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    (Original post by saey)
    My teachers and parents keep telling me that Trinity is the most competetive college for Mathematics, and that in applying I reduce my chances of getting in (to Cambridge)?

    I'm someone who always aims high. I only want Trinity because its (supposed to be) the best. But, when it comes to something this important, I'm having second thoughts.

    I know the pooling system is in place, however it is NOT 100% efficient. There is a chance I will be missed over, whereas if I apply to a college like Peterhouse which only has about 12 maths applicants per year, I will certainly not get missed over.

    In addition, if I do get pooled, I am unlikely to get my second choice college. Whereas if I apply directly to my second choice college, if I'm not good enough for Trinity but still good enough for Cambridge as a whole, I will probably get my second choice.

    It could also be the case that three other super-mathematicians have the same idea as me and apply to Peterhouse, who then have to pool me anyway, even if I'm good enough for Cambridge as a whole.

    Another issue is that I do not wish to go to an all girls college having been at an all girls school for 9 years of my life. All girls colleges have first dibs on the pool as they rarely get any maths applicants and most colleges look though applicants pooled by Trinity first.

    Final issue, if I take Trinity I will not be the only person from my school applying to Trinity College for maths. :s (though having said that I'm very confident that I'm the better applicant).

    What to do..?
    Well when I spoke to an admissions tutor in Cambridge, they said that no college is easy and you are just as likely or unlikely to get an offer etc. I did not read your whole post, so sorry if i did not answer your question.
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    If you apply to your second choice, then get in, will you not always wonder if you were good enough and regret taking the chance. What if you get into your second choice and the other person from your school gets into Trinity? Or what if the second choice rejects you; you may always wonder if Trinity would have accepted you after all.

    If it's really important you get into Trinity, not applying may haunt you; however if you mainly want to get into Cambridge and Trinity is just a bonus maybe hedging your bets isn't a bad idea.
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    (Original post by saey)
    My teachers and parents keep telling me that Trinity is the most competetive college for Mathematics, and that in applying I reduce my chances of getting in (to Cambridge)?

    I'm someone who always aims high. I only want Trinity because its (supposed to be) the best. But, when it comes to something this important, I'm having second thoughts.

    I know the pooling system is in place, however it is NOT 100% efficient. There is a chance I will be missed over, whereas if I apply to a college like Peterhouse which only has about 12 maths applicants per year, I will certainly not get missed over.

    In addition, if I do get pooled, I am unlikely to get my second choice college. Whereas if I apply directly to my second choice college, if I'm not good enough for Trinity but still good enough for Cambridge as a whole, I will probably get my second choice.

    It could also be the case that three other super-mathematicians have the same idea as me and apply to Peterhouse, who then have to pool me anyway, even if I'm good enough for Cambridge as a whole.

    Another issue is that I do not wish to go to an all girls college having been at an all girls school for 9 years of my life. All girls colleges have first dibs on the pool as they rarely get any maths applicants and most colleges look though applicants pooled by Trinity first.

    Final issue, if I take Trinity I will not be the only person from my school applying to Trinity College for maths. :s (though having said that I'm very confident that I'm the better applicant).

    What to do..?
    I've got a few mates applying trinity, and they are saying its because they liked the place etc. Go for what you want to, if you are talented enough you will get it

    With the same subject thing it is generally advised against (what my school has told me)
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    Do you really want to have that pressure on you for 3 years of your life. It wont affect the level of teaching you get but they will arbitrarily increase their expectations from you. They tend to give exam advice to students like they are aiming for a first even if its inappropriate, say a student with a 2.2/3 record. I would pick college based on accomodation and size...
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    Let's answer this the mathematician's way... using statistics.

    In the last admissions cycle (for entry this year), 187 students applied to Trinity for maths, and of those, 79 were made an offer at either Trinity or another college, that's 42%. Over the whole university, there were 467 offers from 1127 applicants - 41%. The story is the same for 2010 entry (Trinity 39%, uni 37%) and in 2009, a whopping 44% of trinity applicants received an offer from some college, compared to 37% across the uni.

    So basically, the pooling system works. The only worry would be that you are pooled to a "lesser" college, but firstly, it's debatable how much this matters, and secondly, I know people who got into Caius after being pooled from Trinity, so they clearly moved up in the world
 
 
 
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