Culver
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I’ll cut straight to the facts here:

I’m applying to Oxford for 2021 entry in order to stretch my academic skills to the max, and push me to work as hard as I possibly can in order to achieve what I know I’m capable of. I’m predicted A*AA-A*A*A, and I’m applying for French and Linguistics at LMH (which has quite a high acceptance rate compared to other courses, although that’s not at all why I’m applying, as I’m a linguistics fanatic). However, I hugely underachieved at GCSE due to mental health difficulties, with 88877766655.

I believe my personal statement is strong. I’ve entered the Cambridge linguistics essay competition, read a number of books in French to expand my knowledge of the culture and improve my reading skills, listen to podcasts in French as well as English language podcasts, and I’ve also done two MOOCs (one in linguistics and one in translation). As well as this, I’m planning on doing a language related EPQ and even my history coursework is about French history. I’m truly dedicated to this course.

Honestly, what would you say my chances are? Personally, I think a lot is weighing on how I do in the MLAT, as my GCSE results really aren’t up to scratch, yet everything else is...

Thank you for any replies, they’re much appreciated xx
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by Culver)
I’ll cut straight to the facts here:

I’m applying to Oxford for 2021 entry in order to stretch my academic skills to the max, and push me to work as hard as I possibly can in order to achieve what I know I’m capable of. I’m predicted A*AA-A*A*A, and I’m applying for French and Linguistics at LMH (which has quite a high acceptance rate compared to other courses, although that’s not at all why I’m applying, as I’m a linguistics fanatic). However, I hugely underachieved at GCSE due to mental health difficulties, with 88877766655.

I believe my personal statement is strong. I’ve entered the Cambridge linguistics essay competition, read a number of books in French to expand my knowledge of the culture and improve my reading skills, listen to podcasts in French as well as English language podcasts, and I’ve also done two MOOCs (one in linguistics and one in translation). As well as this, I’m planning on doing a language related EPQ and even my history coursework is about French history. I’m truly dedicated to this course.

Honestly, what would you say my chances are? Personally, I think a lot is weighing on how I do in the MLAT, as my GCSE results really aren’t up to scratch, yet everything else is...

Thank you for any replies, they’re much appreciated xx
No shot. Those GCSEs won't even make it to a human.
Last edited by Realitysreflexx; 1 week ago
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Culver
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
No shot. Those GCSEs won't even make it to a human.
Lmao thanks for the honesty I guess. At least I’ll make it to my second choices hopefully.
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vix.xvi
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(Original post by Culver)
Lmao thanks for the honesty I guess. At least I’ll make it to my second choices hopefully.
nah those gcses are decent
they're not looking for straight nines, just be good at ur subject
you have a good shot- don't lose hope
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HS0508
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
No shot. Those GCSEs won't even make it to a human.
I thought unis only looked at A levels? I’m in year 10 now but I’m interested in Oxford for uni. What kind of grades are needed at gcse? I’m currently on 7s for all subjects apart from computing and maths with are 8s. So I think it would be 8877777777? I’m guessing that I need at least a few 9s to get a shot?
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Culver
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(Original post by vix.xvi)
nah those gcses are decent
they're not looking for straight nines, just be good at ur subject
you have a good shot- don't lose hope
Thanks, I really appreciate that x
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Culver
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(Original post by HS0508)
I thought unis only looked at A levels? I’m in year 10 now but I’m interested in Oxford for uni. What kind of grades are needed at gcse? I’m currently on 7s for all subjects apart from computing and maths with are 8s. So I think it would be 8877777777? I’m guessing that I need at least a few 9s to get a shot?
Most unis don’t worry too much about GCSEs, but Oxford is known to take them into a fair bit of consideration. I think it would be better for you to talk to someone who’s already at Oxford and see what they got. Good luck though, I hope you get the grades you need
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RaA64
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You need 6s in math and English btw
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Culver
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You need 6s in math and English btw
I think that’s just a rumour. It’s not listed on their website and there are no specific GCSE requirements. Only the fact that some applications are better than others.
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RaA64
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(Original post by Culver)
I think that’s just a rumour. It’s not listed on their website and there are no specific GCSE requirements. Only the fact that some applications are better than others.
It’s not listed on their requirements but if someone has got a 4 or below in math or English the chance of getting in would be virtually 0.
5 is borderline, 6 is ideal
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vix.xvi
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(Original post by Culver)
I think that’s just a rumour. It’s not listed on their website and there are no specific GCSE requirements. Only the fact that some applications are better than others.
(Original post by RaA64)
It’s not listed on their requirements but if someone has got a 4 or below in math or English the chance of getting in would be virtually 0.
5 is borderline, 6 is ideal
if you look at Ibz mo, he basically failed most of his GCSEs and he got into Cambridge so...
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Culver
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(Original post by RaA64)
It’s not listed on their requirements but if someone has got a 4 or below in math or English the chance of getting in would be virtually 0.
5 is borderline, 6 is ideal
Yeah you’re right. Thankfully got a five, but having faced some extenuating circumstances it might be easier for them to pass it by? That’s what the admissions guy at a ucas event said but I’m still not sure...
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Brightonmama
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Apparently Oxford look at 8s and 9s in the same way. Smash the MLAT and I think you have as good a chance as anyone else. You sound focused and you had extenuating circumstances. Be confident and go for it
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Culver
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(Original post by Brightonmama)
Apparently Oxford look at 8s and 9s in the same way. Smash the MLAT and I think you have as good a chance as anyone else. You sound focused and you had extenuating circumstances. Be confident and go for it
Thank you so much. I really hope you’re right xx
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RaA64
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(Original post by Culver)
Yeah you’re right. Thankfully got a five, but having faced some extenuating circumstances it might be easier for them to pass it by? That’s what the admissions guy at a ucas event said but I’m still not sure...
Good luck.

