Application

 Cambridge

 Magdalene

 Medicine

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (8 A*,2 A)

A-levels

(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)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Biology, A in Chemistry

A, in either Maths or Physics

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Excellent world reputation. Prefer traditional pre-clinical and clinical course. Science based course. Absolutely beautiful city (Cambridge).

Cambridge came out top in every league table. Better research for medicine at Cambridge.

Rated those in prospectus, Magdalene came out as top choice. Stayed overnight at open day, very friendly, smallish college. Prefered to be individual at small college rather than unknown at a large one.

Preparation

yes

Had to pay for one interview, later given one for free at another school. Both were not specfic for Cambridge, and the real interviews were very different.

Do work experience. Prepare well for MVAT. Be sure you want a science based course. Make sure you have at least 3 a-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics. Have A*s in most of science subjects at GCSE. Make sure you know a little about a wide range of topics for interview or you could get stuck. Interviews are very different from other medical schools, much more science based.

Interview

yes

The MVAT was taken in November, not at time of interviews. The only reference to them was right at the beginning of my medical interview, they were “very impressed” with my essays! – which was nice thing to say right at the start.

no

no

Two interviews – General and medical. The general one was with a non-medical person. Medical one with the two medical professors at the college.

General interview; asked about: relaxation, Romania trip I had done, NHS, physics. Medical interview; asked about: body’s response to virus, cancer screening (breast, cervical, prostate), heart disease.

Suit, as just about everyone else there had on one. Looks smart.

Impressions

I didn’t apply to any other colleges, but saw some on tours. Very impressive architecture, could be overwhelming. Magdalene is impressive but approachable.

First room stayed in (during open day) was part of the college’s old building – room was small by comfortable. Second room (during interview) was a modern “set”, with a large living area and sleeping area. Much larger. Shared bathroom between two people. JCR, pool room, music room, gym, etc.

Good. Magdalene offers formal hall every night. Wear gown, and eat a waiter served 3 course meal under candle light for less than Ł3.

Excellent as you would expect. Very friendly and approachable were the impressions left on me. Haven’t had much time with them yet!

Some did give impression of public school, but they were very friendly and not what some people would think. There is a good mix between schools and sexes. Very close-knit community provided by small undergraduate intake.

Final stage

I was in bed when my dad called me from downstairs. The simple word “Cambridge” made me rush downstairs. Felt the envelope, definately more than one piece of paper inside. Opened it. Saw separate sheet about bursaries and fees, then realised I must have been given an offer. Reading the letter confirmed that! Very good feeling, phoned mum straight away.

Looking back

Definately, and to the same college. I can’t wait to get A-Levels out the way (hopefully get the grades) and spend 5 years of my life at a beautiful city and at one of the world’s best universities.

As above, prepare for MVAT. Make sure you have a good science based. Make sure you have a good academic record. Be positive at interview.