> lex

Application

 Oxford

 St Hilda's (open application, allocated college)

 Mathematics

 2016

 offer made

Applicant

 Other qualifications

 pre-qualification

 EU

 Slovakia

 Grammar School

... of the worse ones.

 yes

Other qualifications

Slovak qualifications - Vysvedcenie o Maturitnej skuske in Mathematics (predicted grade 1 = A*), Physics (A*), English (A*), and Slovak language and literature (A*).

They could be compared to A-levels, only that they are both oral and written, and a bit simpler.

Details about the offer

 conditional

Mathematics A*
Physics A*
English language requirements (IELTS 7.0)

yes

yes

yes

Received an offer from Imperial prior to going to interviews (probably on the basis of MAT admission test, which used by both Imperial and Oxford).

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Quality of education and teaching, amazing students, tempting university life. Wanted to make my money worth it.

Oxford had MAT admission test prior to interviews, Cambridge has (far more difficult) STEP after the interviews.
I wanted to have something in my hands before going to the interviews.

I Damn L0v3 Maths

I originally planned to read through the list of all colleges, but after I found out there's more than 40 of them, I quickly gave up and let Oxford allocate me.

In retrospection, I probably should have made a choice. But the first impression of Hilda's was very good. Some colleges have better position within the town (or Norrington table), but nonetheless I liked it there.

At the end of the day, it's still Oxford, right?

Preparation

no

That'd would be too much to ask.

Doesn't help. I mean, yes, it's really useful to get through all the MAT tests and get used to the format of the test, yet I think there's no preparation that could be done for the interviews.

Interview

yes

I sat MAT. Probably easier than in 2015, but still difficult and rather extensive. I didn't have enough time for some further parts of questions.

no

no

Nope, although I heard that some colleges do have them. For maths.

I had 4. My success in them was monotonously increasing.

The first one went terrible, I was blocked for a while and the tutors... weren't too nice. Got startled by a difficult problem. Proof by induction, something on number theory and geometry inequality.

The second one was better, but I still failed to spot some easy things. Differentiation, trigonometry and probability.

Third one was the best. At Worcester. Had to prove that the natural logarithm of average is always greater than or equal to the average of natural logarithm. Did it both analytically and by sketching / curves. Still got some help, but significantly less than in the previous interviews.

Damn, and then, on the evening of the 2nd day I got yet another one. It took place at 9.45am and lasted for 7 minutes. A bit of trig and probability, that was it.

Proof by induction, divisibility (number theory), geometric inequality, trigonometry, probability, a bit of differentiation, natural logarithm, the definite integrals.

A sweatshirt with T-shirt underneath. I travelled by plane, had limited amount of things I could go with.

... aaand I don't feel comfortable in shirts. That's why T-shirt.

Impressions

GREAT

Well the room must've been like 100 years old, no kidding. There was some ancient equipment for heating, old windos (I saw on facebook in january that they were changing them) and an oold wardrobe. Good bed tho. Quite spacy rooms, though not as much as at Somerville.

GREAT. Some said that's what they usually get at school, I say it was far better. Unlimited amount. Had smoked salmon on wednesday. Lots of.

Some of them were really nice.

Runners? Very friendly and helpful.
Interviewees? Rather nervous.

Final stage

What kind of an ******* moved the decision day from before Christ mas to 11th of January?

I was in school at the time. No one knew I was applying for Oxford, so I kept it for myself and for the first time actually enjoyed the lessons, knowing that my suffering would soon be over.

Looking back

Damn yes.

Chill. Interviews are very stressful but it's doable. The long wait for decisions is nervous but doable.

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