monkeybananas
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Hello all,

I'm an American student who just fired off my apps to LSE & Oxford. When I add the A-level equivalents of the AP classes I've taken into UCAS's Offer Rate Calculator, I get pretty optimistic results. However, I don't know if it's fair to equate APs to A levels. I've heard that A levels are tougher than APs.

I've taken 9 APs so far and scored 5s on them. I can go into further detail if that would be helpful, but I would really like to know if my performance would be considered similar to that of a student who scored , say, an A* A A.

Thanks!
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vikomen
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Hello, it depends for which course you are applying for. The problem with UK universities for non-Europeans is that they have a limit amount of places for international students resulting in Americans, Canadians, Chinese and Australians compeating for the same spots. Also, Oxford don't tend to interview as often so it is purely going to be based on your personal statement & admission exam (if you have to take one). Do not worry about the grades but put your focus on your personal statement & admittion exams.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by vikomen)
Hello, it depends for which course you are applying for. The problem with UK universities for non-Europeans is that they have a limit amount of places for international students resulting in Americans, Canadians, Chinese and Australians compeating for the same spots. Also, Oxford don't tend to interview as often so it is purely going to be based on your personal statement & admission exam (if you have to take one). Do not worry about the grades but put your focus on your personal statement & admittion exams.
This is only true for medicine and EU applicants to Scottish universities. No other courses have any kind of quota (and since the OP is applying to LSE as well, we can probably reasonably assume they aren't applying to medicine).

Also as far as I am aware, Oxford as a rule do not make offers to any applicants they have not interviewed. Getting an interview is the first step, and if you don't get an interview, you get rejected. LSE however do not interview and correspondingly rely on the "paper application", particularly the personal statement.

(Original post by monkeybananas)
Hello all,

I'm an American student who just fired off my apps to LSE & Oxford. When I add the A-level equivalents of the AP classes I've taken into UCAS's Offer Rate Calculator, I get pretty optimistic results. However, I don't know if it's fair to equate APs to A levels. I've heard that A levels are tougher than APs.

I've taken 9 APs so far and scored 5s on them. I can go into further detail if that would be helpful, but I would really like to know if my performance would be considered similar to that of a student who scored , say, an A* A A.

Thanks!
If you have 9 APs with 5s, then presuming you are taking/have taken the necessary subjects for the course you are applying to (e.g. AP Calc if A-level Maths is required) then I think the odds are favourable that you'll get an interview at Oxford unless you really catastrophically bomb a pre-interview admissions test (e.g. the TSA). After that I think it will depend a lot on the interview. LSE will probably depend on the personal statement to some extent but honestly if you're performing at that level and able to pay internation fees I think LSE will be quite likely to make an offer. I believe usually Oxford (or it might've been Cambridge...) look for about 5 APs at a grade 5, so you're doing very well in much more than the expected number of subjects which would probably be viewed positively as an indicator of your ability to cope with a demanding workload.

For UK applicants Oxford tend to weigh GCSEs a bit more heavily than a lot of other universities in determining who to call to interview, although it varies between courses, and for some courses with an admissions assessment that seems to be more important usually (e.g. as I understand maths/physics/materials science/engineering science all seem to emphasise the MAT/PAT more than GCSEs). BrasenoseAdm might be able to advise how their college would assess a US applicant without GCSEs in that manner?
Last edited by artful_lounger; 4 weeks ago
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vikomen
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
This is only true for medicine and EU applicants to Scottish universities. No other courses have any kind of quota (and since the OP is applying to LSE as well, we can probably reasonably assume they aren't applying to medicine).
I think you are mistaken. For those I am aware, both Cambridge and Oxford have different amount of allocated places for Home (including EU students) and Independent students (international students). Furthermore, admission officers from Oxbridge have mentioned that the places international students are very competitive (from what I recall 1-3 per college), thus since OP's grades are the highest possible he/she should worry more about his/her personal statement and references rather than grades.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by vikomen)
I think you are mistaken. For those I am aware, both Cambridge and Oxford have different amount of allocated places for Home (including EU students) and Independent students (international students). Furthermore, admission officers from Oxbridge have mentioned that the places international students are very competitive (from what I recall 1-3 per college), thus since OP's grades are the highest possible he/she should worry more about his/her personal statement and references rather than grades.
As I stated there are only allocated places for medicine. Had you spent 5 minutes googling your assertion, you would see the only reference to course quotas for international students at either university are for medicine (which are government imposed quotas, applicable to all medical schools in the UK). For other courses the only limitation is the number of places the university has on a given course, in total
Last edited by artful_lounger; 4 weeks ago
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mnot
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(Original post by monkeybananas)
Hello all,

