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best way to reach oxbridge?

hi,
in the future i was hoping to apply for oxbridge but was wondering in which way i would succeed. i went to a state school which was not the best lets say. i did quite well but many have done better in the past now, going to college, there are much smarter people there and i seem much more average and my grades seem nothing. i have been offered a scholarship at a private school.

is private school or state school better in getting someone into oxbridge
thank you in advance
p.s. i have never been to a private school.
Your school doesn't matter, it's mainly about grades and outside reading.
(edited 5 years ago)
You really haven't given much information for us to tell you about potential chances, etc. What were your GCSE grades and what subject would you hope to read at Oxford or Cambridge?

As for schooling, this doesn't have much bearing on your chances (in the sense that you won't be discriminated against either way). Generally speaking, many private schools are better at supporting Oxbridge applicants than state schools are :yes:
Original post by ZdYnm8vuNR
Your school doesn't matter, it's mainly about grades and outside reading.


I would expect state school. People going to private schools have a higher expectation from schools like Oxford and Cambridge. This would mainly depend on the quality of your school's A-Levels. For example, if a school gets a lot of A* Students then they would expect you to get A*A*A* but if your school barely has good students then they would take that into consideration requiring A*AA from schools such as that.
Reply 4
That's an interesting question, since private school students are obviously massively over-represented at Oxbridge, but there are many reasons for it:
- First and foremost, huge numbers of private school students are encouraged to (and do) apply to Oxbridge, whereas more state school students don't apply because they don't think they'll get in.
- Private schools often have established Oxbridge programmes, which offer preparation for personal statements, admissions tests and interviews, that state schools might not be able to provide to the same level (if at all). These schools often have larger numbers of past students who have gone to Oxbridge. In contrast, a state school may have had few to no past students going to Oxbridge, giving the teachers less knowledge of how to effectively prepare their students, and less confidence in encouraging them to apply.
- Private schools often have very good teachers, smaller class sizes and a strong focus on academic attainment, which creates an environment where greater numbers of students get very high grades, and helps to prepare them for life at Oxbridge itself.
- Private school students are statistically more likely to be from economically privileged backgrounds, making it more likely that they will have the time and space to focus on academic work outside school, the time and money to pursue a wider range of super-curricular activities, and university educated parents who are better placed to help them with their work and their application.

Obviously, this isn't an exhaustive list, and it's not representative of every private or state school. The gist is that going to a private school can be advantageous if you respond well to their style of teaching and Oxbridge preparation - that is, if you can manage the workload and the level of expectation, learn to do well in admissions tests and interviews, and, at the end of it, get the grades. However, the subjectivity of the Oxbridge admissions process means that there are no hard-and-fast predictors of success; a lot of it is down to you, and there are still plenty of students from excellent private schools who get rejected every year.
Reply 5
Original post by Sinewave17
I would expect state school. People going to private schools have a higher expectation from schools like Oxford and Cambridge. This would mainly depend on the quality of your school's A-Levels. For example, if a school gets a lot of A* Students then they would expect you to get A*A*A* but if your school barely has good students then they would take that into consideration requiring A*AA from schools such as that.

I know that Cambridge offers can vary like that, but I've not heard of it happening at Oxford - everyone I know got the standard offer for their subject, except one whose offer was lowered because they were highly sought after for a choral award - but then, Oxford's offers are usually marginally lower than Cambridge's to begin with.
Reply 6
Welll....

The bare statistics appear to show that your chances are much better if you're applying from a private school. The private schools have a higher share of Oxbridge places than they do of top grades (e.g. see this data comparing the private schools' share of Oxford places vs their share of A*A*A+ grades). Applications from private schools also have a higher acceptance rate. And these factors kick in before the even more obvious, namely that going private significantly improves your chances of getting the top grades.

But there may be at least some factors which go the other way. My personal experience [only, there's no hard data to back it up], is that state schools offer so little support to Oxbridge applicants that there's a strong trend for 'the wrong people' applying in that there's a relatively high number of applications from mediocre state school kids, who don't have a really strong chance of getting in, and a relatively high instance of very bright state school kids not bothering to apply because they'd be worried about 'not fitting in' or whatever. Whereas a very high proportion of [most?] privately educated kids who'd have a strong chance of getting in do apply. So, just maybe, the acceptance rate for strong state educated candidates, who haven't been deterred from applying by these factors, is higher than implied by the overall statistics?

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