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    (Original post by JasperLee)
    The Didn't get in! In this day of openness and fairness why are we having to put up with quotas from state schools. My family have remortgaged to keep me at school and I feel I have let them down. I was predicted A*A*A* not even polled? My father left school and could not even read and write, from a large councils estate in west London. He has worked with one resolve, giving me a chance. The system is broken!!!!!!
    Many people with 3/4 A* predictions don't get in though for various reasons regardless of their school. Also, statistically speaking someone with the same grades does worse at Cambridge if they were from a private school. There is not a quota of any kind and admissions are heavily skewed towards private schools with 40% of them going to private schoolers even though that only 7% of secondary schools (and about 14% of sixth forms) are private.
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    (Original post by TVIO)
    Many people with 3/4 A* predictions don't get in though for various reasons regardless of their school. Also, statistically speaking someone with the same grades does worse at Cambridge if they were from a private school. There is not a quota of any kind and admissions are heavily skewed towards private schools with 40% of them going to private schoolers even though that only 7% of secondary schools (and about 14% of sixth forms) are private.
    And yet private schools make up a greater proportion of applicants and have a lower proportion of places? Heavily skewed because of people not applying from the state sector not because of bias.


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    (Original post by Goods)
    And yet private schools make up a greater proportion of applicants and have a lower proportion of places? Heavily skewed because of people not applying from the state sector not because of bias.


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    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Though I understood and agree with the bolded part of your statement.
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    (Original post by Goods)
    And yet private schools make up a greater proportion of applicants and have a lower proportion of places? Heavily skewed because of people not applying from the state sector not because of bias.


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    No its nothigg to do with bias or anything. Its just showing provate schools make better candidates in general !!!!
    Not related to me quoting you, but i hate how people just think that if you go to a private school and applied to oxbridge you will get in. cause it doesnt


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    (Original post by TVIO)
    Many people with 3/4 A* predictions don't get in though for various reasons regardless of their school. Also, statistically speaking someone with the same grades does worse at Cambridge if they were from a private school. There is not a quota of any kind and admissions are heavily skewed towards private schools with 40% of them going to private schoolers even though that only 7% of secondary schools (and about 14% of sixth forms) are private.
    I think that oft-quoted 7% actually includes pupils of all age groups, so it's utterly irrelevant for Cambridge applications! And while the 14% figure is literally true, it doesn't take account of those pupils who take "appropriate" qualifications for Cambridge entry i.e. 3 traditional academic subjects at A level. I believe when that is taken into account the comparison is something like 60% of entrants being public school when they only make up around 40% of "eligible" students.

    So there's still a gap, but nowhere near as large as the left-wing press would like everyone to believe. The rest of the difference can pretty much be explained by unwillingness to apply, discouragement from teachers and relatives, and negative impressions created by the media (as well as a certain element of pupils focusing on especially competitive courses such as medicine)
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    (Original post by davros)
    I think that oft-quoted 7% actually includes pupils of all age groups, so it's utterly irrelevant for Cambridge applications! And while the 14% figure is literally true, it doesn't take account of those pupils who take "appropriate" qualifications for Cambridge entry i.e. 3 traditional academic subjects at A level. I believe when that is taken into account the comparison is something like 60% of entrants being public school when they only make up around 40% of "eligible" students.

    So there's still a gap, but nowhere near as large as the left-wing press would like everyone to believe. The rest of the difference can pretty much be explained by unwillingness to apply, discouragement from teachers and relatives, and negative impressions created by the media (as well as a certain element of pupils focusing on especially competitive courses such as medicine)
    It's certainly true that state schoolers do tend to apply for very competitive courses that private schoolers don't as much and so just forces lots to be rejected.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    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. ... 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' 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.

    Firstly there is quite a significant difference between 24% and 31%. Secondly at a public school I would expect more knowledge of, for example, the Norrington table, differences in fundng between colleges, who conducts supervisions, and most importantly the interests and bias of the interviewer. These are not covered on college websites

    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.

