Oxford Biochemistry 2017 Applicants.

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    Dear all,


    I thought it is a good idea to create a sub-forum where we ( potential biochem applicants ) can discuss any issues relevant to application process , interview prep , Personal Statement , exciting topics in biochemistry , etc.

    Please, be active!
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    Hi!

    I'm applying for biochem at Magdalen.
    Currently trying to finish redrafting my personal statement and really hoping for at least an interview.

    -
    Will
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    Hey ppl! Hope your applications are going well! I'm applying biochem at Brasenose. Not too many of us here, huh. What are your guys thoughts?


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    Hi! Applying for biochem at Queen's. Hope your interview preps are going well!
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    Hey! I'm applying for Biochemistry at Trinity, need to get on top of interview prep
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    Hi!! I'm applying for biochemistry at Somerville college, anyone got any good prep tips for interviews?
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    (Original post by Katie2598)
    Hi!! I'm applying for biochemistry at Somerville college, anyone got any good prep tips for interviews?
    My daughter found the Chemistry Olympiad past papers very helpful last year. If you are not familiar with these already, they are very structured questions that should help you think in a similar way to the interviews.

    If you have a Chemistry-literate friend (or helpful teacher), get a molymod kit and ask them to set you a 'molecule-of-the-day' to interpret and describe aloud.

    If you are the sort of person that enjoys doing these things, you are probably the right sort of person for the course!
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    (Original post by Katie2598)
    Hi!! I'm applying for biochemistry at Somerville college, anyone got any good prep tips for interviews?
    hey me too! I've been practising talking about concepts for a minute or two without sounding too dumb or unsure lol
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    (Original post by emilysmith268)
    hey me too! I've been practising talking about concepts for a minute or two without sounding too dumb or unsure lol
    Sounds like a good plan, I haven for even started preparing although I have a Mock interview soon so hopefully that'll help but I don't really know what to expect
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    (Original post by Katie2598)
    Sounds like a good plan, I haven for even started preparing although I have a Mock interview soon so hopefully that'll help but I don't really know what to expect
    ah I had a mock interview on Thursday but it felt more like a generic interview - not very academically challenging +didn't feel very tailored to oxbridge applications, although it was useful to be questioned on my personal statement. Hopefully yours is more helpful!
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    (Original post by emilysmith268)
    ah I had a mock interview on Thursday but it felt more like a generic interview - not very academically challenging +didn't feel very tailored to oxbridge applications, although it was useful to be questioned on my personal statement. Hopefully yours is more helpful!
    (Original post by Katie2598)
    Sounds like a good plan, I haven for even started preparing although I have a Mock interview soon so hopefully that'll help but I don't really know what to expect
    Did you guys just ask your chem/bio teacher for a mock interview, or did the school arrange it for you? thanks !
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    (Original post by biologybuddy)
    Did you guys just ask your chem/bio teacher for a mock interview, or did the school arrange it for you? thanks !
    The school arranged it with this external company for everyone applying for oxbridge+medicine, but I don't think my interviewer knew much about biochem. I think I'll ask my bio teacher for a mock interview, because she seems to be fairly knowledgeable about the biochem topics!
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    I'm a first year biochemist at Oxford and what I found most helpful was being 100% confident in what we'd covered so far in chemistry (I was asked to do some concentration calculations) and keep an eye on what's happening in the world of biochemistry. I spoke about CRISPR in my interview. Make sure you understand whatever you quote, because I was asked more details. Obviously it's impossible to understand it all when you've not even started the degree yet, but make sure you get the gist of it.
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    (Original post by Oxyfrost)
    I'm a first year biochemist at Oxford and what I found most helpful was being 100% confident in what we'd covered so far in chemistry (I was asked to do some concentration calculations) and keep an eye on what's happening in the world of biochemistry. I spoke about CRISPR in my interview. Make sure you understand whatever you quote, because I was asked more details. Obviously it's impossible to understand it all when you've not even started the degree yet, but make sure you get the gist of it.
    Congrats on getting in! Which college? Beyond the directly biochemical topics like ATP, proteins, genetics etc, do you think it's more useful to focus preparation on chemistry rather than biology for the interview?
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    If you had to choose one or the other, I'd say chemistry is best. Biochemistry is honestly just chemistry with context.

