Application

 Cambridge

 Sidney Sussex

 Law

 1999

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Grammar School

 yes (6 A*,4 A)

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)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAB, Excluding General Studies.

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

I liked the look of the course and when I stayed here during the Conference I decided I really likes the atmosphere. I visited several other universities, but felt most at home in Cambridge.

I visited both and didn’t like Oxford, (too big and people not as friendly as those I met at Cambridge)

I stayed here during a 6th Form Law Conference for a few days and liked it. Small and friendly, attractive old buildings, in the towm centre.

Preparation

yes

Some extra history lessons for some reason, I think that was just a way of the school checking our commitment, they weren’t very useful. An informal mock interview with my form tutor too.

Make sure that your enthusiasm for the subject comes across and that this is backed up with work experience, visits to court etc. (for law). Also mention general interests and sport to show that you’re “a well-rounded individual”. Don’t go on about the excellence of Cambridge too much, I think they’re more interested in people who love their subject and will work hard than those who just want to go to Cambridge.

Interview

no

no

no

I arrived at the porter’s lodge, petrified, and was sent to my first interview. I wasn’t sure if there was somewhere to wait or I was supposed to stand on the stairs or go straight in to the interview room, so I hovered for a while until I found the courage to go to the porter’s lodge and ask! It turned out I just had to wait on the staircase. I must have looked terrible because the tutor’s secretary took me into her room and plugged a heater in next to me and told me to relax! She was really helpful. I was interviewed by my Tutor and Director of Studies.

In the first interview I was asked why I wanted to apply to cambridge, why that college, which books I’d read recently, why I enjoyed them, the social comment present in them. Then he moved on to talk about European stuff, which was basically what I’d read about in the Times Law Supplement on the previous 3 Tuesdays. The interview with the DOS was about why i wanted to do the course, then he gave me a couple of legal problems to work through. You don’t need any prior legal knowledge, they just want to see how your thought process works.

Skirt and blouse, with a jacket.

Impressions

Sidney- I found small and really friendly, really pretty and welcoming. I visited Wadham at Oxford as well and found it quite elitist and pretentious.

Good sized rooms, look a bit like Swedish saunas, very wooden. Sinks in rooms, nice big windows. Shared bathrooms, leaving quite a lot to be desired, but you don’t notice that after a while.

Edible but not great

Tough in interviews, but not rude or aggressive. Easy to approach now i’m here, and willing to help.

I only saw 1 student at interview and he was from another college and thought he was in Tit Hall. At the Law Conference (March 1999) I spoke to someone Irish at dinner one day, he was friendly and chatted to us for ages and he said you had to be mad to put yourself through interviews. I think you’ve got to be pretty insane to risk the rejection, but at the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get in.

Final stage

I got the letter a few days after Christmas, much earlier than I was expecting. The letter was nice and polite and siad I had a conditional offer of AAB. I kept getting letters throughout the year and when results came out I got a confirmation letter pretty quickly.

Looking back

Yes, because now I’m here it’s great. The people are so friendly, the college is close-knit because of its size and I fell really at home!

Read the Times Law Supplement.
Don’t give in if they seem to be harrassing you about something you’ve said.
Try not to mention things that you don’t feel able to discuss in detail.

Go for it, but don’t pin too much on getting in. I didn’t really want to come here when I applied, I was keen on Durham, who rejected me when I got into Cambridge along with Nottingham (not that I’m bitter! grr!) Don’t get too worked up about interviews, just relax and be yourself.