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 Post subject: Oxford interview
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 517
Location: bucks
My DD had her Oxford interview last week for economics and management. I thought people might find her experience interesting.

She is at an Oxfordshire comprehensive (she failed the 11 plus) she is 1 of 6 students out of about 250 at her school with Oxbridge interviews she has 10 a*s and 1 a at gcse and is doing maths further maths econ and geography at a2 she got 4a's at AS with average ums of 95/100, she is predicted a*,a*,a*,a(fm) at a2. She took the Oxford thinking skills test in November which she found v hard, although lot of people felt the same about it.

Her personal statement was mostly about economic current affairs that interested her and reflections on economic and management issues at her various jobs (waitress,dispensary assistant) and a bit about jazz trumpet and running as extra curricular activities.

She applied to her first choice college but was allocated to another prior to interview (not sure of the significance of this but as far as we can tell this was not on the basis of the strength of her application but random as her first choice college had too many applicants) she was asked to be there Wed to Fri had an economics interview followed by a management interview on Thursday and was told on Friday that she was not required for any further interviews and was able to go home.

The economics interview was half maths plotting a function working out a maximum that kind of thing, then a grilling on more general economics topics which she found ok but she said the interviewers gave little feedback and if they thought you knew a subject moved quickly into an area that you knew less about she said that it was terrifying, as she was plotting her x axis her hand was shaking uncontrollably, but she felt she had been able to express herself and show her interest.

The management interview was more relaxed had a long chat about co-operatives partnership firms and the pros and cons of soft and hard bottom up top down management styles and felt more relaxed and confident.

At both interviews she had no questions on anything from her personal statement, and was not given anything to read or prepare.

There were 12 people being interviewed at the college e&m for 2 places (which is bit daunting especially as they only interview 30% of applicants) she said there was 1 other girl all the rest boys, they were all wearing suits (she had jeans blouse and jacket) and all the applicants she spoke to were from private schools and 4 of the boys were from the same London public school. She said that almost all the other applicants where aggressively competitive, 1 told her she must be the token comprehensive applicant and that she was at an unfair advantage because of this. The girl in the next room to her came into the bathroom when she was putting some makup on looked her up and down and said 'are you from a state school? I thought no state school people applied to Oxford."

She feels that this unpleasantness was probably just a reaction to the stress of the whole thing and that if she does get in will not be reflective as when she was at Oxford in the summer for the uniq summer school everyone was lovely.

The fact that she was not interviewed at any further colleges (3 of the 12 had to stay for further interviews) she think means she was either a definite yes or a definite no, but no way of telling really.

She find out around the 8th of jan

I think she feels that from her application and interview they certainly have a good idea who she is how she thinks and what her aptitude is, and so she could do no more. So if they say no then she trusts them that this is because she would not be suited for Oxford and so will choose between ucl and Durham.

Hope people find this valuable feel free to post or pm me if you have any questions we have been to lots of Oxford open days and talks and are pretty clued in the process now.

(i have edited the original version of this post a bit as my dd wanted to remove the names of the colleges and some specific interview details as she was told to keep quiet about these till jan as there are still some joint school interviews going on - tree)

If anyone else has a dc going through oxbridge interviews then it might be good to post some experiences here as an information source


Last edited by Tree on Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:17 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Oxford interview
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:49 am
Posts: 117
Location: North Lincolnshire
Hi Tree

Just wanted to say well done to your daughter on her fantastic result! Also wanted to wish your DD and yourself lots of luck on the application and fingers crossed she gains a place. She has clearly worked very hard!

Regards

Angie76 :D


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 Post subject: Re: Oxford interview
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2083
Location: Maidstone
Good luck to your daughter Tree.

What an awesome inspiring story! Your daughter will do well wherever she goes seeing how much she has done so far. Fingers crossed for the 8th.

Economics is terrifyingly competitive to get in and it seems to attracts some very brash kids who are just driven by earning big money in the city. The truth is about 10 of the public school boys oozing in confidence that your daughter met are still going to be rejected by Oxford. They may end up at LSE, with a bit of luck. :lol:

_________________
Impossible is Nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: Oxford interview
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 662
Location: Herts
Thank you Tree. Your DD sounds amazing.


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 Post subject: Re: Oxford interview
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:39 am
Posts: 109
Hi Tree

My DD was up for interview last week. She was kept till Saturday morning, having had just two interviews on the Wednesday, and having arrived on the Tuesday night. It was a long few days, but she made some great friends, and only hopes she might see them again. I've just looked and there are only 7 places for her course across the university. Not sure whether to tell her that to set her up for disappointment on the 8th, or whether to leave her without that particular agony. We spent a long time selecting a college, and ultimately chose the one that seemed the friendliest. Interestingly, my DD said there was no unpleasant competitiveness - including the two E&M candidates she made friends with - and that candidates were even tipping off those due to be interviewed after them to the sorts of things they might be asked. I'd be fascinated to know the college your DD was interviewed at when you are able to reveal it - I'll PM you my DD's choice. One interview involved 3 impassive tutors at one end of the table, with no feedback, and the other was much more like a tutorial, with the tutor getting quite excited at what my DD said. That was rather more enjoyable!


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 Post subject: Re: Oxford interview
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:05 am
Posts: 580
I can't speak for Oxford interviews but my DD went to Cambridge for interview last year. She found it very stressful, impassive and often disagreeable interviewers pulling part apart anything she said.......she came out shaky and pale.....feeling she had definitely 'failed' to impress.

She found the other candidates a mixed bag.....but the college she has applied to is known for state school pupils and left wing sympathies so she chose well! She was pleasantly surprised at the cultural and social mix. Everyone was pretty stressed so they didn't make friends as such, she didn't stay the night at college, but she said she'd be happy to see most of them again. The stats for her college were terrifying, Tree, so don't worry too much about that, the pooling system sorts all that out.

It sounds as though she feels she did all she could. What a fabulous sense to have after such a stressful experience. You must be very proud of her, and I'm sure with the other great choices she has, she will be happy and successful anywhere.

My DD best friend is at Durham, having missed out narrowly on an Oxford place. She is gloriously happy there, we had her over for a curry last night, and she was full of the uni life, and all the opportunities.

What will be will be, you have raised a wonderfully confident daughter and I'm sure she will thrive. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Oxford interview
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 517
Location: bucks
Thanks DHN that's kind of reasuring that all e&m applicants are not all the same if she does get in, I think she feels it was all a little abnormal and she was just unlucky. She did feel quite isolated at the college she was at and although she is generally v gregarious felt she was given the cold shoulder by the other applicants and undergraduates that were there, I'm sure it was just an unfortunate experience and does not reflect badly on the college, although scary she really enjoyed the interviews and is excited that if she does get in the tutorials would be similar. She is kind of expecting a rejection i think just because of the odds being so grim, but we'll see.

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments she has been on a journey since failing the 11 plus all those years ago and we are really proud of her.

What course was your dd applying for ?


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 Post subject: Re: Oxford interview
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:39 am
Posts: 109
Have PMd you.


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 Post subject: Re: Oxford interview
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:05 am
Posts: 580
Tree, my DD was applying for human, social and political sciences - HSPS.

Keep us updated. It's a hard thing waiting over Christmas, I remember it well last year. :|

She has done well, you all have, and all will be well! :D it is an amazing experience and Oxbridge is not the be all and end all as we all know. But yes, the tutorial system was my DD's dream, as well as the course itself which was exactly what she wanted.

Keep breathing, and lots of mince pies and wine til early January!


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 Post subject: Re: Oxford interview
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:05 am
Posts: 580
Ooooh sorry, you weren't asking me! :oops:


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