Application

 Oxford

 Hertford

 Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular

 2006

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (7 A*,3 A)

A-levels

(A at AS)

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Biology, A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics

AAA

yes

yes

yes

Much preferred the atmosphere at Oxford to Imperial college London.

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I wanted to achieve my acedemic potential, and as i enjoy learning i was not daunghted by the prospect of working hard.

i wanted to study purely biochemistry as oppose to natural sciences.

i find the subject fascinating, and consequentally finf it easy to study.

Informal, friendly atmosphere. As most students are state school i found people more down to earth than people at other colleges.

Preparation

yes

One mock interview- discussed personal staement, not very useful.

Make sure you have a thorough answer to ‘why did you choose your subject?’. It is very likely to come up.

Interview

no

no

no

First one was relaxed, seated on sofas… (Hertford)
Second was more formal, sat across a table.
Enjoyed both, in hindsight.

both subject based throughout, nothing from personal statement. However they werent testing your knowledge, just your ability to think on your feet.

The first interview at Hertford:
Why biochemistry?
Talk about electrophoresis, then genetic recombination?
draw ethanol and propane, what are they’re states, why do they differ?
how would you adjust ethanol to make it a stonger acid?
how would you adjust carboxylic acid to make it stronger?
name this new molecule( – 1,1,1 triflouro ethanoic acid.)
What is an antibody?
some questions relating to electrophoresis?
Second interview i found more acedemically challenging:
Why biochem?
Talk about genetic diseases.
Talk about eton summer school you attended.
Questions on interpreting electrophoesis.
Explain this genetic disease family tree. – very hard.
an equilibrium equation to solve – more maths than biochemistry.
Both interviews ended with ‘any questions you would like to ask us?’

Black trousers and a casual shirt. I wouldnt be comfortable in a suit but didnt want to give the immpression that i did not take the interview seriously, by underdressing.

Impressions

Very nice, people especially friendly. But could get a but not many facilities on site, 20minutes on bus to sports facilities (bit of a downside, but i guess thats the price you pay for being right in the centre of town.)

my room was pretty small. No toilet or shower, just a sink, Showers on a different floor, but some of the rooms were really nice, i guess its pot luck.

Very nice, if a bit formal, waiters taking your plates when you finished etc…

Biochemistry tutor very warm and friendly.

Very friendly, i made some good friends just in the 3 days i was there, i think its a very good college for being social… “best bar in Oxford”

Final stage

Very nervous, found it very hard to do any work. The interviews kept running through my mind.

I was quite pleased.

Looking back

i’ll find out when i get there.

Read around your subjet in the months before the interview, get a feel for it. Then just be confident and smiley in your interview.