Around this time last year, I attended my PGCE interview! I applied to two universities (my main one being the University of Worcester obviously!). I was so scared because a PGCE at Worcester is all I’ve ever wanted to do, so I knew I had to put my everything into it to make sure that I get the best chance of a place. I was really really nervous but luckily the interviewers were really kind and made it all a bit less daunting!
I began the day with a visit from the Registry department who checked all our qualifications. This meant I had to find them first – when you’re 20 you don’t really remember where you put all your GCSE certificates etc. I also had to dig out my birth certificate (didn’t have a clue where that one was – had to ask Mum!).
After Registry were happy with all my documents (and there was a massive pile of them to plough through!) I had a welcome talk from the course administrator. This was very informative but just made me more and more nervous because I was hearing about all the good things I’d be getting to do if I could get onto the course!! It was making me want it even more – but hopefully I channelled these nerves into enthusiasm.
After the welcome talk, which lasted for about an hour, we had to sit a literacy exam. We were given the question when we got the invite to interview so we could plan it, but we only had 25 minutes to write and try and fit in everything that we wanted to get across. Now, ever since I came to Uni I don’t really write anything anymore, it’s all on laptops, so having to write fast for 25 minutes inevitably gave me a dead arm afterwards – I felt like I was sitting my GCSEs again!!
After we had handed in our exam papers, we were then split into about six groups with five candidates in each one and went to a smaller room with two of the interviewers. This is where we had our observed group discussion where the interviewers watched us discuss the characteristics of effective learning to see how we worked in a team, took turns, took on board others views etc. This bit was okay because I had four other people to rely on if I couldn’t think of anything to say!
Then came the scarier bit, the 10 minute individual presentation. We had to perform a presentation in front of the group about an activity that we had planned and conducted with the children on our work experience placements. I had planned mine down to the last second at home, timing and practicing it about 100 times, but it still doesn’t prepare you for the nerves of having to say it in front of a group! Luckily, I had good feedback about this part from the interviewers so that’s one part they liked!
Finally came the hard bit, the 25 minute interview. This bit was truly terrifying as you are sat on your own in front of two people who are very knowledgeable about what you’re trying to do, and you have to prove yourself and not show them you are absolutely petrified! They asked me questions involving the specialist subject I had put forward (mine is Special Educational Needs), the past work experience I had, any skills I feel I can bring to teaching, why I want to be a teacher, whether I feel I am organised enough to handle the pressure of a Post Graduate course etc. Even though it was 25 minutes it went by so fast – probably because I was so nervous!
My interview was a real success and now I am studying for my dream career. I hope you will all be in the same situation soon. Good luck!