I'm an intl student who applied this year to Cambridge for Law (2022 entry). Sadly, yesterday I was rejected after being pooled. I am taking a gap year and reapplying to Oxbridge and was thinking of switching to Oxford this year instead. There are two main reasons why I chose Cambridge over Oxford last year:
1. My GCE (we still do the old CIE GCE exams) results are 6A* 2A (2A* achieved by sitting them and 4A* 2A were CAGs from 2020)
2. I was unable to sit the LNAT in October 2021 as I was giving my CIE AS-Level exams in O/N 2021 (in my country, we use the old A-Level system where AS grades are 50% of your final A-Level grade)
However, as I will now be applying with achieved A-Level grades, I am hoping for either 3A* 1A (A in Math, A*s in Eng Lit, Law and Econ) or 4A*. I have already achieved 4As in my AS results so I'm halfway on track to 4A*s, God willing.
In view of these circumstances, I have a few questions that perhaps someone familiar with Oxford could help me with (I'm well-researched w/ Cambridge but not Oxford):
1. I know Oxford view GCSEs much more than Cambridge, and my 6A* 2As are not very impressive w/ Oxford applicants who often have > 8A* (although I could not take more than 8 because of school restrictions and my referee will make this clear). However, given I will have achieved A-Level grades (not TAGs, my country has declared we will sit all our A-Level exams), will that make the value of these CAG GCSEs less important? Is it possible that my A level results can outdo my relatively mediocre GCSEs?
2. How different is the Cambridge application experience from an Oxford one? I know the LNAT is before the application (and I assume is taken into account when handing out interview offers) and that the interviews are done by 2 colleges rather than one. What else is different?
3. Does Oxford do 'compulsory pooling'? I believe they do not, is this true? If they do not, would having 3-4 achieved A*s at A levels not benefit me at all in any way (as it would in Cambridge w/ compulsory pooling)?
My main concern is that my GCSEs might hold me back from getting an interview and therefore I shouldn't risk Oxford, instead Cambridge seems the 'safer' option since at least I would be guaranteed compulsory pooling (and even if not, with less importance on GCSEs and more on A-Levels I'd be safer there).
Any advice is genuinely very greatly appreciated.