    With respect you are clearly not a statistician. it is quite feasible to conduct a statistical analysis showing what factors are most relevant to degree outcomes and what, if anything, interviews add to the process. As an undergraduate many years ago I undertook an analysis of the first part myself, there have been many studies since then including some by Cambridge staff. A 30 minute interview is a poor way to select young people who are still undergoing significant changes.

    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 page, 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.

    If applicants do not read the pages then college need to look at why they are hard to find. If a signficant number of applicants do not understand them then the processs is not explained clearly. It is unfortunate that those steeped in a process often assume everyone shares their knowledge. Explanations should be tested on several recent applicants. I would analyse the questions received by admision department and then ensure the answers were on a clearly signposted webpage.

    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.

    I meant open days. IME where accommdation is available it is not advertised and isn't free.. Cambridge has low applicant rates from more distant parts of the country. Students are young people and expect to do more than work. As I said the impression given is that Cambridge is a stuffy place and by suggesting that to provide anything for applicants makes it a "jolly" you add to that.. While those who take up a place may find it isn't quite as stuffy as that impressions of the university for potential applicants are formed by those who dont get a place as well as those who do. It's a small part of encouraging more applicants. Oxford do provide something for interviewees in the evenings

    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. .
    We shall have to agree to disagree. It is not a school that makes the application.

    Forgot to mention earlier we were also very concerned about the A* with the ridiculous practical exams of one exam board. Although it wasn't needed by my child I would hope Cambridge had the sense to look extremely closely at an applicant whose practical let down an otherwise excellent application. Applicants dont choose the exam board or have any influence over whether their teacher makes a mess of the practical.
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    Hi, I was fortunate enough to receive a conditional offer in maths, but I just have a couple of questions out of curiosity:
    • How well understood are Australian high school results, especially considering the variance (despite similar naming conventions) between different states? I submitted my VCE (Victoria) results before offers were released, but one of my friends didn't and received extraordinarily high conditions from his pooled college (he did the HSC in New South Wales): a 98.5 in Physics, Chemistry, Extension 1 Maths and Extension 2 Maths. He unfortunately only achieved a 94 in Physics and Chemistry which, although being a very high result, doesn't meet the conditions of the offer.
    • Additionally, is there any disadvantage in doing overseas interviews? I was on holiday and elected to be interviewed in Cambridge, but three of my friends (including the aforementioned one) were interviewed in Australia and all received S,S conditions for STEP, whereas I only received 1,1. (We all applied for maths by the way hahaha)


    Thanks for your responses

    Charlie
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Hello everyone and congratulations to all who have received offers and comiserations to those who have not and best of luck (and apologies) to those who are stil waiting.

    Every year we have an internal review of the Admission round at Cambridge and, having interacted with students through this forum for a while, I thought it might be a good idea to try to elicit some feedback on our processes from students who have gone through them.

    I am not in a position to provide feedback on your application or say why you didn't get in but rather this is an opportunity for you to say if there are things about the process that might be improved and which I can then feedback. I will also try to explain some things which might seem odd about the process.

    The thread will be open for a week and I will then report back to my colleagues with good points. Thank you for your points and also for the applications.
    Another parent of an unsuccessful applicant. I want to raise one area of admission procedure may need seriously consideration for improvement. That is how Cambridge select applicants for interview, especially calling oversea applicant (residing and studying outside UK) to attend Cambridge interview. For Oxford, they will carefully select applicants for interview, and so there is a genuine chance of getting an offer when you got an interview. But for Cambridge, you invite like almost 80% of applicants for interview. With that high %, I believe there is inevitably high number of unsuccessful candidates who have already shown no choice on their paper (or unsuitable) to Cambridge. I don't see the reason why Cambridge would still want to meet so many applicants whereas Oxford will make up their better mind in selecting their truly wanted candidates for their interview.

