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Oxford English admission as American student

dayman12dayman12 10 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12 New Member
Is it worth applying to Oxford English if I have a 1560 SAT
800 math 2
740 lit
780 us history
and no 5 ap scores
I am taking 4 APs this year including AP Lit
I excel in interviews, test taking, and writing essays so I am not concerned about this part of the application

I will sign up for Oxford's admissions test if I know I have a decent shot(>20%) as it is a long trip to the closest testing center

Will my lack of APs make the rest of my application worthless or do I have a chance to make up for it

Thanks for your time
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Replies to: Oxford English admission as American student

  • Twoin18Twoin18 1426 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    It's not just the lack of APs but the poor scores on the ones you have taken, which you will need to disclose. A 3 on Lang is not going to look good if you are applying for an essay based course, it would at best be barely excusable if applying for a math course and you are an IMO level mathematician. Don't assume that Oxford is all about tests, because even though the grade is determined by end of year exams, its about applying yourself intensively during the whole year to vast amounts of reading and lengthy essays every week. Even if you got in (which is unlikely) I'd be concerned about whether you could survive that if you don't do well in GPA (especially for non-AP courses) or in the AP exams, which are a much more comprehensive test than a 1 hour SAT-II.
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  • dayman12dayman12 10 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12 New Member
    That is fair, I assume you are implying I would have to submit my AP scores which I wasn't aware of
    Thanks
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6376 replies50 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,426 Senior Member
    According to your other post, you have a 3 in AP Lang. IMO that is a problem, b/c Lang is core to your course. You have a good Lit score, and they typically don't let you double count, but *if* you got an offer my bet is that it would be conditional on getting a 5 on Lit.

    Have you tried a sample ELAT? Have you looked *carefully* at the course structure? (they list all the classes you take on the website). It is hard to overstate just how intense the program is: the pace at which you read and write is extraordinary. If you don't *love* your subject it can be a very unhappy experience, b/c there is no room for change.

    It's impossible to say whether you have a 20% or better chance. Students who are invited to interview have about a 30% chance.

    Finally, you say that you excel in interviews but, as a head's up, it would be exceptional for you to have ever experienced an interview like an Oxford admissions interview, which is more like a cross between an oral exam and a tutorial (there are mock interviews online). For example, if you get an interview in one part you will be give an unfamiliar piece to read and asked to analyse it, as the tutors ask you questions about your analysis. It's not at all about you, or why you love English, etc.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1426 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    "...it would be exceptional for you to have ever experienced an interview like an Oxford admissions interview, which is more like a cross between an oral exam and a tutorial..."

