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Is it too late to think about Oxford? A real dilemma... Watch

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    (Original post by OxFossil)
    What you imagine may not accord with reality.

    There is no aptitude test for Biological Sciences at Oxford.

    A quick scan of the statistics for Biological Science applications (as opposed to Medicine) shows that a significant number of places are offered to people with fewer that 5-6 A*s. Here for example.
    Oh..that is interesting lol.
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    Honestly, unless you went to a poor performing schools, I would be surprised if you got in for chemistry when looking at your GCSES

    THAT BEING SAID

    Work super hard this year, with a high achieving end goal in sight. Get high UMS in any AS exams you take and get top notch predicted grades. If you do this and really invest into your subject that you want to study, you have a very good chance at Cambridge university.

    THAT BEING SAID

    It doesn't hurt to try for Oxford (Just dont get your hopes up too much, make sure everything else on your application is stellar but I think your GCSES will get you rejected unfortunately).

    Good luck and don't be disheartened - keep going! prove us wrong!
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    (Original post by mosam00)
    Unfortunately, Oxford is probably the most GCSE heavy university you can apply to, and really the only way you can make up for your GCSEs is by doing amazing in their entrance exams, which is obviously very difficult, for Medicine they use an algorithm with 50% being GCSE and 50% being the entrance exam, they don't even look at the personal statement before interview, so even if your PS was amazing, it wouldn't make up for your GCSEs unfortunately, at least for Medicine, but I'm pretty sure it's similar for most other courses. I'd seriously recommend Cambridge instead, they're pretty much the same, idk why you hate Cambridge but dream of going to Oxford.
    Grade requirements for Medicine are not the same as grade requirements for any other subject.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    I presume you are missing a "not" - although strictly speaking the 'best' applicant is indeed guaranteed an offer, but they won't know they are the best until later
    Wait what is this meant to mean haha

    Are the applicants deemed by the these unis that are deemed the "best" given an advantage so to speak, where they know they might be the one?
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    (Original post by XxxvatxxX)
    Wait what is this meant to mean haha

    Are the applicants deemed by the these unis that are deemed the "best" given an advantage so to speak, where they know they might be the one?
    No. All I meant was, by definition, someone will be the 'best'. Nobody knows who the 'best' is until the (entire) process is complete. That's all.

    No drama...
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    No. All I meant was, by definition, someone will be the 'best'. Nobody knows who the 'best' is until the (entire) process is complete. That's all.

    No drama...
    Oh, you meant it that way, gotcha
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    Grade requirements for Medicine are not the same as grade requirements for any other subject.
    I'm not saying the OP needs 10 A*s to get into his course lool, but my friends applying to other courses said that Oxford is GCSE and entrance exam heavy still, and Oxford is well Oxford, so it's still going to be competitive regardless of the course. Although someone has reminded me that Biological sciences doesn't have an entrance exam and showed a spreadsheet showing people with less than 5/6 A*s getting in, so I guess they may work differently for Biological Sciences.
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    I get you man, "I have a dream" to go to Oxford as well
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    The line in quotations is from Martin Lurther King!
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    Grade requirements for Medicine are not the same as grade requirements for any other subject.
    Case in point: upwards of 95% of music applicants were offered an interview at Oxford last year (vast majority of those not invited were predicted/obtained less than AAA at A2 w/o extenuating circumstances or promises of a resit)

    I can't imagine that 90%+ of music applicants have over 6 A* at GCSE
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    (Original post by DreamlinerFinder)
    Thanks,I thought that your post was unsubstantiated,but those are interesting statistics anyway.

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    (Original post by mosam00)
    https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me...cal/statistics

    as you can see, the average number of A*s for a SUCCESSFUL applicant is 10.5, and the average percentage is of A*s is 93% lol and the average BMAT is around 63% which equates to 6.0, 6.0 and 3A roughly I think, the actual average for the BMAT in general across the country is usually around 4.5 4.5 3A, so even with amazing GCSEs you still need to be significantly above average to get an interview, so it's even harder if your GCSEs aren't up to scratch. For other courses at Oxford, it's probably slightly less competitive, but I'd still imagine that you'd need around 5-6 A*s at least for courses like Biology.
    Medicine is the exception, not the rule. If you look at FOI requests for other subjects, yes, they generally have an average figure of 5-9 A*s at GCSE but there is a spread - it's not like medicine where you've basically got no chance below a certain threshold.
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    (Original post by OxFossil)
    My daughter has just graduated in Biology at Oxford. Edinburgh and Exeter were on her shortlist, and we we did a fair bit of research on them - including offer holder visits etc.

