Application

 Cambridge

 Pembroke

 Classics

 2002

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – selective

 yes (11 A*,1 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Classical Civilisation, A in Latin

AAB

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Best course in the UK, college system

better course, shorter (ie cheaper) course, nicer city, too much emphasis on philosophy at Oxford

It was a nice size, very friendly and particularly strong in my subject

Preparation

yes

A few practice translations, advice on personal statement

Make sure you know all your course material thoroughly, a really good knowlegde of this is more useful than a vague knowledge of things you’re not studying.

Interview

no

yes

One essay from Class Civ- I got a good mark, and felt I could talk confidently about it (in fact I didn’t have to)

yes

no, just the translation – my teacher gave me the old Oxford ones as preparation (download them from the Oxford website)

I had 3 – in Selwyn, Trinity Hall, Pembroke. in the first I had to translate a piece of Tibullus – I only managed about 5 lines though! The second was very informal and we hardly mentioned Classics at all. my personal statement was never referred to in any of the 3 interviews.

Why Classics/Cambridge/pembroke? Why not Oxford? How is the subject relevant to modern life? Are the Metamorphoses an epic? Was Ovid trying to moralise or entertain? What do you want to get out of your degree? Would Dido have thought Aeneas was considerate of other people? Was he? What do you make of Aeneid Book 6? is the Aeneid simply political propaganda supporting Augustus? Do you agree with the actions of Antigone?

skirt, jumper, boots -although there was no pressure to be smart, just be comfortable

Impressions

friendly, very beautiful

Good

enthusiastic, welcoming, informal

Final stage

I was really pleased and relieved – I knew I had a good chance of getting in but you can never be sure

Looking back

yes, it has the best course

Be confident. Don’t expect the worst because they try hard to put you at ease. Don’t be afraid to make and acknowledge mistakes.