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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    I can't deal with that typo :rofl:
    Hahah yes I read it as I was going to bed and was giggling for ages


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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    I can't deal with that typo :rofl:
    Hahaha OMG I swear I did not type that haha


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    Another parent here of a son who has been successful in gaining an offer, ( which luckily arrived by post on the Saturday).

    I have been hugely impressed with the King's applicant page which has been regularly updated throughout the process, even to the extent of them giving an update half way through the day they were emailing everyone to give reassurance that they were still on track to get all emails out on the day they said they would. This page has been so helpful: my son knew exactly when to expect communication from the college, what to bring with on interview day etc- a very reassuring reference point. I would suspect it will also have reduced the admissions team workload, in reducing the number of phone calls and emails to the office, as the information was there for all to see. From a parental point of view, it has meant that I have been better informed as well, (without having to quiz my son!) and thus have been able to stand back and ask him only occasional and pertinent questions and thus I hope offer him more effective support. I was really surprised when I realised that not every college had a page like this, as it seemed such a good idea. I think King's has done a really good job!

    In general terms I would also make a plea for the posting day to be moved from a Friday- this way emails could potentially be sent the next day to all, rather than leave some candidates in suspense over the weekend. The Royal Mail figure may indicate 93% first class arrivals next day but if you are in the 7% it must have been ghastly! And if every college were to send emails on the same day the agony of the international applicants, clear for all to see from these pages, would be removed; better for the individuals concerned, and a PR win for the University.

    Thank you.
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    (Original post by SerLorasTyrell)
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    I can relate to a lot of the points you make.

    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
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    In one of my interviews I was made to feel quite uncomfortable by the interviewer because every answer I tried to suggest was immediately shot down, with a stern look. It was as if the interviewer was enjoying sitting there and saying "nooo" in a really patronizing and demeaning tone. Really didn't get it. My other interview was a lot more positive in that the interviewer was very relaxed and friendly, and it was more geared towards me talking about my subject and the readings that we were asked to do prior to the interview. Being from a state school as well I felt that despite (feeling as though I was) doing a lot of preparation for the interviews - reading etc. - I still didn't really know what to expect and that probably reflected in my performance in the interviews.

    Then there's the auto-pool malarkey. Come decision day, I was fortunate enough to receive to letters. I say fortunate; one was a rejection letter, the other a pooling letter. At first I thought this seemed logical, but when I read both the letters I realised that this should not have happened.

    The college told me that one letter had already been sent when the other was posted, hence they could not retrieve the rejection letter. I could only conclude that I was a last-minute poolee because of the fact that I met the auto-pool requirements.

    But if I was going to be rejected in the first place, it begs the question, what is the point in the auto-pool system? It seemed as if the college were just acting in accordance with the univerisity's admission policy, and the reality was that I knew I was just going to be receiving another rejection letter in a week's time. The university really messed up here and they didn't even offer an apology that a mistake had been made, trying to pool the proverbial wool over one's eyes. As it happened I received this notification from track. Considering the effort and expense (almost £200) I had gone to with regards to my application, I felt as if I had just been thrust aside by the university, like they didn't really care because they were rejecting me. This lead me to the conclusion that I would rather no go there anyway, and go to a university where I was actually wanted, which is a shame because I had chased after the Cambridge dream for a long time.

    I understand the pooling system has changed slightly, for the better, as students do not have to wait like they did before. But I still think improvements can be made.

    Lastly I would like to ask why students cannot request feedback personally, instead of going through their school. I never actually received my feedback because of how useless my school were - I do appreciate this is not the university's problem though!
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    (Original post by Aje1306)
    I have been hugely impressed with the King's applicant page which has been regularly updated throughout the process, even to the extent of them giving an update half way through the day they were emailing everyone to give reassurance that they were still on track to get all emails out on the day they said they would. This page has been so helpful: my son knew exactly when to expect communication from the college, what to bring with on interview day etc- a very reassuring reference point. I would suspect it will also have reduced the admissions team workload, in reducing the number of phone calls and emails to the office, as the information was there for all to see.
    Definitely.

    All Colleges should share and apply best practices - it must be in their interests to do things like this
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Also interviews calibrate differently, so one person's 7 might be another's 8.5. Interview scores are for internal use and should remain so imho.
    Does that not make it difficult to compare candidates in the pool? Interview scores can't be compared fairly if they don't consistently mean the same thing.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    I very much agree on this. It clearly needs to be co-ordinated and advertised better. The problem is that some of those who are unsuccessful after re-interview are also considered for Open offers which may mean that it is impossible for us to have the meeting before the official posting date.
    Hi, please can you explain how ,according to a poster on TSR that vets managed to sort their Open Offers last Friday ,but it proved impossible for medicine? It does seem unnecessary to keep all pooled medics waiting on tenterhooks for another ten days,especially when re interviewed poolees can still get an open offer....surely nearly all the open offers will go to these guys?
    thanks for your help on this.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
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    Hello

    I just thought I'd write to say that I've been very pleased with the admissions process. Some people have commented requesting greater transparency, and while greater transparency would obviously not be a bad thing, personally I found that the process was very transparent. Particularly the availability of various statistics on entry, and specific details about pooling criterion were, while not especially useful, interesting and comforting.

