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The Reality Hits...

Up until now it's been a waiting game, getting all the other steps out of the way in the hope that you'll be invited to interview and now many of you have started to receive your interview offers...

If you've unfortunately found out that you haven't been invited to interview, please do remember that it is a huge achievement to be able to even apply to Oxford Uni in the first place. Everyone I knew who ended up elsewhere loved it. All of the hard work you've put into this process will certainly not be wasted, you'll have learnt so much along the way which will be super useful for studying at other universities.

If you have been invited to interviews - a massive congratulations - whatever happens next, you should be really proud!

Now there are some of you who may still not have heard whether you have an interview and try not to panic! As you probably know by now, Oxford is made up of 38 colleges and 6 halls and they all do things slightly differently, so you will definitely hear, just not necessarily at the same time!

Once you've found out...the reality a few weeks time you'll be sitting in from of the world-experts on your subject and having to discuss your thoughts and opinions, yep it sounds terrifying! And there is no point in me telling you not to be scared - I was absolutely shaking the whole way to Oxford but do remember, these tutors are human (very clever ones but still human!) - they're not looking to trick you, they just want to find out about your knowledge of your subject and get to know you.

The best way to keep those nerves under control is throw your all into your subject over the next few weeks, so you feel comfortable talking about it when the interviews come around:

* Re-read your personal statement again and again and make sure you know everything you've mentioned inside out and back to front - there's no point listing a text or concept you can't then discuss in the interview setting.

* Why? Justify! - remember this catchy little phrase and apply it to every opinion you put forward. An opinion isn't useful if you don't say WHY you've reached that conclusion. Evidence everything.

* Find your voice - get used to talking about your subject OUT LOUD - talk to your mum, dad, sister, dog, cat, the brick doesn't matter just SAY IT OUT LOUD!

* If anyone offers you a mock interview grab their hand off - I was too scared and always regretted it!

* Say a big WELL DONE to yourself - it is a brilliant achievement to be offered an interview and let some of that excitement shine through - you're going to be spending a few days in a beautiful city, living in picture-postcard quads and discussing the subject you love - enjoy it the best you can!

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