Application

 Oxford

 Worcester

 Music

 2002

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 United Kingdom

 Independent – selective

 yes (6 A*,3 A)

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)

Other universities

N/A

Applicant applied to Kings College London, which in the applicants opinion has, to quote “a better department anyway and they’ve done the sensible thing and offered me a place.”

Decisions about the application

Because I thought I was good enough (how wrong can one be?!) and it seemed a fantastic place to study.

The music course was, in my opinion, better and Oxford was closer to my home.

Because I really admire the work of the stunning musician Robert Saxton (admissions tutor for Worcester) and it just seemed a friendly place.

Preparation

yes

Yes. I had to read newspapers to my headmistress. I think she thought it would help me. It didn’t.

On Oxford Application form: “Be honest! And remember what you wrote (or get it photocopied!) in case you’re asked about it”. On interviews: “Don’t go into the interview feeling inferior. The interviewer will do that for you”.

Interview

no

yes

Two examples of my own compositions.

yes

A practical one. My hands were shaking so much it was a miracle I was able to the play the piano at all.

I had one interview with said Robert Saxton who spent his time breathing down my neck and correcting my Bach chorales

Obvious ones such as why Oxford, and why Worcester, but also if i was a genius (?) and whether i liked my teachers.

A grey skirt, blue shirt and a light grey jacket. Also a pair of big earrings which kept getting caught on my scarf. HINT: don’t wear dangly earrings.

Impressions

Lovely. Grandma would have loved the buildings but it was freezing cold and there weren’t any heaters. anywhererooms were quite big and of course the city is gorgeous

Rooms were quite big and of course the city is gorgeous

Awful
AAAARRRGGGGHH. This is supposed to be constructive criticism but it really was awful. There was something swimming in my ‘stew’ and it was not beef stroganoff. What makes it worse is that apparently worcester have the best canteen in Oxford.

Quite intimidating and one was rather rude, but when i got lost a really nice professor of english showed me the toilets, so they were ok.

Really nice (hate that word. it isn’t adequate). Down to earth, funny, obviously really clever but they weren’t patronising at all

Final stage

I shredded it [the letter], burst into tears and spent 3 days locked in my room with only a box of cleenex and some chocolate for company. It was awful. I’ve never felt so bad in my life and the letter was the most condescending piece of writing i’ve ever had the misfortune to read.

Looking back

No. Kings College London have a better department anyway and they’ve done the sensible thing and offered me a place.

Be confident and if you don’t get offered a place, make sure you have a good second choice university.