Map Oxbridge Applications, 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR

It’s not the news you’ve been hoping for. What next? At this point there are two ways forward: accept one of your other offers, or reapply to Oxbridge in the next cycle.

This is a big decision, and one it’s worth taking time to consider properly. Many applicants have had an ‘Oxbridge or nothing’ mindset for years in advance of their application, and it can be difficult to abandon that dream. Equally, most unsuccessful Oxbridge applicants end up with several offers from excellent universities.

So let’s break it down a little.

Disadvantages of reapplying:

  • You have to take a gap year. For some people, suddenly having a year free from academic commitments is a relief and a chance to undertake work experience and travel. For others, the idea of suddenly having an effectively ‘empty’ year ahead can be intimidating.
  • You have to go through the whole process again, with no guarantee of success. Personal statement. Academic references. Pre-admission test. Interview. Preparation for all of these things takes a large amount of time, effort, and energy to do properly.
  • Lots of people take gap years before university, but it means arriving to start your course having been out of an academic environment for about 15 months. This is why we tend to recommend reapplicants maintain a significant degree of academic engagement throughout their year off.

Advantages of reapplying:

  • You’re probably a strong candidate. Reapplicants are often successful. They’ve been through the process once, tend to have a pretty good idea where it went ‘wrong’ last time, and know what it would take to improve their application.
  • You’re applying with grades you’ve already achieved. You know you’ve met the offer threshold.
  • You have more time to develop your knowledge of your subject. Part of the reason reapplicants often make powerful candidates is the fact that they’ve had the opportunity to develop their skills a little more, to do more reading, to work out exactly why they want to do a particular course and why they would be a good fit for it.

Reapplication is not for everyone, and most candidates who don’t receive an offer from Oxford or Cambridge would be very happy at another university. It is, however, a path hundreds of students choose every year, and one we have guided many on. Without an academic schedule being provided by schooling, it’s essential to be thinking about and developing your reapplication in the right way, to make sure being a year older and more experienced becomes an advantage to your candidacy.

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Our Private Consultations, led by senior members of the Oxbridge Applications team, help to shape students’ approach to their application. We provide in-depth evaluation, strategy and next steps to achieve results.  

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Our Oxbridge-graduate consultants are available between 9.00 am – 5.00 pm from Monday to Friday, with additional evening availability when requested.

Oxbridge Applications, 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR

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