oxbridge information evening
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DESCRIPTIONOxbridge Information Evening. www.ox.ac.uk. www.cam.ac.uk. Applications in General. All university applications are made electronically through UCAS Students may apply for 5 courses - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Oxbridge Information Evening
Applications in GeneralAll university applications are made electronically through UCASStudents may apply for 5 coursesHowever if applying for medicine this reduces to 4 medical courses the 5th application must be for a non-medical degreeOffers are made on the basis of predicted gradesStudents accept 2 offers 1 as their preferred choice, the 2nd should be an insurance offer that they will take up if they fail to get the grades needed for their 1st choice
Why are Oxbridge Applications Different?The deadline for these applications is much earlier October 11 as opposed to January 12They often involve additional tests that need to be taken usually in advance of A levelsFor Arts courses in particular, they often involve sending exemplar workThey always involve an interviewThe competition for places is incredibly highThey require exceptional examination results A*AA for Cambridge, A*AA/AAA for Oxford
OxbridgeMay not apply for both Oxford and CambridgeMay not apply for more than one Oxbridge courseMinimum offers for Oxford will be AAA. Minimum offers for Cambridge will be A*AA
Full list of courses at Oxford asking for at least one A*Biological sciences (A*AA, with A* in a science or maths)Chemistry (A*AA, with A* in a science or maths)Computer Science (A*AA, with A* in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics or Computing)Computer Science and Philosophy (A*AA, with A* in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics or Computing)Earth Sciences (A*AA)Engineering Science (A*AA, with A* in Mathematics, Physics or Further Mathematics)Engineering, Economics and Management (A*AA, with A* in Mathematics, Physics or Further Mathematics)Materials Science (A*AA)Materials, Economics and Management (A*AA)Mathematics (A*A*A, with the A*s in Mathematics and Further Mathematics if taken)Mathematics and Computer Science (A*AA, with the A* in eitherMathematics or Further Mathematics)Mathematics and Philosophy (A*A*A, with the A*s in Mathematics and Further Mathematics if taken)Mathematics and Statistics (A*A*A, with the A*s in Mathematics and Further Mathematics if taken)Physics (A*AA, with A* in either Physics or Mathematics)Physics and Philosophy (A*AA, with A* in either Physics or Mathematics)
Teaching at Oxbridge The College Based SystemThe teaching in Oxford and Cambridge is broken down into two main components; university based teaching and college based teachingStudents can choose a college based on where they want to live: location, facilities, accommodation, size, gender etc. If musical, there might want to consider colleges that have active ensembles etc. They may also want to look at the academic interests of the Admissions Tutor for their subject. They should investigate colleges using the University website but should draw up a shortlist of no more than 3 to visit on open days.
University Based TeachingCollege Based TeachingLecturesSupervisions small groups or 1:1 led by a subject specialistSeminarsDirector of Studies will be a subject specialistPractical sessionsPersonal tutor pastoral Field tripsSOME COLLEGES DO NOT HAVE SPECIALISTS FOR EACH SUBJECT MAY HAVE TO GO TO ANOTHER COLLEGE FOR SUPERVISIONSExamsTHESE ARE SHARED WITH STUDENTS FROM OTHER COLLEGES
Applying to a CollegeIn Cambridge it is possible to make an open application, rather than to a specific college. The University claims there is no disadvantage in making an open application. Students should only be wary of these if:There is a particular college that they do not want, for example, single sex colleges. The application is quirky or unusual in some way, perhaps with a strange combination of subjects that might require negotiations/discussions with the college before applicationIf they have a disability that might preclude some of the older collegesIf applying for deferred entry. This is particularly important if applying to study maths as many colleges frown on maths applicants taking a gap yearStudents under 18 some colleges are reluctant to accept underage students now because of child protection legislationOxford operates an intercollegiate applications system that may mean that applicants may not be offered a place at the college they applied to but instead may be offered an alternative place.
