Application

 Oxford

 Jesus (open application, allocated college)

 Geography

 2003

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Independent – selective

 yes (3 A*,3 A)

A-levels

(A at AS)

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

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

(A at AS (240 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Geography

AAA, Excluding General Studies

yes

N/A

firm offer – oxford. insurance – southampton or exeter becuase they are the only other unis which gave me offers lower than AAB

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Presitge of Oxford, not too far away from home (but far enough!), course is perfect for me, good bus service to London, fell in love with the place.

Visited both. Didn’t like the atmosphere at Cambs. Fell in love with Oxford from the first moment. Felt at home there, and was a bigger place than Cambs with more diversity due to Oxford Brooks also being present.

Middle of the norrington table, one of the best for geography with a high number of geogo undergrads, high number of fellows/geog tutors, central location, large number of undergrads, good at sports, good accomodation.

Preparation

yes

Yes, I had an interview session once a week for an hour after school for about 2 months with a Dr in Human geography, also, 1 extra lesson a week for about 2 months prior covering off-syllabus work.

The form: Ring up the college, ask them if they want you to write anything on the extra app. form. Write original stuff or nothing at all.
The interview: Know all areas on you SYLLABUS well. I knew too much off syllabus and not enough on, especialy from your AS course. Read a few off syllabus articled but mainly KNOW YOUR SYLLABUS AREAS well. All my questions were on things that i had civered way back in the begining of AS or hadnt covered yet in A2! Therefore, read ahead, know a bit on everything. Relax when you are there – it’s only another uni. Go out, meet people, go the pub, have a laugh!

Interview

no

yes

Yes, 2 essays. 1 physical, 1 human to show diversity. 1 timed essay under exam condiditons, one extended homework piece, again to show diversity.

no

1st one (human) was AWFUL, made to feel awful, did everything they could to unsettle me and pushed me so far, made me feel stupid. Didn’t shake my hand, nodded to lead me down the wrong track. Went out and cried so much after.

2nd (Physical) – excellent, really enjoyed myself, one tutor just looked at me bored the whole time, the other was getting really excited and we babbled on for ages! I really enjoyed it!

1st one – no nice questions. Nothing to settle me down, straight into questions on the article, then responding to population pyrimids, then asked to explain what I saw in photographs. Talked about informal sector jobs, and the causes for the rise in informal sector jobs. Talked about the yosemite national park (i mentioned I visited there on my ucas form) and the problems with high numbers of tourists to national parks etc etc. Was over (well it seemed) very quickly. A physical – talked about what subjects I’m doing at school, why they were a good choice etc, what my inspiration is to study geog etc. Talked about the artical, lead onto CO2 sinks, had to name them etc, talked about chemical weathering and CO2 etc etc to a level far above A level. Given a picture from a big book, asked to descirbe it, then work out what it was, why its there, explain why certain faeautres were present. prompts were given where necessary but I always manage to get to the right answer phew! When they asked if I had any more questions i asked something else about the picture.

1st one – black pinstrbe trousers, black shoes and a hooded jumper, causual and relaxed. 2nd one – black pinstripe trousers, black shoes and a huge comfy blue jumper. most important thing is to be comfortable, they dont care what you wear!

Impressions

Loved Jesus, loved most of them really. Not really much to say other than state the obvious.

My room was 1st year and was HUGE, only 2 years old. Bed was hard and uncomfy though. Take your own pillow. Radiators came on at about 6am and woke me up.

Edible but not great

all friendly outside the interviews, 2 were horrible to me in the interviews, 1 just looked bored, 1 was great!

helpful, friendly

Final stage

was told would arrive between the 19-23. Arrived on the 22nd. Post was late, came at 2pm. I cried when I got the place, couldn’t believe it, shock!

Looking back

duh, YES! go for it, its a lot of work but worth it

All is above I think, just know your subject well, be aware that a levels only scratch the surface, don’t be fooled by the tutors mind games in the interviews.