The results are in and you’re either tearing your hair out or celebrating. We all hope it’s the latter, but if not –please don’t despair. Read on instead. If you did secure the top grades you were predicted…many congratulations! Now is the time to charge ahead and get that personal statement written and complete your UCAS form. It’s also the perfect time to tuck into some subject-focused outside reading (and the rain outside makes it that little bit easier to curl up with a good book). Remember – reading around your subject is not about just consuming large amounts of information so that you can then just simply regurgitate facts and figures – rather – it’s to help you start developing your own thoughts and encourage you to explore your subject away from the normal school exam syllabus.
So much of university is about independent learning – and the Oxbridge interview is about engaging with new ideas and having a mature academic conversation… with someone who knows a great deal about your chosen subject. Reading articles, journals and books that interest you – is a great way to help you find just what excites you so much about your subject – and for a tutor to see that you are really motivated. (If you need any reading suggestions – head to our online reading rooms, where you can find lots of recommendations from our Oxbridge-graduate tutors).
We also have lots of free advice on writing your personal statement and choosing your college – just what you need to go full steam ahead with your Oxbridge application. And don’t forget – if ever you need any advice on deciding which of the dozens of positions of responsibility/work experiences/academic awards that you’ve achieved since you were four years old to include in your 4000 character personal statement – you can always give one of the team here a call. If you didn’t quite get the grades you were hoping for then please don’t worry. You can contact other universities through clearing, although don’t panic if you are not successful in getting a place – it has been incredibly competitive this year and you are not alone.
If you do want to take a gap year and reapply in order to secure a place at a top-tier university, but you’re worried about the increases in tuition fees, check out our blog on what it means and some of your options to get help. Equally, if you have received AS level grades with which you are disappointed, then you also have further options. Check your module marks and see if it is worth getting anything remarked – if it might push you over a grade boundary (or if you feel like your grade was a gross injustice), then it could be worth it. If you risk going down, then it might be best to steer clear of the remarks. If in any doubt, speak to your teachers.
Your module marks may also lead to a change in which university you apply to – remember that Cambridge asks you to let them know your module marks so if you’ve got As, but they are really low, you might want to apply to Oxford instead. Oxford will not have access to your module marks. They require three As and use their own tests – such as the TSA, HAT, ELAT, PAT and MAT to find the best candidates.
Lastly, just a quick note to say very well done to you all! We’ve received lots happy calls and excellent news from students about their results. Make sure you take a little time to celebrate… you’ve earned it!