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Oxbridge info/ support thread 2014

(528 Posts)
lismore Fri 18-Oct-13 10:41:26

Does anyone else with a DC applying for Oxbridge this year feel like having someone to share the highs/ lows/ questions- if so, please join in!
I have a DS who has just applied to Cambridge- our family has no Oxbridge background and he's at a state school which gives absolutely no advice so definitely feel at a bit of a loss how to support him.
I think he's incredibly brave even trying, especially as 80% get rejected unfortunately.

Theas18 Fri 18-Oct-13 15:40:37

Not me this time but DD1 applied. Just be prepared for a rollercoaster and be resilient enough to survive it either way!

DD1 and DS are at schools where many do apply. Many also get interviewed and rejected ( DD and one of her mates applying the following year - she's final year now, also got choral scholarship awards but not academic offers, a particular shade of cruelty that they have stopped at Oxford now- get the academic place then apply for the choral one!)

Best of luck to your DS. But it is never " Oxbridge or nothing" sometimes other places really are the best for "you".

DD is loving her uni so much, she is winning prizes, a pretty consistent 1st etc. She is wondering about applying to Oxford for her MA partly because it might be the best place for her specialism and partly to say " see what you missed" LOL

DS thought about it, but not for long as it wasn't the style of course he wanted for his subject.

PurplePotato Sat 19-Oct-13 09:32:36

I'd love to keep you company. DS1 has applied to Cambridge - we have no idea what we're doing smile Lismore, has your DS applied to a college? Ours has done an open application. He needs to submit his SAQ on Monday and then I guess we just wait to see what happens...

lismore Sat 19-Oct-13 10:33:28

My DS has just submitted his SAQ and now has to send off a load more paperwork. He has applied to a college (better not say which one as he wouldn't be too happy with me); he chose it after visiting Cambridge for the first time for the open day in July and his main crieria seemed to be how friendly the porters were and food!

After the open day he was very laid back and said he might as well put it down as a choice, but It's a bit more serious now- I think the extra stuff involved in applying means it's more of an investment for them in time and emotion, so the outcome will also seem that much more important to them IYSWIM.
For some of his other uni choices, he will just get an offer or rejection on track and that will be it- nothing else to think about.

Theas18 good to hear that your DD survived the experience and is happy at her chosen uni.

PurplePotato Did your DS go to the open day? Does your DS's school help much?

antimatter Sat 19-Oct-13 11:00:24

good luck to you all!

do your kids then put identical choice of subject for other choices?
or does it vary?

lismore Sat 19-Oct-13 11:43:34

I think most usually put the same or very similar courses for their other uni choices, though the course titles are often slightly different. I don't think they have to though.

newgirl Sat 19-Oct-13 11:48:08

A few years off yet!! Can you now put down an open choice rather than specific college? Does that work well?

lismore Sat 19-Oct-13 12:02:33

I don't know about Oxford, but for Cambridge you can either make an "open" application or choose a particular college. My DS was going to choose "open" until he visited and liked the feel of one college in particular so went for that.

There is apparently no difference in your chances of getting an offer.

littlesquid Sat 19-Oct-13 12:08:32

My DD started at Oxford two weeks ago and is having her matriculation ceremony this morning smile I can't tell you how proud and happy we are, and she is so far having a lovely time.

There's a long Oxbridge thread on here from 2-3 years ago with a lot of advice and support, and one from last year that didn't go well - mentioning Oxbridge really seems to piss some people off on here (I got a bit of a roasting myself a couple of weeks ago for saying DD was going.)

The application makes for a a bit of a rollercoaster year, The Student Room Oxford and Cambridge Forums is your very best friend, all the info we needed was on there. DD's comp only send an occasional student, but they did do a practice interview with her. Also Look up OXAPP on youtube, useful videos about every stage of the process.

The stress starts to build when interview dates are given out, then in January the offer/rejection letters (Oh my God, the letter... waiting for that post...) but I think the very worst bit is waiting for the results, although thankfully we had an AAA offer, I think Cambridge now wants at least one A* and Oxford wants it for a lot of subjects. With no January exams next year, I don't think it's possible to be confident of an A* before you get your results in August.

DD agreed that it would be much, much better to be rejected post interview, (like most people are) when the disappointment wouldn't be too major and you could get on with focussing on your other choices, than to miss your offer in August. Quite a few missed offers on The Student Rooms forums and the poor kids seemed quite heartbroken.

