Should I even bother applying to Oxbridge?

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Anonymous #1
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Hi, I'm currently a Year 12 student studying Maths, chemistry, physics and further maths for my A levels. I decided to drop further maths this year but the few tests we did for further maths this year haven't had any good results. My final AS teacher assessed grade will consist of these grades, so i'm sure that I won't have a good further maths grade for this year at all (I'm talking lower than a C or D grade.)

For GCSEs, (which were cancelled due to COVID) were 9998877764 and a B in FSMQ. Not all 9s and 8s which were more common this year than I had thought. I definitely believe that if I were to have sit the exams, I would've done better.

I am quite active regarding extra curriculars. I play badminton and I've volunteered as a coach in a club too. I have more extra curriculars too.

My end of year 12 exams have just happened. Although I didn't get my results yet, I assume I'll get A in maths, A/B in physics, B/C in chemistry, and lower than a C in further maths. I do think I can improve these grades a lot within 2 months but these exam grades will have play a major role for my UCAS predictions.

Should I even consider applying to Oxbridge or would it just be a waste??
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HoldThisL
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its worth applying to avoid any future regret, but your chance of an interview is low, yes
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Anonymous #1
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Do you think I can still aim to apply to UCL or Warwick? I may still have time to pick up my predicted grades ...
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Anonymous #1
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I was working at about 40-50% of my potential so if I can start working better an dmore efficiently, would I still be able to aim for a top univeristy?
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I was working at about 40-50% of my potential so if I can start working better an dmore efficiently, would I still be able to aim for a top univeristy?
Possibly but you'll need like A*A*A or something similar.really depends on the subject and uni
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studyholmes
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I say go for it! If your upcoming grades are around A's (or very close to your entry req) there's no harm in attempting to apply so you don't regret it, but make sure you're applying to other universities you're certain you're going to get into - as you have a lower chance of being interviewed for Oxbridge if you don't meet your entry requirements.

Hope it goes well
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artful_lounger
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Applying for what subject? Also note that the two assess GCSEs differently, namely in general Oxford puts more emphasis on them and Cambridge less. Even so, your GCSE grades would be good enough for most courses at Oxford except for medicine and maybe PPE or E&M. Which brings us back to the original question of, what subject are you intending to apply for? Weaker AS grades from IAL courses or if you are sitting A-levels in Wales/NI may be more of an issue for both, although if the course you're applying to has a pre-interview admissions assessment and you do well in that it might ameliorate this somewhat.

Incidentally neither Oxford nor Cambridge generally care about extracurricular activities that aren't specifically relevant to the subject you are applying to study. Possibly the only exception is for medicine if you are discussing them in terms of e.g. leadership qualities and so on perhaps. Otherwise they really only care about subject related matters. This isn't true for all universities of course, and you will be applying to 4 other unis. But playing badminton, even if it were at olympic level (I don't actually know if badminton is an olympic sport to be fair) doesn't really mean anything to them.
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Anonymous #3
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It all comes down to whether you’ll be able to get a predicted grade. I had a brilliant candidate a few years ago who was your ideal candidate for Oxford history. Unbeknownst to all her history teacher ended up predicting her a B and this scuppered her interview chances.
It’s a discussion you need to have with your teachers. And you need to think carefully about your subject choice as well.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi, I'm currently a Year 12 student studying Maths, chemistry, physics and further maths for my A levels. I decided to drop further maths this year but the few tests we did for further maths this year haven't had any good results. My final AS teacher assessed grade will consist of these grades, so i'm sure that I won't have a good further maths grade for this year at all (I'm talking lower than a C or D grade.)

For GCSEs, (which were cancelled due to COVID) were 9998877764 and a B in FSMQ. Not all 9s and 8s which were more common this year than I had thought. I definitely believe that if I were to have sit the exams, I would've done better.

I am quite active regarding extra curriculars. I play badminton and I've volunteered as a coach in a club too. I have more extra curriculars too.

My end of year 12 exams have just happened. Although I didn't get my results yet, I assume I'll get A in maths, A/B in physics, B/C in chemistry, and lower than a C in further maths. I do think I can improve these grades a lot within 2 months but these exam grades will have play a major role for my UCAS predictions.

Should I even consider applying to Oxbridge or would it just be a waste??
Which degree?
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londonmyst
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No.
Best not to apply to Oxbridge for undergrad.
Maybe consider applying again for postgrad courses if you have achieved very good uni marks throughout years 1-3, are expected to achieve a high 2:1 or first and have great references.
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Son of the Sea
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I think it depends on how many choices actually look attractive to you. If you already have 5 unis which you really love and think you have a shot at then there's no pointing wasting one of those spots for Oxbridge but if say you only have 2 or 3 unis you love then you may as well just apply to Oxbridge considering you have 5 choices you can put down. The worst they can do is reject pre-interview.
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mychess51
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If you are a good standard at badminton possibly also consider some of Bath, Loughborough, Nottingham, Derby where I think the badminton is good (there are also other universities where it is good). Obviously the badminton is less important than the course/uni - but it all helps for enjoyment. Look at the course entry requirements and your expected grades.
Last edited by mychess51; 1 month ago
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Which degree?
I want to study economics and possible with a combination of another subject such as management.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Applying for what subject? Also note that the two assess GCSEs differently, namely in general Oxford puts more emphasis on them and Cambridge less. Even so, your GCSE grades would be good enough for most courses at Oxford except for medicine and maybe PPE or E&M. Which brings us back to the original question of, what subject are you intending to apply for? Weaker AS grades from IAL courses or if you are sitting A-levels in Wales/NI may be more of an issue for both, although if the course you're applying to has a pre-interview admissions assessment and you do well in that it might ameliorate this somewhat.

