Application

 Oxford

 Merton

 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Grammar School

Selective state school/grammar school

 yes (12 A*)

A-levels

(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

B in Chemistry, A in Economics, A in Mathematics

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

The PPE course is like no other in the country (well, except York). The academic standard, presteige etc.

Oxford do PPE, Cambridge don’t! I wanted to study politics at the same time as economics, and the philosophy aspect was an added bonus.

It ranks highly in academic league tables, and there isn’t a huge fuss about things like sport – I’m an academic more than anything else, so it seemed most fitting.

Preparation

no

No

Don’t appear pretentious. Concise and precise “additional information” sections are better than flowery nonsense.

Interview

no

yes

2 essays from Economics. One was on Congestion and road pricing, which I was told was “very good” in a letter to my school post-acceptance. The other was comparison of monopolies and perfect competition, which was “satisfactory”. My advice – send longer pieces which allow you to express your own opinions.

yes

Yes, but you can’t prepare for them. One question was based on a philosophical passage, one was on game theory, and another was distinguishing between words with similar meanings (e.g. apparation, appearance, manifestation)

I had a written test and three interviews (one for each of the three subjects)

Politics: Is it rational to vote? If somebody is forced to do something, are they free to do that thing? Philosophy: Does the square root of 2 exist? If I deconstruct someone, record their structure, and send that information elsewhere to reconstruct them, is it the same person? If everything has a cause, is there something which is the cause of everything? Economics: Revolved around some game theory using an example question.

Jeans and jumper. Felt more comfortable.

Impressions

Friendly with a nice atmosphere.

Rooms are big enough, all with sinks and ethernet sockets/phone lines.

Excellent

Meant to be the best in Oxford!

Very friendly, although one or two were firm in interview (in order to get good responses).

Friendly and welcoming.

Final stage

I went out and enjoyed myself.

Looking back

Yes, because I managed to get a place on the course I really wanted to do.

Do a bit of reading in each subject.
Think carefully about questions and don’t just say the first thing that comes to your head.