Oxford Application Tips for Parents: How to Prepare
Regardless of the subject or subjects, your child is applying to study at Oxford; there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First of all, sit back and relax for a minute. The application process is not as terrifying as you may think (or too complicated) a long as you are organised, concise and clear with every step of the application. With care, caution and these Oxford application tips, your child’s Oxford application is in safe hands.
Oxford application tips: Starting the application process
- First of all your child should choose their course, no matter how many Oxford application tips you read or follow – this is the most important decision of the application and you and your child should work out whether the Oxford course is the most suitable based on what your child wants to do in the future and where your child’s skills and passion lies best.
- Together you should then decide on a whether to apply to a college or if you’d rather choose to do an open application. The best thing to do when trying to decide this is to visit the University of Oxford. You should also read the websites for each college and work out which college is especially good (has lots of your tutors, is near the faculty building etc) for your child’s subject.
The next step in your child’s Oxford application: The personal statement
Writing a personal statement is one of the most important parts of the application process. It is one of the most powerful chances at this early stage that your child has to demonstrate their unique abilities, passions for their chosen subject and why your child is a good candidate for Oxford. If you are going to follow one set of Oxford application tips; you should pay attention to the personal statement advice below.
Personal statement checklist or your child:
- Get as many teachers as you can to read it, look over it and give their opinion on your statement. This ensures that it is clear, includes the necessary information and is appropriate.
- Definitely ask the person who teaches you the subject you are applying for to read over it – they will have probably gone through a similar process before and will have a good idea of what to include.
- Make 100% sure that there are no grammatical or syntactical errors as sloppy mistakes are never a good first impression
- Ensure that it is the right length and that you send it in on time – Be organised!
- Get professional support through tuition or a redrafting serviced.
- Making sure you come across passionate and enthusiastic about your subject
- Ensuring that you do not waste too much of the personal statement talking about extra-curriculum because when it comes down to it this is not what the tutors are interested in
- Communicating what specific areas of the Oxford course you are interested in, and how you are eager to learn in a more general capacity
Things to watch out for:
- The personal statement is intended to introduce and present your child to the University and also to demonstrate their passion for the subject. HOWEVER, this can often mean that the tone of the personal statement is naturally written over-the-top. Try and avoid this as it can be very transparent and unconvincing. Instead make sure that you use specific examples of what you are interested in, and how you find it fascinating.
- Do not exaggerate your child’s experience or knowledge because they are very likely to test you on every aspect of your personal statement.
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Oxford application tips for other aspects of the application process:
- Your child may be asked to hand in written work for their application – essays on your subject that you have done at school etc. This should undergo the same scrutiny as your personal statement in terms of grammar and language.
- After your child has submitted their application; they will be asked to take an aptitude test. If all goes to plan, they will have be invited for interview (more information about this and general Oxford application tips can be found on the UniAdmissions blog and on the University of Oxford website itself.
This article is just a starting point to help you figure out how to start your application – or your child’s for oxford – and to organise what you need. If you feel that you need more help and guidance check out the Uni Admissions page for application packages!
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