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    (Original post by Jeff548)
    Thanks very much for that,
    What advice would you give to someone like me to try and get into Cambridge?
    Also what college are you at?
    I'm at Emmanuel - the only college with free laundry service! Also we have ducks and unrestricted grass areas. And we're so close to all the medicine locations.

    Do well in the BMAT (if it hasn't been done yet), my interviewer and DoS now infact was one of the founders of BMAT. Then do well in the interview! Make sure you are up to good A-Level standard in terms of biology and chemistry - know your bonds, know DNA structure and all that stuff.
    More importantly, practise having extended conversations with adults about science and Medicine. Make sure you know your current affairs in Medicine, as you'll look underprepared if you don't know about them. Talk to your teachers about healthcare and science and get used to discussion with professionals. Interviews are as much about communication as they are knowledge - your interviewer wants someone who they'd enjoy teaching.
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    (Original post by Star Light)
    I'm at Emmanuel - the only college with free laundry service! Also we have ducks and unrestricted grass areas. And we're so close to all the medicine locations.

    Do well in the BMAT (if it hasn't been done yet), my interviewer and DoS now infact was one of the founders of BMAT. Then do well in the interview! Make sure you are up to good A-Level standard in terms of biology and chemistry - know your bonds, know DNA structure and all that stuff.
    More importantly, practise having extended conversations with adults about science and Medicine. Make sure you know your current affairs in Medicine, as you'll look underprepared if you don't know about them. Talk to your teachers about healthcare and science and get used to discussion with professionals. Interviews are as much about communication as they are knowledge - your interviewer wants someone who they'd enjoy teaching.
    How long are the interviews and how BRUTAL are they?
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    (Original post by Star Light)
    I'm at Emmanuel - the only college with free laundry service! Also we have ducks and unrestricted grass areas. And we're so close to all the medicine locations.

    Do well in the BMAT (if it hasn't been done yet), my interviewer and DoS now infact was one of the founders of BMAT. Then do well in the interview! Make sure you are up to good A-Level standard in terms of biology and chemistry - know your bonds, know DNA structure and all that stuff.
    More importantly, practise having extended conversations with adults about science and Medicine. Make sure you know your current affairs in Medicine, as you'll look underprepared if you don't know about them. Talk to your teachers about healthcare and science and get used to discussion with professionals. Interviews are as much about communication as they are knowledge - your interviewer wants someone who they'd enjoy teaching.
    Also what I don't understand is this whole business of predicted grades and how they affect you??? Could you please explain and are there requirements for predicted grades? Can you find them out?
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    (Original post by Jeff548)
    How long are the interviews and how BRUTAL are they?
    I had two twenty-minute interviews. I wouldn't say that either was brutal - they introduced themselves nicely and try to make you feel at ease. If you do well they seem pleased, if you aren't getting something then they try it again from a different angle or move on. They don't shout at you or throw rugby balls or anything mythical like that.
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    (Original post by Jeff548)
    Also what I don't understand is this whole business of predicted grades and how they affect you??? Could you please explain and are there requirements for predicted grades? Can you find them out?
    Your teachers provide a reference for you to go with your UCAS application, they provided a predicted A2 grade with this as well, as in, what they expect you to get. Basically you just need a good reference, and the higher the predicted grades the better, as it gives Cambridge confidence that you'll meet your offer. There are no 'requirements' as such, but as the standard offer is A*A*A, it'd be good to be predicted that at least.
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    (Original post by Star Light)
    I had two twenty-minute interviews. I wouldn't say that either was brutal - they introduced themselves nicely and try to make you feel at ease. If you do well they seem pleased, if you aren't getting something then they try it again from a different angle or move on. They don't shout at you or throw rugby balls or anything mythical like that.
    Hahaha but if you get stuck isn't there an awkward silence?
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    (Original post by Star Light)
    Your teachers provide a reference for you to go with your UCAS application, they provided a predicted A2 grade with this as well, as in, what they expect you to get. Basically you just need a good reference, and the higher the predicted grades the better, as it gives Cambridge confidence that you'll meet your offer. There are no 'requirements' as such, but as the standard offer is A*A*A, it'd be good to be predicted that at least.
    Do you find out your predicted grades? Can you discuss with your teacher if you don't agree about your predicted grades?
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    (Original post by Star Light)
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    Should 85%< average UMS warrant an interview? (Presuming they have an 'Above average' P.S)
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    (Original post by Star Light)
    You need some work experience, quite simply - it doesn't matter where. It's generally recommended to have a long-term commitment one (I volunteered for a few hours every week doing something I enjoy), whether that be medicine-related or not, and to have some clinical experience (I didn't have any at all though!). Asides from work experience, Oxbridge don't care about extra-curricular at all for admissions.

