Application

 Cambridge

 Fitzwilliam

 Geography

 2008

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (8 A*,2 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

Advanced Extension Awards

(predicted NA; gained NA)

(predicted NA; gained NA)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA, including an A in geography and excluding general studies.

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Reputation, supervisions and the collegiate system.

I attended open days at both, and came to the conclusion that I definitely preferred Cambridge. I loved Fitz when I visited it and I felt that Cambridge’s course suited me better.

The focus on both human and physical geography in the first year, and the opportunity to specialise in the second and third years. There were also several course modules that interested me.

Fitz was so friendly and seemed very down-to-earth. The open day was really well organised – we were taken in subject groups around the college by a current student, and then were able to discuss the course with one of the geography fellows, who was very friendly (and one of my interviewers later in the year)! Fitz takes a large number of geographers each year and has an active geographical society, which should be great in the way of academic support and getting to know people.

Preparation

yes

I had a mock interview with a headteacher from an independent school.

Be very familiar with your personal statement, any written work that you’ve submitted and keep up to date with geographical issues in the news. Just the obvious stuff really.

Interview

no

yes

3 pieces of written work!

no

Not as scary as I was anticipating! All the interviewees were kept in room to wait, together with several current students to calm our nerves. This worked very well and I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I would have been if I had been left alone before my interview.

I had two interviews – one human and one physical – with two interviewers in each. They were based on journal articles that I had been sent in advance as well as new data which they gave me in the interview (maps, graphs etc.).

Smart trousers and a black top.

Final stage

I managed not to worry about it until the day before, when I felt sick…

I was quite happy 🙂

Looking back

YES!

I think it’s very important to be able to show that you have a genuine interest in the subject outside of school. Read relevant books or magazines (Geographical and New Scientist are good) and maybe join the RGS so that you can attend lectures in your local area for free. Mention an area in geography that you’re particularly interested in and would like to take further at university.