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    Hey,

    So before I was interviewed at Oxford, St. Hugh's college, (and actually right up until I recieved my offer), I'd decided that I wanted to go to Sheffield because of the quality and content of the course (I really liked everything I saw on both pre app open days and the interview day, and it has a 50-50 split physics and astrophysics course). I was pretty determined not to let Oxford change my mind, but I also wasn't really expecting an offer (and I really enjoyed the three days I spent at interview there).

    I now have offers for Sheffield (AAA) and Oxford (A*AA), and because there's a few weeks wait for track to update with your Oxford response I've had too much time to think. I've been going backwards and forwards on the two unis and now I'm pretty much stuck right in the middle on deciding! They're both perfectly good unis and I think I could enjoy myself and get a good degree at either.
    I've been collecting information on the two courses/unis (and had more than a few people tell me I shouldn't be considering anything other than Oxford..., so I figured I'd ask around on here!

    Long-ish story short, any current/past (or future, anyone really) Sheffield/Oxford/Physics students have any opinions or things that might be useful to know? Thanks!
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    (Original post by Lau14)
    Hey,

    So before I was interviewed at Oxford, St. Hugh's college, (and actually right up until I recieved my offer), I'd decided that I wanted to go to Sheffield because of the quality and content of the course (I really liked everything I saw on both pre app open days and the interview day, and it has a 50-50 split physics and astrophysics course). I was pretty determined not to let Oxford change my mind, but I also wasn't really expecting an offer (and I really enjoyed the three days I spent at interview there).

    I now have offers for Sheffield (AAA) and Oxford (A*AA), and because there's a few weeks wait for track to update with your Oxford response I've had too much time to think. I've been going backwards and forwards on the two unis and now I'm pretty much stuck right in the middle on deciding! They're both perfectly good unis and I think I could enjoy myself and get a good degree at either.
    I've been collecting information on the two courses/unis (and had more than a few people tell me I shouldn't be considering anything other than Oxford..., so I figured I'd ask around on here!

    Long-ish story short, any current/past (or future, anyone really) Sheffield/Oxford/Physics students have any opinions or things that might be useful to know? Thanks!
    I'm not the most informed person with respect to this issue but I personally would go with your original instinct. You write "I've had too much time to think" and I think that's possibly the problem. If you decided that you liked Sheffield more than Oxford, there's probably a good reason for it. Obviously it hasn't got the same prestige but if you like the course and think you'd be happy there, there's nothing wrong with going for it.

    Obviously though, you've still got months until you have to make a decision so there isn't any time pressure. This is a really important decision so in your position, I'd relax and wait for the shock of getting an offer to pass and then take a careful look through the courses again and maybe come up with a list of the pros and cons of both. Both definitely have advantages, but you definitely shouldn't go for Oxford just because people are telling you that you should.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    I'm not the most informed person with respect to this issue but I personally would go with your original instinct. You write "I've had too much time to think" and I think that's possibly the problem. If you decided that you liked Sheffield more than Oxford, there's probably a good reason for it. Obviously it hasn't got the same prestige but if you like the course and think you'd be happy there, there's nothing wrong with going for it.

    Obviously though, you've still got months until you have to make a decision so there isn't any time pressure. This is a really important decision so in your position, I'd relax and wait for the shock of getting an offer to pass and then take a careful look through the courses again and maybe come up with a list of the pros and cons of both. Both definitely have advantages, but you definitely shouldn't go for Oxford just because people are telling you that you should.
    Thanks I'm definitely going to take a few more months to think things through and make sure I'm not going to regret the decision.
    To be fair it's actually fairly easy for me to ignore people telling me I should go to Oxford (although one of my friends is so excited that I might go that he's been looking things up about the course etc and telling me about them every time I see him, which is kind of cute ).
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    (Original post by Lau14)
    Thanks I'm definitely going to take a few more months to think things through and make sure I'm not going to regret the decision.
    To be fair it's actually fairly easy for me to ignore people telling me I should go to Oxford (although one of my friends is so excited that I might go that he's been looking things up about the course etc and telling me about them every time I see him, which is kind of cute ).
    You will regret it if you don't go to Oxford, massively. Sheffield has no name in physics, and these days, with everyone going to university, it is the place that you go that really shows you off. I would do anything to go to Oxford to do physics - and you have that chance.
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    Had two friends graduate from Oxford - both of them were toying between Bristol and Oxford. One of them had his gut set on Bristol, ended up with the Oxford offer, took it (Physics) and ended up not enjoying it at all. The other had his heart on Oxford, and ended up loving the place (Maths/CompSci - subjects probably irrelevant, but for context). You'll make the most of where you go, and I don't think anyone else can really tell you what is going to be right for you.

