Application

 Cambridge

 Downing

 Medicine

 2010

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 – other – (please contact us if you want to add your country to the list)

 Independent – non-selective

My school and sixth-form were both ULT academies

 yes (8 A*,4 A,1 B)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(B at AS)

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

BMAT 4.4 5.7 6.0 <– pretty bad

Other universities

no

Decisions about the application

I just love the collegiate system, the supervisions (which means you learn a great deal from an expert in one-to-one!), the fact that it is challenging and you are surrounded by very smart people, etc.

League tables put Cambridge before Oxford in Medicine, also the access scheme and that fact the they interview pretty much everyone whereas Oxford chooses based on A* percentage in GCSE (which wasn’t very good in my case.

I would love to become a doctor. It has been the lifelong dream.

Downing is where most of the medicine lectures take place, and as lazy as I am in the mornings, I didn’t want to travel a lot. Staying at Downing would’ve meant I could wake up and head out to the lecture in as few as 5 minutes. (I know, I really did have a lot of dreams… that were crashed and burned down to ashes :(…)

Preparation

no

I had a mock interview, which was kind of helpful. No preparation for BMAT.

Do very well in BMAT, prepare hardcore.
Also, the interview is very important; make sure you know your A-level Biology inside out. Do extra reading on human body. Cambridge interviews are better because they concentrate on Biology and medical related topics (unlike Oxford where you get asked Physics questions if you have done Physics AS).
You have to be good at answering confidently, talk a lot in the interview, and show that you are interest. Most importantly, enjoy the experience!

Interview

yes

As mentioned before, BMAT = 4.4 5.7 6.0

no

no

They were quite nice and very direct. All questions asked were scientific and A LOT of help was provided. The atmosphere is just amazing, just like a supervision. If you are keen to learn, you would enjoy it.

Don’t forget that the type of questions they ask is related to the subjects you do at A-level.

Many on Heart. (mechanism)
An exponential graph to draw showing the spread of a disease.
DNA and amino acids
Blood, receptors, etc (which I got stuck on, big time)

Dark blue blazer, black top, black skirt, black dolly shoes… (Don’t worry about this part, they really don’t care what you wear)

Impressions

It is like heaven…

Pretty good sized rooms… but it does depend on what kind of building you’re staying at.

Okay-is. Great dinning halls though.

Some were old-fashioned, but the younger ones were really amazing.

It was during Christmas holidays so no students were around

Final stage

I enjoyed the visit, and really badly wanted to be offered a place, but fate didn’t allow for that. (or the lack of preparation)

I asked them to e-mail the letter… and I was very nervous and had totally lost it while reading the letter. I was then depressed for a good month and have still not recovered simply because I feel like a failure.

Looking back

I would definitely apply; only prepare better.

If you know you’re good, you probably have a good shot, but I did’t get an offer so I suppose what I did was not sufficient therefore I can’t really give you advice apart from, LEARN YOUR BIOLOGY OFF BY HEART AND DO FURTHER READING TO NAIL THE INTERVIEW DOWN