The Student Room Group

Is it advisable to take a gap year after getting Oxbridge rejection?

For those who reapplied after getting rejected the first time, what did you do to supplement your application before reapplying?
Reply 1
Original post by Aubameyang_14
For those who reapplied after getting rejected the first time, what did you do to supplement your application before reapplying?

you can request individual feedback on your application & interview from the college(s) you were interviewed at and see what else they wanted from you.
Original post by etohin
you can request individual feedback on your application & interview from the college(s) you were interviewed at and see what else they wanted from you.

how do you request feedback? do you email them?
Reply 3
Original post by lilly1495
how do you request feedback? do you email them?

yes. you're supposed to email the first college that interviewed you.

here is what oxford says about feedback: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/applying-to-oxford/decisions/feedback
If you do take a gap year , make sure you do more research into your subject. Don’t just lie on a beach, they want you doing academic things
I don't tend to advise it, tbh. Some people do get in after reapplying, or by reapplying and switching from Oxford to Cambridge or vice versa, but it's a huge and often unnecessary gamble. The phrase "plenty of fish in the sea" is very true when it comes to UK unis: there are so many world-class unis and uni departments dotted around the place :yep:

No need to get hung up on Oxbridge! It's healthier, imho, to take some time to be upset, but then remind yourself that your future is in your hands, not Oxford or Cambridge's. You will determine your own success and you can and will be successful elsewhere. You will also almost certainly have less work and more sleep by going elsewhere too :biggrin:

Chin up :grouphugs:
I wouldnt advise it. Oxbridge don't really like you taking a gap year and it usually leads to a rejection im afraid. If you really want to you can but look into your chances with your subject first (some subjects are more likely to accept you after a gap year). I personally don't think you should take a gap year just for the sole purpose of reapplying for Oxbridge. Rejection isn't necessarily a bad thing and can be a redirection.
Oxbridge will always still be there as a Postgraduate University.
Reply 8
It can be done. I applied twice/took a gap year and got in the second time.

The thing is, though, after my first application was rejected, I realised I’d applied for a subject that I didn’t really like. So when I reapplied, it was for a different subject (and to a different college), and it was a completely different endeavour altogether.

So if you’re thinking about reapplying for the same subject just because you want to go to Oxford... I would second what @The_Lonely_Goatherd has said above. It’s likely that you’ll be better off picking yourself up, and accepting an offer from another excellent university (there are lots in the UK), and maybe apply to Oxford for postgrad.

But if you really want to reapply,
Do something useful/valuable in your gap year
Apply to a different college.

That’s my advice.
(edited 3 years ago)
I wouldn't recommend it unless you would be happy with a gap year even if you literally couldn't reapply - i.e. imagine if your centre made you missed the deadline. I'm on a gap year now because of COVID and I'm very happy to have done so, but I wouldn't have done it under normal circumstances.
yes.
Original post by something_orphic
I wouldnt advise it. Oxbridge don't really like you taking a gap year and it usually leads to a rejection im afraid. If you really want to you can but look into your chances with your subject first (some subjects are more likely to accept you after a gap year). I personally don't think you should take a gap year just for the sole purpose of reapplying for Oxbridge. Rejection isn't necessarily a bad thing and can be a redirection.

who says they don't like it? They literally encourage it as it allows students to apply with more knowledge and research about their course
Was rejected last year by Cambridge and taking a gap year rn.

It's definitely not advised to take a gap year just to reapply to Oxbridge. It just doesn't really worth it in most cases. However, if you have a valid reason (even just to rest is acceptable), and (I can't stretch this enough) a plan on what to do during the gap year, then go for it and try to reapply, however, expect to be rejected just not to deal with any trauma/frustration later. As they say, hope for the best, be prepared for the worst.

I wrote 2-3 short sentences about my gap year, nothing too informative. I literally only listed what I'm going to do (mostly study) without going into details. It was enough to get an interview at Cambridge.

