United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (3 A*,3 A,6 B)


(A at AS)

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

(A at AS (293 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

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

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

Other universities


Decisions about the application

I liked the prospect of studying with students who were very able.

I chose Oxford because I preferred the atmosphere in the town, compared to Cambridge.

I had always wanted to study Maths since I was a young child.

I went through the list of colleges, crossing off the ones that appealed to me less, until one was left.



I had three or four meetings with a Maths teacher during lunchtime, in order to look over any problems I had.

Prepare thoroughly for the Oxford Entrance Test by going through lots of past papers and sort out any little problems that you may have, however small.





There was a 3 hour Maths test, based on material from C1-C3, but of a higher difficulty.

First interview: I thought my first interview went well. The graph sketching qustion was v. easy, and the cube question was more of a discussion as I had not studied the topic at all before. (but managed to get the end result)
n the middle) The questions tha
Second interview: Looked at the Exam paper and some questions that I could not do. The interviewer was running 10 minutes late and seemed uninterested during the interview. (including leaving for 5 minutes in the middle of it)
Third interview: It was short: only 15 minutes compared to the 30 minutes that I was expecting. We went through a couple of questions together, both of which were pretty easy.

From the piece of paper that was in front of my second interviewer, I knew that I was only ranked 303 out of the 800+ applicants who came to interview. (they take about 250 students)

First interview:
1) Sketch the graph of y = x^3 – x. How does it change if y = |x^3 – x| ?
2) How many different types, and numbers, of rotations on axis of symmetry can you have for a cube?

Second interview:
1)What UMS did you get in your Maths A level?
2)Looked at some questions in the exam paper that I did not do. (including a logic-based one)

Third interview (at Somerville):
1)Prove n^3 – n is always divisible by 3.
2)Prove that 3 > pi > 4 , considering the area of a circle compared to that of a square, and an n-sided shape placed inside the circle.

A t-shirt, jumper, and smart trousers. Your Maths is important, not your dress sense.


Lincoln seemed cosy and a comfy place to live.

I only saw Somerville very briefly, but it did not look as nice as Lincoln.

The room that I was given had a lounge, a bedroom, and a shower room. The room gave me a very good impression of the accomodation, but I doubt that all students get this quality , and size, of room!

The food was very nice for canteen food.

Of the two tutors I spoke to, one seemed friendly and very helpful. The other seemed uninterested and bored during the interview.

Friendly and willing to help.

Final stage

Because of my entrance exam ranking, I was expecting to be rejected.

A little disappointed, but it was not unexpected. Lincoln had 4.1 applicants per place that year, so the competition was more fierce than usual. (This places it at the top-end of applicant/place numbers, for Maths)

Looking back

I would definitely reapply, you will never know unless you try.

It is worth a short, and try not to be too disappointed if you are rejected; there are other great places to study Maths!