Application

 Oxford

 Queen’s

 Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular

 2006

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 United Kingdom

 FE College

 yes (2 A*,5 A,3 B)

A-levels

(B at AS (221 UMS))

(A at AS (251 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (240 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(B at AS (235 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Other universities

yes

yes

ABB Offer from Imperial

Decisions about the application

Apart from the prestige and popularity of it etc etc. Very Highly rated for my course. Their course is a four year MBiochem, and has many aspects to it which appealed to me i.e. Organic Chem unit, Biophysics unit. I thought i’d give it a go as i had absolutely nothing to lose!

Cambridge don’t offer straight Biochem. Their nearest equivalent NatSci is broader and allows specialism only in the final year. It’s also far too popular given what it is.

see above ^

Queen’s has a central location, and is one of the older college’s too. Also has a nice double quad, and it’s not one of the uber-competitive colleges

Preparation

yes

well, I had a mock, which was nothing like the real thing!

Make sure you know your subject. Know the syllabus content from the AS & A2 year. Also, know why you want to study it! (got asked 3 times!) Although i say this, it dosen’t mean you should necessarily cram the night before. Just relax before the interviews

Interview

no

no

no

Not too bad. The 2 at queen’s were more testing than the one at somerville however. I thought i put myself across well enough and answered the questions adequately.

First two interviews were both Half chemistry/half maths. The somerville one was half chemistry/half biology

Can’t exactly remember them all. But i’ll do my best.

1. When I snap this glow stick, why does it produce a funny colour?

2. If a general reaction is written A + B = C + D, can you work out the equation for the equilibrium constant.

3. (following on from the above question) If Kc = 3, C = D = 2, draw me the curve for the rate of reaction when changing one of the variables.

4. Talk to me about the book in your personal statement

5. *A question about the force of intermolecular attractions between amino acids and proteins*

6. *A big long question about amino acids in solution, and buffers*

7. *Questions about side chains and bonding in proteins*

8. *Question about Logarithms*

. Why Biochemistry

. Why Oxford

etc
Basically. Revise chemistry, maths and biology topics.

First day: Checkered short sleeved shirt, brown cords, brown trainers (DC’s)

Second day: Similar to above, but with a polo shirt instead of shirt.

Impressions

Very impressed. The buildings are inspiring. The JCR is also pretty cool. The sofa’s are comfy and it’s a decent place to just chat and relax with people. Also there’s a pool table and a table tennis room =)

Fairly large. Had a sink, bed, chair etc. It was comfy enough

Nice. Alot nicer than I expected.

For my subject? Fairly accomodating and nice, but business-like

From what i saw, they were very nice and helpful. Always willing to answer questions

Final stage

Fairly apprehentious. Optimistic, but it was annoying waiting for it (although to be fair they are quick)

Naturally I was disappointed to read the letter, but i accepted it!

Looking back

100% It was a very cool holiday and it was a great chance to showcase what i had to offer them.

Go for it. If you get an interview, it’s an opportunity which you should be optimistic about.