Application

 Cambridge

 Trinity

 Mathematics

 2006

 offer made

Applicant

 Other qualifications

 pre-qualification

 EU

 Sweden

 Independent – selective

 yes

Other qualifications

I took the Swedish Fullständigt slutbetyg frĺn gymnasieskolan, with MVG in all modules completed and predicted MVG in all modules not yet completed.

Details about the offer

 conditional

1,1 in STEP Mathematics I and II

undecided yet

I will most probably do and withdraw my application once I get another offer I can put as I will most probably accept it and withdraw my application once I get another offer I can put as insurance. (Probably from Warwick, provided I do get an offer from t

N/A

Decisions about the application

I find simply that it would be a worthwile experience to study abroad, and Oxbridge simply seemed to have a very good reputation, motivated students and a good course. Part of the decision was also based on that I’d love to live in a smaller town, I don’t think I could stand a place like London or so.

I found Mathematics to be one of the subjects where everybody seems to agree on that beyond doubt, one of the universities is better than the other.

Because I always enjoyed Mathematics, and found myself rather good at it, so I thought that’s what I would like to do at uni.

I first decided that I wanted to go for one of the older colleges in town, mostly because I love the architecture there, and then I got the impression that Trinity was the most famous of those, and very beautiful indeed, so I went for there.

Preparation

no

If you’re applying for Mathematics at Trinity, try to get hold of past years pre-interview test questions. I only found out they had been put up on the Internet after my interview. Though, I found the difficulty of the test varied considerably from year to year, so don’t assume anything about the difficulty of your test. Try to solve some questions and get familiar with the style of the test. At the very least, having seen previous tests will have a calming-your-nerves effect, which can be just as important.

Interview

no

no

yes

We were to sit a one hour written test right before the interview, the questions of which would form the basis for the interview.

The exam consisted of ten questions, and we were asked to try and solve three of them, and more if we had time. Most of the questions were not too hard, there were two or three who were. The questions covered probability, algebra, calculus, number theory, and perhaps something else that I can’t remember. I think I managed to do 5 of them during the test time.

After the test, we were to take our solutions with us directly to the interview.

The two interviewers were very nice. Though, I think they were running late on the schedule or something, so after the test I had to wait outside the interview room and get really nervous for 10-15 minutes or so. In retrospect, I think that might actually have been a blessing in disguise, because it gave me some time to think through the questions of the test a little bit more.

First, I was asked some general chit-chatty questions about some of the stuff I wrote in my personal statement, presumably just to warm me up. Then, it was straight to the maths and the test I had just sat.

I was asked to hand over the solutions I had written to the test questions, and my two interviewers looked through the solutions. They seemed alright, except for one probability question for which I had written a really long and roundabout solution and got the wrong answer. I was asked to work through that question again. So I did, explained everything I did on the way, and looked nervously at the interviewers whilst my mind was frantically trying to work out exactly where I had gone wrong. Fortunately, it turned out that it was only an arithmetical error in the very last step which had got me the wrong answer, and the interviewer seemed not to fussy about that and we left that question behind.

Now, our attention was turned to the mechanics question I had begun on the test but not managed to finish before the time ran out. I basically knew what I was supposed to do, only I hadn’t written the solution out, so it went relatively painless. Or so I thought, I did make a sign error and mixing up sin and cos, and the interviewers asked: “Is that right??” with with this skeptical look and drawn out voice; I think I spotted my own mistake reasonably fast though, and promptly had it corrected.

Then we went through the questions which I didn’t solve. They all went quite well, except one questions which the interviewers had to guide me through step by step. I did solve it at the end though, so I guess it wasn’t too catastrophic.

Now, I was actually surprised to find that we had plowed through all ten questions on the test. I was asked if I had any questions to ask about the college or the course, and then the interview ended.

A bit of advice, though, I think it is a good idea to rather focus on get an idea on how to solve all the questions on the test, rather than write out perfect solutions to a few of them. The reason being, that unless you really mess up the questions you think you have solved on the test, you’ll be asked on the questions you didn’t solve. And, no matter how nervous you are during the test, you’ll be much more nervous during the actual interview (okay, that might be too broad a generalisation to make, it depends on what kind of person you are I guess, but at least it was so for me), so it will be much harder to think properly during the interview, and thus it will be better if you have at least looked through the question during the test when your mind was reasonably clear. Just my two cents!

Shirt and jeans. I reasoned that it would be less embarrassing to be sit in the interview rather casually dressed and not be able to do a single question, than to obviously have put a lot of effort in dressing smartly and then not be able to do a single question. Of the interviewees I saw, I think I was toward the rather casually-dressed end of the spectrum.

Impressions

It felt like really grandiose place, especially in daylight. Everybody I met seemed nice and friendly.

I was provided accomodation by the college. The bedsit I had seemed okay.

I actually thought it was quite good. Many people I spoke to said that Trinity’s food is generally not so good, but that was not my impression from the food in the days of my interview.

Well, I only met my two interviewers and then only during the interview, but my impression from there was that they were nice and friendly people.

Just like any all other university students, I guess. None of the stereotypes I’ve heard about Trinity students proved true.

Final stage

Uhm, nervous? Actually, I tried not to think about it and managed that
rather well right until the few days right before the decision letter was supposed to arrive.

I was really happy about it of course, and especially really happy for only having to sit STEP I and II (they seem certainly a lot more manageable than the dreaded STEP III)

Looking back

Of course! Why not?

Of course apply! Why not?