The Student Room Group

Oxford grade leniency

How lenient do we think Oxford will be with entry grades this year? I’ve heard others say the university/colleges themselves have stated they will be lenient with grades earlier this year, but I haven’t noticed my college say this yet. I’m curious because due to the pandemic I expect more people than usual will get their required grades and there’ll be less free spaces for people with a near miss. I need A*A*A, are they more likely to be lenient when people miss high grades like this or for lower grades like AAA or something. Obviously no one can know for sure but what does anyone think? Feeling pretty worried about results day.
Reply 1
Highly doubt they would be lenient unless you have extenuating circumstances or eligible for contextual offers
Original post by Reece1510
How lenient do we think Oxford will be with entry grades this year? I’ve heard others say the university/colleges themselves have stated they will be lenient with grades earlier this year, but I haven’t noticed my college say this yet. I’m curious because due to the pandemic I expect more people than usual will get their required grades and there’ll be less free spaces for people with a near miss. I need A*A*A, are they more likely to be lenient when people miss high grades like this or for lower grades like AAA or something. Obviously no one can know for sure but what does anyone think? Feeling pretty worried about results day.

As you acknowledge, it's impossible to say. My college (Worcester) was the first one to announce that they'd take all their UK offer holders last year, regardless of whether they had met their predicted grades or not, but I don't believe they've announced a similar policy for this year. I haven't heard any such announcements from other colleges and to an extent, it'd be foolish of them to make an announcement too much in advance. I suspect there will be policies/protocols put in place for these things, but that no announcement will be made prior to results day.

On the positive side, Oxford over-offer by a much smaller margin than other unis (including Cambridge), so it's not like if you miss your place, that place can very easily go to someone else (unless you're holding an offer for a subject that does open offers). If you miss your grades and are not accepted anyway, in many cases your place just remains unfilled and that subject/course will be down a student (or however many others miss their offer!).

Even outside of covid-19, people can - and do! - get into Oxford having missed their grades. Yours truly did! But one should never rely on these things happening as (outside of covid times, at least) they are decided strictly on a case-by-case basis :smile:
Reply 3
Original post by Ten-Ten
Highly doubt they would be lenient unless you have extenuating circumstances or eligible for contextual offers

From what I understand, I don’t think there are any contextual offers at Oxford, I could be wrong on that but I got given them for every uni I applied to but Oxford. On a regular year they let in quite a few students who miss their offers by a grade, I’m just wondering if that will differ this year.
Reply 4
Original post by Reece1510
From what I understand, I don’t think there are any contextual offers at Oxford, I could be wrong on that but I got given them for every uni I applied to but Oxford. On a regular year they let in quite a few students who miss their offers by a grade, I’m just wondering if that will differ this year.

Oh, probably just scholarships then for like the disadvantaged
Reply 5
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
As you acknowledge, it's impossible to say. My college (Worcester) was the first one to announce that they'd take all their UK offer holders last year, regardless of whether they had met their predicted grades or not, but I don't believe they've announced a similar policy for this year. I haven't heard any such announcements from other colleges and to an extent, it'd be foolish of them to make an announcement too much in advance. I suspect there will be policies/protocols put in place for these things, but that no announcement will be made prior to results day.

On the positive side, Oxford over-offer by a much smaller margin than other unis (including Cambridge), so it's not like if you miss your place, that place can very easily go to someone else (unless you're holding an offer for a subject that does open offers). If you miss your grades and are not accepted anyway, in many cases your place just remains unfilled and that subject/course will be down a student (or however many others miss their offer!).

Even outside of covid-19, people can - and do! - get into Oxford having missed their grades. Yours truly did! But one should never rely on these things happening as (outside of covid times, at least) they are decided strictly on a case-by-case basis :smile:

Thanks this was helpful, what exactly do you mean by an open offer?

Also, do you think it would be worth submitting some extenuating circumstances? I was ill during the final exams in my school (we had multiple waves of exams) and I also had a family member pass during these exams. My school doesn’t know anything about the latter. I also know nothing about extenuating circumstances so I might be too late by now 😅
Original post by Reece1510
From what I understand, I don’t think there are any contextual offers at Oxford, I could be wrong on that but I got given them for every uni I applied to but Oxford. On a regular year they let in quite a few students who miss their offers by a grade, I’m just wondering if that will differ this year.

Exactly this :ditto:

Original post by Reece1510
Thanks this was helpful, what exactly do you mean by an open offer?

Also, do you think it would be worth submitting some extenuating circumstances? I was ill during the final exams in my school (we had multiple waves of exams) and I also had a family member pass during these exams. My school doesn’t know anything about the latter. I also know nothing about extenuating circumstances so I might be too late by now 😅

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss :frown: I hope you are holding up OK at the moment and that you have good support around you :hugs:

Please do inform your school about this ASAP. Any info about extenuating circumstances has to go to Oxford via your school, whether that's regarding illness or bereavement or both (get them to make a case for both, would be my suggestion, though you may need to provide a copy of the death certificate as proof - particularly as no one at school knows atm). I would hope it's not too late to tell them: generally when it comes to ECs at any educational level (school or undergrad or postgrad), you need to let people know ASAP. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try - please do! :hugs:

You'd know if you had an open offer. It's where Oxford makes you a conditional offer but the offer is not (yet) tied down to any particular college. A college may "underwrite" an offer (as in, you will get a letter from a college explaining you've been made an open offer), but this doesn't mean they'll be the college that will take you. So you know you are def getting a place at Oxford if you make the grades, but you just don't know which college it'll be from just yet :smile:

Only certain subjects have open offers, I believe - my Faculty (music) doesn't do this :nah:
Original post by Reece1510
How lenient do we think Oxford will be with entry grades this year? I’ve heard others say the university/colleges themselves have stated they will be lenient with grades earlier this year, but I haven’t noticed my college say this yet. I’m curious because due to the pandemic I expect more people than usual will get their required grades and there’ll be less free spaces for people with a near miss. I need A*A*A, are they more likely to be lenient when people miss high grades like this or for lower grades like AAA or something. Obviously no one can know for sure but what does anyone think? Feeling pretty worried about results day.

