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    I have just spoken to my tutor and informed her that I am going to be applying to Oxford and honestly she didn't seem convinced I would get in at all and has just disheartened me completely. She said that I need to remember that I'll be up against students who have been working for this their whole life and been going to private schools and are of much higher and privileged backgrounds and said I should look at other universities that I want to apply to and basically forget Oxford. I am not under the illusion that I am not at a disadvantage because I'm not 'rich' but that does not mean, in any way, that I'm not capable of being accepted and shortlisted into Oxford. Last year, I achieved AAA in my mocks and everything was great but in my AS external exams I achieved ABC which was a huge disappointment for me considering my past grades. Only the B counts towards my final grades as the A and C were in subjects that are now linear but I am still well aware that this could damage my application but I am trying my best to perfect everything else. Being accepted would be a dream and I know it requires hard work and commitment which I am well determined on doing. Regardless of whether I am rejected or not I have aimed for the highest so surely it will make it easier applying to other unis I am interested in (UoB, Warwick and Manchester). I just want to know if there is anyone who didn't do so well in their AS but was still considered as a serious applicant at Oxbridge because I just don't know how to feel.
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    (Original post by Himyar48)
    I have just spoken to my tutor and informed her that I am going to be applying to Oxford and honestly she didn't seem convinced I would get in at all and has just disheartened me completely. She said that I need to remember that I'll be up against students who have been working for this their whole life and been going to private schools and are of much higher and privileged backgrounds and said I should look at other universities that I want to apply to and basically forget Oxford. I am not under the illusion that I am not at a disadvantage because I'm not 'rich' but that does not mean, in any way, that I'm not capable of being accepted and shortlisted into Oxford. Last year, I achieved AAA in my mocks and everything was great but in my AS external exams I achieved ABC which was a huge disappointment for me considering my past grades. Only the B counts towards my final grades as the A and C were in subjects that are now linear but I am still well aware that this could damage my application but I am trying my best to perfect everything else. Being accepted would be a dream and I know it requires hard work and commitment which I am well determined on doing. Regardless of whether I am rejected or not I have aimed for the highest so surely it will make it easier applying to other unis I am interested in (UoB, Warwick and Manchester). I just want to know if there is anyone who didn't do so well in their AS but was still considered as a serious applicant at Oxbridge because I just don't know how to feel.
    It doesn't matter that the AS grades don't count, you still have to declare them on your UCAS application and Oxford will see them. ABC is not Oxford material. What are you predicted grades for A2? Your teacher is right, you will be up against so many people who got AAA at AS.
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    (Original post by Glassapple)
    It doesn't matter that the AS grades don't count, you still have to declare them on your UCAS application and Oxford will see them. ABC is not Oxford material. What are you predicted grades for A2? Your teacher is right, you will be up against so many people who got AAA at AS.
    With all due respect, are you an Oxford student/admissions tutor or anyone with experience on this matter? I have read and called about the Oxford application process and it's clearly states that they don't, and never have used AS grades in a mechanistic way because so many schools don't actually do them. Also, the only thing that will be affected by my ABC are my predicted grades which are put in my reference by my individual teachers. I only declare the grades that are actual AS grades (this only applies to maths; my B). My question was more on my background than my grades because that it was my teacher emphasised. Also, gcse grades play a big part in the Oxford application process in particular, and I achieved 7A*s and 5As. Not saying it evens out the B and C I got but it is a contributing factor.
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    (Original post by Himyar48)
    With all due respect, are you an Oxford student/admissions tutor or anyone with experience on this matter? I have read and called about the Oxford application process and it's clearly states that they don't, and never have used AS grades in a mechanistic way because so many schools don't actually do them. Also, the only thing that will be affected by my ABC are my predicted grades which are put in my reference by my individual teachers. I only declare the grades that are actual AS grades (this only applies to maths; my B). My question was more on my background than my grades because that it was my teacher emphasised. Also, gcse grades play a big part in the Oxford application process in particular, and I achieved 7A*s and 5As. Not saying it evens out the B and C I got but it is a contributing factor.
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    (Original post by Himyar48)
    I have just spoken to my tutor and informed her that I am going to be applying to Oxford and honestly she didn't seem convinced I would get in at all and has just disheartened me completely. She said that I need to remember that I'll be up against students who have been working for this their whole life and been going to private schools and are of much higher and privileged backgrounds and said I should look at other universities that I want to apply to and basically forget Oxford. I am not under the illusion that I am not at a disadvantage because I'm not 'rich' but that does not mean, in any way, that I'm not capable of being accepted and shortlisted into Oxford. Last year, I achieved AAA in my mocks and everything was great but in my AS external exams I achieved ABC which was a huge disappointment for me considering my past grades. Only the B counts towards my final grades as the A and C were in subjects that are now linear but I am still well aware that this could damage my application but I am trying my best to perfect everything else. Being accepted would be a dream and I know it requires hard work and commitment which I am well determined on doing. Regardless of whether I am rejected or not I have aimed for the highest so surely it will make it easier applying to other unis I am interested in (UoB, Warwick and Manchester). I just want to know if there is anyone who didn't do so well in their AS but was still considered as a serious applicant at Oxbridge because I just don't know how to feel.
    Your tutor sounds ignorant on this subject.

