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US high school student applying to Oxford law??

unknownuser112unknownuser112 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
Hey guys

My top choice is definitely the Oxford law program, and I know that there are certain academic criteria. My question is, since the cut off score's already pretty high, do going above and beyond the requirements help? or is it if you meet the requirements, you're on a level playing field?

Also, i know for law you have to take the LNAT, which is super important. So I'm wondering what's a good score on the LNAT in order to stand out (above average at least) to the admissions team?

For reference, I got a 35 on the ACT and a 1510 on the new sat. I got 5's on 7 AP tests (Chinese, English Language, Environmental science, macro, us history, comparative government and US government), but i got a 4 on Calculus BC (5 on the AB subscore).my senior year schedule has 6 more AP classes as well. I haven't taken any subject tests yet, but plan on taking the literature and math 2 in August.

Also, as far as subject tests go, I'm fairly confident in the math 2 one, but i got really low scores on practice literature tests. Since I have to report all scores to Oxford, is it better to wait until I submit my UCAS to take the literature test (so the people won't see my bad score)?

any comments/advice much appreciated! thanks!

Replies to: US high school student applying to Oxford law??

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
    edited August 2017
    The first question would be, why do you want to attend law school in another country since you won't be able to work in the US with it and you may not be able to work in the UK either?
    The second question is why are you taking 6 APs senior year? 4 would be enough. Taking 6v.4 won't change a thing as far as College admissions go, including Oxford Law.
    You need to have your UCAS app ready for Oct1 to give your GC/teacher time to write and upload their recommendation. Enter whatever scores you have then.
    You don't need to try and stand out on the LNAT - it's not like the SAT, wherr the scqle is wide and you dont ned any soedial skills to score acerwge - more like an AP where the only candidates are already getting 5s, so the test has been upped to stuff they haven't studied. It's hard enough to do well.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,603 Senior Member
    to amplify @MYOS1634's comment about the LNAT, like the other quant parts of your application, it is mostly a hurdle: or a gate: to proceed to the next level you need to clear the hurdle. A mid-20s score on the LNAT is enough to get to an interview, which is the ultimate make-or-break. Anecdotally, a disparity in LNAT scores may be a tie breaker between otherwise 2 evenly matched candidates, but so can any other factor.

    You have the test scores, next up is your PS, then your LNAT, then you wait to see if you get an invite to interview. Remember that the "admissions team" is tutors- the people who actually teach the course, not an admissions committee of admin-type people.

    Re: timing of tests: your offer can be based on whatever they like, including tests you haven't taken yet (you have to list all taken and planned tests). And yes, you can apply with enough tests to fulfill the requirements, but if you are taking any tests this year that they feel are relevant they can make those be the conditions of your offer. Or, they might just use what you have already- it's their choice, and I have seen it go both ways.
  • unknownuser112unknownuser112 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    This is really helpful! So it wouldn't matter when I took the sat literature test, since I'll have to put it on the UCAS application that I'm planning to take it anyways?
  • unknownuser112unknownuser112 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    edited August 2017
  • unknownuser112unknownuser112 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Also, @collegemom3717 , about the last part of your response about conditional offers: since I get my scores for the subject test in November ish (if I don't take the august one), and if my score isn't high enough for the cutoff, and IF Oxford makes me an offer, is it possible to retake the test for a good score, since technically I had taken the sat test before offers were made?
  • HazeGreyHazeGrey Registered User Posts: 193 Junior Member
    The conditions for my son's conditional offer (maths & comp sci) were 32 on ACT and three AP 5s in appropriate subjects. Looks to me that as a law applicant you have already passed that hurdle with your existing ACT/AP scores. If you do receive an offer, you just have to have ACT/College Board send score reports to Oxford by March 31st and then your offer will change to unconditional. My son's offer was unconditional by the end of January this year.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,603 Senior Member
    @unknownuser112, there are 2 key decision points: whether to invite the applicant to interview, and whether to make an offer. If you take the Lit in November, they will only have a 'predicted' score - ie, what your GC or teacher
    'predicts' your score will be (b/c you list all the tests you have taken *and* the ones you are scheduled to take on your application)- before they make either decision.

    If you get an interview, and they want to make an offer, they will look at your achieved and predicted scores. They might decide that your achieved scores are sufficient, as they did with @HazeGrey's son and make your offer conditional simply on providing official score reports.

    Or, they might decide that they want a mix of achieved and predicted (or even all predicted, depending on what you are taking). I have seen applicants with enough relevant 5s when applying still be asked for 3 more 5s as part of a conditional offer ( happens most often in physical sciences, the histories and PPE, as there are a lot of APs in those areas, and many US applicants are taking them anyway). So, IF the tutors decided that the Lit score was important, the offer could be conditional on meeting your 'predicted' score (which obviously would have to be higher than the cutoff) (note that the offer is *never* higher than the prediction). In that case, you can take the Lit test as many times as you like as long as you get one that meets the offer before the deadline.

  • unknownuser112unknownuser112 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    thanks so much for the advice!! Also, after reading some threads on the Oxford interview, i think I'm gonna start preparing for it early. Does anybody have any advice on how to prepare for the interview, and what should I expect when interviewing?
  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 Registered User Posts: 1,007 Senior Member
    Here are some sample questions: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/university-oxford-entry-interview-questions-revealed

    Basically, they're interested in the way you think related to your subject.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,603 Senior Member
    Obviously, know the books/material you cite in your PS cold and keep up with current major legal issues, but there isn't really a lot of actual prep you can do for the interview. Go look at the videos on youtube- they'll do you as much good as anything. Count on being asked in detail about something of which you are wholly ignorant. Remember that the purpose in the law interview is not so much to test specific knowledge as how you think and learn. There is always some piece where there is something for you to learn through the back and forth of the interview. The tutors interviewing you are very likely to at some point have you in a tutorial, and they want to see how you will function in that format. Every tutor I know has had the experience of a super-qualified interviewee for whom that setting simply does not work.

    Put more time into your PS, prepping for the LNAT, and reading serious material related to your interest in the law (Oxford's suggestions are here: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/suggested-reading-and-resources?wssl=1). Don't try to speed-read a bunch of impressive sounding stuff: a few things, read thoughtfully and digested thoroughly will be of more benefit. It is a true thing that people have turned up to interview and found that the interviewer is the author of a book they cited (or, in one memorable instance,- the arch (academic) rival of the author!).
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
    Still not sure why you want to study law in the UK - are you a British or European citizen?
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,755 Senior Member
    ^ Or citizen of some Commonwealth country where a UK law degree can launch your career?
  • HazeGreyHazeGrey Registered User Posts: 193 Junior Member
    Another perspective:

    My son did a mock interview with his math teacher who is an Oxford grad, but that was really it. He was given a series of problems to work through before his first computer science interview that he then reviewed with the interviewers.
  • unknownuser112unknownuser112 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thanks!! This was super helpful -- what did you mean that the tutors will put me in a tutorial? Does this mean some kind of simulation? Also, from @HazeGrey as well as reading online that the interview also consists of a written test? In that case, do you know how they would go about asking the questions?? Thanks so much!
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