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i want to study econ at oxford and i have 3 9's, 5 8's, 2 7's and 1 grade 5 am i really cooked?

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if these are gcse grades, you don't have anything to worry about. a lot of the time (in almost ALL cases) universities only really care about your a level grades. gcse grades get you into sixth form/college, and a-level grades get you into university. it wouldn't be very accurate for someone to tell u that you would get into/not get into oxford with those grades, because if you got all A's or A*s in your a levels (plus extra curriculars and other academic achievements) it's likely you'd get in based on those alone- not factoring in gcses. universities don't really care about gcse grades from what i know, so you really don't have to worry about getting in until u get your a level grades.
Reply 2
Thank you so much for this advice. I’ll try my hardest to get good a level grades then!! Do you think that the exams that you take are also taken into consideration?
Original post by Anonymous
i want to study econ at oxford and i have 3 9's, 5 8's, 2 7's and 1 grade 5 am i really cooked?
Maths, Further Maths, Economics and either History or Physics would be required at A star, A star, A and A or more for Oxford E & M, especially with its 7% acceptance rate?! 😧
Reply 4
Original post by thegeek888
Maths, Further Maths, Economics and either History or Physics would be required at A star, A star, A and A or more for Oxford E & M, especially with its 7% acceptance rate?! 😧

I’m doing History Maths and Politics is that okay? Our school didn’t offer econ this year so I tried to do subjects relating. I don’t know if I should do E & M or E & H or just econ on its own since all three of those subjects are really appealing to me.
Original post by Anonymous
I’m doing History Maths and Politics is that okay? Our school didn’t offer econ this year so I tried to do subjects relating. I don’t know if I should do E & M or E & H or just econ on its own since all three of those subjects are really appealing to me.

Economics and History would be a much more suitable course for you!!! 🙂
Original post by Anonymous
Thank you so much for this advice. I’ll try my hardest to get good a level grades then!! Do you think that the exams that you take are also taken into consideration?

for gcse? no. for a-level, 100% yes!! the exams you take at a level influence what courses you can take. for example, if u wanna do biomedical science, they wont let you in without grades for biology and chemistry. for some courses there are some required a levels that you need to have taken AND get a required grade for it. law, you dont need specific a levels, but most other courses you do- so just make sure to look on the university's website and look at the courses + the requirements for the ones u might want to do.
Reply 7
Original post by thegeek888
Economics and History would be a much more suitable course for you!!! 🙂

Thanks, but I’m unsure if it’s a good course to study. I think I’m leaning more towards it at the moment so I will probably pick it.
Original post by itsadara
for gcse? no. for a-level, 100% yes!! the exams you take at a level influence what courses you can take. for example, if u wanna do biomedical science, they wont let you in without grades for biology and chemistry. for some courses there are some required a levels that you need to have taken AND get a required grade for it. law, you dont need specific a levels, but most other courses you do- so just make sure to look on the university's website and look at the courses + the requirements for the ones u might want to do.

Yes, thank you!!!
OP, thegeek988 probably means well, but he is not a reliable guide. He's a mature student re-doing A levels and he has neither applied to nor studied at any university.

I suggest that you study the rigorous academic subjects which you are most interested in and are most likely to do well in. History, Maths, and Politics would be a good sixth platform from which to study Economics, PPE, or Economics and Management at undergraduate level.

You could apply to Oxford to study PPE, or Economics and Management. You only need to take three A levels. Taking four could possibly impact on your grades adversely. Oxford tutors consider each application in the round. They look at GCSE grades (which they may contextualise by reference to the candidate's school), at predicted or actual A level or IB grades, at the personal statement, at the reference from a teacher, at performance in any subject-specific aptitude test, and at performance under pressure at interview. The interviews are a bit like Oxford tutorials, and are deliberately challenging.

Please bear in mind that most people who apply to study at Oxford don't receive offers, and not getting in is not a sign of failure. There are many other universities where economics can be studied to a high standard.

Work hard, don't burn out, and good luck!
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Stiffy Byng
OP, thegeek988 probably means well, but he is not a reliable guide. He's a mature student re-doing A levels and he has neither applied to nor studied at any university.
I suggest that you study the rigorous academic subjects which you are most interested in and are most likely to do well in. History, Maths, and Politics would be a good sixth platform from which to study Economics, PPE, or Economics and Business at undergraduate level.
You could apply to Oxford to study PPE, or Economics and Business. You only need to take three A levels. Taking four could possibly impact on your grades adversely. Oxford tutors consider each application in the round. They look at GCSE grades (which they may contextualise by reference to the candidate's school), at predicted or actual A level or IB grades, at the personal statement, at the reference from a teacher, at performance in any subject-specific aptitude test, and at performance under pressure at interview. The interviews are a bit like Oxford tutorials, and are deliberately challenging.
Please bear in mind that most people who apply to study at Oxford don't receive offers, and not getting in is not a sign of failure. There are many other universities where economics can be studied to a high standard.
Work hard, don't burn out, and good luck!