If you need any help/a piece of advice feel free to ask : )
Original post by Levi.-
who says they don't like it? They literally encourage it as it allows students to apply with more knowledge and research about their course

I think it really depends. I probably shouldn't of said all of oxbridge doesnt like it but it is a bit mixed. It depends on your course. If you do maths/science based subject then a lot of colleges don't like it as they like your knowledge to be up to date. You are given summer work anyway but for some reason they seem to just prefer you doing A levels and then going to uni afterwards. Some colleges do encourage it definitely or dont mind so it is worth doing that bit of research. It just depends. That doesnt mean the the OP wont get in if they decide to take a gap year and want to apply to a college that discourages it.

I dont think its worth taking a gap year just to reapply for oxbridge though. I think you need to have other reasons as well as you may regret your decision. A good reason would be as you said to gain more knowledge and research about your course.

I was giving out misinformation and thank you for pointing that out. I would just advise doing some research around colleges and their subject and gap years
Original post by something_orphic
I think it really depends. I probably shouldn't of said all of oxbridge doesnt like it but it is a bit mixed. It depends on your course. If you do maths/science based subject then a lot of colleges don't like it as they like your knowledge to be up to date. You are given summer work anyway but for some reason they seem to just prefer you doing A levels and then going to uni afterwards. Some colleges do encourage it definitely or dont mind so it is worth doing that bit of research. It just depends. That doesnt mean the the OP wont get in if they decide to take a gap year and want to apply to a college that discourages it.

I dont think its worth taking a gap year just to reapply for oxbridge though. I think you need to have other reasons as well as you may regret your decision. A good reason would be as you said to gain more knowledge and research about your course.

I was giving out misinformation and thank you for pointing that out. I would just advise doing some research around colleges and their subject and gap years

Yeah its definitely course dependent; for example i did the christs college summer school at cambridge last year and they said they welcome gap year students but are wary about accepting them for maths specifically, I think for sciences as long as you do research and online courses they won't mind - its also useful to go to conventions and such but you can't really do that for maths. Reapplying purely for oxbridge isn't adviseable though I agree there
Original post by Levi.-
Yeah its definitely course dependent; for example i did the christs college summer school at cambridge last year and they said they welcome gap year students but are wary about accepting them for maths specifically, I think for sciences as long as you do research and online courses they won't mind - its also useful to go to conventions and such but you can't really do that for maths. Reapplying purely for oxbridge isn't adviseable though I agree there

Yeah definitely. It is hard though and i saw a few people get rejected (perhaps because of taking a gap year and applying to colleges that were less accepting on science related courses we don't know ofc). I think as much as Oxbridge is fantastic. If you don't get in its not the end of world kind of thing. Just applying is an achievement. (although obviously with the amount of hard work put in and it being some peoples dream it is understandably upsetting). The whole redirection thing is definitely true. If the OP wants to take a gap year for themselves and then just to see if they would get in then that's great and i am all for it but i would hate for the OP to take a gap year just to apply for Oxbridge to then maybe be disappointed again w a lack of a back up plan.
Original post by McGinger
Oxbridge will always still be there as a Postgraduate University.


Just to also add that it's also very hard to get in at postgraduate level, plus you need to secure funding.
Original post by username4838152
I wouldnt advise it. Oxbridge don't really like you taking a gap year and it usually leads to a rejection im afraid. If you really want to you can but look into your chances with your subject first (some subjects are more likely to accept you after a gap year). I personally don't think you should take a gap year just for the sole purpose of reapplying for Oxbridge. Rejection isn't necessarily a bad thing and can be a redirection.


I really want to apply for Oxbridge but only after I’ve taken further maths in my year off, I’ll probably get an A* along with lots of other courses, internships and other things to do. Is this really not favourable? Will they really hate this?
Original post by jessica099
What did you say about your gap year? Can you give examples?


Not sure what examples they can give from:

"2-3 short sentences about my gap year, nothing too informative. I literally only listed what I'm going to do (mostly study) without going into details"

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