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    (Original post by GeorgeCZE)
    Churchill. The place is nice and they seem to be kind but it looks like they do not respond on time. The information I had been pooled came also late.

    Well, it does matter where you study I think. I know a couple of people who can compare both systems. And while Czech universities don't produce bad doctors, the whole organisation of teaching, background, workig opportunities... seem to be considerably better in the UK.
    As for British unis, I really like the Oxbridge system of tutorials/supervisions.
    Fair enough, I was just curious, not a medic myself. Ah it's a shame you got rejected by Churchill, I applied there too (computer science). Best of luck in future.
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    (Original post by JasperLee)
    I'm complaining about state school quotas and what could be seen as an unfair playing ground and system. But good luck to you and very well done. I would also be the first from my family to get to university. Roll on York....
    OK, well as the Admissions Tutor has already commented, there are no 'quotas' as such - there are targets which the University has agreed to aim for as part of an agreement on raising tuition fees, but these 'targets' are just that and have no bearing on an individual student's chances of sucess or failure when applying!

    I was somewhat confused because you seemed to be throwing random information into the discussion about '£170k costs' and 'remortgaging' and I couldn't see where these were coming from!

    And thanks for your good wishes - I should point out that I graduated many years ago, so I've had my "time" at Cambridge already I hope you do well in your future studies!
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    (Original post by davros)
    OK, well as the Admissions Tutor has already commented, there are no 'quotas' as such - there are targets which the University has agreed to aim for as part of an agreement on raising tuition fees, but these 'targets' are just that and have no bearing on an individual student's chances of sucess or failure when applying!

    I was somewhat confused because you seemed to be throwing random information into the discussion about '£170k costs' and 'remortgaging' and I couldn't see where these were coming from!

    And thanks for your good wishes - I should point out that I graduated many years ago, so I've had my "time" at Cambridge already I hope you do well in your future studies!
    He was complaining that he went to a private school and didnt get in. As such in his eyes the money spent on his education was wasted and it appears the money came from borrowing against his parents house.


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    (Original post by Goods)
    He was complaining that he went to a private school and didnt get in. As such in his eyes the money spent on his education was wasted and it appears the money came from borrowing against his parents house.


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    Oh dear - looks like I've been guilty of being over-sympathetic
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Thanks for your further points, I'll do my best to respond..
    1. Public schools admit more pupils to Cambridge than state schools, even if you split this down by subject. Targeting is more than choosing a "popular" or "less popular" college but about knowing the interviewer.

    2. If interviewers would rank interviewees differently that is a strong argument for not having interviews. There are methods that can be used on non-quantitative data, although the probable lack of variation in interview scores would be more of an issue. However when research has been done on this it has tended to conclude that interviews actually add virtually nothing to the process. For every successful potential spotting there is another who fails to live up to the perceived potential.

    There are other ways to deal with a poor educational background - and that poor background is likely to show up in a poor performance at interview.

    Cambridge (rightly in my view) puts more weight on the latest academic results. It is sometimes possible to spot academic progression between GCSE and A levels.

    The interview does, however, allow you to spot if the applicant has an annoying accent, ethnic minority background, minor disability, will be good to lok at in a supervision.......

    3. Not all college have applicant pages, those that do dont always have informative ones. There is more to be done in that area.

    4. I certainly paid a bill for my child, not that many years ago.

    5. Again we must agree to differ. I'm afraid that is the impression the interview process gives and I've offered you a suggestion for a way to improve on that.

    'm glad you are aware of the exam board issues.
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    (Original post by GeorgeCZE)
    Churchill. The place is nice and they seem to be kind but it looks like they do not respond on time. The information I had been pooled came also late.

    Well, it does matter where you study I think. I know a couple of people who can compare both systems. And while Czech universities don't produce bad doctors, the whole organisation of teaching, background, workig opportunities... seem to be considerably better in the UK.
    As for British unis, I really like the Oxbridge system of tutorials/supervisions.
    I would say, try again. Find out what you were lacking, work on it, and get bedside experience in a gap year. I wish you luck. My daughter is at Cam and it is meeting her expectations, which were very very high..
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)

    Given that STEP is the best indicator for performance at Cambridge out of any indicator for any subject by quite some distance, I am afraid there is no way that we are going to get rid of it.
    STEP probably also favours certain types of candidate, it's certainly the case that some students get a lot of personal support. I do not know enough about the support Cambridge offers to know how many students are helped but suspect its not enough to even the playing field. . Of course if interviews were really useful Cambridge could give fewer offers because it would have spotted all those with the potential to do well in STEP.
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    (Original post by GeorgeCZE)
    Churchill. The place is nice and they seem to be kind but it looks like they do not respond on time. The information I had been pooled came also late.

