Application

 Cambridge

 Gonville and Caius (open application, allocated college)

 Medicine

 2000

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (6 A*,5 A)

A-levels

(NA at AS)

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

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

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

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

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

The nature of the course

The nature of the course and and my personal feeling about the towns (I visited each)

Again, it’s feel when I vsisited as a “tourist” and it’s reputation/no of Directors of Studies for Medicine.

Preparation

no

Be able to substanciate everything in your personal statement; make sure you know loads about current medical issues, ethics etc. (AIDs/HIV, vCJD/BSE, genetics (cloning, gene therapy, etc – you know the score). Prepare answers to bog-standard questions like “Why do you want to be a doctor”, “What are the downsides of being a doctor” and the like – they are bound to ask.

Interview

yes

A three hour series of papers known as the MVAT (details on Camb. site) – taken at school sometime in November. Can’t really prepare for them

no

no

Three interviews – each 1-to-1 : asked a variety of questions. First was kinda discursive talking about vague things. Second was discussing more medical type things. Third was basic sciencey Qs.

Do computers think? What makes a good teacher? What is the biggest killer(disease condiation etc)? How would you decrease number of deaths form this? Once this is eliminated what is next? How could this be dealt with? Also I had to identify areas of electron microscope sections, as well as talking about various other basic sciencey things.

Jacket, tie etc. What I have to wear to school and feels more comfortable than a suit, but just as smart.

Impressions

Very nice. ALl of them were. They all seem pretty much the same!

Excellent

Very friendly, a wide mix of people, all encouraging and helpful.

Final stage

I knew I was most likely to be rejected, since most candidates are almost equally qualified and with something like 10-15 applicant per place, your chances (based on random selection) are very slim. Ir was what I was expecting

Looking back

I would – If I hadn’t, I would never know if I would have got in or not and would always have been wondering “what if”.

I fyou think the course is right for you then go for it. Listen to everyone’s advice, teachers, friends, parents and the like. Go to open days, see if you like the “feel”. Don’t be afraid to talk to the tutors.