Application

 Cambridge

 St Catharine’s

 History

 2008

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (11 A*,1 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in History

AAA

yes

yes

yes

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Because academically they’re still the best Universities in Britain.

The course seemed better to me, and I had more family links with Cambridge.

Looked around most of the college websites, to be honest there’s not a lot to separate them. So just look for something that interests you, if that’s a sports team or even a nicer college scarf it doesn’t really matter!

Preparation

yes

Well, we had a mock interview with someone from Cardiff University, but she wasn’t an historian so not really that helpful

READ. That’s about it, and seriously make sure that you know what’s going on in the world. I had a whole interview that pretty much just focused on the recent US elections. Start reading a GOOD paper months before the interview…

Interview

no

yes

Two essays, they were OK, but not really about topics that interested me. They were mentioned at interview but only very briefly.

no

Two interviews, first one went really well, more like a chat than an interview. Second one, much harder, all subject-specific questions. Had an extract to read, only mentioned at the end as an afterthought.

If you find a question to be very difficult it’s probably just them trying to challenge you. This is a good thing.

Dont’ really remember, ones about Marxist historiography, one about using landscapes in Historical study, pretty much things i’d referred to in my Personal Statement on the whole though.

Suit, no-one else was (that i saw), but i got an offer so draw your own conclusions…

Impressions

Semmed very nice, well-kept as you’d expect.

Pretty good.

Friendly, they were pretty nice to be honest.

Didn’t really see very many, seemed alright though.

Final stage

Spent weeks replaying the interview and specific questions…was horrible, my advice is to just try and forget about it.

The letter was delivered to me in bed, as soon as i saw the postmark I got a massive surge of adrenalin which woke me up pretty quickly. The letter was only two A4 sheets so don’t believe all this “big letter=offer, small letter = rejection nonsense”

Looking back

Yes!

Read as much as you can, appear interested, try and enjoy the interviews.

Also, though this may not be the best advice, if you think you can make the interviewer laugh, go for it. Worked for me.