    Moreover, as someone who had to type an admissions test, I felt that the whole thing was incredibly well organized, and I've been pleasantly surprised by the responsiveness of the admissions staff, particularly, of course, the advice you've been providing on TSR. I am surprised that, even despite the fact that you're on here with impressive frequency, people still complain about the admissions process being opaque. Personally, I haven't found that at all.

    The one small suggestion I could make, which might be applicable only to Christ's but probably other colleges too, is that on interview days there might be somewhere one can actively go to meet other students. Obviously there are potential problems with this, I realize interview day isn't a social gathering, and I realize that students can meet each-other in the dining hall, but I just might have liked to more easily find other applicants. It wasn't a great big deal really, but that's something to consider if interviewee mixing is something you think is desirable

    Just like to say thanks for your commitment to the process. I think most of the people on TSR will agree that you've been very helpful and that the process has been, if not a comfortable one, reasonable and transparent.
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    (Original post by alcibiade)
    This is a very impressive effort at direct feedback.

    I have noticed that acceptance rates for EU and overseas students is about half that for UK students. I am curious why this is the case. In addition, I wonder how much research you do to understand the system from which EU and overseas students apply (which is probably related to my first question).

    My daughter applied from France, she was in a state Lycee, nothing international or private. We felt that the admissions officers understood the French system very well and that the entire process was attuned to her as an individual, but I wonder what you do for other systems, such as those in the US, where there is an extremely wide variation from school to school.

    She applied 2 years ago and is currently at Girton, so I am asking on behalf of my son, who will also apply from France (as well as to give advice to American friends).
    Hello and thanks for your question. One of the big growth areas in admissions at Cambridge in recent years has been EU applicants and we are gradually becoming more and more familiar with different systems, especially those from Northern and Eastern Europe (we have been familiar with the French Bac and it's various incarnations together with the German Arbitur for a long time). In addition to the EU, the University has a long tradition of taking students from overseas, especially Asia and we are well versed in the various national qualifications as well as those taking international A Levels or the IB.

    One of the things which helps us in understanding different systems is the fact that so many of our academics in Cambridge are international themselves and can help provide information about the system in their home countries.

    The four main reasons why acceptance rates are lower for international students than for British students is, first, that they overwhelmingly apply for the most competitive courses (Medicine, Engineering, Maths, Nat Sci, Law, Economics & HSPS) where acceptance rates are lower than the University average. The second reason is that some are taking qualifications that do not necessarily prepare them particularly well for Cambridge courses which are usually designed to pick up from A Levels. The third reason, partly related to the first two, is that there tends to be a longer tail of international students, weaker students applying for very competitive courses and this reduces the overall acceptance rate. The final reason is that for those paying overseas fees (not EU), there is a significant wastage between the offer stage and acceptance when a number of offer holders decide either to take up scholarships in the US or elsewhere or realise that they cannot afford to come.

    Reagrding your specific point about France and the US, we generally find that the Frenchs system prepares students better for Cambridge courses than the American system and also that French students are more likely to come than Americans, who will often decide to stay in the States once they get their offer from Harvard, Berkeley, MIT or Yale.
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    (Original post by Undisclosed 15)
    I understand that you have done a lot to reduce the roller-coaster and I fully appreciate that. However, I believe you could rephrase the letters. Words to the effect of 'you have an offer at another college' are not confusing at all. I don't see why you would suggest they are. Having said that, this is just my opinion.

    Also, I am wondering why my school has to request feedback and I can't directly. I don't want my school to see it really. It's MY feedback; it's personal. I don't want to share details. I believe it should be solely up to me what I share. (I appreciate that this policy may differ between colleges. I applied to Emma.)


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    I agree that all letters regarding offers at other colleges should be clearer and not contain ambiguous wording and that is something we should try to address for next year. I do not think, however, that syaing this in the first line or the second paragraph is going to make a vast amount of difference. it is important from both the applicant's point of view and the college's to address first of all the applicant's application to that college.