    What are your subjects and predicted grades?
    What are you hoping to read? Specifically, does it have an admissions test?

    If you think that you can meet the entry requirements and do well in any admissions test, go for it. Good luck!
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    Hey! I'm a current Oxford student and I know quite a lot about the admissions process. Ofc this is only my personal opinion, but while it is true that your AS grades aren't the best and there'll be lots of applicants with AAA (and even AAAA), it is also true that Oxford doesn't technically use AS grades in its deliberations. What it does use are GCSEs - and yours are easily good enough for Oxford (humanities at least - what subject do you want to apply for?). GCSEs are also contextualised so yours will look even better given that you haven't come from private sch etc.
    As for your background, unfortunately while teachers/family (normally the older ppl whose advice you trust) almost always mean well, a lot of them are using their knowledge of the Oxford of 30/40yrs ago, not the Oxford of today. Right now, Oxford takes more state than private school students, and at some colleges the ratio is as good as 70:30. Not that there isn't some way to go yet, but pls don't be discouraged from applying based on your background - the only qualifiers for being an Oxford student are being clever/passionate enough, and suiting the tutorial system. And you'll never know whether you fit those things if you don't apply, so I would encourage you to do so!! It's only one space out of 5 on your application
    Hope this helped! Feel free to PM me if you want, too
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    (Original post by Himyar48)
    I have just spoken to my tutor and informed her that I am going to be applying to Oxford and honestly she didn't seem convinced I would get in at all and has just disheartened me completely. She said that I need to remember that I'll be up against students who have been working for this their whole life and been going to private schools and are of much higher and privileged backgrounds and said I should look at other universities that I want to apply to and basically forget Oxford. I am not under the illusion that I am not at a disadvantage because I'm not 'rich' but that does not mean, in any way, that I'm not capable of being accepted and shortlisted into Oxford. Last year, I achieved AAA in my mocks and everything was great but in my AS external exams I achieved ABC which was a huge disappointment for me considering my past grades. Only the B counts towards my final grades as the A and C were in subjects that are now linear but I am still well aware that this could damage my application but I am trying my best to perfect everything else. Being accepted would be a dream and I know it requires hard work and commitment which I am well determined on doing. Regardless of whether I am rejected or not I have aimed for the highest so surely it will make it easier applying to other unis I am interested in (UoB, Warwick and Manchester). I just want to know if there is anyone who didn't do so well in their AS but was still considered as a serious applicant at Oxbridge because I just don't know how to feel.
    It seems to me that the problem is not so much that other applicants have been coached their whole lives to gain admission. Most of them don't succeed and many from entirely 'normal' backgrounds, with talent, spirit and determination, do succeed.

    You shouldn't be put off or intimidated by thoughts about who else is applying but you should think about whether you will be likely to get the required A-level grades. For many courses, you'll need AAA and you'll need to make a realistic assessment of your prospects of getting those grades. Getting ABC at AS-level doesn't rule out getting AAA at A2 but it does mean you will need to improve on that exam performance. If the course requirement is A*AA or A*A*A, that could require an even bigger improvement.

