Application

 Cambridge

 Girton

 Archaeology & Anthropology

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 FE College

 yes (4 A*,4 A,2 B)

A-levels

(A at AS; predicted B; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA

yes

yes

yes

Cambridge as my firm acceptance and Durham or University College, London as my insurance.

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I believe Cambridge has less of a reputation for snobiness than Oxford, though perhaps I’m wrong, besides, Cam comes top in most of the league tables

I went to the open day and it seemed to have a friendly and be (relatively) relaxed – this was substantiated by the students I talked to…. even if it is miles away from anywhere. Oh and then there’s the swimming pool….

Preparation

yes

I got a little help with my personal statement – but only equivalent to that which people applying to any other universities recieved. And I had a mock interview, which although NOTHING like the real one, helped me adapt to interview technique.

The form: Spell everything right and make sure you check it an double check it and triple check it!

The interview: Read as much as you can on the subject, with hindsight I didn’t. Just because you haven’t studied the subject at a level doesn’t mean they can’t ask you taxing questions on it!

Interview

no

no

yes

Yes I had an hours essay type exam, we were set some books to read so I did so! Besides from that did no prep.

Got asked LOTS of extremely dodgy questions and panicked on the first one, shook through most of it and came out close to tears. However the second went alot better, it seemed to be less formal (although both my interviews were academic) and I was able to chat more easily about my thoughts and personal interpretations.

Why do you want to study arch and anth as opposed to history (I had gone into great depth about my historical interests on my personal statement)? When was Ashby de la Zouch castle built (said i’d visited it on my personal statement)? What do you think of the artistic and monetary value of a painting attributed to Rebrant if it was later proven to be of dubious origin? (WHY they asked me that i don’t know – i have no interest in art and never claimed to have had!) How would you plan an anthropological investigation? Plus plenty more relating to my personal statement.

Black trousers/ white shirt. They looked smart and I think outrageous clothes may have detracted from what I wanted to say!

Impressions

It was set in beautiful grounds, and although slightly dettached from the main university the friendly atmosphere permeated from within the college. The people are central to university life and this was very evident within Girton.

When I arrived I was informed I was going to stay in about the worst room in Cambridge. It was tiny, paint peeling off the walls, decrepid furniture, etc! Not that I want to put you off – that was probably a bad example! However unlike many Cambridge rooms, they were arranged in corridors which was nice, and im told promotes a friendly atmosphere! Oh and the walls were VERY thin, which isn’t good when you’re trying to sleep and have an interview at 9am the next morning!

Excellent

Very friendly, relaxed – and generally nice people in their own rights.

Very friendly, polite and eager to set us all at ease!

Final stage

This morning (!) I was v v v stressed and opened it and saw the word OFFER nearly jumped out of my skin!

Looking back

Yes, simply because of the friendly atmosphere and the opportunities it offers.

APPLY! And do your best, its all you can do!