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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    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'...
    I am sorry if I am getting a bit out of topic here but I think that the winter pool placement might be the cause of the delay. I have been placed there as well and I would like to know when the decision will be known. It should be decided until 22nd January but I was wondering if you knew if it was not going to be a bit sooner. Or are the results going to be sent out exactly on that day? I am dying to know the result.


    Anyway, speaking of feedback, I was very satisfied with how the application process was organised. I found it particularly helpful that there are BMAT testing centres all around the Europe so that I, as an international applicant, didn't have to travel too far. The only drawback seems to be this waiting for winter pool decision, while all the others already know if they got in or not, and also the lack of explanation how exactly open offers work in the document about the Winter Pool.

    Is it true that only open offers will be given from now on? And what are the chances (statistically) of getting in now? I would also like to know how it is going to be decided if an open offer is going to be made or not.

    Thank you for your reply.
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    I wonder if you shed light on a debate?
    Obviously girls' colleges are under-subscribed so that a significant proportion of pooled girls will get an offer from an all girls college, and they tend to accept an above average number of pooled students. They also tend to be near the bottom of the Tompkins although we are told that poolees on average do not do worse.

    Can you tell us if when the tricky decision for the last space in a subject is made whether the availability of space at female colleges plays any part in the thinking? Is there any difference in the % of girls pooled or accepted from the pool as compared to boys?
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    (Original post by frigg113)
    Decision letters always arrive on a saturday
    No they don't - it just happens to have been this way for the last two years.
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    (Original post by paradoxicalme)
    I have just received an offer for English. My general points on the application process would be:

    -I know that the timing for the application process is tight, but a little more time to complete the SAQ would have been really useful. As it was, I didn't have time to consult with my teacher about aspects such as extenuating circumstances and the additional PS.

    -I liked the sustained contact provided by the admissions tutor, especially since they informed me quickly when my interview form didn't get through.

    -During the interviews, everyone was told to wait in one large common-room, and I noticed that some of us were chatting whilst others were trying to quietly read. Perhaps two rooms - one for quiet study - might be preferable?

    -The other offer-holders from my school have expressed interest in finding out how they did at interview.

    -The pool is better now that people don't have to wait for ages to find out if they're in or not.

    -Generally a good experience!
    Many congratulations on your offer.

    - I do appreciate the problem but the deadline for the SAQ needs to be tight in order for other things to happen in time, especially the production of the subject moderation spreadsheets and colleges making decisions on interviews. You can submit your UCAS application any time from 1st September and receive the SAQ straight afterwards.

    - Different colleges have different arrangements for looking after students coming for interviews. Your suggestion is not a bad one at all, I'll certainly think about it at Christ's.

    - You may well get informal feedback on your interview when you arrive in Cambridge. All the feedback you need at this stage is that you got an offer - it's best not to rake over the interview now, offer holders' focus should now be on meeting the conditions of the offer.

    - I'm glad you think the Pool is better now and that in general you found things good. Well done again on your offer!
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    No they don't - it just happens to have been this way for the last two years.
    Why? Do you intend to continue with this. I too thinkFriday is a bad day as if it does not come on the Saturday then you have to wait till monday as there is no post on sunday
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    This is more of a comment than a question, but I find the A*A*A offers in science quite unfair - I am currently beginning to prepare for the ISA/EMPA practical exam part of my science A-levels, and the ISA exams are hugely affected by cheating across the country. This is not an opinion - it is acknowledged by teachers and students, and even AQA - who changed the time frame for sitting the exam because of it... but still left a window of weeks for the exam paper to be sat! Students can therefore discuss the papers with friends from nearby schools. The consequence of all this is that the grade boundaries are EXTREMELY high - without cheating it is practically impossible to get a good mark. I'm lucky enough that my school have chosen the EMPA exams this year, which are less prone to cheating - but what about students who are subject to exams with high grade boundaries due to cheating?
    Quite apart from that, I've also had exam papers marked incorrectly despite remarks and appeals, when the answer for a 1 mark question is word perfectly that which is given on the mark scheme! In Maths A-level, I'm aware that alternative methods may not be credited if they are not detailed in the mark scheme, in spite of their total relevance and accuracy.
    In light of all this, is it truly worth giving students such high offers when A*s are so unpredictable? Even aside from the cheating/unreliable marking, exams are at the end of the day somewhat dependent on chance - whilst my sister attained 3A*s in her humanities A levels, she could not have guaranteed any. I can accept that an A*AA offer would keep standards high, but why go through all of the interview process only to let people fall at a hurdle decided by chance?
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    (Original post by Katyb77)
    Hahah yes I read it as I was going to bed and was giggling for ages


