Application

 Cambridge

 Clare

 Medicine

 2006

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 – other – (please contact us if you want to add your country to the list)

 Grammar School

 yes (10 A*)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Biology, A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics

yes

yes

yes

Got offers from other unis, but to be honest, having put myself through the stress of applying to Cambridge, and knowing that I really liked it there, I’d be a fool to go anywhere else.

 offer met

Decisions about the application

The college system appealed to me, I liked the look of the universities, and my parents encouraged me to aim high and work for what i wanted.

Went to open days for both in the summer of year 12, and even though Oxford’s open day was a little better, my instinct said Cambridge, so I went with it.

I like biology, and having done work experience, I decided that this was what I wanted to do.

I researched a lot before open day, trying to pick between colleges, and Clare seemed the most suited to me. The open day there wasn’t brilliant, but they did an interview workshop which really made me feel better about things – and worked, six months later!

Preparation

yes

One mock-interview, was pretty pathetic since the only questions i was asked were standard ones that I’d memorised answers to.

Look up as many interview questions as possible in books, on student forums etc. practise with your friends – often they know the worst questions that they would hate to get too, and practise talking to a mirror/someone else. also make sure you know your stuff in terms of a level stuff, work exp, and current affairs.

Interview

yes

BMAT for Cambridge – just used official book, not much else you can do, really.

no

no

I had two, both seemed okay, but I didn’t think I’d done well enough, or “shone” enough to actually get a place. I said some really stupid things in both, practically resorted to begging…but staying overnight was a good experience, would recommend it. My interviewers were all really nice (and i made a couple of them laugh because of said stupidities).

Pretty heavily science-based, know A-Level stuff. They don’t try to trick you out, and they do help you work through the questions, but only a couple of questions about personal extra-curriculars etc, and nothing on anything in the news.

Most of the questions were off material they gave to me – i.e. showing me graphs and asking me to talk about trends or compare, or showing me electron micrographs and asking me to work out stuff.

Wore a skirt and blouse, didn’t want to wear a suit because it felt too formal, with ankle boots (meant that i made rather a racket going up the wooden stairs). not many people wore suits, mostly they were dressed in formal tops and trousers/skirts.

Impressions

Well since I’m GOING there, clearly i like the college I’m applying to – others I visited on open day all seemed nice too, none really put me off.

I got really good accomodation for my interview night – HUGE bedroom, living room, and ensuite – was probably one of the best bits of being interviewed!

Food was fine, edible, to be honest I wasn’t paying much attention to it at the time.

Tutors that I met were all quite nice and friendly.

Only met a couple – one inbetween interviews, who was really friendly, and one when i couldn’t work out how to get my suitcase afterwards, who was really nice and calming about the whole thing (since i thought i hadn’t made it).

Final stage

Kind of sunk because I didn’t think I’d made it, but clinging to hope too…it only really got frustrating when the oxford people at my school got their offers when the xmas hols started, and i got really impatient, because i was so tired of waiting.

Thought I’d been rejected at first, because it was a small flat envelope – my mum thought so too – but then opened it, read it, and started grinning like a lunatic.

Looking back

Yeah, it’s definitely something I’d remember even if I hadn’t got in.

Be yourself, sound confident, and hope for the best – you never know.