Application

 Cambridge

 Sidney Sussex

 Natural Sciences (Physical)

 2007

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

Well a Catholic Comprehensive School with a headmaster that really thinks its a private school so I would say Comprehensive in name

 yes (4 A*,3 A,4 B)

A-levels

(A at AS (261 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (281 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (288 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(A at AS (288 UMS); predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Advanced Extension Awards

(predicted NA; gained NA)

(predicted NA; gained NA)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics, A in Physics

AAA

yes

no

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I visited both and preferred the atmosphere in Cambridge to Oxford, also if I went to Oxford I would have to do straight Physics so I much preferred the course at Cambridge

I really enjoy Chemistry as well as Physics and couldnt decide between the two as to which to drop so Natural Sciences was perfect for me as it allowed me to keep both on to a high level

When I visited Cambridge I just stumbled upon Sidney wandering round, walked in and I loved the place, it seemed very friendly and alot less stuck up than some of the other colleges (its also right opposite Sainsburys and I’m lazy!)

Preparation

no

The people I know that had mock interviews seemed to find them not much like the real thing and not much preparation, just read around your subject perhaps trying AEA questions as they require more thought and exposure to new ideas which is really what the interview tests.

Interview

no

no

no

I had two a Chemistry interview first, with the Director of Studies, which I was really nervous for which went well I think went well, my interviewer was really friendly and put me at ease which helped.

My second was for physics with a fellow in Physics and the admissions director for Sidney. I made a fool of myself in this and got very nervous making many stupid mistakes (which I did correct eventually!) I came out of this very drained and convinced that I had screwed everything up.

I went Smart/Casual (Smart trousers, Stripy Jumper and Jacket) which most people did that I saw as I really wouldn’t be comfortable in a suit but still wanted to make a good impression

Impressions

Sidney seemed a very friendly place with down to earth people (and a Cat!)

Final stage

Very anxious but pretty much resigned to being rejected after how I thought my second interview went

Extremely shocked I really couldn’t believe they had given me an offer after my performance at interview, I even went to the extent of calling them up as I thought there was some mistake!

Looking back

Definitely, if just for the fact I would always wonder whether I was good enough to get into Cambridge

Don’t get all your hope hung up on Oxbridge there are other wonderful uni’s in this country, they reject many very intelligent people every year so it isn’t the end of the world if you do. But DO apply if you in any way think your capable.