    Well, it does matter where you study I think. I know a couple of people who can compare both systems. And while Czech universities don't produce bad doctors, the whole organisation of teaching, background, workig opportunities... seem to be considerably better in the UK.
    As for British unis, I really like the Oxbridge system of tutorials/supervisions.
    Around 60% of applicants to uk medical schools get no offers at all and some go abroad to get a place. To be pooled for Cambridge medicine is an achievement. A Cambridge medicine course is 6 years long when most medical schools are 5 years. I dont know about those for which you have offers but you might well be giving an extra 2 years of your life before qualifying. I would not encourage that if you were my child as EU doctors can come and work in Britan later anyway.

    If you must reapply reapplicants to other UK medical schools are often told to get more experience but you should get your school to ask Churchill for feedback.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    1. Public schools admit more pupils to Cambridge than state schools, even if you split this down by subject.

    2. If interviewers would rank interviewees differently that is a strong argument for not having interviews. There are methods that can be used on non-quantitative data, although the probable lack of variation in interview scores would be more of an issue.
    1. Taken in the normal way this is simply false. There are significantly more state educated students at Cambridge than independent school students. Taken in a less obvious way, i.e. which sort of school sends a greater proportion of their students to Cambridge, it's likely correct, but for anyone who knows anything about the UK education system, that's hardly surprising.

    2. It's important to distinguish between (a) interviewers having different orderings of candidates and (b) interviewers ordering candidates in the same way, but just using different numbers to their colleagues when doing so
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    The interview does, however, allow you to spot if the applicant has an annoying accent, ethnic minority background, minor disability, will be good to lok at in a supervision.......

    4. I certainly paid a bill for my child, not that many years ago.

    5. Again we must agree to differ. I'm afraid that is the impression the interview process gives and I've offered you a suggestion for a way to improve on that.
    I think that's a rather rude thing to say. If you want to claim Cambridge acts unprofessionally then actually say what your concerns are.

    4. For the college in question have you looked at their website to discover the current situation?

    (Sidenote: are there other universities that offer accommodation, whether free or not, on open days?)

    5. I'm sympathetic to you here, though primarily because I'm used to the Oxford system, not because I think what Cambridge does is awful
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    STEP probably also favours certain types of candidate, it's certainly the case that some students get a lot of personal support. I do not know enough about the support Cambridge offers to know how many students are helped but suspect its not enough to even the playing field. . Of course if interviews were really useful Cambridge could give fewer offers because it would have spotted all those with the potential to do well in STEP.
    Even those who dont get help come out in the end with 1s.
    You cant fake you way through or get spoonfed in step. i find that hard ro believe.


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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Well, we did used to have a separate exam for all subjects but dropped it after years of criticism that it favoured certain types of candidate who could prepare for it.

    STEP is hard, that is the point of it because Maths at Cambridge is hard, and everyone who applies for Maths at Cambridge goes into the process knowing what it is. There is a significant advantage for us (and for offer holders) in students taking STEP when they do rather than earlier in the process. By it being taken in the summer, they have had a chance to do all the modules necessary for STEp and for Maths at Cambridge and we can judge them on their performance as close as possible to the time of admissions. The University provides a lot of support for students taking STEP who do not receive help from their school.

    Given that STEP is the best indicator for performance at Cambridge out of any indicator for any subject by quite some distance, I am afraid there is no way that we are going to get rid of it.
    I think STEP is brilliant as it maximises the people with offers to prove themselves mathematically. i shall do the same this summer!


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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    I hope you have found out by now and that it is good news?

    There is clearly an issue here about how we communicate to applicants who are being re-interviewed about the result. There is a definite date by which all re-interviewees should be contacted, it is today but we might be clearer about leeting candidates know when they will hear.

    There are some problems with this at our end which are worth explaining, however. For colleges that do a lot of reinterviewing from the Pool, it is not always possible to have every interview for the same subject on the same day and, given the pressure of time in arranging interviews, the college may not know at the time when it contacts each applicant when the re-interviewing process for that subject may be finished.

    It is possible, therefore, for some people to be contacted within 24 hours of their re-interview to give them the result, especially if they are being interviewed at a college that doesn't generally do very many or is in a subject where re-interviews are reasonably rare, while for other subjects (Nat Sci for instance) and colleges (Murray Edwards for instance) they may not have a definite decision for a few days.

    I agree, however, that it is something to which we should give some thought.
    I had my reinterview on 12th for economics. But I haven't heard anything since then😔


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    (Original post by abcde6663)
    I had my reinterview on 12th for economics. But I haven't heard anything since then😔


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    You should have heard by now, so contact the college who reinterviewed you and they should email you to tell you or refer you back to your preference college to tell you.


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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    ...

