oxbridge? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I was just wondering, how is the contextual information of a applicant's school used? I'm assuming it's the context of the school in which the applicant took their GCSEs in. Where is the data that they use found, just out of interest?
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by STr_Schl_)
    I was just wondering, how is the contextual information of a applicant's school used? I'm assuming it's the context of the school in which the applicant took their GCSEs in. Where is the data that they use found, just out of interest?
    Probably on some website. I can't remember the name but it gave you the average GCSE grade for low performing, average performing, and high performing students for each school

    I can't remember the name though
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I go to a very academic school where everyone gets high GCSE and AS level grades, so I'm kinda screwed .-.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Baaah)
    I go to a very academic school where everyone gets high GCSE and AS level grades, so I'm kinda screwed .-.
    I've heard it only helps an applicant's chances, not worsen them, so you should be fine.
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by STr_Schl_)
    I've heard it only helps an applicant's chances, not worsen them, so you should be fine.
    I really hope this is true. I got 10 A*s at GCSE which might sound great but 2 people got 11*s ... so that kinda deminishes my achievement.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrSebWilkes)
    I really hope this is true. I got 10 A*s at GCSE which might sound great but 2 people got 11*s ... so that kinda deminishes my achievement.
    You will be okay, because you have above the average GCSE score in your school since you got 3rd best. If the average in your school was 11A* then you would look slightly less impressive .

    For me I came like top 30 or 20 in my school but was still much higher than the average
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    For me the school I went to for GCSE did not produce amazing results, but the current school I go to for sixth form does. I hope the system gets my situation right lol
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by STr_Schl_)
    I was just wondering, how is the contextual information of a applicant's school used? I'm assuming it's the context of the school in which the applicant took their GCSEs in. Where is the data that they use found, just out of interest?
    Cambridge
    https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....ontextual-data
    NB. https://www.cao.cam.ac.uk/behind-the...ool-background

    Oxford
    https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...al-data?wssl=1
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrSebWilkes)
    I really hope this is true. I got 10 A*s at GCSE which might sound great but 2 people got 11*s ... so that kinda deminishes my achievement.
    Wonderful to see people getting 10A* so worried about their future.
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Hmm ... my Mum (whom I live with while at school) is in a housing assocsation which she gets "help" to pay for. Yet according to my postcode, apparantly I come from a pretty affulent area - true, I live *next* to a very affulent area.

    So I take it they wouldn't pick up on that and they'd think I was some rich guy just like anyone else who might also be applying from that area?

    (Original post by esrever)
    Wonderful to see people getting 10A* so worried about their future.
    GCSEs really aren't everything; I'd argue the correlation between intelligence and GCSE count isn't at all linear.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Baaah)
    I go to a very academic school where everyone gets high GCSE and AS level grades, so I'm kinda screwed .-.
    Not at all. Oxford and Cambridge recruit overwhelmingly from a limited list of high achieving and academically-oriented schools, so it significantly boosts your chances if anything.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrSebWilkes)
    I really hope this is true. I got 10 A*s at GCSE which might sound great but 2 people got 11*s ... so that kinda deminishes my achievement.
    My daughter went to a school where many students get 11 A* at GCSE.(11 is the maximum subjects the school allow the students to take) Two of her friends who only got 10 A*s cried their eyes out because they thought their chance of getting into Oxbridge was gone.
    Fast forward two years, both got in Cambridge, So don't worry. If you're at a high performing school where majority of students get all A*/A or 8+ A* and you only got 5 or 6 A* A with Bs in the rest, that may make them worry tiny bit, but 10 A*'is a very respectable result wherever you're at.
    And even if your GCSE results were much worse, if your performance improves a lot at AS (or good prediction for reformed subjects without AS), Cambridge will look at the upward trajectory favourably.
    The problem occurs when your GCSE performance was brilliant but your A-level is not, because that implies you're not coping well at higher level of A-level study.
    • Official TSR Representative
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrSebWilkes)
    Hmm ... my Mum (whom I live with while at school) is in a housing assocsation which she gets "help" to pay for. Yet according to my postcode, apparantly I come from a pretty affulent area - true, I live *next* to a very affulent area.

