OXBRIDGE AT DEAN CLOSE SCHOOL
Mr. Sumner has put the following timeline and guide together for all Dean Close Fifth & Sixth Formers who are considering applying to Oxford and Cambridge…
(You may also wish to look at https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/why-cambridge and https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/why-oxford).
It’s normal to have a lot of questions about the Oxbridge process…
All of these are fully answered in the DCS Oxbridge Guide, which you can pick up from Mr Sumner or find in the Oxbridge Folder on the Pupil Resources Drive.
The most common questions are to do with what you should be doing at each stage of the process, and…
…what are they looking for?
You need to be a top academic.
You need to be passionate about your chosen subject.
You need to want to work hard at this subject.
Oxbridge are not interested in your Grade 8 exams, Duke of Edinburgh, sports teams, plays etc; they are only interested in your academic credentials. They want to see super-curricular activities instead – how have you explored your subject area beyond the curriculum?
Here is a handy timeline to help you through.
MICHAELMAS TERM – FIFTH FORM
Consider entering the Junior Critical Essay Prize to stretch yourself and explore an area of your interest within the title. Speak to Miss Stewart.
JANUARY – JUNE – FIFTH FORM
Get the very best GCSE grades possible – you’ll need as many A* or 8/9 grades as possible for Oxford or Cambridge to consider your application.
Start exploring your subjects outside the curriculum. Ask your teachers for advice as to what to do. Read books. Listen to podcasts. Watch documentaries online, such as TED Talks.
Keep a personal diary or blog in which you reflect on your wider reading and exploration of your subject.
It may be a good idea for you to visit Oxford or Cambridge.
Decide on your A Levels – make sure you’re not shutting any doors through your choice of subject. The Cambridge booklet ‘The Subject Matters’ has lots of good advice, as will your Tutor.
SUMMER BEFORE SIXTH FORM
Consider work experience if your subject is more vocational (e.g. Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Law).
Keep reading and reflecting!
MICHAELMAS TERM - LOWER SIXTH
Start your A Levels as you mean to go on – make the most of every opportunity.
Start your EPQ. Whilst it won’t be part of an offer if you apply for Oxford or Cambridge, both universities like the opportunity for students to do some independent research and stretch themselves. However, just having done one is not enough – it’s more about what they have learnt from doing the EPQ.
LENT TERM – LOWER SIXTH
Meet with the Oxbridge Coordinator.
Decide on your subject and explore it as widely as possible.
Enter for an Essay Prize if there is one that takes your fancy – ask your teachers for advice on these.
SUMMER TERM – LOWER SIXTH
Get the very best results possible in your June exams – these will inform your predicted grades.
Draft your UCAS Personal Statement in conjunction with your Tutor and the Higher Education Team.
Visit Oxford or Cambridge on an Open Day.
If you’re applying for Choral/Organ Scholarships, complete your application and submit.
SUMMER BEFORE UPPER SIXTH
Consider more work experience if your subject is more vocational (e.g. Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Law).
Keep reading and reflecting!
Redraft your Personal Statement in light of advice.
MICHAELMAS TERM – UPPER SIXTH
Submit your UCAS Application as early as possible in September.
Prepare for pre-admissions tests (if applicable).
Submit work/portfolio (if applicable).
Sit mock interviews both internally (i.e. with DCS Teachers) and externally (i.e. with teachers from other schools, or other contacts).
Invited to interview.
Interviews late Nov/early Dec.
LENT TERM – UPPER SIXTH
Hear outcome of application.
SUMMER TERM – UPPER SIXTH
Get those A Level grades and meet that offer.
OCTOBER AFTER UPPER SIXTH
Start at Oxford/Cambridge.
Check out Getting into Oxford & Cambridge 2019 Entry, available in the library along with other resources.