More likely to get into Oxford or Cambridge?

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Anonymous #1
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I would like to study Psychological and Behavioural sciences.
The cohort of psychology students is greater at Cambridge
Oxford also require an admissions exam, whereas Cambridge does not.
I’m taking a gap year to apply, and I don’t know which uni is more friendly towards gap year students and state school students.
I love both unis. If I applied to Cambridge I’d apply to Christ’s and I’d I applied fo Oxford it would be St. Hilda’s.
My GCSEs are average: 999998776, so Cambridge may be better for that
I’m pretty sure I’ll get calculated grades of 3 A*s in my A-levels as that’s all I’ve ever got in my five rounds of mocks.
Which do you think I would be more likely to get into? (as I like both equally)
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PetitePanda
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Oxford Mum do you have any advice for OP?
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Possibly this
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I'd imagine you have a shot at either. Your GCSEs are strong enough for Oxford, Cambridge doesn't care about GCSEs. Your (estimated) A-level grades are fabulous. What would really be the deciding factor is how you feel about interviews. They're of increased importance in Cambridge as they put more of their applicants through to interview, even moreso given they don't have an entrance exam to judge your potential off of and Oxford doesn't.

So if you interview well, Cambridge would probably be better. If not, then Oxford is probably the more suitable choice.

Good luck!
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Possibly this)
I'd imagine you have a shot at either. Your GCSEs are strong enough for Oxford, Cambridge doesn't care about GCSEs. Your (estimated) A-level grades are fabulous. What would really be the deciding factor is how you feel about interviews. They're of increased importance in Cambridge as they put more of their applicants through to interview, even moreso given they don't have an entrance exam to judge your potential off of and Oxford doesn't.

So if you interview well, Cambridge would probably be better. If not, then Oxford is probably the more suitable choice.

Good luck!
Your advice is really helpful, thank you! I think I interview relatively well, as I really enjoy talking about psychology because I’m so passionate about it - although I’m not entirely sure what Cambridge looks for in interviews. I also get very anxious but once I get into it I’m usually okay.
I’m starting to worry that it might be the worst year to take a gap year and apply to Oxbridge... There’s speculation that a lot of students will be deffering due to corona, especially international students. I’m worried that this will make competition even greater, so they may be eager to make sure they give the remaining spaces to actual 2021 students, not gap year students. What do you think?
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Possibly this
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Cambridge and Oxford are highly unlikely to prioritise people for such superficial reasons. Both their processes were devised to find the best people to fill their highly-oversubscribed courses. Your gap year has no impact on how strong a candidate you are.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I would like to study Psychological and Behavioural sciences.
The cohort of psychology students is greater at Cambridge
Oxford also require an admissions exam, whereas Cambridge does not.
I’m taking a gap year to apply, and I don’t know which uni is more friendly towards gap year students and state school students.
I love both unis. If I applied to Cambridge I’d apply to Christ’s and I’d I applied fo Oxford it would be St. Hilda’s.
My GCSEs are average: 999998776, so Cambridge may be better for that
I’m pretty sure I’ll get calculated grades of 3 A*s in my A-levels as that’s all I’ve ever got in my five rounds of mocks.
Which do you think I would be more likely to get into? (as I like both equally)
Here is a chapter about now an Oxford offer holder got in for experimental psychology

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6437414

Hope you find this useful.

Why do you think Oxbridge may be "unfriendly" towards state school students??? they are both DESPERATE to get more state school students! There are school schemes aplenty for such students (although many summer events have been cancelled) Either uni would welcome you with open arms.

Your grades are fine for either uni. Cambridge especially does not care about GCSEs. I don't know much about Christs, but St Hilda's, with its lovely riverside location and concert hall, is lovely. (few, if any, tourists)

As you say, I wouldn't really risk a gap year, as we don't know what will happen.

So really, it comes down to which course you would prefer. That should be the real deciding factor.

Whilst lockdown is in place, it's time for you to do the further reading/research into your subject that both unis require.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
Here is a chapter about now an Oxford offer holder got in for experimental psychology

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6437414

Hope you find this useful.

Why do you think Oxbridge may be "unfriendly" towards state school students??? they are both DESPERATE to get more state school students! There are school schemes aplenty for such students (although many summer events have been cancelled) Either uni would welcome you with open arms.

Your grades are fine for either uni. Cambridge especially does not care about GCSEs. I don't know much about Christs, but St Hilda's, with its lovely riverside location and concert hall, is lovely. (few, if any, tourists)

As you say, I wouldn't really risk a gap year, as we don't know what will happen.

So really, it comes down to which course you would prefer. That should be the real deciding factor.

Whilst lockdown is in place, it's time for you to do the further reading/research into your subject that both unis require.
Thanks for the response! You said I shouldn’t risk a gap year, which I’m worried about because I would really liked to apply to Oxbridge but to do that, a gap year would be my only option - which might be very uncertain right now.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Anonymous)
My GCSEs are average: 999998776, so Cambridge may be better for that
Another vey good example of why people dislike and mock TSR so much, and the sorts of students it tends to attract.

How can these results possibly be described as 'average'. Don't be so ridiculous!

It's also a very bad sign if you're so ill-informed for any sort of application to a top university.
Last edited by Reality Check; 1 year ago
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Another vey good example of why people dislike and mock TSR so much, and the sorts of students it tends to attract.

