Application

 Cambridge

 Gonville and Caius

 Engineering

 2009

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (5 A*,5 A,1 C)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

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

Other universities

yes

yes

Decisions about the application

was predicted 3 A’s and had one space on my UCAS form so tried for the hell of it

Cambridge is the better for engineering

they offered a general course with options to specialise in later years.

Pick it at random – didn’t even know how to pronounce the name!! its caius = “keys”

Preparation

yes

given some questions which previous students of the school who applied had been asked. Some practice interviews with teachers.

Know your PS back to front and consider every possible question which may come of it. know your syllabus inside out for maths and physics. do some C1, C2, M1, physics papers in preparation.

Interview

no

no

no

had to sit a maths and physics paper. Generally tough and you were not expected to finish everything. All questions were doable but they required thinking. Again know your maths and physics well.

had two interviews. Both similar – general and maths/physics questions were asked. Both were informal and in a relaxed setting.

mainly physics questions to do with resistance/resistivity and energy. No maths questions though some integration was required

general ones were to do with why here and why engineering. I was asked some things to do with personal statement. That was it.

Suit, shirt, tie, leather shoes – a tad over dressed but it cant hurt. Most wore shirt and jumper/cardigan, smart trousers and shoes – Just don’t make a bad impression!!

Impressions

It seemed an excellent place in which to study. Had a friendly atmosphere.

The room was medium sized with a desk, single bed (a bit rickety), cupboards, a basin, large window onto a shared balcony.

It was fine.

They were pleasant. They seemed quite reserved and allowed me to do most of the talking.

The students were really helpful. I got a little confused about where I was and they were extremely helpful.

Final stage

Well, I was anxious of the result but wasn’t excepting anything

I tore it open the moment i got it. I must say i wasn’t too unhappy. By that stage i had 4 offers already. but another would have been nice 🙁

Looking back

I would still apply. it was a great experience and I met some nice people there.

It is not as daunting as you may think. Its a largely painless process (providing you do the preparation and work) and the tutors want to see you at your best not watch you suffer. Also be pleasant and greet them and generally be engaging – even if you’re shy.