badaxian
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k86754
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(Original post by badaxian)
And what kind of things do you need to do in terms of extra curricular or super curricular?
I'm currently studying Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and an EPQ although I'd like to drop Physics if possible - would that affect my chances? I go to a private school and I got ten 9s at GCSE although I am on bursary.
Dropping physics wouldn't really affect your chances. If anything, it could increase your chances as it may allow you to do better in your 3 other subjects.
You'll need to focus on what you can write about in your personal statement. This includes super-curricular activities where you show how you developed your interest in chemistry e.g. books, lectures, MOOCs etc. The EPQ you are doing is a great example of this. Extra-curriculars aren't really needed for Obridge either
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badaxian
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(Original post by k86754)
Dropping physics wouldn't really affect your chances. If anything, it could increase your chances as it may allow you to do better in your 3 other subjects.
You'll need to focus on what you can write about in your personal statement. This includes super-curricular activities where you show how you developed your interest in chemistry e.g. books, lectures, MOOCs etc. The EPQ you are doing is a great example of this. Extra-curriculars aren't really needed for Obridge either
So even though most people at my school do 4 A levels it wouldn't be detrimental to only do 3?
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k86754
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(Original post by badaxian)
So even though most people at my school do 4 A levels it wouldn't be detrimental to only do 3?
Oxford only require 3 A Levels and the 3 subjects you do are a good combination. It's more important that you write a good personal statement and perform well at interview than having 4 a levels
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badaxian
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(Original post by k86754)
Oxford only require 3 A Levels and the 3 subjects you do are a good combination. It's more important that you write a good personal statement and perform well at interview than having 4 a levels
Alright thank you!
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APRoach
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(Original post by badaxian)
So even though most people at my school do 4 A levels it wouldn't be detrimental to only do 3?
Not to your application but it something worth considering for yourself - I remember in year 11, a Cambridge Admission Tutor gave a talk in which he mentioned that it is not detrimental to your application to have 3 A levels (same principle for Oxford) but it is an indication that you may not be able to cope with the workload at Oxbridge if you can't hack 4 A levels. So, no, it won't impact your application but it is worthing thinking about whether Oxbridge is the best place for you.

Not saying this is the case but definitely a question worth asking sooner rather than later. Having said this, I know some people from my school who got into Oxford Chem with 3 A levels so don't worry about it too much. Also, since it a pure science it is easier to do 3 A levels for, as you don't need the breadth that subjects such as NatSci need, which why the latter tend to be more competitive and valued.

Out of curiosity, what is your EPQ on?
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badaxian
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(Original post by Deckoles)
Not to your application but it something worth considering for yourself - I remember in year 11, a Cambridge Admission Tutor gave a talk in which he mentioned that it is not detrimental to your application to have 3 A levels (same principle for Oxford) but it is an indication that you may not be able to cope with the workload at Oxbridge if you can't hack 4 A levels. So, no, it won't impact your application but it is worthing thinking about whether Oxbridge is the best place for you.

Not saying this is the case but definitely a question worth asking sooner rather than later. Having said this, I know some people from my school who got into Oxford Chem with 3 A levels so don't worry about it too much. Also, since it a pure science it is easier to do 3 A levels for, as you don't need the breadth that subjects such as NatSci need, which why the latter tend to be more competitive and valued.

Out of curiosity, what is your EPQ on?
Ah alright that makes sense. I think I would be able to handle the workload but I just find Physics much less interesting than I did last year and I'd much rather put that time into supercurricular chemistry as I find that to be of much more interest to me. My EPQ is on the possible use of Psilocybin therapy to treat various mental conditions - although it is much more focused on the biochemistry side of things as I find Pharmacology quite interesting as well.
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APRoach
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(Original post by badaxian)
Ah alright that makes sense. I think I would be able to handle the workload but I just find Physics much less interesting than I did last year and I'd much rather put that time into supercurricular chemistry as I find that to be of much more interest to me. My EPQ is on the possible use of Psilocybin therapy to treat various mental conditions - although it is much more focused on the biochemistry side of things as I find Pharmacology quite interesting as well.
Nice EPQ! If it's more of an interest thing then I think dropping physics is a consideration that should be on the table, although I personally thought that physics got more interesting. To each their own, I guess.
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artful_lounger
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I'd probably suggest that A-level Physics will be more relevant and useful (even tangentially) to a prospective degree in chemistry than A-level Biology. Bear in mind that there will be a fair amount of physical chemistry in any chemistry degree, which overlaps considerably with several topics covered in A-level Physics, and the style of the degree will be much more similar to A-level Physics (and of course A-level Chemistry) than A-level Biology. The Oxford course is, as I understand, particularly heavy on the physical chemistry side of things and more mathematical than most as a result.

So, if you were going to drop a subject (which I don't think is a problem in of itself) I would probably recommend biology rather than physics. Having AS or A-level Further Maths would probably be helpful but not essential.
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badaxian
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I'd probably suggest that A-level Physics will be more relevant and useful (even tangentially) to a prospective degree in chemistry than A-level Biology. Bear in mindW that there will be a fair amount of physical chemistry in any chemistry degree, which overlaps considerably with several topics covered in A-level Physics, and the style of the degree will be much more similar to A-level Physics (and of course A-level Chemistry) than A-level Biology. The Oxford course is, as I understand, particularly heavy on the physical chemistry side of things and more mathematical than most as a result.

So, if you were going to drop a subject (which I don't think is a problem in of itself) I would probably recommend biology rather than physics. Having AS or A-level Further Maths would probably be helpful but not essential.
Would physical chemistry not be taught in-depth during the course?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by badaxian)
Would physical chemistry not be taught in-depth during the course?
Yes but the course will be intensive and you will be expected to be doing a lot of self study in the process. You may as well take every advantage you get out of the gate to do well there - remember getting in is just the first hurdle, you actually then need to do well in the course which is usually harder than just getting an offer when all is said and done.
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badaxian
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Yes that's actually a very good point, thank you!
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