Application

 Cambridge

 St John’s

 Economics

 2002

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – selective

 yes (5 A*,4 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)

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

Advanced Extension Awards

(predicted NA; gained NA)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAB, Excluding GS..this is the offer for all arts student – sciences need AAA + 2 STEP 2s. I prefered my offer!

yes

N/A

I accepted cambridge as first choice (manchester as second) and I’m at John’s now

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Not really sure – it was expected of me at the time, I liked the course and I thought ‘why not?

Course wasn’t offered at Oxford

Highest number of economics fellows, big, pretty, liked it at open day. Also had very good accommodation and food and was rich

Preparation

yes

had lessons for s-level economics and some basic politics classes (not a lot of use though). I also had one practice interview,

Type out the personal statement bit for the cambridge form. Try and include why you want to do that specific course. Just do a lot of stuff for it. It’s really not that bad and makes filling in your UCAS form much easier. That’s all about the Cambridge form not the Oxford one.

Interview

no

no

yes

I had to take a logic test but there was no preparation necessary or possible

It was freezing cold and dark and the college looked really spooky and scary and I decided I probably didn’t want to go anyway.
My interview was in three parts. First I got locked in a kitchen for 14 mins to do a logic test (very easy no preparation needed). Then I had an interview with my DOS (Director of Studies) and another fellow of economics that was meant to be about 20mins long but seemed a lot longer. Finally I had a ‘personal’ interview with my (now) tutor who is a physicist and that explains everything.

Subject interview – I was sent an article on inflation a few weeks before hand so I was asked to summarise that and then a few questions about it. I was also asked questions about what areas of economics interested me and what books I had read. Personal interview – the interviewer was very odd. He asked questions off a list. The first thing he did was ask my name and then put a hugh cross down at the top of the page which wasn’t too reassuring. It was basically questions about why cambridge, why economics, why John’s and then how was economics important, what (non-subject related) books I’d read. The interview then departed into the surreal and I got questions to describe an object and how my friends percieved me. I hear they now ask ‘what is logic’. All in all the interviews weren’t hard and there wasn’t that much you could have prepared beforehand except your answers to the stock ‘why university, why college, why course questions’.

Impressions

I really liked my college. It seemed big but friendly which was what I wanted.

First year – Cripps. 1960s buliding but you learn to love it. 4 rooms on a landing (usually single sex with opposite sex on the adjacent landing) sharing kitchen (well 2 hobs, sink and fridge), toilet, shower and bath (all separate). Some of the best accommodation in Cambridge – very big rooms but also quite expensive.
Second year – much less predictable. If you want to stay in college (as in within the actual walls) which most people do you have to share. You can be a jammy git and get separate bedrooms and sitting room and kitchen (smiles to herself) but you will more usually have to share bedroom and sitting room with one person sleeping in the sitting room. All rooms have kitchens. Some are ensuite. You pay according the the facilites offered. If you don’t want to share you have to live out of college but generally only about 5 mins at the most outside college gates and it’s college owned accommodation so there’s not water rates or electricity bills to pay.
Thrid year – Second year accommodation is balloted. Some tutor’s reverse this ballot and some don’t. Ours does. Basically the majority of people chose to have single rooms in college (3rd years or returning 4th year language people have preference on the ballot) which range from lovely ensuite palaces to penthouses (at the top of and two levels) in Cripps to bedsits above the chaplin. People chosing to share get better double rooms than in the first year but are not guranteed two bedrooms. You can also live out of college in your third year if you wish.
Fourth (+) years – accommodation is outside college but in college owned accommodation and I think most people chose to share a house with friends.

Good

Meant to be some of the best in camb but a bit stody for me so I cook for myself

My personal tutor isn’t really interested in your welfare which isn’t too much of a problem as the senior tutor’s great. Basically they’re just a mix of people some nice and some not.

Sporty. Argh. But there are a significant number of people who play no sport. Then there are the people in my year I still haven’t seen

Final stage

I screamed. Yes really I did.

Looking back

Yep I do enjoy it here most of the time

Think about whether you want a large of small college. Read around the subject and just remember they’re not out to get you