Senior BYT Tutor James Walker talks us through his experience as an Oxbridge entrance specialist.
Oxford and Cambridge Entrance Prep with BYT
Summer is here! Sunshine, study leave! For many people the long days mean strawberries and sunbathing, but for me, it is always the start of the season of guiding students through their Oxbridge applications.
I’ve been mentoring and consulting in university application for almost a decade but each year is as surprising and challenging as the last. As with all teaching, no two students are the same but it’s my role to encourage and develop the unique qualities and special interests in each of them. I’m there to make sure that they can shine in every aspect of their application, no matter what subject they choose.
Finding and growing those interests and talents is incredibly rewarding. Students never cease to impress me with the range and depth of their potential.
Colleges, Oxbridge Dons, supervisions — the application process is full of new and unfamiliar things. It can be a daunting prospect and it’s my job to make it accessible. Whether it is one on one tutorials breaking down the personal statement, Skype sessions on interview technique, or consulting on college choice, each session is there to break the process down. What feels like a mountain to climb for many students is turned into manageable steps that are within their control and capability. Keeping each student motivated and focussed is essential. I understand the pressure school work, social lives and extra curricular activities put on talented students. I put a lot of emphasis on study and research techniques to keep their work efficient and effective — never overwhelming.
The famous story of the Oxbridge applicant asked at interview to “do something to surprise me” setting fire to their interviewers Daily Telegraph has some truth in it.
Though I would advise all my students to avoid setting fire to anything in their interviews, I do think my job is to make sure that each applicant burns brightly in every part of their application.
James Walker is a Cambridge Graduate (Double 1st in English Literature). A communications and education specialist and tutors Oxbridge Entrance for BYT , James has successfully helped a number of our students gain places at Oxford and Cambridge.
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