Oxford university admissions Watch

elwesannabelle
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So I’m looking for any advice or tips on how to gain admission into the university of oxford generally speaking, and subject specific for biology or biochemistry, as well as tips, strategies and help with the interview process. Please don’t comment anything about grade requirements because that’s a given 😊 I basically just want help and advice on crafting the application and personal statement, what to include in the personal statement and what activities would be appropriate and help with the interview and what to expect. Thanks!
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SarcAndSpark
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Hi

I've moved this to our university of Oxford sub-forum where you should be able to get more Oxford specific advice.
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OxFossil
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(Original post by elwesannabelle)
So I’m looking for any advice or tips on how to gain admission into the university of oxford generally speaking, and subject specific for biology or biochemistry, as well as tips, strategies and help with the interview process. Please don’t comment anything about grade requirements because that’s a given 😊 I basically just want help and advice on crafting the application and personal statement, what to include in the personal statement and what activities would be appropriate and help with the interview and what to expect. Thanks!
There is a lot of general advice on Oxford applications which applies across all subject areas, and the Oxford Uni website itself is a good place to start. Rather than repeat that, I'd just emphasise:

- they want you to show your enthusiasm for the subject. A list of books or activities by itself doesn't do that. For Biology you could usefully write a couple of sentences on why a particular book has sparked your interest - instead of "I have recently enjoyed reading 'The Epigenetic Revolution' by Nessa Carey and 'The Selfish Gene' by Richard Dawkins", you might be better off writing, "I enjoyed reading Nessa Carey's 'The Epigenetic Revolution' and am intrigued by how far the ideas of the inheritance of acquired characteristics advanced by Lamarck may be rehabilitated". If you mention outdoors stuff, say something like, 'I have been involved in the local BTO Atlas surveys for the last three years, monitoring the impact of changing farming practices on upland birds" rather than "I like to go birdwatching with my Dad". Conversely, generic achievements like Duke of Edinburgh awards or being Head Boy/Girl will carry little weight.

If you get an interview, the model questions on the Oxford website are a fair representation of what you will be asked. http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...ide/interviews

I'd stress:
- be prepared to expand on what you say in your PS. eg if you wrote the above, you could well be asked, "So you mention Lamarck in your PS. Why do you think his ideas are worth looking at again?"
- dont forget that the point of the interviews is to find out how you respond when you dont know the answer to a question. Don't freeze. Do talk out loud and explain what you think the answer isn't, as well as what you think it might be.
- I think it usually helps to treat the interview as a conversation. Say what you think. They know you are only 18 or whatever, so they don't expect genius insights, just ones that show interest. Don't be afraid to ask the interviewers questions too.

Hope that helps
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elwesannabelle
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(Original post by OxFossil)
There is a lot of general advice on Oxford applications which applies across all subject areas, and the Oxford Uni website itself is a good place to start. Rather than repeat that, I'd just emphasise:

- they want you to show your enthusiasm for the subject. A list of books or activities by itself doesn't do that. For Biology you could usefully write a couple of sentences on why a particular book has sparked your interest - instead of "I have recently enjoyed reading 'The Epigenetic Revolution' by Nessa Carey and 'The Selfish Gene' by Richard Dawkins", you might be better off writing, "I enjoyed reading Nessa Carey's 'The Epigenetic Revolution' and am intrigued by how far the ideas of the inheritance of acquired characteristics advanced by Lamarck may be rehabilitated". If you mention outdoors stuff, say something like, 'I have been involved in the local BTO Atlas surveys for the last three years, monitoring the impact of changing farming practices on upland birds" rather than "I like to go birdwatching with my Dad". Conversely, generic achievements like Duke of Edinburgh awards or being Head Boy/Girl will carry little weight.

If you get an interview, the model questions on the Oxford website are a fair representation of what you will be asked. http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...ide/interviews

I'd stress:
- be prepared to expand on what you say in your PS. eg if you wrote the above, you could well be asked, "So you mention Lamarck in your PS. Why do you think his ideas are worth looking at again?"
- dont forget that the point of the interviews is to find out how you respond when you dont know the answer to a question. Don't freeze. Do talk out loud and explain what you think the answer isn't, as well as what you think it might be.
- I think it usually helps to treat the interview as a conversation. Say what you think. They know you are only 18 or whatever, so they don't expect genius insights, just ones that show interest. Don't be afraid to ask the interviewers questions too.

Hope that helps
Thank you so much!
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PeteM01
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Try and get some work experience in a bio lab, if you have a suitable university nearby. It will at least give you something interesting toinclude in your PS and talk about in an interview. For biochemistry, make sure that you can handle questions about acid/base titrations or models of small molecules verbally. Get used to working through Chemistry Olympiad questions. Find a friendly teacher to give you a one-on-one tutorial if you are not used to them...
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elwesannabelle
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(Original post by PeteM01)
Try and get some work experience in a bio lab, if you have a suitable university nearby. It will at least give you something interesting toinclude in your PS and talk about in an interview. For biochemistry, make sure that you can handle questions about acid/base titrations or models of small molecules verbally. Get used to working through Chemistry Olympiad questions. Find a friendly teacher to give you a one-on-one tutorial if you are not used to them...
Thank you!
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cameronrenwick
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As a side note to this thread, I see 'Epigenetics Revolution' has been mentioned. I too am interested in applying for Biochemistry, however am unsure whether to include my Epigenetic reading as it isn't clear whether this is included on the course. If anyone does Biochemistry, a reply would be appreciated as Epigenetics is fascinating to me.
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PeteM01
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(Original post by cameronrenwick)
As a side note to this thread, I see 'Epigenetics Revolution' has been mentioned. I too am interested in applying for Biochemistry, however am unsure whether to include my Epigenetic reading as it isn't clear whether this is included on the course. If anyone does Biochemistry, a reply would be appreciated as Epigenetics is fascinating to me.
I would imagine it is on the course, as it is in most others. Not that matters at all.
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