Application

 Cambridge

 Queens’

 English

 2009

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

I thought it would be good to fill this out just to help people, as I think Queens’ in particular is pretty unusual with their interviewing for English. So take note!

 yes (3 A*,5 A,1 B,2 C)

A-levels

(B at AS (237 UMS))

(A at AS (285 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

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

(A at AS (245 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (300 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Advanced Extension Awards

(predicted NA; gained NA)

Piano grade 8, theory of music, grade 5, duke of edinburgh, bronze

Other universities

no

I applied to other universities lower than Oxbridge, e.g – Manchester, Nottingham. I have offers from those but am still waiting for Edinburgh. If I don’t get Edinburgh, I’m re-applying.

Decisions about the application

I really wanted to go and because my dad went he was able to give me lots of help. Best education in English in my opinion.

Cambridge is much cosier, prettier, and the English course is heaps better than that at Oxford (in my opinion).

Combination of groundwork and flexibility.

Queens’ – the tutors seemed appropriate…now I come to think of it, they weren’t!

Preparation

yes

Mock interview.

Just prepare lots. Or maybe don’t. I prepared solid for a month, every day I would read endlessly. And I didn’t get in. Quite frankly, it’s a lot of luck and the interview seems to be the most important part. Just go with the flow I suppose. What I should have done. I was over-prepared probably.

Interview

no

yes

Two essays.

yes

An essay on a poem.

I had one interview with Zurcher and Patterson. They were both incredibly laid-back and asked me very general questions. It became more of a conversation rather than an interview. This is why I think Queens’ are unusual and why I went wrong. If you want to be challenged so you can push yourself, don’t apply to this college. I had clever answers prepared and would have liked an argument, but the two main questions in the interview (the two only questions really) were – what are you reading at home/in class and what do you think about those works? So general and quite tough in some ways.

What are you studying in class? Comment on that. What have you read recently? comment on that.

White shirt, Grey cardigan, Grey trousers, Black leather converse. Scarf.

Impressions

Nice, though I actually preferred the others. A bit dingy in parts (forgive me Queens’). New bits rather ugly. But obviously still great.

Relatively spacious.

Dont know.

Nice, but a bit vague. They didn’t seem to want to push me and certainly didn’t ask a variety of questions. I think the interview is the most important part of the application, and am therefore irritated that it wasn’t more pushing, and just so informal.

Friendly.

Final stage

Terrible. I spent a month in agony

I just got it and I feel gutted. I knew I wouldn’t get in but not getting in literally the worst feeling. I’m very un-confident in general so this won’t help. But I suppose life moves on.

Looking back

No, I would apply to Oxford for Russian. I think I have a better chance at that subject.

Don’t expect a grilling interview from Queens’. Other applicants for this college for English all experienced similar – Queens’ really DON’T push you, it’s more like a chat. I’m quite shy, so it wasn’t great. It also means you can go on and on and on without stopping. No general questions at all. Just my thoughts on books. Gah