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    Hi,

    this thread is for all current prospective applications/applicants who were successful or unsuccessful or any current students

    I would like to know three things please:

    1. Where did you gain most of the information you needed to make your application?

    2. What were the most important questions you had when you made your application?

    For example

    What BMAT score would get me in?
    What % AS marks do I need?
    Whats the difference between Oxford and Cambridge?
    What college is 'best' for medicine?

    3. What do you know now or understand now that you didn't when you made your application, that would have helped you a lot. ie. what have you realised in retrospect about the process?

    Extra-ciriculars weren't that important...
    The interview required much less extra knowledge than I thought...
    BMAT is gay...etc.

    Thanks for your help

    Vb

    PS This is to help make a guide for students applying from my old school
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    .. sorry link wouldn't work
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    1. Where did you gain most of the information you needed to make your application?


    Predominantly the really good access stuff that Oxford does; went on a really informative open day and attended a really good "apply to Oxbridge" outreach day the two unis do which tours the country.

    Supplemented by advice from people on here, whom I am indebted to.

    2. What were the most important questions you had when you made your application?

    • Don't you have to be a lot better than I am to go to Oxford?
    • How do the interviews work?
    • What are the differences between colleges? How do I pick?

    3. What do you know now or understand now that you didn't when you made your application, that would have helped you a lot. ie. what have you realised in retrospect about the process?

    The main things I have learnt are about the interviews. If you get one, relax. Don't stress out, don't cram textbooks, don't try and listen to advice people have (and many people who have never even visited Oxford will try and share some advice they heard from a friend of a friend). Just remember that the interviews are not to judge how good you are; they are to judge whether you are right for that institution. A key difference between Oxbridge interviews and the rest are that you are being interviewed by people you will have a lot of personal contact with over the next 2 years. You can be the cleverest person they see, but if they don't feel they can teach you there's very little point in giving you an offer. So don't worry about not being good enough. Just show your interest for the subject, try and demonstrate how your brain works through the problems and most importantly see if you enjoy the style of questions. If you don't, then Oxford might not be the best place for you.

    Hope that helps Vaz.
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    Thank u
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    From an Oxford reject:

    1. Where did you gain most of the information you needed to make your application?

    Mainly TSR, general browsing on Google, university websites.

    2. What were the most important questions you had when you made your application?

    Are my AS grades going to hold me back?
    Should I apply to Oxford instead due to Cambridge's emphasis on UMS?
    Is it more important that I convey intelligence or teachability/suitability to their system? How will I show this when I'm nervous as ****?

    3. What do you know now or understand now that you didn't when you made your application, that would have helped you a lot. ie. what have you realised in retrospect about the process?

    Shouldn't have taken a crapload of textbooks to revise from, none of what I'd read came up and I wouldn't have remembered it anyway.
    Should've prepared the 'general' med interview answers better. I thought the interviews would be almost completely academic, but I got a fair amount of general questions (which didn't seem to be icebreakers).
    Didn't prepare the structure of my answers properly. I knew the stuff and it flowed fine in practice, but I felt different in the real thing and ended up being quite incoherent.
    If an answer seems obvious, just say it instead of thinking it's a trick question, overthinking it and ending up saying something stupid.
    Get plenty of rest the night before the BMAT, being able to think properly in the exam is more important than a few hours of cramming.
    Be better prepared for the possiblity of rejection and understand their decision isn't a determinant of what you can do.
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    Thank you! Any other people willing to share their experiences?
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    Cambridge interviewed - pending - rejected

    1. Where did you gain most of the information you needed to make your application?

    Mostly from TSR, and from asking past applicants.

    2. What were the most important questions you had when you made your application?

    As an International applicant do I have a chance?
    What if I mess up the BMAT?
    Should I apply to a college which is less competitive or to the one I like?

    3. What do you know now or understand now that you didn't when you made your application, that would have helped you a lot. ie. what have you realised in retrospect about the process?

