Application

 Oxford

 Christ Church (open application, allocated college)

 Chemistry

 2009

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (8 A*,2 A)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

Advanced Extension Awards

(predicted NA; gained NA)

Other universities

no

Decisions about the application

Obvious reasons; you can do pretty much what you want with an Oxford degree/ higher salary etc etc

Cambridge only Offers a Natural Sciences course, not Chemistry

Quite good at Chemistry, good career prospects interesting.

I couldn’t really decide, and I kinda believe in fate so… i thought if i didn’t mind then i couldnt be disappointed.

Preparation

no

I did have one mock interview with the head and another teacher (one question she asked did actually come up in my real interview!) i read alot of books about applying and all advice available especially on sites like this on the internet.

look online on forums and stuff about qus that come up, make sure you can state something you’ve read in New Scientist recently. BOND ANGLES

Interview

no

n/a

no

nooo

no

noooo

BAD. I babbled alot and needed alot of prompting. One of the professors kept on saying ‘are you sure?’ at EVERYTHING and that was kinda off putting.

They didn’t tell you if you had a second interview until 10am the next day so that was quite annoying and stressful!

Physics questions ( i didn’t take physics so struggled)! and integration and differentiation maths questions. There were more inorganic questions than organic (which I was dreading) in the inorganic/organic interview.

One question was “does it take longer for an egg to boil up a mountain” in my interview at Trinity they asked about IR and UV waves and the greenhouse effect.
THey asked how many molecules in a glass of water qu, the answer is 6.022^23 because 18 cm of water means n= m/mr. Had to draw phosphoric acid in inorganic
Questions about cis-trans and optical isomers. Question about a mass on a spring and if you took a picture where was it most likely to be in relation to x (a line that he drew) and it was the opposite to what you’d expect because it travels faster in the middle.

A suit and heels and a silk blouse. I feel more confident wearing a suit but other people were wearing a variety of clothes including jeans… most medics were in suits however.

Impressions

I visited Trinity which was very pretty, Christ Church is very grand and Harry Pottery with tom tower, a cathedral and the hall where they filmed for Harry Potter.

rooms were ENORMOUS but really cold, my room was in the attic and the showers were in the basement! and lots and lots of stairs but the place was very pretty.

As a vegetarian, not great. breakfast was nice however. I am quite fussy though! Proper 3 course at dinner, lunch was a variety of things.

Friendly, bit crazy. Helpful in the interview and they aren’t scary or trying to trip you up.

Really friendly and nice especially the Chemistry ones. Very normal.

Final stage

Nervous! I was expecting not to get in due to my apauling interviews and rejection from Imperial.

I got a letter on CHRISTMAS EVE saying I was rejected, was pretty upset about it especially as 3 of my friends (not at my school) did get in to Oxbridge despite having lower AS grades and less extra curricular stuff and I was with 2 of them when they found out!!!! salt in wound much?

Looking back

Yes, if I decided I really really wanted to go I would go to a grammar school however. If I knew I wasn’t going to get in though I would have worked far less hard at AS. It is heartbreaking not to get in even if you feel you don’t really mind if you go or not.

make sure you really have chosen the right course, practice interviews! read forums. read outside the subject. revise physics and bond angles!