When leaving Clifton College after A Levels, the overwhelming majority of Cliftonians make the progression to university, and we devote a great deal of time and effort to help them make wise and sensible choices, ensuring they receive guidance from parents, teachers, tutors, Housemasters, the Head of Sixth Form and outside experts.
Regular lectures and workshops are available, as are a wide range of books, publications, prospectuses and software. Pupils are also encouraged to visit university open days, particularly after AS exams.
Pupils in Lower Sixth can take a psychometric profile that can be used to identify their strengths and skills. Upper Sixth Form pupils are schooled in interview technique and are able to sign up for practice interviews. Preparation is also offered to pupils who have to sit the ever-increasing number of university entrance tests.
The university application system is managed by the Head of Sixth Form, while the Housemasters oversee individual applications, with assistance from Heads of Department and tutors.
Most Cliftonians apply to UK universities, but some choose to go further afield, to the USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Continental Europe, and the College has considerable expertise in all these areas.
Those interested will be given the chance to be interviewed by visiting representatives of the Armed Forces.
The Head of Sixth Form is available to see pupils and their parents about these important choices, and will advise and assist those Cliftonians who plan to move directly into employment or take a Gap Year.
Despite the intense competition for places at Oxford and Cambridge, Cliftonians have an excellent record of receiving offers, with 8 being successful in 2016.
We apply no pressure on Sixth Formers to apply to Oxbridge, but where it is realistic to do so, they are encouraged to consider Oxford or Cambridge as one of their choices. Oxbridge admissions tutors are looking for ‘scholars’ with academic talent, an excellent work ethic and real intellectual curiosity.
The consideration of an Oxbridge application begins seriously in February of the Lower Sixth year, but likely candidates will have had to perform extremely well at GCSE, with at least 7 A* grades. High AS scores are equally significant, with good candidates achieving 92% or more in at least 3 of these exams. A good applicant is expected to exhibit a genuine passion for their subject, evidenced by examples of extra reading and independent work.
The Head of UCAS coordinates the applications of all Oxbridge candidates.