Application

 Cambridge

 Trinity Hall

 History

 2005

 pooled, rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Independent – selective

 yes (5 A*,3 A,1 B)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(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)

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

Other universities

yes

no

Decisions about the application

I wanted the challenge, I though the course looked amazing – really flexible which was fantastic was I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do, and the drama at Cambridge is renowned.

I didn’t want to sit all my exams in one year at the end as they do at Oxford.

Spent a long time deliberating – then realised that I am completely obsessed with history and it would have been absurd to apply for anything else. It was when I was reading Henry V in English I realised that I was much more interested in the language than the battle.

It was small, in a good location, seemed friendly and the stats weren’t too awful for getting in.

Preparation

yes

Some not so very helpful 1/2 hour lessons once a week with history and politics candidates where we got scared out of our wits about the interviews.

People say this, but can not say it enough – it’s not how much you know, but what you make of what you do know. Their not going to quiz you on what people think you ‘should’ know – such as what Joan of Arc was fighting for, but what might have happened if… on what you have written about. Make sure you know anything you have read inside out and have thought about it. Thats really all I can say, and be on the ball.

Interview

no

no

yes

Three history essays of my choice

no

no

The first was great, the second was awful.

I got very put off in the second by this rather unattractive lady wearing a very short skirt so all I could see was mountains of thigh. Do not be put off by silly things like this. Also, all the history applicants came on the same day, and we all were left in a room together and they called us out one by one for interviews, then we returned before the second. This was a particularly nasty form of mental torture as we all tried to grade ourselves against each other.

What does music tell us about history?
Who does truth belong to?
Is there such a thing as truth?
How did Henry VII foreign policy hinder his domestic progress?
General ripping apart of my essays

I wore smart trousers, a shirt and a cardigan (I’m a girl!) I decided that it was better to go over than underdressed, and they wouldn’t think the worse of it. I think it was the right thing to do – almost everyone else was male and wearing a suite, and some even had hankerchiefs sticking out of their pockets.

Impressions

Much smaller than I had thought it was, but pretty. However, it was raining so I didn’t really get a look around

Didn’t see any

There wasn’t any

Tried to play the good cop bad cop routine – one even started picking his nose in the interview, but they seemed really friendly underneath.

Very friendly, witty and sparky. Also very self confidant – not really surprising though as they were in a room of interviewees!

Final stage

I didn’t really think about it until the end of December – they said results would be out at the end. After the Oxford ones were announced in early December I started to get nervous – then even more so as my friends got them through from Cambridge. Being pooled was an absolute torture – they call you by phone for an interview in a period of five days, if you dont get one you could still be accepted or rejected. I didn’t hear anything until mid January, and some of my friends didnt hear until the end. It was just a waiting game of anxiety.

I was not happy with the pooled letter – I was expecting it, but it meant more waiting. I was extremely relieved to get the final letter saying I was rejected as it meant it was finally finished!

Looking back

Definatly. It’s worth it as you have nothing to loose by applying and its great for adreneline rushes!

Don’t expect anything and that will relax you and keep you on your toes. Fight your corner – they dont care what wierd conclusions you come to if you can defend them. And it is really NOT the end of the everything if you dont get a place!