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    Got 6 A grades at AS in Chemistry, Biology, Maths, French, Spanish and Critical thinking, has lots of work experience, and a great personal statement, Oxford wouldn't even interview her. How odd is that?
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    Got 6 A grades at AS in Chemistry, Biology, Maths, French, Spanish and Critical thinking, has lots of work experience, and a great personal statement, Oxford wouldn't even interview her. How odd is that?
    Blimey. I take it she hasn't gone running to the press...
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    is thats for medicine, I know two other people in the same position.
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    (Original post by emzie)
    is thats for medicine, I know two other people in the same position.
    Yup.

    And Jools, no.

    I thought they interviewed 90%, wow.
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    (Original post by emzie)
    is thats for medicine, I know two other people in the same position.
    I know quite a few people (who are perfectly good candidates) who were rejected pre-interview for medicine too. It's because they placed much more weight on BMAT performance. The medical school have had so many complaints this year because of this new system but Oxford feel it's the only way to discriminate between candidates on an 'even playing field' (i.e. they feel that someone who has amazing grades could just be because of amazing teaching/tutoring etc).
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    I thought they interviewed 90%, wow.
    This year they interviewed about 35% because of the new system they have going on. Apparently they were going to interview all applicants but then it was extremely oversubscribed this year so they couldn't accomodate/interview us all. They even had to interview the shortlisted people in two batches this year.
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    (Original post by Lucy)
    This year they interviewed about 35% because of the new system they have going on. Apparently they were going to interview all applicants but then it was extremely oversubscribed this year so they couldn't accomodate/interview us all. They even had to interview the shortlisted people in two batches this year.
    I see, wowee, I'm surprised at her, I know it wasn't good tutoring that got her those As but sheer intelligence, that sort of thing really isn't normal in my college. Oh well, I guess in the overall scheme of things it's fair, and one can only assume she would have been rejected under the old system too. Perhaps this is fairer, because it's easier to ******** and interview than an exam.
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    I see, wowee, I'm surprised at her, I know it wasn't good tutoring that got her those As but sheer intelligence, that sort of thing really isn't normal in my college. Oh well, I guess in the overall scheme of things it's fair, and one can only assume she would have been rejected under the old system too. Perhaps this is fairer, because it's easier to ******** and interview than an exam.
    It's a shame that so many good applicants are getting turned away but I do understand why Oxford places more weight on the BMAT and their system does make sense. But of course if you do it this way, some candidates (like your friend) are bound to slip through the net. I guess the only way they could change it would to stop keeping all applicants for 2 days, so to have a system like Cambridge where they interview (practically everyone) and applicants just have to go there for a couple of hours rather than giving applicants accomodation and food.
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    The head boy at my school (independent) got rejected despite 5 As in Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Arabic (ok, he was Arab) from Cambridge, also for Medicine. He did badly in the test they gave him (could be this BMAT you're talking about).
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    (Original post by B00kwOrm)
    The head boy at my school (independent) got rejected despite 5 As in Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Arabic (ok, he was Arab) from Cambridge, also for Medicine. He did badly in the test they gave him (could be this BMAT you're talking about).
    Hmm that's a bit weird, was it for an overly competitive college or something? Because I know someone who got way below average for the BMAT (it would have been the BMAT he took) and ABBB at AS but was still given an interview. Cambridge are definitely interviewing around 80% of medical applicants though, that's very strange!
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    (Original post by Lucy)
    Hmm that's a bit weird, was it for an overly competitive college or something? Because I know someone who got way below average for the BMAT (it would have been the BMAT he took) and ABBB at AS but was still given an interview. Cambridge are definitely interviewing around 80% of medical applicants though, that's very strange!
    He applied to Churchill, so I guess it must have been pretty competitive, since it's "the" science college (or so I was told). He got a C in that test, where they asked questions such as "Why do plants not have brains?" Which I thought was quite funny, but he didn't like it. He wasn't too good at thinking "outside the box", and I think that's what they looking for in everyone, more than the grades. That would explain some of the oddities of the admissions process, with candidates with lower grades getting in and the ones with higher grades getting rejected. He was given an interview, that was last year. It went okay apparently, they just didn't like the grade he got in the test.

    Besides, I've applied to St. John's Cambridge this year for History, interviews went ok except for the source I had to discuss, which was a right bugger.
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    (Original post by B00kwOrm)
    He applied to Churchill, so I guess it must have been pretty competitive, since it's "the" science college (or so I was told). He got a C in that test, where they asked questions such as "Why do plants not have brains?" Which I thought was quite funny, but he didn't like it. He wasn't too good at thinking "outside the box", and I think that's what they looking for in everyone, more than the grades. That would explain some of the oddities of the admissions process, with candidates with lower grades getting in and the ones with higher grades getting rejected. He was given an interview, that was last year. It went okay apparently, they just didn't like the grade he got in the test.

