Application

 Oxford

 Christ Church

 Mathematics

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (4 A*,7 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Mathematics, A in Mathematics (Further)

AAB

yes

I’ll be making Oxford my firm acceptance and Imperial College my insurance.

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I suppose it had always been a target, and I felt it was realistic enough to achieve.

I went to an open day to Oxford and was pretty happy with what I saw. In all honesty, I also thought that applying to Cambridge to maths was going to be harder, and that I wouldn’t get anything more out of going there.

I wanted to do to a large college and Christ Church is pretty big. It also has a huge amount of history which I found appealing. There was also the ‘comfort’ factor of being guaranteed accomodation in reasonably big rooms for all four years.

Preparation

yes

We looked at abstract maths problems for a few weeks before the interviews. I also had a mock interview, but that wasn’t of any use since there was no-one at school to give me a subject-specific interview and all the intervies that I had were subject specific.

Review curve sketching and basic calculus. Make sure you know a little about the area of mathematics that you are going to say that you are interested in. Wear what you are most comfortable in to your interviews.

Interview

no

no

yes

There was a two and a half hour test to do the day before interviews began. I looked at the specimens on the Internet beforehand and although the actual test was a bit different, they are well worth going through. If there are questions you couldn’t do, it might be worth thinking/talking about them so that you might have something to say the next day when you are asked about them in your interview.

I had two interviews at the college, and then one the next day at Brasenose. All three were entirely mathematical. One of the interviews was spent going over the test, the others involved mathematical problems.

Apart from reviewing the test I was asked questions on curve sketching, which appears to be a very common area of questioning. Its probably worth going over that before your interview. I was asked about an area of mathematics that I was particularly interested in, so it important to have an area of specialism before you get there.

I wore a suit, which is what I felt comfrotable in.

Impressions

It was very big and opulently built and steeped in history but not intimidating and was in fact reasonably friendly. I went to an open day there, and there wasn’t really anything that put me off.

The room I was put up in for interview was really big. I had a huge sitting room, with sofas, a desk, a table ets. and tea making facilities!! Coming off that I had a small bedroom. Using a bathroom did however, involved coming out into a freezing cold quad, which isn’t too much fun in your pyjamas at three in the morning! Most of the rooms at the the college were quite big, though not as big as the room that I had which was second/third year accomodation.

Edible but not great

All meals were taken in the hall, which was really cold and so the food got pretty cold pretty quickly.

They were very accomodating and tried to make the interviews as painless as possible!

They were mostly firendly, helpful, appraochable and confident.

Final stage

I actually found out over the phone from my Dad who was at home at the time. I was hugely relieved, but I still have to get the grades so I don’t think I’m there yet.

Looking back

Most definately

Don’t be intimidated by the standard – I don’t imagine that you have to be a genius to get in, and I’m sure that most people do enjoy the experience if they do get in.