Application

 Oxford

 St Anne’s (open application, allocated college)

 Medicine

 2001

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – non-selective

Not known if selective

 yes (7 A*,3 A)

A-levels

(NA at AS)

(NA at AS)

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

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

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

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

I liked the idea of being immersed in the science behind medicine before being unleashed on patients. was considering medical research – therefore Oxford seemed ideal. Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention, it’s an extremely prestigious university that would stand you in good stead for life.

always dreamt of going to oxford
preferred systems-based (oxford) to subject-based (cantab.)
oxford seemed a nicer place to study and live

School does not have a tradition of sending many pupils to Oxbridge. Pupil who went to Oxford most recently went to this college and enjoyed it – school therefore recommended it to me + subsequently visited it/ liked what I saw therefore applied there.

Preparation

yes

one practice interview with the school doctor – this was useful one practice interview with science teachers + one with the headteacher.

OAF: I stated why oxford and why St. Anne’s…but then again i didn’t get in so you might be wise not to do the same!

Interview: ensure that you do not exaggerate on your personal statement; they will realise. Try to expand on your answers as much as possible try to explain your thought processes as clearly as you can. do not be intimidated + be yourself (a bit of a cliche i know)

Interview

no

no

yes

one ‘written test’ as they are referred to.
had prepared by sending off for a specimen (wish I had not bothered!). The specimen was 1hr with 10 min for reading and comprised 2 Q’s (one english, one science). The paper set was approximately double the length [ 4Q’s; 2 on english and 2 on science] and the time allowed was only 15 min more than for the specimen!! therefore, unsurprisingly I was slightly thrown off by this + didn’t manage to finish a 1/4 of the paper; this was not a good way to kick off!

had three interviews in total. (there were 30 applicants for up to a max. of 10 places, though usu. take 8. five of us [including me] were giving a third interview)
all very science based + all picked up on work experience.

e.g.’s asked about hypertension- why is it lower in the summer than in the winter. about evidence-based medicine, about work experience. shown a random bone + asked to suggest what it was/this led on to a discussion… also asked about teamwork. + “what physiologically is stress?” + asked to discuss a genetic diagram involving Huntington’s disease…..

suit – read that for professional subjects e.g. medicine, law etc. it is important to ‘look the part’ + enjoy looking smart at any rate/felt comfortable

Impressions

had visited lincoln on an open day. small but v. nice.
liked st. anne’s, large/well kept library, friendly/approachable tutors and undergrads. but be warned modern + uninspiring architecturally-speaking.

spacious, + en suite! (apparently the nicest room in the college).

Excellent

always a variety of main meals

friendly + enjoyable to talk to during the interviews!

didn’t speak to them much but seemed to be friendly + down to earth.

Final stage

i was very disappointed. i had pinned far to much hope on being made an offer. took a day or two to get over.

Looking back

probably not – know many candidates who are far cleverer/sporting etc. than myself who did not get in. even though it may be difficult to admit, i feel that there is more to life than oxbridge – it is not the be all and end all.

only apply if you are prepared to handle being rejected (i don’t mean to spoil the party, but this is the likely outcome).
if you do decide to apply try to enjoy the time you spend at either Oxford or Cambridge.