Mechanics of ApplicationStudents should base applications on a desire to do a particular course. The best way to do this is to read the prospectus carefully, attend open days and speak to current undergraduates. Once students have decided on a particular course they need to complete an electronic UCAS form. The deadline for applications is 15th October 2011.If applying for Cambridge, could consider whether it would be appropriate to apply through the Cambridge Special Access Scheme (CSAS). Incidents where this would be appropriate might include where a student is a first generation university applicant; where the student has suffered long-term illness; where a student has special educational needs; a student whose education as been significantly disrupted due to staffing issues at school. A CSAS must be supported and evidenced by the school
Information Required Before InterviewCambridge will send students a Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) asking for more information including AS module UMS.For many arts based courses at both Oxford and Cambridge, students will be required to submit written work. Students will be asked about this at interview. Maths applicants at Cambridge will be required to complete a step paper in June the required Step grade will be part of the offer. Maths applicants (and Computer Science) at Oxford take the Maths Applicants Test English Literature at Oxford requires a ELAT test. History requires a HAT testEconomics applicants at Oxford take a TSA test.Vet/Medicine applicants (and Biomedical Science at Oxford) will take a BMAT test that requires them to apply their GCSE knowledge of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths to a problem.Law at Oxford requires the LNAT test for critical thinking and analysis. Cambridge have their own Law test.BMAT, LNAT, ELAT, TSA and STEP all have own websites where students can practice before taking tests
Who gets an InterviewOxford asks around 80% of applicants to take a test as part of their application. Tutors then shortlist applicants based on students applications and performance in the test. Where applications are around three per place, over 90% of applicants are shortlisted. For the most competitive degrees, this may be only 30%, to allow those who most closely meet the selection criteria to have multiple interviews. AS level grades and UMS scores are not a key element in shortlisting. At Cambridge only applicants for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine are required to take a test before interview. Tutors do relatively little shortlisting, and interview over 80% of their undergraduate applicants. Usually an average of 85% UMS across the three most relevant AS subjects will guarantee an interview. AS level grades and UMS scores are considered alongside all the other information available to selectors both in deciding which applicants will be invited to interview and which will be offered a place.
Format of the InterviewsApplicants who are invited to interview in Cambridge are normally interviewed in one College, often on a single day. A College may be impressed by a students application but be unable to make an offer because of the strength of the competition at that College. In this case the application will be placed in the Winter Pool and perhaps picked up by another College, who may make the applicant an offer or may ask them to attend a second interview in January.Applicants invited to interview in Oxford will usually stay for at least a couple of days, and may have interviews at more than one College during their stay. For some subjects the interviews at a second College are automatic for all applicantsMost applicants receive two interviews of 20-30 minutes eachThey are subject-focused, academic discussions, led by lecturers, who hope to see candidates thinking challenging problems through for themselvesGood knowledge and technical skill are more important to interview success than is sometimes supposedApplicants should be themselves and try to avoid the temptation to perform or second-guess what is going on
Cambridge Advice for CandidatesKey Things to get RightExamination resultsChoice of subject and courseWider reading and explorationRevision in advance of interview
Common PitfallsWrong subject or course an especially common occurrence in Economics, Law and MedicineToo many subjects in Years 12 and/or 13Little or no wider reading and/or other explorationInsufficient critical engagementLittle or no revision in advance of interviewAt interview, rehearsed answers, insistence upon performing, lack of clarity or flexibility of thought, unwillingness to admit to perceived weakness or explain thinking
Engagement and EnthusiasmThe Personal StatementThe Personal Statement (along with the reference) is a crucial document and it is from this that admissions tutors often decide on the merit of the application. It is very difficult for a student to claw back an initial bad impression given by a weak or vague personal statement. The personal statement must be closely focused on the subject being applied for
A successful Oxbridge applicant must show genuine enthusiasm for their subject and a lot of reading around. For example:In English Literature they would like texts understood in detail rather than lots of wider reading barely remembered but they would expect all applicants to be very well read and will test this vigorously at interviewLaw personal statements are particularly problematic most Law applic