    The interview does, however, allow you to spot if the applicant has an annoying accent, ethnic minority background, minor disability, will be good to lok at in a supervision.......
    A thoroughly nasty little comment. You have just lost a lot of credibility.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    1. Public schools admit more pupils to Cambridge than state schools, even if you split this down by subject. Targeting is more than choosing a "popular" or "less popular" college but about knowing the interviewer.

    2. If interviewers would rank interviewees differently that is a strong argument for not having interviews. There are methods that can be used on non-quantitative data, although the probable lack of variation in interview scores would be more of an issue. However when research has been done on this it has tended to conclude that interviews actually add virtually nothing to the process. For every successful potential spotting there is another who fails to live up to the perceived potential.

    There are other ways to deal with a poor educational background - and that poor background is likely to show up in a poor performance at interview.

    Cambridge (rightly in my view) puts more weight on the latest academic results. It is sometimes possible to spot academic progression between GCSE and A levels.

    The interview does, however, allow you to spot if the applicant has an annoying accent, ethnic minority background, minor disability, will be good to lok at in a supervision.......

    3. Not all college have applicant pages, those that do dont always have informative ones. There is more to be done in that area.

    4. I certainly paid a bill for my child, not that many years ago.

    5. Again we must agree to differ. I'm afraid that is the impression the interview process gives and I've offered you a suggestion for a way to improve on that.

    'm glad you are aware of the exam board issues.
    Thank you again for your further comments.

    1. Targeting of colleges is an issue that we are aware of and is undertaken by some private schools and by some fee-paying 'advice' services but this would occur with or without interviews. Whether or not schools know an individual interviewer, there are usually three other interviewers plus the admissions tutor whom the school does not know. I think you overestimate the detailed knowledge of the Oxbridge colleges of the vast majority of independent schools. I have certainly been targeted by schools but I think also you overestimate the naïveté of those of us on the receiving end of targeting.

    The area links scheme means that each state school has a contact college in Cambridge that they can go to with queries about processes and advice about individual candidates. The colleges have worked very had to build up these links to try to ensure that good advice is available to all zone who want it.

    I think targeting of subjects rather than colleges is much more of a problem in ensuring fair access. There are certain subjects which are much more heavily populated by private school pupils than others. These tend to be the smaller arts subjects (History of Art, AMES, Theology, Music) or ones like Classics & MML where in the former case relatively few state schools offer Latin A Level or in the latter the results of the last government's decision to remove the requirement to do a language at GCSE are still being felt. We do our best to advertise all our courses but there still tends to be a bunching in the more 'obvious' subjects where candidates might have been better advised to apply for a different course. Classics has pioneered a four-year course for those with little or no Latin which has proved very popular and is helping to address the issue of over-representation of certain schools in the subject,


    2. Well I think we will simply have to disagree about the efficacy of interviews. The interview has become much less important than it used to be and that is a good thing. I am not trying to argue that interviews are the best tool or the most important tool but that they have a place within a broader admissions process. Cambridge has higher or similar state school admissions ratios than other Russell a Group institutions where they no longer routinely interview candidates, such as Imperial, UCL, Bristol and Durham and a significantly higher state school ratio than Oxford which uses pre-interview tests to reduce the number of candidates who receive an interview. Given that Imperial is overwhelmingly Science focused and the Sciences at Cambridge are where state ratios are highest, then I would suggest that the interview may be less of a problem than you think it is. Your casual and not very subtle insinuation that we use the interview to select students who are 'nice to look at in supervisions', or are of a certain colour or speak with a certain accent is insulting both to academics and, more importantly, to those students who have won a place here in a fair and open competition.

    3. True, we have established that not all colleges have admissions pages and I would agree that they should. I am mystified at your apparent knowledge that those that do aren't always informative - you have read many of these yourself?

    4. Colleges provide free accommodation to thousands of students each year who visit the university. I am sorry that you had to pay for a stay by your child a few years ago but I can assure you that this is not representative.

    5. It is the impression that it gives you - it doesn't mean that it gives everyone that impression. Students can work out the difference between what happens at interview and what happens when they are members of the university - they are an intelligent bunch. Most students do not need to stay overnight for their interviews and of those that do, 'organised fun' in mid December provided by the college is not high on their agenda.




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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    STEP probably also favours certain types of candidate, it's certainly the case that some students get a lot of personal support. I do not know enough about the support Cambridge offers to know how many students are helped but suspect its not enough to even the playing field. . Of course if interviews were really useful Cambridge could give fewer offers because it would have spotted all those with the potential to do well in STEP.
    STEP favours those who are likely to do well in Tripos as it has the best correlation of any measure for any subject. As someone who seems to be in favour of indicators with proven success and of measures taken close to the time of admissions, I would have thought you would be in favour of it.

