ashtolga23
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For all the Oxbridge English hopefuls, I thought I'd start a thread and see how prepared we're all feeling.

Some information about me that you can use as a template if you'd like:
Oxford or Cambridge?
Cambridge
How much preparation have you done?
I've done one practice that I was a little disappointed in, but it wasn't terrible I suppose. I'm not sure how else to prepare aside from putting my "English brain" on a little before the exam haha.
Which other universities have you applied to?
Durham, Lancaster, Manchester, and Nottingham.

If you can think of other things you'd like to include then please do, and feel free to ask me anything also.
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Alice Clara
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Hiya!! This is so cute, by the way. It’s so reassuring to know everyone else is dealing with all the anxiety and the stress about the impending exam. As long as we try our best, no one can ask for anything else from us. Neither our worth nor our intelligence are measured by whether we get in or not. It’s luck, and it’s about being a match for the university. Ahh sorry for the spiel above! • I’ve gone for Oxford. As seemingly everyone was, i was enchanted by Magdalen, but eventually I opted for Worcester (which looks like Pemberley tbh), though my goodness, I’d be ecstatic to go to any of the colleges?!• Preparation. I’ve done 6 practice ELATs since the summer, but nothing else, really. I know that getting burnt out by overworking and exam stress is almost more dangerous and incapacitating than not ‘studying’ enough, so it’s good I think to be gentle with ourselves <3I also applied to Durham, Warwick, Exeter and York!!All the love and luck to everyone xx
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by Alice Clara)
Hiya!! This is so cute, by the way. It’s so reassuring to know everyone else is dealing with all the anxiety and the stress about the impending exam. As long as we try our best, no one can ask for anything else from us. Neither our worth nor our intelligence are measured by whether we get in or not. It’s luck, and it’s about being a match for the university. Ahh sorry for the spiel above! • I’ve gone for Oxford. As seemingly everyone was, i was enchanted by Magdalen, but eventually I opted for Worcester (which looks like Pemberley tbh), though my goodness, I’d be ecstatic to go to any of the colleges?!• Preparation. I’ve done 6 practice ELATs since the summer, but nothing else, really. I know that getting burnt out by overworking and exam stress is almost more dangerous and incapacitating than not ‘studying’ enough, so it’s good I think to be gentle with ourselves <3I also applied to Durham, Warwick, Exeter and York!!All the love and luck to everyone xx
Aw I’m glad you think so! “Spiel” seems harsh; I really liked reading what you have to say!

Oxford is great! I was between the two until literally the very last minute haha, but I applied to Queens’ College, Cambridge in the end. I really hope you get in! You sound lovely and very level-headed, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you do.

Wow! 6! That’s impressive. I hope you found them alright. You’re definitely right about burn-out, especially with all the troubles in the world right now. It’s important to know your limits.

Awesome choices!

Best of luck 😊💙
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Alice Clara
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
Aw I’m glad you think so! “Spiel” seems harsh; I really liked reading what you have to say!

Oxford is great! I was between the two until literally the very last minute haha, but I applied to Queens’ College, Cambridge in the end. I really hope you get in! You sound lovely and very level-headed, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you do.

Wow! 6! That’s impressive. I hope you found them alright. You’re definitely right about burn-out, especially with all the troubles in the world right now. It’s important to know your limits.

Awesome choices!

Best of luck 😊💙
This is such a lovely response, thank you so much 😌💛
I completely understand! I convinced myself I wanted to apply to Cambridge for some such reason, but then I had that little epiphany you described and knew Oxford was the one I wanted !! I sincerely hope you get in, too. I’m sure you more than deserve it.


Well, I feel like the practice ELATs are all I’ve done. I feel like I’ve read far too little etc etc, and my personal statement was admittedly weak. But there we go 💛 It’s all such a game anyway!

How are you feeling re: your application? I’m sure you have nothing to worry about !!
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by Alice Clara)
This is such a lovely response, thank you so much 😌💛
I completely understand! I convinced myself I wanted to apply to Cambridge for some such reason, but then I had that little epiphany you described and knew Oxford was the one I wanted !! I sincerely hope you get in, too. I’m sure you more than deserve it.


Well, I feel like the practice ELATs are all I’ve done. I feel like I’ve read far too little etc etc, and my personal statement was admittedly weak. But there we go 💛 It’s all such a game anyway!

How are you feeling re: your application? I’m sure you have nothing to worry about !!
Aw it’s a pleasure! You seem like a great person.

Yeah I get what you mean completely haha. Thank you!

