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#1
Anyone here go to any of these two unis, or is planning on applying there? Or maybe some graduates from Oxbridge?

I'll be submitting in my UCAS application this October and I'm applying to Oxford for engineering.
Thought this thread could be a place for the pit to discuss the two Universities, colleges in each Uni and maybe the application process, provided there's enough of an audience :P

EDIT: Yay, I ended up getting an offer from Oxford!
Last edited by Metallica1554 at Jan 2, 2012,
#3
i know somebody that got the results he needed to get into cambridge today. he's happy as ****.

i'm going college next year, yes, i'm interested in applying to oxbridge. good luck to you.

btw, does anybody know if they care about your GCSE results? if i have average GCSEs, like A*s-Bs and all A*s in A Level, would they care about my GCSEs?
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#4
True story: I used to think all Brits went to either Oxford or Cambridge.
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#5
Quote by laid-to-waste
i know somebody that got the results he needed to get into cambridge today. he's happy as ****.

i'm going college next year, yes, i'm interested in applying to oxbridge. good luck to you.

btw, does anybody know if they care about your GCSE results? if i have average GCSEs, like A*s-Bs and all A*s in A Level, would they care about my GCSEs?


Yes, they care about it. To have a serious chance of being considered for an interview when you are up against a 1000 other students, atleast about 5A*s will make them consider you (provided your predicted grades are also good).

If you got a few A*s from a shitty school they would be more impressed than if you got 6A*s and rest As from some place like Eton.
Last edited by Metallica1554 at Aug 18, 2011,
#6
I got a conditional offer for Oxford to do Mech Eng when I was applying, narrowly missed out though
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#8
Quote by Random88
I got a conditional offer for Oxford to do Mech Eng when I was applying, narrowly missed out though


Aw, that sucks man

I thought they only did general eng.? That's what I'm applying for. What was the interview like?

You have to do extra curricular stuff too, they love all that stuff - it shows you're proactive and engage in stuff other than just school work.


With oxbridge its more if you do extra curricular stuff in the course you want to study and apply for, rather than something completely unrelated like a grade 6 in clarinet (unless you're doing music).
#9
I seriously doubt anybody with the intelligence to be accepted into oxbridge will be in the Pit.
#10
Quote by Metallica1554
Yes, they care about it. To have a serious chance of being considered for an interview when you are up against a 1000 other students, atleast about 5A*s will make them consider you (provided your predicted grades are also good).

If you got a few A*s from a shitty school they would be more impressed than if you got 6A*s and rest As from some place like Eton.


is there any way to balance out shitty GCSEs with a shitload of extracurricular activities? (i've been to a first aid school, volunteered at 3 old homes and a nursery and looking for more)


Quote by AdamG313
I seriously doubt anybody with the intelligence to be accepted into oxbridge will be in the Pit.


there are a lot of intellectual people that post here.
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Last edited by laid-to-waste at Aug 18, 2011,
#11
Quote by ErikLensherr
True story: I used to think all Brits went to either Oxford or Cambridge.


Wait, you mean they don't?
#13
Quote by TextOnTheScreen
Wait, you mean they don't?

Course not that's silly. Some of them become chimney sweeps.

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#14
Quote by laid-to-waste
is there any way to balance out shitty GCSEs with a shitload of extracurricular activities? (i've been to a first aid school, volunteered at 3 old homes and a nursery and looking for more)


Yes, that is one way of making up for not working hard/getting shitty grades in GCSE. Remember though that the extra curricular activities should be somehow related to the course you want to apply for (or make it sound that way in your personal statement), that way it will show them that you are truly interested in studying that subject as you are spending your own time on it.

Quote by TextOnTheScreen
Wait, you mean they don't?


Nah, it's the top two Unis in the UK (and in the top 5 in the world), so only the brightest guys go there. We have about a million other universities too to which many other students go.
Last edited by Metallica1554 at Aug 18, 2011,
#15
Quote by Metallica1554
Aw, that sucks man

I thought they only did general eng.? That's what I'm applying for. What was the interview like?

It may have been... it was a few years ago now.