    I'm sure your tutor wants to protect you from disappointment but not applying is only the right course if that disappointment is inevitable. If you can get the grades you stand a chance of getting an offer and have little to lose by making an application.

    Good luck, whatever you decide - it is your decision, after all.
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    (Original post by RogerOxon)
    Your tutor sounds ignorant on this subject.

    What are your subjects and predicted grades?
    What are you hoping to read? Specifically, does it have an admissions test?

    If you think that you can meet the entry requirements and do well in any admissions test, go for it. Good luck!
    I have come to the conclusion that she is a bit inexperienced with regards to uni applications. I got ABC at AS in geography, maths and chemistry respectively. I dropped geography and picked up Arabic A Level in which I am predicted A*/A and continuing with maths and chemistry (my predicted grades haven't been confirmed yet but my college's predicted grade system is basically a grade higher than what we got at AS). With that said, my predicted grades could potentially be A*AB but I'm going to speak to my chemistry teacher and see if it can be bumped up to an A due to my performance last year. But, again, my post was more on my background than my grades.

    Oh and lol almost forgot to answer your other questions; I would like to study Law at Oxford and have already sat the lnat (admissions test for law). They will receive my results on October 20th.
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    (Original post by Glassapple)
    BrasenoseAdm
    We've been summoned - thank you! Its good to get outside of the bottle for a few minutes (genie stretches limbs that have been cooped up).

    OK, so this is a prospective Law applicant who has taken the LNAT. There's no suggestion it went badly so we take this as a good sign.

    AS grades are becoming less important because fewer schools are entering candidates. In the case of Chemistry, for example, entries for AS fell by half even though entries for Chemistry A-level have risen (its now the 4th or 5th most popular subject).

    We've not seen your GCSE profile. Selectors will also take this into account - presumably the profile is quite strong because the sense of the post seems to be that AS were less strong than GCSE was and A-level is predicted to be.

    Oxford Law is certainly competitve and there are no guarantees but on the basis of what's been presented, we don't agree there is no point in applying. We were in our bottle though and so couldn't hear what was actually said in conversation with the school teacher/adviser. Quite often listeners hear some elements of a conversation and screen out others and so the advice might have been more balanced than appears.

    That said, there have been a number of Brasenose students who told us their schools discouraged them from applying. We write letters to schools after students arrive and also when they graduate, thanking teachers for encouraging the initial application. One of our recent graduates informed us this had caused some consternation since the school hadn't encouraged them at all! This is increasingly rare though (we are pleased to say).

    PS the above student graduated with a First!

    There's an ad on telly at the moment for 'a well known high street bank' which is based on the premise that young people, when advised to take small steps in their careers, ignore the advice and learn by attempting a giant leap. It involves an actor in a space suit leaping around trying to defy gravity. While we wouldn't recommend trying to defy gravity, having a go at a Law application is a different matter and not being afraid to fail is a good attitude to have if you can manage it.

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    (Original post by Himyar48)
    I have come to the conclusion that she is a bit inexperienced with regards to uni applications.
    Her comments about "private schools" and "higher and privileged backgrounds" really isn't how Oxford is.

    Oh and lol almost forgot to answer your other questions; I would like to study Law at Oxford and have already sat the lnat (admissions test for law). They will receive my results on October 20th.
    As you'll know, the entry requirement for Jurisprudence is AAA. Your LNAT result is very important - that can compensate for areas of relative weakness in the rest of your application. Do not worry about your AS grades, worry about your LNAT result

    Please don't be put off by your teacher, and do apply. If you do well on the LNAT, you have a good chance of an interview. Good luck!