The thing that’s calmed me down is watching videos about the interviews, and whatever subject it is they always stress that it isn’t about what you know, it’s about how responsive you are to their teaching. If you do get an interview then it seems more about being vocal and receptive; listen well to what they’re saying, and develop on your ideas aloud. Of course I haven’t had one so I could be talking rubbish, but that’s the impression I get haha.

Honestly my confidence depends on the day. I felt like my PS was mostly me rambling about books and crowbarring in facts about myself haha, such as my continuing attempt to learn Turkish. However maybe it’s best that it doesn’t seem to follow a template like others I’ve seen? I really can’t tell haha. At least it’s original!

I’m a little worried about the ELAT, but I’m hoping that I’ll make a decent attempt and if it’s not my best other areas will make up for it. I have two pieces of work to send them soon as well, but I need to sort out the cover sheets; I’m just praying they see potential in them lol. One is my ELAT practice as it’s the only thing I’ve managed to handwrite recently, which they’ve specified they want on at least one example, but my teacher only saw it as worth 22/30 marks. The other is a prose essay I did that scored 35/40 marks.

Interviews are really not seeming as intimidating as they should be, so I’m trying not to get cocky there. I have two subjects where it’s just me and the teacher as nobody else in my sixth form chose them, including English literature, so it feels like the interview will be a familiar environment. I’m sure it will feel very different at the time, so this rare glimpse of confidence in my own ability is likely to be my downfall haha. I think I’m too concerned with all the other work on my plate to give it that much thought!

Apologies for the long answer, it all kind of rolled on and on haha. What are you thinking about all the different stages, and have you been asked to send in any work?
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Alice Clara
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
Aw it’s a pleasure! You seem like a great person.

Yeah I get what you mean completely haha. Thank you!

The thing that’s calmed me down is watching videos about the interviews, and whatever subject it is they always stress that it isn’t about what you know, it’s about how responsive you are to their teaching. If you do get an interview then it seems more about being vocal and receptive; listen well to what they’re saying, and develop on your ideas aloud. Of course I haven’t had one so I could be talking rubbish, but that’s the impression I get haha.

Honestly my confidence depends on the day. I felt like my PS was mostly me rambling about books and crowbarring in facts about myself haha, such as my continuing attempt to learn Turkish. However maybe it’s best that it doesn’t seem to follow a template like others I’ve seen? I really can’t tell haha. At least it’s original!

I’m a little worried about the ELAT, but I’m hoping that I’ll make a decent attempt and if it’s not my best other areas will make up for it. I have two pieces of work to send them soon as well, but I need to sort out the cover sheets; I’m just praying they see potential in them lol. One is my ELAT practice as it’s the only thing I’ve managed to handwrite recently, which they’ve specified they want on at least one example, but my teacher only saw it as worth 22/30 marks. The other is a prose essay I did that scored 35/40 marks.

Interviews are really not seeming as intimidating as they should be, so I’m trying not to get cocky there. I have two subjects where it’s just me and the teacher as nobody else in my sixth form chose them, including English literature, so it feels like the interview will be a familiar environment. I’m sure it will feel very different at the time, so this rare glimpse of confidence in my own ability is likely to be my downfall haha. I think I’m too concerned with all the other work on my plate to give it that much thought!

Apologies for the long answer, it all kind of rolled on and on haha. What are you thinking about all the different stages, and have you been asked to send in any work?
Please don’t worry about the long reply! It was a joy to read <3

That’s so reassuring to hear, oh my goodness. I mean, provided I even get to the interview stage 🤣 (I’m resigned to not getting one, and that’s okay!) This ELAT though. Nerve wracking.

Yes for the originality! It will be so refreshing to the admissions people (idk what the term is?) to have a little breath of fresh air. Just because it’s a little non-conformist and heterodoxical, doesn’t mean it’s bad or incorrect. I agonised over my personal statement for precisely that reason; the fact that it didn’t read the same as everyone else’s I could find. I’m still hugely embarrassed about it but we move 😛 Also, a merging of books, yourself and such wonderful endeavours as language learning sounds like a potent mixture for an interview to me <3

Exactly! A decent attempt is all we can ask for, plus it’s so hard to judge accurately how well we’ve done. Teachers can’t really mark ELAT exams, and anyway, 22/30 is really good!! Also whoa, that’s so interesting that some lessons you have with only the teachers? Oh my goodness.

