Application

 Cambridge

 Selwyn

 Engineering

 2005

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (10 A*,1 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

A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics, A in Mathematics (Further), A in Physics

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

The course best fitted my ambitions.

Engineering at Cambridge appeared to have a broader range of options.

It allows a delayed/informed choice of many specialisations.

No particular reason.

Preparation

yes

Help with statements and one practice subject interview.

Practice interviews are only useful if the teacher giving them has a knowledge of the kind of thing subject interviewers at Oxbridge will ask.

Interview

no

no

yes

A Thinking Skills Assessment, which could be practised online beforehand.

The general interview with the overall admissions tutor felt as though it went well. I don’t feel the first subject interview went well, however it was not a complete disaster. I think the second subject interview went much better, and I was pleased overall with the day.

The first, general interview dealt almost entirely with topics from my personal statement, e.g. my interests/schoolwork. This had an engineering slant because my statement was focused on the subject, as should be the case. The subject interviews were unrelated to the application, and involved maths/physics problems.

The first subject interview involved one electricity and one mechanics problem, at roughly A-Level standard. The second had more general questions, for example being asked to come up with the power a shower water heater would be working at from scratch, then deciding if this was a sensible value through comparison. As such it did not matter if the estimate was terrible, which mine was.

A suit, no tie, because I figured it couldn’t hurt to overdress.

Impressions

Friendly atmosphere, although largely empty at the time of my interview so difficult to judge.

N/A

N/A

Friendly, welcoming.

N/A

Final stage

Not particularly worried about the decision either way, I had applied to and had offers from several other good universities.

I opened the letter, and read it. This told me that I had an offer. I was therefore happy.

Looking back

Yes

Make sure you get receipt of sending your application (e.g. proof of posting, or send it registered). My application somehow got lost, either in the post or at the college, and if my school hadn’t had receipt of it I would not have been able to send another. If you become worried having not heard back after applying, don’t waste time in contacting the college, I waited and there was actually a problem.