The interviews (there's 2, one at your chosen college and one at another college) were quite technical, lots oh physics/maths stuff. My tip: if they ask you what you find hard, tell them something you're good at, because they'll probably ask you a question on it later. Then, when you answer that question well, they'll think you're a genius.
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#16
Quote by Metallica1554
Yes, that is one way of making up for not working hard/getting shitty grades in GCSE. Remember though that the extra curricular activities should be somehow related to the course you want to apply for (or make it sound that way in your personal statement), that way it will show them that you are truly interested in studying that subject as you are spending your own time on it.


yeah, i'm taking medicine so all those are relevant. thanks for the info.
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#17
Quote by Random88
It may have been... it was a few years ago now.

The interviews (there's 2, one at your chosen college and one at another college) were quite technical, lots oh physics/maths stuff. My tip: if they ask you what you find hard, tell them something you're good at, because they'll probably ask you a question on it later. Then, when you answer that question well, they'll think you're a genius.


Thanks man, I'll keep that in mind

No doubt I will be shitting myself a few days before the interview day.
#18
I know someone who went to Oxford.. then got kicked out after overdosing and getting a little psycho.. She's smart as **** as well and could have easily got an awesome grade/whatever it's called.

but yeh basically; do lots of stuff that makes you stand out. Volunteering, debating clubs, good grades. Of course, try to orientate them around engineering.
The end.

Also, good luck. This is the the part of your life where you need to get in gear and do lots of stuff which may change your future entirely, based on how lazy or motivated you are. No pressure.
There's a good chance that what I've written above is useless and if you take any of the advice it's your own fault.
#20
My dad and brother both went to Oxford, and it's my hometown, so I know the place pretty well. For one, you have to commited to hard work, and I mean very hard work. Also, a lot of people there are pretty moneyed, and you may feel like you don't fit in if you aren't. That said, the job prospects are fantastic from either, so don't let it put you off. But you have to know it's right for you. If it's not, don't bother.

Also, your applying for Engineering? I'm a civ Eng at UCL, and I had offers from Imperial (and a few others). I also had an interview for Engineering at Oxford. If you want any advice on either Oxbridge or Engineering at the top Unis, feel free to ask a question here or drop me a pm.
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Last edited by Mechanixx at Aug 18, 2011,
#21
Everyone on UG seems to do Engineering
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#22
I go to Oxford at the mo, doing Physics, so not a million miles away. College system's awesome, make sure you check out your favourites before you apply though. Also, the interviews are almost entirely subject based, they'll probably ask you to do a couple of questions, with one mathsy and the other more general. And you may get 2 interviews at your chosen college, instead of just the one. Depends on the college.

But seriously, good luck! Hope to see you around
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#23
Quote by Mechanixx
My dad and brother both went to Oxford, and it's my hometown, so I know the place pretty well. For one, you have to commited to hard work, and I mean very hard work. Also, a lot of people there are pretty moneyed, and you may feel like you don't fit in if you aren't. That said, the job prospects are fantastic from either, so don't let it put you off. But you have to know it's right for you. If it's not, don't bother.

Also, your applying for Engineering? I'm a civ Eng at UCL, and I had offers from Imperial (and a few others). I also had an interview for Engineering at Oxford. If you want any advice on either Oxbridge or Engineering at the top Unis, feel free to ask a question here or drop me a pm.


Oh nice! What sort of questions were you asked? Any ridiculous ones that you remember?

Quote by bowdowntomono
I go to Oxford at the mo, doing Physics, so not a million miles away. College system's awesome, make sure you check out your favourites before you apply though. Also, the interviews are almost entirely subject based, they'll probably ask you to do a couple of questions, with one mathsy and the other more general. And you may get 2 interviews at your chosen college, instead of just the one. Depends on the college.

But seriously, good luck! Hope to see you around


Oh wow, which college are you at? I'm strongly considering Brasenose right now, or St. Johns.
And thanks, I hope to see you around too!
#24
I'm at University, not too many have heard of it, but it's a really good place (the oldest one ). I'd go for St John's out of those two, massive place, nearly chose it myself. Not sure about Brasenose, I think they've got some pretty long term building going on at the moment which is clogging up the main quad.

If you do want any advice or stuff, you can always pm me, same as Mechanixx.
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#25
Quote by bowdowntomono
I go to Oxford at the mo, doing Physics, so not a million miles away. College system's awesome, make sure you check out your favourites before you apply though. Also, the interviews are almost entirely subject based, they'll probably ask you to do a couple of questions, with one mathsy and the other more general. And you may get 2 interviews at your chosen college, instead of just the one. Depends on the college.