Good luck to all the applicants, and my advice is not to let them focus too much on Oxbridge, but to try and manage their expectations and big up their other uni choices as much as possible. (Easier said. DD wanted Oxford and no amount of my raving about Durham was going to make a difference, but it's worth a try)

MsWazowski Sat 19-Oct-13 12:12:22

I'll watch this with interest. DD2 is only in year 10, but has always said she wants to go to Oxford. We're similar to you op, in that she goes to a bog standard comp and there is no family history of Oxbridge.

She may change her mind before then, but she's said it since year 7, so I'll go with it for now.

Good luck to your DS.

littlesquid Sat 19-Oct-13 12:14:32

useful thread

thread from last year

thread where I got a bit of a bollocking

lismore Sat 19-Oct-13 12:17:38

littlesquid thanks for the insight into your experience- not wanting to mention it in RL is why I'm on here. In fact DS doesn't even want one set of grandparents to know as his grandma would make a big fuss and immediately tell everyone she knows and DS wouldn't want to face having to tell everyone he hadn't got in (his words).
I have also been trying to big up his other options, any of which would be genuinely good, but then he tells me "you don't think I'll get in...." so we parents can't win can we hmm

littlesquid Sat 19-Oct-13 12:23:22

lismore he needs this thread, last years applicants were a lovely lot and I lurked on there more than is decent for a 50 year old woman smile

lismore Sat 19-Oct-13 12:24:09

Thanks for the links littlesquid I'll have a good look through those.
It's lovely to hear that your DD has settled in well- I'm sorry you've had to deal with some negative comments.

mindgone Sat 19-Oct-13 14:03:15

Hi all, can I join in please? I too am a secret Cambridge applicant's mum! I have only told my best friend, and sworn her to secrecy! I really don't think my DS has got his hopes up for it, as his current favourites are Newcastle and Leeds, and he hasn't been to an open day at Cambridge, he just thought he might as well give it a try, as a degree from there opens doors!

He is in a different position though, as he already has his grades, so much less of a gamble. I am sure he will get other offers, and if he does, they will at least be unconditional.

I think my main worry about Cambridge is if he actually gets in! He worked his socks off to get his grades, and I worry that he might not be able to keep up with the natural genii around him!

littlesquid Sat 19-Oct-13 18:03:16

Sorry lismore I gave you the Oxford link and your DS is Cambridge,


prettydaisies Sat 19-Oct-13 18:48:50

Tentatively, I will join. DD has included Oxford as one of her choices and is very keen to go there. I seem to be spending all of my time making her see that other places are equally as good and that lots of equally clever people get rejected by Oxford.
She has the TSA paper in a couple of weeks and we'll see how things go from there.

mindgone Tue 22-Oct-13 10:57:27

DS sent off his SAQ yesterday, so will just have to wait and see now.

Needmoresleep Tue 22-Oct-13 16:26:41

Quick question all you helpful people....

When does the Cambridge supplementary statement need to be in. I am interpreting teenage grunts as "midnight tonight"......

Timetraveller Tue 22-Oct-13 17:06:46

Hi my ds has also applied to Cambridge. I thought it was noon today...My ds only sent his off late last night.

mindgone Tue 22-Oct-13 17:57:01

The 22nd rings a bell, but I don't know about a time, sorry.

lismore Tue 22-Oct-13 18:10:58

The deadline for my DS was 12 noon today, not sure if it varies between colleges/ subjects though.

PurplePotato Tue 22-Oct-13 18:47:54

Hi Lismore - yes, DS went to the open day in July. School (state) were invited to take a few students to a "link" college for our county, and they were put up overnight. School checked his personal statement over, but the rest of the UCAS application was down to him. Submitted his SAQ last night and I don't think he had any help with that. I have to say he doesn't seem at all bothered - we have to keep reminding him to check his UCAS account and email. He has two interviews so far at other unis, and has heard nothing at all from the other two.

Littlesquid, thanks for the links - very useful and I hope your DD is still having a great time.

yourlittlesecret Sat 02-Nov-13 09:44:49

<Sneaks in looking over shoulder>
Any news anyone?
DS has applied to Cambridge and has been asked to send in proof of his UMS and been told that they will send out notifications of interviews over a two week period starting 15th November.
Someone he knows has had a rejection letter. (The person didn't have the required grades but decided it was worth a shot.)

HorryIsUpduffed Sat 02-Nov-13 09:59:45

Not a parent of an applicant, but a graduate, and former mock interviewer.

They will be asked why they want to go to that college and what they can offer the college (as opposed to the university at large) so if you have made an open application you will need to do a good amount of research to make sure your answer isn't "dunno, I made an open application and ended up here".

Good luck to all the DC. It's a manic and scary time but it is so for everyone, no matter how blasé they seem in the waiting room/canteen.

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