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    (Original post by CAEL)
    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.
    You are welcome and thank you for your kind remarks! Best of luck to your daughter in her other applications, with lots of A1s she should be in a very strong position.
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    (Original post by GeorgeCZE)
    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.
    The meeting is on the 22nd January. I don't know if results will be released that day but applicants should be informed either that day or the next I imagine but as I am not party to the meeting I can't provide more detail.

    There are fourteen people under consideration for an Open offer and it decided by a meeting of the Medical Quota Committee. I do not know exactly how many offers will be given but it will not be many.

    We will do our best to ensure that the Medicine situation is improved next year and at the very least that more information is provided to applicants who are left in this situation. Good luck for your application!
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    (Original post by Colmans)
    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?
    Lots of factors are discussed when deciding on places. Sometimes one feels that one can place a candidate, male or female, in the Pool and be reasonably confident that they will have a strong chance of being picked up by another college and I have done that with both men and women (and mostly been proved right). No decision on final places are made lightly, however, and a number of factors would be considered.

    I haven't seen any statistics on male/female successful in the Pool but I think that it is fair to say that, largely because of the female colleges, women have a slightly better chance of being taken from the Pool than men though plenty of men get taken too as you will know.

    As to why the women's colleges tend to do less well in the Baxter and Tompkins tables, it is generally true that pooled candidates do not on average do worse than non pooled candidates, it is true that women on average get fewer firsts than men (though men also get more 2.2s and 3rds) and the way Tompkins and Baxter weight results it means that the positives of a First outweight the negative of a 2.2. The women's colleges are around the university average for female performance.
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    (Original post by frigg113)
    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
    Well, last year (2014) it just happened that the last day of the Pool was Saturday and therefore letters were posted on Friday. This year, because of a combination of when New Year's Day was, the changes to the Pool arrangements and the pressure of term starting this week, meant that posting had to be on Friday. I don't think we will stop using Friday (it has some advantages as sttaed in an earlier reply) but it certainly isn't going to be a fixed day for posting.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Lots of factors are discussed when deciding on places. Sometimes one feels that one can place a candidate, male or female, in the Pool and be reasonably confident that they will have a strong chance of being picked up by another college and I have done that with both men and women (and mostly been proved right). No decision on final places are made lightly, however, and a number of factors would be considered.

    I haven't seen any statistics on male/female successful in the Pool but I think that it is fair to say that, largely because of the female colleges, women have a slightly better chance of being taken from the Pool than men though plenty of men get taken too as you will know.

    As to why the women's colleges tend to do less well in the Baxter and Tompkins tables, it is generally true that pooled candidates do not on average do worse than non pooled candidates, it is true that women on average get fewer firsts than men (though men also get more 2.2s and 3rds) and the way Tompkins and Baxter weight results it means that the positives of a First outweight the negative of a 2.2. The women's colleges are around the university average for female performance.
    What would explain the ranking of Girton and Homerton?
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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?
    I am sorry that you think that the A*A*A offers in Science are too high. The decision to change was not taken lightly and was done so to reflect changing relaity rather than to make our standards higher. Over 90% of Science entrants to Cambridge doing A Levels had 2 or more A*s in recent years. At Christ's just 5% Science entrants between 2010 and 2014 had fewer than 2 A*s.

    In addition to this, there is a strong correlation between the number of A*s and performance at Cambridge (see this presentation pages 9-11). At Christ's our students are more than 5 times as likely to get a First if they have 4 or more A*s than if they have 2 or fewer.

    I am afraid there is no chance of our lowering the Science offer in the foreseeable future. Sorry.
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    (Original post by ianuam)
    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.
    Congratulations on your offer. Once you are accepted by the department, your application is sent tyo your first choice college and they have ten days to make a decision. If they say no then it is passed to your next choice and they have ten days and so on. Hopefully it will not take too long but it will obviously vary depending on what colleges decide to do.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    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.
    Thank you for your comments, I'll do my best to address each of them.

    1) Choosing a college. We try to make as much information available about each college as possible thorugh the prospectus, the university website and each individual college website. We also emphasise that college choice does not materially affect your application. No two people are going to have exactly the same reaction to an application and there are differences of opinions within and well as between colleges. The statsitics are available online about how many students get accepted at each college. It is never, of course, going to be exactly the same for each college but, having done the calculations myself a year or so ago to test this for myself, I found that of the twenty-five standard aged colleges, the success rate for applicants gaining a place at Cambridge was between 24% and 31% for nineteen of them. Of those falling slightly outside that bracket, two (Downing and King's) were very 'popular' and and two (Robinson and Fitz) were less 'popular'. Only applicants to two colleges (Girton and Murray Edwards) had significantly less chance of an offer at Cambridge than other colleges. I think the main reason for this is that a number of weaker candidates try to 'game' the system by applying to them directly thinking that they have a better chance. Your chances of an offer at Cambridge having applied to Clare are within half a percentage point of that if you apply to Homerton. The pooling system isn;t perfect but it irons out a lot of the discrepancy in college choice and the 'advantages' that schools who think they know the system think they have.

    2) Interviews are a human process and therefore it is very difficult if not impossible to provide any reliable statistical evidence one way or the other. I can assure you that interviewers and Admissions Tutors work very hard to ensure that they is no bias in the interviewing system and one of my roles as AT is to ensure that the interview does not become the dominant facor in a decision either positively or negatively. It is simply part of the process.

