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Oxford Chemistry?

I do not study a third science/FM which is preferred for Oxford Chemistry. I do Chemistry, Economics, and Maths. Do you think I will be out at significant disadvantage? I would love to hear from current Oxford Chemistry students. Also, would it help to take an AS in one of the preferred subjects in Y13?
Original post by Anonymous
I do not study a third science/FM which is preferred for Oxford Chemistry. I do Chemistry, Economics, and Maths. Do you think I will be out at significant disadvantage? I would love to hear from current Oxford Chemistry students. Also, would it help to take an AS in one of the preferred subjects in Y13?

I’m a successful offer holder for chemistry (though my third A level is physics and I’m doing a level FM and AS biology in my gap year). Not quite who you wanted to hear from, but here’s my take:

Having been to an open day and heard from a number of people currently taking chemistry at Oxford, a number of them have mentioned that their third A level was not a second science or FM (English Language appears to be quite a common third subject among successful applicants for chemistry).

I reckon economics is something you could use in your PS to stand out just that little bit more. After all, doesn’t economics require you to be able to present ideas to an audience and defend your arguments against scrutiny? Surely this adds to your skillset rather nicely because later down the line you’ll have to defend a thesis as part of your degree.

You could take an AS science in year 13 but I wouldn’t recommend it. It will just distract you from your other subjects where you need to be able to get A*A*A at least with the A*’s in chemistry and maths. You could take AEA maths (ask the head of your maths department about it), as this won’t require more lessons outside of your normal A level maths classes.
Original post by Anonymous
I do not study a third science/FM which is preferred for Oxford Chemistry. I do Chemistry, Economics, and Maths. Do you think I will be out at significant disadvantage? I would love to hear from current Oxford Chemistry students. Also, would it help to take an AS in one of the preferred subjects in Y13?

Not at Oxford bc the college I applied to discriminated against ppl (whether unintentional or not) and was all round a shite experience there (Queens college). I’m at Imperial but I’ve heard of ppl get in bc of maths chem and a language. They had 2A*s and an A. It’s likely you’ll need 3A* predicted but bc chemistry interviews r like ~90% of applicants (at least it was when I applied cba to check now) u r highly likely to get an interview. This is where u can make or break ur application. A good interview will likely get u a place if u have good predicted grades I.e. 3A* (might be able to get away w 2A*A) but idk. Surely is possible but make sure u prepare for interview. Chemistry Olympiad Qs will help. If u can do some undergraduate level stuff then you’ll smash it. They ask stuff associated to the level of Olympiad tbh and see how well u can learn from them. Good luck
Original post by Anonymous
I do not study a third science/FM which is preferred for Oxford Chemistry. I do Chemistry, Economics, and Maths. Do you think I will be out at significant disadvantage? I would love to hear from current Oxford Chemistry students. Also, would it help to take an AS in one of the preferred subjects in Y13?

This posts will likely get taken down but they asked me undergraduate stuff that may have been a read around thing at A levels (Sn1 and 2 reactions). They also asked functions etc. to test ur aptitude in maths. The questions r never the same or the same topic bc it depends on the professor and the college etc. so it’s unlikely it will come up again but that’s just an example of how it’s beyond A level to an extent (as you’d expect). Hope that helps :smile:
Original post by Muhammad Razak
Not at Oxford bc the college I applied to discriminated against ppl (whether unintentional or not) and was all round a shite experience there (Queens college). I’m at Imperial but I’ve heard of ppl get in bc of maths chem and a language. They had 2A*s and an A. It’s likely you’ll need 3A* predicted but bc chemistry interviews r like ~90% of applicants (at least it was when I applied cba to check now) u r highly likely to get an interview. This is where u can make or break ur application. A good interview will likely get u a place if u have good predicted grades I.e. 3A* (might be able to get away w 2A*A) but idk. Surely is possible but make sure u prepare for interview. Chemistry Olympiad Qs will help. If u can do some undergraduate level stuff then you’ll smash it. They ask stuff associated to the level of Olympiad tbh and see how well u can learn from them. Good luck

Hi! Could you elaborate more on how you felt discriminated because I was thinking of applying there for Chemistry... :s-smilie:
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous
Hi! Could you elaborate more on how you felt discriminated because I was thinking of applying there for Chemistry... :s-smilie:


You'll be put at an disadvantage, but as long as you ace the interview it shouldn't matter
Original post by Muhammad Razak
This posts will likely get taken down but they asked me undergraduate stuff that may have been a read around thing at A levels (Sn1 and 2 reactions). They also asked functions etc. to test ur aptitude in maths. The questions r never the same or the same topic bc it depends on the professor and the college etc. so it’s unlikely it will come up again but that’s just an example of how it’s beyond A level to an extent (as you’d expect). Hope that helps :smile:

I studied SN1 and SN2 reactions during chem A level and I also did functions in maths.
Original post by Anonymous
I studied SN1 and SN2 reactions during chem A level and I also did functions in maths.

Oh right yh some exam boards may do that but for us we didn’t study it. It was explained at undergrad for me. Yeah obviously functions u do for math A level. I more meant they apply it to scenarios like radius of something etc. and show u the graph. Then they ask u what will happen if x, y or a happens
Post is 3 months old but not yet at submission deadline hence commenting

Sons friend is reading Chemistry at Oxford. His A levels were Chemistry, Maths and Music.

So, no, not at a huge disadvantage.

Oxford makes offers to ~1/3 of Chemistry candidates so I say “go for it”.
(edited 5 months ago)
Original post by Johnny Valentine
Post is 3 months old but not yet at submission deadline hence commenting

Sons friend is reading Chemistry at Oxford. His A levels were Chemistry, Maths and Music.

So, no, not at a huge disadvantage.

Oxford makes offers to ~1/3 of Chemistry candidates so I say “go for it”.

Correction as it’s ~1/4 chance of acceptance (~23 % acceptance rate)
Original post by Muhammad Razak
Correction as it’s ~1/4 chance of acceptance (~23 % acceptance rate)


I was going by the 2021 stats (2023 will be different) https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/AnnualAdmissionsStatisticalReport2021.pdf

1267 applications for chemistry and 512 offers (which is 40%)

very surprised that it’s dropped to 23%, they must have had a bumper year of applications!
Original post by Johnny Valentine
I was going by the 2021 stats (2023 will be different) https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/AnnualAdmissionsStatisticalReport2021.pdf

1267 applications for chemistry and 512 offers (which is 40%)

very surprised that it’s dropped to 23%, they must have had a bumper year of applications!


Yeah, this last cycle was the one of most competitive in a number of years. I recall reading there were around 1000 applications this year and that most years, it’s normally 700 ish.
(edited 5 months ago)
Original post by Johnny Valentine
I was going by the 2021 stats (2023 will be different) https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/AnnualAdmissionsStatisticalReport2021.pdf

1267 applications for chemistry and 512 offers (which is 40%)

very surprised that it’s dropped to 23%, they must have had a bumper year of applications!


Yh that’s y I gave the most correct info for the most recent year as that is most useful to OP

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