Application

 Oxford

 Balliol

 Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology (PPP)

 2008

 offer made

Applicant

 Other qualifications

 post-qualification

 overseas

 Russia

 Comprehensive School

I studied in a Secondary school in Moscow and had 2 years of a University here.

 yes

Other qualifications

1) “Attestat o Srednem Obrazovanii” – it is a certificate you receive in Russia after graduation from school, it is quite similar with GSCSE. I had around 15 subjects there and I received the best marks (“five”) for most of them. I also had “fours” for two or three subjects.
2) A record book with my university exam marks.

Details about the offer

 unconditional

yes

yes

yes

I chose between Oxford (PPP – unconditional offer) and King’s College London (neuroscience, unconditional offer). KCL is very strong in the field of neuroscience too but I chose Oxford because my course there is more flexible and has more options in different subjects. I also like Oxford more than London, and the educational system in Oxbridge is really amazing.

 offer met

Decisions about the application

I am really into my subject and I want to study it in a world class University. I have been studying English for a long time and could choose between the UK and the USA. I chose Britain because I am not a big fan of America and it is not so far from my home : )
Oxford and Cambridge are the cities from my childhood dreams and I wanted to find out whether those cities are real : )

The course was more flexible. I also thought that the city should be more friendly (I had not been to the UK before applying to universities).

I think that the combination between psychology and physiology is a great basis and it will let me develop further.

I googled the tutors’ names and chose an old college where the tutor’s interests were close to mine.

Preparation

no

I did not discuss my application with any people from my university except for my referee.

Looking through the tests in anvace was useful. There is also a book about the preparation to the thinking skills tests, it might be useful too.

Interview

no

no

yes

There was a thinking skills test and an essay.

I think they were quite good. The problem was that I caught a cold during the interview time and was in fever of 38 – 38,5 degrees, it was really awful!

The tutors gave me different kinds of charts and graphs which were the results of the experiments and asked me to describe them and to comment on them. They also asked me whether I could imagine any reasons for different psychological phenomena and discussed these with me.

Questions about data provided.
“Do animals think?”
“It is known that the first child in a family is cleverer than his siblings. What are the possible reasons for that?”
and so on

I wore trousers, a blouse, and a sweater. It was a little bit official but I felt comfortable wearing that. I thought that jeans would be unappropriate but there were people dressed more casual than I was.

Impressions

They were very frindly and helpful. When I was ill they helped me very much postponing my interviews.

It is amazing! I lived in two rooms (“a living room” and “a bedroom”) in an old building. The room really reminded me of the atmosphere in “Brideshead revisited”.

It was good.

They were very frindly and most of them were really interested in my answers.

Frindly and really nice. They wanted to help very much!

Final stage

I thought that I was quite well during the interviews but I was really nervous about the test as I was in fever during it and it was very difficult to pay attention. I also thought that the interiew in the second college (St. Anne’s) was more successful. It came out true as this college finally accepted me. I was very nervous on the day the decision should have been sent. I also checked my e-mail more often than usual before that : )

First I received a letter from Balliol which said that they could not provide me a place but “thay understood if another collge was interested in me”, something like that. In a couple of hours I received an offer from St. Anne’s. It was great, I could not believe I really did that and so did my mother. We were sitting together and did not know how to react and what to do.

Looking back

Yes, sure!

It is not as frightening as it seems to be. The tutors do not assess you personally, there goal is to find out whether you suite to the educational system or not. Thay are proffesionals and it is better to believe them and show yourself the way you really are because it is not about you being good or bad, clever or silly, it is about you being suitable for the system. I am sure that the majority of my russian frinds could do that if there English was better (it is not I boast, it is a real problem for russian students). I think that I will try to convince my sister to apply to study music in Oxbridge, I think she will be able to do that.