Application

 Oxford

 St Peter’s

 Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular

 2008

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (5 A*,3 A,1 B)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

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

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

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

Im actually doing AS maths this year, and predicted an A.

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Biology, A in Chemistry, A in English Literature

yes

yes

yes

Also recieved an offer from Imperial – will be my insurance.

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I didn’t have a specific reason for applying to “Oxbridge” – Cambridge was never part o fit, I wanted to apply to Oxford because the biochemistry department is the largest and arguably best in Europe – i went for an open day and loved it etc.

Well, Cambridge does NatSci.

Simply because i love it – when it comes up in A level Biology and Chemistry, it is my favourite area to learn about. – It explains life =)

Originally applied to Trinity, actually – but was reallocated to St.Peter’s. Fell in love with St.Peter’s at the interview period, so very happy now.

Preparation

yes

A woman came in to talk about Oxbridge admissions – but other than that no. No mock interviews or the like, but i doubt they would’ve been much help.

Try and get to know the course you are applying for, but more importantly what they will ask you with regards to relevant a levels.

Interview

no

no

no

I thought the first was awful, and second much better – but i got an offer from St.Peer’s – my first college, so perhaps not.

In my first interview they had a sheet with questions on, and we got right to it basically. I had to sit and talk through my answers – and when I was stuck, use their help to get to an answer (if i managed to get one, that is). My second interview was very different, started with stuff on my PS – and moved from there.

1st interview:
– On the paper there was basically “AGTCATATCCGA”…etc – they asked me to say what it was, and why i knew it was DNA and not RNA.
– Then given a genetics diagram sort of thing – one of those genetic/family trees? – had to identify sufferers, was allele recessive/homozygous etc. ? At one point there were two sufferers, producing all non-sufferers! they explained what it was – about sufferers cancelling each other out, or something along those lines – never heard of that happening!
– Then asked about a molecule, asked to describe it, how would I dissolve it (like with like).
– Asked to define acids and bases – then say whether the given molecules could act as acids or bases.

2nd interview:
– Asked about why I liked oxidative phosphorylation, and to outline a model of it.
– Then asked how the protons specifically helped synthesise ATP.
– from here it’s a blur really, they just kept pushing me, at one point we talked about why ethanol made people drunk?! – and at another, about the role of phosphate in blood. All was very interesting, and they helped me with it – was good!

1st:
Grey smart trousers, green v-neck, white shirt. – Suitably smart I thought.

2nd:
same trousers, broun jumper, blue shirt – again smart yet comfortable =D

Impressions

College was lovely – old feel of oxford, but condensed. It was informal and quiet, and i loved that. The students were nice and friendly, and the atmosphere was just relaxing. Went to st.Anner’s for second interview, it is far away! – college exterior at the front was horrible, but when you go in further, it is lovely. JCR was a bit of a tip though.

Rooms were big, had a basin also. St.Peter’s rooms in New Building had this funny little arch bit, that’s raised a little, to really divide the sleeping part and stuyding part – twas nice.

It varied. First night was some nice lasagne, or chicken and some cheesecake or something i think. Second night was cauliflower cheese :S. Breakfast and lunch were always fine though.

The 2 at my first college were quite scary. They started it off really well, but if i ever seemed stuck, they gave really disapproving looks, haha. Second tutor at St.Anne’s was a bit mad, but really nice, he had a phd student with him also, who helped me a lot.

Nice, as said above.

Final stage

Just stressed – i would’ve been okay with a rejection, it was just the waiting that was awful.

I saw pink and green attached sheets, so i knew I was in! Mother came in, told her, she cried – was nice.

Looking back

Definitely!

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself whilst doing it – and try and have fun.