Application

 Oxford

 Pembroke

 Chemistry

 2000

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – selective

 yes (12 A*,1 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA, 3 A’s at A-level including Chemistry

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

The primary reason being that oxford and cambridge are both the most prestigious universities in the country, as well as world renouned. The fantastic research facilities at Oxford also played a major part as I hope to perhaps pursue research after I have completed my degree . However although the colleges are fairly old, most have been modernised in recent years and some of the facilities and resources available are some of the best in the country.
The tutorial system also took to my liking and I felt that I would best flourish in such a learning system, based on one to one learning. The college system was also of added benefit, and further took to my liking.

After visiting both universities and looking carefully at their prospectuses Oxford apealed more to me, as it has better facilities and resources for the degree I was applying for.

My choice was based on my visits to the individual colleges in Oxford. Pembroke appealed the most, as it was more up to date, with one of the latest facilities and resources in the chemistry labs. It has Ethernet conections throughout the college and a fantastic library with a great range of books to choose from.

Preparation

yes

Fortunately I was lucky enough to be offered extra tution for the Oxford interview and my school was very helpful in doing so. We were also given advice into how to write good personal statements and additional advise into how to complete the UCAS form. We also had a careers advisor who helped us with our interview technique. Funny enough we were also given advice about how to dress, and act. How to put across a sense of poise, intellgence, and a balanced appearence.

Carefully plan out your personal statement (you may have to write it 20 times or so, before you decide on the perfect script). If possible get someone to check it over for you and don’t hesitate to ask them for their opinion and any advice they can give you. The personal statement is very important, and although you want it to reflect you academically, you also want it to reflect you socially. I recommend putting greater emphasis on your social life in your personal statement. Write about your hobbies, what you enjoy doing, and any work experience you may have (but do not write things which are false, as the interviewer will catch you out at some point in the interview. i.e don’t write you like reading Catherine Cookson novels when you have never in you life read a book by the author. Honesty is the best. Also it is important that you describe your personal qualities and how they will help you in the course you have chosen. It is important that you stay concise and to the point, make sure you don’t babble on, as this will put across your inability to get the message across, plus your last intention is to bore the interviewer. I recommend typewriting your personal stement as it will look more sophisticated and smart….just the thing you want to get across about yourself.

Interview

no

yes

Yes I had to submit two pieces of written coursework. Both me and my teachers decided that it would be best if I submitted one of my pieces of biology coursework and my English Literature Essay which explores Shakespeare’s intention in The Merchant of Venice. This was because we both felt that it reflected both my literary competence, as well as my analytical, and investigative abilities. It is best if you have to submit coursework, to carefully choose the pieces as this will also play a major part in the selection procedure. Also note to sent relatively short pieces of coursework. The tutors do not have all the time in the world to read your essay, I recommend less than 1000 words. Over 1000 and you’re crossing the boundry to boredom! Again it is important to be concise and to get your message across.

no

I felt that I did particularly well in the interview. I was very laid back all the way through and embedded into a good constructive discussion and debate with the tutors over a wide issue of subjects and topics which were relevant to both myself and the lecturers. The topics included the implications of technology in medicine, and the Human Genome project. It is important that you are prepared to discuss topics, but no relevant knowlege is needed whatsoever, as most of the topics are so generalised that you can easily scrape by with very little effort. Rember to be constructive in your arguements and be prepared to weigh up both sides of the argument, and to change your initial argument several times as you are corrected.

I was asked some simple chemistry questions. One of the simplest being a mathematically related topic based on the principles of calculus. It involved simple integration and differentiation of simple terms, and some ionic equations. Topics such as chemical industry related questions covering electrolysis, The Bosch Haber process and Hall Herlout process, were also briefly covered. No previous knowledge is required for this as the interviewers slowly guide you through the calculation towards the solution. It is important to keep in mind that they are not testing your knowledge. They are testing how you think, whether you are capable of thinking logically and methodically and how quick you are in learning things. The average person can easily pass this part of the test with flying colours, it’s all about listening and taking note.

A smart black tailored suit.

Impressions

The college was fantastic. The people there were friendly, charming and very social, to such an extent that I made lots of friends on the first day, who kept in touch throughout the interview period at Oxford University. I was certainly impressed by the level of expertise in the college. The facilities were also impressive. There were Ethernet connections throughout the college. The Dining room was also very nice and the collection of books in the overstocked libarary was bewildering. Never in my life had I seen so many books! Plus I had the well cherished opportunity to read some fantastic novels during my three day stay there.

The decorations throughout the collge were fantastic, there’s just so much to see, to keep you busy for hours on end. I was very impressed by the architecture and the fantastic gardens to the rear of the college.

The food was great, but unfortunately there was not much choice and variety. However it was fairly cheap and convenient. You may wish to bring your own snacks and fruit but this is not necessary.

They were nice and friendly and I was offered some advice by some of them, which was of added bonus!

Final stage

When I got the letter saying I had a place I was happy and excited. But it came as no suprise, the interview had gone fairly well after all.

Looking back

I enjoyed the interview, but I woldn’t relieve it, it isn’t like me too look into the past. My eyes are set to the future!