Application

 Oxford

 Exeter

 Physics

 2003

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (7 A,4 B,1 C)

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)

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Mathematics, A in Physics

A, AA (Mathematics, Physics) + another A in either FM or Chemistry.

yes

Will certainly go to Oxford. Is too good an opportunity to turn down.

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

No harm in trying, knew I would receive a better degree, better career prospects.

Oxford has a stronger physics department ( Times Uni Guide) , only want to do physics as opposed to natural sciences course.

Smaller community, thought you would make better friends and fit in at a smaller college.

Preparation

yes

No, a practice interview was suggested but i disagreed with my head of sixth form that it would be any use. Having been through the interviews I know for a fact that it wouldn’t have been.

The Forms: In the personal statement mention a couple of reasons for selecting the college. The individual colleges are very competitive with one another ( almost as much as universities!)

The interview(s): Just make sure you know your syllabus’s for maths and physics and you’ll be fine. Try to relax as well. Everyone I spoke too made so many silly mistakes due to nerves.

Interview

no

no

yes

1 hour maths exam. Prepared by doing P2, P3, and P4 practice questions. Even though P4 is not necessary it was very helpful!

All academic questions, hardly needed to revise my personal statement. Questions were designed to apply familiar concepts to new situations.

Graph sketching, differentiation, integration etc. Physics ones involved calculating the force exerted on a plane by the air molecules, chemical energy contained within a battery.

Jumper, smart trousers. (was cold) Didn’t think a suit would be necessary as I genuinely believe the tutors don’t care what you where.

Impressions

Very attractive,

Spacious rooms although the JCR was relatively small. Will vary substantially however from college to college.

Good

Were vegetarian options

Friendly

Most where helpful although some seemed quite intimidated by all the interviewee’s ! I put this down to the fact the helpers were in the minority.

Final stage

My dad woke me up telling me there was a letter ( had been out l8 the nite before). Was delighted, clearly, didn’t think I had done enough to get in. Relieved just to know the result.

Looking back

Definitely, although it was a nerve-racking experience you will enjoy your stay in the college ( at Oxford) . And because I received an offer.

Try and relax in interviews. All the tutors want to see is how well you UNDERSTAND your subject. An extensive knowledge of facts is certainly not required for sciences.