Application

 Cambridge

 Pembroke

 Natural Sciences (Biological)

 2003

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 FE College

 yes (3 A*,5 A,1 B,2 C)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(A at AS)

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

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

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

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

I really liked the NatSci course, it seemed to have everything I wanted.

After visiting both I decided I preferred Cambridge. Plus I liked the course at Cambridge much more.

I visited it on an open day and liked the look of it.

Preparation

yes

A couple of teachers did check my personal statement and gave me a few general tips, not anything major though.

It’s useful to get other people to check your forms as after drafting and checking it yourself 50 times, you get so sick and tired of doing it you might miss the odd mistake.

Interview

no

no

yes

A multiple choice paper on “critical thinking skills” which are really Maths and English skills.

I had 2 interviews where I basically rambled, made no sense and made an idiot of myself. Maybe it wasn’t really that bad but that’s how I felt and how most people probably feel. In both interviews the thing that I dreaded happening happened- the interview person dragging out an object which I had to then talk about. The first one was a tube of soil and the second was a box of cuckoo eggs. Joy.

Not much was said about my personal statement, I think there was one question about a particular part of my PS in my first interview, along with the “So why Biology?” that kinda thing. Then questions about the objects I had to look at.

Black trousers, purple shirt, black shoes. I wanted to be smart but comfortable.

Impressions

It was really pretty. When I went for my interview I got to look around a bit more and it was more gorgeous than the first time I saw it, even though it was freezing!

The rooms were quite big. I stayed in the new buildings which apparantly had the nicest rooms.

Good

They seemed nice and helpful.

Pretty cool, friendly, some slightly insane.

Final stage

I was gutted obviously but my life didn’t fall apart.

Looking back

Yeah I would, which sounds a bit insane seeing as I wasn’t accepted but I kinda enjoyed the whole experience (well not the actual interview part, I’m not that crazy) but the other stuff made it fun, met really nice people etc.

Don’t be put off by other interviewees, which may be easier said than done sometimes but remember you’ve been chosen to be there too so you have as much right to be there as they are. I didn’t really have this problem at my interview as everyone I met was really nice and friendly but I have been on open days where other people have been a bit…up themselves.