Application

 Oxford

 Corpus Christi

 Physics

 2001

 pooled, offer made (St Edmund Hall)

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (10 A*)

A-levels

(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)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Mathematics, A in Philosophy, A in Physics

yes

I will accept the offer by St Edmund Hall, and put University College London as second.

yes

yes

UCL

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Good course, Good reputation, like the collegiate system, provides accomodation for the duration of your course.

Course

Open day

Preparation

no

The Forms: Make sure it’s clear and concise, go for a broad description of your all your interests rather than going into one in depth

The interview(s): See similar question in “Afterthoughts”

Interview

no

no

yes

1 hour maths exam, prepared by looking at a sample paper and revising the topic areas on the paper I had not covered as part of my course.

Had four interviews in all. Mainly concentrated on academic questions related to my subject, virtually nothing on my personal statement/interests.

Things like: Solar energy landing on an umbrella is enough to power a washing machine. What is the mass loss of the sun per second? What is the minimum length full length mirror, in terms of a person’s height? Why can’t a person light a match in a sattelite in orbit? Don’t worry if you can’t do these – the interviewer had to step in and help me quite often!

trousers, shirt and jumper. Not scruffy or informal, but comfortable.

Impressions

Corpus is a lovely college in a small street off the High, so it’s central but secluded. The back of the college has a view over Christ Church Meadow, which was nice. It’s small so there’s a friendly atmosphere: everyone is friends with everyone else.

Good accommodation, had a large room with a sink; shower and toilet were at the end of the corridor.

Good

Varied, two choices for each meal. Not gourmet but quite satisfactory.

Very polite, they realised that the interviewees would be nervous and made sure we were comfortable before getting stuck in.

They were great, especially considering that it was their holiday. They made sure we got to all our interviews on time and took us to other colleges if we had an interview there. They also played chess etc with us in the JCR – they didn’t just sit around by themself.

Final stage

I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t offered a place at Corpus (I was offered a place by St Edmund Hall), but this soon passed. After that it was really good not to worry about getting in!

Looking back

Yes definitely. Even if I hadn’t got in, I had a great time and an really good experience to talk to some experts in my subject and see what they thought of me.

Don’t try and prepare too much, you probably won’t be able to guess what will be asked. Be confident, try and explain what you’re thinking even if you don’t know exactly where you are going. The worst thing you can do is to sit sround in silence. Try and come across as interested in your subject and don’t let anything fluster you. They’re really not that bad! Remember, they’re not looking so much for what you know, just how you think. You are probably not going to be able to change this.