What To Do If You Get Rejected From Oxbridge

Each year, a huge number of applicants apply to study at Oxbridge and most are unsuccessful. The admissions process is incredibly competitive so not everyone gets offered a place, but what if you didn’t get one this year? We go through the next steps after receiving your rejection.

Author: Adi Sen

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Each year, a huge number of applicants apply to study at Oxbridge and most are unsuccessful.

In 2020, 43,840 students applied with Oxford or Cambridge on their undergraduate UCAS forms. The admissions process is incredibly competitive so not everyone gets offered a place – and what if you didn’t get one this year?

Oxbridge Admissions Statistics

A quick glance at the Oxford and Cambridge applicant success rates (figure 1) shows you that overall, you are looking at a 1 in 4 chance of gaining a place.

Figure 1. Oxford and Cambridge 2020 Cycle Admissions Statistics.

Out of the 43,840 students that applied to Oxbridge, 8,642 were given an offer and then 7,692 were actually admitted. 

Looking at grades, for those accepted by Cambridge, 98.6% achieved the equivalent of A*AA or better counting only their best three A-levels compared to 94.8% in 2019.

Unsurprisingly, the most successful Oxbridge applicants have some of the best GCSEs across the UK. Using Oxford’s Economics and Management admissions statistics, only 7% of applicants received an offer out of the 1530 students that applied and looking at the applicants’ GCSE grades, 433 (28%) achieved eight or more 8/9s and actually 201 (13%) of applicants achieved ten or more 8/9s. There was even a student who achieved fourteen 8/9s! 

However, the same bodes true for almost all of the UK’s top universities; not just for Medicine and Law, but every competitive course in the UK. This shows that these universities have near enough the same calibre of students – so why is it then that people feel knocked down after being rejected by Oxbridge?

The truth is, that while it can feel disappointing, it is by no means the end of the road! So what are your options now that you know where you stand?

If you missed your offer this year and are re-applying, UniAdmissions’ specialist support can help you get your dream place.

We help you craft the perfect Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive Admissions Test score and teach you how to Interview effectively – covering all areas of your Oxford or Cambridge application, from History to Medicine.

Discover our Oxbridge Premium Programmes by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

Choice 1: Consider your other options

If you applied to Oxbridge in the first place, you almost certainly have a strong academic record. Your other options shouldn’t be regarded as second best – they’re still incredibly tough universities to get into, universities that many students wouldn’t even dream of applying for.

Embrace one of these other options and don’t think of it as an “Oxbridge reject” university. We guarantee that once you start you course, meet your course mates and fully delve into university life, you won’t think twice about your “rejection”.

Choice 2: Keep Oxbridge in mind for your academic future

Hundreds of medical students each year go on with further academic studies at different universities. Many of these students are Oxbridge students who want to experience a different city or try a different style of teaching. This works both ways – if you’ve studied A100 at Sheffield which is a PBL university, consider Cambridge or Oxford for your further studies.

By experiencing a wider variety of teaching, you’ll be better for it when you come out of the other end. Also, a change of scenery never goes amiss!

Choice 3: Re-apply the following year

If you truly have your heart set on Oxbridge, then there’s nothing stopping you from applying again next year. If you felt you just weren’t feeling yourself on TSA day or your interviewer caught you off guard, then this could be the way to go!

If you achieved the A-level grades needed, then you have a full year to work on strengthening your application without worrying about A-levels. You can gain a lot of relevant work experience, adding to your Personal Statement greatly. If it was the Interview that tripped you up, then work with friends and family to improve your Interview skills.

As we have mentioned, although it can be disappointing, there’s no shame whatsoever in not gaining the offer you wanted. Getting an offer from Oxbridge does not define you or your intelligence. Chances are, if you applied in the first place, you have a very bright future ahead of you regardless!

Didn’t get a place at the university you wanted? It’s time to perfect your application to reapply next year.

We help you craft the perfect Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive Admissions Test score and teach you how to Interview effectively – covering all areas of your Oxford or Cambridge application, from History to Medicine.

Discover our Oxbridge Premium Programmes by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

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