Thank you so much for this advice, I definitely feel more confident now. Oxford isn’t a priority for me since I am also interested in other universities like UCL, LSE and kings :smile:) I understand now that each part is also important so hopefully I can put 100% effort in to each part of the process that I do. Do you still think I could go for economics and management? I’m still unsure if I could do econ and management or econ and history.
Original post by Anonymous
Thank you so much for this advice, I definitely feel more confident now. Oxford isn’t a priority for me since I am also interested in other universities like UCL, LSE and kings :smile:) I understand now that each part is also important so hopefully I can put 100% effort in to each part of the process that I do. Do you still think I could go for economics and management? I’m still unsure if I could do econ and management or econ and history.



Good sources of advice are -

(1) the websites of the universities and colleges themselves;

(2) anyone you know who is teaching or studying or has taught or studied at one of the universities you are interested in; and

(3) teachers who have experience of helping students obtain places at universities, especially teachers who have studied and/or teach the sort of things you are interested in.

Many people on this forum offer helpful advice, but you have to be a bit careful because some may sound authoritative, but not actually know much or anything about what they are talking about.

Alternative prospectuses, and youtube videos by students can be helpful, but again be careful because sometimes youtubers have an axe to grind. There are some good youtube videos presented by a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, who helpfully explains many things about Oxford.

The Oxford and Cambridge Demystified threads on this forum, curated by the unfailingly helpful @OxfordMum are well worth a look.

I cannot tell you whether or not you have a realistic shot at Oxford, UCL, or anywhere, because all depends on the full academic picture of you, which good universities try their best to assess when they consider applications.

If you have time, maybe read some works of economic history by Fernand Braudel, R H Tawney, Niall Ferguson, and Yanis Varoufakis, and social history by writers such as E P Thompson.


SB (super-old Oxford history graduate, occasional part-time academic, mostly doing barristering for a living, with a daughter about to start at Oxford as a law student)
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Stiffy Byng
Good sources of advice are -
(1) the websites of the universities and colleges themselves;
(2) anyone you know who is teaching or studying or has taught or studied at one of the universities you are interested in; and
(3) teachers who have experience of helping students obtain places at universities, especially teachers who have studied and/or teach the sort of things you are interested in.
Many people on this forum offer helpful advice, but you have to be a bit careful because some may sound authoritative, but not actually know much or anything about what they are talking about.
Alternative prospectuses, and youtube videos by students can be helpful, but again be careful because sometimes youtubers have an axe to grind. There are some good youtube videos presented by a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, who helpfully explains many things about Oxford.
The Oxford and Cambridge Demystified threads on this forum, curated by the unfailingly helpful @OxfordMum are well worth a look.
I cannot tell you whether or not you have a realistic shot at Oxford, UCL, or anywhere, because all depends on the full academic picture of you, which good universities try their best to assess when they consider applications.
If you have time, maybe read some works of economic history by Fernand Braudel, R H Tawney, Niall Feguson, and Yanis Varoufakis, and social history by writers such as E P Thompson.
SB (super-old Oxford history graduate, occasional part-time academic, mostly doing barristering for a living, with a daughter about to start at Oxford as a law student)
I can’t tell you how much you’ve helped me! Thank you so much and I will definitely be reading those books. You have been so helpful and I will be sure to check them out. I’ll work hard and watch the available sources!
Original post by Stiffy Byng
Good sources of advice are -
(1) the websites of the universities and colleges themselves;
(2) anyone you know who is teaching or studying or has taught or studied at one of the universities you are interested in; and
(3) teachers who have experience of helping students obtain places at universities, especially teachers who have studied and/or teach the sort of things you are interested in.
Many people on this forum offer helpful advice, but you have to be a bit careful because some may sound authoritative, but not actually know much or anything about what they are talking about.
Alternative prospectuses, and youtube videos by students can be helpful, but again be careful because sometimes youtubers have an axe to grind. There are some good youtube videos presented by a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, who helpfully explains many things about Oxford.
The Oxford and Cambridge Demystified threads on this forum, curated by the unfailingly helpful @OxfordMum are well worth a look.
I cannot tell you whether or not you have a realistic shot at Oxford, UCL, or anywhere, because all depends on the full academic picture of you, which good universities try their best to assess when they consider applications.
If you have time, maybe read some works of economic history by Fernand Braudel, R H Tawney, Niall Feguson, and Yanis Varoufakis, and social history by writers such as E P Thompson.
SB (super-old Oxford history graduate, occasional part-time academic, mostly doing barristering for a living, with a daughter about to start at Oxford as a law student)
Also if possible, what sort of super curriculars should I do? If you have any advice on them it would be greatly appreciated.
Original post by Anonymous
Also if possible, what sort of super curriculars should I do? If you have any advice on them it would be greatly appreciated.

