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Ppe help

Hi, I'm in year 13, an aspiring Oxford PPEist, my school is a very good grammar school and I feel my gcses were a bit subpar for PPE at 999988875, I'm doing 4 subjects plus an extended diploma right now but I am unsure of my predicted grades, in maths i got a C in my AS levels and im being predicted a B/A, im predicted an A* in philosophy and an A in economics and politics, how can i improve these predicted grades FAST?!
I am also eligible for FSM if that changes anything.

My questions:
a) Are my gcses good enough or will contextualisation hurt my application
b) will eligibility for FSM help my application in any way such as try to explain my slightly worse GCSEs
C) are my a levels good enough for PPE or do I need better?
the Oxford website says the required grades for PPE are AAA

https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/philosophy-politics-and-economics

i would look at the mark schemes for each class and see what i can do to improve the grades :smile:
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
Hi, I'm in year 13, an aspiring Oxford PPEist, my school is a very good grammar school and I feel my gcses were a bit subpar for PPE at 999988875, I'm doing 4 subjects plus an extended diploma right now but I am unsure of my predicted grades, in maths i got a C in my AS levels and im being predicted a B/A, im predicted an A* in philosophy and an A in economics and politics, how can i improve these predicted grades FAST?!
I am also eligible for FSM if that changes anything.

My questions:
a) Are my gcses good enough or will contextualisation hurt my application
b) will eligibility for FSM help my application in any way such as try to explain my slightly worse GCSEs
C) are my a levels good enough for PPE or do I need better?


a) Firstly, those are a really good set of GCSE results! You definitely don't need straight-9's to do PPE at Oxford. There are candidates interviewed and offered places with only one 9/8/A* grade each year.
b) I think they take into account a broad range of factors when giving offers, including school background and FSM eligibility.
c) Oxford offers for PPE are almost always AAA, but as per the admissions statistics, having three A*s predicted increases your chances dramatically. Even though there are interviews and places offered to students without three A*s predicted, it's a lot harder.

Maths is the only subject that's specifically 'recommended' for PPE, simply because of the economics / statistics that you read for in your first year. In practice, they teach you everything you need to know (basic calculus and stats), but I think they like to see evidence that you'll be able to jump right in and handle it early on. You might need to be predicted at least an A in maths before they'll consider your application seriously. I wouldn't worry about the C at AS-level so much; they don't weight heavily on AS results as far as I know. It'll be much more focussed on predicted grades - and they're unlikely to give out offers unless they're confident you'll get at least three A's (as demonstrated by predicted A*s).

That being said, I think the most important part of the admissions process will be the admissions test - the TSA. Based on the volume of applicants, this is the easiest way of filtering out candidates. Having a strong TSA score will likely be your best shot at being shortlisted for interview, and if you really knock it out of the park, they'll find it really hard to turn you away.

TLDR -
- Don't worry too much about the GCSEs
- Contextualisation will likely help
- Try and get your predicted grades to A*A*A*
- Admissions test results can really help you stand out.

And finally, remember that there are lots of other universities offering PPE courses that are just as good, and in many ways, better than Oxford's. So don't be too disappointed if you don't receive an offer - you'll still be able to study an incredible range of courses and follow your own academic journey.

Info here is largely based on this document, which you may find helpful;

https://www.ppe.ox.ac.uk/files/ppeadmissions2022-23informationforapplicantsfinalpdf.

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