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    I got a fairly surreal question from this reverend in my interview,

    'how would you persuade a friend to go to an art gallery instead of a disco'
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    I was at sidney collage for an interview.

    Due to my very "suporting" father I had expected something like a cross examination by the spanish inquisition. The interviewers were really nice though. Only thing I regret is that I didnt come in a suit. On the webpages they said it was ok to come casual, but you should dress warm. Living in Norway , my idea of dressing WARM is quite different from that in england (In bath I was walking around in a t-shirt in mid december, that different from the average -10 celsius we have in scandinavia ) Im just glad that I decided to wear black pants and shoes rather than jeans...

    Anyways, one of the interviewers decided to start asking me about the architecture of a computer (I am applying for natural sciences). I didnt say in the personal statement, maybe I should have, that I have been programming in three different languages since I was 15 After I defined the internet as a global network consisting of a combination of hardware and software protocolls designed to organise trafic on worldwide basis he simply said "Ok lets talk about something which has more to do with natural science than information technology..." He also cross examined me on why I wanted to studdy at cambridge. I gave reasons such as the flexibility of the natural science course, and that I did not want to studdy in germany or france since I didnt know the language. When he insinuated that Norway also had quite good universities I said that there is a significant difference in the level between norway and england (This is perfectly true, the norwegian school system sucks)

    On the academic interview I were asked to find several expressions regarding a pendelum, and also questioned on definitions regarding catalysts and catalytics, how catalysts affect equilibrium etc...
    I sort of screwed up a little bit with the signs, but otherwise I knew how to do most of what they asked me, though I dont think it leaves a good expression that I forgot to switch the sign when I moved a term from one side of an equation to teh other. Anyways, I think they managed to see that I was quite nervous, so I hope they take that into consideration. I also made a deal with one of the students that if I got in and he remembered my name Id spend a meal on him.
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    Well, it has certainly been a long two days, but I'm finally back from cambridge! Since you are all keen to know (or perhaps not) maybe I should tell you about my interviews...

    First of all, they were NOTHING like expected - I had revised all this really clever stuff but none of it was asked. I wasn't asked my interests, my reasons for choosing philosophy, about my personal statement, anything! Nothing general at all which is a shame. In fact, I got into the interviews and they just kinda plunged me straight away into all sorts of weird questions on what I would do in certain situations and what I think of certain arguments. One of the interviews went through the written test which I did the evening before..which they said was done amazingly well (But hey, maybe they say that to everyone to be encouraging?)

    My answers were alright I SUPPOSE. They could probably tell my voice was shaking all the way through and I was being VERY inarticulate. They did try and challenge what I said but I kept my ground reasonably well.

    What I noticed was that the interviews seemed to be SO short that I didn't think they covered much at all - i don't think they really got to know me or know what my potential is...it was such a quick hazy blur both times!!

    I'm a bit blank now, and I'm almost certain I won't get in (judging from the apparently brightness of all the other applicants). I heard they'll accept about 4 people out of well over 20 which is bizarre if true. I certainly am not expecting to get an offer - however, I must say it will be heartbreaking not to when my two days here have led me to get SO attached to cambridge, the atmosphere and the types of people...it would really be wonderful to go there.

    Any other questions, please ask!
    what interview was this?
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    What I noticed was that the interviews seemed to be SO short that I didn't think they covered much at all - i don't think they really got to know me or know what my potential is...it was such a quick hazy blur both times!!
    My dad used to be a tutor at a university, and acourding to him it takes about 2 minutes to know almost the exact level of a student. The portier at sidney sussex said it was even faster, that the interviewers were basicly experienced enough to tell who were the troublemakers in a class from just glansing at a class photo (He reffered to it as suecide not to show up in proffesional clothing). I suspect this might be greatly exhagurated however, and I certainly hope it is, as I didnt not even have a tie
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    My dad used to be a tutor at a university, and acourding to him it takes about 2 minutes to know almost the exact level of a student. The portier at sidney sussex said it was even faster, that the interviewers were basicly experienced enough to tell who were the troublemakers in a class from just glansing at a class photo (He reffered to it as suecide not to show up in proffesional clothing). I suspect this might be greatly exhagurated however, and I certainly hope it is, as I didnt not even have a tie
    Lol! Gosh, that's a bit scary...I wonder what they picked up from my constant "uhhhhhh"ing.
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    Lol! Gosh, that's a bit scary...I wonder what they picked up from my constant "uhhhhhh"ing.
    You're a philosopher, you're meant to think!
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    (Original post by theone)
    You're a philosopher, you're meant to think!
    But thinking without result wont get me anywhere!! I remmeber at least one time when I said uhhhh for about a quarter of a minute and then went "I'm not sure" or "I dunno!!" They probably thought something profound was going to come out!
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    But thinking without result wont get me anywhere!! I remmeber at least one time when I said uhhhh for about a quarter of a minute and then went "I'm not sure" or "I dunno!!" They probably thought something profound was going to come out!
    Don't worry, I did that a few times as well, it's also known as 'interview nerves' I'm sure the interviewers make allowances for nerves...
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    (Original post by theone)
    Don't worry, I did that a few times as well, it's also known as 'interview nerves' I'm sure the interviewers make allowances for nerves...
    I sure hope so...I hope they consider me for a tiny bit before rejecting me!! You never know how their brain works though.
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    I sure hope so...I hope they consider me for a tiny bit before rejecting me!! You never know how their brain works though.
    i think they've basically made up their mind before you come in, and what you do in interview tends to reinforce their decisions. (And i do think you've gotten in )
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    But thinking without result wont get me anywhere!! I remmeber at least one time when I said uhhhh for about a quarter of a minute and then went "I'm not sure" or "I dunno!!" They probably thought something profound was going to come out!

