Application

 Oxford

 Merton

 Medicine

 2002

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (6 A*,2 A,2 B)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

Really good reputation and after receiving really good AS grades, I thought it might have been worth a try.

Oxford had been recommeneded several times and it’s also a lot closer to home than Cambridge. The other thing that influenced me was the fact that I’d looked around Oxford, but hadn’t had time to look aroung Cambridge.

I looked around it casually when I looked around Oxford and found that everyone there was really nice and friendly. The place seemed to have a lot of character in it and I liked that. Merton always comes high up in the Oxford colleges league tables.

Preparation

yes

They gave me a practice general interview, but nothing that came up in the actual oxford interview.

OAF: Don’t waffle and make sure that the form is neat and tidy.

Interview: Read up on all of the health issues in the papers and on the internet. Be prepared to answer stuff from your personal statement, so know it off by heart.

Interview

no

no

no

I had to take a 1 and a half hour exam. There’s very little that you can do to revise for it. Download the specimen off the internet and go through that and know how it’s set out, but don’t worry about it.

I had 3 interviews each approx 20 minutes long. In two of the interviews I had a doctor and a med student and in the other I had 3 doctors.

The interviews weren’t too academic, and each was a mixture of stuff from your personal statement, ethical stuff and a few things like interpreting graphs and pictures.

I wore a suit and everyone else did too. It says to wear something that you feel comfortable in, but I think thay really did expect you to look really smart.

Impressions

Merton was a small college, with an ok atmosphere.
They were relatively organised, but night times were a bore. Othere colleges arranged parties etc, or took the interview candidates out to the local pub, but we had very little to do apart from a DVD or jazz piano (which was well played but not suitable).

The room that I had was really spacious. It was part of a block of rooms and in my block there was 8 rooms with a kitchen and 2 bathrooms. The room was really warm, but others in another block were comlaining how their rooms were really cold and cramped.

Awful – the only perhaps edible thing that we had was breakfast and a burger one lunch time. The food wasn’t nice and it’s made sure that I’m not going catered next year!

They were all pretty friendly and tried to put you at your ease, but it didn’t work all the time!

All of them were really nice, but boring and studious. Quite a few stayed in Oxford to help us out, which was nice of them, but only one of them was really up for a good time.

Final stage

Nothing much. My mum woke me up, but I knew before I opened it that it was a rejection. It was posted 2nd class and was a thin tiny envelope. No surprises in the actual outcome.
I’d actually decided by the time I’d come back from the interview that Oxford wasn’t the right place for me and getting a rejection saved me from having to make a hard decision.

Looking back

I probably would but might apply to another college. I’m glad I did it, because in 3 years time I might have looked back and regretted not applying, but I may look back and thought well maybe another college, or I could have tried harder… I just can’t win!!!

Really don’t set your heart on it. At my college there were 27 of us for 5 places and they’re good odds. The likelihood of you getting in is quite slim, so enjoy the experience and see what happens.