    Apply to the college you like not the one which is less competitive as I saw that those colleges got more applicants from the open.
    Good UMS and very good BMAT with an average performance at interview will get you a place.
    Cambridge(atleast Kings College) doesn't care about PS and possibly W/E.
    You cannot prepare for the interview in a short time, you should start extra reading very early on.(atleast a year before)
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    Thanks!

    Come on people, keep em coming

    Its very interesting to read, actually.
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    1. Where did you gain most of the information you needed to make your application?


    Off TSR and the internet (university websites, online prospectuses etc.). I also went to open days for all the universities I applied to.

    2. What were the most important questions you had when you made your application?

    - BMAT cutoffs
    - Whether UMS at AS were important
    - GCSE requirements
    - General selection procedure (e.g. importance of PS, style of interview)

    3. What do you know now or understand now that you didn't when you made your application, that would have helped you a lot. ie. what have you realised in retrospect about the process?

    - Extra-curriculars are not important
    - You can't really revise for the interview
    - It's a lot better to relax in the interview, rather than thinking about mistakes you have made, and to just take things as they come
    - Not to over-analyse interview questions!
    - There's no point in comparing your BMAT score/A levels/GCSEs with those of other applicants, it's not particularly indicative of final offers/rejections
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    (Cambridge)

    1. Where did you gain most of the information you needed to make your application?
    - Wikipedia
    - It's not that difficult really - just go through UCAS and for me as I'm international, the COAF form (or wtvr it's called). There were specific instructions w/ the form so I didn't need much more info than that.
    - Possibly a bit from the online prospectus.


    2. What were the most important questions you had when you made your application?
    - BMAT score - even found this distribution graph for successful applicants' BMAT score
    - Whether my PS was "right"
    - Whether other people applying for the same uni would diminish my chances

    3. What do you know now or understand now that you didn't when you made your application, that would have helped you a lot. ie. what have you realised in retrospect about the process?
    - ECAs definitely not important at all (as I had none )
    - BMAT is gay - doesn't matter much for my college
    - Interview was intense but gave me a very good taste of supervisions. Would've enjoyed it if it weren't a frigging interview from Cambridge And someone's said it above - you can't really prepare for it. Reading up on New Scientist / Medical news stuff didn't help me at all either.
    - Very happy that I didn't get into the more "prestigious" college I applied for & got pooled to where I am. The name really doesn't matter - the people and the learning atmosphere is so much more important for having a good time in university
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    Thank you people! Any more enthusiastic people who just received their decision today?
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    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    Thank you people! Any more enthusiastic people who just received their decision today?
    Absolutely, after applying twice and getting an offer second time around:

    (Cambridge)

    1. Where did you gain most of the information you needed to make your application?
    - Cambridge Website (you'd be surprised at the mass of information publicly available to applicants on their website)
    - Past applicants on TSR


    2. What were the most important questions you had when you made your application?
    - What BMAT score would I need to realistically get in?
    - How important are GCSEs in their final decisions?
    - Do they place the most weight to a single factor, or weight each part of the application equally?
    - Do you need loads of ECs?
    - Do you need to do at least 4 A2s to get in?

    3. What do you know now or understand now that you didn't when you made your application, that would have helped you a lot. ie. what have you realised in retrospect about the process?
    - Doing any more than 3 A2s seems to give no advantage whatsoever.
    - ECs don't matter, I literally had nothing in the way of sport, Duke of Edinburgh and musical talents!
    - A strong BMAT score certainly makes life easier, but it will not make up for a poor interview, and a strong interview can help them overlook a not so strong BMAT score.
    - College choice seems to be quite important, more so than Oxford. Some colleges take the BMAT more seriously than others. Ones that spring to mind as BMAT lovers are Trinity, Dowing and St Johns, although there are more.
    - Most colleges don't give a damn about the BMAT essay.
    - Not every college does purely academic interviews. This year I had a fair share of questions on ethics and what I had learnt from my work experience. Don't neglect that part of your application.
    - Probably most importantly, relaxing and trying to enjoy the interviews makes life 10 times easier, and allows your passion for the subject to come across better. Thinking out aloud certainly helps too!
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    (Original post by SabreT)
    Absolutely, after applying twice and getting an offer second time around:
    Congratulations, i wish u the best of luck at Cambridge, im sure you'll throughly enjoy it!