    Feedback is typically sent to the UCAS referee as a means of trying to reduce distress to candidates. Feedback can be quite raw, especially if it is addressed in the second person 'you could not do this...you were 525th out of 530 candidates who applied with A Levels for this subject...we felt that you would struggle to keep up with the pace of the Cambridge course...etc' and we therefore feel that it is usually best sent to the candidate's referee, someone who know them well and can decide the best way to communicate the feedback to that candidate. After long expereince we have found that this is, in the most cases, the best way to do it. You can certainly request, however, that feedback is sent directly to you and we usually do this with post A Level candidates who have already left school.
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    (Original post by CAEL)
    I'm a parent of a female Maths applicant (unsuccessful). I know the statistics for successful Scottish applicants is usually low (2%) but this year anecdotal evidence points to it being abnormally so; when does Cambridge publish statistics on this? Are Scottish Highers fully understood by Admissions staff or does the lack of a UMS score mean that the interviews carry more weight in the final decision? I do know that a fair number of successful Scottish Applicants either do A levels or reapply once they have their Advanced Highers result; however having a gap year is not recommended for Maths students.
    Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear that your daughter's application was unsuccessful. The statistics for each years admissions round are published by the University in the Spring following the admission of candidates to the University. So the next statistics to be published in a few months will be for the 2013-14 Admissions round. This year's figures will be published Spring 2016.

    We are well versed with Scottish Higher and although there isn't UMS there are bands and multiple A1s (over 85%) is clearly a good sign in a candidate. Anecdotally, we have offered to more students doing Scottish Highers this year at Christ's than we have for several years but I do not know what the picture is across the University yet. Best of luck to your daughter in her other applications.
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    (Original post by SydneyKid)
    Thank you for doing this, I really want to commend Christ's Admissions for taking the time to consistently answer questions. As I am Australian international student with an offer but am still waiting to find out which college has taken me, your presence on the forums has made me feel a lot less anxious!
    Thank you, that's good to know. Congratulations on your offer and hope you find out which college soon.
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    Hi, I'm a student who applied to Magdalene and I was very happy with the admissions process. I had all the information I needed and felt there was good opportunity to expand on my UCAS personal statement through the SAQ. The interviewers were friendly, the test was written with even a slightly jokey tone and the whole thing made me even more enthusiastic to go to Cambridge. I did not feel disadvantaged or that I was not able to show admissions tutors the best of me at any stage.
    Thanks a lot for all your brilliant work!

    I got my offer letter on the day and honestly did not feel impatient about it (partially because I did not expect an offer!) but if I had've been waiting while others knew I think it would have been painful. One thing I do think a lot of people would benefit from is if all colleges guaranteed to send everyone emails at around the same time on the day the offer letters arrive. Everyone is online these days. Of course Cambridge knows this so I'm thinking there must be a reason this is not the case? Just an automated email that basically says yes or no would be nice. Still though this year the process was amazing, my college apparently sent emails pretty quickly to those who requested them on the Monday.
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    (Original post by Thorsas)
    my college apparently sent emails pretty quickly to those who requested them on the Monday.
    Apparently not. I applied to magdalene as well and requested mine last Saturday but am still awaiting a response...
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    (Original post by Onlydabest)
    Apparently not. I applied to magdalene as well and requested mine last Saturday but am still awaiting a response...
    Hahah, ouch! Well, that was the experience of one or two others. Sorry.
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    (Original post by m.prabar)
    I have been following this and the Cambridge Decisions threads since the first post and after the 5th day of waiting for my decision letter from Corpus Christi, I'd like to join in.

    I am an international applicant from Europe and I have applyed for medicine at Corpus Christi. As far as a week ago I have emailed my college admissions office to ask whether I would get a copy of my decision letter by email, since it is obvious that it takes a bit longer for it to reach Warsaw in Poland than Bristol or York. I was told all non-UK applicants will be emailed as soon as possible, begenning from the 12th Jan. It is 14th today and I am beginning to think that in the end the traditional letter will arrive first.

    I understand that the admissions process is a complicated and absorbing one and that handling additional interviews is a time-consuming task, but there are more international candidates here on TSR and possibly elswhere who are wasting their lives waiting for a reply from Cambridge. Obviously this goes against the "equal treatment" of candidates regardless of the nationality...

    I would be glad if I could at least know when to expect a notification of the outcome of my application.
    Hello, sorry to hear that you have not found out the result of your application. If you email or call Corpus then they should be able to give you more information. As it is not my college, I cannot give you specific information on when you are likely to hear I am afraid.

    I agree that it is very important for us to treat international applicants as equitably as possible and communiocate with them efficiently. That said, if I might be so bold to suggest, a few days of waiting, while undoubtedly inconvenient and annoying, does not quite constitute 'wasting your life away'...
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear that your daughter's application was unsuccessful. The statistics for each years admissions round are published by the University in the Spring following the admission of candidates to the University. So the next statistics to be published in a few months will be for the 2013-14 Admissions round. This year's figures will be published Spring 2016.

