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Caustica last won the day on July 28 2010

Caustica had the most liked content!

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    May 2013
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    Hong Kong

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  1. I thought Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith was quite good, although I'm not sure if it would count as historical fiction, since it's more like a story set in a certain period of time, than an actually retelling of historical events.
  2. Aha, I see your BNW-inspired username! I never did quite like that character though. I liked John the Savage more. (Was he called John?) I really want to read A Clockwork Orange since it's been mentioned a few times. Have you watched the movie?
  3. I agree Pretties was boring, but the third book, Specials, was quite good. They are all teen fiction though and not nearly as good as the classic dystopian novels. The fourth book, Extras, was bad and almost unrelated to the first three - Tally hardly appears at all. I agree about Anthem being unsatisfactory. I haven't read The Road; for some reason its plot doesn't seem so interesting. I've read Harrison Bergeron and it was quite good I agree, quite frightening as well. I love Vonnegut Ahh, Brave New World is amazing I agree! Have you read Island? It's also by Huxley, written after BNW, and is more utopian than dystopian. In some ways I found Island to be better at Brave New World! And I agree about the ending of The Chrysalids being unsatisfactory. It seemed like Wyndham had just written himself into a situation he couldn't find a way to resolve, so just invented some magical saviours that easily solved everything with their super technology.
  4. If I were forced to choose one, it would be East of Eden by John Steinbeck. But The Little Prince, 1984 (and basically all those other dystopian novels: Brave New World, Player Piano, Darkness at Noon etc.) and Crime and Punishment ( Dostoyevsky) come pretty close as well.
  5. I motivate myself by buying pretty notebooks to write revision in and different coloured pens. Then I end up using an ugly notebook and a black pen & orange pen. Still, the preparations make me excited about revision... if such a thing is possible.
  6. I ignore the word and carry on But if it's a word that appears multiple times and becomes rather important (e.g. epistemology/tautology), I search it up. That sort of occurrence is rare, though. Sometimes you just have to appreciate the sound of the word, and not the meaning
  7. I haven't encountered that kind of horror before That is, scoring badly on a test I wanted to do good in. I score bad on tests I don't care about, though
  8. I do not think that we were less racist in the past. In those times, we lived in towns that only included one race, so it was impossible to be racist. We didn't travel as much; we couldn't. I guess that it could be said that we were ignorant. But transportation has improved dramatically in the past century or two, and as a result, races now mingle daily, and clashes follow. It is not that we are becoming more racist; it is that we have suddenly been hurled into a world of races, and unsure of how to react, we have chosen the defensive, we-are-the-best-and-you-are-not way. However, I think we are becoming less racist, and laws have been passed, and our thoughts are evolving too. We have seen the blood the racism sheds, and we do concede that it is a Bad Thing. Although racism is still a huge problem today, it is a less huge problem that it was a century ago, and the next generation will most likely grow up less racist and more tolerant than the previous. In short, racism hasn't been around before when we lived in worlds of one race; it surfaced when we started to mingle and brought calamity with it. As a result, we are trying to eradicate racism, and - I think - succeeding, if a little slowly. At least, that is what I hope!
  9. Caustica

    Help! PPE at Oxford

    Your grades are fine; then again, almost everyone's grades are fine. As a result, grades aren't really used to differentiate applicants. From what I've read, the TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment) is an important factor, and the essay question it includes gauges your writing ability (it replaces the previous need to send in written work) - incredibly important. About 80% (or is it 60%? I don't remember) get selected for interview, which is possibly the most important part of your application. I disagree with Sandwich; I don't think Oxford places much emphasis on ECs, unless they are 'directly related' the course at hand. Some mention of ECs in your PS might make it stand out, though; but it's not terribly important. Seeing as you're doing IB, it shouldn't be as hard as other applicants who follow a national curriculum Oxford aren't familiar with. That said, international applicants are usually only interviewed either by video conferencing or phone calling, and since the interview is so important and is really what makes you 'stand out', I think not being able to go to Oxford in person could possibly harm your chances. As for reading books, read a few and understand them; they could definitely come out useful in the interview. I'd recommend you find a specific topic within P, P and/or E that you're particularly interested in, and read around that area. Good luck! I'd love to read PPE @ Oxford too.
  10. Caustica

    PPE at Oxford

    I'm a 2013 hopeful LOL wtf am I doing here, really. Anyway, I like Merton College Not just because of the academics, though. I would hate to go to a college which is all sporty (like Keble...) I don't think it matters if you take E. Systems. I'm two years younger than you and I'm already excited too
  11. Nah, you can take an extra HL if it's just a certificate.
  12. I don't think you need to prepare for TOK. It stands for theory of knowledge, so it's about epistemology... you could read a bit of that if you're interested, I guess. Preparation isn't essential, though. The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell includes many epistemological issues, and it's a short read too.
  13. Three sciences are not allowed; the maximum you can take is two. You can however take an extra subject outside of the diploma if you wish, but a combination of Bio, Chem and Maths HL is adequate for med school.
  14. East of Eden, Crime and Punishment, various Harry Potter books, although their text is less squashed. The former two were absolutely BRILLIANT though I actually love reading long books.
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