Application

 Oxford

 St John’s

 Archaeology and Anthropology

 2002

 pooled, rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 post-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (7 A*,3 A)

A-levels

(A at AS; predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS; predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS; predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS; predicted A; gained A at A2)

Other universities

yes

yes

Not sure yet, either Edinburgh, UCL or Manchester

Decisions about the application

i thought that i had a chance and that if i didn’t try i was not pushing myself – i had nothing to lose, and i wanted to go because it’s still prestigious and sounds good, and IS good!

I used to go to visit friends in oxford and have always loved the city – i never even considered cambridge really.

the professors there looked good for my course and i was interested in what they specialised in, also the college is gorgeous and i loved it!

Preparation

yes

not really, a mock interview that i asked for

The form: write something in the additional info section – i wrote about liking the course and the college and why, – don’t repeat stuff you wrote on your personal statement – it’s just wasting valuable space

The interview: i did quite a lot of background reading and i didn’t use that much of it at all – but still do it because you might do and plus it gives you confidence. I found that they were looking only at my ability to think – it didn’t matter THAT much about knowledge, you just have to be able to analyse and be observent, and quick to come to a relevant conclusion. i also found i didn’t have that much opportunity to be enthusiastic because they just kept firing questions at me that i was unsure about answering. Be confident – though not too much, and positive – and have a go at everything. Realise that everyone is prob. finding the questions hard so just attempt to answer them as well as you can – don’t give up

Interview

no

yes

2 essays, one history one on vietnam, and one english one on frankenstein. because i got full marks in the eng. one and in the hist one was close. – they were my best pieces of work

no

i had two interviews, the first one was really hard and with two tutors in arch and anth from st johns, the second was at st. hughs with three tutors, all from different colleges and was far more relaxed.

i had to read an artcle on anthropology and look at some photos of landscape before i went in, and they asked me to compare the photos and how useful they’d be to an archaeologist – i tried to analyse them and say some stuff, but i ran out of ideas and didn’t know what to say after a while, then they asked me some questions on the article which i also thought were quite hard. then they gave me some containers from dfferent time eras and asked me to talk about them – that wasn’t so bad. the second interview was much more casual and was about my own interests in arch and anth

smart grey trousers, boots and a burgandy/reddish jumper. i felt smart but not too stiff and suit-ish. – that’s more like me so i felt more comfortable

Impressions

i really loved st. johns, and it has very impressive buildings and gardens.. (minus the beehive) I thought st.hughs was too modern; i didn’t like it as much at all

room was ok, but i saw other interviewees rooms that were much bigger and nicer. (ugly brown furniture!)

Good

it was much much better than i expected, really nice

mmm… really nice actually but i did want one of them to shut up in the interview cause he kept probing into everything i said!

really friendly and helpful, they were always around in the JCR and ready to do anything you needed

Final stage

they said sorry but no place at St. johns; your application is offered to other colleges, although it’s unlikely an offer will be made now.

Looking back

definitely, it was a great experience and i met some really cool ppl, who i hope i’ll keep in touch with. Also, if i hadn’t tried i would never have known what would happen and that would really bug me!

apply, give it a go and feel like you have nothing to lose – because you really don’t.