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APPLYING TO OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE. WHAT DO OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE OFFER? Exceptional teaching and academic support Extensive financial and other support.

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Presentation on theme: "APPLYING TO OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE. WHAT DO OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE OFFER? Exceptional teaching and academic support Extensive financial and other support."— Presentation transcript:


2 WHAT DO OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE OFFER? Exceptional teaching and academic support Extensive financial and other support Student life

3 TEACHING AND ACADEMIC SUPPORT Unparalleled access to leading academics via: Lectures Seminars/classes The unique tutorial/supervision system Academic guidance Libraries, labs and computing Subject societies

4 FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT Bursaries: up to c. £3000-4000 per year Government bursaries: up to c. £2835 per year Student loans College awards: e.g. scholarships, book grants and travel grants Low cost of living Pastoral support in College via Director of Studies, Tutor and other College staff University support services, e.g. disability support, careers

5 STUDENT LIFE High-quality accommodation in College for 2/3 Years (Oxford) or 3 years (Cambridge) Rents competitive and payable only when room occupied (c. 30 weeks per year) Kitchens/dining hall; JCR/bar and other student facilities Subsidised sports teams, music and drama groups, etc Busy/lively student cities

6 WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR IN APPLICANTS? They are passionate about their chosen subject and our course offers it in an appropriate form They have a strong record in examinations They are very motivated and organised They are very strongly backed by school/college They have the potential to succeed at the highest academic level, by which we mean they have: Enthusiasm for complex and challenging ideas Great clarity of thought and analytical ability Real intellectual flexibility Vocational commitment (where appropriate)

7 SELECTION CRITERIA Admissions decisions are based on: A level (or equivalent) grades and subject combinations AS grades and (Cambridge) unit marks GCSE grades UCAS school/college reference UCAS personal statement Submitted work (where requested) Test results (chiefly Oxford) Interview performance

8 WHY DO WE GO BEYOND THE UCAS FORM? Because we have the resources to do so Because choosing fairly between applicants on paper is very difficult Profile of a statistically ‘average’ Oxbridge applicant: GCSE: c. 5-8 A*s (most successful applicants have A* in most of their GCSEs) AS: c. 87-93% across three most relevant, or best, subjects Interviews, aptitude tests and submitted work help us to assess rightness of subject and course, and potential

9 UCAS REFERENCE Most references describe excellent students but few describe exceptional ones We are especially interested in: Where an applicant lies in relation to his/her peers Academic and subject-related issues Organisation and focus Extra letters

10 UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT How do we use personal statements? To confirm appropriateness of chosen subject and course As an embarkation-point for discussion at interview Subject focus Reading and other wider exploration Work experience Personal statements must be both honest and personal Extra-curricular activities/positions of responsibility

11 INTERVIEWS The vast majority of applicants are called for interview Interviews usually take place in December, and are conducted principally by the ‘preference’ College Applicants usually have 2-4 interviews, each lasting 20-30 minutes Interviews are academic, subject-focused discussions in which lecturers hope to see applicants thinking problems through for themselves We have no hidden agenda, and applicants are not asked ‘trick’ questions 20% of successful applicants receive an offer from a College to which they did not directly apply

12 WHAT TO EXPECT Focused and challenging questions, typical of teaching and learning at Oxford or Cambridge Applicants are usually asked to talk about: Academic work completed in the last year or two Relevant wider reading or work experience Subject-related issues that are very readily visible in the wider world ‘Prompt’ material New approaches to existing knowledge and problem- solving questions Questions to interviewers Prompting from interviewers

13 SUBMITTING A STRONG APPLICATION Choose the right subject/course Maximise public examination grades Do some reading and other wider exploration Be organised In advance of interview, refresh your memory about: The Oxford or Cambridge course for which you have applied Recent school/college work UCAS personal statement Submitted work Practise discussing academic work and ideas

14 UNSUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS Every year c. 10,000 unsuccessful Oxbridge applicants go on to achieve three or more A grades at A level We could happily take many more of our applicants were places available The strength of competition and the difficulty of our decision The ‘Pool’ (Cambridge) Feedback Re-application Conditional offers: they are conditional

15 MORE INFORMATION Useful additional information is available in our prospectus and on our websites at: If you have any remaining questions, do not hesitate to ask an Admissions Tutor or Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer

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