The Student Room Group

Could I go to Oxford?

Hello everyone!
My Y12 mocks have given me a really large boost in confidence as I am now being predicted AAA in English lit, history and psychology (possibly an A* somewhere as we haven't had full confirmation yet) alongside an A in core maths and I'm intending to start an EPQ
In my GCSEs I got grades 7-8
I'm wanting to study history and I was also accepted onto an Oxford classics summer school at wadham college
I was thinking of applying to Oxford but one of my friends who's very set on Oxford and does a LOT of extracurricular stuff in order to get in seems to think I wouldn't be able to and I'm not sure why. It's kinda putting me off purely because she's very knowledgeable about it. I know the application process is incredibly hard but I feel like if I don't at least try then I won't know. Plus, what's the worst that could happen? I'd just go to another uni like I would've regardless
Does anyone have any idea on if it's worth me going for it or just leaving it? I'm scared it's too late as everyone who goes seems to have been dedicated to it for a lot longer
Original post by Anonymous
Hello everyone!
My Y12 mocks have given me a really large boost in confidence as I am now being predicted AAA in English lit, history and psychology (possibly an A* somewhere as we haven't had full confirmation yet) alongside an A in core maths and I'm intending to start an EPQ
In my GCSEs I got grades 7-8
I'm wanting to study history and I was also accepted onto an Oxford classics summer school at wadham college
I was thinking of applying to Oxford but one of my friends who's very set on Oxford and does a LOT of extracurricular stuff in order to get in seems to think I wouldn't be able to and I'm not sure why. It's kinda putting me off purely because she's very knowledgeable about it. I know the application process is incredibly hard but I feel like if I don't at least try then I won't know. Plus, what's the worst that could happen? I'd just go to another uni like I would've regardless
Does anyone have any idea on if it's worth me going for it or just leaving it? I'm scared it's too late as everyone who goes seems to have been dedicated to it for a lot longer

She is trying to reduce the competition. Don't allow her to cloud your judgement. I suggest that you apply to Wadham and relate your experience during the summer school in the personal statement. Good luck
Original post by Anonymous
Hello everyone!
My Y12 mocks have given me a really large boost in confidence as I am now being predicted AAA in English lit, history and psychology (possibly an A* somewhere as we haven't had full confirmation yet) alongside an A in core maths and I'm intending to start an EPQ
In my GCSEs I got grades 7-8
I'm wanting to study history and I was also accepted onto an Oxford classics summer school at wadham college
I was thinking of applying to Oxford but one of my friends who's very set on Oxford and does a LOT of extracurricular stuff in order to get in seems to think I wouldn't be able to and I'm not sure why. It's kinda putting me off purely because she's very knowledgeable about it. I know the application process is incredibly hard but I feel like if I don't at least try then I won't know. Plus, what's the worst that could happen? I'd just go to another uni like I would've regardless
Does anyone have any idea on if it's worth me going for it or just leaving it? I'm scared it's too late as everyone who goes seems to have been dedicated to it for a lot longer

They require AAA (which you're predicted to get) - although the most common grades from students accepted in 2023 were A*A*A (although they also accepted students with as low as AAB).

As you say, what do you have to lose? Got for it! :biggrin:
Original post by Anonymous
Hello everyone!
My Y12 mocks have given me a really large boost in confidence as I am now being predicted AAA in English lit, history and psychology (possibly an A* somewhere as we haven't had full confirmation yet) alongside an A in core maths and I'm intending to start an EPQ
In my GCSEs I got grades 7-8
I'm wanting to study history and I was also accepted onto an Oxford classics summer school at wadham college
I was thinking of applying to Oxford but one of my friends who's very set on Oxford and does a LOT of extracurricular stuff in order to get in seems to think I wouldn't be able to and I'm not sure why. It's kinda putting me off purely because she's very knowledgeable about it. I know the application process is incredibly hard but I feel like if I don't at least try then I won't know. Plus, what's the worst that could happen? I'd just go to another uni like I would've regardless
Does anyone have any idea on if it's worth me going for it or just leaving it? I'm scared it's too late as everyone who goes seems to have been dedicated to it for a lot longer
Why not Cambridge? They weigh GCSEs less and your GCSEs are great but not quite average Oxford standard. But either way, the regret of not at least applying to Oxbridge as a shot in the dark is a big one for me, I never really considered either, but today I would much rather have a rejection email over ambiguity, so I'd say apply 100% to Oxbridge.
Reply 4
Original post by helpmeimstucc
Why not Cambridge? They weigh GCSEs less and your GCSEs are great but not quite average Oxford standard. But either way, the regret of not at least applying to Oxbridge as a shot in the dark is a big one for me, I never really considered either, but today I would much rather have a rejection email over ambiguity, so I'd say apply 100% to Oxbridge.