But seriously, good luck! Hope to see you around


hah, got interviewed but didn't get in to oxford, now doing physics at Imperial, can't complain

Would really like to do a PhD in the plasma group (JET and what not), but you Oxford guys seem a bit too brainy
#26
Yeah, can't complain about Imperial, I thought it was a really nice place when I visited. Really good for physics as well
Not too sure about that, some of the people here are bat shit insane, but others are just like at other unis. Join us for a PhD! :P
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#27
Ninja'd.
Well, the colleges are sort of like halls of residence at other unis, except that it's a lot more than that. They vary pretty widely, modern, old, small, massive, but they all effectively act as the centre for almost any social activity you may choose, and most of your friends will probably be from your college.
e.g. Christ Church is a massive, rich, old college, which has a reputation for being quite upper class and is a massive tourist attraction.
Whereas Oriel is a small, fairly well-off, very old college, which has a reputation for being very sporty.
That make sense?
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#28
Quote by Metallica1554
Oh nice! What sort of questions were you asked? Any ridiculous ones that you remember?


My first interview (Pembroke) was pretty tough. The thing with applying for a general engineering degree is that they can ask you literally anything engineering related. As I was applying for civil engineering everywhere else I was pretty up on civil engineering related stuff, but weak on other stuff. Also, I didn't do A-levels so while I've covered the same stuff in Maths, I did it in a different order, so when I had my interview I was missing a few bits of calculus that I covered literally a few weeks after my interview. Also the lead interviewer (there are always 2) was very rude, and it threw me a bit.

At Pembroke they asked me a load of questions about circuits, something I hadn't done in Physics since GCSE and was awful on. Then a few on Newtons laws and forces, which were pretty straightforward. And they asked me a few maths ones as well, which like I said, I couldn't answer some of. It's pretty intense because you are so on the spot, even questions you could quite comfortably solve become harder when there is a scary professor asking you aggresively Make sure your sharp on anything in your maths and physics syllabus, and that you can demonstrate an outside interest in engineering. I was asked if I could drive because I mentioned I'd always loved cars, and I said no, but I ride a motorbike, to which I was asked: "Well can you take it apart?". I can't, and the guy didn't seem to happy.

My second interview was at Hertford, and was much nicer. Most of the questions revolved around Hooks law, and some calculus questions.

Basically, be sharp on all your maths and physics, be able to show an outside interest, and don't let yourself get phased by anything. And I repeat, you need to know it's right for you. I didn't properly prepare because my heart was in it (with a family history at Oxford, it was a given I'd apply, but I always wanted to go to either UCL or Imperial), and I'm sure that led to me not putting in the required effort.

Any other questions about Oxford or Engineering, just fire away. You got any prefered engineering field at this stage?

EDIT: Guy at Imperial, you don't happen to know either Josh Day or Conor Marsh, doing physics at Imperial? At any rate, Imperial is a fantastic uni, for a lot of science and engineering courses it's the best in the country.
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Last edited by Mechanixx at Aug 18, 2011,
#29
Thanks for all the info Mechanixx, much appreciated! I'm also applying to Imperial for mechanical engineering. I think outside of general I'm going for mechanical engineering.
#30
Ah Mech Eng is a great course, tough but interesting. Great employment opportunities in any field. Especially from a brilliant institution like Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL I have a mate from home doing Mech Eng at Leeds, and 3 mates at Imperial (2 doing Physics and one doing Biomed Eng), and I had an interview and offer (for Civ Eng) from Imperial, so if you have questions, or any more Oxbridge or engineering related, just fire away. Glad I can be helpful, it's not often that I can be useful in the pit
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#31
TS, are you at state or private school? Oxbridge pretend to be inclusive but private school children are coached on how to get into Oxford from when they learn how to write their name. Don't panic, but know the competition will be intense. You should find someone at your school who can coach you for the interview, someone with a bit of experience of Oxford interviews.
#32
Quote by Mechanixx
Ah Mech Eng is a great course, tough but interesting. Great employment opportunities in any field. Especially from a brilliant institution like Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL I have a mate from home doing Mech Eng at Leeds, and 3 mates at Imperial (2 doing Physics and one doing Biomed Eng), and I had an interview and offer (for Civ Eng) from Imperial, so if you have questions, or any more Oxbridge or engineering related, just fire away. Glad I can be helpful, it's not often that I can be useful in the pit


