Application

 Cambridge

 Trinity

 Mathematics

 2009

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

Semi-selective comprihensive.

 yes (9 A*,1 A)

A-levels

(A at AS (190 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (290 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (295 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (282 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Predicted A*s in all four A Levels.

Details about the offer

 conditional

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

A*AA offer. Excludes History.

yes

I intend to accept the offer as my Firm.

yes

yes

Imperial. I prefer Cambridge though.

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

It sounds cliched but I really had wanted to go to Oxbridge since I was in primary school. Also, because I wanted to go to a world-reknowned university.

Cambridge is generally thought of as the best for mathematics, and I liked the feel of the university more at the open day.

Mathematics is the subject that I love, and the one that I am best at.

Trinity has an amazing reputation for mathematics. Also, it’s one of the oldest and most interesting.

Preparation

yes

I had a few practice interviews and discussions with teachers in the maths department at my school.

Don’t stress about it too much. Obviously it is good to feel prepared, but I spent far too long rereading books and making a whole exercise book’s worth of notes… none of which I was asked about at interview. For mathematics applicants, just practise doing maths!

Interview

no

no

yes

One hour long test to complete before interview. It had ten questions and we were advised that we weren’t expected to complete them all and that we should just attempt those we found interesting.

My interview was quite horrible. I was really nervous, which I’m sure my two interviewers picked up on, as I was shaking at the start, and made quite a few silly mistakes due to nerves.

Out of the ten questions on the paper, I fully completed only one in the hour before and did partial solutions to three others. By the end of the interview, we had discussed only these four questions.

The interview was entirely focussed on the test, but sometimes ideas raised by the test were discussed at greater length.

A smart skirt, blouse and a coloured cardigan. I felt comfortable, as it is what I wear to sixth form. Some people there were in jeans, while others were in full suits.

Impressions

I loved Trinity. My first feeling was that it was ‘pretty.’ Also the atmosphere was nice.

The room I stayed in was much larger than I expected. It was not en suite, but did have a washbasin.

It was okay, I guess, not as nice as the food they provided at the Open Day though! Although, I felt sick with nerves this time, so maybe I can’t judge.

Those I spoke to were nice. Though one of my two interviewers, the ‘bad cop’ was fairly harsh during the interview.

The college students were lovely, I got on well with all of them. After my interview (when I felt like crying) one of them sat with me and cheered me up, which was very nice of him.

Final stage

I was 99% sure I wouldn’t get an offer. In fact, I got rid of the Cambridge prospectus because it was making me upset!

I opened the letter in front of my mum, and couldn’t talk for like five minutes. She had to take the letter from me to find out what the decision was. After I got over the shock, I ran round the house screaming for a bit!

Looking back

Definitely.
Even if I hadn’t have gotten in, I would still have applied as it’s a great experience.

Don’t be sure that you’ve done badly until you get the letter… a ‘horrible’ interview isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Don’t listen to boastful people after the interview who try to make you feel small.
Try to enjoy it! (though I didn’t.)