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Parent of oxbridge candidate-peersupportneeded

(1001 Posts)
funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 16:25:01

OK so my DD is applying to Oxford for entry in 2011 and has a 75% chance of getting rejected so I am told by the Oxford website so I reckon a new thread would be helpful for us parents who may end up with joy or grief but in any event need to keep sane enough to support our loved ones. Any tips on maximising chances of success at this stage?

sarah293 Wed 24-Nov-10 16:27:41

Message withdrawn

Lilymaid Wed 24-Nov-10 16:29:55

Try this thread.

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 16:38:23

Thanks Lilymaid I had a look at that thread it and its general - there is a whole oxbridge thing I am trying to skate around here which is about trying to sound nonchalant and laid back and on the other hand realising that DD isnt just trying it on to see if she gets in but really wants to go and there is a good chance she might either get in (great) or not -in which case not so great and either way I cant help feeling that my attitude will be important so I want to keep positive but not sound as if I dont care or as if I am neurotic so its a balance. I have already found out that interview invites come this Friday and am nervous for her.

mumoverseas Wed 24-Nov-10 18:20:41

ok so I'm joining the club. DS1 applied to Oxford and we are currently in 'refresh emails every 5 seconds' mode hoping and praying for an email offering him an interview.
I read on TSR that a few people applying for his course received emails yesterday inviting them for interview and some received requests for passport photos a few days ago.

funnyperson what is your DD applying for?

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 18:49:32

I wont say because atm I'm in this paranoid mode where I think that admissions tutors are stalking chat rooms.
I check out TSR every hour or so and feel like a cyber, I am a cyber!

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 18:51:31

DD is having a practice interview at school. Wants to know what to wear at the real thing if she gets one.

mumoverseas Wed 24-Nov-10 18:57:01

LOL grin I would hope that the wonderful lovely gorgeous admissions people are far to busy holding our DC's lives in their hands to MNet.

I'm just the same. I'm (secretly) cursing the person on MN who told me about TSR. I feel I have no purpose in life other to press refresh on emails and posts in Oxbridge threads.

webwiz Wed 24-Nov-10 18:57:59

When we went to the Oxford open day(Maths) someone asked "what should I wear for interview?" The lecturer said whatever everyone in the room was wearing was absolutely fine (jeans and hoodies!). I'd take from that whatever your DD feels comfortable in.

Milliways Wed 24-Nov-10 19:32:15

My DD wore a new skirt & blouse. I wasn't sure about the huge frilly flower that was pinned to the skirt but she loved it. Blouse had a ruffle trim as well. Was def NOT a suit, & she was happy. People wore a whole range - suits, jeans whatever.

(Oh, and I posted loads on here when she was applying & DD was on TSR etc )

DO brace for an emotional roller-coaster. We likened it to her not getting into Grammar but still loving her Comprehensive etc. She was very up & down until got invited for interview. Then elation & terror. Then the long wait. The "pool" letter, treated as a rejection with tears etc, then the phone call offering a place (next day!), and the worst bit was then knowing you HAD to get those grades.

Thinking back, I'm glad I have a 4 year gap between that & the next child applying for wherever grin

LadyPeterWimsey Wed 24-Nov-10 19:32:24

To encourage you all, I wrote this on another thread the other day:

I was sitting next to a Director of Studies at a Cambridge college for a college dinner the other night and had a fantastic conversation with her about what they are looking for in candidates and how they are bending over backwards to be fair in assessing potential students. I was so impressed by her attitude to the candidates and to the students in college already - she was so keen to choose those with the most potential and then help them realise it. I felt that was the case when I was there (a long time ago now!) but it was so good to hear it articulated.

Ponders Wed 24-Nov-10 19:35:49

signing in, funnyperson smile

DS2 has applied to Oxford for PPE. I am poring over TSR on an hourly basis but he couldn't be more laid back confused (He really wants to go to LSE but hasn't heard from them yet either, & I suspect it's even harder to get in there...)

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 19:49:50

Thanks Milliways, I am thinking skirt and blouse but do you think Boden? And what about shoes? If not jacket then how about a cardigan, or is the thought of a seventeen year old in a twinset and tweeds really too funny. DD has converses and a pair of boots and nothing else and she says they aren't right for interviews. And what about the inevitable girl at her school whose uncle has sent her a lot of money just to buy interview stuff with. What sort of budget is reasonable?
Are people planning to go down/up and stay in a b and b or should one just leave DD to it if an invite appears. If more than one interview does that mean more than one interview outfit?

Ponders Wed 24-Nov-10 19:59:29

college supplies b&b for interviewees. DS2 will go alone if invited hmm

your DD should wear converse or boots or whatever she's most comfortable in. they'll have enough on their minds without feeling weird in unaccustomed clothes grin

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 20:07:48

Also thanks LadyPeterWimsey.....what was the director looking for? How did it manifest? What if DD talks too much? Is it better to talk a lot and go into detail about what she knows or to be understated and let the interviewers ask questions? Is it better for her to talk about a few things in depth or a broad range?
Sometimes I get into an acceptable 'zen' of Oxbridge mindframe and at others I feel a bit too anxious. Its helpful to be warned of impending flash points though. What is the best way to support one's gifted progeny through this?

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 20:10:40

Because the thing is that DD is of course gifted (has the reqd fantastic grades etc) but she could still get rejected.

SylvanianFamily Wed 24-Nov-10 20:15:27

Go alone

Don' t wear a suit. Just best version of your normal wear ( I.e.not the hoody with breakfast down front! )

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 20:15:36

Ponders I think boys are different. They don't talk as much as girls. They also do a lot of last minute stuff and have this amazing energy whereas girls can get vv nervous. Generalising loads of course.

Ponders Wed 24-Nov-10 20:24:00

not sure if it's exactly a boy/girl thing with DS2 - he is DC4, pretty much self-raised & very self-sufficient because of it - requires minimal parental input (but lots of money).

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 20:29:12

Regarding clothes the thing is that DD style is Goth or Boho depending on her mood. Also she has, of course, dyed her hair badly. shock Does this mean she is not Oxford material? I am not joking btw.

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 20:34:47

Ponders why self-raised?Did you mention the self-raising in the UCAS form?

LadyPeterWimsey Wed 24-Nov-10 20:35:01

The DoS was looking for both skills and a passion for the subject. I got the impression that as long as there was evidence of ability, the odd mark going astray didn't matter too much. What she was really after was someone who was genuinely passionate about the subject - had read around it, pursued it in interesting directions. The questions they ask are designed to bring that out, I think.

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 20:37:00

Is there a subject interview and a 'general' interview at Oxford?

Ponders Wed 24-Nov-10 20:39:33

Goth/Boho/badly dyed hair all neither here nor there at interview as I understand it. Being yourself & demonstrating native intelligence, insight, ability to think on feet & consider & discuss new ideas what counts. (As I understand it...grin)

re DS2 being self-raised - not literally obv, pre-schoolers require a little guidance, but because he is very smart & I was v laid-back & hands-off by the time he came along he has got himself to where he is. I leaned over shoulders a lot with his siblings & I don't think it helped hmm

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 20:40:41

LPW -What skills? Do you mean analytical/communication/logical thinking? Is there a scoring system for interviews?

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