Parents of Oxbridge applicants for 2013(223 Posts)
Anybody else have DC applying for Oxford or Cambridge at the moment? DD submitted her UCAS into school on friday for checking. There are only two applying in her year. Trying to keep her feet (and mine) on the ground as she has fallen completely in love with Oxford and the college she is applying to, but realistically we know she's more likely to be rejected than not. She's got the grades, but I don't know if she's got enough confidence to carry off the interview. All the uni's she has applied to look fantastic, though, so we'll wait and see.
Yes, dolce - I know all OPx admissions lean more and more on the AT tests. Anyone here whose dc took the PAT last week? DS said they changed it a LOT from the sample papers on the web, the little dears.
Hi, all; anyone heard yet? I know several modern languages and classics people with interviews, but ds applied for physics and philosophy, and he has heard nothing. They are virtually last on the schedule, though.
He has offers from Lancaster and Durham, and an interview at Imperial. No rejections yet - his other choice is St Andrews, and they are s-l-o-w.
Just in case anyone else is waiting, he has an interview.
Hello sieglinde just dropped by after a while to nosey and read that your DS has an interview! Excellent news! Good luck. Remind him to take his mobile phone and charger and to keep it charged. Remember to give him loads of moral support after interview 1 to keep the momentum going for interview 2. If interview 1 hasn't gone well they get a bit low.
Consider ringing the faculty after interview 2 to discuss interview 3 and 4 if not immediately offered (I didn't do this last for my DS till it was all too late and found out afterwards that another college had been considering him cos he had 'passed' his faculty interview but they cant interview when the interview period is over so its best to make noises now and never never be a shy mum at this stage like I was) as there might have been a college tutor he clicked with when looking round.
Lots and lots of good luck what a wonderful time of life this is.
Oh dear I have just re read my post. Six line sentence. What I mean is great news and good luck. What do you think about my ringing the faculty idea?
Oh yes I forgot to say that interview practice can help. I rang my DS's headmaster and asked him to give DD a practice interview and he did and it was very funny because he asked her if she knew who Julian Assange was, which ( to my shame) she didnt but of course in the real thing she didnt get asked any current affairs at all. Just stuff to look at and work though. The practice gave her confidence though because it helped her get used to the idea of thinking on her feet when asked something unexpected. I must say she made light of it but when she showed me what she had been given in the real thing my jaw dropped. Anyway she said that one or two questions were things she had come across in her summer reading and the books on the freshers reading list for her subject so the stuff she was given wasn't all unfamiliar in the end.
But there are obvious questions eg my DS got asked how the study of economics could contribute to the study of history but because I had said he might get asked it he hadn't prepared it because I am his mum so thats why its a good idea to ask friends to help with practice interviews. I know being on the other side for a humanities subject you might think that preparation might make no difference but trust me it does.
Hi, funnyperson! What lovely posts. Thanks; your support means a lot.
He's applied for physics and philosophy, so he will have interviews in both subjects, probably lots of them. Physics has a reallocation system, and also a second interview system, much more robust than those in my subject. I will certainly try to be a proactive mum, though faculties vary so hideously that I think your advice would def. not work in my subject but might be gold dust in others.
And I agree about others doing interview practice! I've told him to look at the freshers' reading again.. good to be reminded of that.
What makes it complicated is that a. he has an interview at Imperial the day before b. he is still doing US applications, and has already had an interview for Harvard. Eek. The interviewer said he'd recommend him strongly, though that only counts for 6% in the Ivies, but it's given him some confidence. However, it was a fireside chat - actually, it was 2 hours in an Austrian cafe in Camden, but you see my point.
He's at an FE college, and they are beside themselves trying to help him... but I don't think they have much Ox interview experience... He has had a Physics D Phil guy tutoring him who has given him some interview practice - it's the philosophy that worries me.
Once again, huge thanks for your help!
Good luck to him sieglinde. The interviews can be very daunting but rewarding too in a way. I hope he enjoys them as far as is possible. My ds is staying up to help marshal the interviewees and calm their nerves this year, so may run into him (though obviously wouldn't know if he did).