    Even worst for oversea applicant like my daughter, she has applied Architecture at King's. She has requested for oversea interview option in her application. Later, King's sent email to ask her if she could attend personally an Cambridge interview. And specific stating in the email that there is very few successful offer if only attending overseas interview for her subject. With this email interview invitation and statement, we seriously thought that my daughter has a strong application (at least) on paper and good chance of getting an offer if we go Cambridge interview. So she went UK for interview at King's. But the 2 interviews were really like a causal talk and ran uneventful. Unfortunately, she didn't get an offer, not even been pooled. We then requested for feedback from King's and stated our question specifically why they invited her for a Cambridge interview. They gave their feedback simply saying that my daughter was unfit to Cambridge course. But didn't go into detail of where how unfit she is (or how bad in interview)? As you have suggested before, if applicant is strong on paper but weak in interview, she at least worth given a chance pooling or receiving a higher offer! I still don't get the idea why King's asking her to spend all that money and time to just attend those 2 30-min interview for nothing.

    My suggestion is DON"T invite applicants for interview when you are not interested in offering them. It just waste their money, time and emotional fluctuation. Take Oxford's practice (or other top universities), select applicants carefully and only invite those you are truly interested. Most people in TSR know getting a Cambridge's interview is NOTHING. They all know almost every applicants got interviews (cool joke). Why you have to do that? Can't Cambridge be more serious in selection of interview.

    Thank you for reading this.
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    (Original post by inuni14)
    Another parent of an unsuccessful applicant. I want to raise one area of admission procedure may need seriously consideration for improvement. That is how Cambridge select applicants for interview, especially calling oversea applicant (residing and studying outside UK) to attend Cambridge interview. For Oxford, they will carefully select applicants for interview, and so there is a genuine chance of getting an offer when you got an interview. But for Cambridge, you invite like almost 80% of applicants for interview. With that high %, I believe there is inevitably high number of unsuccessful candidates who have already shown no choice on their paper (or unsuitable) to Cambridge. I don't see the reason why Cambridge would still want to meet so many applicants whereas Oxford will make up their better mind in selecting their truly wanted candidates for their interview.

    Even worst for oversea applicant like my daughter, she has applied Architecture at King's. She has requested for oversea interview option in her application. Later, King's sent email to ask her if she could attend personally an Cambridge interview. And specific stating in the email that there is very few successful offer if only attending overseas interview for her subject. With this email interview invitation and statement, we seriously thought that my daughter has a strong application (at least) on paper and good chance of getting an offer if we go Cambridge interview. So she went UK for interview at King's. But the 2 interviews were really like a causal talk and ran uneventful. Unfortunately, she didn't get an offer, not even been pooled. We then requested for feedback from King's and stated our question specifically why they invited her for a Cambridge interview. They gave their feedback simply saying that my daughter was unfit to Cambridge course. But didn't go into detail of where how unfit she is (or how bad in interview)? As you have suggested before, if applicant is strong on paper but weak in interview, she at least worth given a chance pooling or receiving a higher offer! I still don't get the idea why King's asking her to spend all that money and time to just attend those 2 30-min interview for nothing.

    My suggestion is DON"T invite applicants for interview when you are not interested in offering them. It just waste their money, time and emotional fluctuation. Take Oxford's practice (or other top universities), select applicants carefully and only invite those you are truly interested. Most people in TSR know getting a Cambridge's interview is NOTHING. They all know almost every applicants got interviews (cool joke). Why you have to do that? Can't Cambridge be more serious in selection of interview.

    Thank you for reading this.
    As an unsuccessful applicant myself, I do empathize with your bitterness about your daughter's rejection. However, I do think that you are being overly one-sided and unfair in your comments.

    Do realise that the interview process can be extremely taxing logistically, physically and mentally for colleges and interviewers themselves. I believe that if a college never felt that an applicant had a genuine shot of getting in, they would never want to place upon themselves the extra burden of interviewing the applicant unless they are avid workaholics which I highly doubt.

