The Idiot's Guide to Getting into Oxbridge

Watch
This discussion is closed.
scum
Badges: 0
#1
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#1
Take it from an Oxford student and someone who's been very involved with the interview process. Oxbridge candidates are judged on two criteria and two criteria alone. The tutors let you in if:

1. You are intelligent.
2. They think they would enjoy teaching you.

Point no. 1 is the most important. The intelligence required is not the intelligence of the "i got 10 a stars and 5 a's at a-level" kind; it is a raw, base intelligence rather than a booksmart, swotty, revise-a-lot cleverness. They want people with a spark in them, innate brilliance.

Point number two is less important, but still incredibly useful. At the end of the day the same tutors will be in close personal supervision of you for at least a year; they want to be able to enjoy your company.

The only reason that point 2 is outweighed by point 1 is the "******** factor". That is someone who more than fulfils the criterion for intelligence set above, but carries with it an inflated ego and an arrogant, stuck up personality. Having had numerous conversations with tutors regarding candidates, the scenario they most fear is when the said ******** is being considered. 90% of the time they feel that the superb intellect of the above mentioned a-hole is enough to merit a place.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the tutors already have about 75% of their intake selected before the interviews actually take place, and use them as a kind of "tidying-up" exercise to quality-check.

To hammer home the point, in my interviews, I told one tutor not to sleep that night as I was planning to shoot him as he lay, and turned up to another interview drunk, after less than 3 hours sleep. In my entrance exam i wrote about s&m fetishists.
0
Brown Patrick Bateman
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#2
Report 16 years ago
#2
(Original post by scum)
Take it from an Oxford student and someone who's been very involved with the interview process. Oxbridge candidates are judged on two criteria and two criteria alone. The tutors let you in if:

1. You are intelligent.
2. They think they would enjoy teaching you.

Point no. 1 is the most important. The intelligence required is not the intelligence of the "i got 10 a stars and 5 a's at a-level" kind; it is a raw, base intelligence rather than a booksmart, swotty, revise-a-lot cleverness. They want people with a spark in them, innate brilliance.
Some people on this forum really need to learn this.

(Original post by scum)
It is also worth bearing in mind that the tutors already have about 75% of their intake selected before the interviews actually take place, and use them as a kind of "tidying-up" exercise to quality-check.
That surprises me.
0
emzie
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#3
Report 16 years ago
#3
did u get in? i completly aggree with you btw
0
emzie
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#4
Report 16 years ago
#4
( about points 1+2 esp the bit about spark, I was talking to an ex chch person today and they said exactly the same thing.)
0
scum
Badges: 0
#5
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#5
as i said, I'm an Oxford Student. I got a matriculation offer.
0
GH
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#6
Report 16 years ago
#6
(Original post by scum)
To hammer home the point, in my interviews, I told one tutor not to sleep that night as I was planning to shoot him as he lay, and turned up to another interview drunk, after less than 3 hours sleep. In my entrance exam i wrote about s&m fetishists.
Wow, did you get in?

What motivated you to do that?
0
tomek J.
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#7
Report 16 years ago
#7
thanks for your ideas...but are you serious with the s&m thing?
please, DO tell me which subject you are doing and at which college!
0
emzie
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#8
Report 16 years ago
#8
whats a matriculation offer? is it any diff to a normal offer?
0
kildare
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#9
Report 16 years ago
#9
(Original post by scum)
It is also worth bearing in mind that the tutors already have about 75% of their intake selected before the interviews actually take place, and use them as a kind of "tidying-up" exercise to quality-check.

.
Doesn't that go against everything you said previously?
0
scum
Badges: 0
#10
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#10
(Original post by kildare)
Doesn't that go against everything you said previously?
no. because they can tell from what you yourself have written in your personal statement, and what your referee has written about you largely what you are like. They can then see you in the flesh to back this up, hence the "tidying-up" exercise.

You must realise that presented with a portfolio of 30 or so people to read through in mid october, 2 months before interviews, it is only human for tutors to express preferences.