    We are well versed with Scottish Higher and although there isn't UMS there are bands and multiple A1s (over 85%) is clearly a good sign in a candidate. Anecdotally, we have offered to more students doing Scottish Highers this year at Christ's than we have for several years but I do not know what the picture is across the University yet. Best of luck to your daughter in her other applications.
    Thank you for your kind reply - I wish my daughter had applied to Christ's! She had multiple A1's but there is no auto pooling in Maths so she had no chance to rectify for a nervous interview.
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    (Original post by gretschforever)
    Another parent here.
    We found the process reasonably transparent but there could possibly be more support for those interviewing overseas. Our son only had one subject specific interview, and like so many others he felt it went very badly, but there was no second interview. The hard thing with only having one interview is that it did feel like an awful lot hinged on 30 minutes with one interviewer, who wasn't from the college he was applying to. I'm not quite sure what the solution is as obviously there is a limit to how many interviewers Cambridge can send to Sydney.
    Despite his fears, he received an offer. Caius was great with their email offer - came around the same time as people were opening their letters, but there didn't seem to be anything on the website outlining their system. We have another friend who has also got an unconditional offer from another college as a mature student but he had to wait for another three days before he finally got an email.
    Maybe a system where the emails are sent on the day letters are predicted to arrive would work. I suspect this year was complicated by the post arriving on a Saturday.
    The Overseas interview process is very expenseive for the University and so it cannot recreate the process in the UK entirely, but the interviewers, while not from the college applicants have applied to, are invariably very experienced interviewers and often former or current Admissions Tutors, whose opinions are known and respected by colleagues back in Cambridge. We do our best to make it a good system and to make as much information as possible available to those making decisions back home (the TSA, the recording of many intervies etc.). There is, however, always the option for students to request an interview in Cambridge if they wish it. I am glad, however, that it worked out for your son. As proved by his offer, how students 'feel' the interview went is no indication whatsoever to how well it actually went.
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    (Original post by RD208)
    I can relate to a lot of the points you make.



    In one of my interviews I was made to feel quite uncomfortable by the interviewer because every answer I tried to suggest was immediately shot down, with a stern look. It was as if the interviewer was enjoying sitting there and saying "nooo" in a really patronizing and demeaning tone. Really didn't get it. My other interview was a lot more positive in that the interviewer was very relaxed and friendly, and it was more geared towards me talking about my subject and the readings that we were asked to do prior to the interview. Being from a state school as well I felt that despite (feeling as though I was) doing a lot of preparation for the interviews - reading etc. - I still didn't really know what to expect and that probably reflected in my performance in the interviews.

    Then there's the auto-pool malarkey. Come decision day, I was fortunate enough to receive to letters. I say fortunate; one was a rejection letter, the other a pooling letter. At first I thought this seemed logical, but when I read both the letters I realised that this should not have happened.

    The college told me that one letter had already been sent when the other was posted, hence they could not retrieve the rejection letter. I could only conclude that I was a last-minute poolee because of the fact that I met the auto-pool requirements.

    But if I was going to be rejected in the first place, it begs the question, what is the point in the auto-pool system? It seemed as if the college were just acting in accordance with the univerisity's admission policy, and the reality was that I knew I was just going to be receiving another rejection letter in a week's time. The university really messed up here and they didn't even offer an apology that a mistake had been made, trying to pool the proverbial wool over one's eyes. As it happened I received this notification from track. Considering the effort and expense (almost £200) I had gone to with regards to my application, I felt as if I had just been thrust aside by the university, like they didn't really care because they were rejecting me. This lead me to the conclusion that I would rather no go there anyway, and go to a university where I was actually wanted, which is a shame because I had chased after the Cambridge dream for a long time.

    I understand the pooling system has changed slightly, for the better, as students do not have to wait like they did before. But I still think improvements can be made.

    Lastly I would like to ask why students cannot request feedback personally, instead of going through their school. I never actually received my feedback because of how useless my school were - I do appreciate this is not the university's problem though!
    When you say you had two letters do you mean both said you were rejected but one mentioned you had been pooled but the other one said you had been rejected without being pooled?

    Does that not suggest you were pooled but not fished?

    Just because they sent the wrong rejection letter surely doesn't mean you wasted £200 going for Interview?
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    (Original post by Zero to Hero)
    When you say you had two letters do you mean both said you were rejected but one mentioned you had been pooled but the other one said you had been rejected without being pooled?

    Does that not suggest you were pooled but not fished?

    Just because they sent the wrong rejection letter surely doesn't mean you wasted £200 going for Interview?
    This was not this year, so the pooling system was different when I applied. I received one rejection letter and one letter informing me that I was in the pool.

    I did not say I wasted £200 going for an interview – there were positives and negatives to be taken from my 2 days in Cambridge and I do not regret it.
 
 
 
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