    Sure, you may feel that an extra filter before interviews (eg. admission tests, sending in portfolios) in the case of Oxford might be useful in allowing colleges to pick the candidates that they truly want and save other applicants from the emotional and physical investment of the selection process which I agree can be very distressing as I have found out myself. But think again, should your daughter have been filtered out before the interviews, might you have not felt unfair that your daughter had not been given a fair shot at exhibiting her abilities which could have been shown through the interviews?

    The reason why they do interview so many applicants, as they have mentioned on various platforms, is so every applicant who has a chance of securing of place at the University can be given a fair crack at it. That is why even those who are weaker on paper but have strong interviews can be offered a place over people like myself who is strong on paper (I achieved a perfect score 45/45 in IB) but may not have impressed in the interviews. Please try and understand that the competition for places is extremely intensive at Cambridge. I believe that your daughter was given a genuine shot at securing a place but, in the eyes of the selectors, might have been outshone by who they feel to be stronger candidates in the playing field.

    Look, I'm not saying that Cambridge's selection process is flawless, but neither are the selection processes of other universities. This isn't the end of the road and I'm sure that unsuccessful applicants like your daughter will be amazing elsewhere as well.

    I suggest you calm down, take some time to think it over again and perhaps when you are less masked with anger/bitterness over your daughter's rejection, you might just be able to see things from a fairer perspective just as I have.

    Thank you for reading this as well.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Feedback is available to everyone who doesn't get an offer and I am going to be spending a significant chunk of my time over the next six weeks writing feedback letters (did around 150 last year) to those who request it. The best feedback for those who get offers is the offer letter!

    As you say, we are probably the most transparent university in te UK about our admission processes and we have produced graphs anoymising the data which show the correlation between UMS/GCSEs and offers in certain subjects.

    I can assure you that it is certainly not 'random' who gets an offer. We don;t always get it right by any means but we take each application and offer very seriously and give it a lot of consideration.
    You have kindly pointed out in a number of places in this thread that feedback is not given by the admissions tutors to offer holders, which given the number of the letters you are writing to those who have rejections, I can fully understand. However, my daughter has an offer for which it would be helpful to receive feedback. Her offer is Pre-U D2 D2 D2 in Economics, History and Geography to read law. In terms of UCAS tariff points that equates to 435 points compared to 420 points for an A*A*A* offer, 400 points for an A*A*A offer and 380 points for the typical offer in law. She pointed out that in the statistics published by the Admissions Office for the 2013 cycle, Cambridge only published acceptances up to 420 UCAS tariff points.

    As my daughter's offer is three levels above the typical offer, compounded further by the fact that subjects such as Economics and History are so subjective as to make the attainment of a D2 grade something of a lottery, she feels her offer is somewhat extreme. An offer which is one level above the typical offer is par for the course, two levels above the typical offer would no doubt have some justification of some sort, but three levels above the typical offer feels tantamount to a rejection.

    I fully appreciate why the policy exists of not giving feedback to offer holders, but would it not be reasonable for those with the most extreme offers to also be offered some kind of explanation?
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    My child was successful as an International Applicant. We found the application process OK although as we had no prior knowledge of how to apply to Uni in the UK it did take a lot of googleing and there was not one place with all the answers we had to look at the UCAs site, Cambridge & the various college sites as well as message boards.

    He appreciated that he was interviewed overseas by a Professor from his subject. He is passionate about his subject and very knowledgeable so had been worrying that he would have an interviewer from a different subject who wouldn't be able to have such an in depth discussion.

    I don't know how to quote but I agree with charles98 above I was confused about the conditions of the offer and wasn't sure if Cambridge understood the results in NSW. The ATAR is a ranking so very reasonable to have a requirement of 99. Having a requirement of 98 or 99 in Mathematics especially Extension 2 seems a bit high.

    He still has no letter in the post so was glad that he was emailed by the college or he would have had to wait until yesterday when he got a UCAS email.
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    (Original post by Rosedaisy)
    He appreciated that he was interviewed overseas by a Professor from his subject. He is passionate about his subject and very knowledgeable so had been worrying that he would have an interviewer from a different subject who wouldn't be able to have such an in depth discussion.
    I think this is a legitimate point but being honest provided they were interviewed by an arts professor or science professor it would be relatively easy for the interview to know all the nuances of the questions he was asking as the base transferable skills in scientific fields and arts are essentially applicable to the fields as a whole (and they would be asking the same questions to different candidates). Cambridge professors are quite clever.

