Application

 Oxford

 St John’s

 Mathematics

 2003

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (7 A*,3 A,1 B)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

Advanced Extension Awards

(predicted NA; gained Merit)

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

I had suitable grades for Oxford and I show motivation for the subject so I thought I would give it a try-you have nothing to loose

Oxford don’t ask for STEP or Physics as a pre-requisite. Also Oxford is a nicer city and is nearer to where I live.

Excellent reputation for Maths and academically as a college. Richest college so lots of facilities. Nice buidings.

Preparation

yes

I had two mock interviews. One was organised by an outside company specifically for Oxbridge canditates. The second one was organised by my local university and was interviewed by a maths lecturer.

Interview

no

no

yes

2.5hr written test. I downloaded the specimen papers and asked my teacher if I had any problems. However the actual test was a lot harder and very different style of questioning from the specimen which requied more logic and also perms and comms.

I had one interview at St. John’s and one at Corpus Christi

St. Johns- You are given a triangle with a fixed perimeter but you want to maximise the area. What shape will it be? Prove it. Next you are given a quadrilateral with fixed perimeter and you want to maximise the area. What shape will it be? Prove it. I was also asked Why Maths? and Why Oxford? at the beginning as ice breaker question and was also asked for my UMS marks in maths. I was also asked if Ive read anything around/outside the syllabus Corpus Christi- He asked me what qn I made any errors in the test and I said an intergration qn, (1)/(x+x^3) where I made a careless error. He told me to do it which I did then he took it one stage further and told me to integrate (1)/(1+x^3) and then (1)/(1+x^n) which I did with few hints. He then told me to draw (1)/(1+x^3) when x>0 which again I did with a few hints. He asked me about what sports I play

Suit, tie, shirt to give a good impression

Impressions

St. John’s-Outstanding-very big but extremely friendly people
Corpus Christi- didn’t like it, very small like a shoebox totally contrasting to St. John’s

I had quite a large room in the Thomas White Quad with wardrobe, drawers, sofa, cupboard, bed, etc.

Excellent

Lots of chicken!!!

Friendly but professional

Extremely friendly and very welcoming asking if we had any problems

Final stage

I kinda knew I wouldn’t get a place because they phone on the friday if you’re successful and I did badly on the written test

Looking back

Yes, I made lots of friends and it was a great experience

Do well on the written test as they take the top 1/3 of canditates based on the written test and reject the bottom 1/3 immediately. The interview determines the fate of the middle. St John’s is very competitve for Maths. When I applied they took 8 from 36.Don’t worry too much about the interview just be natural and calm and take any hints given to you.