Application

 Cambridge

 Jesus (open application, allocated college)

 Medicine

 2001

 pooled, 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)

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

Other universities

N/A

Accepted offer from UCL

Decisions about the application

I think Cambridge is the best university in the country (if not the world) and i wanted to be part of the history and prestige of a brilliant university. The buildings and town are just gorgeous and i wanted to live there for 3 years
I also liked the look of the course as its traditional, is subject based and is very scientific.

Well, personally, i think that Cambridge is a lot better than Oxford for the Sciences generally and so i thought if i wanted to go to the best, i’d have to apply to Cambridge.
Also, i think Oxford is losing its strength in education generally (though it is still a major heavyweight) and is clinging on by its history and prestige which comes as a result of that. The only degree i would have chosen to apply for at Oxford instead of Cambridge is PPE because its excellent.
Cambridge is an absolutely beautiful town aswell (not to say Oxford isn’t) and i liked the ‘feel’ of it.

I went on an open day there and liked what the D.o.S had to say about the course and the college.
Also, its a beautiful college and has a sports ground on site (helpful becasue i play cricket)
I had a shortlist of college i liked and i narrowed it down to Trinity, St Johns, Downing, Clare and Jesus.
Its a very personal thing, choice of college, but i think its important to go on open days and talk to students and staff to get a good idea of any college you’re thinking of applying to.

Preparation

no

I got lots of help from the teacher that wrote my reference. He went to Oxford himself and gave me a mock interview and in general answered any questions i had. Also, the school arranged a mock interview with someone outside of school (that was a more genral interview) Both were helpful.

Though i dint get an offer i still feel i have some useful advice for potantial applicants.
1) To prepare ask a teacher for a mock interview and make sure they ask scientific questions!
2) Be confident, be yourself and say what youre thinking during the interview (they want to see how you think not what you know so think out loud and back up any arguments with evidence).

Interview

yes

Yes. I had to do the MVAT in November. My results were:
Section 1: B
Section 2: A

Section 1 is on logic and is quite difficult. Section 2 is on GCSE science which is not difficult if you’re doing all 3 sciences at a-level. In Section 3 you have to write 2 essays which i found quite difficult due to the time constraints.
For all 3 sections i really felt pushed for time so work quickly!

no

no

I had 3 interviews. I went to Cambridge the night before and met some friends that are already there so that was quite comforting.
All the students gave lots of advice and tried to unnerve us as much as possible.

1) Subject specific with Dr. Hladky This was not as i expected. I was given the article that appeared in the MVAT in November and was aksed to read it and tell him what i thought the author was trying to say. I did as told and told him what i thought and he kept on saying ‘you’re on the right tracks’ etc until i finally got to talk about religion (which i had written about in my essay in November). I think he was just trying to probe me and see how i went about talking thriough a problem/argument. Don’t be afraid to disagree with them. He then asked me about viruses, why we have vaccines for some and why not for others? That was about it 2)Subject specific with Dr. Thomas He asked me about my work experience at hospital and a GP’s and he asked me what being Head-Boy was like and how i could utilise those skills at university. He gave me a medical dilemma which he asked my opinions on and i had to argue my point of view to justify it. That was quite tricky. He also asked me about the fact that i do lots of extra-curricular activities and whether i wished to continue any at university. 3) General interview with Dr. Parks He asked why medicine? Why Cambridge? What would i do if i didnt get in? He also asked me about my views on cloning (that was in the news at the time) and whether i was a bowler or batsmen for my cricket team. And, he asked me a weird question which was ‘I see youre Head-Boy, play cricket and football, do 5 A-Levels and do voluntary work at The Royal London Hospital. When do you get the time to sleep?’ and then we strted laughing. He was quite nice

A suit. I wear a suit to school everyday and i feel comfortable in it. I don’t think its necessary, its just that i feel good in a suit.

Impressions

I think its gorgeous. Its big and has beautiful old buildings and lovely courts.
Other colleges that i really liked include: Trinity, Johns, Clare, Emmanuel and Queens

The room i stayed in was nice, had a nice view onto the court and was in an old beautiful building.
At Jesus, the accomodation is very good in general and is not very expensive

Edible but not great
Everyone has to pay the KFC unless you are an Orthodox Jew. I thought that was a bit unfair because Muslims have a similar problem to Orthodox Jews with food and so i dont think the KFC should be compulsory for them either.

All were very nice and welcoming, they were probing and did test you by making you argue your point and go a stage further with your thought process but thats the name of the game right?

Very warm and welcoming. I actually knew a student at the college before i went up and when i got there she helped me out a lot. We went to dinner together and then i listened to her sing that night as the gospel choir were having a concert. All the students were very helpful and warm.

Final stage

Well, i got a letter at the end of December telling me that my application was ‘still under active consideration here at Jesus College’ so i didnt really know what to think.
Then about 3 weeks later i got a letter saying the inter-collge pool had now closed and that unfortunately i was unsuccessful. I didnt realise i had been pooled until i got this letter.(LOL!)
But, when i did find out that i had been unsuccessful i was very upset, disappointed, hurt etc because going to Cambridge to read Medicine had been a lifetime dream of mine and the dream had been shattered into a million pieces. (I’m still in the process of picking up the pieces!)

Looking back

Yes, because Cambridge is a great place to go. The students are friendly, the tutors were helpful and nice and the town is lovely

This is quite easy for me to say but try as hard as you can not to make Cambridge be the epitomy of your life. I did and i can tell you that if your dreams are shattered in the way mine were/are its not a nice feeling.
You have to understand that the admissions tutors can make mistakes aswell, and so dont pin your hopes up too much. (I’m not implying they made a mistake with me)