It is never too early in your academic career to be aspiring to apply to Oxford or Cambridge University. Each year a significant number of our students apply to Oxbridge and a pleasing number achieve success, either through being invited to interview or ultimately receiving an offer. Competition is fierce, and anything which you can do to ensure that your application is distinctive, you should be pursuing. The ultimate criteria of these prestigious institutions is a commitment to learning and excellence in combination with a devotion to the subject you intend to study.
If you are really passionate about studying a particular subject at Oxbridge, ensure that your Tutor, teachers and Miss O’Neill are aware. They will all be able to recommend literature, podcasts, online lectures/courses, radio programmes, journals as well as other resources to develop your broader knowledge of the subject, as well as keep you updated with other opportunities including trips and visits that will further develop your ambitions.
You should be reading widely and taking every opportunity given to you in class to extend your work beyond what is required by the syllabus. Successful applicants have always demonstrated a proactive approach to developing their love of learning in their chosen field. Both universities offer a range of opportunities for you to experience your subject at a higher level, and teach using the tutorial system, which is an almost unique method of learning.
You should be investigating summer schools and Master Class days which you can apply to via their websites.
If you are not successful in obtaining a place at either Oxford or Cambridge, it is likely due to the strength of your application that you will have offers from other Russell Group Universities, who are also pioneering leaders in your chosen subject. You will receive mentoring and advice on which of these offers to proceed with and we will continue to monitor your progress to ensure you meet the requirements of your first choice offer.
Some subjects require applicants to take an aptitude test; this may be a national test such as the BMAT for medicine or may be a paper set and marked by the university. Many courses will also require you to send in examples of marked work from Year 12. You should ensure that you familiarise yourself with all the details so that you can plan your preparation accordingly.
We provide students with a number of opportunities throughout the year to aid their application to Oxford and Cambridge universities. These include organised visits to Oxford and a talk by a Cambridge admissions officer where you can find out how students are selected and what will help you stand out. Past students also frequently offer their help and advice, giving talks and support to Year 12 hopefuls. We also arrange mock interviews with external interviewers to help you overcome the nerves, and experience a similarly subject specific intense experience.
College and university open days are a great source of information and you will find details of these on the Oxford and Cambridge websites.
Please find below some useful links:
University of Oxford site: http://www.ox.ac.uk/
University of Cambridge site: http://www.cam.ac.uk/
For details of how to apply to Oxford click here:
and for Cambridge: http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/apply/
Cambridge Thinking Skills Assessment www.tsa.cambridgeassessment.org.uk