    Yes, this. FWIW I still remember quite vividly the questions I was asked in my Cambridge interview over 30 years ago. In comparison US interviews, even for competitive scholarships, are a walk in the park.
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  • dayman12dayman12 10 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Thank you for the warning-it seems a bit too intense
    I would prefer the course structure so what UK schools are one tier below and would be a fit for my academic profile
    I have taken all magnet classes and the factors that have attributed to my poor gpa are not in my life anymore
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  • cloudysmomcloudysmom 731 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 751 Member
    Having just read through much of the UK admissions system - I think you need at least 3 5's to even apply. Go to UCAS and look, also look on Xfords website and go to StudentRoom.com - its like college confidential for UK schools. Its mainly students as opposed to moms and each school has very active forums - you will get able to get advice from Oxford students - I thought your scores looked great but what do I know, lol, good luck but please investigate it further before you give up! Perhaps your other achievements wil hold weight!
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,697 Senior Member
    Oxbridge would be difficult for you to get in to. You'd have a better shot at Durham/KCL/Warwick/Edinburgh/St. A's (and TCD and other Irish unis).
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  • HazeGreyHazeGrey 213 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    According to my son who just finished his first year, the students who do humanities/essay based courses really work like dogs during term time. Make sure that is what you really want.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,697 Senior Member
    ^ At Oxbridge.
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Some of the above comments are inaccurate. Oxford doesn't necessarily care if you have APs if your other standardized tests are very good, and they seem to be. They don't necessarily rate the results of APs above other testing if you come from the US, and don't really consider them to be the equivalent of A levels, as they aren't. I'd say you are in with a chance, but of course there are no guarantees, and you will have to do well on the interview. The Oxford interview is not like an American interview, and is far more subject focused and specific, but some of the comments above seem to be designed to put people off. Most interviewers do not try to be deliberately scary, and do want to find out why you are interested in your subject, what your reading is etc. Also, if you are accepted for English, you will just do English, and will have to be happy with that, considering your good math scores etc. but the work load is not unmanageable, with most people doing one, or at the most two, essays a week. There is usually time for other things. Be careful of inaccurate comments on this website, as they are frequent, particularly about UK universities for some reason.
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Also, the Student Room website is just general student comments, people with particular opinions etc and I would not rely on it. People may also have grudges etc. Go to the actual Oxford website.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3353 replies33 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,386 Senior Member
    Lack of AP's is not the problem. A 3 on AP Lang is.
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  • dayman12dayman12 10 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12 New Member
    If I am being honest, the lack of effort I put into studying the format of the AP Lang test shows that I would not be a good fit for Oxford
    Thanks for your time
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  • cloudysmomcloudysmom 731 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 751 Member
    @dayman12 If you think you may want it, give it a try. If they accept you then they think you’re a good fit. If not, then you lose nothing for trying. Don’t let a bunch of people you don’t know talk you out of it. If you will always wonder if you could have gotten in, then go for it. Nothing ventured nothing gained!
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,697 Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    ^ Well, he'd still have to graduate (preferably with at least decent marks), and unlike American elites (where, depending on the major, getting in may be the toughest part), you can't really hide in an easy major. Oxbridge let's in only those they think can handle the work, yet a small percentage don't graduate and a small percentage graduate with less than good marks.
    edited August 2018
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    He already has the basic requirements for Oxford. Very good SAT general scores and SAT subject scores in three subjects above 700. I have never heard that you have to submit APs when you already have the requirements for entry through SATs. Oxford has never said you have to submit both, and they regard APs as American tests, not the direct equivalent of A level, which are a formal school qualification, not just a test. One average AP result when he did not understand the format does not mean that he could not cope with Oxford. I'd say he should apply if he's interested. You do not need to be a genius to attend Oxford, just academically capable, and he has the basic entry requirements for a student from the American system.
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Please go on the Oxford website and check if you don't think this is accurate. I just did and it is. Also, occasionally people do get a third, but Oxford finals are not impossible at all for the bright people they admit as long as they work reasonably hard, and it is actually now almost unknown to fail your finals and not graduate.
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    And although I know I may get some comments for mentioning this, and I am not saying that you should not go on the Oxford website and check what I am saying, I am a graduate of Oxford University which may make me more qualified to comment than some of the people on this website.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1426 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    "I have never heard that you have to submit APs when you already have the requirements for entry through SATs. Oxford has never said you have to submit both"..."Please go on the Oxford website and check if you don't think this is accurate. I just did and it is."

    This is not accurate. Oxford's guide to applicants (http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/applying-to-oxford/guide/ucas-application) states under Education:
    "This is the section of the UCAS form where you list all your qualifications along with the grades you have already achieved and any standardised test scores. You also need to list any educational qualifications you are currently working towards.
    Please list everything as the admissions tutors need to see the whole picture of your academic studies so far. It doesn't matter if you have taken a lot of qualifications, a few, or none, we ask you to tell us about them."

    (Not to mention that when signing the UCAS form you certify that everything has been disclosed). It's just silly to claim that AP tests are not a "formal school qualification" when they are the basis of conditional offers, and anyway there's no qualifier to the requirement to "list all your qualifications" in the language on the website.
    edited August 2018
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  • lizzzarlizzzar 60 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    APs are not standardized test scores, and Oxford does not give conditional offers based on APs. They may be substituted for SAT subject tests, but the candidate already has SAT subject scores. You do not need APs to be accepted to Oxford, and APs are not treated as if they are an equivalent to A level.
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