Three students at Solihull Sixth Form College are celebrating receiving offers from two of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Alicia Cox, Connie Hammond and Zoe Mason have all been successful in securing Oxbridge offers for this autumn, with two hoping to take up places at the University of Oxford and one hoping to go to Cambridge.
Connie Hammond (aged 18 from Birmingham) is a former Lyndon School student and has an offer from Mansfield College, Oxford to study Philosophy, Politics & Economics.
“Applying for early entry was actually a good thing for me as it meant I could stop worrying about needing to complete my UCAS form and just get on with studying. The same amount of effort goes into an Oxbridge personal statement as should go into any statement; it just has to be done earlier.
“The admissions test at the end of October was actually fun to prepare for as the questions were very interesting to decipher. The interviews made me a little nervous but the experience was brilliant, because everyone around me was incredibly friendly and supportive and that was very comforting. Everyone made friends quickly and we spent some time exploring the city. I especially enjoyed my Politics interview as it felt more like an interesting debate than an interview.”
Another former Lyndon School student who has achieved success is Alicia Cox (aged 17 from Birmingham). Her offer is for Natural Sciences at Homerton College, Cambridge.
“The main reason I applied to Cambridge was because of the course. I first found out about Natural Sciences on their website and when I looked at the course structure I realised it was the perfect course for me as it allows me to continue studying a broad range of sciences, and then specialise in later years into something like Biochemistry. When I went to the Open Day I felt like I really fit in with the people there and that it would be possible to go there, I just have to work hard enough.”
Meanwhile, ex-Alderbrook School pupil Zoe Mason (aged 18 from Shirley) is hoping to take up a place at Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford to study Mathematics.
She described why she chose to apply:
“I had visited Oxford a lot and loved the place; I felt at home there. I love maths, so I enjoyed the extra classes to prepare for my application.
“The College helped check my personal statement before it was sent and Maths teacher Isabel Cooper ran a Mathematics Admissions Test class every week, which was incredibly helpful. Both those things made me more confident on answering the questions but also helped inform me on how the application process works whilst also telling me about classes I could do to improve. I did practice interviews too, which helped a lot.”
College Principal Dr Martin Sullivan commented:
“Congratulations to Alicia, Connie and Zoe. Undertaking an Oxbridge application is a significant investment of time and energy and it pits students against the very best in the world. Getting an offer is a huge achievement and they should be very proud of themselves, as we are of them. It’s great to see two students from our Summit Learning Trust partners Lyndon School represented too.”
Zoe’s advice for students who are thinking about whether they should attempt an Oxbridge application next year is:
“If you love the subject you are applying for then it’s worth a try. Try to take each step of the process at a time to prevent becoming overwhelmed.”
Connie echoes this sentiment:
“Do it! There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you are planning on applying to university the only difference will be the early entry deadline, and Year 13 is intense so it’s good to have UCAS done early on anyway! Doing an admissions test or sending in written work is an extra step, but the experience of interviewing alone makes it worth it.”
Alicia has practical advice for would-be Oxbridge applicants:
“Start preparing quite early, make sure you know what test you have to take and do loads of practice for it. Also try to find as much information about the course and the colleges from current or previous Oxbridge students; you can do this by going onto websites like the Student Room.”
13 February 2020