How to get into Oxbridge - from a student who has just done it

Daisy Spurway, 17, a student at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, has been offered a place at Cambrid

Daisy Spurway, 17, a student at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, has been offered a place at Cambridge University to study law. - Credit: Archant

A Gorleston student thought that Cambridge university was out of her reach - but this year has been offered a place there to study law.

A high angled view of the historic architecture in Cambridge.

A high angled view of the historic architecture in Cambridge. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Daisy Spurway, 17, attends East Norfolk Sixth Form College.

Last month students at the school celebrated a record-breaking year for offers to study at Cambridge and Oxford, with ten students offered places at the universities to read subjects including law, natural sciences, maths and geography.

Ms Spurway first considered applying to the university while doing her GCSEs but thought it was “out of reach”.

“It doesn’t seem like a place where someone who has not studied at a private school could get to,” she said.


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The student lives with her mother, Lynn McGregor, and sister, Kit Spurway, near the school in Gorleston.

In December she attended two interviews at Cambridge.

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“I thought they went awful to be honest,” she said.

Explaining her success, which was a surprise to herself, Ms Spurway said that her hard work has paid off.

She revised five to six hours a day but motivation was not a problem.

She has always had motivation, she said, and it was something she learned from her mother.

Another important factor was the support from the college.

“I got a lot of help from the college on how to get in,” she said.

The school provides a programme, Extend, which it says is designed to “stretch and challenge gifted and talented students”.

Miss Spurway said the school also helped her with interviews.

Her advice to students dreaming of Cambridge or Oxford?

“The idea always seems so unrealistic,” she said.

“But once you put in the work and believe in the idea a little bit.

“And even if you don’t get it, all that you learn, from the interviews and application process, is very valuable.”

She said that applying to Cambridge has made her read in depth outside the curriculum.

Looking into the future she said that after finishing her degree she would like to work in constitutional law and eventually work alongside the civil service, advising on legal matters.

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