Application

 Oxford

 St John’s

 Law

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

Non-selective state 11-18 school

 yes (2 A*,7 A)

A-levels

(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

AAB

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Because I’ve always aimed high, and when the suggection was made to me, i thought why not? You’ll never know if you’ve got what it takes to get in unless you apply.

It was never really a decision between the two, I really liked oxford, i knew that was where I wanted to go

I had a very thorough method for choosing a college! First i eliminated all those that weren’t located right in the city centre( so your closer to the library, shops, other colleges etc), then those that were too small (i wanted to go to a large college), and yes, I’ll admit it, the reputation of the college did play a part in my decision. The one thing I will say is don’t base your decision on the applications to place ratio, because these vary GREATLY, from year to year, as I found out when I turned up for my interview and found about an extra 15 people than I had been expecting!!!!

Preparation

yes

Yes. I was given 2 mock interviews, one by my history teacher and one by a teacher i didn’t know. Both were helpful in giving me confidence, but neither were anything like the actual interview.

Um, not really. I just talked about why I had applied to oxford( i tried to do this without sounding like i was sucking up), why i chose St John’s and what I felt I would get out of 3 years at Oxford. Im not sure exactly how much it counted for, but they didn’t ask me about it. The only thing I would say is to make sure that it is different from your ucas statement, that your saying something you haven’t already written.

Interview

no

no

yes

Yes, I had to take an hour long legal aptitude test. It said on the letter they sent me beforehand that you couldn’t prepare for it, and you can’t. I had to read a text then answer questions about it, and then I had to write a response to it. I wouldn’t worry about the test too much, as one of the law undergraduates told me afterwards that it doesn’t actually count for that much, but whether that it is actually true or whether he was just saying that to stop me worrying I don’t know.

I only had one, and it was on the first day, so i spent the next two days just lounging basically. The interviews were running about an hour behind, so i was stood in the porter’s lodge waiting for ages, talking to the other candidates. When i eventually went in, i was sat at the end of a long table, with one of the interviewers in front of me and the other to my left (she was primarily taking notes). It lasted for about half an hour, but it felt much longer.

The first questions i was asked were the typical ones like why do you want to come to oxford, why st john’s, why do you want to study law (i got the feeling your response to this one was quite important). Then, they gave me a legal scenario, and then they asked me what i felt should be done. At first, it was like my brain had shut down, i couldn’t think of what to say, but then i remebered the advice someone had given me of not sitting there in silence while you sit, to think outloud because they want to see how your mind works things out, so thats what I did. After this they just kept asking me different questions about the same scenario, sometimes altering parts of it so that i would have to think about it in a different way.

I wore a suit, going with the idea that you can underdress for an interview, but you can’t overdress, but you should just go in what you feel most comfortable in.

Impressions

The college was really nice, really spacious, the ideal place to spend three years (in my opinion).

Impressive. The rooms were spacious, well equipt, the bathroom was always clean (v.important), abd basically this college has everything you could possibly want.

Edible but not great

They seemed very nice, very understanding.

They were really nice, very heplful, glad they were there.

Final stage

It was the worst two weeks of my life!!! I was sure I hadn’t got in, and i was really upset. The day before the letter came, I phoned the college to ask if the letters had been sent out, and she said that the rejection letters had already been sent out, but the letters offering places had only been sent that day. After that I felt a bit more hope, but still didn’t want to presume anything cause the post could just have been late. the next day, my parents came to pick me up from school and they handed me the letter (which they had already opened, they wanted to see my reaction when i found out) and when i saw the opening sentence ‘ we are pleased to offer…..’ i was just felt like a million emotions at once. I was shocked, happy etc.. I ran back into school to tell my head of sixthform, who hugged me and was really pleased, and then i phoned all my friends to let them know, becuase they had asked me everday for the past two weeks ‘have you heard?’ ‘have you heard?’ ‘have you heard?’

Looking back

Yes, because i got in, and obviously, i never would have got in if I hadn’t applied.

Make sure you know why you want to study law, and don’t just say because you want to be a solicitor/barrister as I think they want something more than that. Talk with confidence (not arrogance), even if thats not what your feeling on the inside, and don’t be afraid to ask qusetions. Finally, once its over, don’t try and second guess how it went. I thought my went terribly wrong, and no one could convince me otherwise, but turned out alright in the end.

Make sure you really want to study your chosen subject, don’t be put off by the overly confident people at the interview, and don’t be put off by the number of people there to interview for your subject. I had 40 people for 8 places at mine, and i thought I didn’t stand a chance, but I still got in, so don’t let it bother you.