Just spotted the interview call up sieglinde. If someone who sounds as utterly off the scale as your DS doesn't get in I'm happy to eat my hat. It's a pretty new one too. He'll be just fine. You know what they have to do: not pose and be themselves. Very, very good luck to him anyway; Physics and Philosophy - what a scary combo.... At least you'll be there to provide post interview coffee and cake Would he prefer Harvard do you think, or Oxford? I don't suppose you can say without tempting fate!
My second year is helping right through the two weeks too.
Waves eagerly to Gelo (love that name, btw), Betel, and Yellowtip. Thanks to all. I'm just as terrified as you all were. I probably know all too well how it can go wrong.
Yes, Betel, we hired him someone to take him a bit beyond the A-level stuff to prep for the PAT. Quite a mini-industry hereabouts, and it's good for the penniless graduates as well. He's thoroughly enjoyed his sessions; for a while the FE college laid on some u/g sessions with an engineering guy at Wadham, too. Your ds is amazing, Betel; I've always thought so.
Yellow, thing is he can be as pigheaded as a MULE and as silly as a two-cent watch, but perhaps that's his mum talking.., or, as I hope, him talking to his mum.
I think tbh that either Ox or Harvard would do him, to address your question; it's a comfort that he has offers from Durham and Lancaster, and spent a really nice day there - Lancs, that is - last week. He's not a school snob at all, as his choice of the FE college shows, and he was quite taken with Lancaster, who also offer some money...
Lovely to hear your dcs are helping, Gelo and Yellow. If you message me, I might disclose his college choice, though of course that might change with reallocation and whatnot.
For Pleaseandthankyou if you're still around... This is of course an informal ranking. Shows there is more than just MIT to consider for engineering if your DS decides to look at engineering in the US though.
Mathanxiety Thankyou for that. My DS has just had an offer with a year at a US university so that was great timing. He has been to an offer day at Bath and loved it. He also had an Oxbridge interview but isn't worried about the outcome. I think he'll be off to Bath next year (provided he makes the offer). I'm relieved he has something which really suits him. He may still change his mind. California looks very tempting, especially today. I assume the loan systems works the same for the year abroad. If he looks like changing his mind I will investigate fully.
Look into the loan bit -- spending a year in a US university would be a fantastic opportunity but costs can be high and normally include on-campus room and
smorgas board which is actually a bargain compared to what you would pay for private accommodation and trying to provide your own food would be a nightmare both in terms of money and time. Engineering schools work their students very hard.
Ask the US institution about financial aid for students spending the year abroad. All US universities have very busy financial aid offics and generate masses of paperwork for parents and students. You may need to look into what is available from the US side and there are deadlines.
How was the interview experience then? Do give us feedback and details. I do think the whole applying for Oxford/Cambridge thing is a bit like tales of derring do -one has to have courage and there are challenges and the outcome is by no means certain and there are casualties and survivors.
Anyone's dc heard yet? My ds got pooled from trinity for maths, he is ok about it. Thought he would be down as he got an offer last year but messed up his STEP exam. We now have to wait a few more weeks to see if he gets picked, I don't know if my nerves will take it
DD1 was turned down flatly by Cambridge for medicine (letter came in Friday's post). Unsure really how to proceed. She is absolutely convinced now that all the other universities will turn her down as well.
sorry to hear that, duchesse -- how was her BMAT? Other universities don't have access to the same information as Cambridge and they don't necessarily look for the same things. Each medical school has its own way of selecting - some value academics very highly, others will want certain academic standards but will place more reliance than Cambridge on personal qualities. It's very rare for applicants to get a full set of offers because schools differ but for the same reason a rejection from one doesn't mean rejection from all.
From what she said, not brilliantly. She hasn't told me her exact score but I know that she got over 600 on the UKCAT (but again I don't know exactly how much- she pushes herself a lot and I don't do anything whatsoever to put any more pressure on her so I haven't enquired --much only a couple of times--) while her friend got over 800 and consequently she feels that she did rubbishly. What I'm most anxious about (but not mentioning to her) is whether medicine is really right for her. I have started a separate thread on the FE topic about this.
medical schools have been moving away from UKCAT because it's an exam with little obvious relevance to medicine. The new questions tried this year may mean its more use in future. The BMAT is better but its designed for very able applicants, an average score is still respectable. Off to the other thread.
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