The River Thames outside DLD College London

Oxbridge Offer!

1st February 24

DLD College London would like to congratulate Year 13 A Level Student, Lily J on her offer to study English Language and Literature at Oxford University. We reached out to Lily to ask her a few questions about the application process and if she had any insight that she could offer students who are looking to apply to Oxbridge in the future.

When we spoke to Lily she said:

“Hi, I’m Lily. I’m from London, and I am currently studying Maths, Biology, English Literature and Psychology at DLD College London.”

What was it like to receive your offer from Oxford University?

“I applied to study English Language and Literature at Oxford in October, and after the long build-up to ‘decisions day’, it felt quite surreal to have received an offer. When it started to sink in, I was really happy and I rushed to tell my English teachers before calling my parents.”

How did you find the application process?

“It definitely feels like a long, drawn-out process with lots of hurdles. Like many people, I found the personal statement the most challenging, and once the initial application was sent off I was quite relieved to be able to focus on other parts of the application like the entrance exam (ELAT) and written work.

The ELAT took place during half-term, so the school was virtually empty, which helped me get into a good headspace. After sitting the exam, I focused on an essay for written work, which was probably my favourite part of the process. The interviews were challenging in a way that was often rewarding but at times quite disheartening – it’s very difficult to gauge what the interviewers are thinking. I was very relieved when they were over!”

How did DLD help to prepare you for your application and interview?

“All my teachers were extremely helpful and supportive. Simon, my University Admissions Tutor and English teacher, helped me a lot with all aspects of the process, especially with the personal statement and ELAT preparation. He also suggested courses to do over the summer which would be useful for super-curricular discussion. Cathy, my other English teacher, was very encouraging. She came into school during the ELAT and gave lots of recommendations to help shape and broaden my reading interests.”

How did you prepare for your interview?

“Foremost, I remember reading and researching interests that I’d highlighted in my personal statement, and refamiliarizing myself with the written work I’d submitted earlier. This involved talking myself through concepts and anticipating what might be asked during interview. Cathy and Simon provided extra reading, and I sat in on a couple of Classics lessons too. On the day of my interviews, my teachers were so encouraging and allowed me time out of lessons to calm and prepare myself.”

Do you have any advice that you would offer students who are applying to an Oxbridge University?

“While it’s something that’s said a lot, I think reading around your subject, or doing related activities and courses is very important. For many courses, it’s not always necessary to have completely concordant A Levels, but a strong interest in areas beyond the syllabus will feed into every stage of the application, especially during interview.”

How did your friends and family react to your news when you told them?

“My parents were very happy and proud, and I received many congratulatory messages from my family which was such a nice feeling! I know that if it hadn’t gone so well, they would still have been unconditionally supportive, which was really reassuring to know throughout the process.”

Lily, A Level Student 2024

Congratulations Lily, everyone here at DLD wish you luck for the next state of your university application process!