Application

 Cambridge

 St Catharine’s (open application, allocated college)

 Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic

 2002

 pooled, offer made (St Catharine’s)

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (7 A*,3 A)

A-levels

(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)

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA

yes

Cambridge is my first choice

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

It’s the best place you can study, as well as the only place for my subject. I like the college system and it was worth a try.

Initially because I preferred the city of Cambridge and the atmosphere and when I’d decided which subject to take I found that only Cambridge did it anyway.

It’s got a good reputation for music, it’s medium-sized, on the riverbank and in the centre. Mainly though, I looked up the directors of studies for ASNaC and matched my interests with the director at St Catz

Preparation

yes

Mock interviews with other applicants and information sheets.

The form: Write as much as you can in the extra information box – it makes them feel special.

The interview: Try and relax, it is an enjoyable experience, particularly for such an obscure subject, as it’s hard to find someone who is interested in and knows what your talking about, but these people do. Also they’re really encouraging and not out to get you. Know your personal statement back to front and be prepared to discuss any books you mention in depth. Get the booklist and read as many as you can. Show enthusiasm, as its the main thing they’re looking for. Oh and go to an ASNaC open day.

Interview

no

no

no

I had 2 20 minute interviews, both of which went really well.Its odd, but I enjoyed them.

In the general one I got all the obvious ones like why my subject, why cambridge etc etc. Also a basic review of everything i’d written in my personal statement, such as detaield discussion of a book which i had studied at AS level English lit. Current affairs came up (the firefighter’s strike) as well as questions about my hobbies, like what do you think you’ve gained from being n an orchestra and what’s better about classical music than the charts?! In the academic interview I had 2 professors who were both really nice and encouraging. They asked me so much, about how French and German relate to the subject and why dead languages are relevant today. Also discussions about books I’d read, like Beowulf and icelandic sagas and something about archaeology.

Black trousers, black shoes and a purple jumper.

Impressions

I didn’t really see much of the college I applied to, but I did like the look of Queen’s and Trinity and Clare.

The two who interviewed me couldn’t have been nicer.

Final stage

I got a letter telling me i’d been pooled and then three days later I got a letter telling me that I had been offered a place from my original choice of college and that it’s normal for a small subject – it was a relief.

Looking back

Of course I would, I got an offer!

Don’t underestimate the importance of the interview, if your grades aren’t all As it’s still worth applying. Also go to an open day (did I mention that already?)