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I want to apply to Oxford.. I have some confusions

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Ok, I am a student studying the IB diploma.

I am planning to apply for Oxford as a Biology major.

However, my subjects seem to be quite a problem.


I have seven subjects






English B




World Literature (Korean self taught)



Italian AB Inizio (This is not an IB subject since it is a seventh but all students in our college have to take it)


So actually, I only have to care about the six subjects except Italian,

It is strange that I didn't take Bio as higher right?

This is the problem... Our school doesn't offer Physics and Philosophy in a standard block, and we can take

4 maximum subjects in the higher blocks, so it is basically occupied right now. So even if I take Physics or Philosophy as

standard, I have to attend it in a higher subject block... I couldn't drop Mathematics and English since they are quite 

guaranteed 6+ subjects...


I am confused because in the Oxford homepage, they said that the requirements for Biological studies are 

Biology or Human Science. They didn't state whether I have to take higher or I just have to take it in any way.

Is Biology Standard okay? Will it be a disadvantage?


Oh and I have one more question.

The website states that I can apply if my IB score is between 38-40. Is this score the whole IB score? 

38-40 out of 45? I heard that some universities post requirements "excluding TOK" because they don't 

consider tok as a demanding subject...


I am waiting for your help please.

Edited by imhyungjooo

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It is 38-40 out of 45.


Oxford understands not all schools offer education of the same quality and ask you about these limiting factors. But if you can take HL Bio but don't want to (i.e. you're afraid you won't get a 6+ in HL Bio, but will in Math/English), they definitely won't see it as a good thing. Are you sure you should go to Oxford for Biology if you can't manage HL in the IB?


Also, if you definitely want to keep Math and English, your best choice (if you want Oxford to consider you) is to attend HL Physics or Philosophy just do the SL paper. Extra knowledge never hurts. Also, won't you need to drop to 3 HLs anyway before your exams?


I just looked at Oxford's web page and, um, there wasn't a Biology course available? There is only Biological Sciences: 39 (including core points) with 7 in HL Mathematics or a science + requirement of HL Bio. So there's your answer.

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Hello Hyangjoo,

I also claim that there should be an enormous disadvantage if you do not take the HL biology course, since you want to apply to Oxford ( Biomedical sciences or Biological sciences, both of them require 38+). Since I know that you can manage Biology HL it is better for you to move up, and maybe take into consideration of dropping philosophy and taking ESS or eventually moving up to English A Lit HL. But still with this combo (that you pursue) I think that there is a greater chance for you to get into Oxford for Biomed. Good luck..

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Biology is a requirement, so if you intend on pursuing Biology then I'm sorry but there is really not much choice. Could you drop HL Physics and take something along the lines of SL Chemistry? Chem is a good supporting class for Bio. Otherwise, I'd highly suggest dropping English because Oxford really couldn't care less whether you got a 7 in HL or SL English when you're applying for Biological Sciences.

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