Application

 Oxford

 Corpus Christi

 Chemistry

 2009

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Grammar School

 yes (10 A*)

A-levels

(A at AS (272 UMS))

(A at AS (282 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (297 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

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

(A at AS (296 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics, A in Physics

AAA

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

They offer many of the most academically stretching courses in the country.

I wanted to do straight Chemistry rather than Natural Sciences.

Academically rigorous content and exceptional teaching. It is a subject I hold great enthusiasm for.

It was central, had god accomodation provision and had a generally good feel about it.

Preparation

yes

Very limited – one mock interview and an “interview skills” day. I felt the preparation I did as an individual was more useful than that provided by the school.

Make sure any practice interviews you do are stretching enough – it will be much better practice for the real thing.

Interview

no

no

no

Very good fun.

One mostly inorganic, one mostly physical chemistry. Both very short – 20 and 30 minutes respectively but a huge amount of material was covered in that time. In one there was the opportunity to lead the direction of the interview, in the other it followed a more set route.

Inorganic and physical chemistry, but with a fair amount of maths knowledge expected.

Smart trousers and a jumper. Nothing too formal, but all relatively neat.

Impressions

I only visited my first choice college. It was small and seemed a lovely place to live and study.

The accomodation I was given was one of the nicer rooms, of a good size and with ensuite and tea-making facilities. All the other applicants seemed to think well of their rooms also.

Fine.

Exceedingly intelligent. Nonetheless they seemed perfectly friendly and polite.

Very normal, if rather busy, people. As I am sure they are at all colleges.

Final stage

Of course there is a lot of suspense in the waiting part, but I felt I had achieved as well as I could have and thought I had a fighting chance.

Christmas eve, a nice thick-looking envelope through the post.

Looking back

Of course. The applications procedure alone is very rewarding.

1) Vocalise your thought processes to give the tutors an insight into how you work through a problem.
2) Give any question a go, there is no point in just saying you don’t know.
3) Enjoy yourself – this is a subject you want to study for the next 4 years and the interviewers want to see an enthusiastic, willing student whom they’d like to teach.