Application

 Oxford

 Corpus Christi

 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

 2008

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Independent – selective

 yes (7 A*,3 A,1 B)

A-levels

(A at AS (289 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

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

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

(A at AS (286 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA

yes

yes

yes

Chose Oxford because I like it more.

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Tutorial system / calibre of tutors.

Only Oxford offered PPE.

Enjoyed reading related books in my spare time, I saw this course as an extension of that.

Saw it on the open day, like it better than the larger ones.

Preparation

yes

Economics discussion group run by economics teacher. Ran for couple of months preceding interviews. Talked about current affairs, it really helped. Pratice academic interviews were also offered.

Know the stuff on your personal statement!! They grilled me on it and although it’s not certain that they’ll do the same to you, it’s too easy to prepare and too major if you don’t.

Interview

yes

TSA Oxford.

no

Nope.

no

Nope.

Enjoyable but challenging. They really do test you by questioning everything you say and giving disapproving looks. You just need to make sure that you defend yourself! Don’t worry if you think it went awfully, if you think you nailed it it’s probably worse. They will push you until it feels wierd.

Interviews were divided into philosophy in one and politics and economics together in the other. Two interviewers were present in each.

Mainly about my personal statement. But the economist gave me a game theory problem 10 mins before the interview which was new to me. Questions about current affairs popped up too. Like what I’d do to stop the next credit crunch! I didn’t get any questions like ‘why Oxford?’ and neither do I know anyone who did.

A jacket, trousers and a tie. Most people were more casual.

Impressions

Friendly!

The room was ok. Medium sized but no en suite. Toilet and shower was shared with floor of rooms. Very clean.

Stodgy but ok. It varied between colleges.

Disturbingly clever, friendly and confrontational at times.

Very friendly, approachable and fun.

Final stage

No idea. Notoriously people who think they walked the process often fail and those who were tested get in. Whether that’s entirely true I don’t know. I completely witheld predictions.

Went a bit too happy.

Looking back

Definitely! I’m glad I’d ignored people who had said I wouldn’t get it. I’m also very happy that I put all the effort I could into it.

Ignore anyone who doubts your potential and throw yourself into it. At worst, if they’re right then you’ve probably done better than you would have otherwise. And at best you’ll prove them one and realise a fantastic goal. Go for it!