Application

 Cambridge

 Gonville and Caius

 History

 2000

 pooled, rejected

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)

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

Wanted to go to a uni where people were as enthusiastic about history as i was.

Spent some of my childhood in Cambridge, and have only good memories of it. The history course seemed more flexible too.

Centrally located; beautiful college; personal recommendation by historians there.

Preparation

yes

Two mock interviews

Become passionate about some recent historical issues.

Interview

no

yes

Two history essays. Both were my favourite topics (complicated topics which have depth).

no

3 interviews, 1 interviewer in each.

1st one, a lady interviewer; she was very pleasant and asked the usual general (non-history) questions

2nd one: guy who looked about 100 years old, in a room which was boiling. I was about to politely ask him if he could possibly turn the fire down, until i saw him putting on another jumper. Thankfully the phone went so i had a chance to take off some layers while his back was turned 🙂

3rd interview: I was fed up with being asked the same boring questions ‘why do you do DofE, are you good at maths’ etc, so if they werent going to argue with me about anything, i was going to start my own debate. So i attacked the Dr about the way i was being interviewed. We debated the point through the whole interview, his lunch break, and 10 minutes into the next slot.

Nothing challenging at all – Why caius, why history, most important event in last decade, is the year 2000 special, Whats the Duke of Edinburgh course like these days; do you like your school ?

Smart trousers, black shoes, casual shirt. Jumper and no tie.

Impressions

Awesome place, i cant say anything bad about it at all.

reasonable size; about the same as elsewhere

NA

Very friendly, relaxed (too relaxed for my liking).

Again really pleasant. All smiles.

Final stage

I got pooled. Being in the pool seems to be an elaborate form of mental cruelty. At time of writing the pool decisions are still being made.

Looking back

Yes, because its a wonderful place.

For caius interviews, dont wear a suit, the dons certainly dont.