    BrasenoseAdm has already been tagged, so they'll be able to give you the professional opinion.
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    (Original post by Himyar48)
    I have just spoken to my tutor and informed her that I am going to be applying to Oxford and honestly she didn't seem convinced I would get in at all and has just disheartened me completely. She said that I need to remember that I'll be up against students who have been working for this their whole life and been going to private schools and are of much higher and privileged backgrounds and said I should look at other universities that I want to apply to and basically forget Oxford. I am not under the illusion that I am not at a disadvantage because I'm not 'rich' but that does not mean, in any way, that I'm not capable of being accepted and shortlisted into Oxford. Last year, I achieved AAA in my mocks and everything was great but in my AS external exams I achieved ABC which was a huge disappointment for me considering my past grades. Only the B counts towards my final grades as the A and C were in subjects that are now linear but I am still well aware that this could damage my application but I am trying my best to perfect everything else. Being accepted would be a dream and I know it requires hard work and commitment which I am well determined on doing. Regardless of whether I am rejected or not I have aimed for the highest so surely it will make it easier applying to other unis I am interested in (UoB, Warwick and Manchester). I just want to know if there is anyone who didn't do so well in their AS but was still considered as a serious applicant at Oxbridge because I just don't know how to feel.
    Yes, it absolutely will be easier applying to other Uni's. People who apply to Oxbridge are fully aware that they would have an easier and much higher success rate at lesser Uni's. But they still try.

    If going to Oxford is important to you, it may be better if you achieve the A2 grades now, then apply once you've got the A2 grades you require. That way, you'll be guaranteed an interview. And you can still apply to Uni's now, just perhaps not Oxford.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. x
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    Is Arabic a language you speak at home? I know that might be taken into account by Universities when looking at language A Levels. You should check that out.

    In the past, less than great AS's were taken into account when selecting for interview. I have a friend that did not get an interview because of that. (And she finally ended up with A*A*A!). Though, as other people are saying, this has changed as AS's are phased out. You can always apply the following year if you get stellar A Level results if you get turned down this year.
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    (Original post by FloralHybrid)
    If going to Oxford is important to you, it may be better if you achieve the A2 grades now, then apply once you've got the A2 grades you require. That way, you'll be guaranteed an interview. And you can still apply to Uni's now, just perhaps not Oxford.
    That's wrong. A2 grades will not guarantee an interview.
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    (Original post by RogerOxon)
    That's wrong. A2 grades will not guarantee an interview.
    Okay, they make it incredibly more likely. But yes, it's not a complete guarantee.
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    (Original post by lifescomplexity)
    Hey! I'm a current Oxford student and I know quite a lot about the admissions process. Ofc this is only my personal opinion, but while it is true that your AS grades aren't the best and there'll be lots of applicants with AAA (and even AAAA), it is also true that Oxford doesn't technically use AS grades in its deliberations. What it does use are GCSEs - and yours are easily good enough for Oxford (humanities at least - what subject do you want to apply for?). GCSEs are also contextualised so yours will look even better given that you haven't come from private sch etc.
    As for your background, unfortunately while teachers/family (normally the older ppl whose advice you trust) almost always mean well, a lot of them are using their knowledge of the Oxford of 30/40yrs ago, not the Oxford of today. Right now, Oxford takes more state than private school students, and at some colleges the ratio is as good as 70:30. Not that there isn't some way to go yet, but pls don't be discouraged from applying based on your background - the only qualifiers for being an Oxford student are being clever/passionate enough, and suiting the tutorial system. And you'll never know whether you fit those things if you don't apply, so I would encourage you to do so!! It's only one space out of 5 on your application
    Hope this helped! Feel free to PM me if you want, too
    Hey! I'm looking to study Law hopefully. My GCSE grades are decent and I achieved 7A*s and 5As. Yeh what I really don't appreciate from my tutor is being undermined by her (she met me last Thursday) and the fact that her views on Oxford applicants are far from the truth. I don't think she realised how affected I was by her words but I guess I will have to speak to her. Thank you so much for this- honestly has lightened up my mood. What do you study and what year are you in?
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    (Original post by astro67)
    It seems to me that the problem is not so much that other applicants have been coached their whole lives to gain admission. Most of them don't succeed and many from entirely 'normal' backgrounds, with talent, spirit and determination, do succeed.