(Original post by vix.xvi)
if you look at Ibz mo, he basically failed most of his GCSEs and he got into Cambridge so...
It depends on the course
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Brightonmama
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(Original post by Culver)
Thank you so much. I really hope you’re right xx
Oxford Mum will advise as she has a modern linguist son. I think languages are one of the easier courses to get in for ( though none are easy!) I think there’s a real emphasis on the entrance tests so prepare well for the MLAT. Good luck.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by Culver)
I’ll cut straight to the facts here:

I’m applying to Oxford for 2021 entry in order to stretch my academic skills to the max, and push me to work as hard as I possibly can in order to achieve what I know I’m capable of. I’m predicted A*AA-A*A*A, and I’m applying for French and Linguistics at LMH (which has quite a high acceptance rate compared to other courses, although that’s not at all why I’m applying, as I’m a linguistics fanatic). However, I hugely underachieved at GCSE due to mental health difficulties, with 88877766655.

I believe my personal statement is strong. I’ve entered the Cambridge linguistics essay competition, read a number of books in French to expand my knowledge of the culture and improve my reading skills, listen to podcasts in French as well as English language podcasts, and I’ve also done two MOOCs (one in linguistics and one in translation). As well as this, I’m planning on doing a language related EPQ and even my history coursework is about French history. I’m truly dedicated to this course.

Honestly, what would you say my chances are? Personally, I think a lot is weighing on how I do in the MLAT, as my GCSE results really aren’t up to scratch, yet everything else is...

Thank you for any replies, they’re much appreciated xx
Thank you, everyone who called me to this thread. Let's get started on this.

I am sorry realitysreflexx upset you. There was no need to make the (inaccurate) post he did. To give you an idea of what I think about him, I already have him on "ignore".

As for RA064's remark, he, with all due respect, is not an Oxbridge student. Maybe he was trying to help, but the person you should really listen to, of course, is the Oxford admissions officer, who knows their stuff. If the maths grade did matter, they would have told you, in no uncertain terms. I am pleased you checked this out.

When it comes to Oxford courses, some are more equal than others. For medicine, for instance, you would have to be virtually festooned with 8/9s (10 is the average). However, as Brightonmama confirms, languages are in the top 10 easiest subjects to get into at Oxford (this doesn't mean you don't need to take your foot off the pedal). One in 3 who apply will get in. Not bad odds, eh?

