Harder to get into - Oxford or Cambridge? Watch

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Carelesswhispers
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I was chatting with my friends when they all said oxford is harder to get into (three have had offers from cam). In terms of the process i had to do more stuff, like sit a test etc etc, but is there really much difference between the difficulty to get into either, rn't that just of a muchness??? :confused:

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alro
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i think it depends on the individual and unless we were allowed to apply to both places we can never really determine which is easier.
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Alexander
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Across all subjects, they have a similar number of applicants of similar quality (on average) for a similar number of places; they also have similar entrance procedures. Thus I'd say that overall they're about the same difficulty to get into.

However, it does vary between subjects. There are a few where there is a clear (albeit fairly small) difference.
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Richy Rich$$
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Generally i have nocticed that more ppl have AAB offers from oxford whereas nearly all cam ppl have to get AAA
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CamSPSer
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(Original post by Richy Rich$$)
Generally i have nocticed that more ppl have AAB offers from oxford whereas nearly all cam ppl have to get AAA
at cambridge that depends largely on the college with some giving 'realistic' offers of AAB while other colleges give out AAA as standard. to be honest i woudlnt have thought either was harder generally. even if one makes you jump through more hoops at least everyone has to jump through the same hoops. if you got into cambridge the chances are you would get into oxford for the same course and vice versa (though the process is such a lottery that nothing is guarenteed)
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!Laxy!
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Varies between subjects but overall its harder to get into cambridge
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bOdOING2
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(Original post by !Laxy!)
Varies between subjects but overall its harder to get into cambridge
How can u say that?? Where's the evidence? Have u done an overall summary of all the subjects??
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!Laxy!
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(Original post by bOdOING2)
How can u say that?? Where's the evidence? Have u done an overall summary of all the subjects??
i have many friends who applied to both and 'weaker' candidates got accepted by oxford whilst 'stronger' got rejected by cambridge. Also oxford is lower in the league tables, hence the best candidates will apply to cambridge.

I could have applied to oxford for geography and got in easily, but i wanted a challenge and so applied to cambridge.
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CamSPSer
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(Original post by bOdOING2)
How can u say that?? Where's the evidence? Have u done an overall summary of all the subjects??
one in four get in to cambridge, one in three to oxford overall
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bOdOING2
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(Original post by !Laxy!)
i have many friends who applied to both and 'weaker' candidates got accepted by oxford whilst 'stronger' got rejected by cambridge. Also oxford is lower in the league tables, hence the best candidates will apply to cambridge.

I could have applied to oxford for geography and got in easily, but i wanted a challenge and so applied to cambridge.
Not true... see the times website, Oxford is 1st this year...
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,716,00.html

And for my subject, medicine, in 2003 there were around 7.5 applicants per places in Oxford (with an average GCSE score of over half A*s) and in Cambridge it was around 5:1...

I wounder what these figures show...... :rolleyes: :champ:

HUz
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CamSPSer
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(Original post by !Laxy!)
i have many friends who applied to both and 'weaker' candidates got accepted by oxford whilst 'stronger' got rejected by cambridge. Also oxford is lower in the league tables, hence the best candidates will apply to cambridge.

I could have applied to oxford for geography and got in easily, but i wanted a challenge and so applied to cambridge.
i dont think you can really say that you would have got in easily. on what do you base that assumption? you cant tell what the candidates would have been like at the college you aplpied to. if you would have messed up in interview. there are so many variants that i think very few people can actually be sure of a place before they go to interview, if any at all
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spurs123
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(Original post by notyourpunk)
one in four get in to cambridge, one in three to oxford overall

yes ur correct.

Also the courses at Cambridge such a as nat sciences, economics are more competivitve than their oxford counterparts.

Maths requires step in cambridge (and so does nat sciences if u apply to a top college). AEA maths is no way near the level of Step 2 or 3
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Hoofbeat
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(Original post by Richy Rich$$)
Generally i have nocticed that more ppl have AAB offers from oxford whereas nearly all cam ppl have to get AAA
Last year Oxford gave out hardly any AAB offers. Can't say I noticed them changing their methods this year. Both Uni's are equally hard to get into and most people receive offers of AAA (i agree it's harder to meet Cams offer for Maths as they give step offers whereas Ox don't - tht doesn't mean it's harder to get an offer from Cam, just it's harder to meet you're offer).

