Application

 Oxford

 St Peter’s

 English Language and Literature

 2001

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – selective

 yes (5 A*,3 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)

Advanced Extension Awards

(predicted Distinction; gained Distinction)

Other universities

yes

yes

Going to a London Uni. Better career prospects. Plus, I’ll end with this little story. In my GAP year I came across 2 people just graduates from Uni. One had a first class Science degree from Oxford, the other a lesser degree from Birmingham Uni. The Oxford grad now temps for agencies at around minimum wage, the Birmingham grad has moved into the City and works for a top London firm. Enough said.

Decisions about the application

Always naturally assumed I would apply so gave it a go.

Didn’t even consider Cam, such a lifeless city

Low number of applicants/places ratio. Good location. Knew someone there.

Preparation

no

The form: I guarantee you, your interviewers will hardly ready any forms you send. I have applied twice and both times they didn’t seem to have a clue of what I put on the forms

The interview: Just read a hell of a lot. Make sure you really think about ideas in depth, and have a good book lined up as one you’re reading at the moment, as they ALWAYS ask “So what are you reading at the moment”

Interview

no

yes

Couple of classwork essays. Make sure you re-write them and get them checked by a teacher.

no

Not much. Confusing old english passage, couldn’t see how that helped selection.

Dont bother preparing answers to the “Why oxford…”, “Why English…” answers. They haven’t got time for that. It’s pretty obvious if you are applying you really want to go. Questions were just 100% English realted. One tip: don’t voice strong opinions, take a balanced view.

Smart casual

Impressions

Good atmosphere. Nice place. A little fake perhaps and there was plenty of underlying tension and backstabbing underneath the niceties.

Biggish rooms, but in ugly 60s building surroundings

Edible but not great

Young.

Friendly, perhaps over friendly.

Final stage

Didn’t have a place. A little pissed off, considering second time of applying and one of only 10 people in country to get an S in STEP level English.

Looking back

Well obviously not. Getting rejected isn’t very nice.

Grades/personal statement dont mean much. The interview is 9/10ths of the law. Just make sure you read lots, have enthusiasm (faked or not) and perhaps if youre from an Ind school – think twice about applying. Most Oxford Colleges now persuecute Private School pupils and I found there was a definite animosity against Ind School applicants