Tutors read all UCAS forms very carefully and consider each application on its individual merits.
Tutors are obviously interested in your academic achievement and potential. The main information we have is from the results of public examinations you have taken so far and your predicted results from your school reference.
People called for interview will be predicted to achieve 3 A grades at A2 level. If you are not predicted 3 A grades you are unlikely to be interviewed. If there are reasons why you have not performed as well as you think you should have, you or your school should mention the reason in the reference or personal statement.
Tutors are also looking for evidence of interest in the subject and motivation for studying. We want to admit people who will enjoy the academic stimulation of Oxford, and will work hard when they get here to contribute to our learning community.
You can show this in your personal statement by writing about why you want to do a particular subject or course. If you have read something that has sparked your interest, preferably beyond your school work, or done some relevant work experience or projects etc, you should mention this. You will not have much space to elaborate, but may well be asked to discuss these at interview.
Other information about extra-curricular activities and achievements is of interest to us, but is of less importance than academic potential.