    Thanks for contributing, too.
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    This is an interesting thread as I wish to apply to Obridge to read medicine next September. Is there anything I could do to strengthen up my application, any advice please?
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    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    this thread is for all current prospective applications/applicants who were successful or unsuccessful or any current students
    Ex students?


    1. Where did you gain most of the information you needed to make your application?

    Making the application: official sources of UCAS website, university prospectus then university and college open day. The college I applied to had specific subject bookable-in-advance afternoon sessions which I found veeery helpful.

    Deciding about the offer (which was more of a deliberation than whether to apply!): I turned to the 'unofficial' & discovered forums etc. as I didn't know anyone 'in real life' who had gone to Oxford.


    2. What were the most important questions you had when you made your application?

    I don't remember any particular burning questions - the official sources explained what happened & I wasn't too obsessed over statistics just assumed I needed to do as well as possible in all components! Which college to pick was a question but some time with the prospectus shortlisting then the summer open day quickly answered it.
    My questions more came after the offer.


    3. What do you know now or understand now that you didn't when you made your application, that would have helped you a lot. ie. what have you realised in retrospect about the process?

    Not sure I have anything insightful to add here. Other than I should have enjoyed the time in Oxford for interviews more - easy to say with hindsight!
    When it came to doing more research post offer I discovered what a good thing it was that I applied to Oxford rather than Cambridge for preclinical as I was probably much more what they (& perhaps even my specific college) were looking for - on the A Level subject etc. front.
    Do not judge what a university experience there (especially in terms of your peers...ahem ) would be like based on interviews.


    PS This is to help make a guide for students applying from my old school
    Good luck!


    Increasingly realizing how old I am now & outdated my experiences might be..! Should start to refocuss attentions. Hmm, wonder how they offer work experience at my hospital...
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    You're more than welcome Elles! Thanks!

    And thanks to all the people that are contributing.

    I think this will be a really good resource for people, especially if we keep getting more entries.
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    1. Where did you gain most of the information you needed to make your application?

    Prospectuses, websites, Oxford and Cambridge open days - went to colleges and the medical faculties (and maths and biology!). Chatting to a few people on TSR who were already here.

    My school had 'Oxbridge sessions' for those students they thought should apply, and though they meant well not sure they added a lot to my application, apart from a small amount of reverse snobbery and a large amount of anxiety.


    2. What were the most important questions you had when you made your application?

    Which college?
    What do I wear for interview? (whatever you feel is 'professional' and are comfortable enough in to be yourself - smart trousers and a blouse seemed to work fine for me, some girls wore suits as did all the boys I met. None of my interviewers seemed fussed).
    Will they try to trick me? (no, they won't!)
    Are the students here going to be like the ones I met at interview? (to be fair, a stressful situation where people are preparing to 'sell' themselves but did encounter a lot of one-upmanship and 'which school do you go to? Oh, I haven't heard of THAT' which rather put the shy 17 year old me off Oxford. My fears were unfounded though; have yet to meet anyone from any background who got in who behaves like that!)

    3. What do you know now or understand now that you didn't when you made your application, that would have helped you a lot. ie. what have you realised in retrospect about the process?

    Pick whichever college you fancy, for whatever reason (mine=good self-catering facilities and pretty gardens). DON'T play the percentages game. If you're good enough, you'll get in to Oxford somewhere, but if you pick a 'popular' college (varies to some extent year on year), you may not end up at the one you pick.

    Interviews are quite relaxed! Just a chat about quite interesting biology and medicine-based problems (and a bit about you as a person). Important to show what you're thinking and why and be prepared to (politely) defend your viewpoint, which can be intimidating when you're talking to someone a LOT more knowlegeable than you.
 
 
 
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