Getting into Oxford/ other Maths Watch
Hello, I am in year 12 and am hoping to apply to a good university to study maths for uni (this would be in 2021). I got 10 9s, 1 8, 1 A* and 1A^ in my GCSES and I am currently studying Maths, Further Maths, History and Chemistry at A level. I was wondering what I need to do to get to Oxford or another good university and what my chances are. Thanks!
My personal statement was basically just explaining why I liked maths, which areas in particular I was interested in learning more about, and I spoke about my favourite lecture from a lecture series I had been to and what that made me look further into. Maybe see if your local unis offer something like this? (This was at Birmingham uni, their popular maths lectures.)
However, most unis for maths (aside from presumably Oxbridge) don't care too much about your personal statement, with some explicitly saying on open days that they only read them to check if there's any necessary information about your circumstances (which should probably go in your reference anyway). So make an effort and make it good (especially if you're applying for Oxford), but it's not the be all and end all.
The main thing is having good predicted grades, as so many of the unis just check if you meet or almost meet their requirements, and if you do you'll get an offer. So make sure you do your best for year 12 mocks or however your school decide predicted grades - for Oxford you'll likely need to be predicted A*s in maths and further maths to really be considered unless you ace the MAT.
On the topic of MAT (or STEP if you want to apply to Warwick/some other unis and get a lower A level grade requirement) - just practise. There are loads of past paper resources and such out there, and I think there are a few great threads on TSR too. MAT assumes you have the knowledge of AS maths and a few topics from A2, so you may not be able to practise until later in the year, but get on that as soon as you can so you can learn the sort of things they ask and look for.
I don't know much about the interviews, but just make sure you're confident about your A level content, definitely practise sketching graphs, and just be willing to try things out or make suggestions - the interviewers want to see that you can look at a problem and work out potential approaches, even if you don't know how to get an answer.
Hope this helps