Do you know whether the friend at Leeds is happy with the course and enjoys it? I'm considering staying in Leeds to do mech eng.
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#33
I won't even dare applying there. :p

I have grades akin to ABB, which is by far insufficient for Oxbridge

Bath, Birmingham, Essex, Sheffield and Manchester are my choices; I've heard that these are very good as well, so I am not really bothered about the fact that I can't get into Oxbridge.
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#34
Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
TS, are you at state or private school? Oxbridge pretend to be inclusive but private school children are coached on how to get into Oxford from when they learn how to write their name. Don't panic, but know the competition will be intense. You should find someone at your school who can coach you for the interview, someone with a bit of experience of Oxford interviews.



I have to drop in here and refute this...as somebody with a fair amount of private school education under my belt I have to say that there's very little perceptible difference between private and state schooling in terms of curriculum or content...the only thing I really noticed is that private schools tend to be a lot more socially relaxed, and unlike the state system you can't get 'trapped' in a grade if you're overperforming. Whereas in a state school if you learn too fast you'll wind up rehashing the same crap for the rest of the year regardless of your results, a private school is more likely to notice this and just give it to you as fast as you can handle it. I'm not gonna deny that some schools are more "Oxford-friendly" than others, but to use it as a general statement about 'private school children' is wildly innacurate to say the least.
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#35
Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
TS, are you at state or private school? Oxbridge pretend to be inclusive but private school children are coached on how to get into Oxford from when they learn how to write their name. Don't panic, but know the competition will be intense. You should find someone at your school who can coach you for the interview, someone with a bit of experience of Oxford interviews.


I go to a private school actually, and you're right, we have had a lot of oxbridge preparation already, but I've also been doing my own research to stand a better chance.
#36
Oxbridge get fairly poor reviews on unistats, which is based on student opinion, not that of employers and the general public. However, it does look brilliant on your C.V.
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#37
I'm a vet med student at cambridge, just about to go into my 3rd year.

Our interview system is a bit different, with only one college (normally the one you apply for) interviewing you, but other colleges may take you on their recommendation of the first college has too many good applicants (this happened to me).

I was state school, so don't feel a lack of private education will hinder you. Just make sure you actually look interested in your subject, and have read around more than the A level course. That said, interviews are more about your thought process than what you know, so don't be worried if you don't know the answer. Just explain out loud what you are thinking and how you arrive at your conclusion, or would find the answer. Also, anything you do at a level can be talked about. Nearly a third of my interview was a maths problem, despite being completely unrelated to the course I was applying for.

Having extra curricular activities is nice but far from necessary. Knowing your subject and being interested in it (work experience if applicable is good) is far more important than playing x number of sports and being a "well rounded person", as a lot of people seem to think.

EDIT From what I gather being there, pretty much everyone is really happy with it, and the uni does far more than others to help you to learn and cope with the courses. The drop out and fail rates are really low, which should speak for itself given how hard the exams are.
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#38
Quote by gm jack
EDIT From what I gather being there, pretty much everyone is really happy with it, and the uni does far more than others to help you to learn and cope with the courses.


I call bollocks.
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#39
Last year, I got 5 sessions a week with experts (lecturers, researchers etc) to help me with each of my models in a group of 3. I also have a director of studies to help sort out work related problems, and a tutor to help if I have other problems which could affect work.

How many other unis are willing to invest that much into each student on top of all the lectures?
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#40
Quote by gm jack
Last year, I got 5 sessions a week with experts (lecturers, researchers etc) to help me with each of my models in a group of 3. I also have a director of studies to help sort out work related problems, and a tutor to help if I have other problems which could affect work.

How many other unis are willing to invest that much into each student on top of all the lectures?


I know for a fact that Chichester university offer pretty much exactly the same service - in fact most universities I've spoken to do this, and this is backed up by having asked the students - who agreed that the staff were always available and arranging sessions was easy. Chichester university also has authors, publishers and editors come in on a monthly basis to talk to students as a series of lectures and individual sessions, and all classes receive the standard number of lectures per week, plus a series of group sessions, plus 3 individual sessions as standard.

If you've never been to more than one university, don't claim yours is the best.
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