Incidentally neither Oxford nor Cambridge generally care about extracurricular activities that aren't specifically relevant to the subject you are applying to study. Possibly the only exception is for medicine if you are discussing them in terms of e.g. leadership qualities and so on perhaps. Otherwise they really only care about subject related matters. This isn't true for all universities of course, and you will be applying to 4 other unis. But playing badminton, even if it were at olympic level (I don't actually know if badminton is an olympic sport to be fair) doesn't really mean anything to them.
I want to apply for an economics related subject. I am doing an EPQ on the impacts of economic inequality by the way. I guess I can't apply for E&M then with my GCSE grades...

I've volunteered at a badminton club as a coach and taught techniques to younger children. I've also led small batches of children group sessions.
Other than this, I played chess tournaments for a while and helped run coding lessons for little kids in a library. I've done the volunteering as a librarian too. I didn't think these would matter massively so I didn't mention much about them.

I do take part in the UKMT challenges at school. I've been able to write the senior maths challenge before year 9/8 and managed to get silver. I've got silver and bronze awards in senior and intermediate challenges to date. I haven't gotten any golds though. I participated in the tenner challenge (business challenge) at school back in year 9. I have a silver arts award from when i did art with artspiration. I helped with volunteering as well.
Of course, I played the piano too. But these aren't necessarily related to economics...
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I want to study economics and possible with a combination of another subject such as management.
The problem is what your predicted grades will be and the dropping of FM will limit the unis you can apply for Economics.

If I was teaching you I could not predict good enough grades at the moment and there is little time to improve enough before the Oxbridge deadline. Have your school approached you as a potential Oxbridge applicant? If not, then talk to them asap - they know you better than we do.
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DOOODARS
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In my personal opinion, unless your predicted grades are at the very least all As, I wouldn’t bother. I know some very intelligent people who I went to school with (we’re taking nearly all 9s at GCSE with maybe one or two 8s and predicted A/A* and they didn’t get in, some didn’t even get an interview)

Of course, it is completely up to you however it’s difficult to get in with top grades let alone decent grades. You have five options, so it’s not the end of the world if one of them rejects you, just make sure you apply to places you know for a fact you’ll get in and can realistically achieve by the end of next year (usually you’ll go up a grade between end of year 12 and year 13 main exams, but it’s possible to go up by 2 as long as you work)
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi, I'm currently a Year 12 student studying Maths, chemistry, physics and further maths for my A levels. I decided to drop further maths this year but the few tests we did for further maths this year haven't had any good results. My final AS teacher assessed grade will consist of these grades, so i'm sure that I won't have a good further maths grade for this year at all (I'm talking lower than a C or D grade.)

For GCSEs, (which were cancelled due to COVID) were 9998877764 and a B in FSMQ. Not all 9s and 8s which were more common this year than I had thought. I definitely believe that if I were to have sit the exams, I would've done better.

I am quite active regarding extra curriculars. I play badminton and I've volunteered as a coach in a club too. I have more extra curriculars too.

My end of year 12 exams have just happened. Although I didn't get my results yet, I assume I'll get A in maths, A/B in physics, B/C in chemistry, and lower than a C in further maths. I do think I can improve these grades a lot within 2 months but these exam grades will have play a major role for my UCAS predictions.

Should I even consider applying to Oxbridge or would it just be a waste??
it will be a waste.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I want to apply for an economics related subject. I am doing an EPQ on the impacts of economic inequality by the way. I guess I can't apply for E&M then with my GCSE grades...

I've volunteered at a badminton club as a coach and taught techniques to younger children. I've also led small batches of children group sessions.
Other than this, I played chess tournaments for a while and helped run coding lessons for little kids in a library. I've done the volunteering as a librarian too. I didn't think these would matter massively so I didn't mention much about them.

I do take part in the UKMT challenges at school. I've been able to write the senior maths challenge before year 9/8 and managed to get silver. I've got silver and bronze awards in senior and intermediate challenges to date. I haven't gotten any golds though. I participated in the tenner challenge (business challenge) at school back in year 9. I have a silver arts award from when i did art with artspiration. I helped with volunteering as well.
Of course, I played the piano too. But these aren't necessarily related to economics...
Lack of further maths rules out LSE, incidentally. It is also not ideal for Cambridge economics, and I gather it's quite commonly taken by those applying to E&M at Oxford - which is also the single most competitive course at Oxford and almost certainly will weigh GCSEs quite heavily. However the UKMT/SMC work might be sufficient to convince them of your mathematical ability, although honestly a C in AS FM is going to be a bit of a problem area in an application still I think.

PPE doesn't care so much about further maths as I understand (at Oxford or LSE it may be worth noting), and allows you to take as many economics papers as E&M does I believe (if you go bi-partite and take 5 economics papers in the FHS). They are still relatively focused on GCSEs though, although it's less competitive than E&M so you might have slightly more leeway with a good TSA score.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Muttley79)
The problem is what your predicted grades will be and the dropping of FM will limit the unis you can apply for Economics.

If I was teaching you I could not predict good enough grades at the moment and there is little time to improve enough before the Oxbridge deadline. Have your school approached you as a potential Oxbridge applicant? If not, then talk to them asap - they know you better than we do.
My main choice of uni at first was UCL. I plan to apply to UCL as it was my intial first choice.
Wll I still have a good shot at UCL or Warwick if I can get good predicted grades?
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Anonymous)
My main choice of uni at first was UCL. I plan to apply to UCL as it was my intial first choice.
Wll I still have a good shot at UCL or Warwick if I can get good predicted grades?
As I said - talk to people who know you better than we do - scrutinise the uni websites for requirements.
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