Application

 Cambridge

 King’s

 Medicine

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (9 A*,1 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)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Preferred the style of Medicine course at Oxbridge

My brother goes to Oxford. Preferred the Cambridge course.

Most liberal Cambridge college (by reputation) with the highest ratio of undergraduates from state schools. Medium size, good location, politically active.

Preparation

yes

Mock interview and advice from well-informed Sixth Form head

CAF: Spell things correctly (although Cambridge had mispelt things on the application form). Write things simply as they have many forms to read though and be honest

Interview: Read the papers. Read only around the areas you find interesting otherwise you’ll go mad, and then try to steer the questions to these topics.

Interview

yes

MVAT that was at school. I brushed up on GCSE physics and learnt formulae and read though old S-Level essays that the biology department had. Read Biology textbooks and researched AIDS.

no

yes

I didn’t know and so couldn’t prepare (but I generally kept up with the news and read round in biology)

2 interviews. First was less academic but the majority was still science questions. Second was wholly academic. 2 interviewers in each interview. They helped me through questions I couldn’t get straight away.

“Why did you chose King’s?” “Talk about a disease you find interesting.” I was shown a skull and a bone and asked where I thought it might come from. Was shown a chemical diagram of a cell (electic not biological) and asked questions about it.

Informal trousers, though not jeans and an t-shirt, and shirt. I decided that they had 2 exams and 2 interviews to judge me on and that my appearance wouldn’t in the end make a differnce, although I wasn’t scruffy.

Impressions

Large and intimidating but informal and unpretentious.

Friendly – not there to catch you out or make you seem stupid. I left thinking I’d like to be taught by them.

Friendly and normal – unpretentious (although some of the other applicants were really odd)

Looking back

Definitely – it’s the course I liked not the kudos or the prestige.

You should apply – you have nothing to lose.