Application

 Oxford

 Oriel

 Modern Languages

 2008

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 N/A

 Independent – selective

 yes (7 A*,4 A)

A-levels

(A at AS (293 UMS))

(A at AS (265 UMS))

(A at AS (244 UMS))

(A at AS (291 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS (261 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS (270 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

Italian GCSE L6, AS in U6

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

Highest reputation.

More Literature based course

Love French & Italian Literature-I had reads loads of different books, not just to prepare but because I really enjoy them.

Central, good architecture, not too academically fierce.

Preparation

yes

Three practice interviews, two by school. No extra lessons in grammar which I probably needed although I had done some extra at home. Was told by several people I was “very strong” at interview.

Don’t focus so much on the interview. It is all about the grammar test which was way post A-level. In Italian it was almost impossible as I was only doing AS. I had read loads of literature but it helped very little.

Interview

no

French & Itaklian grammar-post A2 standard.

yes

Submitted a French & Latin work then found they wanted Italian even though I had only done it for a year. The school then decided to submitted an AS mock exam paper-not sure this was a good idea.

no

See above. Standard expected was much higher than anything I was doing at school or in my own extra studies. I found I was very short of time.

French was dire. She put up grammar mistakes from the test, rolled her eyes at mistakes etc. Hardly any chance to talk about the stuff I am supposed to be good at. Italian much better-we talked about Marcovaldi & the accidental death of an anarchist

Had to read a french piece and talk about it. Normally this is a strength but I didn’t fully grasp the translation & so missed some of its meaning.

What makes a classic piece of literature, do you need to understand the history to understand a novel? And lots of grammar stuff.

Suit-it was cold.

Impressions

Great

Pretty good

Excellent

French one was rather austere and unfriendly-have since found out she is that way to undergrads too. Italian one was great I would have loved to be taught by him.

As you’d expect, friendly & bright.

Final stage

Not hopeful, felt the grammar thing was a let down, glad I already had UCL & Bristol offers. Bit frustrated I hadn’t done my best but frankly all the other candidates looked pretty sharp too-they all loved literature & some were bi-linguals.

Thin envelope so I knew. Rapidly decided I would now have a life (even though I would have given it up to go there.)

Looking back

Definitely. All the work I did means A-levels are now a breeze. Enjoyed the experience & met some great people. Realised I was a realistic candidate even if I didnt get in so actually not too discouraged.

Work on your grammar-oh and get good GCSEs. I was “below average” with 7A*-not sure how much this matters though. Do read your literature but don’t assume it will be enough.