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Hoping to apply for Oxford from Ireland and wondering about my junior cycle?

I’m an Irish student who would like to study law at Oxford but due to COVID19 am concerned about my junior cycle results, which are the Irish equivalent of GCSEs. I got 10 distinctions, ( equivalent to 10 9s) which was the most subjects I could take, except my exams were school run rather than state run because the official exams were cancelled due to coronavirus. Junior cycle results are what are considered instead of GCSEs so I was wondering whether these are the results that Oxford would take into account, as i was tested on the same subjects and material I would have been for my official junior cycle exams, the only difference being it was school run?
Hoping to apply *to* Oxford
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 1
Congrats on the grades :smile: In the same position, the current consensus suggests they will not be given much importance.

The DoE in Ireland will issue a “pass” statement to all students, no specific grades will be awarded. However, most schools issued unofficial school results. The processes for these varied wildly between schools and are challenging to compare.

In contrast, GCSEs were issued by the relevant exam boards including a grade.

GCSEs are considerably more “academically rigorous”, so the Irish JC is of even less importance. Consider this, the JC is just 3 years of study at secondary level whereas GCSEs are taken after 5 years.

Irregardless, GCSE (or equivalent) grades are only a part of the application. It is unlikely that this will prove detrimental (Though it won’t be beneficial). Our best option however is to contact the university closer to application time.

Applications to Oxbridge are incredibly competitive and at times unpredictable with regards to grades. Nevertheless, a strong academic achievement, super curricular activities and history of achievement in general will always help.

Hope this helps :smile:
Reply 2
Thanks for the response, it’s definitely clarified a lot of queries I had!

It doesn’t seem like the results in the current circumstances will negatively affect our applications, which was my main concern, so all we can really do is just maintain the grades and keep working towards the more important aspects of the application 😁.
Reply 3
No worries.

Just a little heads up, Irish applicants (Republic of Ireland) tend to have a lower acceptance rate compared to British applicants. This owes to the fact the majority of Irish applications are weak or lacking in key areas. The personal statement and referee statement are alien to Irish applicants and schools and are often inappropriate, especially for an Oxbridge application. The UCAS system is dissimilar to the CAO. Furthermore, law is competitive (to say the least!) at Oxford and a robust application is necessary for success. It’s advisable to be able to show in your ps how you have engaged with law as an academic subject. A standard TY work experience week at a solicitor firm is unlikely to cut it :frown: We are both very early in thinking of an application which is of great benefit and should allow for enough foresight to avoid common pitfalls.

Hopefully, we can both be of help to one another going forward. 😁

Freisin, Dia duit ó Corcaigh :smile:
Reply 4
Thanks for the heads up, I’m definitely aware that we as Irish applicants are at a disadvantage because of the vast differences in our education systems but as you said, preparing as early as possible can only aid us.

As well as that, I think being an international applicant is a disadvantage in itself but fortunately judging by admissions statistics Ireland doesn’t suffer in that way as much as most other countries. 😅 I am indeed hoping to have some work experience at a law firm but that definitely won’t be enough so reading books and relevant information closer to the time will ideally further help my ps.

Your insight has been a great help and I hope to be able to return the favour in the future. 😄

Go raibh maith agat
Hello to both of you! Fellow Irish student looking to apply to Oxbridge in 2024 as well here. I couldn't imagine the house exams we did a couple of months ago would even be taken into account, considering how useless they were as a measure of academic merit compared to the normal Junior Cert. Any ideas on how to get my extracurricular work up to a high enough standard over the next couple of years? I have work experience lined up with an SC and in Matheson, and I did the Law Society summer school as well.
Reply 6
Hey TandemTriumphans, the question of which extracurricular activities to partake in is one I have been thinking about too. I have also organised some work experience at Matheson but have not done much else on the work experience side of things. I debate at school, having taken part in maces and the UCD debates, which although aren’t directly related to law could help applications. There are a lot of other competitions that test critical thinking and essay writing or public speaking like Young Philosophers and MUN that may also be of use. Nearer the time I also hope to read books on the subject and relevant media to discuss in my PS or interview. If anyone else has any other ideas for extracurriculars though I’d love to hear them. Hope this helps.
Yes, debating is certainly something I intend to get more involved in over TY. If you have any information on registration for any of the competitions running that would be very much appreciated, the same for MUN. Thanks!
Reply 8
Hiya, my family is looking to relocate to Dublin which is awesome, my biggest worry is potential knock-on effects on higher education.What would you say is the best (state or private) secondary to get into in Dublin to maximise your chances at Oxbridge medicine?The goodschoolsguide has a top 10 list but none of the schools seem to list uni destinations for some reason

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