Application

 Oxford

 Mansfield

 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

 2009

 rejected

Applicant

 Other qualifications

 pre-qualification

 EU

 Bulgaria

 Comprehensive School

 yes

Other universities

no

Decisions about the application

Prestige, quality, fun?

Oxford had easier application process and seemed closer to reality.

Not quite sure now that I think of it. I didn’t put enough thought into it and just followed a whim and the result was quite clear.

Picked it randomly. I wrote the names of colleges on small pieces of paper and drew one of them. I didn’t want to make an open application as somebody told me it looks bad to admission people. (This turned out to be completely wrong)

Preparation

yes

Nothing since I graduated from a mathematics high school – hardly anything to do with PPE

Further reading does wonders even if it isn’t all that obvious – the questions might be general but the way you answer them reveals a lot about your general knowledge.

Interview

no

The TSA test in November

yes

Nope

yes

Nope

Very relaxed. All three of them. The philosophy one and the economics ones were very friendly as far as atmosphere is concerned. The politics one was a bit tense as I got into an argument with one of the tutors (never,never do that)- I suspect the rejection had a lot to do with that.

Philosophy – a bunch of tricky logic related questions – identifying ambiguities in sentences and this kind of stuff. I’m sorry but I can’t really remember any specifics on these. Also asked me if a tree could be art, which we discussed after that.
Politics – questions about socialism and what is fair (I am from a ex-communist state) and also what does it mean to force smb into doing smth.
Economics – the easiest one, some differentiation, some chat about the results of the financial crisis on Eastern Europe. Generally very pleasant and easy.

Casual clothes – jeans and a shirt. Seemed very appropriate given the atmosphere of the whole thing. I think it would’ve been awkward if I was wearing a suit – there was nobody else wearing a suit and the tutors seemed so friendly, relaxed and casual.

Impressions

Very friendly and I liked the fact that it wasn’t huge.

Nice rooms though I can never get used to the lack of ensuite facilities.

Average but free!

very friendly and comforting.

Didn’t see much but the runners (helpers) were very, well, helpful and friendly.

Final stage

A bit too relaxed. I actually got worried that I’m not anxious enough and it might look like lack commitment. If I might dare to give some advice: be a bit worried but not too much. Neither of the two extremes will do you any good during the interview period. (I fell asleep before one of my interviews and had to run to the room where it was held so that I’m not late for it)

Well, not happy but didn’t exactly consider suicide.

Looking back

Probably but definitely not for the same subject.

If you have chosen carefully and the subject you’re applying for is what you are prepared for and want to study, don’t worry, getting in is surprisingly possible.