Cling onto that confidence, self confidence with serve you well. There’s a difference between confidence and hubris 💛
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by Alice Clara)
Please don’t worry about the long reply! It was a joy to read <3

That’s so reassuring to hear, oh my goodness. I mean, provided I even get to the interview stage 🤣 (I’m resigned to not getting one, and that’s okay!) This ELAT though. Nerve wracking.

Yes for the originality! It will be so refreshing to the admissions people (idk what the term is?) to have a little breath of fresh air. Just because it’s a little non-conformist and heterodoxical, doesn’t mean it’s bad or incorrect. I agonised over my personal statement for precisely that reason; the fact that it didn’t read the same as everyone else’s I could find. I’m still hugely embarrassed about it but we move 😛 Also, a merging of books, yourself and such wonderful endeavours as language learning sounds like a potent mixture for an interview to me <3

Exactly! A decent attempt is all we can ask for, plus it’s so hard to judge accurately how well we’ve done. Teachers can’t really mark ELAT exams, and anyway, 22/30 is really good!! Also whoa, that’s so interesting that some lessons you have with only the teachers? Oh my goodness.

Cling onto that confidence, self confidence with serve you well. There’s a difference between confidence and hubris 💛
Thank you so much ☺️

Aw I really hope it goes well for you! Hope for the best and expect the worse, eh?

I sincerely hope you're right haha. I'm sure yours read very well based on your posts! I appreciate your confidence in mine <3

Yeah I completely get what you mean. My teacher said her mark was probably harsh, but she wanted to be on the safe side as she's obviously more unfamiliar with the ELAT. Having seen it myself just before I practised the ELAT, the marking criteria also seem so vague, so I don't blame her. Anyway, yeah I have RS and English lit on my own haha; it comes with its drawbacks but it can be pretty cool mostly.

You're genuinely so lovely. Thank you! It's not often I get this so maybe I should haha. I really am grateful for your words of wisdom.
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Sophiebxx
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Hi everyone!
Oxford or Cambridge?
Oxford, Jesus College
How much preparation have you done?
My entire life is now revolving around re-reading the books mentioned in my personal statement (I just read them over and over) and preparing for the ELAT. I've done about 9 practice papers, although I kinda wish I didn't because I think it has made me worry more about the test!
Which other universities have you applied to?
Manchester, Royal Holloway, Queen Mary University of London, New College of the Humanities (I have offers from these), Lancaster & Oxford (waiting for a response)
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by Sophiebxx)
Hi everyone!
Oxford or Cambridge?
Oxford, Jesus College
How much preparation have you done?
My entire life is now revolving around re-reading the books mentioned in my personal statement (I just read them over and over) and preparing for the ELAT. I've done about 9 practice papers, although I kinda wish I didn't because I think it has made me worry more about the test!
Which other universities have you applied to?
Manchester, Royal Holloway, Queen Mary University of London, New College of the Humanities (I have offers from these), Lancaster & Oxford (waiting for a response)
Nice choice with the college!

Honestly you’re doing well by the sound of it! I still have to finish 2 of the books I mentioned in my PS, so re-reading may be out of the question haha 😅. It would have been a good idea though lol. Also, 9 papers? Crikey! Kudos for that.

Well done on the offers 😊 - I hope Lancaster reply soon! Best of luck for Oxford.
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Sophiebxx
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
Nice choice with the college!

Honestly you’re doing well by the sound of it! I still have to finish 2 of the books I mentioned in my PS, so re-reading may be out of the question haha 😅. It would have been a good idea though lol. Also, 9 papers? Crikey! Kudos for that.

Well done on the offers 😊 - I hope Lancaster reply soon! Best of luck for Oxford.
Haha thank you, I didn't realise Lancaster would take so long to respond.
On paper, it sounds like I've done a lot, but I don't think it's helped me much. If anything, it's made me more stressed!
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by Sophiebxx)
Haha thank you, I didn't realise Lancaster would take so long to respond.
On paper, it sounds like I've done a lot, but I don't think it's helped me much. If anything, it's made me more stressed!
Yeah, for me it’s Lancaster and Durham that I’m waiting on now. Difficult to be patient but we’ll get there in the end! Have you applied for pure English Literature or a mix?

Bless you! Honestly you’re probably so well-prepared for this. Remember the ELAT will just be one factor in their assessment as well. You don’t have to get perfect marks by any means.
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Selfcare
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Hi guys I'm applying to Worcester College at Oxford

ngl I am feeling very stressed about the ELAT wah - I've done one paper to time and another taking as long as I wanted, and I'm worried this isn't enough :'(

written work is stressing me out as well, do you think it's better for it to be closer to 2000 words, or does the length not matter too much?

