Application

 Oxford

 NA

 English Language and Literature

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (11 A*)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(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)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in English Literature

AAB

yes

Oxford first choice. Leeds second choice.

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

All the usual cliches; good reputation, tutorial system, spectacular architechture, enchanting atmosphere etc – oh, yeah, and a fantastic course!!!
What other chance am I going to get to be taught by people who are the best in their field?

No-one from my school has gone to Cambridge in the past five years, whereas two people went to Oxford last year.
I preferred the course at Oxford.

I wandered into the open day by mistake, and I really loved it! It’s small, central and has beautiful architechture.

Preparation

yes

I was given a practice interview.

The interview: Read copious amounts.
(Also, if you have a BT Cellnet [O2] mobile, it doesn’t work at all in Oxford.)

Interview

no

yes

I sent two essays that I’d written during my AS level course. I didn’t re-write them.

no

I had two interviews, each with a tutor and a graduate.
The first was a twenty minute discussion on what interested me about English literature. The second was ten minutes comparing two poems I’d been given the night before. I’d never seen them before in my life, nor had I heard of the poets!!!

The questions were rather broad. In my first interview: – Why do you what to study the Oxford English course? – The Oxford English course is history orientated, tell me about a book that you have read that has been heavily influenced by history. – What type of literature do you enjoy reading? – What other authors write in a similar manner to… In my second interview: – Compare the two poems that you were given. – Why do you think the poet has used enjambement? Does this contradict what you said earlier about the use of the ceasura?

A black skirt (quite formal, but not as rigid as a suit), a loose, but smart camel coloured jumper (for comfort and warmth, Oxford is cold) and 4″ heeled shoes (I’m short…)

Impressions

I visited Pembroke on an open day, and disliked it. The toilets were rank, the vegetarian option at dinner was pastry filled with milk, the other open day people seemed to be the Oxford stereotype… rather pretentious, spoke a zillion languages which they’d learnt from their nanies etc I suppose it’s plus points are that it has beautiful architechture, its admission ratios are much lower etc

The college I applied to in the end is lovley!
Really beautiful, central, etc
The other interviewees were normal, friendly and as nervous as me. I had a great experience, and have kept in touch with a number of other applicants. I definitely made the right choice college wise.

I liked the room I was given – clean, reasonable sized.

Good

They provided two vegetarian options which was impressive.

Scarily normal! Not at all how I’d pictured them to be.

The students there were relaxed, approachable and welcoming. They arranged activities for the interviewees while we were there – videos in the evening, and trips to the cinema, for example.

Final stage

I was estatic!!! (Lots of shrieks of “woohoo, yey, whoop-de-doo” etc)

Looking back

Yes, even of I hadn’t been given an offer, I spent three exciting days staying in an enchanting college. Besides, I’d have regretted it if I hadn’t applied.

Have a go.