Application

 Oxford

 Christ Church

 Physics

 2009

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (4 A*,3 A,2 B)

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)

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

Other universities

yes

yes

Decisions about the application

Oxford had a straight Physics course, Cambridge didn’t

I liked it on the open day.

Preparation

no

Interview

yes

Physics aptitude test

no

no

Interview seemed to go fairly well, Interviewers were very harsh and unkind. I was laughed at by my interviewers during the physics interview when I attempted to answer a question on a topic which I hadn’t previously learned about (lenses) whatsoever after being told that if that were the case I could tell them that I hadn’t learned it and have a different question. In my maths interview, they were quite impatient and one interviewer said “time flies when you’re having fun” sarcastically at the end of the interview. I answered everything well other than that lenses question and was still rejected. I didn’t enjoy the interviews, although the interviewers are probably nice people in real life, they definitely didn’t come across that way. Some people got in obviously, so I guess there was something they saw in other applicants but I feel I wasn’t treated very well.

One person who received an offer said his interview went really awfully, whereas I thought mine went fairly well. This may have something to do with differences in how we perceived the interview but Christ Church is renowned for being snobby, I am a state school girl and this person is a Grammar School boy and this might have something to do with it. I may be being silly, but you never know.

Lenses, Mechanics, Exponentials/Pi/irrational number questions, quantum (light reflection and wavelength questions), circles and circumference, was asked about how cameras worked in physics terms after I put “I enjoy all types of photography” in my extracurricular section of my personal statement (expect any and all questions.)

smart casual (cotton dress, black tights, black pumps, scarf and navy duffel coat)

Impressions

Seemed nice at open day, seemed fairly cold and unwelcoming at interview.

Rooms were huge, showers and laundry facilities were good.

food was AWFUL.

Unpleasant to interviewees, probably very nice otherwise.

A bit scary but a few seemed lovely.

Final stage

very nervous, fairly optimistic.

Received a letter a couple days after interview and a week before christmas telling me I had been rejected, I was heartbroken.

Looking back

Certainly not to the same college. My father who works at Oxford had said that Brasenose which was where I would’ve otherwise applied was very popular and therefore very difficult to get into, I would’ve gone with my gut and not listened to him as I didn’t have a good experience at Christ Church and Brasenose seemed much friendlier and a better atmosphere.

Go with your gut, pick a smaller and more friendly college so that at least if you get rejected you have an enjoyable time at interview. Don’t worry too much about the tutors and their fields of study and expect ANY question on ANYTHING in your personal statement.