    The SAQ form requires students to tell us whether and how their school prepares them for STEP. The NRICH Easter Summer School is a five day intensive course to prepare offer holders for STEP. It hosts 100 students from non-selective state schools and colleges. There are around 500 offer holders as a whole including overseas applicants. The students on the Easter schools and others who fall into this category are also eligible for online tutoring. It is certainly true that more state students failed to meet their STEP offer than independent school students and this is almost certainly as a result of better preparation in those schools. This is a problem with any form of examination and is not confined to STEP or Cambridge and is an issue in A Levels as well. In general private school students are less likely to miss the same offer conditions than state school students are. This is is not a problem that universities can rectify on their own.


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    (Original post by Katyb77)
    There has been so much talk
    Of 'bias' and 'fair' and 'state versus independent' that I just wanted to chip
    In.

    I was a teenage mum, my highest point of education at the time of my sons application to Cambridge was a handful of poor GCSEs, (I'm now at uni in London) He attended state school and never had extra tutoring or special help. However, he is now at Cambridge studying medicine. He worked hard and gained 4 A*s and 1 A at A level. I believe he was judged on his abilities, which is how it should be.

    There are people who do poorly in both state and independent schools and also people who do amazingly at both. That's how I feel Cambridge judge their applicants, on their achievements, and never felt my son was hindered by his background. He made the choice to work hard and it's paid off. I know lots of brilliant people apply to Cambridge and don't get in but I guess the experience the admissions tutors has to be trusted.




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    Thank you for your comments and I am delighted to hear that you felt that your son was not hindered by his background during the admissions process and many congratulations to him on his A Levels and place at Cambridge - I hope he is enjoying the course!


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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    STEP favours those who are likely to do well in Tripos as it has the best correlation of any measure for any subject. As someone who seems to be in favour of indicators with proven success and of measures taken close to the time of admissions, I would have thought you would be in favour of it.

    The SAQ form requires students to tell us whether and how their school prepares them for STEP. The NRICH Easter Summer School is a five day intensive course to prepare offer holders for STEP. It hosts 100 students from non-selective state schools and colleges. There are around 500 offer holders as a whole including overseas applicants. The students on the Easter schools and others who fall into this category are also eligible for online tutoring. It is certainly true that more state students failed to meet their STEP offer than independent school students and this is almost certainly as a result of better preparation in those schools. This is a problem with any form of examination and is not confined to STEP or Cambridge and is an issue in A Levels as well. In general private school students are less likely to miss the same offer conditions than state school students are. This is is not a problem that universities can rectify on their own.


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    Like many private school students I assumed Cambridge were biased against us and it was a surprise to come on TSR and find state school students felt the same way. I am convinced that Cambridge want the best, but probably allow more 'benefit of the doubt' where disadvantaged/state comp applicants are concerned. This is probably fair, but may explain the higher rate of missed offers. It would be fascinating to see the degree outcomes of those who get rejected. The group that had a higher % of firsts could reasonably claim that the system disadvantaged them. For now we probably all assume that would those from the background of our group. (Most of the people from my school who got rejected got firsts or replied and got in.)


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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    I hope you have found out by now and that it is good news?

    There is clearly an issue here about how we communicate to applicants who are being re-interviewed about the result. There is a definite date by which all re-interviewees should be contacted, it is today but we might be clearer about leeting candidates know when they will hear.

    There are some problems with this at our end which are worth explaining, however. For colleges that do a lot of reinterviewing from the Pool, it is not always possible to have every interview for the same subject on the same day and, given the pressure of time in arranging interviews, the college may not know at the time when it contacts each applicant when the re-interviewing process for that subject may be finished.

    It is possible, therefore, for some people to be contacted within 24 hours of their re-interview to give them the result, especially if they are being interviewed at a college that doesn't generally do very many or is in a subject where re-interviews are reasonably rare, while for other subjects (Nat Sci for instance) and colleges (Murray Edwards for instance) they may not have a definite decision for a few days.

    I agree, however, that it is something to which we should give some thought.
    Thank you for your reply!

    I found out today that unfortunately I've been unsuccessful, which is fine (upsetting, but fine), but the way I was informed of the decision, I don't think is okay. I found out the final decision through a track update. I don't think this is the way that applicants (especially those who have been for a second round of interviews) should find out the result of their application. I don't know whether my original college have sent me a letter (I haven't received one - it could possibly be lost in the post), but I think every effort should be made so that a track update is not the initial communication of the outcome.

    On this topic, I think the reinterviewing college should first contact the applicant explaining that they were unsuccessful, and then the original college could then simply update track. I think the idea of a letter being sent through the post from the original college at this stage is not acceptable - if an applicant is aware that if they are rejected, that it is their original college who will contact them, then from the return address on the front of the envelope, they will know their decision without needing to read the letter.

    Lastly, a quick question (which you've probably answered a lot already) - how do I go about requesting feedback from Cambridge? Do I contact my original college or the reinterviewing college?
 
 
 
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