Application

 Cambridge

 Christ’s

 Philosophy

 2006

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Independent – selective

 yes (3 A*,5 A,2 B)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(B at AS)

(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)

Other universities

yes

yes

Decisions about the application

The traditional ‘its an amazing university’, it did my the course I wanted to do, and I couldn’t think of a 6th choice so I decided to aim high and go for Cambridge.

Easy as Cambridge offered Philosophy as a single subject unlike Oxford. Also just a nicer town in my opinion so would have applied here regardless.

Interested in it from Religious Studies, and generally love the subject matter – how can anyone not find this stuff interesting?!

Chose Christ’s as it was central, nice looking, relatively good size etc. Nothing special, I was contemplating making an open application, but decided that as I didn’t have to send extra work in before hand it would be easier and require less preparation.

Preparation

yes

I had one mock interview set up by the school with a strange man who knew nothing about philosophy. It was useful if only to make me realise how underprepared I was and how useful general preparation can be. It was completely useless compared to the real thing, if anything it was more nerve racking.

Make sure you know your personal statement, just to keep your mind at ease. Having said that they asked me nothing at all to do with anything that i had written, so you actually dont need to bother, i suppose they like to test unprepared stuff. But still, it does make you feel more confident knowing you can talk about the books that you’ve said you read etc. Also knowing basic answers to some common questions is useful -‘why cambridge’ etc.

Interview

no

no

yes

Had an hour test before the interviews, that was something you couldnt prepare for. 15 minutes of logic stuff, exactly like critical thinking if youve taken it, but not that difficult. Then theres 45 minute essay which is unpredictable, and at first looks not very philosophical but requires some lateral thinking to see what topic they are asking you on.

The first general interview was not too bad. It went as i sort of expected. The traditional questions came up such as why cambridge, and questions on subjects from why did you choose them. He seemed to be very contradictory, trying to see if i was willing to push my point of view, which i tried to do. Also asked question implying i was bad at sciences, which was a test to see if was able to stand up for myself, which he told me after. The second interview was with 2 people, on philosophy, and was very daunting. They asked me about 3 topics each of which i was completely unprepared for. We went into a lot of depth about each one, logic, and desires etc. Was not so much being tested on knowledge but felt very like a lesson, as they taught me some stuff and then guided me through applying it to other stuff. It ended up being quite fun as they were both nice and friendly, and even if my answers may have been completely stupid they didnt make me feel like that.

I wore the old jumper with shirt, smart trousers combination. Smart yet slightly casual, as i thought a suit would have been too formal, and I was right as my interviewers were not in suits.

Impressions

Very nice, slightly underwhelming i suppose, but then it is nicer than many other univeristy’s ive visited, and i wouldnt mind living there for 3 years. It was very nice tbh just not quite as spectacular as some would lead you to believe.

didn’t see

don’t know didn’t eat there