Application

 Cambridge

 Magdalene

 Engineering

 2002

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (7 A*,3 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

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

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Their reputation is second to none. The quality of teaching is excellent, as are the facilities and opportunities offered.

Cambridge had better reputation in Engineering. I also preferred the city.

It is a smallish college with plenty of character. The riverside location is wonderful.

Preparation

yes

The headmaster gave me advice when writing my personal statement. I also had a mock interview.

The Forms: Think before you write anything down.

The interview(s): Get involved in engineering-related activities as early as possible as nothing shows your commitment to the subject as spending your free time doing it. Also, just relax and know your stuff.

Interview

no

no

yes

Yes, I had an hour long maths test. It was very hard and nothing you could prepare for. Luckily its only used as a talking point in interview.

I had a test, followed by three interviews. The first was a general interview. The second was physics related. The third centred on the test I had taken previously.

In the general interview I was asked fundemental questions such as why I wanted to do the course. I was also shown a picture of a bridge situated near my home. i was asked to talk about some of its unique features. In the second interview I was asked simply to talk about myself. This gave me an opportunity to talk about parts of my personal statement which I wanted to emphasise. I was given a couple of problems to solve. in the third interview, I simply went through the maths test I had done.

I wore a shirt, tie and trousers. The right balance between casual and showiness.

Impressions

They were excellent. All the staff were very friendly and understanding of your situation. The site is beautiful and very welcoming.

I stayed in a large room. It was situated in a very old building and had a certain charm. Not too good if you are more modern in your taste for interior design.

Edible but not great

They were all very friendly, not distant and superior as I had imagined.

Understanding and willing to give advice.

Final stage

My heart pounded at several times its normal rate. it took me a while to find the relevant information in my haste, but when I realised I was given an offer I was ecstatic, a feeling which lasted the rest of the day.

Looking back

Yes. You have little to lose and plenty to gain.

If you feel you have a good chance, apply to Oxbridge. Prepare by proving your commitment to the subject throughout your time in the sixth form. On interview day, just relax and take it as it comes.