In my opinion (and that's all it is) I think the interview process at Oxford works better for a lot of people, especially those who are nervous/unsure what to expect, as it's spread over several days giving you time to reflect on your performance inbetween interviews and hopefully give you time to settle in, relax and talk to other students/applicants, whereas I know which Cam my friend had her 2 medicine interviews at 9am and then 10am and then went home!
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Brown Patrick Bateman
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How about some actual statistics?

Oxford - 2003 undergraduate entry - www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/2004-5/supps/adstats04.pdf - 11,227 applicants, 2890 offers = 25.7% success rate

Cambridge - 2003 undergraduate entry - http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/.../12/table1.pdf - 13,700 applicants, 3,435 offers = 25.1% success rate

So they're almost the same... I remember a few years ago it was 27% for Cambridge, 33% for Oxford, but recently there's been a much bigger increase in applications to Oxford.

Note: For Oxford I excluded deferred entries, for Cambridge it didn't mention them.
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Brown Patrick Bateman
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(Original post by !Laxy!)
i have many friends who applied to both and 'weaker' candidates got accepted by oxford whilst 'stronger' got rejected by cambridge. Also oxford is lower in the league tables, hence the best candidates will apply to cambridge.
Average entry grades of Oxford students = 29.5, Cambridge 29.3 in 2004.
(Original post by !Laxy!)
I could have applied to oxford for geography and got in easily, but i wanted a challenge and so applied to cambridge.
That's not only arrogant but utterly ridiculous. Geography at Oxford is more competitive to get into than Maths, Physics and Engineering (www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/2004-5/supps/adstats04.pdf). And you have no proof whatsoever you'd have got in easily; this year hundreds of 'perfect' straight-A students got rejected.
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Amrad
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(Original post by zip it123)
yes ur correct.

Also the courses at Cambridge such a as nat sciences, economics are more competivitve than their oxford counterparts.

Maths requires step in cambridge (and so does nat sciences if u apply to a top college). AEA maths is no way near the level of Step 2 or 3
As Jools has showed - that is simply not true.

The Cambridge Natural Sciences course has no Oxford counterpart so I don't know what you are comparing it to. As for Economics - Oxford E&M is statistically more competitive than Cambridge Economics (on a three year basis) and in reality I would say it's a lot harder. Agreed that Cambridge maths offers are harder to meet, but they give out a lot more offers than Oxford do because of it.
edit: 2004 entry - Cambridge economics ~ 17%, Oxford E&M - 13.8%

It varies slightly from subject to subject but on the whole they are both equally competitive.
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JaF
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I don't think there is anyway that somebody can say for sure which one is hardest to get into. There are so many contributing factors that a definitive answer is simply not possible. It really does vary from subject to subject.
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Squishy
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Why does it matter anyway? A very talented applicant may decide to go for a subject like Classics, which typically has one of the lowest applicants-per-place ratios, while an average applicant may go for a "typically competitive subject" and get in because the college he or she picked didn't get many applicants that year.

It's impossible to judge the quality of an applicant by how many people a generalised table of statistics say that he or she had to fight to get a position.
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WhatFreshHell?
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To be honest I dont think many applicants factor in which uni is most competitive for their subject (if both offer it), rather they just pick whichever institution they like best and somehow it all works out. I'd imagine it's very unlikely that, without changing anything from your application (including interview), a Cambridge tutor would accept someone an Oxford tutor wouldn't.

Personally, one of the real reasons that sent me to Oxford rather than Cambridge was this ridiculous pool system they have going on - shallow, yes, but then so am I.
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Drogue
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(Original post by Richy Rich$$)
Generally i have nocticed that more ppl have AAB offers from oxford whereas nearly all cam ppl have to get AAA
I've never met someone at Oxford in my year who got an AAB offer. I personally got an AAAA one, however my brother (admittedly this is a few years ago) got an AAB one for Cambridge. Both used to give out mainly AAB offers, now both give out almost solely AAA ones, due to increased pressure to only take people with perfect A levels, and increased competition.
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