I'm an American student who just fired off my apps to LSE & Oxford. When I add the A-level equivalents of the AP classes I've taken into UCAS's Offer Rate Calculator, I get pretty optimistic results. However, I don't know if it's fair to equate APs to A levels. I've heard that A levels are tougher than APs.

I've taken 9 APs so far and scored 5s on them. I can go into further detail if that would be helpful, but I would really like to know if my performance would be considered similar to that of a student who scored , say, an A* A A.

Thanks!
So much is subject dependant.

So some subjects your prior knowledge is not that important, hence the Unis are doing their best to find candidates of highest potential.

Other subjects, you must have both great aptitude, potential and a good starting point.
For example the levels of maths in further maths A-level & IB far exceed what is achieved all the AP classes, now if you want to study some subjects this means you start well behind this can be an issue, similarly it can often be harder to tell someones aptitude without this benchmark.

In general I would say US students generally are considered to be a bit behind in subject knowledge in some fields but if you are in the upper echelon of candidates it wont matter, they are interested in the most capable students if this is you, you will likely get an offer.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by monkeybananas)
I'm an American student who just fired off my apps to LSE & Oxford. When I add the A-level equivalents of the AP classes I've taken into UCAS's Offer Rate Calculator, I get pretty optimistic results. However, I don't know if it's fair to equate APs to A levels. I've heard that A levels are tougher than APs.

I've taken 9 APs so far and scored 5s on them. I can go into further detail if that would be helpful, but I would really like to know if my performance would be considered similar to that of a student who scored , say, an A* A A.
Yes, although they're seen as easier and less broad. Nine at 5 is a sign of consistent, high academic performance, and sufficient for all universities (assuming enough relevant subjects) - well done.

My son is at Imperial, having applied from California with, IIRC, seven 5s and a 4.

As you know, for Oxford, admissions tests and interviews are much more important - APs and (general) SAT / ACT are just a bar to meet. Good luck.
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nexttime
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(Original post by vikomen)
I think you are mistaken. For those I am aware, both Cambridge and Oxford have different amount of allocated places for Home (including EU students) and Independent students (international students). Furthermore, admission officers from Oxbridge have mentioned that the places international students are very competitive (from what I recall 1-3 per college), thus since OP's grades are the highest possible he/she should worry more about his/her personal statement and references rather than grades.
There are no quotas.

However, you are right that it is more competitive for international students (you wouldn't call these "independent"). Various reasons, probably including the general scrutiny placed on Oxbridge and them not wanting to be seen as 'cashing in' on internationals at the expense of home students. Like, LSE doesn't give a **** and is like 60% international, so it seems deliberate that Oxbridge aren't the same.

You vastly exaggerate how few internationals are though - about 15% of undergrads admitted are non-EU, which would be about 15 students per college on average.
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BrasenoseAdm
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(Original post by monkeybananas)
Hello all,

I'm an American student who just fired off my apps to LSE & Oxford. When I add the A-level equivalents of the AP classes I've taken into UCAS's Offer Rate Calculator, I get pretty optimistic results. However, I don't know if it's fair to equate APs to A levels. I've heard that A levels are tougher than APs.

I've taken 9 APs so far and scored 5s on them. I can go into further detail if that would be helpful, but I would really like to know if my performance would be considered similar to that of a student who scored , say, an A* A A.

Thanks!
Hola monkey bananas,

There isn’t an exact tariff conversion but as long as you meet the international entry requirements for your course we do not see an issue.

Brasenose Admissions
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monkeybananas
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Thanks to you all for your responses! I guess I just have to wait it out. I'll post my decisions when they come out.
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