Application

 Oxford

 Lincoln

 Economics and Management

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 N/A

 FE College

 yes (7 A*,6 A)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(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)

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

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

Also did ICT at AS level; predicted A.

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Economics, A in Mathematics

AAB, AAB, to include Economics and Maths.

yes

N/A

I accepted Oxford without a second thought and I’m here now.

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Besides the general academic reputation and the kudos associated with an Oxbridge degree, I was particularly attracted by the tutorial system. It’s a far better teaching method than lectures.

Management was my priority, and Cambridge had no suitable course.

They claimed to place extra emphasis on tutorial teaching, although I’ve found this to have little basis in truth. The reputation of the food was another important factor – and that IS true!

Since coming here, I’ve also found further advantages – the central location is a wonderful thing, and at a time when so many of my friends are desperately searching for private accommodation, I’m glad to be in a college that offers accommodation for your entire course should you need it.

Preparation

yes

Mock interviews were available to anyone who wanted one (not just Oxbridge applicants), but I forgot to arrange one… More importantly, my college asks Oxbridge applicants to fill in a report of their interview, which gets filed for reference for later applicants.

There’s not much to the Oxford application form – the only key difference from the UCAS form is an extra private reference, and that’s not something the applicant has to worry about.

Interview

yes

I took the standard university-wide E&M exam, a specimen example of which is available on the Oxford website. Glancing over that was the only preparation I did; this exam tests the way you think, and you cannot really prepare for it. To be honest, though, though it seemed frightening, it was actually quite enjoyable – not something I often say about exams!

yes

E&M applicants submit two pieces of written work. I entered one essay on the importance of training in business, partly because it was one of my better ones but more because I’d brought both management theory and economics into the same one, making it ideal as a submission piece. I’m afraid I can’t remember the second. 🙂

yes

I had two interviews: one for Management and one for Economics. Each was with a pair of interviewers from that subject.

Advice:

Read. Firstly, read a book. Maybe one for each subject. Don’t go overboard and clear out your library, I’m sure one will do. Make sure you think about it and be able to talk about the issues it raised.

Secondly, be aware of current affairs, and if you’ve studied either Business or Economics (NOT a requirement, I might add), try to apply your theory to what’s going on in the real world.

Personally I took a copy of the Financial Times with me when I went up to Oxford to interview, but by the time I arrived, I was too nervous to read it and spent my time pacing around my room. When I got back from my Management interview, I found pages two and three of it devoted entirely to what I’d had to talk about. If only, if only…

In Management, I was first asked if I’d read anything in the subject, and then had to briefly discuss it. Then we moved on to discuss private sector involvement in health care. Economics centred quite a bit on me and my reasons for taking the course. I believe this is rare, however, and they just wanted to clear a few things up; don’t assume it to be generally true. I also had to explain some things about the theory of perfect competition.

A suit – I’m comfortable in one. It was the right choice for Management, where both interviewers were also in suits. Wrong choice for Economics, though, where the interviewers were dressed rather more casually. 🙂

Impressions

It’s lovely here! If you have any questions about Lincoln, email me.

Lincoln’s accommodation is extremely variable, and all the same rent. One of my coursemates had a room at the beginning of the year that should have been designated as a store cupboard – it was tiny. Another friend has separate bedroom, bathroom and study! My room is great – it’s spacious and very well furnished, although unfortunately on the third floor.

Excellent

It’s not cheap here – presumably because Lincoln is so proud of its food (and has to pay such an exorbitant salary to its chef!) But it’s well worth it. However, I must stress that most of the first-year accommodation has no self-catering facilities at all. Not even a fridge. (You can’t even have a mini-fridge in your own room due to electrical appliances regulations!) If you’re not the kind of person who can live with set meal times, then while I hate to say it, Lincoln probably isn’t for you, at least in the first year. If you can, of course, it’s fantastic.

They’re fine. Margaret Stevens, the Fellow here in Economics, is lovely, and you’ll probably meet her at interview. Alexander Gümbel, the Management tutor, doesn’t always get involved in admissions, so you may not meet him until you arrive.

Lincoln has a reputation for being rather insular, and it’s true. Lincolnites talk to and socialise with each other almost exclusively. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but it’s fair to say that students here are more inward-looking than at other colleges. That’s not to my taste, but it is to a lot of people. It means very close groups are formed here, and you’ll get to know loads of people. It means that everyone’s really friendly to you, and if unlike me you venture outside your room at interview, you’ll be well looked after. But it doesn’t suit everyone.

Final stage

Well, the whole house heard my cry of elation.

Looking back

Well, of course, since I’m having a fantastic time here!

As far as I’m concerned, there is only one reason for you not to apply to Oxbridge, and that is if they don’t offer a course that interests you. Otherwise, seize the opportunity regardless of any fears you may have. You are in no position to judge your chances of getting in, believe me, so if you’re thinking to yourself, “I’ll never get in” – then put that thought out of your mind and apply. If you don’t make it, the interview experience itself is worthwhile. If you do – you’ll never look back.