Application

 Cambridge

 Trinity

 Mathematics

 2003

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (7 A*,3 A)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(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

1 in STEP II, 1 in STEP III

AAB, Cambridge then Warwick as an insurance I think. The STEP grade will be hard to meet though, so hard revision lies ahead.

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I wanted to have a shot at the best course in the country.

Cambridge seemed to have the better reputation for maths.

The college had the most mathematics places so I had a better chance of getting in.

Preparation

yes

Had one mock interview (which, although it calmed my nerves, wasn’t a great deal of use since the interviewers didn’t ask any general questions – they just went straight into the maths)

Revise all your basic rules. Also, have a go at some of the questions from “Advanced Problems in Mathematics” by Dr Siklos.

Interview

no

no

yes

Informal exam beforehand – not marked as such. I just revised all my basic maths and went through the practise paper that’s online (though I found the real one harder)

Had a test for one hour before hand then had an interview for about 45 minutes going over the questions in the test. The two interviewers were incredibly friendly and welcoming – they offered me tea and cake and it was more like an informal chat. That was really nice, as it put me completely at ease.

Graph sketching, relationships between primes and other number, integrating things like 1/(1-lnx)

Black trousers and a long sleaved shirt which I was comfortable in. Didn’t wear a suit as I wouldn’t have been comfortable in it (and I don’t have a suit as such).

Impressions

Pretty (especially around the back on the river) and very grand

Decent sized rooms, nice decorated. Kitchenets on each floor seemed fairly well equiped. Didn’t seem the showers.

Excellent

Had food when I went down for the maths open day. Seemed great (especially compared to some of the food at other unis I’ve been to). Good selection as well.

Very friendly and welcoming. Completely dispelled my fears that they were going to try to make me feel inferior as some kind of test.

Most seemed fairly friendly, though I didn’t get chance to talk to them much.

Final stage

Post came on 31st December. Opened it with family and found I had an offer.

Looking back

Would still have liked to have applied even if I was rejected because you have to give it a go.

Make sure you have a good second choice to fall back on if you don’t receive an offer so you won’t be too down if you don’t receive one.