    So I take it they wouldn't pick up on that and they'd think I was some rich guy just like anyone else who might also be applying from that area?

    GCSEs really aren't everything; I'd argue the correlation between intelligence and GCSE count isn't at all linear.
    How are you using your postcode? Both Oxford and Cambridge use home postcode as a guide to both progression to HE and as an indicator of socioeconomic disadvantage, some of these are very fine-grained. Don't forget that your teacher can draw attention to other relevant aspects in their UCAS reference or in a separate letter to the admissions office of the college you apply to, at either of Oxford and Cambridge. We want as much information on our applicants as we can get as this can only help us in reaching the fairest decisions.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrSebWilkes)
    GCSEs really aren't everything; I'd argue the correlation between intelligence and GCSE count isn't at all linear.
    Correlation may surely be weak between GCSEs or even A level and intelligence but that's not what 'most' unis care about.
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    How are you using your postcode? Both Oxford and Cambridge use home postcode as a guide to both progression to HE and as an indicator of socioeconomic disadvantage, some of these are very fine-grained. Don't forget that your teacher can draw attention to other relevant aspects in their UCAS reference or in a separate letter to the admissions office of the college you apply to, at either of Oxford and Cambridge. We want as much information on our applicants as we can get as this can only help us in reaching the fairest decisions.
    I used this site called "Acorn". The issue is that right next to where we live on the main road are some pretty large Victorian homes and opposite us are some higher end flats so as I said it says I live in an affluent area - which everyone who lives in our apartment block probably wouldn't class themselves, especially my mum who gets government help to live where we do.

    Anyway thanks for posting this because it sounds like my situation won't go unnoticed.
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrSebWilkes)
    I used this site called "Acorn". The issue is that right next to where we live on the main road are some pretty large Victorian homes and opposite us are some higher end flats so as I said it says I live in an affluent area - which everyone who lives in our apartment block probably wouldn't class themselves, especially my mum who gets government help to live where we do.

    Anyway thanks for posting this because it sounds like my situation won't go unnoticed.
    Did you look at the info I linked?
    https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....ontextual-data

    Cambridge itself says: "While OAC and POLAR3 can successfully identify segments of the population that are currently under-represented in applications to Cambridge, we recognise that geodemographic data don’t provide a perfect indication of the socio-economic status or likelihood of participation in higher education for a neighbourhood, and we realise too that the circumstances of an individual aren’t necessarily the same as those of the area in which they live. Therefore, we take great care in the way in which we use this information, and don’t consider it in isolation from the rest of the application."

    Also:
    "We use up to six types of contextual data (where available) as a way of obtaining a more in-depth profile of an applicant:
    • geodemographic data – the socio-economic characteristics of an applicant’s local area, and rates of progression to higher education in an applicant’s local area
    • school/college data – the GCSE performance and recent history of entry to Cambridge or Oxford, of an applicant’s school/college
    • data on individual circumstances – whether an applicant has spent time in care at some point (declared in the UCAS application), and any information provided in the Extenuating Circumstances Form (where submitted)"
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrSebWilkes)
    I used this site called "Acorn". The issue is that right next to where we live on the main road are some pretty large Victorian homes and opposite us are some higher end flats so as I said it says I live in an affluent area - which everyone who lives in our apartment block probably wouldn't class themselves, especially my mum who gets government help to live where we do.

    Anyway thanks for posting this because it sounds like my situation won't go unnoticed.
    There isn't an issue, as Peterhouse Admissions said above.

    "Don't forget that your teacher can draw attention to other relevant aspects in their UCAS reference or in a separate letter to the admissions office of the college you apply to, at either of Oxford and Cambridge. We want as much information on our applicants as we can get as this can only help us in reaching the fairest decisions."

    They take their admission process very seriously and knows very well relying only on public statistic data doesn't give them accurate info precisely because of variation like your case. So the system is there to prevent them from making a wrong judgement. They take great care and invest much more time in assessing each candidate as fairly as possible than any other university (save for Oxford).
    So stop worrying and trust them.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Should Spain allow Catalonia to declare independence?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.