    As far as your "main points of discussion" go, I'd suggest that there may be more important criteria.
    On the question of GCSE grades, even if you didn't get an interview, you still have 4 choices left and you can only go to one university anyway.

    The differences between Zoology and Biology at U/G level are quite small. To the extent that one can exclude plants from your understanding of animal biology, this can be achieved through your options choices. And for most topics - ecology, evolution, biochemistry, cell biology, statistics....the rather artificial zoology/botany distinction is pretty nonsensical.

    I'd say that the Unis you mention are different in much more significant ways than this. For example, Exeter has a good "whole animal" approach (eg behaviour and ecology is well represented there, with the Centre for Ecology and Conservation on the Penrhyn campus site), whereas Edinburgh seems more oriented towards "old fashioned" basic science. Edinburgh's is also a four-year course. You could also hardly have a bigger contrast in terms of location than the metropolitan buzz of Edinburgh and the rural TellyTubby world of Penrhyn.

    Oxford's college structure, weekly tutorials and heavy workloads are its main distinctions (rather than the subject content per se).

    So I would suggest looking at these things to guide your decision.
    thank you so much for this! The course I'd apply for at Exeter is 4 year anyway (study abroad) and seems amazing, but I'm really worried about the location as it really is out in the sticks (I used to live in the absolute middle of nowhere and really didn't like it). Thanks for the comments on Edinburgh, I'll probably discount it from the list as I'm much more interested in the more behaviour side of things.
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    (Original post by Kseniya MilkCHoc)
    I think it's like a teenager dream you have and now you are not judging things adequately
    Talk to your parents and decide what Is better for you
    Choose the subject not the place/city etc
    I would be the first of my family to attend university, so they're not going to be able to help (hence why I came on here)
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    (Original post by The RAR)
    I get you man, "I have a dream" to go to Oxford as well
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    The line in quotations is from Martin Lurther King!

    I don't think we can liken my "teenager dream" to the groundbreaking work of a Nobel peace prize winner, can we now?
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    (Original post by gotaquestion)
    Honestly, unless you went to a poor performing schools, I would be surprised if you got in for chemistry when looking at your GCSES

    THAT BEING SAID

    Work super hard this year, with a high achieving end goal in sight. Get high UMS in any AS exams you take and get top notch predicted grades. If you do this and really invest into your subject that you want to study, you have a very good chance at Cambridge university.

    THAT BEING SAID

    It doesn't hurt to try for Oxford (Just dont get your hopes up too much, make sure everything else on your application is stellar but I think your GCSES will get you rejected unfortunately).

    Good luck and don't be disheartened - keep going! prove us wrong!
    my school pass rate is around the 55% mark and I achieved one of only two nine grades in english language, and one of three nines in maths, is this in anyway redeeming?
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    (Original post by Volibear)
    Even the 'best' applicant is guranteed an offer. Do your research and apply, you have four other UCAS spots. You're guranteeing yourself a rejection by not bothering to apply and there's nothing much you can do about your GCSEs now.
    I really don't get your point? Why would I apply to a university I have very little interest in attending? Seems a bit pointless to me, I don't want to go to a good university to say I've been to one, I want to go to a good university to get a good degree and ultimately end up in a good research position in my chosen specialism.
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    (Original post by questionofrust)
    I really don't get your point? Why would I apply to a university I have very little interest in attending? Seems a bit pointless to me, I don't want to go to a good university to say I've been to one, I want to go to a good university to get a good degree and ultimately end up in a good research position in my chosen specialism.
    I thought you wanted to go to Oxford.
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    (Original post by questionofrust)
    thank you so much for this! The course I'd apply for at Exeter is 4 year anyway (study abroad) and seems amazing, but I'm really worried about the location as it really is out in the sticks (I used to live in the absolute middle of nowhere and really didn't like it). Thanks for the comments on Edinburgh, I'll probably discount it from the list as I'm much more interested in the more behaviour side of things.
    Bear in mind that my opinions of Exeter and Edinburgh aren't backed by any experience of studying there, only what I could discover from visits and chats with lecturers/course directors. (Sheffield was another Uni that impressed me btw.) Do visit the places you have on your shortlist if you possibly can, and don't be shy of approaching existing students or lecturers with your questions - most people are happy to talk about themselves and their work! Apply to Oxford only if you think it would suit you. I had a pretty crap experience there; my daughter thoroughly enjoyed it - don't let the name decide for you.
 
 
 
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