I would consider Cambridge however their entry requirements are A*AA and I'm unsure whether I have any official A* predicted grades as of yet I just know they're at least As. Plus I don't really have an opportunity to make it to a Cambridge open day sadly as I'm only getting to go to Oxford due to my summer school and also my college doing a trip to the open day. I may consider extending to Cambridge if I manage an A* though!
OP, please ignore your silly friend. Please note that extra-curriculars (sport, acting, music, volunteering, DoE etc) are irrelevant to the Oxford admissions processes. Super-curricular activities related to the subject you are applying to study are helpful. Essay competitions, summer schools, that sort of thing.

No sixth former can really claim to be super-knowledgeable about the admissions process before they go through it, so listen instead to your teachers, and to people who've been through the process.

Good luck!

SB (Wadhamite, history graduate)

PS: This article, celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of one of the greatest works of history ever written, contains much useful information about the history of history at Oxford.

https://academic.oup.com/past/article/261/1/259/7246025?login=false
You've got a lot of good replies here but I just wanna say that this time last year I was in exactly the same place. I just got my predictions and realised they fit the entry requirements, so I decided to give it a go not expecting much. Now I'm an offer holder :tongue:
Original post by Anonymous
Hello everyone!
My Y12 mocks have given me a really large boost in confidence as I am now being predicted AAA in English lit, history and psychology (possibly an A* somewhere as we haven't had full confirmation yet) alongside an A in core maths and I'm intending to start an EPQ
In my GCSEs I got grades 7-8
I'm wanting to study history and I was also accepted onto an Oxford classics summer school at wadham college
I was thinking of applying to Oxford but one of my friends who's very set on Oxford and does a LOT of extracurricular stuff in order to get in seems to think I wouldn't be able to and I'm not sure why. It's kinda putting me off purely because she's very knowledgeable about it. I know the application process is incredibly hard but I feel like if I don't at least try then I won't know. Plus, what's the worst that could happen? I'd just go to another uni like I would've regardless
Does anyone have any idea on if it's worth me going for it or just leaving it? I'm scared it's too late as everyone who goes seems to have been dedicated to it for a lot longer

Firstly, about your predicted grades, did you get As on your mocks? Then you're teachers may be willing to predict you A* if you talk to them. That is certainly the policy at many schools.

I agree with someone else here. You're "friend" seems keen on sabotaging you. Moreover, what extra-curricular stuff are you talking about that she does? What Oxbridge want to see (beyond high intelligence) is that you are reading real history books outside of lessons. They also want to see real passion which should come out of your personal statement and your interview (should you get one). If she's on the debating team or captain of the hockey team, Oxbridge could care less.

I had co-responsibility at my school for Oxbridge and our more recent successes were all down to reading widely and real interest in the subject. You should also watch these mock interviews to give you an idea of the process. That will also be your typical teaching session with your dons. You don't go to lectures at Oxbridge.

Oxford University History INTERVIEW!! (youtube.com)

Demonstration *online* Cambridge interview - humanities (history) (youtube.com)
Reply 8
Original post by McKerrow_History
Firstly, about your predicted grades, did you get As on your mocks? Then you're teachers may be willing to predict you A* if you talk to them. That is certainly the policy at many schools.
I agree with someone else here. You're "friend" seems keen on sabotaging you. Moreover, what extra-curricular stuff are you talking about that she does? What Oxbridge want to see (beyond high intelligence) is that you are reading real history books outside of lessons. They also want to see real passion which should come out of your personal statement and your interview (should you get one). If she's on the debating team or captain of the hockey team, Oxbridge could care less.
I had co-responsibility at my school for Oxbridge and our more recent successes were all down to reading widely and real interest in the subject. You should also watch these mock interviews to give you an idea of the process. That will also be your typical teaching session with your dons. You don't go to lectures at Oxbridge.
Oxford University History INTERVIEW!! (youtube.com)
Demonstration *online* Cambridge interview - humanities (history) (youtube.com)


