Application

 Oxford

 St Catherine’s

 Modern Languages

 2001

 pooled, offer made (Lincoln)

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (8 A*,2 A)

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 French, A in German

AAB, 2 As in Languages plus one B

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Everyone was saying I should give it a go(out scool uually sends about 4 pupils a year to Oxbridge, and I was one of the top 4 in my year), and I knew it was a very good uni to go to

Had heard more about it, was closer to home, knew it better as a city, and seemed easier to get into for some reason

Had spoken to a tutor there and heard that they were lacking german applicants

Preparation

yes

I had a quick practice interview with the language teachers, although they didnt really know what to expect, and ex pupils who had got into oxbridge came to talk to us about it.

write dowm any foreign literature uve read/studied as this gives thyem sopmething to talk about in the interview, apporach the foreign language speaking part as u might do a oral exam- show off how fluent u are.

Interview

no

yes

I submitted a practice writtten German exam and a written French exam (as we hadnt yet done coursework in those papers, so this was all I had) and a piece of English coursework to show my skills at analysing literature.

yes

only a 20 minute grammar test for each- didnt revise much for these, except for reading through grammar notes for each subject.

We stayed there for 2 nights, had a written test the first morning (for languages its filling in the gaps on a grammar test) and then had variuos interviews throughout the 2 days, and 2 or 3 colleges.

i was given a piece of literature, either in enlish or the target languager, given 20 minutes to read it and then asked questions thatb tested my analysis of it. Then we had general conversaitonin the target language for about 10 minutes, and discussed other literature id read, either in english or a foregn language.

something reasonably smart- they sadi it didnt matter, but wanted to make a good impression. Black trousers and a shirt.

Impressions

I hadnt seen the colege i applied to before i went- it was very friendly, but quite ugly compared to other oxford colleges (built in 1960s) The one i actually got into was also very friendly, but right in the town centre and very pretty. (lincoln)

st catz had very small, boxlike rooms, most without washbasins. Lincoln has a right mixture, from huge with a separate sitting room and en suite to tiny with only a wash basin, its just luck as to which u get.

Edible but not great

lincoln is meant to have one of the best, but even that id call ok, so id hate to see the worst! all types of weird diets (vegan, dairy free) are catered for tho

slightly odd, in a very typical oxford professor type way, but very friendly, and anxious to put you at your ease during the interview.

very friendly and willing to help and very ‘normal’ seeming (not at all like the typical oxford posh or geeky stereotype.)

Final stage

i was a little disappointed at first, as it wasnt to the college i applied to, but then cheered up when i saw how nice the one i had got into was.

Looking back

Yes, as i am extremely happy there, and cant imagine being anywhere else.

Dont worry,its not as scary as everyone claims,u may not get in, but its worth a try, as i had a really fun weekend anyway! Its also definitely not as exclusive as everyone claims- there were lots of private school people there at the interview weekend, but thats because most private shcools seem to send most of their sixth form to these interviews, and most of them didnt get in!