    Any ideas what you want to do after? The biggest sway for me there is probably on the course, as presumably you have a fair interest in wanting to do astrophysics.

    I would sit on it for a while, i'd trust your gut, but you may as well hold off and use the time you have. If you firm anything now you will spend the next 8 months torturing yourself over whether or not you've made the right decision, might as well reduce that time if possible

    Maybe a visit around the cities or similar might help you make some further decision - see what the living is like as well as the course. There's the term time intensity factor to consider with Oxford, although they obviously think you're capable enough. I just know on a personal front i'd prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, whereas others wouldn't.

    I wasn't intending to go to Sheffield, it was my mum that made me visit the blasted place. I went with a closed mind, and still managed to come out at the end of the day really believing the place was the perfect fit for me. It's interesting what your instincts pick up on.
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    What did you end up deciding on?
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    (Original post by mbch1809)
    What did you end up deciding on?
    Just finished my first year at Oxford!
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    How was your first year (I'm a prospective year 12)
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    How is Oxford? in general and for Physics? Is there much Astrophysics?
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    (Original post by hellomynameisr)
    How was your first year (I'm a prospective year 12)
    Very good and very busy, overall! Definitely hard but manageable. Feel free to ask if you've got any questions about the course/applying/Oxford in general

    (Original post by mbch1809)
    How is Oxford? in general and for Physics? Is there much Astrophysics?
    As above - good + busy! I've had a lot of fun but also done an awful lot of work.
    Not a lot - first year there's only the short option which is right at the end of the year, second year I believe is the same again. Third year contains some astro among the main stuff, along with a short option or possibly two. Fourth year you can pick astro as one of two major options (from a choice of around 6-7 areas of physics).
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    Do you find it as formal as people say? Or can it be quite laid back?
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    What college are you at and do you like it?
    Did you go to a state or private school?
    and do you have any tips for the PAT?
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    (Original post by mbch1809)
    Do you find it as formal as people say? Or can it be quite laid back?
    Not often! Formal things are easily avoided without missing much in my experience - i.e. I'll hopefully go to a summer ball next year, but I haven't been to formal hall since freshers' week. It's what you make of it mostly. (other colleges may have more formal events/some that are harder to avoid though)

    (Original post by hellomynameisr)
    What college are you at and do you like it?
    Did you go to a state or private school?
    and do you have any tips for the PAT?
    St Hugh's, I love it there!
    State schools.
    My PAT score was pretty bad actually because I didn't really prepare properly (and also two years ago now nearly!), but make sure you've done all the past papers and that you can do all the topics that come up in past papers + everything listed under the syllabus on their website. There will almost certainly be things you have to teach yourself because the PAT doesn't line up with A levels very well annoyingly (I definitely remember a decent chunk of physics not being on AS, although they have since changed things so I'm not sure now). Use your teachers - ask your maths/physics teachers to mark the relevant halves of a past paper for you or something, get them to go over things you're stuck on sometimes if you can't figure things out on your own. Graph sketching tends to be a pretty common thing both on the PAT and at interviews, worth practicing.
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    Can you advice on any math textbooks you found handy in your first year? I see with the PAT, you mentioned there were things on there that didn't appear in A-Level math. I'm a bit lost with this, as how are students meant to answer questions to get into a University, if they haven't learnt it yet? It seems like dangling a carot in front of a horse. Basically: "You can't come and learn this branch of math at our university unless you answer these questions involving the same math". I'm studying MST124/125 at Open University as I got an offer from sheffield should I get the correct grade, but I'm still going to apply for other Universities. I just want to make sure my math is above the expected level.
 
 
 
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