Niamh W.

Niamh W.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: English and Beginners' Italian (Bachelors) - Oxford, Somerville College University

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About me

My name’s Niamh (don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it!), I’m 21 years old, and I’m a First Year English and Italian student at Oxford. I took two gap years before coming to university, and during that time I worked in a school for boys aged 7-18. In my second year at the school, I was a Teaching Assistant in learning support so I’ve had some great experience helping students get to grips with the curriculum! During that year, I supported students making their transition from primary to secondary school, those embarking upon their GCSE courses and spent some time with A-Level students too, so I’m well placed to help, wherever you are in your studies! Personally, I did the IB in my last 2 years of school so I can help with that too. I was very fortunate in that I really enjoyed my time at school and I’m keen to help other students find the same satisfaction from their studies.  

Currently, as well as studying in Oxford, I’m a trustee for an educational charity in the Gambia so, as you can see, learning and education are very important to me & I’m keen to help you in any way I can.

Studying English Lit?

I love reading and hope you do too – if not, don’t worry! Often I find that studying a text in more detail and really getting my head around it helps me to enjoy it more, and sometimes we write best about books that aren’t necessarily our favourite. So, if at this point you’re not feeling too enamoured by your studies, don’t panicyou’re going to be fine! Some tools I find really useful (and wish I’d had at school!) include mind mapping, colour coding and some great note taking methods we can discuss. In the sessions, we can implement these methods to help key themes and characters come into focus, as well as to create detailed essay plans and summaries (another great revision tool!). I’m happy to go over essays and essay questions too, so do feel free to bring those with you.

My time working in learning support, and my own experience as a student with dyspraxia, has taught me a lot about finding the right learning methods for each student, so please do get in touch if you have any questions – I’d really love to help.

Applying to Uni?

Applying to university can be a lot more stressful than it needs to be! But don’t worry, personal statements needn’t be a cause for concern; in very little time, we can get the most accurate and unique version of you into that frustratingly small character limit, and I can assure you – cutting words is something I’m pretty good at! You’ll have no trouble getting everything you want to say down on the page.

Oxbridge applicant?

As an Oxford student, I have loads of first-hand experience of what life here is like and would love to help you make the most of the application process. I’m here to answer any questions you might have, conduct practice interviews, and make sure you have the best chance possible! If you’re sitting the ELAT or MLAT, we can have a look at that too and make sure nothing fazes you on the day. 

Subjects offered

SubjectLevelMy prices
English A Level £22 /hr
English Literature A Level £22 /hr
English GCSE £20 /hr
English Literature GCSE £20 /hr
English IB £22 /hr
English 13 Plus £20 /hr
English 11 Plus £20 /hr
-Personal Statements- Mentoring £22 /hr
.ELAT Uni Admissions Test £25 /hr


HL PhysicsBaccalaureate6
HL MusicBaccalaureate6
HL EnglishBaccalaureate7
SL Maths StudiesBaccalaureate7
SL Spanish ab initioBaccalaureate7
SL HistoryBaccalaureate7
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Currently unavailable: for regular students

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Ratings and reviews

5from 16 customer reviews

Borte (Student) June 12 2016


Mr. (Parent) June 19 2016


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Questions Niamh has answered

How can I best prepare for the ELAT?

Get organised! The ELAT is a great opportunity to demonstrate your skills as a student of literature; this is your chance toshow off what makes you unique as a writer and thinker. The range of questions allows you to choose texts with which you are most comfortable, and to come up with some c...

Get organised!

The ELAT is a great opportunity to demonstrate your skills as a student of literature; this is your chance to show off what makes you unique as a writer and thinker. The range of questions allows you to choose texts with which you are most comfortable, and to come up with some creative comparative work. 

Firstly, I recommend visiting the ELAT website, downloading some past papers and also printing off the notes made available for candidates and teachers. Here you'll find invaluable advice from the admissions testers on just what they're looking for in your exam script. Familiarising yourself with the marking criteria is also a great way to make sure you know exactly how to approach the exam. 

What next?

Now you're organised, it's time to get some exam practice under your belt so you'll arrive on the day feeling as prepared as you possibly can be. I really believe that the benefits of exam practice extend far beyond the initial academic reward - you'll feel a lot more peaceful on the day if you've familiarised yourself well with the task at hand.

My top tips for exam practice are:

1) Get rid of your phone, laptop (unless you're allowed a word processor in the exam), iPod/ iPad, and anything else that might distract you.  Try and create an environment as close to your school’s exam conditions as possible. Let your family/the people you live with know what you’re doing so hopefully they won’t disturb you either.

2) Do the paper under timed conditions. It’s really important you get to grips with the time limit so that you know roughly how much you can write within the allocated time. A good starting point for many people it to have a goal to write at least an introduction, 3 clearly argued distinct points, and a conclusion, but you need to figure this out for yourself.

3) As time is of the essence, think about how you can best use yours. Do you want spend time reading and planning before you begin, or will you just launch in? I recommend the former! Spend at least 15 minutes reading the texts provided and sketching out a plan for yourself. You don’t have much time so this doesn’t need to be, and should not be, an incredibly detailed plan – you just need to have a strong sense of what your argument will be and where your essay is going. During your exam practice, figure out what the right balance is for you between planning and actually writing; don’t be afraid to spend a bit more time thinking before you get going with your answer – it really does pay off.

4) Practice writing about a variety of genres. If you know poetry isn’t your strong point, or that, for you, nothing could possibly be worse than answering on a play, then do look towards the novels etc. first on the day but this approach can be very limiting. It’s good to get used to writing about different types of texts from a variety of periods in order to give yourself the best shot when it counts. How you perform in these practice tests doesn’t matter so really challenge yourself to tackle tricky questions.

5) Don’t wait until the week before to start looking at papers! The ELAT takes place around the beginning of November so, if you’re at school/college, this is during quiet a busy time. Try to organise yourself sufficiently well so that you can keep on top of your usual work, get a strong application into UCAS, and maintain a steady level of ELAT practice. Starting in advance will impress your teachers too and they might be more inclined to take a look at and mark some of your work – let them know you’re preparing for the ELAT (don’t assume someone else will have told your English teacher!) and seek as much help as possible.

6) It’s really important that you do write some full essays in preparing for the ELAT but in those moments when you’re running low on time, just practising planning some essays can be very helpful too – it only takes 15 minutes and will get you used to skim reading, thinking critically, and formulating an argument within very little time.

Anything else?

Read, read, read! One of the best things you can do to prepare for the ELAT, and any university interviews you might have, is to read widely and creatively. Don’t be a passive reader – approach texts with a critical eye and think carefully about what you do and don’t like, and why. It can be helpful to keep a brief reading journal so you can reflect on this when it comes to writing your Personal Statement. Don’t be afraid to read texts that are a bit off the beaten track (this can be a real strength!) but also don’t read something just because it’s a bit different. Be guided by your own taste as these are the texts you’ll be able to talk about best at interview, and will help you immeasurably in coming across as genuinely interested. If you enjoy a book, try and find out more about the author, what else they’ve written and who they might have read before approaching their own writing. An awareness of context is an aid to any literature student and will be a big help in the ELAT as you’ll be able to roughly place the given texts within a certain literary movement, and, more importantly, will have some idea of what that the repercussions of that might be. 

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6 months ago

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