How can these results possibly be described as 'average'. Don't be so ridiculous, and get some perspective on it.
I get your point. It may seem like I’m being ungrateful for my results, but it was actually TSR that made me feel inadequate about them. I used to think I had great results until I started comparing myself to so many amazing students on here. My fault!
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I get your point. It may seem like I’m being ungrateful for my results, but it was actually TSR that made me feel inadequate about them. I used to think I had great results until I started comparing myself to so many amazing students on here. My fault!
There should be a massive red banner on the account creation page that says "TSR GCSEs are not representative of the general student population"
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vortex13
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(Original post by Possibly this)
I'd imagine you have a shot at either. Your GCSEs are strong enough for Oxford, Cambridge doesn't care about GCSEs. Your (estimated) A-level grades are fabulous. What would really be the deciding factor is how you feel about interviews. They're of increased importance in Cambridge as they put more of their applicants through to interview, even moreso given they don't have an entrance exam to judge your potential off of and Oxford doesn't.

So if you interview well, Cambridge would probably be better. If not, then Oxford is probably the more suitable choice.

Good luck!

What kind of GCSEs do you need for Oxford?
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thanks for the response! You said I shouldn’t risk a gap year, which I’m worried about because I would really liked to apply to Oxbridge but to do that, a gap year would be my only option - which might be very uncertain right now.
To be honest, I really, really don't know the implications, so if you need to take a gap year, please do. I hope my remark has not worried you unneccesarily.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I get your point. It may seem like I’m being ungrateful for my results, but it was actually TSR that made me feel inadequate about them. I used to think I had great results until I started comparing myself to so many amazing students on here. My fault!
And this is something else you shouldn't do. I am pretty sure that some people make up their GCSE results as a bit of a brag.

I can remember there used to be a stalking page on TSR, where applicants put their subject down and number of GCSEs, along with predicted A levels.

My son was applying for German, and only had 3A*s. This other applicant had about 15A*s and 5 A Levels, all predicted A*. At that point I almost felt like giving up and that stalking page made us feel very inadequate.

Guess what? My son got in, and the other candidate didn't. My son may not be rolling in A*s, but his literature analysis powers were off the scale, and that is all you need to get in. Nobody cares what he got for maths GCSE!

Just concentrate on your subject, and to hell with what others are doing!
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by vortex13)
What kind of GCSEs do you need for Oxford?
That depends on the subject.

The average number of A*s a medical offer holder has is 10
The average number of A*s a law offer holder has is 8 or 9
The average number of A*s a science offer holder (like biology) has is 8
And for things like languages, well as I said, my elder son has 3 and still got an offer.

Of course, that average can vary, depending on the candidate.

What are you hoping to study?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
And this is something else you shouldn't do. I am pretty sure that some people make up their GCSE results as a bit of a brag.

I can remember there used to be a stalking page on TSR, where applicants put their subject down and number of GCSEs, along with predicted A levels.

My son was applying for German, and only had 3A*s. This other applicant had about 15A*s and 5 A Levels, all predicted A*. At that point I almost felt like giving up and that stalking page made us feel very inadequate.

Guess what? My son got in, and the other candidate didn't. My son may not be rolling in A*s, but his literature analysis powers were off the scale, and that is all you need to get in. Nobody cares what he got for maths GCSE!

Just concentrate on your subject, and to hell with what others are doing!
I love this so much! It’s very inspiring and shines a light on the fact that not everyone is truthful about their results, and often unis look for more than just a bunch of A*s. Thank you.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I love this so much! It’s very inspiring and shines a light on the fact that not everyone is truthful about their results, and often unis look for more than just a bunch of A*s. Thank you.
I heard that the tutors look for people whose brains are "not pedestrian". Now, you could have a brain like Usain Bolt, and not even know it!

In fact the only way you can know it is if you are seated across the table from an Oxford interviewer.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I get your point. It may seem like I’m being ungrateful for my results, but it was actually TSR that made me feel inadequate about them. I used to think I had great results until I started comparing myself to so many amazing students on here. My fault!
I'm very sorry to hear this - it's quite an indictment of TSR, if I"m being honest. It's the most toxic part of it.

You have to remember that TSR exists primarily for students to show off to one another and exercise a degree of one-upmanship. It's also not verifiable - so you should treat all the tales of 14 grade 9 at GCSE with a lot of suspicion.

Your results are excellent and are in no way 'average'. As to your questions about which one is 'more friendly' to state-school pupils, both actively encourage them to apply and one is no more 'friendly' than the other. Statistically, Cambridge has more than Oxford, but that shouldn't put you off applying to the latter if you prefer it. Both are equally neutral about gap years, so long as you plan to spend it productively.

Oxford Mum gives you some super advice (as usual), and I'd endorse all she says.
Last edited by Reality Check; 1 year ago
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by Reality Check)
I'm very sorry to hear this - it's quite an indictment of TSR, if I"m being honest. It's the most toxic part of it.

You have to remember that TSR exists primarily for students to show off to one another and exercise a degree of one-upmanship. It's also not verifiable - so you should treat all the tales of 14 grade 9 at GCSE with a lot of suspicion.

Your results are excellent and are in no way 'average'. As to your questions about which one is 'more friendly' to state-school pupils, both actively encourage them to apply and one is no more 'friendly' than the other. Statistically, Cambridge has more than Oxford, but that shouldn't put you off applying to the latter if you prefer it. Both are equally neutral about gap years, so long as you plan to spend it productively.

Oxford Mum gives you some super advice (as usual), and I'd endorse all she says.
Awwww, Reality :heart:
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