St Edmund Hall
Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)
yes (5 A*,5 A,1 B)
(A at AS (244 UMS))
(A at AS (267 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)
(A at AS (287 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)
(A at AS (242 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)
Advanced Extension Awards
(predicted NA; gained Ungraded)
Details about the offer
AAA, Not General studies. I dropped Physics after receiving my offer to concentrate on the 3 subjects.
Decisions about the application
Because of the course PPE- it just appealed to me in every way.
Cambridge don’t do PPE; SPS is a very different course that I didn’t really want to study.
Because it covers the essence of government in its entirity, but it is also broad enough to consider other elements.
Teddy Hall seems a fun place; my school experience was so bad, I wanted somewhere a little laid back about academics. Plus, its in the centre of town, is unobvtrusive so most tourists pass it by, and is really, really pretty. 🙂
My school tried to give some basic generic advice to Oxbridge candidates, most of which was redundant. I did go out of my way to have a lot of mock interviews though.
Don’t over-prepare! Its entirely possible, especially if you’re stressed about it, and want to do something pro-active to help yourself. The trouble is, at interview, you will regurgitate what you’ve read without really thinking about it properly.
One was a history essay, about the economy of Nazy Germany (completed in my AS year). The other was a Politics essay on the pre-primary stage of US Presidential elections (completed in September before I applied).
Neither was particularly outstanding, but they were decent, and more importantly, I was willing to discuss them at interview (sods law meant that they didn’t come up!).
Standard PPE exam (probably available on the internet somewhere). I think one thing that definitely helped me was that I just about finished it; my time management is pretty good. That was in contrast to a lot of other candidates, at least from what they told me.
I had 3, one for each branch of the subject.
Politics was nice, the tutors were friendly, and encouraging. I walked out with a good feeling about it, because I had been able to say some not-completely-idiotic things there.
Philsophy was confusing- the tutor was very eccentric, but cool, and asked an age-old question with no answer. He just wanted to see how we thought.
Economics was hard- the tutor was distant, and didn’t respond much to what I said. We started discussing a book, but he dismissed everything I had to say about it- which wasn’t a lot, because my mind had gone blank!
Politics- “Do you think politicians should always be honest?” (discussion about public interest vs public knowledge- security issues, etc.)
Philosophy- “Imagine a heap of sand. Take a grain away, and its still a heap. But carry on doing that, and you’re left with just one grain, which isn’t a heap. At what point does it stop being a heap?”
Economics- (He gave me a graph) “Explain what’s going on.”
I can’t really remember now, but it wasn’t anything special. Jeans and a sweater, I think (it was pretty cold!).
Wear something comfortable. The tutors are going to try and make you uncomfortable in the interview, wearing something like a suit when you’re not comfortable thinking in that is probably going to hinder you. Plus, they don’t care what you wear, they care what you think and say!
I was kicking myself when I got home because I did what I promised myself I wouldn’t do, and had falled in love with Teddy Hall.
I think the rooms and showers, etc. were all pretty standard for a university room.
Politics- nice and friendly.
Philosophy- confusing and eccentric (but fun!)
Economics- distant and difficult to communicate with it.
Friendly and helpful.
Worst feeling ever. You just want to know.
Letter. I started jumping up and down, and then called everyone I knew.
Yep- apart from the fact that I got in, it was the best year of my life anyway!
Its not about what you know, its about how you think.