I think it is best to assume there will be no leniency at all, tho it does happen. Eg someone I knew got accepted with A*AB even though the offer was AAA
Reply 8
Original post by DeBeauvoir2
I think it is best to assume there will be no leniency at all, tho it does happen. Eg someone I knew got accepted with A*AB even though the offer was AAA

Aren’t they the same in terms of ucas points
Original post by Ten-Ten
Aren’t they the same in terms of ucas points

Oxford don't work in UCAS points :nah:
Original post by Ten-Ten
Aren’t they the same in terms of ucas points

Oxford does not use UCAS points in terms of entry, but other RG universities do to an extent (they aren't exactly the best indicator of success)
It's always up to the university/college to make refined offers
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
Oxford don't work in UCAS points :nah:


Original post by BarnabyK
Oxford does not use UCAS points in terms of entry, but other RG universities do to an extent (they aren't exactly the best indicator of success)
It's always up to the university/college to make refined offers

I was just asking guys. But maybe that’s why they accepted it, just a theory
Original post by Ten-Ten
I was just asking guys. But maybe that’s why they accepted it, just a theory

It's not a bad theory, I wasn't having a go! :nah: I was just pointing out your misconception about Oxford using/caring about UCAS points :tongue:

FYI, I got in with AAB, which definitely doesn't equate to the same UCAS points :getmecoat: This was back in the day before A* grades, mind you :shakecane:
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
It's not a bad theory, I wasn't having a go! :nah: I was just pointing out your misconception about Oxford using/caring about UCAS points :tongue:

FYI, I got in with AAB, which definitely doesn't equate to the same UCAS points :getmecoat: This was back in the day before A* grades, mind you :shakecane:

Ohhhhh. I didn’t know they were considerate
Original post by Ten-Ten
Ohhhhh. I didn’t know they were considerate

They occasionally forgive you if you really wow them with your application/interview :ahee: but as I said above, it's all on a case-by-case basis outside of covid times :yes:
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
They occasionally forgive you if you really wow them with your application/interview :ahee: but as I said above, it's all on a case-by-case basis outside of covid times :yes:

Interesting
Reply 16
Original post by DeBeauvoir2
I think it is best to assume there will be no leniency at all, tho it does happen. Eg someone I knew got accepted with A*AB even though the offer was AAA

I’m honestly just hoping they would hold this years cohort to the same standards as any other. When I went on a Cambridge visit day, the majority of student ambassadors leading it said they missed their grades and got in, and I heard it was the same or similar at Oxford.
Reply 17
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
Exactly this :ditto:


I'm so sorry to hear about your loss :frown: I hope you are holding up OK at the moment and that you have good support around you :hugs:

Please do inform your school about this ASAP. Any info about extenuating circumstances has to go to Oxford via your school, whether that's regarding illness or bereavement or both (get them to make a case for both, would be my suggestion, though you may need to provide a copy of the death certificate as proof - particularly as no one at school knows atm). I would hope it's not too late to tell them: generally when it comes to ECs at any educational level (school or undergrad or postgrad), you need to let people know ASAP. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try - please do! :hugs:

You'd know if you had an open offer. It's where Oxford makes you a conditional offer but the offer is not (yet) tied down to any particular college. A college may "underwrite" an offer (as in, you will get a letter from a college explaining you've been made an open offer), but this doesn't mean they'll be the college that will take you. So you know you are def getting a place at Oxford if you make the grades, but you just don't know which college it'll be from just yet :smile:

Only certain subjects have open offers, I believe - my Faculty (music) doesn't do this :nah:

Thank you so much this is really helpful. I shall send an email tomorrow to my head of sixth form. Maybe if I've missed the deadline for a formal special circumstances to be applied I could still somehow let Oxford know of my circumstances via the school and that would be at least something?
Original post by Reece1510
Thank you so much this is really helpful. I shall send an email tomorrow to my head of sixth form. Maybe if I've missed the deadline for a formal special circumstances to be applied I could still somehow let Oxford know of my circumstances via the school and that would be at least something?

Yes, the most important thing is to let Oxford know, regardless of whether your grades can be adjusted in lieu of bereavement etc. If Oxford don't have all the information they may need to make an informed decision, should your grades turn out to be lower than hoped for, then it's hard for them to do anything. Wishing you the very best of luck :smile:
Original post by Reece1510
Thank you so much this is really helpful. I shall send an email tomorrow to my head of sixth form. Maybe if I've missed the deadline for a formal special circumstances to be applied I could still somehow let Oxford know of my circumstances via the school and that would be at least something?

did you get in?

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