The Student Room Group

Will Oxford applicants with autumn 2021 and/or summer 2022 results be disadvantaged?

Hello, seeking advice from someone in the know here.

I would like to enquire as to the stance taken by Oxford (particularly, the Department of Engineering Science) towards applicants who are awarded centre-assessed grades in 2021 yet elect to sit public examinations the following summer.

I am cognisant that "if A-level (or equivalent) students are unhappy with their results, and they choose to retake these exams, Oxford will not consider these sittings as retakes and so this will not disadvantage an application [from FAQs]".

However, the wider implications of this statement are unclear. Is this attitude directed at both the autumn 2021 series of examinations, and the summer 2022 series, or not? In other words, does this apply to all subsequent assessment? Is one favoured over others?
For candidates who sit both of the aforestated assessments, is there a disadvantage compared to solely sitting next summer's examinations? In that case, which set of grades will influence decision-making, and which are to be declared on the UCAS application?

I would also like to be informed as to whether a justification for sitting further assessments will be required within the application (as in previous years).
Reply 1
Original post by Anonymous
Hello, seeking advice from someone in the know here.

I would like to enquire as to the stance taken by Oxford (particularly, the Department of Engineering Science) towards applicants who are awarded centre-assessed grades in 2021 yet elect to sit public examinations the following summer.

I am cognisant that "if A-level (or equivalent) students are unhappy with their results, and they choose to retake these exams, Oxford will not consider these sittings as retakes and so this will not disadvantage an application [from FAQs]".

However, the wider implications of this statement are unclear. Is this attitude directed at both the autumn 2021 series of examinations, and the summer 2022 series, or not? In other words, does this apply to all subsequent assessment? Is one favoured over others?
For candidates who sit both of the aforestated assessments, is there a disadvantage compared to solely sitting next summer's examinations? In that case, which set of grades will influence decision-making, and which are to be declared on the UCAS application?

I would also like to be informed as to whether a justification for sitting further assessments will be required within the application (as in previous years).

I've sent a couple of emails and was told once that 'the FAQ refers to 'public examinations the following summer' and so tutors will consider the results of examinations taken in the Summer 2022 but not in the Autumn 2021.' To my mind, this doesn't appear to make much sense at all, so perhaps it should be taken with a grain of salt. Could anyone confirm/deny/elaborate on this?
Reply 2
Here is the FAQ response: https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus/applicants/prospective-undergraduates.
Would be very helpful to have an official representative on this. @LMH OXFORD @BrasenoseAdm?
Reply 3
This is all rather urgent as I sent my entry for the autumn examinations off yesterday, but throughout today I have been intensely questioning whether it would not be better (i.e. less stressful) to sit the summer 2022 examinations. However, there are always additional risk factors involved in waiting (such as further cancellations) which also make me uneasy. I don't want any additional gap years.
Reply 4
Bump.
Reply 5
Bump
I suspect you'd be better emailing a specific Oxford College (whichever one you prefer) as LMH and Brasenose aren't especially active on here.
Original post by Anonymous
Bump

Any response from the emails?
Reply 8
Original post by Conopsapy
Any response from the emails?

Hello, so sorry for the late reply.

I sent emails to several colleges, and the consensus was that Oxford acknowledge that CAGs/TAGs are a stopgap, and not equal to official examinations. Additionally, if any candidate with CAGs (or results from other alternative arrangements) opts to later sit formal examinations, they will not be disadvantaged in relation to their peers (i.e. they will not be regarded any differently).

However, the proviso was that any assessment beyond the first A Level sitting would be perceived as a retake, and in that case, the applicant would certainly be disadvantaged (failing mitigating circumstances etc). In short, don't retake if you have already sat your A Levels proper at least once, and you should be fine.

Furthermore, Oxford obviously disapprove of multiple gap years (assuming the sole purpose is sitting those assessments) for more or less the same reasons. Therefore, if one were to take longer than a year out, it would have to be justified by providing evidence of other productive activities during that time.

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