I've heard from a few people that the application process for Oxford/Cambridge when coming from the US is very difficult-- and, moreover, that admissions are extremely competitive. I've also heard that schools in England have a very different set of criteria for university admission.
Where should I look for information about applying, criteria, my chances, etc? How do US applicants compensate for things like O-levels? What advice would any of you CCers who've gotten in give me? Anything is appreciated.
One other thing: my mother is an alum of Cambridge (although unfortunately she doesn't seem to know much about how I would go about applying). Does this help me at all?
Thanks very much!