Application

 Cambridge

 Churchill

 Computer Science

 1999

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 FE College

 yes (5 A*,5 A)

A-levels

(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

1 in STEP II, 1 in STEP III

(mod edit- required step grades unknown)

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Cambridge is academically a real challenge. The students are pushed hard so they learn to handle pressure well. An excellent life skill. The other students there are top-notch so going is intellectually enriching. It is the strongest UK university for Computer Science.

Oxford’s standard has been dropping. It’s academic level is currently not on parr with it’s rep.

Cambridge is more academic. Has links with MIT. has many computer companies setting up near it due to the quality of its comp sci. grads. E.g. Microsoft. This is partly why it has been subject to a phenomenon dubbed the Cambridge effect.

(Mod edit- profiles represent the opinions of the individual applicant and may not be accurate)

The only college set up for scientists and mathematicians especially. I figure the emphasis in facilities and teaching would be there. It’s got an informal atmosphere. Provides accommodation for 3 years. The college has strong links to industry. Nice layout. Just outside city centre, and near a park so studying in peace is easy.

Preparation

no

Lads be relaxed. Be well rested. 1 nite of rest beforehand is more beneficial than a nite studying just b4 the interview. DON’T study minutes before the interview, the mind can’t think of anything else afterwards and tends to focus on what it just learned. Get a friend or family member to go with you, they calm and support you. Do some reading into your subject. Better still find out what books are compulsory reading for undergrads. e.g. ‘an introduction to computer science’ by les goldschlager.

Have a list of 3 or 4 reasons bout why you want to go to the college. DONT lie, unless u lie well. Find reasons you believe in. It’s much better to find real reasons, you have them, you may just not know it.

STEP 1/2/3 mathematics papers can help you understand the possible level of question you could be asked. – STEP 3 is really hard, don’t be put off.

Computer science is mostly pure mathematics so ensure those areas of your maths are well revised – that is what u’ll be tested on.

Interview

no

no

no

It went quite well. The informal interview passed nicely – it was friendly much more like a warm up to ease me in. The second Technical interview was more worrying. They asked me some questions about my P.S. and that was friendly. Then they asked me the technical question. Which was very deep – they wanted to see how far I could take it. I liked it but I don’t know how well I did.

The informal interview was all chit-chat. What would I contribute to the college if i joined. If i could only do 3 things what would they be. e.g. football, rowing and whateva. The interviewer contradicted me at one point and though I was warned of this it hasn’t occurred to me until now, that this could have been a test. My response was amicable and I simply explained why I thought I could do something which he said there would not be time for. I also explained how. Think of your own scenarios to practice. Why did I pick Churchill? etc etc. like any uni interview. The formal interview was about my subjects. They asked me my favourite A-level. I replied Maths and explained why. They asked me about the subject specific reading I had done + what I thought. Then the other teacher (there were 2 in the formal interview, 1 in the informal one) gave me the problem. It was testing, but the teacher guided me through whenever I got stuck. The bad news was by this point I was quite tired already and my mind occasionally wandered.

Trousers.Shirt.Leather Shoes. I wanted to look smart but still be comfortable.

Impressions

Churchill is quite nice. I like the open design. With a social area at it’s centre. I also like it’s relaxed atmosphere. When I went there were students just chilling in da bar, studying.

Friendly. I like and respect all of them.

Very cool, friendly, talkative. – NOT like the guy on the ALI G show.

Final stage

I remember giddiness and screaming for joy. This happened twice. Once when I received my conditional offer, and once on acceptance.

Looking back

Yes. The interview is fun. – no I’m not crazy, it really is!

Guys, nerves and fatigue stopped a lot of my friends getting in coz they had burned themselves out by the time the interviews came. Take a rest a day b4 the interview.

If you get a step based offer prepare well for it. Give yourself at least a month of devoted Step study.

If you have to take step make sure you answer the questions in a logical way – even if they’re wrong. I found out that the teachers review applicants step papers aswell as the grade if they are considering taking him.