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    :mmm: was funny

    (Original post by SerLorasTyrell)
    Hahaha OMG I swear I did not type that haha


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    I'm glad you weren't auto-pooped :yy:
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    (Original post by AmberEyes)
    This is more of a comment than a question, but I find the A*A*A offers in science quite unfair - I am currently beginning to prepare for the ISA/EMPA practical exam part of my science A-levels, and the ISA exams are hugely affected by cheating across the country. This is not an opinion - it is acknowledged by teachers and students, and even AQA - who changed the time frame for sitting the exam because of it... but still left a window of weeks for the exam paper to be sat! Students can therefore discuss the papers with friends from nearby schools. The consequence of all this is that the grade boundaries are EXTREMELY high - without cheating it is practically impossible to get a good mark. I'm lucky enough that my school have chosen the EMPA exams this year, which are less prone to cheating - but what about students who are subject to exams with high grade boundaries due to cheating?
    Quite apart from that, I've also had exam papers marked incorrectly despite remarks and appeals, when the answer for a 1 mark question is word perfectly that which is given on the mark scheme! In Maths A-level, I'm aware that alternative methods may not be credited if they are not detailed in the mark scheme, in spite of their total relevance and accuracy.
    In light of all this, is it truly worth giving students such high offers when A*s are so unpredictable? Even aside from the cheating/unreliable marking, exams are at the end of the day somewhat dependent on chance - whilst my sister attained 3A*s in her humanities A levels, she could not have guaranteed any. I can accept that an A*AA offer would keep standards high, but why go through all of the interview process only to let people fall at a hurdle decided by chance?
    If A*s are so unpredictable, why do the vast majority of those given an offer meet it? I don't think Christ's Admissions tutor has the way, or probably the will, to change AQA's whole system of examination.
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    Any stats on postgrad college allocation times? Got a conditional (money, funding etc / sending in transcripts) offer on Monday and have heard from the other thread that it could be weeks, sometimes as low as two.
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    another parent here, with a child now at Cambridge but not having had the opportunity for feedback before - thank you for asking.

    To go back to the very beginning for those with no experience of the colleges choosing one is a bit intimidating. Even in state schools with a tradition of sending some pupils to Oxbridge information is not generally shared to any great extent.Summer schools generally are not open to those whose schools send pupils to Oxbridge but the process can still be intimidating. In public schools I suspect there is considerably more support. Despite claims that your chance of admission is the same wherever you apply I am not convinced that colleges apply similar weights to different parts of the admission process.

    Personally I would like to see more statistical evidence that interviews actually add anything to the process, they have the potential for bias. I believe that interviews discriminate against state school candidates who are not prepared for them in the same way. I realise there is an argument that you have to cope with the style of teaching at Cambridge but an extra six months makes, in my experience, more difference to state school candidates than to public school candidates.

    My child was not pooled but the new system is an improvement, I find it quite strange that all colleges do not have a page devoted to applicants giving information on the timetable and progress. It would save time fielding emails and phone calls and be more efficient. We live in an area where post can often be delayed, failure to email applicants with a decision again suggests a university that is either incompetent, unable to handle modern technology or uncaring about its potential students. These are the people you hope will contribute to your finances for years and it's not a good start.

    Free overnight accommodation for visit days should be offered automatically to those travelling a long distance. When accommodation is provided for interviews something should be arranged for applicants in the evening. Failure to do so creates the impression of a stuffy place concerned only with academic life. It needn't be anythiing dramatic but pay a few of your existing students to stay for the evening.

