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What is the application process really like?

Books & e-book reader. Photo credit: Relly Butler We asked some of our current students how they found the application process. What they told us is repeated below. We also asked some of our students to share with you a little about themselves, and why they chose to do Computer Science at Oxford.



During the application process I had convinced myself that I was not going to make it to Oxford and that I wasn't the type of student that Oxford was looking for. I was under the misguided impression that Oxford only accepted public school educated geniuses. After attending an open day at the Department, my initial fears subsided as I found that the majority of the other nervous students on the open day all had the same ideas as me. Third Year, Maths and Computer Science student

When I applied to Oxford, I was really just going for the experience. I wanted the opportunity to talk to some of the top people in the field. The tutors turned out to be extremely friendly and welcoming and I really enjoyed discussing the problems they gave me in the interviews. I didn't feel that I always gave the perfect answer nor did I always get the correct answer immediately, but I really enjoyed the thought processes involved in solving the problems and being able to discuss them with the tutors. I was nicely surprised when I got the offer to study here. Fourth Year, female Maths and Computer Science student

I have known I wanted to study Computer Science for many years now, and the more I read about the courses in the run-up to UCAS applications the more I knew I wanted to do it. I love Maths, I love programming, and I love problem solving. Throughout the process I was completely unsure as to whether I would get in. Nobody at my school applied to Computer Science, and I had no-one to benchmark myself against, so I had no clue if I was good enough for Computer Science at Oxford. I wouldn't say anything about the process surprised me, but that is because I had no real expectation as to what it would be like before coming to interview. I loved the interviews, they were a challenging but fun experience. Some of my interviews went very well in my opinion, but I did not do so well in all of them. First Year Computer Science student, from a UK Independent school

Everything went very smoothly. Whenever I had a question I emailed the university or college admission staff and got replies straight away. The interview experience was amazing and the tutors really tried to make us feel calm and confident so that we can give our best. Second Year Computer Science student, from Romania

Maths Admissions Test (MAT)

I did not think I would get in. My school had never had a student go off to such a high-ranking university. The Maths program being taught in a different order in France, I was unable to do part of the aptitude test [MAT], but the CS part went very well. First Year Computer Science student from France

I must admit I quite enjoyed the entrance exam [MAT]. It was so different to any exam I'd done before, and it was really interesting to do. First Year Maths and Computer Science student, from a UK State school


I didn't expect to be invited for interview, let alone get in, but I'm not sure why this was. The interviews went well, but I was surprised that we had to stay in Oxford for so long [three/four days] to take them. Third Year Computer Science student, from a UK State school

I had four interviews and the one in which I thought I did worst was at the college I'm now studying at, so it's really just hard to tell. I was hopeful that I would get a place, but it's very competitive, so I had back-up plans. First Year Maths and Computer Science student, from a UK State school

The interviews were also great fun and everyone was really friendly. I thought my interviews went okay, which seems to be against most people who got in, who thought their interviews weren't so good. First Year Maths and Computer Science student, from a UK State school

I didn't think I would get in, although I thought I had a fair chance. The interview went okay, but I did not think I had done particularly well. Not really. First Year Computer Science student, from a UK State school

I had four interviews. I was extremely nervous on all of them but I still enjoyed them greatly. What I loved about the tutors was that they explained to me all the tasks I couldn't do myself and helped me reach the solutions. After my computer science interview I was so excited over the things I had learnt that I wasn't worried about my performance anymore. I was just happy I had that interview. Did I think I'd get in? I had doubts, everyone does. First Year Maths and Computer Science student, from Bulgaria

My first interview consisted of answering 3 questions that I was given the night before. Even though I knew I had successfully completed the questions I was still nervous when it came to the interview. After a 30 minute discussion of the questions, the interview was over and I left feeling confident that I had not made a complete fool of my self but unsure if I was good enough to be given an offer. Third Year, Maths and Computer Science student

My advice to applicants is to enjoy the interview period as much as you can by seeing the city and making friends, keep calm and give your best in the interviews and talk a lot to the tutors. They can't tell if your ideas are right or wrong if you don't say them out loud. Second Year Computer Science student from Romania