Application

 Oxford

 Somerville

 Mathematics

 2006

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Grammar School

 yes (9 A*,4 A)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

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

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

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

Cambridge STEP Maths

(predicted NA; gained 1)

In further maths i acheived 100/100 in FP1, FP3, M3 and D1, with a total ums of 588/600 (98%).

Other universities

yes

yes

offers from durham, warwick, bath
I put Durham as my firm choice.

Decisions about the application

wanted to study at a world class university

liked the city of oxford and my college better

i am passionate about mathematics and hate most other subjects

somerville had a reputation for being friendly and informal and has a higher proportion of state school students

Preparation

no

a mock interview where i was asked lots of general questions (why maths/oxford/collge etc). not much use since i was not asked any general questoins in the real interviews.

practice talking through questions to yourself such as graph sketching as i found it very strange having to talk through these questions during interview.

Interview

no

no

yes

a 2.5hr test.

i was very nervous in my first interview because i had done very badly in the test due to illness. i couldnt draw an X^3 graph, multiply 4*0.5 etc. The interviews were only 15 mins long so by the time i got over my nerves it was time to leave!

1st interview:
How did you find the test?
sketch x^3 – a^2x
prove n^3 – n is divisible by three
show 3<pi<4
did you attend an open day?
2nd interview:
how did you find the test? How many people in your F.maths class?
how many solutions and why |x|+|x-1|=0
for what values of x is this true (x^2+1)/(x^2-1)<1 skecth it.
find the general formula for the sum of interior angles of a polygon.
solve dy/dx=(y+x)/2x
3rd interview(lincoln): sketch y=x^2 – x^4
sketch y^2=x^2 – x^4
prove (n^2 – 1) is divisible by 8 when n is odd.
stuff about odd no.s being written as the difference between two squares.
integrate xsinx

smart jeans, blue jumper, neacklace
wanted to be myself but not too casual i.e smart jeans not scruffy ripped jeans.

Impressions

somerville was really nice, it is newer than many of the other colleges but had a very nice atmosphere, and it was quite large.
i went to lincoln in the dark, didnt see much of it, it was smaller than somerville.

i stayed in vaughn an old concrete building. it wasnt the nicest of places but my room was quite large and had a sink. it is supposed to be a very sociable building.

i didnt like most of it, although i am quite fussy

the tutors who interviewed me seemed nice.

the student helpers were really friendly and helpful they made sure we got to all our interviews ok and answered any questions we had.

Final stage

i was sure i had been rejected but it was hard waiting for the letter to know for sure.

i was ok because i was pretty sure of the outcome anyway and had got over my disappointment the previous week.

Looking back

i would still apply. i got to miss three days of school and most of the time i spent there was good. it was disappointing not to perform to the best of my ability but i will not reapply as i am happy to go somewhere else.

practice talking through questions to yourself, friends or teachers. this will help you to feel more confident in your interviews (i wish i had done this). then just go and do your best.