Application

 Cambridge

 St John’s

 Economics

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (10 A*,1 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Economics

AAA

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I decided to aim for the best I could

Oxford doesn’t offer straight Economics

I went to an open day and immediately knew it was where i wanted to go

Preparation

yes

They gave me a mock interview which was about as useful as a chocolate teapot…

Read as much as you can about Economics – books, newspapers, The Economist etc.

Interview

no

no

yes

I had to do an admissions test, it was logic questions which you can’t prepare for.

I had one interview with 2 Economics fellows and a general tutorial interview with a Physicist

In my first interview I was asked to talk about an area of Economics that I was interested in, and to explain an argument from an article I had been sent beforehand. I then had to do a logic question. In my second interview I had to answer all the usual ‘Why Cambridge?’, ‘Why St. John’s?’, ‘Why Economics?’. Then about what I read, what I do in my spare time, and how my friends would describe me. Finally I had to describe a mug!

I wore a suit, so that I appeared to be taking it seriously, but with a purple shirt so that it was still me.

Impressions

I found that St. John’s was very pretty and the people were all incredibly friendly. I liked the fact it was so big. I also stayed in Gonville and Cais for a week for the Sutton Trust summer school which also seemed friendly. I wasn’t keen on Trinity when I looked round though.

My accomodation for my interview was great – sitting room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, but that was a third year room! I stayed in a first year room on the open day, and these were fairly big, especially in comparison with what I’d seen in other universities.

Good

Very friendly, the physicist was a little eccentric.

I didn’t see many students, but those I met seemed very down to earth.

Final stage

It arrived at 7:30 on a Saturday morning and my dad woke me up – it took me a while to read the letter properly but I was on a high for a few days after that.

Looking back

Definately, or I would wonder ‘what if?’

Be confident and don’t pretend to be anything you’re not.