    Feedback should go to the rejected applicant, not their schoool.It may have to be written a ittle more tactfully but if they bother to ask students can cope with facts about their position relative to other students. It is the subjective nature of feeling someone disliked you at interview that is more difficult for them. You have some mock intervews on websites - an analysis of what was good and bad in the interview might help students prepare, Some students still dont realise that being taken outside their comfort zone can be positive..

    We didnt go to visit days or interviews with our child and therefore only saw where they would be living when dropping them off. Offer holder days do serve a purpose. Failing that it useful to have parent tours on arrival day.Colleges could provide parents with better information, its a big change for us as well as for the students.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    No, we do;t give feedback to offer holders. The offer letter is the letter you got on Saturday.
    Is this for all colleges offer holders? I doubt you would know but worth a try ey, does fitzwilliam provide feedback on offer holders?


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    Quick question, if I was pooled but picked up by the same college, would the letter mention it?
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    (Original post by SerLorasTyrell)
    I am a scottish applicant and was unsuccessful for Bio Nat Sci at St. John's.

    A document I read on the website said you're auto-pooled with 4 or more A band 1st at higher level, I had 5. Yet my letter did not even mention the pool like others did, should it?

    I thought the constant document signing process when applying was a nuisance and unnecessary. No other uni made me sign documents to be considered.

    I also found it very difficult to find the TSA location and was not informed it would be basically another 5 minute walk from the door and ended up being late. The invigilators were really nice and helpful and said I would get some extra time at the end but I wasn't given any.

    The lack of conversation about the actual subject confused me. I went expecting to talk about the subject not to do past paper questions.

    When I was answering questions with what were valid ideas (obviously a big scope to answer for why some biological things happen) I noticed I was often dismissed because it was not "exactly" what they were looking for. This left me confused and was very off putting, I felt like I had to keep guessing possible causes for things until I got their answer, with no recognition with what I was suggestion could also be a cause.

    As a state school pupil I heard it was weighted towards private school pupils but dismissed it as nonsense. However after my interviews I now understand why people say this. With lots of pupils going they would know the ins and outs of the interview format and tricks, non of this was in any shape or form available to me online as a Scottish state school pupil.


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    Thank you for your comments and I am sorry that your application was unsuccessful and that you had an unsatisfactory experience.

    Regarding compulsory pooling, the crierion for Scottish applicants in Science subjects (except Maths and Medicine) is 4 A1s in Highers with at least 3 A1s in Maths/Science subjects (i.e. Physics, Chemistry or Biology). if you achieved this and were not pooled by St John's then there has been an error and you should contact them about it if you wish.

    The signing of documents is annyoing but I am afraid that is life - other universities have plenty of forms to sign, you just fill those in once you accept their offer. Some of the uniquely Cambridge forms (such as data protection) are necessary because of the way Cambridge does things differently to other universities. They allow us, for instance, to provide you with feedback (which other universities don't do) and also to ensure that interview questions are not discussed publicly by applicants thus compromising the process.

    The college told you were the TSA was being held, I am afraid it is up to you to find that yourself, using a colleg map or to ask if you cannot find it. The porters in every college are always happy to help applicants.

    I can't provide feedback on your interviews, you will have to answer St John's for that, but interviews vary widely in form and content and the college will be able to give you some detailed feedback on how you did.