    Actually, in my second interview (for medicine) at cambridge they wouldnt take "no/ i dunno" for an answer, so I just kept quite and then they said: 'so........' which meant I HAD to answer. Only if I got really really stuck they hinted me in the right directions. One of them smiled or sometimes laughed at my answers! whereas the other was the silent type and would ask question after question!
    I had lost track of time and I think it went on for at least 40 min. to an hour but during this period they hadnt asked me anything about my ps, work experience, or interests/hobbies.

    I am sort of a controlling person or at least I like to direct the way my interviews go, well THAT was most certainly not the case. I was asked the weirdest questions and I felt really horrible and out of control after the interview.

    But to think of it, I was sort of enjoying myself! and at one stage I didnt care about the guy (who was laughing ALL THE TIME!!), cuz I thought that my answers made some sense....................but then that was just little me
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    (Original post by icarusgideon)
    Actually, in my second interview (for medicine) at cambridge they wouldnt take "no/ i dunno" for an answer, so I just kept quite and then they said: 'so........' which meant I HAD to answer. Only if I got really really stuck they hinted me in the right directions. One of them smiled or sometimes laughed at my answers! whereas the other was the silent type and would ask question after question!
    I had lost track of time and I think it went on for at least 40 min. to an hour but during this period they hadnt asked me anything about my ps, work experience, or interests/hobbies.

    I am sort of a controlling person or at least I like to direct the way my interviews go, well THAT was most certainly not the case. I was asked the weirdest questions and I felt really horrible and out of control after the interview.

    But to think of it, I was sort of enjoying myself! and at one stage I didnt care about the guy (who was laughing ALL THE TIME!!), cuz I thought that my answers made some sense....................but then that was just little me


    I was interviewed for Medicine at Downing COllege. They asked me all the standard questions one would not expect to get like: Why Cambridge? Why Downing COllege?
    Do u think its a good thing?
    I did not miss a questions they even asked about functional MRI and I was able to answer it. Did not concede a goal, or should I say..
    I met some students at Dow. and liked them very much. They even showed as around in the evening. THey were very nice. I would very much wanna be there. Cross fingers and wait, all I can do that is..
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    (Original post by theone)
    i think they've basically made up their mind before you come in, and what you do in interview tends to reinforce their decisions. (And i do think you've gotten in )
    Hmm I don't agree with that at all. Considering most applicants are straight A students I would say the interview plays an absolutely crucial/pivotal role.
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    (Original post by Seer)
    Hmm I don't agree with that at all. Considering most applicants are straight A students I would say the interview plays an absolutely crucial/pivotal role.
    But there was a test beforehand...
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    I thought you were referring to oxbridge interviews generally, but even if you weren't I don't think the test plays nearly as big a role as you think, not for philosophy anyway (even if the test did play a big role, the results would be fairly similar wouldn't they? so the interview would play a pivotal role either way)
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    (Original post by Seer)
    I thought you were referring to oxbridge interviews generally, but even if you weren't I don't think the test plays nearly as big a role as you think, not for philosophy anyway (even if the test did play a big role, the results would be fairly similar wouldn't they? so the interview would play a pivotal role either way)
    From my experience of interview candidates this year (obviously this isn't true for all courses and colleges) most people have had very hard tests, the obvious reason being to differentitae between the very good candidates and the exceptional candidates.
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    And which subjects would these tests be for?
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    (Original post by Seer)
    And which subjects would these tests be for?
    Maths, Nat Sci., Physics, Comp Sci, Classics, Economics (not too sure, my friend said it was really hard, i think he had a test)
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    Here is the point of contention, regardless of how difficult the tests are. You think that when applying to do philosophy at oxbridge the 1hour test is a good enough means of distinguishing candidates, and that effectively in that hour long, very subjective test, there is then an accurate blueprint for who should come in, making interviews no longer necessary, I say that is ******** but think what you like.
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    (Original post by theone)
    From my experience of interview candidates this year (obviously this isn't true for all courses and colleges) most people have had very hard tests, the obvious reason being to differentitae between the very good candidates and the exceptional candidates.
    But in your case - Maths - they don't expect you to be able to answer questions that you have not yet covered on your syllabus. They know that at this stage in Upper 6th there is still a long way to go before you take your A-levels and are therefore proficient in the different modules.
 
 
 
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