Application

 Cambridge

 Clare

 Medicine

 2002

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (10 A*,1 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)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA, Excl. History

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Cambridge is a world famous institution, and I wanted to become part of that. But the most appealing aspect is the supervision system.

One of my teachers put me in touch with an admissions tutor at Cambridge and I really liked the place. But really, I don’t think there’s that much to choose between them.

It was about the size I was looking for, and when I visited, the general atmosphere really appealed to me. And that’s important, as I think most of the actual teaching for medicine is the same whichever college you go to.

Preparation

yes

Help with Personal Statement, mock interview, contact details for admissons tutors and students who used to go to my school.

Read a few science journals, and look around online for nuggets of science and health info. But really, there is only a limited amount of preparation you can do.

Interview

yes

MVAT test about a month before interview. I just read some general science books, but it tests aptitude rather than knowledge

no

no

In the first one, the interviewer said “I’ve got 20 minutes to ask you academic questions” and so he did. I got given some graphs showing insulin concentration in the blood to talk about.
In the second interview, I was given a can of Heinz Baked Beans to talk about!!! I also had to talk about my interests, which led to a discussion about sport and health. I was shown some histology (microscope images of body tissue) pictures to analyse as well.

Suit. I thought it would be expected, and I felt more comfortable in one.

Impressions

Beautiful – it’s actually by the riverside.

Accommodation looks pretty good. Some of the halls actually have rooms with separate sitting and sleeping sections.

Good

Welcoming and, as expected, they appeared to be real experts in their fields.

Most were friendly, and everyone made an effort to get to know each other while we were there. However, there were a couple of really head-in-the-air people, but I suppose that has to be expected at Cambridge!

Final stage

It was waiting at home when we got back from our family Christmas trip to London. I opened it straight away with my family watching and shouted YES!!!! when I found I had been given an offer!

Looking back

Of course

Just relax and talk at the interview – talk as much as you can. The longer you can talk, the more impressed they will be (as long as you are not just waffling) and the less time they have to ask you questions.