We offer advice on where to apply, the writing of the personal statement and practice interviews. Paul has been advising students on university applications since 2001 and has provided specialist help for those with Oxbridge ambitions. This includes guidance on extra-curricular reading during year 12, samples of work to be submitted, entrance tests and the personal statement. Finally, there is perhaps the most important part of the process - the advice and practice provided for the interview.
Oxford and Cambridge attract a fair amount of criticism because of the limited extent to which undergraduate places have been taken up by a wider range of students. You are more likely to succeed if you attend an independent or grammar school - particularly if it is in the South East. Much of the criticism ignores the real effort made to widen access and the frustration at the slowness of change is in many ways down to the strongest and fairest feature of the whole process. Oxford and Cambridge are really interested in just one thing. That is your potential to get the very most from the course and university environment.
One problem is that still too few students from non-traditional Oxbridge backgrounds are applying. A second and more intractable problem is that students from independent and grammar schools have tended to be more effective in demonstrating their potential through the application process. In particular, they succeed in displaying in interview (and in their personal statement) their genuine interest in a subject and in discussion demonstrate an intellectual curiosity aligned to reflection and the willingness to clarify exactly what is at stake in a question. They not the finished article, but they offer a glimpse of what they can become.
This is not simply a function of high GCSE grades or A-level predictions. It reflects the way in which they may have been taught and the opportunity they have had to practise being interviewed. You may be completely happy with the support you are being offered. In which case, the very best of luck! If you are not or want the benefit of a different voice or perspective, then contact us to see if we can help.