HELP - Can I get into Oxford? Watch

username3853806
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Hi guys - I need a little advice.

So, I took my GCSEs two years ago, and I got 2 9's, 3A's, 1 6, and 2 C's. Not great, I know. However, my predicted grades for A Level are A*AA (possibly A*A*A).

From what I've read, ordinarily I would not be in with a shot at Oxford, however, my school want to use the fact that I come from a severely disadvantaged background - I am mixed race, went to an SEN school for my primary school years (I'm in a wheelchair), have a single parent on low income - to possibly appeal to Oxford.

As if this wasn't complicated enough, I can't decide between Law and PPE at uni. Whilst I am suited to law, and it is probably better for my career, politics is my passion, and I'd probably enjoy it more. Currently I'm leaning towards law. I'm signed up to LNAT, but haven't booked yet, so I guess I could change.

Basically, I need advice on:
a) whether I can get into Oxford (is it even worth trying?)
b) What to study

Any help would be great - sorry for the length!
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Nathan Scott
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Do you really want to go into a law based career? If not then I don’t see the point in doing law if you’re more into politics, when you can still take the grad route to law. And secondly whilst it may be statistically unlikely to get an offer with your gcse grades it’s not impossible. I’m not sure if coming from a disadvantaged background makes a huge difference but if you experienced any mitigating circumstance during your studies that may be considered.

As long as you get the grades you can always apply the following year, but it is only one of your options and wouldn’t really be a waste if you did end up with an offer.
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username3853806
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(Original post by Nathan Scott)
Do you really want to go into a law based career? If not then I don’t see the point in doing law if you’re more into politics, when you can still take the grad route to law. And secondly whilst it may be statistically unlikely to get an offer with your gcse grades it’s not impossible. I’m not sure if coming from a disadvantaged background makes a huge difference but if you experienced any mitigating circumstance during your studies that may be considered.

As long as you get the grades you can always apply the following year, but it is only one of your options and wouldn’t really be a waste if you did end up with an offer.
Law has always interested me - I want to be a barrister.
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username3853806
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(Original post by Nathan Scott)
Do you really want to go into a law based career? If not then I don’t see the point in doing law if you’re more into politics, when you can still take the grad route to law. And secondly whilst it may be statistically unlikely to get an offer with your gcse grades it’s not impossible. I’m not sure if coming from a disadvantaged background makes a huge difference but if you experienced any mitigating circumstance during your studies that may be considered.

As long as you get the grades you can always apply the following year, but it is only one of your options and wouldn’t really be a waste if you did end up with an offer.
How do my grades affect things?
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anisaxvi
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imo, if you got amazing AS results and write an amazing personal statement, then do amazingly at the interview, you probably have a decent shot at getting in. despite the fact that people that usually apply have a majority of A*s in their GCSEs (not trying to put you down), i think oxford does take a holistic view of things and they will take your disadvantaged background into consideration like they did with me (being a first generation asian girl and hella poor).

overall, please consider applying - you may as well take the chance and you have five options anyways.

about doing law or politics, i'd really advise you to choose the thing you love. you don't wanna be stuck doing a degree you hate. people wanted me to do medicine but what was the point if i knew i wasn't passionate about it? plus, if you do get to the interview stage, you're gonna have to be passionate about the subject and show that you absolutely love it - the interviewers are usually your potential tutors, and obviously their career revolves around the subject, so they'll be able to tell if you're not completely passionate about it. (i used the word passionate too much wow)

hope this helps in any way!
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username3506416
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(Original post by anisaxvi)
imo, if you got amazing AS results and write an amazing personal statement, then do amazingly at the interview, you probably have a decent shot at getting in. despite the fact that people that usually apply have a majority of A*s in their GCSEs (not trying to put you down), i think oxford does take a holistic view of things and they will take your disadvantaged background into consideration like they did with me (being a first generation asian girl and hella poor).

overall, please consider applying - you may as well take the chance and you have five options anyways.

about doing law or politics, i'd really advise you to choose the thing you love. you don't wanna be stuck doing a degree you hate. people wanted me to do medicine but what was the point if i knew i wasn't passionate about it? plus, if you do get to the interview stage, you're gonna have to be passionate about the subject and show that you absolutely love it - the interviewers are usually your potential tutors, and obviously their career revolves around the subject, so they'll be able to tell if you're not completely passionate about it. (i used the word passionate too much wow)

hope this helps in any way!
Great reply
Did you get into Oxford?
What subject?

