I had to finish my Croatian Matura as an A-level equivalent. It’s made up of 20 subjects throughout four years, after which in the 4th year there is a final examination, composed of four subjects.
Croatian Matura (or Matriculation):
English Language and Literature – 5.0
Croatian Language and Literature – 5.0
Sociology – 5.0
Biological Sciences- 5.0
Details about the offer
And I will most likely be going if I manage to find the money they ask of me.
It was UCL actually, so in the end the decision fell upon deciding where it was cheaper. Oxford obviously offered accommodation and food, so that was well enough to win me over.
Although, if I was rich, I would’ve gone to UCL. London is amazing after all.
Decisions about the application
Reputation, obviously. The old building, the tutorial system. And also, only they and a couple of other Universities offer Human Sciences. So it was pretty obvious.
Oxford has Human Sciences. Cambridge does not. One-nil for Oxford.
Well, I have a lot of interests, so to go only for biological sciences would’ve been fine, but I would miss out on the sociology. Same thing if I were to go for Sociology.
Also, the course curriculum is wonderful, the foundation to do anything afterwards is very strong, and it’s just the perfect subject.
Magdalen. Well, it was a gradual discovery of all the things it has to offer, which sort of went like this:
-The Buildings (Just wonderful!)
-The Dear Park (This won me over)
-The Tutor (Apparently he was one of the most intelligent in the department)
-Accommodation for all three years inside the college (Very important if you’re as lazy to walk as I am)
-Free pool table.
So, yeah. Definitely Magdalen.
Nope, I got nothing from them.
Yes. Read everything!Not only Dawkins, Sykes and Jones, but anything you think is relevant. Read newspapers, articles, leaflets people give you! It’s all about realizing that everything is in a way connected to Human Sciences, and so when they ask you in interviews, you have to show them that you have this certain ‘spark’. That you can connect any two arguments in the subjects which seem completely independent of each other, like history and biology or sociology and biology. All of this is important.
Although I do think you should develop your thinking skills, as this subject is not all about facts. Theres a free copy of the TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment)on the Cambridge assessment website.
It will also give you an insight on how your own brain works, trust me.
Nope, they’ve stopped this requirement in my admissions round.
I had two interviews, as most people do for Human Sciences. My fist interview was at Magdalen, and that one actually went very good. I freaked out only a little, and making your brain work quick under stress is not a simple thing to do!
My second interview was at st. Hugh’s, and that one was ok, because I was a bit dizzy and drowsy due to lack of sleep. So I’m guessing me presenting myself as a fun and open person managed to prevail over the utter failing during the interview itself. In the end, I made the interviewers laugh, so that must’ve been a plus.
My fist interview, the Magdalen one, was very quick, and the 45 minutes I was in there seemed like 5 minutes. There was one man from America, and he asked me some Sociology questions. The main tutor was all about genetics. And his line of questioning was just….wow. From one question to another. Hard to keep up, but all in all, great.
The second interview included two people as well, although I can’t really recall what had happened to to a state I’ve mentioned earlier.
WHY HUMAN SCIENCES? (everyone gets this question. Be prepared)
American guy asking sociology questions;
How do these books explain the evolution of Sociology?
Because of what did society develop?
Are you saying that certain societies are more developed than others?
Then what about hunter/gather societies which anthropologists find to be so interesting?
And then the Head tutor (This was a bit scary:
What is the main issue with Mitochondrial DNA?
Is mtDNA a good marker?
What about the Y chromosome?
Is the SRY the only thing determining sex?
What is a Hormone?
What is Adrenaline?
So why does caffeine affect the body in a similar way as adrenaline?
The second interview at st. Hugh’s was actually all about my Personal statement and things I had read. So theres no need to really elaborate on that one.
I wore a brown causal suit-coat, dark jeans, just normal shoes, and a button up shirt. I also had my scarf on, which was in the official college colors, but I didn’t actually know this until I came over, and the other students had told me.
Both of them were amazing! Magdalen is just gorgeous, and the old building, morning mist and dear are all you need for that full blown Oxford experience.
St. Hugh’s was very far away, about 20 minutes walk from the center. However, it’s also very big, red brick, and a bit modern. All in all, it’s very nice, and as far as I could tell, a bit confusing.
My room was pretty big, and it was right in the college. I had a fireplace, and a little sink. Oh, and not to forget the giant window looking out into the quad.
Edible, but all in all, I prefer my own cooking.
They were very, very nice. Very odd too. One seemed to be addicted to movies, the other was addicted to museums. They’re just normal people, with a bit more academic experience behind them.
They were funny, outgoing and intelligent. Exactly what you would expect from such a colorful bunch.
I thought I had been rejected, and had come to terms with it. It took the letter about two weeks to arrive, and in this time, I was just looking for ways to finance UCL.
The mail managed to come in twice in one day, so the first time I looked when I was going out, there were only bills, but then when I came back after a couple of hours, there was a letter from Magdalen. It was a thin letter, so I though to myself, might as well open it, and get this little affair over with.
To my surprise, there were three pieces of paper, and a
” Dear Mr.******
I am pleased to offer you a place….”
You know the rest. And if not, I hope you find out once you get the letter.
All in all, it was a good feeling. Not a bad feeling at all.
Just be cool, be yourself. Whatever happens, it’s not the end of the World. If you’re thinking of applying, good luck!