Application

 Cambridge

 Jesus

 Natural Sciences (Physical)

 2006

 offer made

Applicant

 Other qualifications

 pre-qualification

 overseas

 USA

 Independent – non-selective

 yes

Other qualifications

I had already taken three Advanced Placement exams (chemistry, calculus, and computer science) with grades of 5 (the highest) in each. AP exams are designed to cover first year material at an American university. I will take 5 more AP exams in May.

Details about the offer

 conditional

5 – Biology
5 – Calculus BC (level II)
5 – English Language OR Spanish Language

undecided yet

N/A

Preparation

no

Interview

no

no

no

Because I live in the United States, my interview took place in New York City. I only had one interview with a Fellow of Jesus College. The interview took place in the lounge of a hotel, so it was fairly low key.

One of the first questions I was asked was to explain an experience I had mentioned in my personal statement. I don’t think I gave terribly specific information.

Give the bond angles present in CH4, NH3, and H20. Draw the reaction that takes place when ammonia is placed in water. Describe why specific organic monomers will spontaneously form polymers despite a decrease in entropy and for one, no change in the number or strength of bonds. I suspect the interviewer decided to focus on organic chemistry because I told him that AP Chemistry focuses more on inorganic, and he wanted to see how I would react to the questions I wasn’t really sure of.

Impressions

I haven’t actually visited Cambridge.

Final stage

I didn’t find out until

I was really surprised–I immediately called my sister and my two best friends.

Looking back

Even if I had been rejected, I still would have been willing to apply again. I just needed to know if I could do it.

For American students, if you want to go to Cambridge, then you should apply. It’s a long process, but probably no more difficult than applying to the Ivy League. The only caution I have is that unlike in the US, you have to know what you want to study. I don’t feel like my Cambridge interview was any more difficult than my friends’ Ivy interviews, except that I had to know my subject area.