Modern languages at Oxford?

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Oll1925
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#1
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#1
Hello,

I’m in year 12 at hills road sixth form and am thinking what I would like to do at university. I am currently studying German, Chemistry and double maths. My worry is that at GCSE we had teacher predicted grades as our real grade, but at my school these grades were based off our January mocks, which me being stupid, I didn’t revise for that much, especially for English. I really enjoy English and reading ( especially the book we did at GCSE - pride and prejudice 👍), but at this time I prioritised certain subjects and kind of abandoned English. This is what worries me - I know I could have gotten at least an 8 or maybe at a push a 9 in english by the real exams with the revision I started doing after the mocks, but I got a grade 7 from my teacher for my GCSEs. I’ve researched and I’ve seen in many places people saying that Oxford put a strong emphasis on GCSEs when applying and I’m worried that if I want to apply for modern languages, will this English grade decrease my chances.

Also what could I do know to improve my knowledge of literature and essay writing, as I didn’t take English at a level - this is worrying me.

Sorry for the really long post, I just needed a bit of clarification from someone who has gone through this. Any help would be great! 👍
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username4838152
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#2
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#2
Well obviously it is hard to say whether or not this would affect your chances. Oxford does have a bit of an emphasis on GCSEs but if your other GCSEs are strong i think it would be worth applying if you have the A level grades then i think it is worth applying. The good news is that modern languages is a less competitive subject (don't bank on this btw). I believe for modern languages the interview process is going to very important as they give you challenging exercises to do (it is obviously the overall picture tho).

Also i dont know a lot about Oxford (i went once and spoke to a student who did German there but thats about it) so i would suggest trying to find someone to give you better advice who has been through the process. However, i do know modern languages in recent languages has been on the decline so they may be a bit more lenient on your GCSEs if you show promise in that language.

May i ask what your other GCSEs grades are?
Last edited by username4838152; 1 year ago
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liverninthered
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#3
They look at your GCSEs as a whole, not so much at individual subjects. The English grade would never make or break an application. If your GCSEs as a whole are low, this may be problematic.

How to improve your knowledge of literature?
Read literature in English or German. Choose a few novels from different eras/genres. Make sure to read some German literature: start with poetry and short stories, then aim for at least one longer text (novel or play). You could then look for articles about the texts on websites like JStor or similar. You might also want to read about literary theory (many introductory texts on this).

More specifically, you will likely have to discuss an extract of literature in your interview. When you get closer to that point, practise analysing poems or short passages of prose you haven't seen before.
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AP123456789
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Oll1925)
Hello,

I’m in year 12 at hills road sixth form and am thinking what I would like to do at university. I am currently studying German, Chemistry and double maths. My worry is that at GCSE we had teacher predicted grades as our real grade, but at my school these grades were based off our January mocks, which me being stupid, I didn’t revise for that much, especially for English. I really enjoy English and reading ( especially the book we did at GCSE - pride and prejudice 👍), but at this time I prioritised certain subjects and kind of abandoned English. This is what worries me - I know I could have gotten at least an 8 or maybe at a push a 9 in english by the real exams with the revision I started doing after the mocks, but I got a grade 7 from my teacher for my GCSEs. I’ve researched and I’ve seen in many places people saying that Oxford put a strong emphasis on GCSEs when applying and I’m worried that if I want to apply for modern languages, will this English grade decrease my chances.

Also what could I do know to improve my knowledge of literature and essay writing, as I didn’t take English at a level - this is worrying me.

Sorry for the really long post, I just needed a bit of clarification from someone who has gone through this. Any help would be great! 👍
hey I'm so sorry you go to hills rip you next year, also start working now especially revising for class tests for they will also shaft you next year, aswell as with ucas predictions, I got 3 9s 5 8s and 2 7s at GCSE and they gave me ACC rip
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azby1098
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#5
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#5
(Original post by AP123456789)
hey I'm so sorry you go to hills rip you next year, also start working now especially revising for class tests for they will also shaft you next year, aswell as with ucas predictions, I got 3 9s 5 8s and 2 7s at GCSE and they gave me ACC rip
those gcses are definitely more than good enough, especially for languages
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MFFMC
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My son was offered a place for German at Oxford this year. He has GCSE grade 7 in both German and English. Like you, he studies German, Chemistry and Maths at A-Level. Our experience was that a well thought out application and a strong effort with the Oxford language aptitude test are considerably more important than the standard of your GCSE grades, and that they're likely to be what determines whether you or not are invited to an interview.

Once you're through that gateway, the likelihood of an offer is likely to be down to your interview performance. My son had five (!) Oxford interviews: with the Faculty itself; with the college that he applied to; and with another college (that he hadn't applied to). The actual offer of a place came from an entirely different college...

I don't think you should worry about your GCSEs, but put that energy into your application & your A-Levels instead. Good luck.
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Oxford Mum
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Oll1925)
Hello,

I’m in year 12 at hills road sixth form and am thinking what I would like to do at university. I am currently studying German, Chemistry and double maths. My worry is that at GCSE we had teacher predicted grades as our real grade, but at my school these grades were based off our January mocks, which me being stupid, I didn’t revise for that much, especially for English. I really enjoy English and reading ( especially the book we did at GCSE - pride and prejudice 👍), but at this time I prioritised certain subjects and kind of abandoned English. This is what worries me - I know I could have gotten at least an 8 or maybe at a push a 9 in english by the real exams with the revision I started doing after the mocks, but I got a grade 7 from my teacher for my GCSEs. I’ve researched and I’ve seen in many places people saying that Oxford put a strong emphasis on GCSEs when applying and I’m worried that if I want to apply for modern languages, will this English grade decrease my chances.

Also what could I do know to improve my knowledge of literature and essay writing, as I didn’t take English at a level - this is worrying me.

Sorry for the really long post, I just needed a bit of clarification from someone who has gone through this. Any help would be great! 👍
My son got into Oxford for German with only 3 x 8/9s. Please read his Oxford Demystified chapter for further detail

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6054206

They will not be bothered about your English grade, but you do need to read some German literature and be able to analyse it.
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