Application

 Oxford

 St John’s

 English Language and Literature

 2000

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (4 A*,5 A,2 B)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAB

yes

Entering final year of my degree at SJC.

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

I wanted to. I loved the city and thought I had nothing to lose.

Oxford has the better reputation for English, and the liasion people I met from there were nicer and less stuffy than Cambridge

Extraordinarily pretty. Not biased against state school, close to centre of town.

Preparation

yes

Nope. They were next to useless, except for my english teacher who was incredibly supportive and helped me with application work

The form: Honesty.

The interview: Read. Read a load of varied books from Shakespeare to Steinbeck.

Interview

no

yes

2 essays, I think one was on Dicken’s Bleak House, the other on Marlowe’s Edward II. I enjoyed talking about both texts and they were strong essays.

no

Played lots of Jenga. Met lots of nice people. Argued with a tutor over Dickens’. Had no idea how I’d done. Two tutors had a good cop/ bad cop thing going on. Generally all friendly and the social life organised by the JCR was good.

Can’t remember much, sorry. Did have to analyse some unseen pieces, which we discussed. My essays also came up quite a bit. Hence the argument.

A long skirt and blouse with knee high boots. I felt comfortable yet smart. It also showed more individuality than wearing a classic trouser/shirt combo.

Impressions

I love it. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Great people, lovely buildings all fab.

Room sizes vary, although first year tends to be small. Facilities good.

Edible but not great

Better at formal hall.

Eccentric.

Very nice.

Final stage

I went berserk and started screaming and crying. Then my parents joined in and we opened some champagne. By the time I got into college that day – everyone already knew.

Looking back

Yes, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Don’t be afraid to have your own opinion.