    We do our best to explain our interview processes both online and in person on Open days, schools visits etc. Some schools clearly prepare their students better for interview than others but we work very hard before, during and after the interviews to try to ensure that such 'cultural advantages' are stripped away. Over 60% of UK students at Cambridge are from state schools, significantly higher than at Oxford, St Andrews and Bristol and comparable to Imperial, UCL and Durham. I can assure you that the University is absolutely committed not to discriminating against state or private students and that we examine each application very closely before we made a decision.
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    (Original post by ouroboros14)
    First of all, I would like to thank you for this opportunity and we appreciate the time you have reserved for us. I have been rejected to study History at Downing as an affiliated student. During the previous summer, while I was still considering whether to apply or not, I noticed on websites of various colleges that competition for affiliated place is extremely high due to fact that Cambridge colleges rarely admit such students(stating that they admit 1,2 or maybe 3 candidates annually). On the other hand, admission office informed that I will be only competing against the applicants in my subject group. Considering that, I hope you can shed some light on how you assess affiliated applicants and compare them with A2 level students. Thank you.
    Thank you for your question. You will need to contact Downing about the specifics of your applicaiton but in general affiliated students are in direct competition with standard aged applicants and we will look at their academic record before university and, especially, at university to help us judge their academic achievement and potential. The interview would usually be similar to that given to other candidates but we might expect to see a rather more mature and sophisticated enagagement that we would from a 17-year old. The interview might be slightly different depending on what your original degree was in. Once the interview process is over, an affilliated applicant is then assessed alongside all the others for one of the places available.
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    (Original post by Aje1306)
    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.
    Thank you for your comments, it's great that your son had such a good experience at King's and congratulations to him on gaining an offer.

    I agree that applicant pages are a very good idea. We do our best to share good practice but it sometimes take time for good ideas to penetrate into each and every college!

    Regarding posting on a Friday, sometimes it has to be that day because of the timetable for re-interviews and the start of term. Royal mail are always going to fail to deliver some mail. We are gradually moving college by college to everyone emailing as well (though at present this is patchy) and I will do my best to give it another push this year to see if we can't make this standard.

    While there are undoubtedly some negatives to posting on a Friday (having to wait until Monday if the letter doesn't arrive on Saturday being the most obvious) in other ways it does have a significant advantage. Monday-Friday students are in school or college and so will not be able to open the letter until they get home. Although lots of applicants will, of course, have a Saturday job, a significantly higher number of students will get their letter sooner than they would if the delivery day was a Monday to Friday.
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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!
    I am sorry to hear about your experience (in 2013-14?). Interviewers naturally have different styles, some are more friendly and some are sterner but each interviewer treats everyone the same be it friendly or stern.

    I am sorry to hear about the confusion over your pooling, sometimes errors are made in administration though we try very hard to avoid this though obviously I can't comment on your individual circumstances.

    The point of compulsory pooling is to ensure that people whom colleges might not have therwise put in the pool are placed their so their applications can be considered again by other colleges. For many people this does not result in an offer but for some it does and we believe that consequently it is worthwhile having it and it makes for a fairer system than not having it. Now that the arrangements for pooling have altered we aim to avoid the situation where people are told they are pooled and then have to wait to find out (though this hasn;t worked this year in medicine).

    I have explained in another post why feedback is sent to the school and not the applicant in most cases. It is a balance and we have found that it generally works best having it sent to the school, though there are clearly arguments the other way.
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    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.
    Yes it can do, but it is far from impossible. There is a lot of other data there and the report forms are often very detailed (though not always). Expereinced people know their colleagues' judgement pretty well and often the interviewers themselves or the Admissions Tutor is in the Pool to talk to about a candidate. The Pool is obviously not perfect but it is the best thing we have to deal with the fact that more people apply for some colleges than others.
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    (Original post by Friar Tuck2)
    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.
    Vet Med is a much smaller subject than medicine which is the primary reason. I don't know if there were any reinterviews in vet med (Christ's doesn't offer the subject) but we have had to wait for these in Medicine as those re-interviewed unsuccessfully are being considered for an Open offer. It is very unfortunate that people have had to wait this long. Those not under consideration have now been informed and it is now just the fourteen candidates under consideration. Clearly, however, it is something that needs to be revisisted.
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    (Original post by tomfailinghelp)
    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.
    Thanks for your comments and I'm glad that you dfound the process at Christ's well organised, we do our best! Congratulations on your offer.

    We do have a place at Christ's for applicants to meet but it is a bit out of the way, I am trying to persuade people to put it in a more prominent place that is easier to find!
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    (Original post by Thorsas)
    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.
    Thanks for your comments and I am glad you had such a good experience at Magdalene and many congratulations on your offer. The point about emailing everyone is a good one and I will bring it up to try to see whether we can ensure that we get to that situation sooner rather than later.
 
 
 
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