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Oxford and Cambridge universities, collectively referred to as Oxbridge, are two of the UK’s most prestigious universities. Being so prestigious also means that they are two of the most sought-after universities in the UK as well as globally. This makes getting a place at Oxbridge a very competitive process.
Due to this high competition, the acceptance rates at these universities will be quite low compared to other universities. According to the Oxford and Cambridge university websites, Oxford currently has an acceptance rate of only 17% and Cambridge has a slightly higher acceptance rate of 21%. With roughly 3 applicants per place, Oxbridge will only consider applicants with the highest academic ability and potential.
One of the ways that young people can show that they have the highest academic ability is by making use of a private tutor to help them excel in their A-Levels. However, that is not where it should end. In fact, it is just the beginning.
Where to begin?
Before you start preparing your child for Oxbridge it’s important that you discuss it with your child. You need to make sure that they understand what it takes to get into Oxbridge so that they can be prepared to work hard. You should also definitely get an understanding of their career aspirations and other passions. Having a clear understanding of this early on will be highly beneficial in shaping their goals and it will also help them to choose the right subjects in school to achieve their goals. In addition, if you are able to gauge your child’s abilities early on, it will be easier for you to see what they need to focus on and what they need help with. GT Scholars can offer help with this through our workshops and enrichment days which help teens with choosing a career and also finding out more about university. This is often the first step a parent should consider. It also helps the child to realise what subjects they need to achieve their goals.
Tutoring vs. Mentoring
Private tutoring focuses mainly on reinforcing what your child has learned at school and helping them to improve their understanding and keep track of their academic goals. But, have you considered getting them a mentor as well? A mentor is more of a guide and advisor that can help your child with their personal development, career goals and various other topics that go beyond their school work. They can also help them to develop valuable skills like time management and interpersonal skills that they can then apply to their daily life. The GT Scholars mentoring programme has found that instilling these concepts in your child from an early age helps to build their confidence, increase self-belief and help them to feel more independent.
Young people are under immense pressure during exam periods, especially if they are thinking about getting into Oxbridge. It’s important that they prepare themselves well in advance so that they can avoid unnecessary stress and perform better. Beyond going over important topics with their tutor, they should also learn how to effectively tackle exams. Over the years, we at GT Scholars have seen how different children cope with exams, and it does not only depend on their academic abilities. They will need to be able to manage their time effectively, be able to handle and counteract stress, and be able to understand their exam questions and answer intelligently. We run an annual Study Skills and Exam Preparation workshop that they should definitely attend. The sooner you help your child to prepare for exams properly, the greater the possibility of them succeeding in their exams throughout their school and university life.
Unfortunately, a tutor is not going to have the time to help your child prepare for the application process when considering Oxbridge. The application process can be quite complicated, with various documents and assessments that need to be completed. This can be further complicated depending on what career path your child has chosen. To make it easier, it’s important for young people to start their application process well in advance. They can even take a look at the application process when they first start thinking about studying at Oxbridge to get a better understanding of what is required. This will give them enough time to develop their personal statement, extracurricular activities and other ways to make their application stand out. Our mentoring programme and enrichment days can provide them with all the help and guidance that they need to complete their applications.
Encouragement and support
Young people will feel more confident in accomplishing their goals if their parents believe in their ability to do so. As parents, you need to support your child in their decisions and help reinforce their skills and abilities. This will allow them to feel encouraged and they will be able to move forward into university life knowing that they will be more than fine. Reinforcing their skills will help them to be independent once they’re away from home. It will help them to easily navigate time management, interact with others and understand their work.
These are just some of the action points you can take to help your child reach their aim of studying at Oxbridge. It’s not just about tutoring, it’s about building all of their skills to proceed into university life, helping them to be well-rounded individuals, and ensuring they feel supported every step of the way.
GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.