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Essays and suchlike

Why hello thar!

I am the anon who posted on theladiesloos about applying to Oxford for postgrad study, decloseted for your viewing pleasure.

I'm still having second thoughts about the example work I'm going to submit. How good does the essay need to be? It got an 86, and I need to do some editing (including paring off 1,000 words). I don't know what the competition for places is like, and information seems to be conflicting. Is it a case of 'don't bother unless you got over 90'? Should I take the risk and write a new (and possibly better) essay? I still think it's my best work, but I'm worried it's not going to be good enough...


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 11th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
86 is exceptional! In Oxford, virtually no one ever gets 90+ for anything. (My highest ever mark was an 85 for a tute essay.) So I would say your essay sounds like a very good choice for submission. :)
Oct. 11th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
(In arts subjects, I should have said. 90+ is more possible for science-ish things.)
Oct. 11th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback! I am indeed an arts student, so 86 was at the top end for me, but I went to a non-oxbridge Uni for my undergrad. I know the marks should be equivalent across all institutions, but I am worried the admissions guys will look at it and go "Pah! 86?! From Warwick?! Begone, churl!"
Oct. 11th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, no way - Warwick is awesome. :) Also, our examiners' reports quite often mention that one of our course's weaknesses is the relative lack of extended work, in comparison with other universities. Admissions will certainly not be turning up their noses at coursework produced for other universities.

(For comparison: I'm sending in one Shakespeare essay written for a tutorial - so not officially assessed, even - and an extract from an extended essay, which was properly marked but only got 72! I'm sure your piece is super.)
Oct. 11th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
Also, I see that people who Actually Know are replying over in TLL proper - if they were saying different things, I would completely defer to their opinions, since I'm just a random applicant too, but it seems we're all on the same page about the goodness of your essay, hurrah.
Oct. 13th, 2010 10:36 am (UTC)
Cheers for your help! :)
Oct. 11th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
Neither of the essays I used to apply for my MSt at Oxford (women's studies) got over 90. I think one was mid-80s, and the other mid-70s. Marks above 80 are AFAIK rare everywhere, and marks above 90 almost unheard of in non-science subjects (the idea that it's a 100-point scale is a big old lie).

Oh, and mine were from Brookes, a - gasp! - former polytechnic, and they still let me in :-)
Oct. 13th, 2010 10:39 am (UTC)
Awesome! How are you finding the course? My particular discipline shares a lot of borders with women's studies--I was even thinking of crossing over at one point :3
Oct. 13th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
I finished in June (starting my PhD now!) There were some problems with the course, most of which were probably because the subject is hideously under-funded, and rather neglected by the five faculties which are theoretically responsible for it. But it was lots of fun - if also very stressful! - and I'm very glad I did it. Happy to answer questions if it would be any help. And good luck!
Oct. 11th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
Absolutely go with the 86 essay. Also make sure your personal statement is really hot. I graduated with a 2.1 and got onto my course at York and of the 9 students in my department there were only two of us with 2.1s (the other was a York student who missed the magic 70 by a point due to serious personal stuff) and I was a solid 2.1 rather than almost first. However, my personal statement was what did it for me, so make sure that really shows your interest in the subject and how you'll benefit them by being on the course.

Good luck!
Oct. 13th, 2010 10:42 am (UTC)
Thanks for the advice! I am working hard on my personal statement right now, although I may well be appealing again to TLL for advice on that. I think simply saying "I like Oxford because you have 24-hour libraries and that means I CAN LIVE IN THEM AND NEVER SLEEP" might just scare them.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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