Application

 Cambridge

 St John’s

 Mathematics

 2006

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (9 A*,2 A)

A-levels

(A at AS (270 UMS))

(A at AS (300 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS (280 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS (285 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS (289 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS (288 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

Advanced Extension Awards

(predicted NA; gained Merit)

Cambridge STEP Maths

(predicted NA; gained 1)

(predicted NA; gained 1)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Mathematics, A in Mathematics (Further), A in Physics, 1 in STEP II, 2 in STEP III

AAA

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Wanted to study there, was attracted by the course, reputation and the inspirational surroundings.

Cambridge appears “better” for maths than Oxford. I’d done well in my A/S UMS marks so felt that I would be able to apply to Cambridge. If I had lower UMS I would have applied to Oxford, as they cannot see UMS marks.

I have always loved doing maths, and really wanted the chance to study it at Cambridge. I’m here and loving it.

Sign on, Sign on …
It’s a big friendly college, I went on an open day and really liked the students at the college, and the tutors.
It’s well located, brilliant accommodation, loads of facilities and looks awesome. Also it has a really good college spirit.

Preparation

no

No, not really. There was another student applying to Oxbridge though, and it was helpful to talk to them.

Don’t worry about it too much. Try not to force yourself to do anything, study what you’d like to not what you think would just look good in interview. Interviewers can tell/don’t care if you’ve just swotted up something obscure.

Interview

no

no

no

Great 3 interviews
First, a general interview , an informal chat about stuff from my personal statement, nice and friendly. A few questions relating to maths in the world and peoples perceptions of maths etc.
Then two subjects interviews. These were mainly questions ,with hints to help. A bit of a chat about maths I liked as well.

I honestly had no idea how well I’d done. I felt I’d had a fun time, and had quite liked them, but had by no means answered every question.

Hmmm, I was asked mainly maths questions. Generally they started as A level sort of questions and then with hints moved into new areas.
I was asked a bit about why I wanted to do maths, why I’d applied etc as well.

casual shirt and trousers. Big warm coat.
I wanted to look reasonably smart, as it was an interview, but generally I don’t wear a suit or tie, and wanted something I was happy wearing.

Impressions

On open days I got the impression that the students were friendly, and I genuinely just liked everything about it.
It was a little intimidating to visit, but I’m glad I did!

Accommodation. 1st year, big rooms, sharing bath, shower toilet, kitchen with 3 other people. Not the prettiest building, but warm and you’re with all the other first years.
2nd and 3rd year, awe inspiring accommodation, a ballot, often shared (if you choose to) in New Court or other places round the college. Option for houses.

Lovely, got a Christmas dinner on my interview day.

Enthusiastic, seem to really like teaching, and are passionate about their subjects. Brilliant tutors.

Friendly, a strong college spirit, very jokey. Generally out going and fun.

Final stage

Happy, rather surprised, but worried about Step papers.

Got it on Ucas track. Read it a few times, and went to get my results to make double sure. Was very nice to know.

Looking back

Yes, I’d try to apply twice.

Interview. Relax – I know useless advice. Don’t stuff yourself with useless information, they’ll tell you things you need to know – apart from A level- chances are you won’t be able to use them, and you’ll spoil your interview trying. Be polite and friendly.