Application

 Oxford

 Brasenose

 Medicine

 2005

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Independent – selective

 yes (10 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)

Advanced Extension Awards

(predicted NA; gained Distinction)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Biology, A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Personally preferred the split between pre-clinical and clinical coure as I thought having an idea of the basic science before going into hospitals and applying scientific knowledge would be beneficial. Science part of the course more interesting as with tutorials its more than rote learning. Didn’t like PBL style or other non traditional courses.

Oxford medicine course is less anatomy-heavy. Was told that (at least the first year) was slightly less work. Seems to be more time for extra-curricular activities, has better nightlife, Oxford Union etc.

Because I’m interested in how the body works.

Seemed like a college where everyone was really friendly on the open day. Wasn’t poor, was in the centre of town, you should get three years accomodation.

I would recommend choosing your college based on
(1) Whether it offers accomodation for all three years, and if it does, how far away accomodation is that is not on the college site, as college accomodation is usually less expensive and less hassle compared to private accomodation
(2) proximity to the city centre and possibly where you might be having lectures if you’re doing a science subject
(3) whether your college in comparatively rich, which might mean room rents are cheaper and more grants etc are available
(4) from having a look around oxford, if possible

Preparation

yes

2 mock interviews, one chem and one bio, helped in that it made me revise A Level chemistry, which did come up in the interview.

Go over organic chemistry especially, and other chemistry and biology for A Level. Try and read around medical topics using New Scientist / Scientific American / Student BMJ. read up on a scientific topic you’re interested in so you can talk about that topic in interview. Read you personal statement at some point before so you remember what you said in it. Read The Times in the run up to your interview so you know what’s going on in terms of medically related news.

Interview

yes

Big time pressure. Don’t bother leaving questions for later, as you probably won’t have time to go back to them – just guess. Make sure you save the last few seconds to mark random boxes for questions you haven’t managed to get round to.

no

no

Brasenose and Balliol, two interviews each: Analysing graphs based on heart and lung function (though wasn’t told that before) and asked to make deduction based on the data presented. How to deal with patient who is scared about an operation. There was a news story at the time about patients who were overweight being refused operations on the NHS, was asked pros and cons of this. Question about patient confidentiality, and whether there were cases when it would not apply. Conducting an experiment based a on a hypthesis I’ve now forgotten, including what statistical techniques could be used. Question about whether all swans were white (they aren’t), and devising and experiment to test whether they were. Discussion about genetics (molecular rather than mendelian). Question about benzene. Discussion about bacteria and viruses.

Suit, because that was the advice given at school. All the medics wore suits, and generally most people for the science subjects were wearing suits. Wear what you want as long as it’s reasonably smart, but remember a tutor’s idea of what is presentable and your opinion probably differ, so its best to be cautious.

Impressions

Brasenose was fine, Balliol food was very nice.

Brasenose tutors are really nice without exception. Balliol ones were also fine; no one was intimidating.

Looking back

Yes!