Many ambitious students dream of studying at a world-renowned university like Oxford. Enthusiasm and aptitude for your field of study are indispensable when applying to a prestigious institution as competition for placement is intense.
To get accepted into Oxford, you must already be an expert in the subject you want to study. You need to begin the process far ahead of time, as you will need to attain a significant understanding of your chosen subject and extend your academic knowledge with external reading and hands-on experience.
You also need to develop a strong set of personal skills like dedication and independent thinking. The more educated you are in your field, the stronger your application submissions will be.
Acquire your skills, determine your interests and settle on a degree you would like to pursue
Develop a robust work ethic
Studying at Oxford is demanding, they want students who are able to cope with a rigorous academic schedule. Investing time in your studies now shows your capabilities.
Interest and curiosity about your field of study can set you far above other applicants. Go beyond your school curriculum and do further reading to learn as much as possible about your chosen subject. Or even take extra classes.
Get perfect grades
Concentrate on securing excellent grades in high school. This will be attractive on your application. Oxford has exceptionally high standards, so your grades need to be high too.
Extracurricular pursuits should not eclipse your academic work, but this doesn’t mean you should quit activities you really enjoy and bury yourself in your studies all day. A diversity of talents are appealing in applicants.
Now it’s time to think about the application process and prepare yourself. Research what Oxford University has to offer you. Asking a student counselor or career advisor for guidance will help you.
Examine the complete list of courses on offer at Oxford
You should decide on your course of study before you apply to Oxford. The university has an extensive selection of undergraduate courses and bachelor’s degree programs. Investigate the courses that interest you but be sure to look beyond your favorite school subject.
There are courses that are an ideal combination of your interests though you may not have studied them before. Also, think about some of the combined course offerings. These programs could possibly enable you to open up several opportunities during your studies.
Go through the requirements and selection criteria for your chosen course
Visit the course information pages on Oxford University’s website. Each page explains the prerequisites for acceptance into the course. These may include language and grade requirements as well as a specific admissions exam.
You will also have to submit supporting documents such as a personal statement, samples of written work, official transcripts and references from a teacher or advisor.
Settle on the Oxford college you wish to apply
Oxford University encompasses 30 colleges, each functioning as a smaller academic community. Students belonging to a particular faculty, college or hall, study in small group sessions and are appointed a tutor to provide academic support.
Each department has its own groups and societies, as well as its own facilities like dining halls, libraries, common rooms, and accommodation.
Oxford’s website has information about the colleges’ facilities and which of them accept applications for your course of study. The colleges vary in facilities and levels of study.
Your choice will not affect your candidacy as your application to Oxford University is assessed by the department you choose. You may even be assigned to a different college. It is possible to make an “open application” using the code provided on the application to indicate you have no college preference.
The university will then assign you accordingly. Some further factors to take into consideration are things like the location, funding opportunities and specialized accommodation for disabilities, couples, and families.
Read Oxford’s Application Guide
This guide is offered via the admissions page and changes each year. Ensure you are reading the correct guide specific to your admissions year. This will give you a good understanding of the admissions process and what requirements are needed to apply.
By now you should have everything prepared to begin the application. First, you need to complete the UCAS application, available on the website, which may open up as early as June.
However, Oxford has some further documents you need to submit with your application. Start this as soon as possible to ensure you have enough time to submit your best work.
Additional Written Work
A majority of the courses on offer insist on samples of your academic writing. They need to be relevant to the subject you are applying for. The samples don’t need to belong; there is a 2000-word limit. Opt for the best of your old school papers and use them in your submission.
Write your personal statement
Your personal statement justifies why you’re interested in the course and shows your commitment to the field. You will need to offer examples of how you’ve engaged with your subject, both in your studies and extracurricular pursuits. Show how this steered you onto the path you’ve chosen.
Detail what you plan for your future career and how a degree in the subject will aid you on this path. Draft a preliminary statement, then check your statement against the selection criteria for your course.
Make sure to focus your writing to address each point and if needed, rewrite some passages to suit these criteria more specifically.
Part of the additional documentation required for your application references. You will need to check how many references your course requires. They should come from professors or advisors acquainted with your academic work and not friends or family.
Professors and teachers can attest to your aptitude and capability for graduate study. Book appointments with your potential referees to discuss your aims at Oxford and the recommendation process.
Be sure to ask them early enough: give them clear instructions as to the process and let them know the deadline. Once they confirm, you need to register these them via your online application so they will receive a reference request.
Show them your writing samples and personal statement to help them describe your abilities and qualities accurately. Let them know if there’s something specific you’d like them to describe
For most of Oxford’s courses, your academic results aren’t sufficient. You’ll need to do further exams to apply. These exams are tough, and your results will decide if you move on to the interview round.
If you achieved great exam scores and you have exceptional supporting documents, you’ll be shortlisted for an interview. Make sure you research your course extensively before your interview.
Oxford wants only the elite. They admit students who are so avid about their subject that it will drive them to become trailblazers in their field one day. The more you can show them your passion and knowledge, the more liable you are to be accepted.