Application

 Cambridge

 Peterhouse

 Engineering

 2002

 rejected

Applicant

 Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – selective

 yes (8 A*)

Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

Other universities

yes

yes

I am now in my second year of a computing degree at a different University and have definitely made the right decision for me.

Decisions about the application

Careers teacher was very keen for me to put it down and I had enough space left after the other Universities I wanted to apply to.

Based on a trip organised by school to both Oxford and Cambridge – preferred the ‘look’ of Cambridge.

Liked the look of it

Preparation

yes

Was given a mock interview though it turned out not to be much help as it was nothing like the real thing!

The interview(s): Try and find out in advance exactly what you will be expected to do at interview. I had been expecting maybe a couple of questions to test my knowledge of the subject but to have two interviews based purely on maths and physics was something I was not really prepared for.

Interview

no

no

no

No real exams, though the interviews were just maths and physics questions so felt a lot like less formal exams.

I was given two interviews: one in maths and one in physics. I was rather disappointed that both were completely academic and they didn’t seem to have any interest at all in me as a person or why I wanted to do the course – they just wanted to test how good I was at maths and physics.

Various questions based on (I assume) the A-level maths and physics syllabi.

Black trousers, black shoes, plain blouse. I had been told to dress ‘formally’ and that was what came to mind!

Impressions

All the colleges seemed very pretty and the people were friendly. Thinking about it now though, I couldn’t see myself spending 3 or 4 years there.

I was accommodated over night before my interview. The room was not actually in college but on a street nearby in a house that was owned by the college. It was a nice big room, plenty of space even with the furniture in it. Nice facilities too (shower was clean and not shared between too many people).

Good

I only had breakfast so you can’t go too far wrong! The dining hall was a bit dark though – windows were very high up so it seemed gloomy.

The tutor who took my maths interview seemed very friendly and didn’t seem to mind too much that I hadn’t covered half the material he was asking me about. The two tutors who took my physics interview, however, seemed very abbrupt and irritated when I couldn’t tell them the right answer immediately to their questions.

I didn’t meet any students during either my initial visit or at my interview as both times the students were on holiday.

Final stage

I received a letter telling me that I had been unsuccessful with my application – which didn’t surprise me greatly as I had been less than enthusiastic about the interview!

Looking back

It was an interesting experience which taught me to make sure I always know what is expected of me in advance before I turn up for something like an interview. There were no other Universities I would have applied to instead of Cambridge so I guess I would apply there again for the experience.

Make sure you know what is expected of you at the interview. The questions I was asked weren’t overly hard but I was just completely unprepared for interviews like that.