Application

 Cambridge

 King’s

 Modern & Medieval Languages

 2001 (deferred entry)

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 FE College

 yes (12 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)

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

Because I want to go to the best uni that I can get into.

I know a few people who’ve been to Cambridge and liked it there.

Its 80% state school people, more down to earth.

Preparation

no

Know your French! And sound enthusiastic about the language. I got more enthusiastic about accounting and how I want to be an accountant than I did about “my love for languages”. big mistake!

Interview

no

yes

Three essays, one written in French, one written in English about french culture, and one from my English A-level. This was really difficult for me because I’d never done a french essay before, and knew nothing about culture. So I went on the internet and found out about impressionism and wrote about that. I’ve learnt so much since then, because sonce then I’ve done my A-level french coursework. Then, I didn’t even bother doing a bibliography!

no

I thought the first one went well, it was in English and I was asked to talk (literature-wise) about a poem. The woman was really positive and kept saying positive things like: excellent and well done etc.
The second one was b a d, it was in english mostly about french literature and basically it was very difficult and when I had to speak French I got all my genders wrong! oops.

Loads about imagery, language used, style. Then later I had a surprise grammar test which was hard cos at college we haven’r done the subjunctive yet, and the bloke interviewing me looked at me in disgust when I told him! I think he thought I was trying to make excuses for myself! In the first interview I got asked: I notice on your UCAS form that everywhere else you’ve applied for french + economics, but here its french and spanish. why just here? I got stuck, I’d been caught out! Truth was I just hadn’t thought about what courses I’d applied for when I was filling in my UCAS form.

Smart pinstripe jacket and skirt, nice white shirt, pretty shoes. Pretty smart.

Impressions

Strong work ethic, the lecturers were a bit snobby, and people seemed to look down on me cos of my Geordie accent, which isn’t even all that strong! That was a bit unfair.

The building was gorgeous, the room small but cosy-ish.

A little bit snobby. They KNOW they are very intelligent, and the second guy in particular, Dr Bill Burgwinkle, seemed to look at me and talk to me as if I was stupid. It made me feel really small. The first woman though, Joanna Page, was lovely. She was really sweet, enthusiastic and just lovely to me. The whole time though I just felt like people really looked down on me when I spoke to them because of my accent. Even other interviewees from the South. They looked at me as if I was really common and poor and basically thick and not as good as them. It was unfair.

They look like they are very into their work, but mostly friendly. The girl who showed me to my room wasn’t very friendly though. I don’t know if I’d really fit in there. I dont know if I could really cope working that hard for four years of my life.

Final stage

Angry. I thought my GCSE results etc and music grades would count for something, but I just musn’t be what they’re looking for. Hurt really, damaged my pride! But abit relieved. This will sound knaive/stupid, but my social life is really really important to me, and I don’t want to have to spend every day of my life for the next four years working hard. I was worried I wouldn’t fit in at Cambridge, the work ethic wouldn’t suit me! So now I know I can go somewhere where I can just have the time of my life. I would still have liked to have had the option though.

Looking back

Yes, because it was a really good experience just going down there myself etc. A good bit of independence.

Be enthusiastic about the subject, don’t sound like you’re making excuses for yourself, and do LOTS OF REVISION!!