Application

 Oxford

 Christ Church

 Mathematics

 2002

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (8 A*,2 A,1 B)

A-levels

(NA at AS)

(NA at AS)

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

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

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

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

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

I wanted my work to be challenging. Also because i thought the whole Oxford experience would be cool.

No step paper. Thought it would be easier to get in.

Old, Pretty, Low application rate (apparently!)

Preparation

no

Know your A Level syllabus well. Also have a go at some questions (the kind that are on the step paper) that really make you think and use the techniques that you’ve used at A level in new situations. i also read “Fermats Last theorem” and a book by Ian stewart so that I could talk about mathematical interests extending beyond my A Levels.

Interview

no

no

yes

2.5 hour xam on the day I came up. VERY Important as this is the main deciding factor for the tutors. Got samples off the internet beforehand.

I had 5! Tutors nice. Great fun. I had the usual two at Christ Church and then they send me off to St Hildas and St Johns in the vague hope that they had spare places.

asked about what i got wrong on the test. Odd integrations, Drawing bizzarre curves. some of the stuff Id done at A level but also a lot of odd stuff that couldn’t be prepared for.

smart jumper and a skirt

Impressions

Big and incredibly beautiful. A bit too much like a boarding school for my liking though.

I had a big and tastelessly decorated room looking out onto the meadow which was nice. But my friend had a tiny room which looked out onto a wall. So pretty variable really. washing facilities a bit scanky.

Good

Nice but some overambitious ideas that didn’t quite come off.

Nice

seemed nice, but didn’t see much of them.

Final stage

I hadn’t really expected to get in so wasn’t bothered. but the report they sent to my referee said that that I impressed them and in a normal year I would have got a place. Except when I applied 31 applicants for 6 places.

Looking back

Yes. i reckon I was right in giving it a shot.

Be clever and know your stuff. Also be enthusiastic.