How does Oxford view pass/fail grades?

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Stick In The Mud
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Are there any Canadians or Americans here that have been successfully admitted into a graduate program at Oxford? I was wondering how graduate admissions at Oxford views pass/fail grades on transcripts. In Canada and America, we are usually allowed to use them on elective courses, i.e courses not related to what we will study in grad school.


Will I be fine as long as these pass/fail grades aren't related to the subject I am applying to grad school for?
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CJStevens
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I'm not sure that will make much of a difference. Whilst, yes, it is likely that Oxford will view your "fails" with more leniency should they not be in relevant modules, but equally, Oxford wants the best of the best. By this, I'm suggesting that they perhaps won't care what subject is what, but rather will just expect the best mark you can get. That being said, Oxford contextualises date, meaning that they will compare your scores to other students in your school/ university to see how you ranked.
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Stick In The Mud
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(Original post by CJStevens)
I'm not sure that will make much of a difference. Whilst, yes, it is likely that Oxford will view your "fails" with more leniency should they not be in relevant modules, but equally, Oxford wants the best of the best. By this, I'm suggesting that they perhaps won't care what subject is what, but rather will just expect the best mark you can get. That being said, Oxford contextualises date, meaning that they will compare your scores to other students in your school/ university to see how you ranked.
Many thanks for your reply. By not make much of a difference, do you mean this won't make or break your application?


I haven't failed anything for the record, but yeah, I suspect this form of assessment isn't common in UK universities.

With COVID too, many schools in North America, including Harvard, made this option available to students.
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CJStevens
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(Original post by Stick In The Mud)
Many thanks for your reply. By not make much of a difference, do you mean this won't make or break your application?


I haven't failed anything for the record, but yeah, I suspect this form of assessment isn't common in UK universities.

With COVID too, many schools in North America, including Harvard, made this option available to students.
Yes! In short, it is unlikely to have an adverse effect on the outcome of the application providing, as you said, the fails were in unrelated topics.

I hope this helps!
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