Application

 Cambridge

 Girton

 Medicine

 2008

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes (9 A*,1 A)

A-levels

(A at AS (296 UMS))

(A at AS (271 UMS))

(A at AS (294 UMS))

(A at AS (265 UMS))

(A at AS (282 UMS))

(A at AS (261 UMS))

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Biology, A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics

AAA, excluding English Language and General Studies

undecided yet

yes

no

Edinburgh – who knows?

Decisions about the application

A good reputation and a solid degree.

I just knew I preferred Cambridge by the feel of the city.

Cambridge has a traditional medical degree – cadaver dissection etc.

It’s very beautiful and felt extremely homely.

Preparation

yes

The preparation my college gave didn’t really help. The style of interview was extremely different.

You can’t really prepare for a Cambridge medical interview apart from knowing your personal statement back to front. Also, be able to show what your work experience has taught you – positive and negative.

Interview

yes

I did awful on the essay – 6/15 – and got an offer. From what I’ve heard and experienced they only care about the first and second section.

no

no

I had two which were each split into two mini interviews with one person. All that I can say is that people who think they have done well, generally don’t get in. I think the worse the interview has gone, the more interested in you they are.

My first was organic chemistry based, second on personal statement, third on graphs and analysis (oh dear it was awful) and the final was with a practising doctor on diagnosis and other things I didn’t know. They do say they don’t want the right answer – just to see how your mind works. THINK OUT LOUD.

Lots about benzene – which was really fun. What is the one thing I had learnt from my work experience? What had I recently read in Student BMJ? During work experience in hospital, was there anything I didn’t like? Why I (only) had 90% in chemistry? (I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry) Intepret this graph. How does an X-ray work? What happens when someone has a heart attack? What could I see from an X ray I was given?

I dressed smart(ish.) Black pencil skirt and blouse. However, I wore a cardigan and fancy jewellry that was not so traditional to make myself feel more comfortable.

Impressions

I liked it, but I did feel very daunted by the whole process. Everyone seemed very clever that I spoke to.

Good size rooms but not ensuite. I don’t think I could have afforded it anyway, so I’m not too bothered.

Pretty good.

Really friendly. However, not quite as lovely as the porters who were so supportive. They see the application process occur every year so they are definitely worth chatting too.

Normal really. It would have comforted me to see a few more Northeners though.

Final stage

Defeated – I’m glad I was. I was completely convinced I’d made the biggest error of my life as I had no chance. When I got the offer I was in complete shock – I still am. It was a very nice surprise.

My mum opened my letter over the phone as I was at work. I asked about the size of the envelope first and she said it was one of the small ones so I thought I’d been rejected. Size of envelope does not equal generosity of reply.

Looking back

I’m not sure. I went through so much worry for 3 months about whether or not I’d even get into medical school. It is very nerve wracking. However, I am so insanely happy now.

Try not to worry and make sure you really want it.