On Monday the 22nd of March, Professor Stuart White (Tutorial Fellow in Mathematics), along with the Access team, hosted a virtual Maths Study Day for high-achieving Year 12 students from non-selective state schools across the UK. 39 students logged on to hear our Access Officer Dr Maryanne Saunders present a talk on life at Oxford and the admissions process, before Dr James Munro of the Oxford Maths Institute treated them to a lively and interactive session on the MAT.
Dr Tom Crawford was up next, to give a lecture on applied mathematics in sport followed by a session with Professor Stuart White to solve some questions the students were sent ahead of the day. A particular highlight was the presence of current John’s undergraduate students who went through questions with the pupils and answered questions about life in Oxford as a student.
The prospective mathematicians were also given a unique insight into the admissions process as they witnessed an example interview with one brave 2nd year undergraduate volunteer and Dr Tom Crawford. Attendees were highly engaged and enthusiastic despite the challenges of the online format and many agreed that the event had given them new insights into the Oxford tutorial system, admissions tests and the Maths course offered by Oxford.
Dr Maryanne Saunders, Access and Outreach Officer
Comments from pupils included:
“I absolutely loved it!! Massive thank you to everyone”
“Really enjoyable day!”.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the MAT or interviews, check out the resources below.
Preparing for the MAT
Most resources for the MAT can be found on the MAT homepage.
To check you know the maths on the syllabus, you can try out these questions put together by Dr James Munro. These aren’t MAT questions, but questions designed to help you decide whether you’ve seen all the syllabus material, so are ready to start tackling the MAT questions.
Oxford Online Maths Club
If you want more maths, check out the Oxford Online Maths Club run by Dr James Munro every Thursday. Season 1 of the livestream ends with episode 12 on the first of April at 16:30.
The livestreams involve one hour of maths problems, puzzles, mini-lectures, and Q&As. Sometimes they talk about tricky maths problems, and sometimes they get a current Oxford student to talk about a bit of university maths that they love.
It’s free, interactive, casual, and relaxed. Don’t worry if you can’t make it – all the sessions are recorded so you can watch them later. Check out this earlier session on unseen MAT questions.
They’ll be back from the Easter holidays for season 2 on 22nd April at 17:00.
The interviews can be intimidating – but they are not tests. It’s normal not to get things straight away. It is a discussion between tutors and candidates. A good way to practice is to talk about maths: with classmates, teachers or friends. Get used to describing your thoughts as you’re working on a problem. Many people find that they enjoy their interviews, even if they didn’t expect to before hand.
Dr Tom Crawford has prepared a number of interview videos. The ones below are in the style of remote interviews.
You can find more videos and resources on his website: TOM ROCKS MATHS – Maths, but not as you know it…