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A Levels

Yes those horrible exams (or their equivalent) which really you'd like to forget all about...but don't let yourself!

Getting into Oxford is the best feeling ever but remember Oxford offers are conditional on you getting your final grades.

You may have aced your personal statement, smashed your entrance exam and wowed the tutors at interview but if,on results day, you get a B rather than an A, this will all sadly pale into insignificance.

Unlike most other UK unis, Oxford don't have clearing so they won't accept lower grades, even if they have spaces available.

When I was at school, a current Oxford student came to give a talk and told us how once she'd been accepted by Oxford, she realised that she'd done so well in her previous A level modules that she only needed to obtain an E and two Ds to meet the Oxford AAA criteria, in her final exams. So, she sat back and relaxed, enjoying the run up to her A levels, secure in the knowledge that she didn't really need to do any work to get in. Yet on results day when she met her grades by 1 point, she felt so silly; she was so close to throwing it all away!

She said it to me and I'll say it to you: 'Don't let that be you!'

Top Tips

  • Obviously being accepted by Oxford is a huge achievement but don't let the hard work stop there; make sure you meet your conditional offer.

  • In certain extreme circumstances, I have heard of Oxford accepting applicants with say a B rather than an A but this would have to be explained on results day and supported by your school, with proof of an outstanding circumstance at the time you took the exams.


Clearing - Clearing is a part of the UCAS application process. It is a way for universities to fill any spaces they have left for the new academic year. It gives applicants who do not hold an offer another chance of finding a university place. Oxford do not offer places through clearing due to their vigorous application system.

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