Application

 Oxford

 St Hugh’s

 History (Modern)

 2005

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (1 A*,4 A,3 B,3 C)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

(B at AS)

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

Prestige, excellent history course, superb facilities

People from my school tended to apply to Oxford, was more familiar therefore with Oxford and knew Oxford as a place.

Wanted to study history.

I liked it on the Open Day.

Preparation

yes

Some mock interviews.

Read everything you say youÂ’ve read on your PS. DonÂ’t fret about reading loads on historiography; have some good, detailed knowledge concentrated into historical areas you will talk about interview. Through your essays and your PS you can to some extent shape what is discussed at interview.

Interview

yes

I had to sit the HAT in November.

yes

Submitted my history coursework.

no

The first one went well and there was a good general discussion that concerned my essay and PS, didn’t go into great detail about anything. One or two open ended questions on the meaning of the term ‘revolution’ and whether objectivity in history is possible & the value of biography in history. The second interview was almost entirely on my essay and didn’t seem to flow very well, the interviewers didn’t seem too interested in the essay and it didn’t go much beyond that.

If you’re answered something you don’t know before saying that – pause and really think about it and try to answer. Don’t say ‘that’s a good question’ when you’re asked something..

Questions related to my essay and PS, they challenged one or two remarks on my PS. And they asked questions relating to the topic of my essay but outside the remits of it.

Tatty suit.

Impressions

Friendly, informal.

Nice JCR. Good sized accomodation.

Pretty good, no complaints.

Friendly and informal. Dr Garnett and Dr Peseta were pretty tough but made me feel fairly relaxed.

They weren’t there, some were there helping out for interviews – they were all nice.

Final stage

Pretty nervous, amongst Ox applicants from my school I was late to hear. When the rejection came I wasn’t surprised as my grades were not brilliant and I knew I’d not done well on the History Aptitude Test in Nov.

Obviously slightly disappointed but I’d not really expected to get in anyway.

Looking back

Yes. What have you got to lose? The interview experience teaches you a lot, the further reading you do in preparation for an interview can be interesting – and whatever happens, at least you’ll have got your UCAS in early.

Just go for it and do your best. My grades were not typical of an Oxford applicant but I still applied and whilst admittedly was unsuccessful I think it was a positive experience.