13 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Watch out with this one!,
This review is from: Oxbridge Entrance: The Real Rules (Paperback)I have very mixed feelings about this book.
It is very,very useful in many ways. Other reviewers have said that Pallis gives only obvious advice, but this is simply not true. Pallis debunks a lot of the myths around what Oxbridge want from applicants and tells the reader how best to prepare for what may be the hardest interview a teenager may every have faced. She clearly outlines the stages of the interview and the form it will take- giving examples of good and bad behaviour in interviews, while being realistic aswell:-"obviously, a young Maths genius scratching his back as he rattles down perfect formulas is rarely shown the door". Her advice about which A levels to do and what grades they should be is very helpful, too.
On the other hand, it is an absolutely infuriating read. Pallis consistently patronises teenagers- even suggesting that a young person should spend the night at a friend's house in case he or she is nervous about having to sleep in a room that is not their own on their arrival at Oxbridge. I doubt that many teenagers have lived such sheltered existences. Pallis is also incredibly snobbish. I perfectly understand that the system is far more opaque for a state-school applicant than it is for many public school students, but at times Pallis descends into childish and absurd comments. She says at one point that when state-school students mix with public school ones they, too, may become "experts on sherry". This is absolutely unbelievable. It seems that Pallis has got her information on public schools from a Nancy Mitford book. She is very outdated in her view of many of the colleges too. I think it is disgraceful that Pallis feels so free to endlesssly mock public school students, when a remark turned the other way about state-school students would create uproar. Why is it okay to be so small minded the other way around?
Pallis' book has many, many faults- and if you, like me are a public school student hoping to go to Oxbridge then I would suggest that you read this book with a pinch of salt. Much of Pallis' advice is both relevant and interesting, but a great deal of the book is fundamentally flawed by small minded views and outdated ideas.