As for the remark about your grades, my elder son got in, from private school with 3 x 8/9s, exactly the same amount as you. Does that make you feel a little better?

So now we know you are ok to apply, let's focus on what you are doing. Basically, all the right things. Yes, you are reading French books. As a French graduate myself, I would love to know which ones. Quality rather than quantity. counts as languages are 85% literature and so it is very important to reflect on the passage of French you have just read and look at things like style, structure, characterisation, all this stuff. You will have to analyse a passage in French (maybe a poem, like my son had to). I would look at a poetry anthology and get a poetry appreciation book. Maybe your teacher will go through the odd poem after class to really pick them to pieces and get you into good practice. My son was lucky because, although he was lazy with his GCSEs, he had an English literature teacher who really believed in him.

To help with the MLAT, try reading some newspapers online as well. Start with something simple and work up. You need to immerse yourself in the language, so when you are faced with the MLAT, it will seem more natural, and easier! More than anything, the MLAT is a grammar test. Oxford sets a lot of store on grammar, and for good reason. If you are good at grammar, you have grasped the very foundation of a language and can concentrate on getting the style, vocab and substance of what you are saying right. Get yourself a good grammar book and practice, practice, practice. Maybe do some of the exercises at home and ask your teacher to mark it (sorry, French teacher, but it will be worth it if you get in).

My son (and I) have written a chapter about how to get into Oxford for German. OK so it's not French, but the principles are the same. I was the one who wrote the MLAT section. You only need to get about 50% on the MLAT to bag an interview, by the way.

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6054206

In fact, why don't I send you the entire Oxford Demystified book, for more handy hints?

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6100480

As for your mental health issues, I hope you are feeling better now. Yes, Oxford can be tough on your mental health, and I hope you don't mind the relentless essays that will come your way. If you really think you will not be able to cope, have a word with your parents and teachers. There is a lot of pastoral support at Oxford, but it is worth thinking about before you apply rather than if you are holding an offer. the pressure will not be nearly as much as if you are a medic, for instance. My son really went to town on the social aspect of Oxford and sampled much more of the party life than his brother (a medic).

When you say "I am a linguistics fanatic" and "I am truly dedicated to this course" this gives me hope. Yes, you will get a lot of essays, however these are essays in a subject that you really love. I'm guessing it won't be a chore and developing time management skills will be a useful tool to help with this.

OK so this is a long post. I want to make another post now, about why learning languages is soooooo important

Brightonmama
Culver
Espançais is a current Oxford French language student (also see her chapter in Oxford demystified). I would love to read her thoughts on this.
Last edited by Oxford Mum; 1 week ago
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Oxford Mum
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So, medicine and law are the best subjects to take at Oxford, right? You are guaranteed to have high earnings and prestige forever after, and a languages degree at Oxford is not going to put you into the top drawer, earningswise.... Well noooooooo.

When I was teaching French and German in a state school, a STEM teacher came up to me. He quite sarcastically asked why I bothered teaching languages, as they have no use in the real world. What a dork. I want to explain with real examples.

Let's have a look at this article I saw only today, for starters..

https://www.rosettastone.co.uk/magaz...Kmvls5UICCUkFA

When my son just got his AS level marks, we went up to Exeter college, and as we sat there, the Rector of the college, Dame Frances Cairncross, walked past. Not prepared to waste the opportunity, I stopped her and said my son was going to apply for German at this college next year. She smiled and said "that's a good one" (meaning it's easy to get in). I said my son hoped to get into banking. She replied that one of their German graduates once sat on the directors board of the Midland (now HSBC) bank.

All the way through Oxford, it was my younger son's degree, not the elder one's, which attracted the most respect. At the time, my elder son got on quietly with lots of societies, writing for the Cherwell and generally networking and making lots of friends. He got his first ever job because he could speak German.

He loved ships (since he was three) and, tired of low paying call centre jobs booking holidays, he decided to re-train in the evenings to become a ship broker. He used his networking skills to go to ship broker events and speak to ship brokers and trainee ship brokers. He made lots of contacts. He joined linked in and soon ship brokers from all over the world were emailing him and calling him, giving him support and handy hints. It was through linked in (not the job sites) that he found out about a trainee ship broker job with one of the best broking firms in the world. Two days ago he had a video interview. What did the interviewer want to talk about? His languages degree. He asked where my son had lived during his year abroad. When he replied "Dusseldorf", the guy said "oh, we have clients there". He seemed impressed.

