Application

 Oxford

 Brasenose (open application, allocated college)

 Engineering Science

 2007

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 overseas

 Pakistan

 Comprehensive School

 yes

A-levels

(A at AS)

(NA at AS)

(NA at AS)

(A at AS)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics (Further), A in Physics

yes

yes

yes

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Great international repute and standard of education. Plus Oxbridge was the only place where suitable scholarships were present among the UK universities.

I am interested in the design of machines and being able to build them. Also, had a strong background in Maths and Physics.

I didn’t know much about the individual colleges.

Preparation

no

No

DON’T BE NERVOUS OR TENSE. Just relax and take your time answering the questions. When answering, literally speak your mind out. Tutors want to know your thinking process more than the answers.

Interview

no

No

no

No

no

No

First one at Brasenose was not so good. I was so tense I could’ve sworn I was speaking gibberish. Second one at Wadham was pretty good since by that time I knew what to expect and the tension had mostly disappeared. Brasenose one lasted for 45 minutes while Wadham for 30 minutes. The tutors were quite helpful throughout the interview.

The tutor at Brasenose focused on Engineering problems. The tutors at Wadham focused on Physics problems and a little something from my personal statement.

At Brasenose he started from differential equations, asking what they were, how engineers use them, how to apply them when studying vibrations of aircraft wings. He asked why is aluminium still in aircraft used when composites are available (Got that one wrong). Also he provided a diagram and equations of a car suspension and asked how to improve it etc. Those at Wadham first asked the relation between F1 cars and aircrafts (from my statement), then asked me to form mathematical models of a ball attached to a spring regarding force, velocity, and the mathematical relation between current and time in an inductor circuit.

Interview took place on phone.

Final stage

I tried not to think about it. Every time I did, I would feel hopeless.

I received the letter at night. While opening it, I think my heart must have stopped at the very moment.

Looking back

Definitely

Know the admission process and criteria inside and out. Don’t be intimidated by the prestige of Oxbridge. Just be yourself.