A report published on the BBC today suggests that if you want to boost the chances of a place at Oxbridge, studying hard is one route, but avoiding a July birthday is another.
According to 2012 admission data applicants born in September were 30 per cent more likely to get a place at Oxford or Cambridge than competitors born in July.
This can be explained by what is known as the 'birthdate' effect, a phenomenon that shows children who are younger in their year group obtain worse grades. The effect diminishes over time but does not disappear altogether.
A disproportionate number of sportsmen and women in national teams were also shown to be born in September and October, making them among the oldest in their classes.
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