Application

 Cambridge

 Trinity

 Natural Sciences (Physical)

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Comprehensive School

 yes (11 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)

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

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

Details about the offer

yes

I will go to Trinity if nothing goes wrong. (Note: I have cancer. This probably accounts for the 2 E offer)

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

It had the course that appealed to me most out of all the universities I had applied to.

I liked the Science course at Cambridge better because it was more flexible and sounded more interesting.

I went through the prospectus looking for a large academic college because thats what I wanted. I went to an open day and decided I really really really wanted to go there.

Preparation

no

The Forms: Not really. Maybe write about the subject you apply for not about how you heal the sick in lunch hour / set up a charity / represented the country in this or that

Interview

no

no

no

Iwaited outside. They let me in. I shook hands. It lasted about an hour with two scientists. They asked me questions. I tried to answer questions. Interview finished. They said goodbye. I said Merry Christmas. Interview over. I gave my key back to porters. I went home.

Nearly all were academic. I got asked about a Nuffield Bursary I did and about HUPO which I had said I was interested on in UCAS form. I also got asked “Why Trinity” ehich I wasn’t expecting so just said the truth which I said also above. Then I got asked several academic questions that I had to work out with a bit of paper and a pen in front of them. Some involved graph sketching. 1. Enzyme Kinetics and Inhibitors (I didn’t know the equation so they gave it to me and I had a go anyway. This was mostly maths). 2. pH (I completely mucked this up and said that if you added enough water to an acid you got an alkali! Whoops! I said I had it wrong as soon as I gave the wrong answer though which may have helped). 3. What is Newtons Law of Gravitation (I didn’t know its name but I did know the law so that was OK but I must have looked a bit dumb and blank at the start). How much higher could someone jump on moon given that radius of earth is 4 times that of moon. 4. How did Newton measure speed of sound in Nevilles Court using a clock. This clock was a boring non-chiming clock. Also it wasn’t a Captain Scarlet style question where the answer had been shown in the episode of that week. 5. Sketch y=xsinx from scratch. I’d never seen this before but I think I did OK. Find turning points.

A suit, a blouse, smart shoes etc. I wanted to go there. It can’t hurt to show you want to go there enough to dress up smart. Also when I put on a suit I feel the part so I get less scared. Everybody else there was wearing one too!

Impressions

It was really really nice. And the buildings were great! The fountain in the court is a bit skew though. I expected it to be symmetrical but it wasn’t.

The rooms were much much bigger than I had expected. They had a fridge and ensuite bathroom, and arm chairs and everything. I was very impressed. And said so in the interview!

Good

Ice cream was nice. I chose the veggie option because I like to know what I’m eating before I consume it!

Really really nice. The ones who interviewed me were really kind and nice and not at all like the mega scary stereotype!

Nice, helpful but I mainly talked to the other interview candidates because they had more in common with me and I wasn’t scared of them.

Final stage

It was my birthday. I got up and found the letter. I opened it. I was happy and very relieved. In fact very very happy! I bounced around the house a bit. Smiled. Told my family. Told my frineds. Smiled some more . . . got the picture!

Looking back

Yes. It had the course I wanted to study.

Smile in the interview. Don’t panic. Get a good night’s sleep before. Talk to the other candidates.