Application

 Cambridge

 St Catharine’s

 Chemical Engineering

 2006

 offer made

Applicant

 Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes

Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

( predicted A; gained B)

( predicted A; gained B)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA

yes

yes

yes

Cambridge was the obvious choice as Imperial rejected me.

 offer missed, still accepted

Decisions about the application

In my opinion the best univeristy in the world

My family has a strong association with Cambridge (although not at University level) as they are Malaysian. All their school exams were Cambridge board. My great uncle also applied to Cambridge but was killed by the Japanese before he could attend.

Engineering has been my passion ever since primary school.

At Catharine’s was very close to the Engineering Department and it had a good description in the prospectus. As I was unable to visit the college before the interview, this was all I had to go on.

Preparation

yes

My head teacher gave me a great deal of help with the personal statement and was extremely helpful in terms of the advice he gave.

The rector of the school and a teacher I was unfamiliar with gave me a mock interview, which was quite effective in mimicing the interview environment.

Read up on current affairs in your subject and have a good grasp of A Level or equivalent course content.

Interview

no

no

no

It was hard to answer the questions they asked. I had to think on my feet a good deal of the time. The passage they gave me to study before the interview made no sense to me whatsoever.

Mostly on the subject and why I chose to apply to Cambridge. The second interview involved me being asked about sections in my personal statement.

I wore a formal suit to give the impression that I was respectful and took the interview seriously.

Impressions

As it was the only one I had been to, I didn’t have anything to compare it with, but the building had a good location and was full of friendly people.

I have a very small room at home, so even though I was allocated the one of the smallest rooms in the college, it was still comfortable to me.

Fairly standard although not amazing.

I actually never met any tutors.

Very friendly and helpful. They did a lot to put us at ease. A history student showed me to the door of my interview.

Final stage

Anxious as I had pinned all my hopes on getting in.

As I had missed my offer, I had to wait until the A Level results came in. I phoned up about half 10 on the day and was informed that I had been given a place.

Looking back

Of course, this is by far the best choice I have made in my life.

I would say that a little preparation is good but too much will have a negative effect. Think about why you chose the subject you are applying for and get clued up on current affairs in that field.