Application

 Cambridge

 St Catharine’s

 Computer Science

 2006

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Independent – selective

 yes (6 A*,5 A)

A-levels

(A at AS (272 UMS))

(A at AS (273 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (266 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (295 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

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

(A at AS (272 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Cambridge STEP Maths

(predicted 1; gained 2)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Mathematics, A in Mathematics (Further), A in Physics

yes

no

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

It’s the best place to go for the degree that I want to take, also the prestige and that my family were at oxbridge before me.

I’ve stayed in Cambridge before and experienced it.

I like logic problems, maths and computers, and computer science seems to be a degree in all three of these!

I liked it when I looked around, also it’s central and not too big.

Preparation

yes

Practice interviews, and extra maths lessons for interview preparation

Practice graph sketching!

Interview

no

no

no

First interview went pretty badly, I was really nervous and kept coming to the wrong conclusions and not thinking straight. Second intervew went much better, this time the interviewr asked me logic problems and amths questions which I found much easier.

Sketch the graph y=A[1-e^(-Bx)]^2, explain the graph in terms of energy and distance between two atoms. Next interview started with integrating and differentiating x^3+x^2+x+(1/x), then I had to sketch (y^2-x^2)/sin(x^2+y^2)=0, and then I had to answer questions on the problem where you have two jugs, an infinite supply of water, and you only know how much water the jugs hold when full. Ther first jug could hold 7 litres of water, the second could hold two. By filling the jugs, emptying the jugs, or pouring water from one jug to the other, try and end up with 4 litres of water on the first jug and 2 litres of water in the second. Which combinations are possible? Then a physics question – you have two positively charged particles with charge +k and mass m. They start infinitely far apart. One starts by moving towards the other at speed v, the other is stationary. Find the smallest distance between them.

A suit, because I was told to and I wanted to make a good impression.

Impressions

Friendly, slightly old-fashioned, but I’m used to that!

I didn’t get any food!

Friendly and helpful.

Friendly, helpful, chatty… They tried to help people stop being so nervous.

Final stage

Haha, nervous!

Lots of phone calls all around!

Looking back

Definitely

Don’t put everything on getting in, because if you get rejected then it’s gonna hurt. For computer science you want to practice your maths and logic problems… I mean, the jug problem that I had was one that I’ve known about and how to solve since I was about 9 so that helped – They’re simple problems but if you’re nervous and haven’t seen them before then you can come unstuck.