Application

 Oxford

 St Hilda’s (open application, allocated college)

 Medicine

 2000

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

I had 3 interviews at St. Hilda’s and 1 at Pembroke College. I was offered a place at Pembroke. The profile relates to my experiences of the time spent at St. Hilda’s during the interviews.

 yes (6 A*,4 A,1 B)

A-levels

(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)

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Biology, A in Chemistry, B in Mathematics

AAB, excl. General Studies

yes

yes

yes

Declined offers from Leicester, Birmingham and Nottingham

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Excellent reputation
One to one tuition
Good course
Lovely city

Closest to home
was told oxford was less daunting
better interview system

My school had sent someone there in the past and it had beautiful gardens. I didn’t know anything about any of the colleges and didn’t think i’d get in anyway and so i didn’t dpend much time deciding on a college

Preparation

yes

just a practise interview which was not oxbridge specific

have a good idea of why you want to study medicine, dont worry if u find it difficult to express this in a coherent way. i found it difficult and most ppl do – its probably because its usually a complicated mixture of reasons. just make sure u are able to say something.
keep up to date with current scientific issues and follow up things that interest u. most ppl get asked “so have u read anything interesting lately?”

Interview

no

no

yes

a one hour test at Oxford
i got hold of a past paper which wan’t a very good idea. not because it was hard but because it was biology based and so that was what i was expecting but ours turbed out to be a chemistry one. do get hold of a past paper tho so u are familiar with the same format and timing. looking over your a-level work may help but its likely that the q’s will be bsed on something u haven’t come accross before. dont worry too much about tests, they only form one small part of the whole process.

i had to stay in oxford from sunday morning to wednesday afternoon.
i had a total of four interviews at two colleges and had to take a written test.

two of them were science based, where i was presented with a scientific problem or scenario and had to go throught it. one of the interviews was based on my ucas form and personal statement, discussing just about everything i’d mentioned on it (so make sure u don’t exaggarate!) during another of my interviews we played “twenty questions” where i had to ask a series of q’s in order to try to find out what this unknown object was!

at first i decided to just wear something smart/casual but at the last minute changed my mind to a suit – and im glad i did. everyone else was in suits/jackets etc. and i would hav felt really odd if i hadn’t worn one too. but if u think u would feel really uncomfortable in one then dont wear it. oh and dont forget to tale some casual clothes for the evenings!

Impressions

the undergraduates who stay behind to help can be really useful, make the most of it and ask them lots of questions. my college was really friendly and arranged videos and nights out for us.

bigger than i expected, had everything u needed like bed linen and stuff – u need to take towels tho.
i took lots of junk food too, to keep me going and maybe something to play ur music on (with headphones) books to read etc

Edible but not great

there are kitchen facilities if u wanna prepare snacks but u do get breakfast, lunch and dinner.

really friendly – even in interiews!

again friendly and a very useful source of information on the university and my subject

Final stage

i had to wait over a week and was the last person out of everyone that i knew who had applied to hear from them. before the interview i was really laid back because i din’t think i would get in but i had a really good time at interview and liked the college and decided i would really like to go there afterwards. i was quite nervous and then just relieved when i got in. took a few days to get over it but the euphoric feeling didn’t last too long because then it was “damm, i have to get the grades now!”

Looking back

i would and would be a little more enthusiastic about it.i’d look at the colleges closely and maybe visit a few of them

visit the place, any college will do and get a feel for it.
give it all you’ve got, no matter how convinced u are that u weren’t get in -u have nothing to loose.
ignore those who are arrogant and confident they will get in becuase thy usually dont. be honest and prepare yourself by finding out about the course and college. enjoy the interview period, get to know some of the other applicants, this can be really helpful during the long wait for offers/rejections and don’t get upset if u think u hav messed up an interview or test. the great thing about oxford is that the admissions process takes into account so many things, personal staement, interview, test, teacher reference, grades, etc, that u can afford to mess up a little bit here and there