Dyspraxic teenager wins Oxford place after resitting first A-level year
A teenager with dyspraxia has won a place at Oxford University despite having to resit her first year of A-levels.
Moli Harries picked up two A*s and an A, in English, economics and history, for her A-level results and will now study history at the university’s Lincoln College.
The 19-year-old said on Thursday that she thought her chances of going to Oxford had been scuppered after receiving two As and two Bs at AS-level while studying at a state school in Cardiff, and was told she needed at least three As.
It was only after restarting her studies at Cardiff Sixth Form College, a private school, on a 100% scholarship, that she was diagnosed with dyspraxia, allowing her to get the extra help she needed.
Moli, from Cardiff, said: “Two years ago I didn’t feel as though I had a chance anymore. I thought if you restarted your A-levels, Oxford wouldn’t give you a chance.
“I thought my chances were hurt but I still wanted to try because I’ve always wanted to go since I was 14 or 15. I thought they would have doubted my ability and thought I wasn’t suitable.”
Moli said she struggled with her handwriting, and had difficulty drawing diagrams for economics exams but her condition, which affects coordination, was only picked up and diagnosed in April before she took her A-level exams at her new school.
Her diagnosis allowed her to get an extra 25% of time to complete her exams.
Moli, whose father is an economic researcher and her mother a GP, said she believed moving to her private school from her state school helped her achieve her results, saying the two schools had a “different mind set”.
She said: “At my new school, everyone at least considers Oxbridge, whereas at state school it’s more of an anomaly to consider it. Maybe it would help with state schools if people were given the opportunity to at least consider going there.”
Moli, who wants to go into law or the civil service after university, added: “I feel very excited but it’s difficult to process. It’s a bit overwhelming.
“I thought about not trying because I didn’t think there was any point, but actually there’s always a point because you’ll never know what you’re capable of unless you test yourself.”
Cardiff Sixth Form College Principal, Gareth Collier, said: “Oxford University is sending a strong message that it remains competitive to gain a place but that should be about ability rather than background.
“(Moli) thoroughly deserves her success and will give so much to Oxford.”