Application

 Cambridge

 Selwyn

 History

 2000

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (4 A*,1 A,4 B,1 D)

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

AAA

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Oxbridge is unique, I felt I could aim for the top grades and therefore stood a chance. I never felt that I would walk in and knew there was a chance they’d turn me down, but if you don’t apply you definately won’t get in!!!

I had been on a Sutton Trust Summer School to Cambridge and greatly preferred the place. I felt the course at Cambridge looked more interesting.

I narrowed down to three, based on size, accommodation and location. I liked Selwyn because it was close to the faculty, was small but not claustrophobic and it has good fellows. I also used the CUSU (student union) alternative prospectus.

Preparation

no

No. They got some careers advisor in who did a ‘mock interview’ but frankly she was useless and didn’t know anything about admissions. You don’t need any extra tuition!

Make sure you’ve read outside of your syllabus (not much, just enough to show a wider interest), be prepared to talk about your A-level interests, but whatever you do don’t over prepare!!!

Interview

no

yes

I had to submit two essays. I had a separate interview on them, where we talked about the essays and the issues surrounding them. This was useful because I knew roughly what the interview would be about. So I chose the essays I was most comfortable talking about.

no

I had three interviews: one general, one ‘blind’ (i.e. they knew nothing about me except my name) and one essay based interview. One was ok, one was very challenging and the other was really good.

It varies. But be prepared for: Why did you apply here? Why this course? Extracurricular stuff etc.

Trousers, shirt and tie. I felt it important to look relatively smart, yet also comfortable. Dress doesn’t matter much though.

Impressions

Selwyn was open and friendly. I missed the open days, but they were very friendly and accommodating in arranging another time for me to look around!

Rooms vary, but all are on site and very reasonable. Many have a shared shower between two and there are more and more en-suite rooms. All have internet connections that are very fast and cheap!

Good

Varies, but overall ok.

Very helpful, understanding and very concerned about their pupils.

Approachable, helpful and friendly.

Final stage

I didn’t expect it as it arrived on a Saturday and day after a friend received theirs. I was shocked!

Looking back

Definitely. Being here has been an incredible experience that I would not exchange for anything.

Don’t be put off by stereotypes. They’re mainly a load of crap!