I have used student room a lot when I was applying, so as I've recently graduated I thought I'd give back to the community. happy to chat to students applying to university and help people out!
A bit about me:
I studied MPhys at Oxford from 2018-2022, and definitely struggled throughout the course as it was difficult. I managed to get a decent grade at the end and I have throughly enjoyed the last four years of my life. I'm currently working in London. I understand university application season is a stressful one and I had loads of thoughts and questions so happy to chat.
A few thoughts:
-In terms of Oxford Physics its ALL about a good PAT score that gets you over the line and then being able to talk physics intelligently at interview.
-I believe that college choice DOES matter
-A very underrated quality that people neglect during interviews is being likeable.
-Definitely prioritise yourself over the next few months. Put in all the hard work now so you don't leave any regrets behind. I was pretty mediocre at school but managed to pull it back in from yr12 onwards. Uni choices have a big impact on the people you meet and the jobs you will work at after. (don't take this too seriously tho)
-Oxbridge admissions has a lot of luck and is not fair. Kids at schools like westminster and eton have dedicated tutors who specifically guide them through every step of the process. The help these kids is ridiculous. That being said, if you work hard you should trust the tutor to see your raw ability and passion over just a well polished student who talks out of his a**.
-Don't be disheartned if you don't pass the PAT. there's still a lot of variables and just because you dont pass doesn't mean you weren't good enough. I passed the PAT by one mark so I know on any other day it could've been a very different story.
-Don't see your friends as competitors, but as a partner. There are so many places at university, and trust that the tide will bring us ALL up together. If you foster a high performing relationship with a friend where you both have high standards and want to learn, this is the type of friend that you will have for life as well as improve you.
I wrote the stuff above quite quickly so some parts might be ill explained or not make sense. anyways; if anyone has any questions please fire away...