    Besides, I've applied to St. John's Cambridge this year for History, interviews went ok except for the source I had to discuss, which was a right bugger.
    Ah ok that makes sense (i.e. that he was given an interview). I quite liked last years paper compared to this years especially the essay component (that's the "Why do plants not have brains?" part) - just because this year it seemed a lot more philosophical rather than scientific which I didn't particularly like. Yeah, I don't really know people who have gotten in with Cs, I definitely know people who have gotten in with Bs (which is supposed to be average/good) and people who have been rejected with As (probably mucked up the interview).

    Oh well, at least the whole interview process at Cambridge has finished now so no more stress for candidates or anything St John's is supposed to be very nice, infact I have a friend applying there for medicine
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    How would you answer that plants question? Would you just talk about why they don't need them, or what? I didn't realise such questions came up for you, you poor things.
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    (Original post by Lucy)
    Ah ok that makes sense (i.e. that he was given an interview). I quite liked last years paper compared to this years especially the essay component (that's the "Why do plants not have brains?" part) - just because this year it seemed a lot more philosophical rather than scientific which I didn't particularly like. Yeah, I don't really know people who have gotten in with Cs, I definitely know people who have gotten in with Bs (which is supposed to be average/good) and people who have been rejected with As (probably mucked up the interview).

    Oh well, at least the whole interview process at Cambridge has finished now so no more stress for candidates or anything St John's is supposed to be very nice, infact I have a friend applying there for medicine
    Yeah, they get philosophical about everything, even history, and although it's adding a new and challenging dimension to the subject I've only just discovered that there is such a thing as philosophy of history and my source was just on that

    St. John's is great! Where will you be applying / have you applied?
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    How would you answer that plants question? Would you just talk about why they don't need them, or what? I didn't realise such questions came up for you, you poor things.
    No idea, I'm not a medic, I'm a historian...
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    Helenia is doing medicine at Cambridge, if anyone has questions, maybe you should pm her, I'm sure she'd be happy to help.
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    How would you answer that plants question? Would you just talk about why they don't need them, or what?
    That's pretty much what I would do - I would probably define what a brain actually is and its function and then go on to say whether or not plants need these functions (which they don't e.g. they don't need rapid movement). If they do need some of the properties a brain has, I would talk about their alternative systems etc. Much more sciency rather than this year where you got yourself all confused with philosophy (well I did anyway ).

    Not only did I have to do that test, but when I went to Oxford, they made me do another (same style) test :eek:
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    (Original post by B00kwOrm)
    St. John's is great! Where will you be applying / have you applied?
    I applied to Ox for medicine - I had a total of three interviews plus the test. Oxford's new system also meant that all candidates (rather than some) received interviews at two different colleges.
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    (Original post by Lucy)
    I applied to Ox for medicine - I had a total of three interviews plus the test. Oxford's new system also meant that all candidates (rather than some) received interviews at two different colleges.
    Why is that (Interviews at two different colleges I mean)??? Doesn't it make the whole thing more complicated, stressful and confusing than it already is? At Cambridge, I had one general interview, one subject interview, and that was it. Unless I get pooled, of course. Sorry I don't know much about the Oxford system, I prefer Cambridge...

    Good luck!!! Dr Lucy...
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    (Original post by B00kwOrm)
    Why is that (Interviews at two different colleges I mean)??? Doesn't it make the whole thing more complicated, stressful and confusing than it already is? At Cambridge, I had one general interview, one subject interview, and that was it. Unless I get pooled, of course. Sorry I don't know much about the Oxford system, I prefer Cambridge...

    Good luck!!! Dr Lucy...
    It is definitely more stressful and confusing! The tutor who I talked to said it was because they really wanted to make sure the process was really fair this time (after all the application process is constantly being criticised) - he said there were just too many candidates with equivalent qualifications this year so they just want to be really sure that they are getting the best applicants rather than just applicants who fluke one interview. And they are also doing it to check that all colleges are interviewing at a uniform level (i.e. it will not be easier to get into one 'less popular' college).

    I would have definitely applied to Cambridge if I felt I wouldn't be able to cope with so many interviews/stress/tests. But tbh I wasn't that phased by it all and my personal view was that if I mucked up one interview I could redeem myself in another. In Cam, if you get one crappo interview that's pretty much it - but I performed better in some of my interviews, and worse in others - so I can't really analyse whether I'll get in or not too much.

    I did visit Cambridge as well when making my choice of applying where, it was just a gut feeling in the end because both are great.

    Thanks for the good luck, good luck to you as well I'm definitely going to med school anyway, so I don't really care (that much) anymore
 
 
 
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