Application

 Cambridge

 Homerton (open application, allocated college)

 Education Studies

 1998

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 post-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (8 A,1 B)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

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

Pre AS/A2

Details about the offer

 unconditional

no

After getting my offer, I went to Durham (University College, otherwise known as Castle) for interview. As soon as I arrived there, I wanted to go there rather than Homerton. It was completely amazing. As I left the railway station, I saw the Castle (lit

yes

yes

Decisions about the application

I applied to every university that offered B.A.s in Education which had not been a polytechnic. However, I did like the idea that it was possible to go to one of Oxford or Cambridge for the subject for which I was applying.

One could not do a B.A. in Education at Oxford.

No choice for that subject.

Preparation

no

The form: Be honest, and interesting. Don’t make any spelling or grammatical mistakes. (There are more important things in life, but most Oxbridge tutors will notice these mistakes, and many will consider them an indication of lack of thoroughness.) Have attractive handwriting or choose a good font. Mention things which you have done which are to some degree relevant to the subject for which you are applying, rather than saying that you have always been interested in it.

The interview: It’s not really the same as all the others. You’ll obviously have done some work experience in a school and will hopefully want to talk enthusiastically about that. Be sure to have talked to the teachers there about the things that concern them. No harm in reading the T.E.S.

Interview

no

yes

An essay on ‘Antony and Cleopatra’, which had been written as a timed one-hour essay in class, because it got a good mark.

no

I cannot remember much about them. There were two – an Education one and an English one. In the English one, the woman said that she’d like to see me doing a full English degree at Cambridge.

Really can’t remember. In the English one, we talked about the essay, amongst other things. They were both quite enjoyable.

Again, I can’t remember. However, I would say not to take any notice of some of the entries where they tell you to not wear a suit. Wear clothes that you feel at ease in, but there is no harm in wearing whatever is at the smart end of this. It is better to outdress the tutors than be underdressed. I doubt that any would take a negative note of a well-dressed person, but some will take such a note of someone scruffily dressed.

Impressions

I was really taken with it at the time, and really hoped that I got in. I didn’t see any other colleges.

I cannot remember too many specifics, but as I say, I was very taken with it.

They seemed nice.

Very friendly and helpful – that I do remember quite well.

Final stage

I was really pleased. Although I thought it very likely that I would get in, I was very keen to go there and so it was still quite a buzz.

Looking back

Yes. If I had still applied for Education, then I would know what Homerton was like, and that I had got in. If I had been applying for something else, then I hope that I would have, so that I would have known whether or not I would have got in. (I think I would have got in, on balance, even with the C.) However, my school did not encourage people to apply to Oxbridge at all. I think it thought that the standards were much higher than they were/are.

Do apply if you think you might want to go. Don’t if the only reasons are your parents/teachers. Put a lot of thought into which college you would like – they are pretty different, really. If you really cannot visit in advance, then you can at least base it on the statistics in the prospectus/on the web pages. Don’t put too much trust in subjective descriptions, though. Only apply to somewhere like Magdalen if you are very good, but don’t feel that you can only apply somewhere rubbish like St. Catz (Oxford). Do not put in an open application, especially if you are a girl.