What will happen next remains to be seen, but languages really seem to be helping my son to aim for a well-respected, well remunerated career he will love.
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JockstrapAttack
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
Thank you, everyone who called me to this thread. Let's get started on this.

I am sorry realitysreflexx upset you. There was no need to make the (inaccurate) post he did. To give you an idea of what I think about him, I already have him on "ignore".

As for RA064's remark, he, with all due respect, is not an Oxbridge student. Maybe he was trying to help, but the person you should really listen to, of course, is the Oxford admissions officer, who knows their stuff. If the maths grade did matter, they would have told you, in no uncertain terms. I am pleased you checked this out.

When it comes to Oxford courses, some are more equal than others. For medicine, for instance, you would have to be virtually festooned with 8/9s (10 is the average). However, as Brightonmama confirms, languages are in the top 10 easiest subjects to get into at Oxford (this doesn't mean you don't need to take your foot off the pedal). One in 3 who apply will get in. Not bad odds, eh?

As for the remark about your grades, my elder son got in, from private school with 3 x 8/9s, exactly the same amount as you. Does that make you feel a little better?

So now we know you are ok to apply, let's focus on what you are doing. Basically, all the right things. Yes, you are reading French books. As a French graduate myself, I would love to know which ones. Quality rather than quantity. counts as languages are 85% literature and so it is very important to reflect on the passage of French you have just read and look at things like style, structure, characterisation, all this stuff. You will have to analyse a passage in French (maybe a poem, like my son had to). I would look at a poetry anthology and get a poetry appreciation book. Maybe your teacher will go through the odd poem after class to really pick them to pieces and get you into good practice. My son was lucky because, although he was lazy with his GCSEs, he had an English literature teacher who really believed in him.

To help with the MLAT, try reading some newspapers online as well. Start with something simple and work up. You need to immerse yourself in the language, so when you are faced with the MLAT, it will seem more natural, and easier! More than anything, the MLAT is a grammar test. Oxford sets a lot of store on grammar, and for good reason. If you are good at grammar, you have grasped the very foundation of a language and can concentrate on getting the style, vocab and substance of what you are saying right. Get yourself a good grammar book and practice, practice, practice. Maybe do some of the exercises at home and ask your teacher to mark it (sorry, French teacher, but it will be worth it if you get in).

My son (and I) have written a chapter about how to get into Oxford for German. OK so it's not French, but the principles are the same. I was the one who wrote the MLAT section. You only need to get about 50% on the MLAT to bag an interview, by the way.

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6054206

In fact, why don't I send you the entire Oxford Demystified book, for more handy hints?

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6100480

As for your mental health issues, I hope you are feeling better now. Yes, Oxford can be tough on your mental health, and I hope you don't mind the relentless essays that will come your way. If you really think you will not be able to cope, have a word with your parents and teachers. There is a lot of pastoral support at Oxford, but it is worth thinking about before you apply rather than if you are holding an offer. the pressure will not be nearly as much as if you are a medic, for instance. My son really went to town on the social aspect of Oxford and sampled much more of the party life than his brother (a medic).

When you say "I am a linguistics fanatic" and "I am truly dedicated to this course" this gives me hope. Yes, you will get a lot of essays, however these are essays in a subject that you really love. I'm guessing it won't be a chore and developing time management skills will be a useful tool to help with this.

OK so this is a long post. I want to make another post now, about why learning languages is soooooo important

Brightonmama
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Espançais is a current Oxford French language student (also see her chapter in Oxford demystified). I would love to read her thoughts on this.
You continue to be an asset to this website. 👏🏻
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by JockstrapAttack)
You continue to be an asset to this website. 👏🏻
Much love to you, Jockstrap. As a linguist, I feel really, really deeply about this issue. I can see me getting plenty of PMs from OP! Not that I mind. If I can help, there is no way I wish to turn away from someone capable, who is in need.
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