    Consider also that the only required subject to A2 is Chemistry.

    Other than revising what you've already learned, I'd say it's very hard to prepare. The best use of a mock interview would probably just be nerves.

    They want someone who likes the subject, because the work is bloody hard. Once you get in, that's just the beginning. It's taking a toll on me and I love the subject. I would be in hell if I wasn't such a biochemistry nerd.

    The questions are deliberately done so that they're hard to revise for, you just need to think. The knowledge based stuff (eg. Drawing the structure of an amino acid, concentration calculation) felt more like a warm up. The thinking stuff is what separates you out.

    On one of the questions I was asked, I had no idea, but made educated guesses. None of them were right, I had to be guided to the actual answer, but what I said was plausible and well reasoned, and one of my points made the interviewer stop and think for a few moments, because it was interesting (but still wrong). It felt like a discussion rather than an interview.

    If you haven't studied something, say so. If they ask something difficult that needs some thinking through, don't just frown and think silently, talk them through your answer as it forms. They want to see that thinking process. If you get to a point where your knowledge is not adequate to finish the question, say so, while also giving your best guess/current direction of answer. If you're struggling, ask for a hint.

    Bear in mind that you'll probably get two interviews also, so that's another chance to show your stuff. I interviewed at Catz and Magdalen and they were very different in tone.
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    (Original post by biologybuddy)
    Did you guys just ask your chem/bio teacher for a mock interview, or did the school arrange it for you? thanks !
    My college arranged it with like an actual person who has done interviews before as my college has its own uni building which you go to for it which will make it a whole lot scarier 😭
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    (Original post by Katie2598)
    My college arranged it with like an actual person who has done interviews before as my college has its own uni building which you go to for it which will make it a whole lot scarier 😭
    That sounds like a good system, considering that it seems the biggest difficulty with the interview is nerves, one person I met told me that they couldn't talk for the first 5 mins of their interview due to panic.
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    (Original post by Oxyfrost)
    If you had to choose one or the other, I'd say chemistry is best. Biochemistry is honestly just chemistry with context.

    Consider also that the only required subject to A2 is Chemistry.

    Other than revising what you've already learned, I'd say it's very hard to prepare. The best use of a mock interview would probably just be nerves.

    They want someone who likes the subject, because the work is bloody hard. Once you get in, that's just the beginning. It's taking a toll on me and I love the subject. I would be in hell if I wasn't such a biochemistry nerd.

    The questions are deliberately done so that they're hard to revise for, you just need to think. The knowledge based stuff (eg. Drawing the structure of an amino acid, concentration calculation) felt more like a warm up. The thinking stuff is what separates you out.

    On one of the questions I was asked, I had no idea, but made educated guesses. None of them were right, I had to be guided to the actual answer, but what I said was plausible and well reasoned, and one of my points made the interviewer stop and think for a few moments, because it was interesting (but still wrong). It felt like a discussion rather than an interview.

    If you haven't studied something, say so. If they ask something difficult that needs some thinking through, don't just frown and think silently, talk them through your answer as it forms. They want to see that thinking process. If you get to a point where your knowledge is not adequate to finish the question, say so, while also giving your best guess/current direction of answer. If you're struggling, ask for a hint.

    Bear in mind that you'll probably get two interviews also, so that's another chance to show your stuff. I interviewed at Catz and Magdalen and they were very different in tone.
    What was your "difficult question" would you say?
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    (Original post by typicalvirgo)
    What was your "difficult question" would you say?
    I don't remember well. I guess the stress affected my memory. It was something to do with viruses. Something I'd never studied before, but could reasonably figure out.

    Bear in mind that every interviewer will do things differently.
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    (Original post by Oxyfrost)
    I don't remember well. I guess the stress affected my memory. It was something to do with viruses. Something I'd never studied before, but could reasonably figure out.

    Bear in mind that every interviewer will do things differently.
    Cool, thank you!
 
 
 
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