Application

 Cambridge

 King’s

 Social & Political Sciences

 2001

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Grammar School

 yes (6 A*,4 A,1 B)

A-levels

(B at AS)

(D 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)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA

yes

N/A

 offer met

Decisions about the application

The particluar course seemed very enjoyable + best instituion in country…

It was more that i chose between PPE and SPS, and not being very interested in econmics or philospohy, i applied to Cambridge

It has the largest SPS faculty, and is supposed to be one of the best colleges for the course. Going to the Open Day convinced me.

Preparation

no

School helped organise a mock interview outside school which we had to pay for- good practice, but not very specific

Don’t bother filling in the extra personal statement bit at the end unless you have something very important to say

Interview

no

yes

3 essays – I sent 2 politics, and 1 english essay

no

Arrived by train at 12, for two interviews between 3 and 4 in the afternoon – had lunch in hall, sat in JCR reading paper – v.nervous.
Had first interview, very brief – about 5 minutes- mostly non-academic, extremely nervous between interviews. Second interview much longer – 40 minutes – the academic interview.

Non-academic interview – he asked me those obvious questions that you’re always told to prepare for, but don’t because you’re convinced they won’t come up. I thought it went atrociously: ‘How are you suited to this course?’ – i mumbled something ridiculous about my analytical skills. Academic interview – much better – mostly politics orientated. He asked me about the interests i had highlighted in my personal statement – constitutional reform, liberalism, etc. Asked for a couple of definitions – HRA, EU, etc. Asked some questions based on the essays i’d submitted – (making sure i wrote them?)

After toing and froing – i went for a casual blazer, knee length skirt and smart black shoes: King’s is supposed to be informal – so i wanted to make a good impression without dressing overly smart

Impressions

King’s – beautiful, traditonal exterior, very mixed undergraduate population. Informal, trendy, friendly, politically-active.

Varied accomodation – allocated by ballot every year

Good

A little on the expensive side – though i didn’t have to pay on the day of the interview

Approachable, relaxed, a little eccentric

Very welcoming – no problem with talking to the applicants

Final stage

Prepared for a rejection/pooling – very excited, mother more excited – then worried about getting 3As

Looking back

Definately – even if i hadn’t got an offer – i enjoyed visiting the college, and i quite enjoyed my interviews

Read anything related to the social sciences, particularly the area you’re interested in – so that you have something to talk about at length if the interviewer gives you free reign.

Be prepared for v.open-ended questions – i.e. be prepared to talk for long periods of time – read lots – definately go to an open day.