Applicant L’s Background
Geographic Location: Melbourne, Australia
Started Using Our Admission Service: In Year 11
Significant Award: Australian Science Olympiad – High Distinction
Admissions: University of Oxford – Materials Science, Imperial College London
When Applicant L came for our services in the middle of Year 11, he had a solid academic record and interests in a variety of subjects including mathematics, physics, chemistry, and economics. With a goal of studying in the UK in mind, he didn’t yet have a clear idea of what course he should aim for. While considering Imperial College London, LSE, and UCL at the same time, he mentioned in our first meeting that Oxford and Cambridge were probably out of his league. However, with our assistance and his own effort, he eventually surpassed his own expectations.
The first thing we did to help L was finding out which course he should focus on. After brainstorming and some early application preparation work, we took economics out of the picture as L realized he would prefer to work in STEM fields in the future. Since the most selective mathematics courses in the UK generally require remarkable achievements in competitions, we suggested he also not try for mathematics. The options narrowed down to physics and chemistry. Considering L’s balanced interests in both subjects, as well as his passion for science application, we eventually decided on materials science, a field that suits his strengths, interests, and career aspirations the most.
With that focus in mind, we started to recommend reading, activities, and competitions for L to join. While the time was limited, we still managed to help him find a series of opportunities for him to demonstrate and enhance his enthusiasm for materials science and to link his previous learning of math, physics and chemistry together, strengthening the competitiveness of his application.
During our collaboration on his personal statement, we encouraged L to build up a comprehensive picture covering all his relevant skills, no matter how significant or trivial, putting together his experiences in materials science first. After the first draft, we assisted him in making a cohesive and unique showcase of his qualifications, knowledge, passion, and readiness. The process also motivated him to continuously extend his learning and prepare for the interview.
L was interviewed by two colleges at Oxford. Before the interviews, we meticulously went through the expectations of Oxford interviewers and helped L to better structure his answers during mock interviews accordingly. Meanwhile, we sourced over a dozen reading pieces for L to practice his interpretation and presentation skills. Such work increased his confidence in presenting his knowledge as well as critical thinking and problem-solving during the actual interviews.
Successful applicants to Oxbridge need a strong academic foundation. However, we managed to offer L the extra assistance for him to stand out in the selection process. In his reflection, L said “If I put it into a very straightforward way, I believe that I was around 70% ready for Oxford but I needed the extra 30% provided by Elite Admission to reach the admission standard.”
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