    In all honesty, the most important part of admissions is the interview. 80% get an interview, so if you have decent predictions, passable BMAT then you've got one. The interview tests how you think about unfamiliar situations, and is really a test of your skills, ability to converse well and solve problems.
    Thank you for your informative answer!
    Before this, I thought the interview was just a question and answer about yourself, no test, just to find out your personality. So thanks for telling me about that.

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    (Original post by Zer0.)
    Should 85%< average UMS warrant an interview? (Presuming they have an 'Above average' P.S)
    You probably mean >85%, and no, for medicine it should ideally be higher than that.

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    (Original post by jneill)
    You probably mean >85%, and no, for medicine it should ideally be higher than that.

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    Ah, yes - My bad!

    For Arts based subjects, though?
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    (Original post by Zer0.)
    Ah, yes - My bad!

    For Arts based subjects, though?
    ? This is a thread about medicine...

    Check the current applicants thread and/or "are my grades good enough" thread for guidance for specific subjects.

    But yes for Arts 85+ should be OK for an interview. (Except perhaps law, economics...)

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    (Original post by Star Light)
    I've just started a Medicine degree at Cambridge, we're 2 weeks in now... I'm hoping that this will all become more normal as the weeks pass, because I do not want 6 years of a degree if this is how it will continue.
    You're two weeks in and probably still haven't even identified who your friendship group will be, what your attitude to work is, will have no idea how well you're actually doing. Give it more time, honestly.

    And my supervisor still says I'm clearly not going over it and I should know more.
    Of course its hard. There will be next to no one who does not feel this way - its just that some hide it more than others. In fact, the ones struggling the most are probably the ones not saying anything.

    To be honest, if your supervisor is happy with you then you're probably doing ridiculously well. Its their job to tell you you need to work harder and force you into a first. If you personally are happy with scraping a 2.i though then you have to take their comments with a pinch of salt. I would argue.

    -Anatomy is ridiculous. There are so many things to learn. Just so so many. I spend a lot of time studying anatomy outside of dissections and lectures, just hours on end in my room with some bones and Gray's anatomy.
    Again, of all subjects this is clearly the hardest as you will have very limited familiarity. It does all seem like nonsense at first. It will fall into place with continuing exposure and work.

    -It's very posh.
    Embrace it! You'll have fun.

    And take pride in your background - I loved telling posh people how I didn't know 'black tie' was a specific dress code and didn't just mean you weren't allowed colourful ties. And that I hadn't heard of Harrow School even though I lived in Harrow.
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    (Original post by FFTypoCorrector)
    Don't get why you'd do it there, and what else you expected. Not 100% sure about Cambridge but certainly Oxford is well known for minimal clinical work in early years, increased (and somewhat unnecessary) workloads and high stress levels. Should've just gone to somewhere like Manchester/Leeds, 1st year is mainly learning the fundamentals with a little clinical work, nothing too taxing really.
    Its nowhere near that simple. I could give you a long list of reasons why Oxbridge is good and why you might not want to go elsewhere, but as you're not actually contemplating this decision I cba. Suffice to say, they're super rich and can therefore offer a LOT that other unis can't, and whilst its definitely not for everyone (or even most people), I had a great time and would definitely recommend it to most people who are already thinking about it.
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    (Original post by Star Light)
    Your teachers provide a reference for you to go with your UCAS application, they provided a predicted A2 grade with this as well, as in, what they expect you to get. Basically you just need a good reference, and the higher the predicted grades the better, as it gives Cambridge confidence that you'll meet your offer. There are no 'requirements' as such, but as the standard offer is A*A*A, it'd be good to be predicted that at least.
    This is not true. Cambridge makes their own prediction, using all the data an applicant provides because they know very well prediction made by a school is not always reliable. That's why they require much more detailed information about your academic profile, like UMS in every module you've sat, than other universities ask.
    It's not good if your predicted grades are lower than their minimum requirement, but higher prediction does not give you better chance of getting an offer.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Its nowhere near that simple. I could give you a long list of reasons why Oxbridge is good and why you might not want to go elsewhere, but as you're not actually contemplating this decision I cba. Suffice to say, they're super rich and can therefore offer a LOT that other unis can't, and whilst its definitely not for everyone (or even most people), I had a great time and would definitely recommend it to most people who are already thinking about it.
    And I can give you a long list of reasons why people I know who do it there have less of a good time than myself at another uni. So there.
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    Star Light, congrats on getting into just about the most competitive program in the UK. I really respect your openness and attitude - that it is a challenge you will master, however daunting it is to find sympathetic peers - and love to see you dispensing advice so quickly. I think you are going to love it there.

    Our daughter is at Cam, 3rd year. She went to state schools in France, nothing that fancy, and also found the culture strange at first, then she fit right in and simply enjoyed it. It has been extremely stressful all along, that doesn't get much easier, but she loves what she is studying (archaeology and medieval studies). It is a phenomenal learning environment.
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    OP: how annoyed are you that your lament has degenerated into people asking how to get into medicine at Cambridge?
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    (Original post by Star Light)
    Hey prospective Cambridge students,

    I've just started a Medicine degree at Cambridge, we're 2 weeks in now. A quick summary of my experience so far:

    -Anatomy is ridiculous. There are so many things to learn. Just so so many. I spend a lot of time studying anatomy outside of dissections and lectures, just hours on end in my room with some bones and Gray's anatomy. And my supervisor still says I'm clearly not going over it and I should know more.

