Application

 Cambridge

 Clare

 Music

 2000

 pooled, offer made (Churchill)

Applicant

 A-levels

 post-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – selective

 yes (2 A*,8 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 unconditional

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

The universities have fantastic reputations, and I thought I might as well give it a go.

I didn’t think I had a hope of getting in so I just picked one of them!

It has an excellent music reputation

Preparation

no

No, I’d left school when I applied.

On Cambridge Application Form: Be sensible and really think about what you’re writing. I don’t it helps if you try to hard to show your intelligence. Everyone gets an interview, so you have your chance of proving yourself later on.

On interview: Don’t panic, be yourself, there were so many amazing people applying, but somehow I got in. I can only put it down to the fact that I come across well in interview. So this is your chance to slip through the academic netting!

Interview

no

yes

I had to send one school essay, and as I’d left I had to write one especially. I think it was an analysis of a Clementi Sonata.

yes

Clare – 1 hour bach chorale exercise.
Churchill – bach chorale, and short essay on anything you wanted! (I wrote about the Beatles!)
No preparation needed really because they were fairly standard questions.

I was interviewed at Clare and Churchill. My Clare interview was terrifying, and to be honest I’d decided that I didn’t like it there, so I was glad when I was pooled (and accepted) to another college! My Churchill interview was much more relaxed as the director of studies is a bit more “normal”!

Clare: “who’s your favourite composer”? It seems an easy question, but really think about it before you give an answer, because that won’t be the end of it, they’ll ask you why, how many piano pieces did he write, and loads of other things that are impossible to recall on the spot. “what’s sonata form?” – another ok one since the interviewer then proceeded to talk for the rest of the allocated time and I didn’t have to say anything!

smart trousers and top, best to make a good impression!

Impressions

Emmanuel – lovely, friendly, with a beautiful pond/lake.
Clare – amazing, but hard work and especially hard to get into for music.
Churchill – looks fairly dire, but is fun and one of the most relaxed colleges.
Also, don’t underestimate Magdalene, I’m coming round to the idea that it’s one of the best colleges!

My Churchill room is en suite, lovely wooden floors and a big window. I also have a college piano!

Good

It’s actually pretty good, better than many of the other colleges I’ve been to.

At Clare – very scary. At Churchill – great!

I didn’t see any during interview time, but now I know that there will be great students in every college, and there will also be the eccentrics. (Think of the whole country’s population of school geeks – the ones that have left school are at Cambridge…). you will find the normal ones, they are there!

Final stage

I was in Costa Rica, under a mosquito net and a fax from my mum came through to the farm I was staying on! I was overjoyed, but everyone had gone to bed, so I couldn’t tell anyone!

Looking back

yes yes yes. I don’t know about Oxford, but Cambridge is full of the most wonderful oppotunities. When you aren’t studying, you can do absolutely anything you want, music, drama, sport, tiddlywinks (!)etc. From what I’ve hard from other unis, it’s fairly unique.

If you are like me and think that you aren’t good enough, think again. Despite what the rumours say, I actually think that Cambridge is fair in its admissions process. There are so many people applying and they can’t accept every bright person, but that’s all you need to be, bright. They see potential and give you a chance.