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Final Oxbridge Checklist

You’ve done the hard work, have achieved excellent academic scores, and you’re ready to send off your UCAS application form before October 15th. See below for a final checklist to skim through the week before clicking the submit button, and for final checks for the day of submission.

  1. Oxford or Cambridge? Have you spent time researching the differences between the two? The unique restriction that you cannot apply to both means that it is in your interests to spend sufficient time investigating which university most closely matches your degree and career aspirations.
  2. Have you done your research on your preferred college, or colleges? If not, please see our guides to Oxford & Cambridge colleges. Have you understood the pool process?
  3. Have you sense checked the entry requirements? If your course is asking for 38 IB points and your school have indicated that your predicted score is 36, it is certainly worth having a conversation with your teacher to see if there is any way to bolster your score at the last minute with an extra test or mock exam
  4. When you read your personal statement, does it scream that you’re desperate to study the title of the degree you’ve chosen? Naturally you will want your Oxford or Cambridge degree course to be exactly the same as or very closely linked to your other degree courses, but it is worth asking someone who isn’t sure what you’ve chosen to proof read it one final time
  5. Have you checked what the requirements are for standardised tests? LNATs, MATs etc? it is a waste of an application if it will be rejected out of hand if you haven’t sat the entry tests in good time.
  6. Read through your personal statement (and have someone else do so), doing a final check for spelling, punctuation and grammar, but also ensuring that you have not used any ridiculous cliches, or made any claims that you could not back up at interview (e.g. if you mention a particular book, you should have actually read and enjoyed it!) Also, though it is likely that Oxford or Cambridge is your first choice of university, you need to make sure that you have not written your personal statement entirely for this, and that you do not alienate other universities, so do not reference specific aspects of the Oxbridge course.
  7. Some colleges do have specific academic requirements which might be higher than the general guidelines, so make sure you have verified these to maximise your chances of getting an interview, and indeed an offer.
  8. Are all aspects of the UCAS form fully correct and ready to be sent off? You do not want to be stressed about these small details on the day of submission!
  9. Good luck!