Home » Q & As » Harry: Physics, Brasenose College Oxford (M Phys.)

Harry: Physics, Brasenose College Oxford (M Phys.)

  • A. At Oxford you are given many unique opportunities that just aren’t available at other universities. This ranges from the tutorial system, which facilitates the best possible learning environment to the fun events like the college balls.

Q. What is the best thing about your course?

A. The best thing about the Physics course at Oxford is that you are lectured and taught by the people who have written the course textbooks so couldn’t have a more knowledgeable source.

Q. How much work do you have to do a week?

A. Typically 1 to 2 tutorials a week which take around 10 hours each. Practical work varies throughout the years but is on average around 1 day a week.

Q. Was it hard to make friends?

A. No, the collegiate system means that before you even arrive you’re part of a community. During freshers week there is a huge variety of events to ensure an enjoyable start to your university life.

Q. What were you most worried about?

A. That I wouldn’t be good enough but you soon realise that everyone is in the same boat.

Q. How can you prepare for interview?

A. For physics, the best preparation is to know your stuff. It’s likely you’ll have a physics interview and a maths interview and the best preparation is to really understand what you’ve studied at school. This is all you’ll be expected to know, anything else is to take you out of your comfort zone and see how you think.

Q. What was the interview like?

A. The maths interview was essentially just a load of maths questions, on things like calculus, graph sketching and geometry. The physics interview is more a test of how you think, it’s likely you’ll never have come across these questions before so just talk through your thoughts.

Specifically, revise the following:

Graph sketching
Product rule
Implicit differentiation
Functions inside functions.
Trig identities ( double angle formula)
A level syllabus
Newtons laws
Centripetal stuff (orbits know equations, derivation of Kepler’s third law )
Young’s double slit experiment (defraction)
A level syllabus eg Circuits etc

Q. How do you prepare for the admissions test?

A. Making sure I knew as much as possible from my maths and physics A-Levels.

Q. How did you choose our college?

A. I wanted to apply to a college near the city centre. Other than that, I just chose the one that I thought was the most friendly on the Open Day.

Q. What grades did you get?

A. GCSE: 6A*s and 4As;  A-Level: 4As ( Before A*)

Q. What is the best piece of advice that anyone gave to you?

A. I don’t know, but the worst piece of advice is ‘relax’. Nobody is ever relaxed in their interview so don’t worry if you’re flustered and feel like you’ve forgotten everything, everybody is like that and tutors account for it.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about applying/applying?

A. When it comes to the interview, remember that the tutors are just people. Everyone who gets an interview is on a similar academic level, the key thing for tutors is that they are going to have to want to teach you for three or so years. Therefore be personable, smile and laugh at their jokes.


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