Alongside my work at InsideUni this year, I have also done some mentoring work with students applying to university. Our article on mentorship schemes 🔗 mentions some of the many mentoring schemes available, including Zero Gravity and Slipstream Education (formerly Project Access). I found the experience rewarding, and lots of InsideUni’s resources were very helpful in the process.
Some of what InsideUni does in terms of describing the process of interviews for Oxford and Cambridge duplicates what might be said in interviews. However, I found reading some other interview testimonies with applicants useful to illustrate the variation in interview experiences. Our course pages were also useful to remind me what information applicants have available at the start of the process and how my course looks from the outside.
The Preparing an Application guide 🔗 was helpful as it offers advice and links to the relevant web pages for several topics. For instance, when discussing choosing a college with mentees I discussed the topics raised in the guide and used the Oxford Student Union suggester tool 🔗 linked within the guide.I found that for each topic, the guide made a good jumping off point for a mentoring session, and helped me ensure I was passing on the key advice before addressing more specific questions. The advice for interviews was helpful for grounding preparation and organising thinking about problem sheets, sources, submitted work, personal statements and assessments.
I found our new admissions tests guides most valuable in the mentoring process, as they bring together all the relevant resources and helped me to get the tone of my advice correct. The guides point to a range of advice on different ways to deal with admissions tests and preparations, so I could be sure to suggest options to applicants. Especially useful were the new suggestions of additional questions beyond the obvious past papers, as some of the students I was helping to apply got through preparation resources very quickly.
InsideUni’s resources potentially offer a lot to students who are mentoring applicants, and I hope that others can find them useful as I did.