Application

 Cambridge

 Clare

 Modern & Medieval Languages

 2007

 pooled, offer made (Girton)

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – selective

 yes (10 A*)

A-levels

(A at AS (240 UMS))

(A at AS (300 UMS))

(A at AS (294 UMS))

(A at AS (284 UMS))

(A at AS (295 UMS))

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Russian

AAA

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Because Oxford and Cambridge are two of the best universities in the world.

I really loved the flexibility of the MML course. I hadn’t found another university that offered so much freedom during the year abroad and I liked the fact that you can tailor the course to suit your own needs.

The MML course allows you to study modern and classical languages together, and that’s something I really wanted to do. The flexibility of the course is what really attracted me to apply.

I chose Clare because of its central location and because its pretty!

Preparation

yes

I had a mock interview from school which wasn’t much use. A friend of the family also helped me with general interview questions which was useful.

Definitely arrange some mock interviews. Also try to get some additional oral practice. I didn’t do that and I wished I had because I found the oral the hardest bit.

Interview

no

no

yes

I was given a piece of prose in English which was about the importance of poetry. I then had to summarise the passage I had read in my chosen language (Russian). There were then two other questions based on the passage to be answered in English. One of them was to explain the importance of poetry in today’s society. The last question was to comment on how the article was written and the stylistic devices that were used.

I thought that my classics interview went a lot better than my Russian interview. My classics one was a lot more general because I wanted to do Ancient Greek ab initio and it put me at my ease a bit because it was my first interview. My Russian interview was more difficult. I had to read a piece of Russian prose whilst I was waiting to go in and during the first part of my interview I was asked to read a few paragraphs of it, then answer questions in Russian. I was then asked questions about the books I had read, which I thought went quite well.

– Are there any similarities between Russian and Ancient Greek culture? Are there still similarities today?
– Why Russian/Ancient Greek?
– Why did I enjoy reading ‘The First Circle’ (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
– What did I learn from my visit to Russia
– What other literature, in addition to what I had stated in my personal statement, had I read
– Which Latin authors I like and why

Final stage

I was extremely nervous because I so wanted to get in. Waiting for the decision is the most agonising bit of the whole process.

Looking back

Read a couple of books and think about them – come up with your own ideas/interpretations. Watch some films in the relevant language, maybe films with a histoical basis so that you are learning something worthwhle as well as improving listening skills. Brush up on grammar before the admissions test. Think of your answers to the obvious questions e.g. why your subject? Just be as prepared as you can be.