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Oxford English admission as American student

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Replies to: Oxford English admission as American student

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,697 Senior Member
    ^ Wut? If AP scores are not standardized test scores, what are they?

    They are scores. From tests. That are standardized.
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  • HazeGreyHazeGrey 213 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    Here was my son's experience last year:

    He submitted all of his "standardized" test scores via UCAS which included his single ACT score, his Math 2, Physics & US History SAT 2 scores and his in-hand AP scores (Calc BC, CS A, USH, Physics C (both), English Lit and English Comp) as we thought the instructions told us to do.

    When he received his offer letter in January, it was conditioned on having achieved a 32 or better on the ACT and three "5" scores on "relevant" AP exams. Since he already had the necessary scores, he submitted his ACT & AP score reports immediately and went unconditional by the end of that January.

    On the academic qualifications that Oxford listed on his CAS form, they chose the ACT and his Calc, CS and Physics C mechanics APs.
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Standardized test usually means standardized as in not personally graded. SATs are standardized tests in that they are graded by a machine, not a person. APs are not standardized in this way, but many universities, certainly Oxford, don't think that makes them an exact equivalent of A levels. Some of this confusion may come from Cambridge University having a slightly different system to Oxford, and apparently including AP conditional results. But Cambridge is not Oxford.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1426 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Sigh, the language quoted above says "you list all your qualifications along with the grades you have already achieved AND any standardised test scores". Next you'll be arguing that APs are not qualifications.

    And Oxford does give conditional offers based on APs (and requests proof of achieving 5s in those that are the basis of a conditional offer), for example https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/21391565/#Comment_21391565
    APs are not the same as A-levels in terms of academic level, they are closer to an AS-level . But conditional offers can be based on final year APs just like they are based on A-levels for British students.

    The only part of your post that is correct is that you do not need APs to be accepted to Oxford. Most British students don't have any APs. But if you have taken APs, or plan to take them, you do need to disclose that, including the scores (grades) already achieved.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 37944 replies6567 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 44,511 Super Moderator
    edited August 2018
    MODERATOR'S NOTE:
    I'll make the assumption that we're not going to have an off-topic conversation on defining "standardized test" or "qualifications" or similar terms.
    edited August 2018
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6364 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,412 Senior Member
    APs are not standardized test scores, and Oxford does not give conditional offers based on APs

    That is simply wrong. APs are standardizd test scores, that are not graded by the student's teachers, but - same as A levels- by teachers who are trained to mark anonymous papers. I have seen, first hand, many Oxford offers conditional on AP scores. And I have heard, first hand, from Oxford humanities tutors that they prefer APs to Subject tests b/c of the essay component.

    Also, some of the comments that might seem negative were designed to clarify differences that might not be obvious to somebody not used to the UK system. For example, in the US an essay is a straightforward thing, but an Oxford essay is closer to what would be called a term paper in the US. For a US student, the difference between 1-2 'essays' a week and 1-2 'term papers' a week is meaningful. Also, English majors - even at the highest level of university- are more flexible than in the UK, and much less intense than at Oxford. The goal was not to discourage the OP, but to inform, both as to the UK system in general and Oxford in particular.

    Also, fwiw, the OP specified that they only wanted to sit the ELAT if there was at least a strong (20%+) chance of being admitted.
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    I went to Oxford, wrote essays every week, and what I wrote was nothing like a term paper. My essays also we're not graded, just returned with comments, and anyway did not count for the final degree result. People are rarely that stressed about them. This is the Oxford system. And there is no English 'major'; you just study English. Maybe Oxford occasionally gives offers based on APs ; this would be unusual and I have not come across it. You can certainly get in just with SATs. The Cambridge system is different, but Oxford is not Cambridge. The information given on this website is not accurate and helpful, and people could be seriously misled by it. Contact the universities directly and/or go on their websites.
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Who can say exactly what his chance of being admitted is, but with his test scores , I'd say it is at least 20%.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6364 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,412 Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    People are rarely that stressed about them
    Yet the 'essay crisis' is a weekly phenomenon :-)
    I went to Oxford, wrote essays every week, and what I wrote was nothing like a term paper.
    Have you ever written a term paper? My daughter did HisPol at Oxford, and has done both (Oxford) essays and (US) term papers. My analogy was based on her comparison of the two experiences.
    Maybe Oxford occasionally gives offers based on APs ; this would be unusual and I have not come across it
    Perhaps you don't/didn't know many American students. It is entirely common for an Oxford offer to be based on APs (as other posters have noted), and is noted as such on the International Qualifications page of the Oxford website.

    You keep insisting that other posters don't know what they are talking about- yet you keep posting objectively factually mistaken assertions.

    I am happy to accept that different students have different experiences, and that your experience is as valid as anybody else's. The OP can benefit from all of our experiences.
    edited August 2018
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  • skieuropeskieurope 37944 replies6567 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 44,511 Super Moderator
    MODERATOR'S NOTE:
    people could be seriously misled by it.
    Another thing people can be misled by - users giving inaccurate information. e.g.
    Oxford does not give conditional offers based on APs.
    Ummmm, yes they do,
    this would be unusual and I have not come across it.
    Just because you you not seen something does not mean it does not exist. I have not seen Antacrctica, but I know it exists. :)

    Oh, and my earlier request/assumption that discussion of definitions be ceased - that was not to be viewed as optional. 5 posts deleted.
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Probably I should have said only on APs rather than APs with SAT or ACT or the SAT with SAT subject test and no
    APs. However, they certainly aren't the only part of a conditional offer as with A levels, and the candidate has already met Oxford's minimum requirements, it wouldn't make much sense to add any more. I don't think a three on an AP would seriously harm his chances, but if people think so, they can say so. But I don't want to comment any more, or continue on a website that behaves like college confidential
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Luckily, Oxford's usual aim in the interview is to look beyond tests scores to creativity, originality and genuine interest in the subject. Or in theory that is what should happen.
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  • cloudysmomcloudysmom 731 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 751 Member
    My DD just this spring did apply to & get unconditional offers from 5 UK schools (not Oxbridge) each said on their websites, that criteria for American students was a minimum of 3 scores of 5 on AP classes. My DD had 7 scores of 5. This means that her AP scores were absolutely dealbreakers for her getting into these U.K. schools - KCL, UVL, Edinburgh, St A & Durham.
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  • JuniperoJunipero 20 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    My son’s experience was like that of HazeGrey’s son. For those who might be interested, he received this email from his College (to be) on Jan. 10, 2017:

    “Dear Mr. [my son’s surname),

    I am pleased to tell you that you will be offered a place to read Experimental Psychology, a 3-year course, for admission in October 2017, on condition you obtain the following grades:

    ACT with a score of at least 32 out of 36 AND Grade 5 in three or more Advanced Placement Tests in appropriate subjects. If you have already met part or all of these conditions, you must send to the College original certificates or legally certified copies for the relevant qualifications by 1st March….” [Followed by addition information, including that he would be receiving this offer through UCAS by the end of January.]

    I have to say my son has found the essays quite challenging, especially given the abbreviated time frame. An additional challenge for him is that EP requires scientific essays, and that was all very new (and different) for him.
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