Application

 Oxford

 Balliol

 Biological Sciences

 2002

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

(Selective Grammar School)

 yes (7 A*,3 A)

A-levels

(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)

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Biology, A in Chemistry, B in German

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

For the tutorial system really, the idea of one to one teaching appeals to me and i think it suits my style of learning.

Didn’t want to do natural sciencs, just biology, so had to be Oxford.

Looked round at an open day June 2002 and thought it was a good size, with all the right facilities and decent accommodation. also liked the central location and it seemed really friendly.

Preparation

yes

Oxbridge applications are a big deal at my school so we had an oxbridge conference and an optional interview day organised by an outside organisation. I had 3 mock interviews with staff at school.

Don’t be afraid to leave the Oxford application form blank if you can’t think of anything. If you do write something, make it different to your personal statement.

Interview

no

no

no

I had an interview at Balliol and one at Keble.

At Balliol I was questioned as to my favourite area of biology and the discussion centred around that, so I was fortunate in being able to lead the discussion into an area I knew a lot about. I was also given an article the previous night – in the interview I had to sum up the main points of the article. At Keble I was given electron microscope pictures to look at and was questioned on recently featured areas of biology such as BSE.

I wore a jumper and some smart trousers and boots – we were told to wear whatever we would feel comfortable in in that environment.

Impressions

I also looked round St Johns, Jesus and Keble. All were a good size, without being too large or small and all had good facilities, particularly St Johns. Jesus had a great, friendly atmosphere and Keble’s accommodation was good as a large proportion of the rooms are en-suite.

My room ar Balliol was quite big, but basic. It had a large desk, a book case, wardrobe, handbasin, bed, a couple of chairs and a notice board. The shower was on the same floor.

Good. Balliol doesn’t make you pay for your meals up front, which is good if you’re on a tight budget (as most students are!)

Really friendly and easy to get on with. Obviously very enthusiastic about their subject, as all Oxbridge tutors will be!

They seemed friendly, although I didn’t really see a lot of them. They were all happy to help, or answer any questions.

Final stage

Oh, it was fantastic. I was actually on a weekend away when the letter came but it was near my house so I came home, got the letter and went back. Knowing you’ve succeeded is an indescribable feeling!! It was great because I was able to celebrate with the people I went away with!

Looking back

Absolutely. Whether you get in or not, it’s a great experience as all of us will have interviews at some point if not during the uni application process. It was a god opportunity to spend a couple of days in a new place and do some shopping, generally relax and have a good time.

APPLY! If you do and you don’t get in then you’ll have tried. If you don’t apply you’ll always wonder what could have been. If you don’t get in it isn’t a failure and if you decide that you don’t want to go after receiving an offer you don’t have to accept the place – you’re not obliged to.