Application

 Cambridge

 Trinity

 Mathematics

 2000

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (8 A*,2 A)

A-levels

(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)

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

1 in STEP II, 2 in STEP III

AAB

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Reputation, perceived quality of education, tutorial syatem

“reputation” with people I talked to, actual place

Reputation in maths and perceived quality of teaching, large number of maths undergraduates, visit, talking to others

Preparation

yes

2 mock interviews, read over section 10, checked UCAS form. Download the specimen paper for the interview test, and discuss the questions with a teacher.

5. Think of answers to potential questions (why this college, what is it about the subject that you like…) but don’t expect to be asked them.

4. Practise/revise techniques/results (e.g. integration by parts, quotient, chain, product rules; basic probability results etc.).

3. If you get a test, try to crack as many problems as possible (so that you know how to solve/answer them) rather than produce perfect, polished solutions to a couple of questions.

2. Catch up on any lost sleep beforehand, and try to make yourself as relaxed as possible for the interview.

1. Try not to worry too much.

Interview

no

no

yes

1 hour test before teh interview.

informal interview where the test questions were discussed (approx 35-40 minutes? but overran to around 50)

WE discussed the questions on the test.

Shirt and tie. Seemed a reasonable balance between being too casual and too formal.

Impressions

Difficult to tell. Didn’t speak to any students. Some difficulty in finding my way around (nothing serious).

Seemed similar to accomodation in halls in other universities. 4/5 individual rooms on a floor, with shared kitchen, bathroom, toilet. Room had a sink, bed (seemed uncomfortable), desk, seating…

Edible but not great.

Runs on ticket system. Ticket for 3 course meal, orange juice counts as a course.

Interviewers were very friendly (joked about trains, weather, royal mail, teachers etc.), sympathetic (forgave slips (e.g. getting a negative answer rather than a positive one), appreciated I hadn’t been taught some things).

Final stage

Thought more about what the offer was asking for (STEP, getting grades)

Looking back

Yes. Having an insurance reduces the pressure somewhat if you get an offer. I applied to 6 courses (maximum possible), several of which are only really to fill places on the form. It probably also helps your application elsewhere.

Try to relax, and don’t take it too seriously.