Application

 Cambridge

 Homerton

 Education Studies

 2010

 offer made

Applicant

 International Baccalaureate

 pre-qualification

 overseas

 N/A

 Independent – non-selective

 yes (10 A*)

International Baccalaureate

( predicted 7; gained NA)

( predicted 7; gained NA)

( predicted 7; gained NA)

( predicted 7; gained NA)

( predicted 7; gained NA)

( predicted 6; gained NA)

( predicted 3; gained 0)

Details about the offer

 conditional

7 in English

776, 41 points (I believe it includes bonus points!)

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I didn’t plan to until I stumbled across the Education course Cambridge offered, which matched my academic interests really well. Plus, I visited the university last summer and, well, naturally, the gardens and old architecture and river won me over. Also really liked the ‘academic’ aura of the place. Believe me, there is an aura. And of course all that about Cambridge being a top university, and the guarantee of a rigorous grounding in your areas of interest.

To my knowledge, Oxford doesn’t offer education at undergraduate level.

It allowed me to take both Education and English, which were both extremely interesting to me. I really liked the philosophy, psychology, sociology and history components of Education, and English has always been a favourite subject in school. The course had a great deal of breadth, which was part of what I was looking for.

Homerton is right next to the Education Faculty, which would make it easy to move back and forth between my place of living and place of study. It’s also further out from the city center and quieter, which suits my work habits just fine.

Preparation

yes

Some. They arranged for a mock interview, and a careers counselor helped out with the details of applying.

Read in depth about the course and know why you’re applying. Understand and explore various aspects of education that interest you – this will help for both the personal statement and the interview.

Try to get the balance right between unique and conservative writing (on the personal statement and Cambridge Overseas Application Form). You need to be interesting and avoid offering standard answers, but at the same time, retain some conservativeness in your answers because there is some expectation/criteria for what goes on these forms.

Interview

yes

A written test that was broken down into 2 questions: one asking me to compare two poems (one anonymous and one by Auden), and an unexpected one about the merits of poetry and other art forms in society (using Plato’s philosophy on banning poets as context).

no

no

Easier than expected. Then again, perhaps my interviewer expected me to give a more elaborate answer, and I was merely skimming the surface! For an international applicant, interviews tend to be short, so mine was fairly short and sweet. Most of the questions I anticipated came up.

-Why Education?
-What do you understand about the Education degree? (What do you understand by the philosophy of education?…psychology, sociology…etc)
-Lots of questions on the books mentioned on my personal statement

Nothing on recent education issues in the news, but this seems to be a fairly common question in other interviews.

Black suit, purple top, black pants. My mum insisted on over-dressing!

Impressions

I visited Homerton in the summer before I applied. I loved it – the people were friendly and the grounds were spacious. The architecture is lovely, too.

Final stage

I had mock exams in early January when the results came out, so I didn’t have much time to worry and stress over it. When I got the UCAS track update (on the day of a depressing maths exam), I was absolutely thrilled! I ran to tell my mum and grandma, then emailed my dad at his office and a friend who got an offer from Sidney Sussex for Medicine. But after the initial excitement wore off, I began panicking about meeting the conditions of the offer…

Looking back

Yes – particularly since I got the offer! Admittedly, though, applying can be stressful business. Even after getting the conditional offer, there’s still the pressure to meet the conditions of the offer…another story altogether…

Don’t panic at any stage of the applications phase! Read up as much as you can about interviews and the characteristics they’re looking for in a potential student. Go to the Faculty of Education website. Lastly, go for it if you have decent grades. It’s definitely worth a try.