Application

 Cambridge

 Queens’

 Medicine

 2000

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (8 A*,1 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Biology, A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

A teacher suggested it and I just thought that it was worth a try as the reputation was so good.

Had always felt, tho’ probably unjustified, that Oxford was posher and maybe snobbier

Went to an open day for several colleges but just felt that Queens was really friendly and I felt comfortable there.

Preparation

no

I had a mock interview at school. (In which I did dreadfully and looked really unintelligent)

CAF: In the personal statement, I would suggest mentioning several things that the interviewer can pick up on. Then you have an idea what they might ask and so you can prepare a little more and might feel more comfortable. But don’t write everything about a particular thing, then you won’t have more to add at interview.
Interview: Just read as much as poss about current medical affairs and about any specific interests you stated in your application.
Also think about any work experience you have had, what did you learn from it, what were highlights/lowlights, was it useful and how?

Interview

yes

Had an MVAT exam at school in November. It was a mixture of bio, chem, phys and maths. I prepared by reading bio notes and an old GCSE physics revision guide as don’t study the subject now. The physics was worth learning as there was a basic facts section that you either know or don’t know.

no

no

Had 2 interviews, one with 2 professors for the sbject and the other with 2 professors but for the clinical course and also a junior doctor.

What stood out most during work experience. When did I decide I wanted to be a doctor and what did I do about it Why did I take politics and how did I think it may be useful How do I cope with stress What is stress biologically What would I do if I were Health minister How do viruses spread and mutate Describe a typical evening (This was the worst qu as was not expecting it) Why did I apply for Queens and same for Cambridge What had I thought of the other unis that I’d visited

Wore trouser, casual blouse and a suit type jacket. (But wasn’t all part of a suit) I thought that I might as well be too smart rather than too casual.

Impressions

Seemed very friendly. Had a group meeting thing before the interviews to explain proceedure and tell us not to be too nervous and stuff like that.

Very relaxed and informal. Not what I was expecting, as were asking about my journey there and chatting about the trains and the weather.

None there when I had interview. At open day were very chatty and welcoming tho’.

Final stage

It took me about a year to read it as had just woken up and me Mum came in with the letter. I was a little sleepy and couldn’t really focus so I worried that had misread it and that didn’t really have an offer!

Looking back

I think so but as I havnt taken my A’levels yet I don’t know yet whether I will get to go and even then I don’t know what it will be like.

Relax, mainly, as you really can’t think when you’re petrified. In the MVAT just try to think around the essay qus if they seem to be a bit vague and not something you could write an essay on. Throw some general knowledge and lateral thinking in there, they just want to see you think.
In the interviews think about where the qus are heading. For instance I said that I was really interested in personality in the brain, when they asked what interested me about the brain. But big prob when realised I knew nought about how brain affects personality, as this was then their next qu. Choose things yo know about and try to expand you’re answers with examples and extra knowledge and stuff like that. I found it so easy in my mock interview to answer in short sentances that I ended up not being able to use any knowledge I had as it was up to me to just say it when it linked.