- Y12 Oxbridge-run competitions
JANUARY TO MARCH of Y12
Entering an essay competition is a superb way of showing your ability in your subject. Winners and runners up are often invited to special college events and have the chance to meet the tutors; even if you do not win, your essay could form the basis of an EPQ, can be mentioned on your personal statement, and provides a way of demonstrating your passion at interview. Enter one during Year 12!
NB: these are not for arts subjects alone. The Corpus Christi competitions, for example, are open to scientists and provide a taster of writing at length on scientific subjects.
OXBRIDGE READING LISTS ARE ALL AVAILABLE IN THE LIBRARY - ASK MRS WATTS!
- Y12 Subject specific enrichment
It is important that you use Y12 to learn more about your subject. Your focus should be on doing well in your A levels, but always keep an eye on how you can enrich your wider subject knowledge.
This is a spreadsheet organising information on what you can do within your subject around school. Remember that you should always be seeking to develop your knowledge and should have a natural curiosity for your subject. Use your teachers as facilitators to help you increase your knowledge of your subject and learn more about what fascinates you. Your teachers wrote this spreadsheet, so talk to them about the books/articles/websites/MOOCs mentioned here!
- Y12 Oxbridge subject open days
ALL YEAR! BUT CHECK WHEN BOOKING OPENS AND SIGN UP TO THEIR ONLINE MAILING LISTS!
These are great events to attend in Y12 to increase your subject knowledge and experience university style teaching.
You will be able to talk about them on your Personal Statement, and they might even spark a new interest within your subject area.
Lots of Oxford days are mentioned here as they tend to be organised centrally. For Cambridge, Google taster days for lots of different colleges. In medicine, for example, several colleges run taster days.
Try to attend an event at Oxford, Cambridge or a Russell Group university - even if you don't plan on going to that specific university- to gain a better idea of what it would be like to study your subject at a higher level.
NB: You should arrange these yourself and make your own way to them.
- Y12/13 Advice on your personal statement
JULY Y12 - SEPTEMBER Y13
The most important point to remember is that your personal statement needs to have an argument as to why you want to study your chosen subject. This argument should structure your personal statement: begin with the argument, develop it in your subject specific paragraph, and return to it in your conclusion.
NOTE: there are books on how to write personal statements in the library too!
- Y12/13 Sample personal statements
These statements are written by successful Oxford students looking back on their own writing. Read the statements, but more importantly, look at the comments they have written down the side. This will provide you with guidance on how to write your own statement and avoid cliché and academic immaturity. They DO NOT represent 'model' statements; you will note that they all have very clear areas of improvement!
- Y12/13 Advice on tests
JULY Y12 to OCTOBER Y13
Guidance on tests should come primarily from your subject teachers and relevant academic departments. Approach your student mentor for a student's eye view of the tests and use the resources available too to find out more information for yourself.
Remember that it is your responsibility to prepare yourself for tests and to ensure you are registered. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register yourself for a test(remember to give your UCAS number); these tests will take place in school.
NOTE: in the library you will find books on LNAT, BMAT and TSA.
- Y13 Submitted work
SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER Y13
Submitted work generally takes the form of essays completed as part of your course, which have already been marked by your teacher. Decide which essays you want to submit in consultation with your subject teacher. Find the submission for online. Oxford has a general one, listed here; Cambridge has different forms for different colleges, so look on your college website.
WATCH OUT for the deadline for submission work, and make sure you have made multiple photocopies.
Sending your essays by recorded delivery is also advisable.
- Y13 Advice on interviews
Preparing for interview comprises preparing what you mentioned on your personal statement, reading up on significant topics within your subject area, and practising 'unseen' elements which you may be asked to prepare pre-interview. Watch these sample videos to see what an interview is like. Contact your student mentor for more information and a student's eye view of the interview.
Make sure you read the document on Oxbridge sample interview questions which has a series of questions which arose in real interviews. Look at examples from other subjects to gain a flavour of how discussions might develop.
Ask your subject teacher(s) to give you a mock interview. Ask them to follow the mock interview guidance so that the interview is as realistic as possible.
- Advice for parents
Direct your parents to these leaflets; it will help them to help you!