Application

 Cambridge

 Trinity

 Medicine

 2005

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 overseas

 Trinidad and Tobago

 Independent – selective

 yes

A-levels

(A at AS)

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics, A in Physics

yes

no

 offer met

Decisions about the application

I knew that Oxbridge is extremely prestigious, that the medical course was well established, and was perfect for me. I thought I had a good chance of getting in. Also Oxbridge has better funding than most other universities in the UK, which was an important deciding factor in choosing which universities to apply to.

I have family at Cambridge, doing the same course that I applied for. Also, I thought Cambridge was more famous for the sciences, and had good research opportunities

The sciences, especially biology have always fascinated me, and I have also had a desire to make a meaningful contribution to humanity. I have also been interested in doing biological research. what better way can one do all of these, than do medicine?

I chose Trinity because it has excellent funding for international students, without which I would not have been able to go to Cambridge. I heard about the college’s long Nobel Laureates list, as well as the many prominent scientists who studied there. I researched about Trinity, and was impressed by its beauty and ambience.

Preparation

no

No, being an overseas applicant, there was nobody else applying to Oxbridge from my school. Teachers are not accustomed to students applying to the UK and are not very aware of the application procedure, exams and interviews.

Study hard through out the final years of high school. Keep your composure, as it is easy to give in to the fluster of having to do a hundred things without losing your sanity. Always say that you CAN do it, people who get into Oxbridge are not geniuses, super humans, aliens, whatever you may call it. They are normal people, but are hardworking and enduring, and know how to deal with stress.

Interview

yes

I sat the BMAT. It was pretty difficult, at least the first section (which I found impossible to finish), but I was happy with the second one and did very well. On the other hand I partially misread the essay question and scored low marks in that. My overall mark was not excellent: 15.3 which automatically made me feel that my chances were next to none, but lo and behold I was invited to attend an interview.

no

no

It was quite an interesting discussion, and I was able to cope well with the questions that I was asked.

I found that the setting and mood was quite informal, and that the interviewers were accommodating, and understood my nervousness, and tried to ease it.

Something about hyperventilating affecting the pH of blood, I was asked to give proof of semi-conservative replication of DNA in an experiment, whose results were drawn out for me by my interviewer. Another question on bacteria and a bowl of soup (sort of weird). Something about furry animals on islands in the pacific, and how would I investigate if there was any relationship between them, and how they might have got from one island to another.(the other weird question). Then my next interviewer asked me something on membranes and the passage of substances across, and an experiment to measure the speed of transmission of nervous impulses along a nerve. Then I was asked something about the HIV virus, in response to something I wrote in my personal statement. Throughout all of this I was actually very much at ease(which surprised me and continues to do so, especially because I was worried they might not understand my accent, but they did), the interviewers were very nice and actually guided me along and got me out if I got a little blank. It was invigourating when it was all over.

A suit, as I thought that I should be dressed well to give a good first impression.

Impressions

They were all impressive, although Trinity seemed like the most beautiful. I could not actually visit before I applied, so I had to rely on the internet, and I was pleasantly taken aback when all that I dreamt was far better than I had thought

These vary. There are quite a number of rooms with en-suite facilities. As I was an international interview candidate, I was provided a room for a few days, and it was quite luxurious.

It was okay, not bad.

Friendly.(The one that I met)

They seemed to be normal, everyday people.

Final stage

Anxiety, hopefulness(as I thought my interview went well), and helplessness(as there were sure to be people who did equally well or better) at the same time.

It was via e-mail, and it was surreal, I will never quite feel like that ever again. I felt that all my efforts had finally borne fruits, and my dream of studying at Cambridge was actually going to become reality.

Looking back

Definitely. I think Cambridge is the best university for the course I applied for, and studying there would be a priceless experience. I would never pass up the opportunity.

Study hard, but do something that enables you to relax as well. Always believe in your capabilities, and have a postitive outlook. Practice for the BMAT, and for the interview(and at the interview, maintain your sanity cheerfulness, and work with the interviewers, consider that they want to help you, so try helping them help you)
NEVER GIVE UP!