Application

 Oxford

 Brasenose

 History (Modern)

 2008

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (3 A*,5 A,3 B)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in History

AA

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Unfortunately no particular reason except that I thought I might as well have a go.

I preferred Oxford when I visited, Cambridge seemed too small.

At the open day it seemed very friendly, laid back and normal.

Preparation

yes

Practice interview with the Headmaster.

I thought that these interviews really helped although they were not at all like the interviews at Oxford. I would recommend practicing interviews because it helps with confidence to say what you think.

Interview

yes

HAT

yes

I submitted a very short, not particularly good essay on the Duke of Northumberland.

no

nope

My interviews in general were ok, I felt that one went better than the other but everyone I spoke to whilst I was there felt similarly about their own interviews.

One interview began by discussing my essay I had sent in whilst the other picked a line about visiting art museums and was mostly about art, although there was a bit about civil wars as well. Both were very general and seemed to be about how I thought rather than what I knew.

I did get asked a couple of question about the teaching and resources at my school, otherwise it was all about history and art. Things like: what makes civil wars so different from other wars? what in science interests artists? how can we judge whether a ruler’s ability to govern is ‘remarkable’? why did the Renaissance take place at that time? As you can see they were all pretty broad.

I wore casual/smart clothing. so skinny jeans and a smart top for one and linen trousers and a plain top for the other. Not attention grabbing clothes I know but it was what I felt comfortable to be judged in!

Impressions

I loved Brasenose. It seemed completely relaxed, everyone was very friendly, the setting was beautiful…

I stayed in two different rooms, one was bigger than the other but they were both comfortable. I did however lock my keys inside at 7 in the morning because it was a self locking door and i had to go to the Porter’s Lodge in my pyjamas having borrowed an incredibly kind girl’s shoes… I don’t really recommend it.

it was fine

Very friendly and scarily intelligent.

pretty amazing

Final stage

Very tense, especially as it got closer to Christmas and other people I knew had received their letters.

I know it’s a complete cliche but absolutely over the moon.

Looking back

definitely. Not just because I was successful which I thought was impossible but also because the interviews are really a once in a lifetime experience and the people met were amazing.

Definitely talk to the other applicants and don’t just live in the JCR, go out into Oxford a bit.