Application

 Cambridge

 St John’s

 Computer Science

 2003

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (3 A*,5 A)

A-levels

(A at AS)

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

I wanted to push myself, i have big ambitions, it’s high in the league tables…

Computing @ cambridge is generally considered to be superior than at oxford, so i followed the sheep…. The course looked better too i may add.

Its large, looked good in pictures, a friend is there.

Preparation

yes

we had a day of team building and interview technique analysing with other oxbridge candidates from around the area… it was fairly pants though, most of what they told us we could find on the internet.

Interview

no

no

yes

I took a TSA (Thinking skills assessement) test, which i thought I’d done absolutely terrible on as i ran out of time. I prepared by doing one off the cambridge website, which was useful in showing you the style of questions. Otherwise it was impossible to prepare for the exact type of questions you might get.

My first interview was very informal, he was tired and we just talked about where i was from, why i chose cambridge, extra-curricualr activities and the odd thing off my personal statement. The second interview was based on fairly simple P2 maths… such as logs and sequences. I was then asked to spot a pattern and that was pretty much it. I was asked lots of questions which got progressivly harder – which is apparently a very good thing.

log(base 2) of 8 = ? + some other equally unchallanging questions. Mathematical induction style qu. Logic/sequence spotting qu’.

I wore informal clothes as i did to all my interviews at all other uni’s….. because i dont have a suit. It didnt seem to matter, although no one else wore anything anywhere near as casual as myself. I didnt stick out though because there were some 1st years still there who were casually dressed.

Impressions

It looked really nice, the students were very accomodating and although the porter gave me the wrong key to my room initially, everyone was very helpful.

The rooms were huge compared to bristol for example, they were comfortable and had a great view.

Excellent

Perfectly eddible, quite a wide range available… but you couldnt understand the cooks.

quite informal, accomodating and since i was nervous at first, they accomodated for this and i was soon at ease.

brillaint guys and gals. The were very truthful, although they didnt slag anything off really. One or two were paid to stay in the JCR and tlk, but others stayed too and were nice.

Final stage

overjoyed. After being told at the interview that i had a one in 5 chance of getting in, and that the people before me had been exceptional, i wasnt holding my breath. But. it was a great feeling.

Looking back

Indeed, even if i didnt get in, seeing cambridge and having an ‘oxbridge’ interview would have been an experience.

I looked at the computing departments website and found something interesting and wrote about that on the form…. but it didnt come up in the interview so it didnt do me any harm… (just make sure if u do this, you know what u wrote down and can expand on it in an interview!)

Know your maths!
Although it wasnt too difficult (for someoone who’s done further maths), if u only do normal maths then you might want to brush up on logs, series and proof by induction.

try not to get nervous about it, because if ure destined to get in, you will, otherwise you’ll go make ure millions elsewhere.