Sorry for being a bit negative, I just need to vent lol
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Sophiebxx
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
Yeah, for me it’s Lancaster and Durham that I’m waiting on now. Difficult to be patient but we’ll get there in the end! Have you applied for pure English Literature or a mix?

Bless you! Honestly you’re probably so well-prepared for this. Remember the ELAT will just be one factor in their assessment as well. You don’t have to get perfect marks by any means.
Yes, I hope it'll all work out!

I've applied for English Language & Literature at Oxford, the rest of the unis are purely English Literature. Apart from New College of the Humanities which is English lit & creative writing.
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by Sophiebxx)
Yes, I hope it'll all work out!

I've applied for English Language & Literature at Oxford, the rest of the unis are purely English Literature. Apart from New College of the Humanities which is English lit & creative writing.
Ohh interesting! I’ve applied for some English literature/English, but also some lang/lit. I was thinking of a creative writing mix too but unfortunately decided against it, which I regret a little in hindsight. I’m sure I could do some sort of workshop though hopefully.

You sound like you have some great choices!
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by Selfcare)
Hi guys I'm applying to Worcester College at Oxford

ngl I am feeling very stressed about the ELAT wah - I've done one paper to time and another taking as long as I wanted, and I'm worried this isn't enough :'(

written work is stressing me out as well, do you think it's better for it to be closer to 2000 words, or does the length not matter too much?

Sorry for being a bit negative, I just need to vent lol
Aw bless you. Please don’t apologise! This thread can be for any kind of emotion.

Honestly you’ve still done more than I have! I did one to time and I’m not sure if I even have the opportunity to do another without sacrificing some upcoming assessments. You wouldn’t be applying if you didn’t have the skills. Have a little faith in yourself <3

As for written work I’ve gone with a variety. I sent in a shorter prose essay I did, but then I also gave them my ELAT mock which was pretty long. I think they accept any length, so I’d just choose your best examples personally. You could possibly email a teacher and get their opinion though?
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Sophiebxx
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
Aw bless you. Please don’t apologise! This thread can be for any kind of emotion.

Honestly you’ve still done more than I have! I did one to time and I’m not sure if I even have the opportunity to do another without sacrificing some upcoming assessments. You wouldn’t be applying if you didn’t have the skills. Have a little faith in yourself <3

As for written work I’ve gone with a variety. I sent in a shorter prose essay I did, but then I also gave them my ELAT mock which was pretty long. I think they accept any length, so I’d just choose your best examples personally. You could possibly email a teacher and get their opinion though?
Hi, did you have to send it two written pieces? I was told for my college it was only 1.
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Sophiebxx
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
Aw bless you. Please don’t apologise! This thread can be for any kind of emotion.

Honestly you’ve still done more than I have! I did one to time and I’m not sure if I even have the opportunity to do another without sacrificing some upcoming assessments. You wouldn’t be applying if you didn’t have the skills. Have a little faith in yourself <3

As for written work I’ve gone with a variety. I sent in a shorter prose essay I did, but then I also gave them my ELAT mock which was pretty long. I think they accept any length, so I’d just choose your best examples personally. You could possibly email a teacher and get their opinion though?
(Original post by Selfcare)
Hi guys I'm applying to Worcester College at Oxford

ngl I am feeling very stressed about the ELAT wah - I've done one paper to time and another taking as long as I wanted, and I'm worried this isn't enough :'(

written work is stressing me out as well, do you think it's better for it to be closer to 2000 words, or does the length not matter too much?

Sorry for being a bit negative, I just need to vent lol
I feel the exact same as you! I’m so so stressed.
For the written work, I would pick the strongest piece you have, no matter what the length is. Quality > quantity
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by Sophiebxx)
Hi, did you have to send it two written pieces? I was told for my college it was only 1.
It was two for me but it’s different for different colleges, and remember I applied to Cambridge. Follow whatever instructions you’ve been given
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Sophiebxx
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
It was two for me but it’s different for different colleges, and remember I applied to Cambridge. Follow whatever instructions you’ve been given
Haha okay, thank you! My college has confused me a bit because they told me 2 originally and then only 1. Scared they changed it again! 😂
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by Sophiebxx)
Haha okay, thank you! My college has confused me a bit because they told me 2 originally and then only 1. Scared they changed it again! 😂
Oh gosh that would worry me sick. I'm sure you're good with one, but you can always email admissions to check! I was a bit intimidated to do so at first but, at least for me, they were really lovely about it.
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