Application

 Oxford

 Merton

 English Language and Literature

 2008

 offer made

Applicant

 Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

 post-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (8 A*)

Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

Italian was done through independent study.

Details about the offer

 unconditional

yes

yes

yes

 offer met

Decisions about the application

It just seemed so full of interesting people! It’s also an amazing opportunity to work with people who are at the top of their academic field. All the cliched reasons really are true! The reputation, the beauty, the resources, the people (the food); all of these persuaded me to give it a shot.

I never really gave it much thought – Oxford always stood out for me.

I’ve always wanted to study English ever since I was a wee girl. Plus, practically my whole family studied it so it seemed to be inevitable really!

I chose Merton because everyone says the food is arguably the best in the university. It has beautiful grounds, the students are friendly and it has the Time Ceremony :O I didn’t really know about its academic reputation when I applied but I did panic when someone told me! It all turned out ok in the end though.

Preparation

no

Interview

yes

I sat the ELAT.

yes

I just sent in my Advanced Higher dissertation. I think the title was ‘An exploration of the place of passion in the work of Jane Austen’.

no

I really wasn’t sure how my interviews had gone. I hadn’t been sure what to expect so I was really just thinking on my feet.

It was pretty much a chat about authors and themes that particularly interest me. It was all extra reading that I had done outside of my school work and the tutors were really interested in taking my away from what I had already thought about and challenging me to look at texts with a different focus. It sounds worse than it was, I really enjoyed myself!

It’s difficult to say as it wasn’t so much a question and answer session but a discussion.

I wore a casual dress that I’ve had for ages because I wanted to look reasonably smart but still be comfortable and feel like myself.

Impressions

It was really friendly and relaxed. It was easy to forget that we were all here for interviews and just have a good time.

The rooms were pretty standard – a bed, desk, comfy chair, shelves, cupboard, sink etc – the bathrooms were shared but they were clean and tidy.

Good 🙂

It was difficult to tell in an interview situation but they seemed friendly and interested in what you had to say.

Very friendly and ready to answer any questions you might have.

Final stage

I convinced myself I wasn’t going to get in so I became kind of detached from the whole thing. The day the letter arrived I was a nervous wreck though!

I genuinely couldn’t believe it – I still can’t really! It was amazing!

Looking back

Yes.

I know it’s a lot easier said than done but just be yourself and relax. Treat it as an experience and an opportunity to have a good time. There’s no point in panicking because at the end of the day you either get in or you don’t. If you’re applying to Oxbridge then you’re clearly going to get in to a brilliant university anyway, even if it isn’t this one. In my interview I just said what I thought and laughed at my own jokes – if it worked for me…!