Application

 Cambridge

 St Catharine’s

 History

 2002

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – selective

 yes (10 A*)

A-levels

(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)

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA, excluding General Studies

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I didn’t apply for the sake of ‘going to Oxbridge.’ I reckon going because you actually like the uni is a far better idea!

My boyfriend goes to Cambridge! I also like the course and the city.

I went on the CUSU site and read the profiles of all the colleges. Catz just hit me as being the kind of place I wanted to go.

Preparation

yes

I had a couple of mock interviews with my teachers, which were useful.

Before my interview I was worried that I would have to know absolutely everything about all areas of history. I didn’t need to at all but I would advise people to revise what you are studying for A level in some depth (like you are taking the exam)

Interview

no

yes

They said I could submit one or two essays if I wanted to. I submitted two – my personal study and a random class essay. I decided to send them in because I thought I would come across better through my written work than my interview.

no

I arrived at the college and was told to find my own way to the rooms. I got a bit lost but a really friendly student showed me where I was meant to be! I then had a general interview with a really nice lady and then an academic one. One of the interviewers left half way through which was a bit off-putting and they both seemed a bit distracted (it was last thing on a Friday..) They seemed like decent enough people though.

In my general one just kind of really random questions, that required a bit of thinking eg is there such thing as ‘truth?’ In my academic one I was asked generally about one of the essays I sent in and then just kind of random questions about the causes of the Civil War, after he asked what I was doing for A level.

I wore black trousers, a jacket and a wooly poloneck (it’s cold in Cambridge!) I wore that because I wanted to look smart but other people were just wearing trousers and a smart top.

Impressions

It seemed very friendly and the students were lovely. It was also really clean in the rooms that I saw. It is overshadowed a bit by Kings, Queens etc but in some ways I think that’s a good thing!

I don’t know – they wouldn’t let me stay the night! I did think, living over 4 hours away, that this was not particularly welcoming as my friends were allowed to stay at other colleges, but I suppose maybe it’s because it’s smaller?

NA

Distracted but like they could be nice. They seemed really interested in their subject and in thinking deeply into things.

Really nice and a bit less geeky than those I’ve met in other colleges.

Final stage

I opened it and thought ‘thats good’ or something. They wanted me to write and tell them if I was accepting the place or not asap.

Looking back

I think I would yes. It’s a positive experience to go through I think, even if you don’t get an offer.

When I left I was convinced I hadn’t got in because they seemed so disinterested in my academic interview. However, I somehow got an offer so don’t be disheartened if the same thing happens to you!