Date Posted... Feb 7th 2023
A huge congratulations to Sixth Form students Soumya and Chloe who have received offers for Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Chloe, who has been with us since the 1st Year and is taking English Literature, Drama and Theatre Studies, and Psychology A-Levels, has received an offer to read English at Cambridge. Chloe said, “I felt totally overjoyed and shocked by the fact that I’d actually been offered a place. The students they accept tend to fit, personality-wise, with their course and teaching style. Whilst I knew I wanted to study at Cambridge and it felt like the right fit for me, I think the overarching feeling I had was relief that the English Department also saw those qualities in me.”
Soumya, who has been at Truro School since Prep Year 1, has received an offer to study Chemistry at Oxford. Soumya is currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Biology, and commented, “I was so happy when I received the news – the anticipation had been building for around a month since the interviews, so it was a big relief that it was finally over. It was nice to see that all the work I had put into the application had paid off.”
We caught up with Soumya and Chloe to chat about this accomplishment and how their time at Truro School has helped them.
Were you nervous about applying to such prestigious universities? How did Truro School Sixth Form help to prepare you for and support you with the application process?
Chloe: Once I found the English course at Cambridge, I knew it was the one for me and I had to apply. I found it quite daunting to begin with because I knew so little about the application process, but I’ve received tremendous amounts of support from Truro School. Whilst I had to put in a lot of work to apply, my subject teachers and Oxbridge advisor were there holding my hand the whole way, especially when it felt overwhelming.
The preparation and support that Truro provides are honestly amazing; if you seek out help, you will receive it. You will get the most from Truro School if you welcome opportunities with open arms and ask for help when you need it.
Soumya: I was definitely nervous about applying to Oxford: I know how competitive it is and how good all the applicants are. The school was very supportive throughout the process. Mrs Collinge (the Oxbridge advisor) helped me a lot as I tried to decide which course I wanted to apply to and where. She tried to keep us calm and put things in perspective. The chemistry department also supported me, by setting up mock interviews (which were the most helpful thing I did to prepare for my interview) and by just being willing to answer very specific questions for me whenever I asked. They recommended lots of books too, for my personal statement and for interview preparation.
While you have been predicted excellent grades, what do you think set you apart from other candidates?
Soumya: As my course doesn’t have an admissions test, I think a lot of it came down to the interview. I love my subject and enjoyed reading more about it as I wrote my personal statement. I was really interested in the problems in the interview, and maybe my enthusiasm showed. I took part in the RSC and C3L6 Olympiads twice which helped prepare me for the interview, as the style of questions was very similar.
Chloe: It’s very hard to say why I was chosen. All I know is that I have a true excitement for my subject and I’m not afraid of being seen to work hard and put in effort even if things don’t go to plan. I went into my interview being unashamedly myself and was very honest when I didn’t know something. I don’t think Oxbridge are looking for perfection, I think they’re looking for students that are teachable and genuinely excited to learn.
What would your advice be for anyone hoping to apply to Oxbridge?
Chloe: I would say, make sure you love your subject and the course you’re applying to. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up in class, ask questions, and nurture the passion you have for the subject. I didn’t always know I wanted to apply, not even when I chose my A-Levels. I chose to apply to Cambridge in the Easter of my Lower Sixth, but that was as late as I could’ve left it because applying to Oxbridge takes a lot of dedication and time. However, don’t let all the information and advice (because you’ll get a lot!) put you off. If you know the subject you’re applying for is right for you, go for it!
Soumya: I think it’s really important to be flexible and to follow new interests – it’s ok to change your mind about which degree and which university again and again to make sure you pick a course you’re excited about. I’ve always enjoyed chemistry, but I debated whether to apply for Medicine or Natural Sciences for a long time before I finally settled on Chemistry. I would recommend going to open days for both universities, as looking around the chemistry department at Oxford is what convinced me to apply there. I think there’s an element of luck involved with all applications to competitive universities, so if you’re considering applying, it’s probably worth trying.
And finally, what are you looking forward to most about going to University and what will you miss most about life at Truro School Sixth?
Soumya: I’m excited about studying my subject in more depth, and of course, about all the new experiences I’ll have at university. There are so many new activities to try and new people to meet. I will miss the community here and the atmosphere of Sixth Form – everyone is very friendly and I have got to know teachers and students well over my time at school
Chloe: I am looking forward to studying new texts and being surrounded by people who are just as excited by English as I am. I’ll miss the community that comes with being at Truro; including friendships and the close bonds I have with my teachers. Studying at Truro for so many years has allowed me to build connections and trust with my teachers who understand and support me as an individual. Applying to Oxbridge has really shown me this as they were all eager to encourage me, giving up a lot of time and effort to help me achieve something I really cared about.
A total of nine students applied this year, which in itself is a huge achievement as the application process is notoriously challenging. We are unbelievably proud of each pupil who followed the Oxbridge programme and the resilience and strength they have displayed throughout the process. For those who were not offered a place at this time, the application is never in vain as the outcome helps to show that other outstanding universities will provide an even better environment for you to thrive in beyond the Sixth Form. Similarly, due to the rigorous application process, each application made to Oxford or Cambridge ensures that you have applied to your other chosen universities in a competitive manner.
Thank you to Mrs Collinge, our Oxbridge Mentor, and to all the staff who supported the students on their journey.
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