    3) A lot of colleges do have such pages and it is good to share best practice. It is worth pointing out, however, that even with such pages it is quite clear that a signficiant proportion of applicants do not read them or to fail to understand what the process is even when it is explained clearly. That said, it is our duty to get better at communicating information to our applicants and I will certainly try to encourage the Admissions Forum to do this.

    4) I am not sure what you mean by 'visit' days. if you mean 'open days', a lot of colleges do offer free accommodation to students coming from a distance and all colleges offer free accommodation to those coming from distance for interviews. Colleges make facilities available for applicants and will usually have current students there to talk with applicants. We are not an entertainment industry, however, and ultimately they are in Cambridge for an academic interview not a 'jolly'. Once they arrive, there are lots of events put on for them to demonstrate that university isn;t all about work.

    5) Feedback. As I have said in other posts there are arguments on both sides. I am happy to raise this as an issue for discussion but personally think that it is usually best to send feedback to the school and they are best placed to convey the feedback to the student.

    6) Most colleges provide a parent programme at their Open Days and parents are very welcome at the University Open days where they can wander in and out of coleges freely, see accomodation and talk with students and Admissions Tutors. The University produces specific advice for parents on the website and in leaflets and all the information for students is also there for parents. Offer days are a good idea and a number of colleges do these and you are welcome as a prospective student or offer holder to visit the college at any time with or without your parents. A lot of colleges also have parents or parents and student lunches to try to make parents feel welcome.

    I hope this is helpful and thank you for your comments again, it is really helpful.
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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    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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    I don't know if any colleges offer official feedback to successful applicants. We generally think that the fact you got an offer is feedback enough and your DoS will often talk with you about the interview a bit when you arrive if you ask. In general though it's best at this stage to focus on achieveing the offer rather than thinking about how you got it. Congratulations on your offer btw!
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    (Original post by TVIO)
    Quick question, if I was pooled but picked up by the same college, would the letter mention it?
    No, it wouldn't.
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    (Original post by Deadpan)
    What would explain the ranking of Girton and Homerton?
    The differences in the Baxter Table between most colleges are relatively small even those quite far apart on the list and very few colleges are consistently more than one standard deviation away from the university average in either direction. Individual college results are, of course, a matter from them and as I'm not a member of either Homerton or Girton I don't think you would expect me to comment on their results.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    The differences in the Baxter Table between most colleges are relatively small even those quite far apart on the list and very few colleges are consistently more than one standard deviation away from the university average in either direction. Individual college results are, of course, a matter from them and as I'm not a member of either Homerton or Girton I don't think you would expect me to comment on their results.
    No I realize that, but if the two colleges with some of the highest proportion of pooled student numbers find themselves near the foot of the table I was wondering how that squared with pooled candidates doing equally well.
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    (Original post by Deadpan)
    No I realize that, but if the two colleges with some of the highest proportion of pooled student numbers find themselves near the foot of the table I was wondering how that squared with pooled candidates doing equally well.
    On average pooled candidates do as well as others but not every candidate is average and not every college has an average number of quality of candidates.

    Also, for a number of reasons pooled candidates tend to do a bit less well in their first year and then do better in their second and third years but the Tompkins table takes data from all years.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Congratulations on your offer. Once you are accepted by the department, your application is sent tyo your first choice college and they have ten days to make a decision. If they say no then it is passed to your next choice and they have ten days and so on. Hopefully it will not take too long but it will obviously vary depending on what colleges decide to do.
    Thank you - and I must praise the whole application procedure. Very smooth indeed.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    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.
    Thanks for that .So if we still haven't heard anything can we assume we are in the fourteen? Or are they made up solely of re interviewed candidates ? Thank you for being the only one shining light on this gloomy pool !
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    (Original post by ianuam)
    Thank you - and I must praise the whole application procedure. Very smooth indeed.
    You are welcome. I am glad it has worked well and I hope you end up at your first choice.
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    (Original post by Friar Tuck2)
    Thanks for that .So if we still haven't heard anything can we assume we are in the fourteen? Or are they made up solely of re interviewed candidates ? Thank you for being the only one shining light on this gloomy pool !
    That's ok, I'm sorry it has been a bit of a mess. 123 candidates were returned to their colleges on Wednesday and at Christ's we notified ours as soon as we could after that once we had doubled checked. Hopefully your college will have done so if you are among that 123. If you are not then your application will still be under cosndieration. Those under consideation include re-interviewees but are not exclusively re-interviewees. I hope that sheds a little more light.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Well, last year (2014) it just happened that the last day of the Pool was Saturday and therefore letters were posted on Friday. This year, because of a combination of when New Year's Day was, the changes to the Pool arrangements and the pressure of term starting this week, meant that posting had to be on Friday. I don't think we will stop using Friday (it has some advantages as sttaed in an earlier reply) but it certainly isn't going to be a fixed day for posting.
    Have you got any spare places for a lonely Bio / Natsci who missed out at Caius????
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    That's ok, I'm sorry it has been a bit of a mess. 123 candidates were returned to their colleges on Wednesday and at Christ's we notified ours as soon as we could after that once we had doubled checked. Hopefully your college will have done so if you are among that 123. If you are not then your application will still be under cosndieration. Those under consideation include re-interviewees but are not exclusively re-interviewees. I hope that sheds a little more light.
    Hello once again. I haven't been notified by my college about the outcome of my application yet.
    Sorry, but what do you mean 123 candidates were returned to their colleges?
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    (Original post by tangoone)
    Have you got any spare places for a lonely Bio / Natsci who missed out at Caius????
    Sorry, no, all colleges are now filled up.
 
 
 
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