    -The other two main topics (biochemistry and physiology) are very vague. I've no idea what remotely is actually part of this course. The lectures jump between so many topics and it's very unclear what is a passing note of interest, and what you should learn inside out. I know they say there's no specification and it's self-guided learning, but I don't even know where to begin.

    -Every other person doing Medicine at my college went to a fee-paying school, and many of the other people here did too. I've been in bottom of the pile state schools all my life, and it makes a difference. Their conversations, interests, and social behaviours are just different and I do feel very excluded. There are some decent people though! It's just that if I try to talk to some people, generally they seem to lose interest very quickly and go to find someone who's from their background - nothing like people at home.

    -It's very posh. People's backgrounds asides, there are fancy buildings everywhere, people wear gowns to formal dinners and a lot of wine and port is served, and I just feel like I'd much rather be at home working like I did in the Summer on farms or cleaning the floor at my leisure centre.

    -It's just very stressful. I've never been particularly stressed in life before, or felt at all mentally weak - I'm proud of my resilience - but the combined pressures are getting to me here! I'm certainly not depressed or clinically anxious, but stress is a real thing now.

    I'm hoping that this will all become more normal as the weeks pass, because I do not want 6 years of a degree if this is how it will continue. I'm not opposed to doing lots of work - and in fact, I am doing a lot (probably a good 6 hours per day outside of contact time), but it just isn't happening. Anyway, it's all well and good to get an offer for Cambridge, and if you get an offer then you'll probably find A-Levels an absolute doddle like I did. Just be aware that it is genuinely intense here, particularly if you're from a peasant background like me
    Sorry you're finding it tough at the moment. I'd second nexttime et al - it is still VERY early days, and trust me when I say you are not the only one struggling to find your feet. You will work out how to learn anatomy more efficiently - there is a lot of crazy detail but once you start to get to grips with it and learn the principals, it's easier to hang details off what you already know. I don't know who supervises anatomy for Emma these days but quite a few of the supervisors are ex-surgeons not known for their tact, so don't let it get to you!

    The lack of handouts is a big issue, back in my virtually prehistoric day we had at least slide printouts if not a prose handout with diagrams for every lecture series, so they really should be giving you access to something similar. It's just not efficient to try to keep full notes during a lecture! If the problem persists, let your DoS know early, to see if they can put a word in the right ear.

    Regarding the social side of things, don't let a few snobbish idiots put you off - but at the same time make sure your own feelings about privately educated people don't prejudice your views. Yes, there will be a lot of them, and even the state-schoolers in medicine tend to be from grammar schools or the better end of the comprehensive spectrum, but the vast majority are still perfectly nice normal people, even if occasionally rather naive about certain aspects of life. It's worth noting that having completed the course, being a Cambridge-educated doctor will automatically make you "posh" in the eyes of some, regardless of what went before! You will get more used to formal dinners, which are an alien experience for a lot of people, even those from private schools (we never had anything like that at mine!) and if you continue to be open and friendly you will hopefully find a circle you fit into. Are you in any societies or sports clubs?

    Don't be afraid to ask for help. Your college will presumably have some kind of welfare rep, an academic rep and you'll have a personal tutor, and you might have some kind of college family. It's ok to get in touch with them if you're finding the stress too much, and get some support.

    I found it did get easier, and moving to clinicals is a very different experience from undergrad as well, so I hope you settle in and start to enjoy it more!
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    This conversation seems to have diverged a bit from the original post but OP, I really hope it's getting a bit more enjoyable for you and you're starting to get to grips with things!

    I don't have any advice but I just wanted to say that I went on a Cambridge summer school for 'disadvantaged' students before the UCAS deadline, and I really didn't like it. Sure, the topics we studied were great, but the atmosphere and ethos of the place put me right off. It was the whole, "you'll always live with us and eat with us and you have to get the absolute top marks and you can never ever have a part time job and don't walk on the bloody grass" attitude, along with the fact that all the lecturers I met were horribly entitled and made a lot of snobbish jokes (not very impressive when you're talking to a kid who is supposed to be disadvantaged).
    I think studying at Cambridge is a fantastic opportunity- best of luck to anyone who wants to go and a huge congratulations to anyone who actually gets in!- but I also think it's a certain type of person who can adjust to living within their intense boundaries and abide by their (sometimes pretty ridiculous) rules. I'm really glad I went on the summer school, not just because it was a great opportunity for me, but because it opened my eyes to the idea that prestigious and high ranking unis aren't always what they're cracked up to be!
 
 
 
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