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Should I apply to Oxford?

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Keeping in mind that UCAS only lets you apply to 5 universities, I'm trying to figure out whether it will be worth applying to Oxford for Experimental Psychology; or in other words, do I stand a chance?
I'm quite aware that my IGCSE's are sub-par, however, personal circumstances in Year 11 meant that I did not perform to the best of my ability.
Considering that my IB predicted score proves that I am capable enough to manage at Oxford, does it make sense for me to apply? And if I do apply, will writing an Extenuating Circumstances Form explaining my low grades in Year 11 affect my application negatively (I've heard rumours that it does)?smile.png
My IGCSE grades:
English Lang A*
Math A*
History A*
English Lit A
Biology A
French A
Economics B
Physics B
Chemistry C
IB Predicted Grades:
Biology HL 7
Economics HL 7
Psychology HL 7
English SL 7
Math SL 7
French SL 7

Overall 42/42

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I can't really say anything about your IGCSE grades, because I don't know the system, but if you had extenuating circumstances I think you should be fine.

Your IB grades are great - you should definitely stand a chance! :D

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Go for it! In my class, 2 of my friends applied to Oxford. One of them got to the interview part but his personal statement was not so strong and he will apply next year again but with a stronger statement.

You should definitely try! Your grades are good so you shouldn't be worried about them. Both of my friends had predicted 42 and 43 overall points.

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Your IB predictions are good, but everybody who applies will have good IB predictions (and usually good GCSEs, although yours aren't actually as bad as you make out!). In terms of standing out, it's mostly about the relevant stuff you've got to put in your personal statement. Extra-curricular activities, interest in Psychology... blah blah.

I wouldn't spend ages writing extenuating circumstances forms, it does come across as a bit desperate. Especially when you didn't exactly flop your GCSEs. I can't say whether it would or wouldn't affect your application negatively, but unless you really bombed something it comes across as a load of excuse making. Your IB predictions should be sufficient to show you've got academic potential and if anything you could stick it very briefly in your personal statement as some kind of personal obstacle you overcame with determination. Or whatever, I don't know what happened to you. Basically refer to it very briefly without using it as an excuse, but rather as evidence of personal development and character.

As for whether you should apply... how long is a piece of string? If you've met the minimum grade requirements, EVERYBODY stands a chance, but nobody has a guarantee. You could get through to interviews and bomb on the day, you could have a rubbish personal statement and not even get an interview... etc. Whether you apply or not is up to you, not a decision to be made by other random people on the internet. We can't tell you what risks to take in life.

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Predicted grades are good but in top places like Oxford they would look for Olympiad winners, student council leaders, active international NGO volunteers, huge trophy winners and other academic honors and lot more. So these type of people are more likely to get into such places (even if they score 38 or above). In fact, my both friends got rejected from Cambridge (despite having 42 predictions but had poor extra circular records) and in TSR I have seen lot of people who got into Cambridge, with strong extra circulars with some of the scores like 38 or 39 (much lower than my friends).

So if your personal statement is good and if your extra-circulars are impressive, then you might getting into Oxford but remember admission officers are nowadays are looking for multi-talented students and many a times they favor them over academically bright students. Hope you achieve your dream of getting into Oxford.

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Predicted grades are good but in top places like Oxford they would look for Olympiad winners, student council leaders, active international NGO volunteers, huge trophy winners and other academic honors and lot more. So these type of people are more likely to get into such places (even if they score 38 or above). In fact, my both friends got rejected from Cambridge (despite having 42 predictions but had poor extra circular records) and in TSR I have seen lot of people who got into Cambridge, with strong extra circulars with some of the scores like 38 or 39 (much lower than my friends).

So if your personal statement is good and if your extra-circulars are impressive, then you might getting into Oxford but remember admission officers are nowadays are looking for multi-talented students and many a times they favor them over academically bright students. Hope you achieve your dream of getting into Oxford.

Yeah, thanks that's really helpful! I think I stand a chance when it comes to extra-curriculars. I've been volunteering at a large NGO weekly for the last 4 years and am now a part-time employee there, and am a student council member, Head of Logistics for school events, and I'm also a part-time model! So hey, who knows, that might come around handy.

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