    You shouldn't be put off or intimidated by thoughts about who else is applying but you should think about whether you will be likely to get the required A-level grades. For many courses, you'll need AAA and you'll need to make a realistic assessment of your prospects of getting those grades. Getting ABC at AS-level doesn't rule out getting AAA at A2 but it does mean you will need to improve on that exam performance. If the course requirement is A*AA or A*A*A, that could require an even bigger improvement.

    I'm sure your tutor wants to protect you from disappointment but not applying is only the right course if that disappointment is inevitable. If you can get the grades you stand a chance of getting an offer and have little to lose by making an application.

    Good luck, whatever you decide - it is your decision, after all.
    Yeh I understand that and I have heard of countless stories of students that have worked their whole life to get into Oxbridge only to get declined. Honestly, at first I was intimidated by the thought of other applicants and their abilities but then I made the deciison to focus wholly on myself and my application and ensure it is the best it can be.

    I am looking to study law and need to achieve AAA in order to be considered and I believe this is achievable. As I stated above, I got ABC in geography, maths and chemistry respectively. I dropped geography and picked up Arabic in which I am predicted A*/A. As for maths and chemistry, my application hasn't been sent off yet but the predicted grade system used by my college is basically a grade higher than what we achieved in AS. So that would mean an A in maths and a B in chemistry (I'm going to speak my chem teacher to see if I'm able to get it bumped up to an A considering my performance throughout the academic year).

    Honestly, I don't think my tutor was protecting me from disappointment but rather just saving herself the hassle of getting my reference done for October 15. She gave me advice on my personal statement saying I should include why I want to apply to Oxford but that would push away the other unis I am applying to considering they are high up on the league table too.

    I am going to apply regardless of what my tutor said and regardless of her attempt to discourage me. I know I have a slim chance of getting in but I can't miss the oppurtunity of applying to one of the most prestigious institutions in the world.
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    (Original post by FloralHybrid)
    Yes, it absolutely will be easier applying to other Uni's. People who apply to Oxbridge are fully aware that they would have an easier and much higher success rate at lesser Uni's. But they still try.

    If going to Oxford is important to you, it may be better if you achieve the A2 grades now, then apply once you've got the A2 grades you require. That way, you'll be guaranteed an interview. And you can still apply to Uni's now, just perhaps not Oxford.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. x
    I am not looking to take a gap year but thanks for the advice.
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    (Original post by Himyar48)
    I am not looking to take a gap year but thanks for the advice.
    Understandable, but that may well be your only realistic route into Oxford.
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    (Original post by strandsfinest)
    Is Arabic a language you speak at home? I know that might be taken into account by Universities when looking at language A Levels. You should check that out.

    In the past, less than great AS's were taken into account when selecting for interview. I have a friend that did not get an interview because of that. (And she finally ended up with A*A*A!). Though, as other people are saying, this has changed as AS's are phased out. You can always apply the following year if you get stellar A Level results if you get turned down this year.
    Yeh lol got that all sorted before I dropped geography. I called and emailed Oxford, Manchester, Birmingham and Warwick and they all said it wasn't a problem especially because English is my first language and also because Law has no specific A Level subject requirements.

    And lol Idk why but people are assuming that Oxford is the only option I have?? Obviously I would love to get shortlised for an interview and accepted but if I don't I will be applying elsewhere but Oxford is really what I am aiming for. Thanks for the post!
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    (Original post by Himyar48)
    (I'm going to speak my chem teacher to see if I'm able to get it bumped up to an A considering my performance throughout the academic year).
    Be careful with this because it's your final exam scores that count not your performance in the year, ultimately. You are obviously capable shown by your GCSE grades (which are fab!) but you don't want to be in a situation where you get offers based on an unrealistic prediction and then you don't meet the offers on results day. Can you recall your papers with Bs and Cs to see where you went wrong so you can learn from it for A2?

    I think you should apply if you really want to because it's only one slot in your 5 UCAS choices so why not, but you've also mentioned other top unis and in the nicest way possible your current AS grades don't match the offers for those unis. It would be a good idea to pick one or two AAB or ABB unis as well, just in case, especially if you're not willing to consider a gap year
 
 
 
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