(Original post by Alexander)
However I think there may be something in what Maskall is saying (although I hate to say it) -- it's probably true that loads of the people whom Oxbridge turn away would have done well if they had got in, getting at least 2.1 degrees.
Maybe, maybe not.
It's not possible to tell because Cambridge don't compare their standards of degrees to those at other universities. In my subject (compsci) approximately 25% get firsts, 30% below that get 2:1s, 35% below that get 2:2s and the bottom 10% is usually a third or fail. Because your degree class is dependent on the other students it won't compare to other universities.
Oxbridge is designed to stretch those that walk through getting straight As, I know someone who was in tears during their first term because of how hard it was. They got 5 As at alevel and only dropped one GCSE down to A*, fact is they try and push you beyond the kind of rote learning you need to do for a-level. It's that you get tested at interview, they have a choice of lots of people with 4 or 5 A grades expected at a-level. They can choose someone who walked them without trouble or someone who worked hard, I know which I'd choose.
As for what grades got me into cam, AACCE at alevel isn't exactly good, so they must be looking for something more than grades... I still don't know why they've taken me but I may as well make the most of it.
Now I'll leave this by saying, sure there are mistakes, but interviews and extra tests are as good a way of deciding between those with lots of As as any other. If you've been rejected the other candidates may just be better, since most colleges only have a few places in each subject.
As for whether it's worth going to cambridge, it is for me, it suits my personality much better than the big ones like warwick and york etc. The collegiate system and the lack of nightlife but good pubs does suit some.