Application

 Cambridge

 Clare

 Social & Political Sciences

 2008

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Grammar School

 yes (11 A*,1 B)

A-levels

(A at AS (243 UMS))

(A at AS (285 UMS))

(A at AS (271 UMS))

(A at AS (291 UMS))

(A at AS (288 UMS))

(A at AS (288 UMS))

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA, Excluding Critical Thinking

yes

yes

yes

I’d have loved to go to UCL if I had gotten a rejection.

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

College life, academic pressure and stimulation, writing two essays a week rather than two essays a term (I love writing essays), being given lists of 20 books a week to read.

It was sunny when I visited Cambridge, and it rained when I visited Oxford.

It lets you specialise in politics, unlike any other course at Oxbridge.

It was one of the most competitive college for the last few years, including one year where one 1 out of 26 was accepted and nobody pooled. I wanted that challenge. Also it used the TSA, essays, Preparatory study as well as grades and interview so there was more of a chance to prove myself.

Preparation

no

My teacher was ill a LOT this term so didn’t really help me.

Any preparation is futile. The interviewers purposely ask things which you won’t have thought about and as soon as you start getting comfortable with one subject, BAM… topic change.

I had read Leviathan, Social Contract, On Liberty, Democracy in America, Politics, End of History, Das Kapital and about 1523154216145 books titled “Introduction to…” out of my own curiosity, but ultimately none of it came up at the interview.

Interview

yes

TSA, twas extremely easy.

yes

I submitted an essay about American politics. It wasn’t great and it wasn’t one of my favourites but probably better than most peoples.

The one I wanted to send was about the EU, but it was in my handwriting so no doubt would be impossible to read.

no

First one tough, second one more of a discussion.

Interviewer made me defend a view on a single topic for almost the entirety of the interview. It was extremely tough and she was intent on making me change my mind. These people are experts and unless you are hard as nails you will feel completely humiliated by the end of it. It was extremely enjoyable and stimulating though and I’d never been shouted down in such a way before.

White and blue jumper, jeans, boots.

In hindsight my clothes were horrible, but the interviewers dressed equally casually and didn’t comment on my terrible fashion sense.

I’d have worn a scarf too as it was absolutely freezing.

Impressions

Absolutely loved it. It’s aesthetically undoubtedly the most beautiful and it has a charm and character which is unique.

Haven’t seen yet.

Didn’t have any. I arrived at 2.30PM.

Tough, and eager to pounce on anything every so slightly illogical in your arguments. I’m extremely eager to study under them though because I feel thoroughly unchallenged at A level.

They seemed friendly. Didn’t hang around long enough to find out though.

Final stage

I successfully blocked it out of my mind as long as possible, but I was extremely nervous by the end.

I was elated, shaking. People were calling me up left right and centre. A wonderful feeling to tell people you were in.

Looking back

Yes.

Be tough and learn to defend yourself against barrages of arguments.