Application

 Cambridge

 St Catharine’s

 Economics

 2000 (deferred entry)

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (5 A*,3 A,2 B)

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)

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Economics

AAA

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Loved the city. Liked the course. Always had the aspiration to attend Oxbridge.

Only Cambridge offered straight economics and all economics people in the past from my school had applied to Cambridge. Furthermore, I had visited Cambridge a few times and really liked it

Great location – right in the centre of town. Friendly atmosphere and nice building. Also knew someone there already who was doing Economics and had formerly been at my school.

Preparation

no

No, although I did have some interview practice with my economics teacher.

Definitely read The Economist as often as you can and a daily newspaper. Try to read one, two or three books about an area in Economics you are interested in and be sure they know about this so they ask you about it and you can show off some of your knowledge.

Interview

no

no

no

My first interview was my general one with a chemist who was the admissions tutor. He asked the general sort of questions although many were based around economics. Second interview (economics one) was very nice. The interviewers were friendly and by the end of it I wanted to stay in there longer!

In the general one I was asked about various things on my personal statement such as my extra cirricular activities. Was also asked about rail privatisation, tackling Cambridge’s traffic problems and, strange as it may seem, how water boiled! That last one caught me off guard and there was no way I could have prepared for it. In the economics interview, I was asked various questions about globalisation (such as a definition for it and the issues surrounding it – I had said I was interested in globalisation in my PS). I was also asked: why are rich countries rich and poor countries poor, would more doctors or more laywers be better in the world, how do you measure happiness, what role should the state play in the economy, what is the political stance of The Economist and what are the arguements for and against the minimum wage? In neither interview was I asked why I wanted to go to Cambridge. Also, in the economics interview, no questions were asked about current affairs (which I thought was quite strange) or about the books I had read (again strange considering one was on his desk at the time and another on a reading list the tutor usually gives out to his undergraduate students). Oh yeah, I was also given a passage to read right before the interview but wasn’t asked a thing about that either!

A suit. I initially thought I would just wear a pair of nice trousers and a nice shirt but in the end I decided on a suit. Not that it matters much but I’m glad I did because I think I would have felt out of place seeing as everyone else was wearing a suit too.

Impressions

St. Catharine’s was not too big and was very nice overall. I had also visited Selwyn but I thought that it was too far away from the centre of the city.

A lot of the rooms in the main St. Catharine’s building have en suite bathrooms. The rooms themselves are not that big and probably measure about 4 x 4 metres.

NA

I know one person there already so I can’t really comment on them but I did meet another student there. He seemed pretty normal – just a run-of-the-mill guy. St. Catharine’s doesn’t tend to have many snobby students apparently.

Final stage

My post didn’t come until about 1:30pm and by then nearly all my friends had received theirs so I was quite nervous. I opened it up and within an instant I could tell I was in – all I needed to see were the 3 As on the letter.

Looking back

Yes. If I hadn’t then I would have never known if I would have gotten in or not.

Don’t do too much preparation. In the end, I barely used any of the knowledge which I had aquired during my preparation. However, do try to practice your interview technique as much as possible.