Getting into Oxford or Cambridge
Last year, only 36% of students nationally who achieved 3 or more A*s at A level, and who applied to the University of Oxford, actually gained a place to study.
This means that 56% of students nationally, with 3 or more A*s at A level, weren’t successful.
So what does this tell us?
High grades are not enough
It shows that although high grades matter when applying to top universities, they are, in and of themselves, not enough. You need to go beyond A level. You need to show a genuine passion for your subject and a willingness to stretch yourself academically.
That is why we developed d’Overbroeck’s Plus; for students looking to study on the most competitive courses and/or at the most competitive universities.
The Oxbridge Programme
In the summer term of Lower Sixth, students wishing to apply to Oxford or Cambridge join our Oxbridge programme (part of d’Overbroeck’s Plus). On this programme they receive expert advice and guidance so as to give them the best possible chance of gaining a place.
Of course it’s not possible to ‘make an Oxbridge’ student; the drive, intellectual curiosity, the commitment and tenacity required must come from the student themselves. However, what we can do at d’Overbroeck’s is provide an environment where such qualities can shine, where intellectual and academic rigour is both developed and encouraged. We can also ensure students are fully informed about the stages and demands of the process, that they have the information they need to make good decisions about their university or college and that they have the guidance they need to prepare themselves for all aspects of the application process, such as testing and interviews.
They will hear from past students who have been through the same process, from alumni now studying at Oxford and Cambridge, from admissions tutors at colleges and from staff who have studied or even taught at Oxford and Cambridge themselves.
Students are assigned a personal tutor – a subject expert who monitors a personalised programme of study to stretch the student beyond the demands of A levels. Students attend individual and small-group sessions, designed to model the Oxbridge tutorial system and, later on, are given extensive formal mock interview practice. We also provide opportunities to attend Open Days locally in Oxford and help students arrange individual visits to Cambridge Open Days. We even have a conference in the summer term to bring together all these groups and provide a superb event for applicants.
Ultimately the success of a student’s application will depend on the fit between them and the university and how they fare against the competition, but what we can do is fully support all of our students and help them prepare as effectively as possible.