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    Thinking about applying to oxford maths after a gap year and have a few queries about it. First of all this is assuming that I meet the entry requirements after my AH this year. Anyway, I didn't know I wanted to apply until after the cutoff date and now i'm feeling highly motivated to get top marks this year to try and have a shot next year, however my personal statement is very weak outside of areas on maths (I have read books, gone through some STEP stuff and read into additional proofs behind what I use). So my first question is do I even have a chance coming off a gap year or would I need to be a naturally born genius? Also on the gap year should I focus on the academics and get more experienced in maths or would my time be better served volunteering and doing charity work etc?
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    (Original post by Anonymoose1)
    Thinking about applying to oxford maths after a gap year and have a few queries about it. First of all this is assuming that I meet the entry requirements after my AH this year. Anyway, I didn't know I wanted to apply until after the cutoff date and now i'm feeling highly motivated to get top marks this year to try and have a shot next year, however my personal statement is very weak outside of areas on maths (I have read books, gone through some STEP stuff and read into additional proofs behind what I use). So my first question is do I even have a chance coming off a gap year or would I need to be a naturally born genius? Also on the gap year should I focus on the academics and get more experienced in maths or would my time be better served volunteering and doing charity work etc?
    AH?

    The gap year is not a problem though yes you very much should be focusing on academics and getting more maths-y experience under your belt. Doing charity work and volunteering is nice and a great way to gain skills but not what admissions officers are looking for in an application.
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    AH = Advanced Higher, Scottish equivalent of A2 I think
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    (Original post by Anonymoose1)
    AH = Advanced Higher, Scottish equivalent of A2 I think
    Exactly- counted as equivalent
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    (Original post by Anonymoose1)
    Thinking about applying to oxford maths after a gap year and have a few queries about it. First of all this is assuming that I meet the entry requirements after my AH this year. Anyway, I didn't know I wanted to apply until after the cutoff date and now i'm feeling highly motivated to get top marks this year to try and have a shot next year, however my personal statement is very weak outside of areas on maths (I have read books, gone through some STEP stuff and read into additional proofs behind what I use). So my first question is do I even have a chance coming off a gap year or would I need to be a naturally born genius? Also on the gap year should I focus on the academics and get more experienced in maths or would my time be better served volunteering and doing charity work etc?
    I don't know how the Mathematics department views a gap year. You would have to do well on the MAT, so will need to keep your maths current.

    They do not care about ECs not related to Mathematics.
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    (Original post by Anonymoose1)
    Thinking about applying to oxford maths after a gap year and have a few queries about it. First of all this is assuming that I meet the entry requirements after my AH this year. Anyway, I didn't know I wanted to apply until after the cutoff date and now i'm feeling highly motivated to get top marks this year to try and have a shot next year, however my personal statement is very weak outside of areas on maths (I have read books, gone through some STEP stuff and read into additional proofs behind what I use). So my first question is do I even have a chance coming off a gap year or would I need to be a naturally born genius? Also on the gap year should I focus on the academics and get more experienced in maths or would my time be better served volunteering and doing charity work etc?
    Let's see what the horse's mouth thinks: tagging OxfordMathsDept

    And I'll move this to the University of Oxford forum...
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Let's see what the horse's mouth thinks: tagging OxfordMathsDept

    And I'll move this to the University of Oxford forum...
    Thanks!

    (Original post by Anonymoose1)
    Thinking about applying to oxford maths after a gap year and have a few queries about it. First of all this is assuming that I meet the entry requirements after my AH this year. Anyway, I didn't know I wanted to apply until after the cutoff date and now i'm feeling highly motivated to get top marks this year to try and have a shot next year, however my personal statement is very weak outside of areas on maths (I have read books, gone through some STEP stuff and read into additional proofs behind what I use). So my first question is do I even have a chance coming off a gap year or would I need to be a naturally born genius? Also on the gap year should I focus on the academics and get more experienced in maths or would my time be better served volunteering and doing charity work etc?
    Great that you're thinking about applying for Maths at Oxford. Key things to bear in mind: the Scottish standard offer is AAAAB or AAAAA in Scottish Highers and at least two Advanced Highers. We would expect Mathematics to be taken to Advanced Higher level, Applied Mathematics is useful but not essential. If both Mathematics and Applied Mathematics are taken we would require A grades in both. If you're taking three Advanced Highers then the offer will be AAB, otherwise if you're only taking two Advanced Highers then you'll need to do an additional Higher.

    So depending on what subjects you're taking/have taken, you may need to devote some of your gap year time to studying further subjects.

    Don't worry about your personal statement - the things you've listed would be just fine. The key thing is that in order to be a better mathematician, you just need to do more maths. So you'll probably want to look into books that bridge school-level and university-level mathematics. Two I'd particularly recommend are Towards Higher Mathematics: A Companion by Richard Earl and The Pleasures of Counting by Tom Körner. Both of these books require you to do a substantial amount of mathematics.

    Don't bother doing things that aren't maths to improve your application (if you are going to do things that aren't maths do them because you want to do them).
 
 
 
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