In my mocks I managed AAB (the B being history which as I mentioned has been confirmed to be predicted an A.) I think extracurricular was the wrong word but she tends to do things like Oxnet, summer schools, etc. I want to read more widely but I find it difficult to know where to really begin. I intend to ask my history teacher for guidance on that when I return from half term though
Original post by Anonymous
Hello everyone!
My Y12 mocks have given me a really large boost in confidence as I am now being predicted AAA in English lit, history and psychology (possibly an A* somewhere as we haven't had full confirmation yet) alongside an A in core maths and I'm intending to start an EPQ
In my GCSEs I got grades 7-8
I'm wanting to study history and I was also accepted onto an Oxford classics summer school at wadham college
I was thinking of applying to Oxford but one of my friends who's very set on Oxford and does a LOT of extracurricular stuff in order to get in seems to think I wouldn't be able to and I'm not sure why. It's kinda putting me off purely because she's very knowledgeable about it. I know the application process is incredibly hard but I feel like if I don't at least try then I won't know. Plus, what's the worst that could happen? I'd just go to another uni like I would've regardless
Does anyone have any idea on if it's worth me going for it or just leaving it? I'm scared it's too late as everyone who goes seems to have been dedicated to it for a lot longer


I’m still doing GCSE’s so I don’t know a lot about this but what I do know is: don’t let anyone tell u what u can and can’t do. If u believe in urself, go for it. Like we say in Portuguese, the no is always guaranteed, so u might aswell try
OP, if you haven't already done so you could maybe read books such as -

E H Carr, What is History?
Marc Bloch, The Historian's Craft
Fernand Braudel, On History
Peter Geyl, Debates with Historians

Some of these have modern editions with introductions by later historians, for example Richard Evans wrote an introduction for the latest edition of Carr. There are I think a couple of collections of essays by young historians commenting on Carr.
G R Elton wrote a response to Carr but I recall it being a bit grumpy, and very Elton-ish.

Try to familiarise yourself with the work of one or two of the great Oxford historians. For example, AJP Taylor, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Christopher Hill, Keith Thomas, and Niall Ferguson.

If time permits, maybe look also at works by E P Thompson, and Fernand Braudel.
Original post by Anonymous
In my mocks I managed AAB (the B being history which as I mentioned has been confirmed to be predicted an A.) I think extracurricular was the wrong word but she tends to do things like Oxnet, summer schools, etc. I want to read more widely but I find it difficult to know where to really begin. I intend to ask my history teacher for guidance on that when I return from half term though

Yes, your Head of Sixth Form should agree to bump those predictions. As for reading, you don't need to worry about where to start. What areas of history do you like? Find some books on the subject. Let me know and I can point you in the right direction I hope.
Original post by Anonymous
Hello everyone!
My Y12 mocks have given me a really large boost in confidence as I am now being predicted AAA in English lit, history and psychology (possibly an A* somewhere as we haven't had full confirmation yet) alongside an A in core maths and I'm intending to start an EPQ
In my GCSEs I got grades 7-8
I'm wanting to study history and I was also accepted onto an Oxford classics summer school at wadham college
I was thinking of applying to Oxford but one of my friends who's very set on Oxford and does a LOT of extracurricular stuff in order to get in seems to think I wouldn't be able to and I'm not sure why. It's kinda putting me off purely because she's very knowledgeable about it. I know the application process is incredibly hard but I feel like if I don't at least try then I won't know. Plus, what's the worst that could happen? I'd just go to another uni like I would've regardless
Does anyone have any idea on if it's worth me going for it or just leaving it? I'm scared it's too late as everyone who goes seems to have been dedicated to it for a lot longer

Hi,

I study History at Oxford and I would say just go for it!

People like to scare you with extra A Levels, summer courses, or extremely competitive environments but just be yourself and apply. I had a real interest in my subject and this was seen through the readings, podcasts and interests I demonstrated in my application.

Have a go and you never know what may happen.

When I applied I was 1 of 3 at my school. One person got rejected (no interview), the other got an offer for Cambridge and then missed. I applied and didn't think I stood a chance and I was given an offer.

So with all that said, do consider it! :smile:

All the best

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