Application

 Oxford

 Merton (open application, allocated college)

 Medicine

 2001

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (4 A*,7 A,1 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)

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

Other universities

yes

N/A

Decisions about the application

The reputation and stigma attached to Oxbridge, Oxford is obvioulsly an excellent uni and i would have liked to have studied there.

Oxford is a much nicer city. Also, I am more familiar with Oxford than Cambridge.

-It looked nice
-Always performs well academically in comparison with other colleges

Preparation

yes

A few after school sessions, but it was very general, nothing really to do with medicine.

Interview

no

no

yes

Yes, 1 exam. I didn’t prepare because I couldn’t – we had no idea what would be on it.

I had three, each with two interviewers. They were all very mixed, asking lots of Q’s from lots of areas. The first went ok, the second was horrible and the third, well i don’t know how that went.

I was asked a lot of ethical Q’s and also questions about medicine in general. There were no purely academic questions from my A-level studies though, which i though was strange.

A suit, I thought it would make a good impression

Impressions

Merton was very nice. All the students were friendly. Also, it wasn’t too big.

My room was huge. It had a sink, fridge, kettle and all the other stuff that you would expect (bed, desk etc).

Excellent – It was better than expected, and people took your plates when u had finished – that was cool.

Some of the tutors were friendly, others were not.

They were very welcoming and friendly.

Final stage

I was expecting a rejection and that is what I got. However, I feel that I never really got a chance to prove myself – when I was ready to branch out on a topic, the tutors changed the subject to something that I had no idea about. Also, I feel that the whole interviewing system is biased towards applicants from private schools ie white and middle class. As I am neither of these, I came to Oxford feeling that I had very little chance of actually getting in.

Looking back

Probably, because I would still like to study medicine at Oxford.

In interview: Be confident and if you need to take time to think about what you are going to say – the interviewers don’t mind waiting for a few secs while you think. Be prepared to be challenged mentally.
In general: Don’t have your heart set on Oxbridge, because if you don’t get in it will be a huge disappointment.