Application

 Oxford

 Worcester

 Modern Languages

 2006

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 post-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Independent – selective

 yes (8 A*,2 A)

A-levels

(A at AS)

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

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

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

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

Advanced Extension Awards

(predicted Merit; gained Distinction)

Details about the offer

 unconditional

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

It was pretty and had ducks! It took a relatively high number of mod lang students.

Preparation

yes

Odd grammar classes/discussion of literature although I didn’t go to many because I was on a gap year and school was far away!

Get your grammar totally up to scratch and be able to talk about a variety of novels, plays and poems.

Interview

no

yes

Language and literature I think, can’t remember, for each language.

yes

Short grammar tests, simple enough in structure but not the same as the specimens!

Okay. The French was with 3 people (!) and the Spanish with 2: the tutor and another lady who seemed to be mostly just assisting him.

For each of the French and Spanish interviews I had to prepare a passage in the language which I got 10-15mins before the interview and discuss it at interview and answer questions, like what the author was trying to say and my opinions on the characterisation, had to translate bits etc. Then general questions on my PS, books I’d read, what I thought about literature in general e.g. should plays ever be read, some speaking in the language mostly about what I was doing on my gap year etc but also I was asked in French “I hate Annie Ernaux [one of the authors on my PS], convince me that she should be read” and also why I read such depressing literature?!?

Smart trousers and top/jumper. And a coat! It was cold!

Impressions

I liked it, although I didn’t let myself get too attached at interview and didn’t spend much time in the JCR.

My room was awful! That staircase is being pulled down now though. It was really really cold as well.

Okay, but there seemed to be chips with every meal…

French tutor seemed quite cold and a little harsh at times.

Nice enough although I didn’t spend much time in the JCR and it seemed a little intimidating walking in there – and it wasn’t clear who was a current student and who was an applicant! When I went to Trinity for my Spanish interview, there were people with badges at a table in the JCR so you could clearly see that they were helpers, and the room was pretty full of people watching some film or the other.

Final stage

Very scared!

It turned up after the rest of the post, having been delivered to the neighbours by mistake (no idea how). So I’d kind of resigned myself to having to wait til the Monday, so it caught me off guard. Luckily I didn’t have to deal with the whole envelope-opening suspense as when I looked at the front of the envelope, I could see the page behind the address that said something like “we are pleased to…”!

Looking back

Read, read, form opinions, think things through at interview (although it’s quite pressurised and you do end up quickly scanning the text you’ve just been given to come up with answers to obscure questions on the spot) and importantly get your grammar up to scratch. They want evidence of proficiency in language and potential in literature, apparently…