Application

 Cambridge

 Trinity

 Mathematics and/with Computer Science

 2000

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 FE College

 yes (4 A*,1 A,1 B,4 C)

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)

Cambridge STEP Maths

(predicted 1; gained 1)

(predicted 2; gained 2)

Details about the offer

 conditional

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

B

yes

yes

yes

 offer met

Decisions about the application

Mainly because of it’s reputation and my thirst for knowledge 😉 Also I’ve always been good at Maths and I guess people (my friends) expected me to apply, so peer pressure, and it would have been stupid not too.

I chose Cambridge because I’ve always considered it a more technical/mathematical/sciency university, and Oxford more humanities/classicsy university.

Highly recommended by Dr Evil (Paul Woods), excellent reputation, needed to choose a college quick as the deadline was approaching.

Preparation

yes

A little. I was told by Trinity I would be taking a 1 hour maths test before the interview and they gave me a web site with some example questions on it. I printed these out and attempted 2 or 3 with the help of my maths teacher and Jez (thanks Jez!)

Umm…fill them out neatly. Don’t get your telephone number wrong (like I did) otherwise you will have to ask for another form and you look silly in front of your teacher 😉

Interview

no

no

yes

Went to the test place, (the Old Combination Room), 4 people were currently doing the test and myself and 3 others were waiting outside. When they were done we went in and did the test.

I was given 12 questions and I had to answer as many as I could in an hour. One of them (an integral) seemed quite easy as it was very similiar to something we had done in class. Another one, a mechanics one, also seemed quite straightforward. As did a graphy type one with an e^x in. I also tried a computer science question and I thought I answered it quite well…

My father drove me to Cambridge (because the trains weren’t to be trusted). I got out the car, walked straight past Trinity college, found a map, realised I didn’t know where I was, turned around, walked back, found it, went into the Porter’s thingy where someone told me where to go for my test.

We discussed my answers, corrected silly mistakes like minus signs missing and incorrect trig identities. When we were going through the last two questions I mentioned above…well for the first one I had completed most of it but when one of the interviewers was trying to explain something to me I got completely lost and confused. And the same thing happened with the second part of the compsci question as well. Then they asked me if I had any questions, so I asked them about another mechanics question on the paper which I tried but got wrong, and I also asked whether it was still possible to walk from Trinity to London on Trinity owned land…alas it isn’t.

A suit. It was strongly recommended by people, although some of the people taking the test with me weren’t wearing suits, but I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry. If I had not worn a suit and I didn’t get an offer, I might think it had something to do with the fact I didn’t wear a suit.

Impressions

Ummm…nice 🙂 There seems to be lots of courts in Cambridge…which is nice. The enterance to Trinity was much smaller than I expected. I only saw a little of the college though. The bathroom I visited was very nice. Good to see Cambridge folk are toilet-trained…unlike some people at my sixth-form college 🙁

I asked the person invigilating the exam where they were. She said “staircase Q” I think. So I went to staircase Q, poked my head inside, walked up the stairs, walked down the stairs, up again, and down again, then knocked on one of the downstairs doors and they were in there. The interviewers that is. They were both friendly, but in trying to explain something to me one of them seemed to be impatient (with good reason, my brain juices had frozen).

I didn’t see any, but I have spoken to a couple on ICQ and they are very helpful and supportive despite my endless questions about filling out the form and personal statements 🙂 [thanks paul ;)]

Final stage

I had just come back from holiday, so there was a massive pile of letters on the table. I was a little nervous that my cambridge one would be amoungst it. I fully expected to be rejected since I applied for arguably the most difficult course in the country at the most competitive college in the country, I convinced myself of that all during the holiday, so I was ready to be disappointed…but it was an offer…so I was happy.

Looking back

Yes…because I got an offer.

Apply. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.