POTENTIAL Oxbridge candidates have been putting their minds to securing coveted places at the world’s best universities with an exercise in alternative thinking.
A dozen sixth formers from Barnard Castle School, interested in a wide range of subjects, travelled to Cambridge for a two-day session on university life.
Students were challenged to answer a host of questions, including why zebras don’t suffer from ulcers, in an initiative designed to give them an insight into life at Cambridge University.
Workshops covered thinking skills and interviews as Oxbridge hopefuls prepare their personal statements and sit entrance exams for Oxford and Cambridge universities.
Head girl Salma Ali said: “I thought the session was going to be hard but in reality it was just different. It was about thinking around the knowledge you already possess and applying it to new situations.”
Salma hopes to read natural sciences at Cambridge University with a view to working in genetics research covering areas such as cancer treatment.
“The advancements in cancer research and treatment are incredible,” she said. “The things they can already do are amazing and they are on the brink of some massive break-throughs.”
Head boy Alex Booth said: “You have to get into the right mind-set and be able to argue your point whatever the subject.”
Alex hopes to read history and politics at Oxford University before pursuing a career in the Government, possibly in international affairs.
Barnard Castle School headmaster Alan Stevens said: “I am delighted that so many of our sixth formers are interested in trying to secure places at Oxford, Cambridge and other Russell Group universities.
“It is so important that all of our students think about their futures and have aspirations which we then work tirelessly to help them achieve. Regardless of which path they eventually choose to tread, the actual process of preparing for university is invaluable experience giving them useful life-skills for the future.”