You are most welcome. I am not the best person to ask about super-curriculars, but entering essay competitions and attending conferences/summer schools aimed at people interested in economics might be worth a look. Please bear in mind that academic potential is the main thing that Oxford tutors will look at. Super-curriculars can assist in demonstrating that you are committed to your chosen subject, but they are unlikely to be make or break factors. As you may already know, Oxford isn't interested in candidates' extra-curriculars, but other universities may be.
Original post by Stiffy Byng
You are most welcome. I am not the best person to ask about super-curriculars, but entering essay competitions and attending conferences/summer schools aimed at people interested in economics might be worth a look. Please bear in mind that academic potential is the main thing that Oxford tutors will look at. Super-curriculars can assist in demonstrating that you are committed to your chosen subject, but they are unlikely to be make or break factors. As you may already know, Oxford isn't interested in candidates' extra-curriculars, but other universities may be.

Thank you!! I was unsure about super curricular since I didn’t know how they would affect my application, but I’ll make sure to look into those. Thank you for your help!!
Another book idea: maybe have a look for a new or second hand copy of "The Adam Smith Reader". It contains bits of "The Wealth Of Nations", but also some of Smith's shorter works, including the lectures which he gave at the University of Glasgow when he was a young man.

Adam Smith is much misunderstood by politicians, and arguably by some economists, especially those who focus on maths and assume that markets are made up of rational actors. A remarkable thing about Smith is that he was one of the first people to write about why it is that some people are rich and some are poor, and he didn't account for wealth inequality by reference to any invisible sky being. Smith might have had harsh words to say about modern economic systems based on receiving rent from the ownership of assets, be those assets farms, houses, shares in joint stock companies, or whatever.

Writing in your personal statement about a book or books that have interested you, and explaining how your reading relates to your intended course of study may be worth doing. NB: academics can be a bit sceptical about personal statements, because they can often guess that the statements have received a lot of input and re-writing from teachers and/or parents, but it's still worth doing a good statement, writing it yourself (and taking care about grammar, punctuation, and spelling). Remember that busy academics will be reading (very quickly) lots of statements. It's hard to stand out from the crowd of well qualified candidates, bidding for a limited number of places at Oxbridge, LSE, UCL, etc, etc; but attention to detail can assist.
Original post by Stiffy Byng
Another book idea: maybe have a look for a new or second hand copy of "The Adam Smith Reader". It contains bits of "The Wealth Of Nations", but also some of Smith's shorter works, including the lectures which he gave at the University of Glasgow when he was a young man.
Adam Smith is much misunderstood by politicians, and arguably by some economists, especially those who focus on maths and assume that markets are made up of rational actors. A remarkable thing about Smith is that he was one of the first people to write about why it is that some people are rich and some are poor, and he didn't account for wealth inequality by reference to any invisible sky being. Smith might have had harsh words to say about modern economic systems based on receiving rent from the ownership of assets, be those assets farms, houses, shares in joint stock companies, or whatever.
Writing in your personal statement about a book or books that have interested you, and explaining how your reading relates to your intended course of study may be worth doing. NB: academics can be a bit sceptical about personal statements, because they can often guess that the statements have received a lot of input and re-writing from teachers and/or parents, but it's still worth doing a good statement, writing it yourself (and taking care about grammar, punctuation, and spelling). Remember that busy academics will be reading (very quickly) lots of statements. It's hard to stand out from the crowd of well qualified candidates, bidding for a limited number of places at Oxbridge, LSE, UCL, etc, etc; but attention to detail can assist.

Thank you so much! I was also interested in Adam smiths work so I will look for a copy to purchase. You’ve been a great help and I definitely look forward to reading it.
I can’t seem to find the book online, is it called “the Adam smith reader”?
Original post by Anonymous
I can’t seem to find the book online, is it called “the Adam smith reader”?

I think so, but I may be wrong. I picked up a copy second hand at the LSE's bookshop many years ago. I am not sure where my copy now is! I think that it was an American paperback with an introduction by an economist at a US university. The book might only be available second hand at sites such as World of Books. If you are in London, have a look at the LSE bookshop or at SKOOB, the big second hand bookshop in Bloomsbury, not far from UCL. If you visit Oxford, try the second hand section in Blackwell's.

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