Application

 Cambridge

 Homerton

 English

 2006

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (3 A*,4 A,2 B,1 C)

A-levels

(NA at AS)

(NA at AS)

(NA at AS)

(NA at AS)

(NA at AS)

Other universities

yes

no

Decisions about the application

ermmm….a mixture of high expectations from my parents with thier worry that unless i studied english at a top university that i would find jobs harder to get etc and becasue I know I have the intelligence so I may as well try

i didnt really. Homerton just seemed real nice. Its difficult to decide when you are applying for a subject you’re not sure you want to study

Becasue I’m good at it at school and had no idea what I wanted to study and university. As i did well in my ASs with it and had a natrual flair it seemed to make sense that this was best. It is rather ironic that I’ve now changed my mind completly and am changing to studying geography with economics!

see above

Preparation

yes

I had mock interviews and tutiton with a teacher who was ex-caimbridge where we trained ourselves in literary criticism and what could possible be asked in the exam and in the interview about possible extracts

dont kill yaself…if you havent read ‘that classic’ or seen ‘that play’ don’t worry. What they want is breadth, depth and variaty. So what if everyone else has read war and peace and you just watched the film? get over it. Apart from getting some tuition in litereary criticism and interview technique the best thing you can do is just be yourself. If you can bore your friends silly about one paragraph in a book. If all you ever do is read or watch plays and if you break into a cold sweat when the library shuts and you liked writing your coursework then you’ll ace any interview you get. preparation is indavidual too so don’t worry if you get the impression others are doin more then you and also be familier with the specialties of the person interviewing you. If you share the same interest, itll make the interview more comfortable and if not showing your aware of it is sure to get you brownie points

Interview

no

yes

two essays of any type – although english essays makes common sense really. We also had to write the books we’d been reading in the last year and what book/poem/play etc had influenced us alot

yes

an essay on an unseen extract and questions.

At the time I thought they went well. See the final questions to see why, on reflection, I know they didnt.

In the first interview he asked about the extracts I’d just written about and why the poem id written had influenced me so much. The second was more on general interests, what Id written in my personal statement plus some questions on wide issues around novels I’d mentioned (themes, ideas, writing styles, the effect of context etc)

i wore a nice suit to make a good impression and to look like the buisness. Im quite short and look young and so I wanted to look mature and responsible

Impressions

Very friendly and modern. Didnt seem as stuffy as the older colleges

good. rooms had just been built within the last ten years. he dining hall was fantastically old and classrooms were well equipped and the library was real big…if slightly empty looking.

dinner was pretty bad as there wasnt much choice and the students were not interested in serving at all which was incredibly annoying. However the breakfast was great and the staff really nice

I didnt meet many. The first guy I didnt like but the second was really friendly and passionate about his subject.

Apart from the lazy sods in the canteen, everyone was happy to help friendly and surprisingly normal. No one had been driven mad by overwork and all of them seemed to have a good work-life balance

Final stage

i just forgot about it and got on with it. for me not getting in wouldnt have been the end of my world so I just got on with things. I did have a few feelings of trepadation becasue my school had high expectations of me.

surprisingly neutral. Its not heartbreaking when you’ve been rejected from studying a subject you donÂ’t really love. I think my teachers were sadder then me to be honest!

Looking back

not for english no, but for a sucject I really like I would.

There is no doubt that when you apply it makes no difference if you got an A in your subject, if you donÂ’t peruse the subject in your spare time its a waste. I gave good answers but I was flapping about and improvising so much because I didnÂ’t have that background of reading in my spare time. I felt stupid but then I realised when I was talking to the geography professor at my (hopefully) new uni, my geography yakking came completely naturally but my English interview had me reciting and struggling for answers. If talk of your subject flows naturally go for it, if not have a serious rethink.