Mathematics and Philosophy


 offer made





 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (5 A*,2 A,3 B)


(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)

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

Details about the offer


ABB, Excluding General Studies



 offer met

Decisions about the application

The challenge, the prestige

Courses available; colleges; staff

It looked nice after visiting it; staff were freindly; very nice atmosphere



They were very helpful.

Just be honest; The Personal Statement is very important





Yes. There really isn’t any way of preparing apart from being in a mathematical mood and prepared to think logically.

Five minutes of talking about me in general; followed by 25 minutes of going through some challenging mathematical problems so the interviewers could analyse my thought processes.

“Talk about yourself” style ones, talking about issues on my personal statement, but mainly the problems. I had five interviews, each with three problems, including, “With just two i/o commands, draw a line and turn a pixel on/off, how would you draw a circle on a finite matrix of pixels?”, “What is the area between two circles, radius one, that go through each other’s centres?”, “If every term in a sequence S is defined by the sum of every item before it, give a formula for the nth term.”, “Is 0.9 recurring = 1? Why? Prove it.”, “Why are there no pythagorean tripples in which both x and y are odd?” and “suggest a function that would describe this curve” (an n shape that approaches zero as the independant variable approaches +/- infinity and goes through (0,1))

I was asked to wear something I felt confortable in – I wore a shirt and trousers – could be described as ‘smart casual.’


I found it a very pleasant experience. The accomodation was very good, as was the food and the friendliness of the staff.

Quite large rooms, en suite, nice and warm (!), very pleasant.


Formal meals in hall in the evening; self-service catered food for breakfast & lunch

Very friendly, apart from one who’d came from Jesus College to interview me, who was incredibly unemotive and monotonous.

They seemed very friendly – while there I met lots of other applicants who were all very friendly and really enhanced how good the experience was.

Final stage

I smiled and went downstairs to tell my parents, followed by ringing my friends. The letter also requested that if I wasn’t going to take the place could I let them know within the next few weeks so they could offer it to someone else.

Looking back

Yes. I would probably have never considered Oxbridge without considering it after suggestions from college staff; and I am very glad I did apply.

Just be prepared to think logically – and don’t be shy – contribute to the conversation yourself in stead of just reacting to contributions made by the interviewer(s)