Curious
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Nathan Scott
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(Original post by yr12student)
How do my grades affect things?
Most people will have majority A* grades at gcse. You’d be able to get in once you’ve gotten those A Level grades but whether you’d get an offer is another thing. On top of this grades aren’t everything, you need to be able to demonstrate why you should be doing that subject and why you want to be there as everyone will have similar grades to you if not higher
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by yr12student)
So, I took my GCSEs two years ago, and I got 2 9's, 3A's, 1 6, and 2 C's. Not great, I know. However, my predicted grades for A Level are A*AA (possibly A*A*A).

From what I've read, ordinarily I would not be in with a shot at Oxford, however, my school want to use the fact that I come from a severely disadvantaged background
Don't believe what you've read. With a good admissions test, you're in with a chance - that's as much as anyone (other than ATs) can say. I would encourage you to apply.

(Original post by yr12student)
- I am mixed race,
How is that a "disadvantaged background"?
(Original post by yr12student)
have a single parent on low income - to possibly appeal to Oxford.
I'd hope that this isn't a consideration. The only valid issue is a potentially under-performing school, although none of it sounds like "a severely disadvantaged background" (other then financially).

(Original post by yr12student)
As if this wasn't complicated enough, I can't decide between Law and PPE at uni.
That is your biggest issue. You need to show enthusiasm for your chosen subject(s).

(Original post by yr12student)
Whilst I am suited to law, and it is probably better for my career, politics is my passion, and I'd probably enjoy it more. Currently I'm leaning towards law. I'm signed up to LNAT, but haven't booked yet, so I guess I could change.

Basically, I need advice on:
a) whether I can get into Oxford (is it even worth trying?)
b) What to study
a) Yes. Roll the dice;
b) PPE. You MUST go for what you're passionate about. Law will drain you if you're not.
Last edited by RogerOxon; 2 months ago
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username3853806
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(Original post by RogerOxon)
Don't believe what you've read. With a good admissions test, you're in with a chance - that's as much as anyone (other than ATs) can say. I would encourage you to apply.


How is that a "disadvantaged background"?

I'd hope that this isn't a consideration. The only valid issue is a potentially under-performing school, although none of it sounds like "a severely disadvantaged background" (other then financially).


That is you're biggest issue. You need to show enthusiasm for your chosen subject(s).


a) Yes. Roll the dice;
b) PPE. You MUST go for what you're passionate about. Law will drain you if you're not.
Not a clue how being mixed is disadvantaged - I'm merely showing my school's perspective. If you go to an SEN school that doesn't give a standard primary school education, is that not a disadvantage?

I do have a passion for Law - perhaps I didn't phrase that correctly.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by yr12student)
If you go to an SEN school that doesn't give a standard primary school education, is that not a disadvantage?
As I said:
(Original post by RogerOxon)
The only valid issue is a potentially under-performing school, although none of it sounds like "a severely disadvantaged background" (other then financially).
Obviously, I'm going on what you've said, where it is difficult to judge degree. An AT will be able to give you a more accurate opinion.
(Original post by yr12student)
I do have a passion for Law - perhaps I didn't phrase that correctly.
You said that Politics was your passion, so I'd still go with that. A degree in PPE from Oxford is worthwhile, IMO, especially if your enjoyment gets you a higher classification. I tend to think that you must do what you'll enjoy most, and worry about the a career later, although neither option would be bad, IMO. Good luck.
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RogerOxon
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I've just seen this thread, that looks like it could be helpful to you. Just be aware that getting into Oxford doesn't make you an expert on the admissions process.
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BrasenoseAdm
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(Original post by RogerOxon)
As I said:

Obviously, I'm going on what you've said, where it is difficult to judge degree. An AT will be able to give you a more accurate opinion.

You said that Politics was your passion, so I'd still go with that. A degree in PPE from Oxford is worthwhile, IMO, especially if your enjoyment gets you a higher classification. I tend to think that you must do what you'll enjoy most, and worry about the a career later, although neither option would be bad, IMO. Good luck.

Thanks for the tag.

Rule of thumb: the longer ago GCSEs were taken the less current they are and so they are less useful as a predictor of performance. More weight is likely to be placed on admissions test scores and predicted A-levels and (if you have taken them) AS.

There are some limits: if your profile had been (say) all Cs and Ds then it is harder to discount these earlier results. But your prior attainment profile is more impressive than this and taken with the UCAS reference a selector might take the view that you are on a rising trajectory, having overcome adversity pre-16. It should also be pointed out that GCSEs are contextualised (ie put in the context of your school's overall performance).

On PPE vs Law, our advice is always to ask deep down what excites/stimulates you the most, rather than to try to work out career options years ahead of your entry into the labour market. Both degrees open many doors and students change greatly at university in terms of career aspirations.

Brasenose Admissions
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anisaxvi
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(Original post by Ariel2611)
Great reply
Did you get into Oxford?
What subject?

Curious
thank you! i got in to do biochem
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