The Student Room Group

Does being good at a sport affect your chances of getting into Oxford?

Hey everyone, I was just wondering if being good at a sport (for me, swimming), will affect my chances of going into Oxford. Thank you.
Reply 1
Short answer: probably not

Long answer: Oxbridge is academic focused, hence experiences unrelated to your subject of choice will unlikely catch their eye. Not that you can't mention your experience with swimming in your personal statement, but try and point out skills, lessons, etc that you've learnt from swimming that would make you a better student for that subject. However, I would prioritise experiences that are directly related first, and only mention this if there's still space. Hope this helps!
Reply 2
Original post by Wesley242
Short answer: probably not

Long answer: Oxbridge is academic focused, hence experiences unrelated to your subject of choice will unlikely catch their eye. Not that you can't mention your experience with swimming in your personal statement, but try and point out skills, lessons, etc that you've learnt from swimming that would make you a better student for that subject. However, I would prioritise experiences that are directly related first, and only mention this if there's still space. Hope this helps!

Thanks for this. Really cleared it for me! I also am grade 7 piano though I do not know if this will help. As I am taking further maths for sixth form (currently in year 11), do I need to take part in math competitions, as I also want to do mathematics in university, will this help? Thank you.
Reply 3
I know someone who represents the country in a sport who got rejected from Oxford, so as Wesley242 mentioned, it doesn't really matter.
Same thing with grade 7 piano, it would be useful to include if you could somehow explain why the skills you learnt from doing piano are applicable to maths etc but they care much more about 'supercurriculars' (academic stuff outside of school).
It would be really good to do some maths competitions as, aside from the obvious benefits for your personal statement, it could help you get used to answering more advanced maths questions such as those which come up in the MAT/interview. But I believe what determines getting an Oxford interview for maths is mostly your MAT score
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous
Thanks for this. Really cleared it for me! I also am grade 7 piano though I do not know if this will help. As I am taking further maths for sixth form (currently in year 11), do I need to take part in math competitions, as I also want to do mathematics in university, will this help? Thank you.


No Oxford does not care about musical ability (unless you are applying for music).

The entire admissions process is geared towards finding the strongest candidates who are most likely to do well in their chosen subject. Therefore, anything which does not speak to your academic ability and aptitude in the specific subject is irrelevant.

Taking part in mathematics competitions would be helpful (presumably this would improve your mathematical skills), but by no means mandatory.

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