Application

 Cambridge

 Trinity

 Natural Sciences (Physical)

 2003

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (11 A*)

A-levels

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

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

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

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

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

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Chemistry, A in Mathematics, A in Physics

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Want to be challenged
Hopefully a good job afterwards

Natural Sciences course gives better overall grounding in many areas of science

I wanted somewhere big as I am too well known at school and it looked great, plus the entry in the university alternative prospectus sounded good

Preparation

yes

Practice interviews that were nothing like the real thing

The Forms: Write out a draft first.

The interview(s): Just revised as much of the syllabus as possible that I’d already done and read New Scientist

Chill! And remember it’s hard to tell how it went. If you know your A-level stuff it’ll go fine.

Interview

no

no

yes

45 minute test serving as a base for the interview discussion.

I had a 45 minute test with optional questions and then the interview was just going over the test, correcting it and trying more questions that I didn’t have time for.

Just various scientific problems, slighlty harder than A-level, from the test paper

Smart shirt and trousers. I wouldn’t have been comfortable in a suit but wanted to be more formal than when I go out with friends.

Impressions

Big

Good

Great, not stuck up like the common view.

Final stage

My Dad had brought it to me in bed, and my parents watched me, but |was worried and hesitated for a few seconds until my Dad told me I had to open it. I read the first few words and went “I got in!”.