In my personal statement i remember i put that when i grew up i wanted to be a dole scrounger, and that my ideal hobby was hibernation.
0
scum
Badges: 0
#11
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#11
i'm 100% serious about the S&M thing.

A matriculation offer is essentially an unconditional.
0
Brown Patrick Bateman
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#12
Report 16 years ago
#12
(Original post by scum)
no. because they can tell from what you yourself have written in your personal statement, and what your referee has written about you largely what you are like. They can then see you in the flesh to back this up, hence the "tidying-up" exercise.

You must realise that presented with a portfolio of 30 or so people to read through in mid october, 2 months before interviews, it is only human for tutors to express preferences.

In my personal statement i remember i put that when i grew up i wanted to be a dole scrounger, and that my ideal hobby was hibernation.
*Name, subject and college of 'scum' censored*
0
fayzd
Badges: 0
#13
Report 16 years ago
#13
Spark is the word!

I've had this theory for a while. Some people just do have that spark, and that's when you can get this big mental connection, where you are just zinging off one another's ideas. It's a rare thing... I've met 3 people in my life who've had it. All three are now at Oxbridge. On the other hand, I know a couple of people who are also at Oxbridge who don't have it, but work really hard and are naturally good at remembering things. So I guess it helps, but it's not necessary as such.
0
emzie
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#14
Report 16 years ago
#14
why have the course/college scums at been censored?
0
way2go
Badges: 0
#15
Report 16 years ago
#15
(Original post by scum)
It is also worth bearing in mind that the tutors already have about 75% of their intake selected before the interviews actually take place, and use them as a kind of "tidying-up" exercise to quality-check.
What is more important: good grades or good references?
0
Seer
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#16
Report 16 years ago
#16
(Original post by scum)

To hammer home the point, in my interviews, I told one tutor not to sleep that night as I was planning to shoot him as he lay, and turned up to another interview drunk, after less than 3 hours sleep. In my entrance exam i wrote about s&m fetishists.

Isn't that just a contrived attempt to be quirky and different? It hardly demonstrates innate brilliance or suitability for a course, just idiocy.
0
Brown Patrick Bateman
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#17
Report 16 years ago
#17
(Original post by emzie)
why have the course/college scums at been censored?
I figured out who it was but then he told me to take his name off! He's not fibbing about S&M, dole queue etc, I'll fish out his statement for his Oxford form shortly...
0
Alexander
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#18
Report 16 years ago
#18
(Original post by scum)
no. because they can tell from what you yourself have written in your personal statement, and what your referee has written about you largely what you are like. They can then see you in the flesh to back this up, hence the "tidying-up" exercise.
I'm not sure I believe this: most people intelligent enough and zestful enough to apply to Oxbridge will have a pretty good personal statement, and also how can they tell how much help you've had with it? And with regards to the teacher's reference, the admissions tutor of an Oxford college told me in person that he thought they were often fairly meaningless and they went much more on interview and written work/tests etc.
0
hildabeast
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#19
Report 16 years ago
#19
I certainly agree with the quirkiness thing. Of all the people who I met at interview the ones who got in tended to be the ones who I remembered as having a bit of personality rather than the rich-kids-in-suits brigade.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
0
TINNEY
Badges: 0
#20
Report 16 years ago
#20
(Original post by hildabeast)
I certainly agree with the quirkiness thing. Of all the people who I met at interview the ones who got in tended to be the ones who I remembered as having a bit of personality rather than the rich-kids-in-suits brigade.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
oxbridge dont care about references, they know that half the time they r made up by teachers from skools where they want as many as posible to go to oxbridge.

the interviewers make their own, real judgement when they see u.
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

If you do not get the A-level grades you want this summer, what is your likely next step?

Take autumn exams (154)
45.16%
Take exams next summer (52)
15.25%
Change uni choice through clearing (81)
23.75%
Apply to uni next year instead (38)
11.14%
I'm not applying to university (16)
4.69%

Watched Threads

View All