Application

 Oxford

 Pembroke (open application, allocated college)

 Chemistry

 2007

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (7 A*,5 A,1 C)

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)

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Biology, A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics

AAA

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Well to be honest in th beginning i wasn’t going to, only the fact that I didn’t have 5 universities that caught my eye and because one of my freinds was applying made me do it.

Well, Cambridge dont offer a “straight” chemistry course whereas Oxford do 🙂

I don’t know, only because I enjoy it really and its one of my better subjects. Probably because my chemistry teachers in school are really enthusiastic, and it rubbed off on me!

I wanted to have the best chance possible and read somewhere that making an open application diverts you to the college with the lowest applicants : place ratio. Plus oxford is oxford, the college is just a small detail!

Preparation

yes

We had a special woman come in 3 times, but she was a french teacher and the only useful piece of advice i got was to wear a suit (which made me feel more at ease). Although she was handy when writing my personal statement. I also had one mock interview, this was proably the best preparation I had because it lets you know what you suck at! And so you know what to read up on lol.

READ AHEAD IN YOUR NOTES, this helped e loads, because it made me feel a lot better before the interview but quite a few questions were asked on stuff that I hadn’t done in class. It’d probably be the worst thing to have to say “we havent done that yet”

Interview

no

no

no

The guy interviewing me was really nice, made e feel at ease straight away. Nothing like my mock interview! Thee was another guy there but he was just taking notes I think.

Picked one topic from my statement (chirality), then just random stuff lol.

Right, started off with “Why Chemistry?” which relaxed me a bit then staight in to it. We then talked about chirality, what is it, examples, chirality in biological systems, differentiating between enantiomers…
Then he showed me an “alien” periodic table with only 6 groups. He made me talk about the sort of bonding between different groups, periodicity, and to deduce the element of life, from this i had to predict the shapes of molecules (trigonal planar) and so deduce that is was a 2-D universe. We then talked about aldehydes/ketones, test to distinguish, mechanism of oxidation (couldnt do that!!!) where does the oxygen come from when aldehyde is oxidised (using tollens). ummm… oh and then did a bi about transition metals, why their coloured and then talked about why are things coloured in general, couldn’t do that but with a little help was able to do it. Interiew ended then after I had the chance to ask a few questions 🙂

Suit, I dunno, wanted the interviewer to think that I’d made an effort.

Impressions

The other applicants were really nice, not as snobby as i thought! Managed to get on with almost everyone although there’s bound to be some people that you dont like! Nice comfy jcr, felt welcoming and I didnt want to leave really.

I had a nice size room, was lucky to get an en suite. It was quite old (staircase 7 i think) but that made it even better 😛 Whats the point of having these old buildins and modern rooms!

The meat was nice but I wasn’t sure if the veg was meant to be cooked or raw it was sort of in between!

The man who interviewed me was really nice and friendly a bit eccenctric i think though lol.

Always willing to talk if you wanted help, quite funny aswell

Final stage

I was trying to act normal and failing miserably, couldn’t really concentrate, it didnt care wheteher or not I got in in the end I just wanted the wait to be over!

It was awesome, in the back of my mind I didnt really expect to get in but it was th best surprise ever.

Looking back

Definitely although its really stressful I definitely would even if I hadn’t got in because the school ive you so much more attention if you apply to Oxbridge it dramatically increases your chances of getting in elsewhere!

Definitely give it a go, its only one out of 5 choices and if you get invited to interview you get at least 2 days free accomodation and free roam of all the colleges! You can even see the Harry Potter great hall in christ church, and if you do get a tour by the conductor it was the best part of the whole trip!