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on 30 July 2013
It is certainly a well researched book, no argument - with newspaper quotes from previous years and masses of interviewed people to draw on. However, there is an edge to the writing style which I personally did not find too appealing, it was quite cynical in places - particularly when discussing those from top schools rather than state comprehensives. By the time I had finished it, I had really heard too much of the authors opinions of how government policy needs to change in respect to the admissions process - not at all what I wanted from the book. In saying that, there are some VERY useful tips peppered through it, so stick with it put the political views to one side and get your highlighter pen out. As another reviewer has mentioned there are quite a few typos in the book, which you would have expected to be ironed out by now considering there have been a few editions since the original 2003 publication. Out of interest, at the same time, I also purchased three other books from Amazon :- "So you want to go to Oxbridge - Tell me about a banana" , "How to get into Oxbridge" by Dr Christopher See , and "Getting into Oxford & Cambridge" by Jenny Blaiklock. To be honest, I enjoyed this Elfi Pallis book least ! In my opinion the Christopher See one was of the most value - seemed to have the 'insiders view' I was looking for, although the Jenny Blaiklock book was very close behind. (The Banana book had a really good Oxbridge Graduates' summary of each college to allow comparisons ). So in summary, if you are interested in how the admissions process has evolved over the decades, and how the author hopes it will develop in the future, then this is a perfect book for you - but, if you want tips and advice for your application in the next year or two maybe better to shop around (or buy others besides this as I did).
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on 28 March 2013
Having met Elfi when she talked to students at my school, I was taken to read the book - excellent for aspiring Oxbridge students.
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on 30 July 2012
I loved this book because it stopped me feeling stupid. My sixth form head was very keen on me applying to Oxford, but the idea used to give me sleepless nights, even though I had really liked the place when I went up on a school trip. It all just seemed terribly confusing and I couldn't believe students like me got in.

Reading Oxbridge Entrance calmed me down. The book had a chapter on every single thing I was worried about, plus lots of brilliant suggestions on how to prepare for the course I had picked. I also liked all those funny stories in between, mostly about Oxbridge in the old days. The application stage is still hard work and I'm only half-way through my UCAS statement, but each time I get stuck the book shows me ways to move on.
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on 6 November 2012
This has excellent interview advice. The author starts with the key elements of a good answer, from the terms students should use to the type of information it should contain. Next, she shows interviewees how to lay out their knowledge, handle provocative questions and avoid other pitfalls. I much liked her suggestion to include maths calculations in a variety of answers.

While Pallis encourages students to think on their feet, they are also urged to read widely around their subject. Appropriately, the book contains both reading lists and online links. PPE, economics, English, economics, science and medicine interviews are dealt with at special length. All through, the book is peppered with sample questions. A must for bright, ambitious applicants and sixth form libraries.
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on 24 November 2012
Although focus is on Oxbridge there's lots here relevant to any youngster hoping to go to university - and much sound advice for parents too. Loads of information laid out in a nice easy style.
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on 24 November 2012
with a daughter from state school who wanted to give Oxford a go, this book provided me (as a parent) with a lot of the 'tips and traps' - and enabled me to do the admin whilst my daughter concentrated on her studies.
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on 15 August 2013
Good grades alone won't get you into Oxbridge, so students unsure how to write an original, winning UCAS statement may want to draw on this clever book. Although the author encourages early preparation, he also shows shows readers how to keep adding to their achievements in ways Oxbridge will understand. This should be of particular help to those who have decided to try for Oxford or Cambridge quite late. The book will certainly steer applicants away from the temptation of copying online statements, something universities can now electronically detect.
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on 23 November 2015
Good, but considering it is the 2014 edition, the references to what WILL be happening in 2013 are not very reassuring. After all, when you're updating for a new edition it's not very difficult to run a quick search on dates is it?. Also, while the contents pages are good, the disappointing an unusual absence of an index, again reduces its usefulness and makes me less confident in the book as a whole than I would like to be.
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on 19 July 2012
Best about this student guide are probably its chapters on PPE and medicine, subjects which are not taught at school. There is also very sensible advice on Oxbridge English. The academic route leading towards a place at Oxford and Cambridge is generally well mapped out, often with inspiring suggestions. Students are shown how to handle difficult books and how to address challenging interview questions. They are also pointed towards a wide range of activities, both local and online, so as to further develop course-related interests. The author's guidance on how to produce an original personal statement should reduce the temptation to just copy online ones. All in all, able students will gain hugely from preparing with the help of this book.
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on 20 July 2012
This spirited book even answers the questions students may not yet know they have, such as 'Which newspaper section must I read?' or 'Will I get on with people from Eton?'

There is practical advice on grants, rents and careers, but the book's stress is on academic groundwork. To get in, candidates do not just need to be bright but also willing to prove that they have the right skills for their future course. Students are therefore told how to fine-tune their maths, science or writing skills. They are also offered detailed guidance on 'talking the talk', which means giving well-structured, subject-appropriate answers to test and interview questions. The book even reveals the ideal length for a good answer.

The advice on reading around the most popular courses is especially valuable and will prevent much disappointment. Like the book's list of the most useful Oxbridge Access schemes, it will be appreciated by teachers, as well as students. The result are likely to be stronger, more confident candidates, even from disadvantaged groups.
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