Application

 Oxford

 Worcester

 Music

 2006

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 Sri Lanka

 Comprehensive School

 yes (7 A*,3 A)

A-levels

(C at AS)

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

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

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

I always knew my Physics result would be bad. I was really shocked on results day when I opened my results and saw that I’d got a B in French (only 6 UMS marks off an A! They didn’t like my spoken French, grrrr!)! :S

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA

yes

Luckily for me, even though I hadn’t made the grades, my tutor decided he’d take me anyway! 😀

yes

yes

I got offers from KCL, Manchester (two renowned Music departments), Southampton and Trinity College of Music. The Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music didn’t want me! 🙁

 offer missed, still accepted

Decisions about the application

Initially, I was just applying to please my parents. It was only when I went on the open days and then on the Sutton Trust Music summer school at Oxford that I realised it was the right place for me

The Cambridge course didn’t really play to my strengths or offer me the variety I wanted. Plus my sister was at Oxford, so I knew the city already

It was a course that suited my interests, in a very friendly, close-knit environment at a respected university 😀

My sister recommended I have a look at Worcester, so I went to the college open day. The tutor was lovely and seemed genuinely interested in me… the rest is history!

Preparation

yes

My school tried (and failed) to give me adequate help with my application. In fact, the teacher in charge of my application insinuated that I’d never get in. I proved her wrong! 😀

Don’t go on ‘Oxbridge’ courses run by independant companies. It’s really not worth the money. Try and get some interview preparation but with someone who actually has a clue what the interview is like!

Interview

no

yes

I was asked to send two essays, but I didn’t really have any, so I sent one Music and one English Lit!

yes

I had a short recital and an extra keyboard harmony test (the latter only applies to Worcester applicants)

The interviews weren’t as intimidating as I expected them to be. It was more of a conversation than an interview. It didn’t matter if I didn’t know the answer to all the questions either. The tutors were willing to give hints if I got stuck

I had three interviews, as a result of having gone on the Sutton Trust summer school

I was asked about my interest in world music, about the Music essay I had sent in, about my A Level course (none of the professors seemed to have any experience of the OCR course) and to analyse pieces given to me

I dressed smart-casual for the interviews, because that was my general style at the time

Impressions

I fell in love with Worcester the minute I walked through the gates! I had an interview at St. Anne’s, which seemed very friendly

I stayed in a mini suite (sitting room, bedroom with a sink) with a double door!

It was OK, nothing special!

The tutors were very friendly and made me feel welcome and interesting to talk to!

The college students were helpful and reassuring. They spent lots of time chatting to us, which was great!

Final stage

I didn’t spend too much time thinking about whether I’d get an offer or not, to be honest! I was very busy with auditions and concerts, so that took my mind off everything!

I was shocked when I got the letter saying I’d been accepted by the college I had applied to. I thought that if I had got in (which I wasn’t particularly confident about anyway!) that they would have moved me elsewhere.

I was frantic when I realised I’d missed the offer on results day. My Music teacher was already on the phone to Worcester when I ran into my school’s Careers room. I was very nervous when I was speaking to the Admissions Tutor, but she was lovely and said they’d take me anyway, which was a relief!

Looking back

Definitely, though I would have probably looked around other colleges

Look round lots of colleges and go to as many subject/college open days as you can. Get advice from lots of different people, not just your Careers advisor. Try applying for the Sutton Trust summer schools: they are amazing!