Application

 Cambridge

 King’s

 English

 2000

 pooled, offer made (New Hall)

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (5 A*,4 A,1 C)

A-levels

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAB

yes

New Hall in three days!

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Well, wonderful tuition, resources, history, lovely buildings, pretty little town …

My brother had been at Cambridge, so I felt I knew it better, and liked it.

Well, basically because the buildings are absolutely gorgeous! Also, the high state school intake attracted me.

Preparation

yes

I had a practice interview

The form: Well, keep revising it – I must have rewritten mine 10 times! Start entirely over again and just rewrite it – this is also helpful in cutting down the word count.

The interview: Read alot and be ready with a few authors/genres/movements that you know lots about and can discuss knowledgeably – the interviewers will, generally, take their cue from you, so it’s good if you can initiate a discussion.

Interview

no

yes

3 English essays. I submitted my coursework, because it was very long and reflected my own interests – I’d chosen the topic. I also sent a timed essay, plus one normal homework essay, both that I’d got As for.

yes

Yes, an hour long written test on unseen poetry. The best advice on preparation is just to keep reading poems and annotating them – spend about 15 mins per poem and try to make some insightful notes. You really do improve with practice!

Well, none were as bad as I’d feared, but my 2nd at King’s went badly. My interviews at New Hall were much more relaxed and less intimidating.

‘Tell me about your school’ was asked at both colleges. The worst question was in my 2nd interview at King’s when I was handed a poem and asked to comment. I didn’t understand it, my mind froze up, and I just had to make something up!

I wore some black, ‘smart’ shoes, cos my mum made me, black trousers and a sweater – not too smart

Impressions

King’s is lovely, but was definitely more intimidating and formal than New Hall was.

Good

King’s – ok, New Hall – lovely

Hard to say. The girls at New Hall all seemed friendly and outgoing.

Final stage

I was really upset when I got my rejection from King’s and stayed in bed basically all day. I was thrillled to be accepted at New Hall.

Looking back

Yes, because I’m looking forward to starting in 3 days time!

Try to stay calm and have confidence. I messed up one interview due to nerves and tension. If necessary, ask to have a few minutes to collect yourself.