Interested in applying to Oxford

I’m a rising high school senior(Indian,Asian) in the US from NY who recently began researching for potential UK universities to hopefully apply to now that I got pretty much all my standardized scores back. I am interested in applying to Oxford, and I saw that Oxford likes students with decent scores.

Aside from a good GPA(well, a good rank), I have received a decent score on my SAT(I talked about both of these on a previous post I believe), and I will be taking Multivariable Calculus/Linear Algebra in my senior year along with AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, AP Computer Science A, and AP Economics(Micro + Macro).

I also got my AP scores back, and I saw that Oxford considers these. I received a 5 on AP Calculus BC(subscore 5 on AB), AP Physics C: E+M, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Statistics, and from my sophomore year, a 5 on AP Chemistry. I screwed up AP Lang and got a 4, which I saw online that Oxford won’t accept.

I also saw something about different AP tests holding different weights for Oxford on their website. I’m a bit confused on the process of applying, and am concerned whether I would be qualified to apply.

Which subject would you apply for?

You are qualified to apply- but you need to get your skates on: applications close on Oct. 15. From your other thread you are interested in CS, for which you have to register for (by Oct 15) and take (on Nov 4) the Math Aptitude Test (there are testing sites in NY).

Your stats are fine; if you do well on the MAT (and do a decent Personal Statement- different than a US essay) and have a decent LoR, you are likely to get an interview offer. About 1/3 of students who interview get places.

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I will be applying CS

Is there any way to prepare for the MAT?

Ah - ok. You look qualified to apply. The big thing where you may be running very late is to see what the admissions test will be and how to prepare for it. Google ‘the student room’ Oxford demystified, and appropriate threads on the website and there will be plenty of information.

Also have a look at what you should write on your personal statement and any college requirements. This is likely to be very different to US applications.

yes - past papers and practice. Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford

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Thank you. After taking a look at some practice tests, I believe the remaining time for studying will pose a challenge, but it is a challenge I would be willing to take. How would the MAT be weighed in the process? Is there a passing score, or anything that I should aim for along with my other scores?

I’m afraid anything I knew would be out of date. Its would be better to read through threads on UK forums and ask that exact question there.

My guess - your achievements to date are table stakes - unless you have something extra like maths prizes from olympiads etc. The admission tests will be very important - that will need to be good enough to get an interview then used with the interview scores for selection.

The stats from the last cycle are here: Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford

The MAT is make or break for getting an invitation to interview (aka shortlisted), which is make or break for getting an offer. As @Andrew_2000 indicated, your stats get you past the first hurdle.

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Agree with @Andrew_2000 and @collegemom3717 regarding the importance of strong performance on the MAT, particularly given that you don’t have a 5 on the CS A AP in hand. The admissions tutor at my son’s college stated that MAT performance is the highest weighted factor in getting shortlisted for interview.

Not everyone answers the same questions on the MAT. All applicants do sections 1, 2 &5 which if memory serves is roughly +/- 70% of the total MAT score with the biggest weight on the Section 1 multiple choice. CS applicants will then do two additional questions that look like logic problems. There are great resources available on both the Mathematical Institute and CS Department around the MAT.

If you haven’t started prep for the MAT in earnest, you need to get moving on that straight away to be prepared. My son’s CS interviews consisted exclusively of logic problems, so you need to make sure that you are very comfortable with those as well.

I believe MAT registration opens on Sept. 1. There are test locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens.

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Would also recommend applying to Imperial, Edinburgh, UCL, and Warwick for CS, especially as you’ll have a little more time to polish the applications. Good luck - CS is incredibly competitive at top UK schools.

AFAIK, if Oxford or Cambridge are on your UCAS list, the UCAS application for all your choices has to be in by Oct 15. No more polishing.

Which isn’t meant to discourage you, btw. A Uk application is very straightforward, including the personal statement, in which you, quite simply, explain why you want to study what you want to study. This isn’t creative writing; the professors or tutors (not adcoms) don’t want to get to know you as a person, they simply want to be sure you know what you want to do and why. If you can convey enthusiasm, all the better, but for Oxford you will have to walk the walk in the interview, too.

Your AP scores are what’s relevant plus, for Oxford, the MAT.

If you leave blanks on the UCAS form you can fill in the rest of your five universities/courses later. But since you can’t change the PS it’s a not particularly useful approach.

It’s amazing how much clearer the UK admissions process is compared to the US. Glad to see that individual context is increasingly taken into account.

A new addition from the Mathematical Institute this year - live stream review sessions!

I would think that this would be very helpful for MAT prep. They also have a session on interviews as well.

https://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/study-here/undergraduate-study/maths-admissions-test/mat-livestream

Super find, @HazeGrey! thanks for sharing

Okay polish apps was the incorrect phrasing - you do have to submit your PS as it is, but you can apply to other unis if you leave blanks. And this gives more time for interview prep in the case of Imperial.