Application

 Cambridge

 NA

 Natural Sciences (Physical)

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (8 A*,2 A)

A-levels

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

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

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

another 2 subjects taken at AS; 2 As gained.

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics, A in Physics

undecided yet

I am also applying to universities in America but assuming that I don’t get any offers from the US I will put CamB as my first choice

N/A

Decisions about the application

Reputation of universities

Better reputation for sciences at Cambridge; plus visits to both places and more choice at CamB

informal and more modern

Preparation

no

The Forms: Don’t be afraid to add extra things to the Cambridge application form; school advice was for most people not to; but I got an offer and most others didn’t

The interview(s): However much you read you’ll probably come across something new; so tackle them as best you can and if there’s something in particular you want to “show off” about – bring it up after the interviewer has finished with his/her questions

Interview

no

no

no

The first interview was general; it was instrusive and possibly racist; the second was a tough one about my subject area but fair and with a very sound interviewer

1st: seemingly nonsense Q’s about my nationality; but in all fairness the interviewer possibly didn’t realise how uncomfortable he was making me – i did get an offer after all

suit (but without a jacket – only bcos i didn;t have one!); I was told it was better to be overdressed than underdressed – which seems like reasonable advice

Impressions

I met one; he was an international student but very friendly and willing to have

Final stage

My second interview was very difficult so I tried to make myself think I was going to be rejected (to soften the blow!); so when a saw “AAA” in the letter I was overjoyed and ecstatic – but I realise that my life isn’t “made” and 3 As will be tough to get!

Looking back

Yes; despite all the worrying moments I have an offer and am looking forward to it.

In my sixth form a lot of brilliant people have been turned down (and some idiots accepted!) – so realise the process is somewhat of a lottery, and don’t put all your hopes on Oxbridge – think of it as a bonus. But read as much as possible as early as possible. In my interview I tried to be myself i.e. not too cocky and quite easygoing – and it seemed to work for me.