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Oxford PPE: 800 on SAT Subject or 5 on AP?

caroleingcaroleing 4 replies1 threads New Member
Hello! I'm thinking of applying to Oxford this coming year (as a student from the US). I have more than enough qualifying tests for the major I'm hoping to apply to (PPE), but I don't know which ones to choose! The website indicates that students should submit three scores and suggests including one from a math exam (I've settled on AP Calc for this one), another from a history exam, and one from something that involves writing. At first I was thinking of doing my APUSH test (5) to knock the second and third birds out with one stone, but I also got an 800/800 on my US History SAT subject test. Since a 5 is a bit less selective than an 800, I'd assume the 800 may look a bit better? In that case, I'd probably submit my AP US Gov exam for my third (essay-based) test. And on top of all that: given that Oxford is a UK university, do they want us to avoid US-based subjects (e.g. APUSH, AP US Gov)? I couldn't imagine they wouldn't give tests like that the same consideration as Europe- or world-focused exams, but you never know. I'm definitely overthinking all of this, but I'd love some help.

Best of luck to all of you in the lovely lovely lovely process that is college apps! I'm sure we'll all get through this okay<3
8 replies
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Replies to: Oxford PPE: 800 on SAT Subject or 5 on AP?

  • caroleingcaroleing 4 replies1 threads New Member
    oh and I should clarify this oops PPE=politics, philosophy, and economics (I may have mixed up the Ps)
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  • caroleingcaroleing 4 replies1 threads New Member
    ohhh and one more disclaimer: I fully acknowledge that applying to oxford takes a lot more than test scores and I'm working out the rest, but I want to make sure I take every advantage I can
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  • TigerleTigerle 715 replies6 threads Member
    edited July 27
    AFAIK you have to submit them all anyway. Oxford wants to see all the scores you’ve got, and will choose which ones they care about. Others with more recent app experience may weigh in. So don’t fret about it a second longer.
    edited July 27
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  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 1268 replies31 threads Senior Member
    You don't choose. You are required to submit them all (even the not so good ones, should there be any), and swear on the application that you have included all your standardised tests.

    What website are you looking at?
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  • TigerleTigerle 715 replies6 threads Member
    edited July 27
    Sounds like the OP misunderstood the minimum requirements on the official website.
    OP, you can choose which standardised exams to take, but once you’ve taken them, you have to submit them. So in that respect, you do have a choice to avoid an exam in a subject you don’t feel confident in.
    You’re not applying for history, so don’t worry about which part of the world exactly you’re taking the history AP in. They want to know you can write essays.
    AP calc should be calc BC, btw. If you only have calc AB, you can still apply, but they might want to make any offer conditional on a) taking calc BC in your senior year b) having your teacher predict a 5 in the AP exam c) you actually getting that 5 next spring.

    And yes, at this point, it’s all about the scores.
    Next, personal statement. Are you aware of how this differs from the essays required in the US?
    edited July 27
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  • HazeGreyHazeGrey 272 replies4 threads Junior Member
    A few thoughts for you:

    PPE is one of the most applied to course programs at Oxford, so there is lots of competition for the spaces. Competition is even keener for international applicants as that pool of offers is even smaller.

    PPE requires an Oxford specific admissions test - the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). Take a look at past papers and see how comfortable you are with the material and where your weaknesses might be. Your performance there will be a big determinate in getting an invitation for an interview. You will also need to figure out where you can take that test in the fall.

    Calc BC is going to be a must for PPE. UK applicants are encouraged to have an A level in Maths. Are you considering AP Micro/Macro?

    Best of luck with the process.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8161 replies87 threads Senior Member
    Agree completely with all of the above posts.

    Yes, you have to submit all of your achieved and projected scores. That means if you are taking any APs senior year you have to report your projected scores for those tests as well. The tutors who make the admissions decision choose which 3 scores make up the offer. So, even though you have more than enough scores now, they can choose for some (or all!) of them to be from your senior year exams. Seen it happen.
    Since a 5 is a bit less selective than an 800, I'd assume the 800 may look a bit better?

    No, It doesn't matter because, as others have said, you have to submit all of them, but APs are seen as more rigorous than Subject tests, and are thus preferred.
    given that Oxford is a UK university, do they want us to avoid US-based subjects (e.g. APUSH, AP US Gov)?

    Surprise: you can specialize in US history at Oxford.
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  • caroleingcaroleing 4 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks for all the responses everyone! You've all helped solve this for me, so I'm just here to let anyone else who may see this thread that they don't need to add new responses.
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