Application

 Oxford

 Keble

 Biological Sciences

 1999

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – non-selective

 yes (7 A*,2 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

N/A

Decisions about the application

Prestige

I wanted to study science, but the NatSci course didn’t appeal to me.

Studying biology specifically interested me more than the Natural Sciences course at Cambridge.

When I visited it, the college seemed very friendly.

Preparation

yes

Very general, but gave us advice and hints about interviews.

Make your application stand out from the norm.

Interview

no

no

no

Two tutors asked me questions for about 25 minutes. I was sat opposite hem, in an easy chair. I was asked for my opinions, rather than just testing my knowledge, the tutors questioned my answers, making it more into a debate.

I was asked about current issues in the subject, as well as questions about a piece of text shown to me before the interview. I was also questioned on things I had written on my personal statement, and about what interested me in the subject.

Smart trousers and a shirt, to look smart but not overly so.

Impressions

Impressive surroundings.

Good sized rooms, all facilities provided – no problems.

Good
(And if you’re vegetarian, say so when the waiters come round, and look out for the healthy options – there are some.)

Pleasant enough.

Not that friendly although the one that showed me around initially was helpful, some of the others seemed rather standoffish. The other applicants were a lot more friendly.

Final stage

I didn’t have long to wait, got the letter within a few days of getting home.

Looking back

Of course! I had a great experience during the interview, and made new friends even though I didn’t get in.

Be friendly to other applicants, don’t be afraid to talk to anyone during the interview period. Take some time to explore the town, it may come in useful later. Try to enjoy it, and have fun!