> anonymous 169



 Merton (open application, allocated college)



 offer made






 Independent - non-selective

Not known if selective



(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Details about the offer


A in Biology, A in Chemistry

A, in Maths or Physics



 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

They are in a league of their own in the UK.

Oxford medicine was ranked higher than Cambridge medicine (Times Good University Guide 2001)
Oxford is prettier, and there is more to do there - Cambridge feels so stuffy
The Oxford medical school intake is smaller (150 as opposed to 250).
The course looks better
The Cambridge - science, Oxford -arts stereotype is largely a myth nowadays. It was probably so a couple of centuries ago - (even though Oxford has made enormous contributions to science over the centuries - especially in medicine e.g. the synthesis of penicillin. I think Oxford Medicine has 12 Nobel Prizes so far)
Basically, the two universities are so similar, and in a league of their own, so whichever one you go to won't make a difference.
So I chose the one that gave me the best gut feeling, and that was Oxford and Merton.

Academically the best college - might as well go for gold. Topped the Oxford Academic tables (Norrington tables) most frequently.
Beautiful college
Historical and traditional
The college is very rich ( in the top 5 richest colleges)
Relatively small - therefore more close-knit and friendly



A couple of mock interviews

OAF: left the mini-personal statement bit blank.
Interview: I think despite questions they may ask you on the NHS / ethics... the one thing that they are most interested in are your general intelligence and scientific ability / passion. Make sure you have lots to talk about in terms of interests in medicine and science.
Try to be articulate and confident when answering questions. If they ask you a question and you have no idea about the answer - don't just shrug/look completely lost and say "I don't know" - you will look very stupid.





Yes. Rather short paper on verbal reasoning / scientific reasoning. Relatively straightforward. No preparation needed.

Stayed for 3 nights and had 3 interviews (20 min each) + 1 test. Spent most of my time doing nothing.

Lots. Can't remember them all. Got asked questions on maths, science (medically orientated), NHS and ethics-type stuff.

Formal - seemed to be the obvious thing to do.


Liked Merton a lot.. seemed cosy and friendly. Had a look at some other colleges... wouldn't have minded going to: New, Magdalen, Balliol, St. John's, Christ Church, Univ.

Large room. en suite bathroom and shower. Was impressed.

Good. Food at Merton is reputed to be good.

They seemed nice enough.


Final stage


Looking back

Definitely - because I wouldn't want to go to any other university.

Just enjoy it and be confident. Better to look slightly over-confident than completely lost.


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