Application

 Cambridge

 St John’s

 Engineering

 2009

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (7 A*,3 A)

A-levels

(B at AS (150 UMS))

(A at AS (269 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (169 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (269 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (262 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (280 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

English Lit; coursework =76/80. Exam = 74/120 (C), Exam resit = 61/120 (D).

This highlights that non subject specific subjects do not carry much weight; i resat, did even worse and was still offered a place.

Details about the offer

 conditional

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

A* offered in my year; actual offer was A*A in physics and maths, and A in any other excluding general.
(As this profile does not allow me to input A*’s!!!)

yes

no

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Career prospects; to meet amazing people; perfect course

Cambridge >> oxford for engineering
(imperial and many others, e.g. warwick or bristol have courses on par with(and in imperial’s case, better than)oxfords)

Wanted to study General Eng

Family ties (although this did not cement the decision, i just looked there first and liked it; architecture, size, location, JCR) please note, as far as i am aware, the college does not know of my family ties.

Preparation

yes

We had mock interviews with an old oxbridge fellow; he gave us advice on how we could improve/what not to say. Only had about 30mins with him though so it wasnt a huge help – it was great practice though.

Do lots of further reading to find areas which are particularly fascinating, which you can explicitly talk about at interview

Interview

no

no

yes

Short maths test which apparently has no weighting on the offer; it is apparently used to compare the progress of students and is used as a starting level.

General was a bit subject orientated; was very friendly though and was not asked ‘Why did you apply to this college’
Subject interview was, well, centred around engineering

Got the ‘set’ question (a question which was sent out a week prior to interview; for students to solve and show and explain to the interviewers at interview)WRONG!! i was able to get it right after a few prompts however but the fact i got it wrong in the first place does show that
they do allow for mistakes

No abstract questions unfortunately. All very straight forward. Graph sketching, energy principles

Jacket, shirt, open neck; smart jeans. Smart casual; not too smart as it is unnecessary, but smart enough to show that i took the interview seriously.

Impressions

1st year cripps; Large rooms, old and a bit nasty. Expensive as well but size makes up for everything. Small kitchen and toilet and shower shared by each floor (6 rooms approx) There is a fixed kitchen charge charged by the college on top of rent to subsidisethe cafe, which means that the excellent food is amazing value, but it does mean that living expenses are hard to keep down.

Excellent

Friendly

Very friendly and helpful

Final stage

Mixed between thinking exam went terribly to convincing myself i didnt do so bad. Last week was painful.

Immediately thought, ‘rejection’ as letter was thin and A5, friend had recieved thick a4 letter previously with an offer and lots of forms.
Then couldn’t believe it was an offer.

Looking back

yes

Become as confident and passionate about the subject. Read lots about it and make the interviewers centre about what YOU like within what you wish to read.
Enjoy the time there and don’t hide in your room all day revising.