Application

 Oxford

 Exeter

 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Independent – non-selective

 yes (8 A*,2 A)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

(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)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAB

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Always been an ambition, Employment, What i want atmospherically (study wise at least), lots of pubs

Oxford do PPE, SPS at Cambridge doesn’t uite compare in terms of content, plus its not as well known as a course (by employers etc.)

Had a look round it , it seemed nice enough and the people seemed to down to earth. Its got a nice mix of students and is slap in the middle of Oxford so you can get everywhere fast.

Preparation

yes

A mock interview and a couple of extra lessons that were really not too much help. The lessons where we went over the mock exam paper were quite good though…

Be concise. And original.

Interview

no

yes

2 pieces. One economics essay on growth i did in the L6th was quite good, i did a lot of research for that one. And a philsophy essay on Plato. I submitted one from each subject to show what i was like on different areas, and they were both quite good.

yes

Yes a written exam. There was a mock one on the oxford website so i did that and went through it with my teacher which was quite helpful. I found the actual thing impossible though!

There were 3 questions, one philosophy passage that you comment on, one maths question, and one question where you differentaite between sets of three words, e.g. explain the difference between power, influence and authority.

I was given a piece of paper about a roman senare the day before my first interview. It was a short problem that was actually about tactical voting so i prepared that. They didnt end up asking me about it, but they asked everyone else, so I’d watch out for something like that. My first interview was with the philopshy and economics tutors. They asked me about my stats coursework (which was on measuring the efficiency of schools). It was quite mathematical, with very little economics, and was the harder of my two interviews. The second one was with the politics and another philosophy tutor and we talked about plato and government.

First interview: Can you measure the efficiency of a school? How? What are the problems of this method? That was the general gist of it, but it was more of a discussion where we all put forward ideas and discussed why they wwere wrong or right . 2nd interview: We talked about my essay for a bit (relationship bewteen Plato’s allegory of the cave and his view of cognition.) This went on to plato’s view of an ideal government and we then discussed if there could be an ideal government and what role SHOULD government have in society. Easy peasy(!)

Jumper and trousers. Casual / pubwear kind of thing. They wore the same so it was fine. Made me feel comfortable , whilst suit probably wouldn’t.

Impressions

Mine was the nicest overall, the kind of close knit environment i was looking for. Others such as New, Magdelen and ChristChurch bigger with better reputations, but not what i was looking for, a trio down there to just have a look round is quite useful.

My college is close-knit with everyone pretty much knowing everyone else, but there’s room for privacy as well, i’m told.

Some rooms are really nice, ensuite with ethernet etc, and some werent so nice. Its just pot luck i’m old as to what room you get, but overall they were ok. Facilites such as showers etc were fine, but no kitchens to be seen, altho i’m told there is one somewhere…

Good

Not reputed to be any good, but i thought it was nice enough.

Easy going, easy to talk to, friendly. They made me feel at home in the interview room, they all seemed to have sense of humour as well.

Everyone seemed to get on and they were all friendly and chatty, although that may have been alcohol at some of the time.

Final stage

I fell off the sofa.

Looking back

Yes. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.

Read a few books, but more than once rather than loads of different books. Get reviews and counterarguments if you can, (E.G.No Logo by Naomi Kelin has a good counter article in an economist of last year (2001) and i read that.) Read a newspaper everyday during at least the 2 months leading up to the exams, otherwise you’ll be put on the spot. Think about the issues in the news as well, if you can try and discuss them with people so you can sort your views out before you get into the interview room.

Just be prepared to think on you feet in the interview room, so if you have a chance to get someone to f=grill you, then take it, it’ll help, particularly if its someone you dont know very well or your headmaster, so you can get over nerves about be ing grilled by someone you dont know as well.

If you do apply, put a lot of effort in and keep thinking positively until the interviews are over.