The Access Project supports young people to access top universities, through a unique combination of tuition and in-school mentoring. This year 45 of our students received offers to interview at either Oxford or Cambridge University. 

Abdul is one of those 45 students invited to interview at Oxbridge this year.

“I don’t doubt myself as much as I used to”

Abdul is getting tutored in Chemistry. “I started my tutorials in May [2021] and I have had weekly sessions since then. My tutorials are having a good impact on my performance in school. At the end of last year we had an end-of-year test and got a C. But this year, after my tutorials, I got an A.”

Abdul’s tutor has supported him to participate more in class. “I do better in exams and in lessons. I am more confident with my answers. I don’t doubt myself as much as I used to. Working with someone new one-to-one has also helped me be more relaxed when meeting and talking to new people.”

“Mostly I am just excited to learn Maths at university”

Abdul’s interview was with Cambridge University. “I felt really worried when I was preparing to submit my application. One of the things I find difficult is to articulate my thoughts. I didn’t know if my answers were good enough for Cambridge to give me an interview. And even if you get the interview, they have some tough exams in the summer. So it was stressful.”

Abdul’s University Access Officer helped him prepare for the application. “My mentor reviewed my personal statement and told me what I could improve on. He suggested specific stuff I could write about and read for my application.”

Closer to the interview, Abdul received some useful advice for his interview. “Closer to the date, he gave me tips about things to do for my interview. For example, he told me to read my personal statement again and refresh my knowledge on that. One of the best things he told me was that, during the interview, I should say my thoughts out loud, instead of going quiet. I tried to do that, and I managed to do it for most of my interview.”

Abdul wants to study Maths at Cambridge. “I really like Maths, it’s my favourite topic in school. I haven’t really thought about career options. I was thinking of going into astrophysics. I may get a PhD or become a Professor. Mostly I am just excited to learn Maths at university. There’s a lot more to learn and it’s really exciting to know what I can learn. I don’t really travel often, so staying somewhere new will be refreshing to me.”