Application

 Oxford

 Merton

 Computer Science

 2002

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (7 A*,3 A,1 C)

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)

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

Some of my teachers suggested it, and i thought it was worth a try – nothing to lose and all that!

Cambridge was too far away, and is the best for computer science, so i guessed i had more of a chance at Oxford

I went to the open day, liked the atmosphere, and the computer science tutor.

Preparation

yes

Only a single interview the friday before i went, it lasted an hour and a half, and was with three top members of staff, and a guy from the local university. It wasn’t really that much like the oxford interview, even though it helped with my confidence a lot!

Interview

no

no

yes

Yes, a maths exam – this was the hardest exam i’ve ever had (So far), even my maths teacher took four hours to do the practice one i had. I just revised all of my maths so far, an hoped for the best.

Oxford say its on the main parts of the A-level syllabus, but i only do the most basic stuff as my school doesn’t offer double or triple maths and there was stat’s and other aspects of the paper that i had never ever seen before!!

I had three interviews, two computer science and one maths. They all consisted of doing problems, and went really well, until the interviewer(s) looked at my maths exam result and then their faces dropped (Belive me i had not done well in the exam). All my interviews were with one person apart from my first computer science one at Merton.

The computing interviews consisted of problems such as sorting a seris of O and X’s according to a set of rules. The maths one, was just to do with graphs of functions, and finding where they crossed the X-Axis etc….

Just a casual dark shirt, no tie, smart trousers, and a black jumper.

Impressions

Mertons was as nice as any other college i had visited. St Catherines (My second college) was too new, and just didn’t seem like part of Oxford.

My room was excellent, it was big, comfortable, and nice and warm. It was only a short walk from the city centre as well so that was good for extra Christmas shopping!!!! and it even had a small fridge in the corner!!!

Excellent

The food was mostly excellent, apart from breakfast which i could never seem to swallow for some reason!!!!

They were all very pleasant and friendly, even though i felt really, really stupid sometimes!

They were also really nice, and treated you as one of their friends, the last night when we all went to Laser Quest was brilliant!

Final stage

I saw a small letter come through the post, the day Before Christmas Eve, and immediatley knew it was a rejection. I knew i wasn’t going to get in before i went anyway, and especially after the exam, so i wasn’t disappointed!!!!

Looking back

Of course!!!!, i had a great time, made some new friends, and had a small taste of university life, which has left me wanting more!!!!

Make sure you know your maths back to front, and are excellent at reading and solving algorithms. But dont forget you’ve got nothing to lose!!! It’s a great experience, that i would love to relive, it’s very scary at first, and i didn’t believe the people telling me how great it was, but my experience proved me wrong.