Application

 Oxford

 St Hugh’s

 Physics

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (1 A*,4 A,6 B)

A-levels

(C at AS)

(NA at AS)

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

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

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

predicted B for AS FM.

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Computing, A in Mathematics, A in Physics

yes

I will have Oxford as my first choice with Nottingham second.

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

It opens many doors in the future

Cambridge did not do the straight Physics course and also my Granddad got a first at Oxford

Someone from my school had come here before and got a first so i was told that would increase my chances of getting in

Preparation

yes

Yes, I had 2 mock interviews but they weren’t very similar to the actual thing

The Forms: Most people I know left the additional info box blank but I filled it in with a description of why I specifically wanted to come to Oxford

The interview(s): Read the magazines like New Scientist and Scientific American so you have something to talk about and also learn all the P1,2 and 3 stuff like integration and differentiation as it comes up a hell of a lot. Also relax because if you’re stressed out at the interview you may come across worse than if you are calm, friendly and polite.

Interview

no

no

yes

Yes, I had to take a maths test. To prepare I took the mock from the Oxford uni website and spent ages revising maths stuff. Didn’t really matter in the end as I think the maths test is less important than the interviews though if you do spectacularly well or badly in the test it will probably affect their decision.

I had three interviews in total as I had two in St Hughs and they sent me to Jesus on the last day for a third interview. In the first one i turned up, sat down and got ripped apart by a really clever professer bloke. This went badly. In the second one I turned up and was, from the moment i got in the door, made to stand up in front of the professor and do loads of complicated maths things on the board. This went well. In the final interview i turned up and was asked almost totally Physics questions by two professors which was very scary as when one of them was playing good cop the other was playing bad cop so I never got a let up.

In the first interview the questions were mainly Physics based eg the workings of particle accelerators. In the second interview the questions were mainly Maths based so there were lots of questions on integration and differation as well as many on the mechanics part of maths. The third interview was a mixture of the two with some physics questions at first then some maths questions.

To the first interview I wore smart trousers, a shirt and a jumper but after that i realised the interviewers weren’t interested in what I wore so I turned up to the second interview in more going out sort of clothes and for the third interview I was only given about half an hours notice before it started so I had to go in what I was wearing when I found out which was jeans and t-shirt.

Impressions

St Hughs was ok, it was quite far out of the town centre which would put some people off I think as its a long walk and quite annoying when its cold. Jesus was much better, traditional Oxford with the old buildings and literally in the centre of town. Could just fall out of bed into the nearest pub!

St Hughs had reasonable size rooms though they varied wildly. I had quite a large, comfortable room but the girl in the room next to me had a tiny room that was very cramped. The facilities were good with a modern JCR though I did not get a chance to check out the college bar.

Edible but not great

In St Hughs there were guides to take you to the tutor’s room at the time of the interview though sometimes they seemed a bit lazy and unconcerned about getting you there on time. At Jesus they gave me a map and some directions and sent me to find it.

The college students were alright from what I saw of them though there were a few independent school people there who did not seem to want to mix with the interviewees.

Final stage

The letter was really late in coming. My friend was rejected for the same subject about a week before I got the letter so it seems not to be a bad thing if they leave you waiting. I obviously was quite happy that I got in but my parents started straight away with the “if you want to get in you have to work 24/7” routine. It is true you have to work to get the three As but don’t let your parents bully you into living in your work!

Looking back

Yes, because I got in and it was a really good experience.

Don’t think you’re not good enough cos if you try you can get in!