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Competitive Application for Law (GCSEs, A levels, LNAT?)

I'm currently in Year 12 studying psychology, philosophy and politics. I have completed my mocks and received A*A*A with the A*s being in politics and philosophy. All my subjects have essentially confirmed my predicted grades and I should be receiving A*AA with an A* in politics (I have to double check with my teacher but I doubt he will predict me a grade lower because it's very rare that they predict people a lower grade than what they get in the mock, unless they have shown weak performance the majority of the year, but I've received all As this year so it would be unusual if I do get a lower grade). I have a chance to improve my predicted grades in philosophy and psychology in September, and I might take it, but truth be told, I think these current predictions are fair and realistic. I'm not sure whether it's worth trying to get higher predicted grades in case it impacts my offers (e.g. getting into a university only for them to give me an offer higher than A*AA) when realistically A*AA is what I will receive at the end of my exams. My A level grades aren't really the problem here though, it's my GCSEs. I've made a thread on here before about my GCSEs when I was hoping to study psychology (I made the switch to law around March time) and I was given a mix of advice, but for law, I meet all the entry requirements of the universities I intend on applying to. My GCSE grades are 876554 with an 8 in English Language and a 5 in maths, but I have lots of extenuating circumstances that can explain the reasons for firstly, my lack of GCSEs and secondly, the grades I got. I didn't expect to get such high grades in my mocks so I'm trying to be more aspirational with my university choices. So far, I will definitely be applying to Nottingham and York and I am considering Manchester and Leeds heavily as target/reach universities. I am also considering Warwick if I get the A* prediction, since I'm not eligible for contextual offers there (I am at all my other choices so the requirements would be AAB except York since I'm part of a programme that guarantees me an offer of BBB). I am also considering Oxbridge. I definitely prefer the course at Cambridge more but the entry requirements at Oxford seem far more attainable. I know I can get at least AAA in my exams next year which would meet their requirements and guarantee me a spot if I get an offer, but I'm really concerned about my GCSEs and LNAT. I can't seem to find any data online for Cambridge LNAT scores, but for Oxford it seems quite mixed. I don't know what kind of LNAT score I personally would need to be considered for an interview with my GCSE and A level grades, as I know Oxford places more emphasis on GCSEs than Cambridge. I see a lot of people saying that essentially if you have above 7s in everything at both you'll be fine for GCSEs, but I obviously do not have that, and not only do I not have that, but I have more GCSEs below a 7 than I do above. To be fair to myself, the 8 and 7 were in English, which was the only essay based subject I did at GCSE (aside from French but that was the grade 4 and I had special consideration applied for that). Before anyone says there are no GCSE requirements, I know, I'm just trying to see what other things I would need to do to strengthen my application. My first personal statement draft was completed in April and I'm in the process of completing my second, as I recently attended a talk from an Oxford tutor about personal statements in my school and was shown many examples with structures I prefer over my original one. I have very unique and relevant super curriculars so if anything, my personal statement might be the strongest part of my application, although I'm not sure how much it counts for at Oxbridge. I think I like the layout of Oxford as a university more than Cambridge, but I've only actually visited Cambridge and never Oxford. I can't attend their open days in the summer but if they have later open days in September, I'll definitely attend. Basically I'm asking what I need to do to make my application competitive for Oxford and then for Cambridge separately, as well as my other choices. I was also considering UCL and KCL, but I live in London so I'm thinking of leaving now since I'm going to come back anyway and according to UCAS, it's just as hard to get into them as it is to get into Cambridge and I think I'd prefer Cambridge (or Oxford). Is it worth even applying to Oxbridge with my GCSEs and if so, which would be better to apply to? In terms of colleges, I love the look of Pembroke at Oxford and Jesus at Cambridge (I like Pembroke at Cambridge as well). I only prefer the Cambridge course because there are more optional modules but there isn't really anything else about Cambridge that I like more other than the city. Also, if I were to improve my predicted grades (to A*A*A with an A in philosophy or psychology/ A*A*A*) and score a really high grade on the LNAT (29+) would that make up for my GCSE grades with a strong personal statement too? I'm starting my EPQ in September so I think they will probably predict me an A in it, but it's on the South Korean legal system and will be briefly mentioned in my second PS draft.

Sorry if this was really long and I would appreciate any advice from people about what I should do. I also don't mind if you tell me to abandon the Oxbridge idea completely as long as you can explain why and what I should do instead.
(edited 1 month ago)
Just make sure that you 'spread your 5 choices' especially if you are applying to Oxbridge as that is always a high risk choice. Its also worth looking beyond just the London Unis as alternatives as the competition for places is nuts - not because they are 'better' for Law but just because they get swamped with applications because of the supposed glamour of 'being in London'. Make sure you have at least two, preferably three, other choices such as Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham etc, and that you don't just focus on A*AA courses.

Useful for Personal Statements / LNAT :
Listening to BBC podcasts - BBC Radio 4 - The Law Show - Available now (practice taking notes as you listen)
and doing some Moocs over the summer -
Exploring Law: Studying Law at University - Online Course - FutureLearn
Jurisprudence Course: The Philosophy of Law - Online Law Courses - FutureLearn
What Is International Human Rights Law - Online Law Course - FutureLearn
etc.
Reply 2
Original post by McGinger
Just make sure that you 'spread your 5 choices' especially if you are applying to Oxbridge as that is always a high risk choice. Its also worth looking beyond just the London Unis as alternatives as the competition for places is nuts - not because they are 'better' for Law but just because they get swamped with applications because of the supposed glamour of 'being in London'. Make sure you have at least two, preferably three, other choices such as Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham etc, and that you don't just focus on A*AA courses.
Useful for Personal Statements / LNAT :
Listening to BBC podcasts - BBC Radio 4 - The Law Show - Available now (practice taking notes as you listen)
and doing some Moocs over the summer -
Exploring Law: Studying Law at University - Online Course - FutureLearn
Jurisprudence Course: The Philosophy of Law - Online Law Courses - FutureLearn
What Is International Human Rights Law - Online Law Course - FutureLearn
etc.

Thank you for the advice. I’ve decided that I’ll only have one high risk choice and it will be one from Oxford, Cambridge, KCL and UCL but currently I’m leaning more towards Cambridge and KCL, so it will be one or the other. Warwick is my only other high risk choice I think, as I would be applying as a non-contextual student there but I think I’m safe on Nottingham and York at least, as on UCAS it says that 17/20 applicants for law at Nottingham receive an offer and at York I’m guaranteed an reduced contextual offer through a programme (my insurance/safety choice). I would be eligible for a contextual offer at Nottingham too but I don’t know whether that would make it a reach/safety university with those admissions stats. Would Leeds and/or Manchester also be a good choice alongside Nottingham and York? I’ve done some MOOCs and will be doing some more over the summer, as well as attending talks and completing virtual work experience. I have in person work experience lined up with a commercial firm as part of a scholarship I’m under but unfortunately that won’t be taking place till next year in the summer. Is it still worth putting on my PS or is it not relevant because I won’t have done it by then? Thanks again for the advice.
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