Application

 Cambridge

 St Catharine’s

 English

 2001 (deferred entry)

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – non-selective

 yes (1 A*,2 A,5 B,1 C)

A-levels

(A at AS)

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA

yes

Cambridge is my first choice. UCL is my second choice.

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I wanted to continue with my music and drama interests in the various and numerous societies. I also like the collogiate system.

The coarse at Cambridge had a more modern outlook.

I had visited the college and met my potential tutor and liked him. I also thought it had an informal atmosphere and it is opposite the English faculty.

Preparation

yes

The form: Try and be utterly honest about yourself. Enthusiasm about your chosen subject always helps and go into detail about where your interests lie within your subject.

The interview: Try and be as enthusiastic as possible about your subject, try and look excited when talking about your subject. If you are asked something you dont understand, always tell the interviewer and they will always help you. Dont treat the interview as an `interview`, try and think of it as a chat about something you enjoy talking about (i.e. your chosen subject). When walking in to the interview room say to yourself ” i am going to enjoy this”, that helped me to relax.

Interview

no

yes

I submitted two essays. One was a critical appreciation of a Shakespeare Sonnet (73). The other was an analysis of Iago’s speech patterns and contrasting them in different situations.

no

I was given a poem (in the interview directly related to my subject) and was told to analyse it and then to discuss it with the interviewer. The poem was quite hard to get to grips with, but i asked the interviewer to explain a few phrases to me and that helped a great deal.

How often do you read? I was asked about points i made in my essays. I was asked to discuss recent books i had read. I was asked weather i thought the context of poems was important (i.e. the date the poem was written, who wrote the poem etc.), I was asked about my extra-curricular activites, and I was also asked about my lack of an “illustrious” set of GCSE results.

I wore black trousers with a woolen, tight polo neck top with shoes. I didnt want to look-over bearing, nor did i want to dress too smartly because i didnt think that represented my character and i made sure i came across as a `real` person.

Impressions

I found it fairly informal and friendly.

I found my first tutor very talkative, charming and likeable. The second was a bit shy and didnt talk much (however that could have been deliberate).

Casual, friendly and helpful.

Final stage

I read it over again, just to make sure that I had read it correctly (because I couldnt believe my eyes). Then I went to the pub to celibrate.

Looking back

To be honest with you I dont know because I still don’t know whether it is worth it because I havn’t got there yet. I still have to get 3 A’s.

Read a lot and be prepared to talk about what you have read. Be enthusiastic about your subject. Relax. When asked a question think, before you answer.