Application

 Cambridge

 Queens’

 History

 2001

 pooled, offer made (Newnham)

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (7 A*,2 A,1 B)

A-levels

(C at AS)

(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)

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAB

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

It is still supposed to be the best place to go academically, and the challenge appealed.

I thought it was the prettier place, and a couple of people from my school have managed to get accepted there. Also the course seemed more like what I wanted to do

Um, someone I knew was applying there and it was one of the larger ones

Preparation

no

No chance!

Try and read around the subject, and know the topics you sent essays in on well. Just say what you think if they ask you unusual questions.

Interview

no

yes

I submitted 2 essays, I just chose 2 recent ones with decent marks that I thought I could talk about

no

I had 2 interviews at Queens, one about my written work and one general one. I had one interview at Newnham. The interviews were all in offices. When I went to Newnham I got to meet current students as well which was really helpful

A lot of different things, some about what I had studied and some more general. Some were a bit weird. Not really at all what I had expected to be asked to be honest.

I wore a suit, because someone I knew had been for interview the week before from another school and told me I ought to, as most people did. To be honest I felt like a fool in it tho (give me jeans anyday!)

Impressions

Newnham is really pretty and all the people there seemed very friendly and welcoming. I did have reservations about it being a girls college as I have always been in a mixed school, but everyone seems to interact well with the rest of the Uni and it was a lot cosier and more laid back than queens which seemed cold and impersonal in comparison.

The rooms were quite big with shared showers and stuff.

Edible but not great

It was fine, what you’d expect really.

Fine, seemed to want to get to know you. The only thing I did find was that they seemed surprised at some aspects of my a-levels- for example not doing literature in german, which most grammer/private schools do but comps like mine don’t. But once you explained it was fine

Friendly, normal, welcoming

Final stage

When I got the letter saying I’d been pooled I was gutted as I wanted a straight answer. When I got an invitation for interview at Newnham I was pleased but not sure what to think as the all girls thing put me off a bit. When I got the acceptance letter I was again surprised- as it was 2003 not 2002, so I’m having a year out now…

Looking back

In terms of the stress it put me through and how I felt at the time, probably not, but now it’s over and I have an offer- yeah I would still apply…..

Choose the college carefully- because getting it wrong and therefore getting pooled or rejected is very stressful. Look at what types of people go there and stuff and what activities are popular maybe