Bad AP score for Oxbridge

ive got 5s in ap computer science, ap calculus ab, and ap physics C. i plan to self study and take ap calculus bc and ap statistics next year. my concern is that in my sophomore year, i got a 2 on the ap physics 1 exam. assuming i get 5s on my stats and bc exam next year, will my physics 1 score from 10th grade be a red flag? will it disqualify me even though i have met the score requirement with other subjects?

tbh I don’t think they will as long as you don’t report them, the UCAS system only shows what you report…

You are required to report all scores. Unlike in the US, omitting scores on UCAS jeopardizes your application.


Which course are you planning to apply for? The two is not great, but I would think with all of the other 5s in higher level classes and a strong performance on your Oxford admissions test (like the MAT or PAT if that’s the road you are going down), you would have a shot at getting shortlisted for interview. Getting a good LoR will be important as well.

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You will need to have the person who writes your LoR ‘predict’ your BC and Stats score; if they don’t predict a 5, you won’t have a shot, and if they do predict a 5 and you get an offer it will be ‘conditional’ on achieving the 5 (so you won’t know until early July if you definitely have a place, so you need a Plan B, either another UK uni, or depositing at a US uni). Note that Calc AB is a subset of BC, so you don’t get to count them as 2 APs, and for either Comp Sci or Physics BC is required.

As Haze Gray pointed out, the PAT/MAT are key to getting an interview offer: if your score is high enough you will get an interview. After that it’s down to how you do in the interview, which is a cross between a tutorial and an interactive exam.

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I am hoping to apply for CS… thank you so much for your advice i will focus on the MAT and remaining AP exams

My son just finished his 4th year reading Maths & CS. A couple of thoughts for you:

The MAT is a challenging test and all Maths/CS applicants have to take it. All applicants (both Maths & CS) take the same three sections - the first multiple choice section and two others. That means that 60% of the test is high level math. You need to make sure that you are really prepared for that. CS applicants then do two separate sections that focus on logic problems. You need to get really good at those. At interview, my son was given a set the night before and had to show the tutors how to solve them.

Some of the core CS classes are challenging. My son found the exams for functional & imperative programming (1st year) and Algorithms (2nd year) to be quite difficult. He has enjoyed his 3rd/4th year classes and did his thesis on machine learning (training a program to read medical images).

Good luck with it. Happy to answer any questions about the process. Best advice I can give is do past MAT papers as practice.

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