Application

 Oxford

 St Peter’s

 Economics and Management

 2002

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 N/A

 Independent – non-selective

 yes (8 A*,2 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

Other universities

yes

yes

Well, i’ve got an offer from UCL. Still waiting to hear from LSE. If i get into LSE, then I’ll go to LSE. Else UCL with Warwick as my Insurance

Decisions about the application

Arguably the best institution in the world. Many say it’s the ticket to “better things” in life. So once you’re in, you’re pretty much guaranteed a decent job.

Wanted to do management as well, and so Oxford was the obvious choice. Oxford’s a nicer place too (Cambridge is just a dump)

Best Applicant/Offer Ratio, Small, Central…

Preparation

yes

Had some classes on interview techniques, but they were useless. Didn’t help at all.

MAKE SURE YOU REVISE A/S AND A2 STUFF. I cannot stress more the importance of being well revised. This was something i did not do particularly well, as i was told simply to keep up to date with current economic events. For the economics interview, all they care about is theory. So make sure you know it.

Interview

no

yes

Had to submit 2 essays. Since i do economics, I submitted 2 economics essays- One about the Euro, and the other about American Steel Tariffs. I submitted these because i got a reasonably decent grade for both of them. Don’t try and send them work which is something you’re not comfortable talking about in the interview. They often use the essays as a starting point to their discussions.

yes

I had to take a written test before my interviews. You can download a sample paper from the Oxford Website. Make sure you go through this, and make sure you understand how to get the answers to the mathematical questions, because the style of questions are similar in the real test too.

Had 2 interviews. First was a management one at the Said Business School. Arrived there on time, pretty relaxed. The interviewers were very nice and made you feel quite at home. Their questions were somewhat thought-provoking, but they pushed you to argue your case in a coherent manner. They didnt expect you to know much about management as such, but i advise you to be familiar with ths subject and have some questions at the end. My second interview was an economics interview, which was significantly worse than the management one. Because i do economics, i think the questions they asked me were quite a lot harder than the questions they asked other people who didn’t study economics. But all in all, this was the interview which i screwed up. The questions weren’t challenging if you were familiar with all your A/S stuff, as well as the A2 stuff.

Management Interview : Q. There are 2 economists who are going to predict the headline rate of inflation. One is called Bob (who is old, more experienced, and has been correct 50% of the time). The other is Alan (who has just graduated from university and is familiar with the latest statistical techniques used to make economic forecasts. He is not very experienced, and has also been correct 50% of the time.) Which economist will you believe and why ? A. If you do want to choose one economist, don’t be scared to go either way as long as you can back up your answer. However, a professional manager might be inclined to combine the works of both economists (e.g. take an average of both predictions or make them work together). Economics Interview : (Mostly questions based around what you’re studying at the moment, or some stuff based on your essays you’ve sent. So when they ask you “what are you studying at the moment in Economics?”, make sure you say something that you’re comfortable talking about, because that’s what the focus of all their questions will be. That was my biggest mistake. I said the truth, and I ended up being asked questions about topics that I had only just covered in class.) Q. Why should Britan join the Euro ? Q. What is a public good ? why is a public good something which has to be provided by the government and not by the private sector ? Q. What are the disadvantages of the regulation of Privatised Industries ?

Suit. Wanted to make a good impression. Many people told me before not to wear a suit, because it would be too formal. But once i arrived there, all the other candidates were mostly wearing suits too.

Impressions

St. Peter’s was quite old and run-down. I had never been there before, and unfortunately i was allocated an old room. The heating didnt work properly, and i froze to sleep.

Rooms were fairly big. You normally had to share the one shower with 3-4 other people i think. Bring plenty of drinking water, in case you get thirsty at night. I’m not much of a tap-water fan.

Excellent

The food was surprisingly very good, despite being told otherwise prior to my interview. A good choice if you’re a veggie.

The management tutors were very nice and polite. The economics tutors were nowhere to be seen after your interview.

They seemed pretty “normal”. i’d heard rumours about oxford students being totally nerdy with no social life. But most of the students were quite active and friendly. After all, most of them get paid to stay on during their christmas holiday to help out during the interview phase.

Final stage

Well i was disappionted at first, but the letter had only confirmed what i’d been dreading all along. The good thing about oxford interviews is that they let you know quite promptly whether or not you’re in. They don’t keep you hanging around like Cambridge do. And you sort of get an idea how well you’ve done after your interview. My interviewer pretty much told me that i wasn’t in.

Looking back

Definitley, because it’s an experience in life worth re-living. Oxford is a lovely town. I definitely reccomend anyone to apply just to be able to visit it.

KNOW YOUR SUBJECT WELL – A/S and A2 stuff. They dont care that much about your extra curricular activities etc. Sure it looks good if you’re very active outside school, but they still prefer academic brilliance over anything else. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me. Remember that interviewing differs greatly from college to college, which is why i strongly reccomend to take part in mock interviews with people that you don’t know very well.