Application

 Oxford

 Lincoln

 Mathematics

 2006

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (3 A*,3 A,6 B)

A-levels

(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

N/A

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.

Preparation

yes

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.

Interview

no

no

yes

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.

Impressions

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!