    I do think this would be a significant issue if applying for a language course however if the interviewer didn't speak the language fluently.
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    (Original post by JasperLee)
    The Didn't get in! In this day of openness and fairness why are we having to put up with quotas from state schools. My family have remortgaged to keep me at school and I feel I have let them down. I was predicted A*A*A* not even polled? My father left school and could not even read and write, from a large councils estate in west London. He has worked with one resolve, giving me a chance. The system is broken!!!!!!
    Wind up.
    Poster join up yesterday and immediately posted two clearly fictitious posts designed to undermine the debate.

    Ignore.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    It's currently the typical offer for all non-science degrees. And actually has been the standard offer since 2009. Why do you feel hard done by?
    Sorry just venting large amounts of frustration at the moment, I am a Nat/sci Bio applicant. I thought everything went well at interview. Now feel I have let everybody down.
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    (Original post by Deadpan)
    Wind up.
    Poster join up yesterday and immediately posted two clearly fictitious posts designed to undermine the debate.

    Ignore.
    No your wrong again, I've been a member for several weeks just forgot my log in details!!!! I'm not trying to undermine anybody just upset at the whole process.
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    (Original post by PendaMercia)
    You have kindly pointed out in a number of places in this thread that feedback is not given by the admissions tutors to offer holders, which given the number of the letters you are writing to those who have rejections, I can fully understand. However, my daughter has an offer for which it would be helpful to receive feedback. Her offer is Pre-U D2 D2 D2 in Economics, History and Geography to read law. In terms of UCAS tariff points that equates to 435 points compared to 420 points for an A*A*A* offer, 400 points for an A*A*A offer and 380 points for the typical offer in law. She pointed out that in the statistics published by the Admissions Office for the 2013 cycle, Cambridge only published acceptances up to 420 UCAS tariff points.

    As my daughter's offer is three levels above the typical offer, compounded further by the fact that subjects such as Economics and History are so subjective as to make the attainment of a D2 grade something of a lottery, she feels her offer is somewhat extreme. An offer which is one level above the typical offer is par for the course, two levels above the typical offer would no doubt have some justification of some sort, but three levels above the typical offer feels tantamount to a rejection.

    I fully appreciate why the policy exists of not giving feedback to offer holders, but would it not be reasonable for those with the most extreme offers to also be offered some kind of explanation?
    What was she predicted in the Pre-U, out of interest?
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    (Original post by JasperLee)
    Sorry just venting large amounts of frustration at the moment, I am a Nat/sci Bio applicant. I thought everything went well at interview. Now feel I have let everybody down.
    What subjects and UMS do you have?

    Any Camb application is an achievement and MANY people don't quite make it in. I'm sure you can still go on to be successful at one of your other offers, and if Camb is still a goal then reapply as a grad.

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    (Original post by JasperLee)
    No your wrong again, I've been a member for several weeks just forgot my log in details!!!! I'm not trying to undermine anybody just upset at the whole process.
    Oh sorry, its just your profile says you joined yesterday. The day you first posted.
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    (Original post by JasperLee)
    No your wrong again, I've been a member for several weeks just forgot my log in details!!!! I'm not trying to undermine anybody just upset at the whole process.
    To be fair, if you go back and re-read your first post in this discussion, it does come across as a potential troll post - it's barely understandable as it's written!

    Venting your disappointment is one thing, but if you think there is a flaw in the Cambridge admissions system then at least try to articulate what it is so people can investigate whether you have a genuine grievance or not.

    I'm not trying to get at you - I was the first person in my family to get ANY qualifications, and the first person from my state school to get into Cambridge, but I'm struggling to make out from your posts exactly what it is that you're complaining about
 
 
 
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