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    (Original post by Minerva)
    Email the college if you still haven't received the decision letter and ask for an email copy if you need it that quickly. If you mean, when does Cambridge send out the information about taking up one's place, this won't be until much later.

    If your son/daughter is not eligible for public funds in the UK, your decision letter will have included details about the financial conditions that must be met, and that should be sufficient for your purposes.
    Thanks very much. you are a star
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    Minerva, this thread has been a life line for me. I had an exam last week, got another one on Friday and I have been sooo stressed! I'm sorry I'm one of those people joining after the event, but to show my gratitude I'd like to add to the stats.

    I applied for Classics. Pooled by Newnham and fished by St. John's for re-interview. I've been dreading the rejection letter/email/track update ... then today I got an offer by post!! I still can't believe it after all this time. At least I can do my exam on Friday without falling apart.

    Thank you and everyone who has posted on this thread.
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    My daughter finally got her rejection* letter (via email) yesterday afternoon. It’s a huge relief to have closure.

    She will probably be heading to Durham (University College) which looks like a wonderful place to study. She is very excited and I’m sure she will thrive there!


    Thanks Minerva for your help and support. Good luck to all the ex-poolees!


    *from Gonville and Caius for English Lit with no re-interview (she herself hasn’t posted elsewhere on this thread)
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    For the stats : fished by Fitzwilliam today for HSPS, originally pooled by King's College. Good luck to everyone on the thread, it is still possible to be offered a place!
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    (Original post by drupi)
    I am sure you WERE actually pooled! I would hypothesise that the college just sent out ( re-used) a previous letter template that they had sent out to their first tranche of 'rejected' applicants and omitted to change date or format for the final letters for the returned poolees.The admin person may have felt these people could have the same letter since they knew they could not offer them a place and the situation hadn't changed. But if you have admin assistants of variable quality or actual decisionmaking power they may just feel the original letter 'will do' and needs no further personalisation to reflect the higher achievement of the pooled applicants. If it was a commercial direct marketing operation they would have loads of pre prepared letters marked o, p, q etc for all sorts of admissions scenarios - mainly because they wouldnt want to be offending customers!. The lack of thought and control comes down maybe to not having a very centralised procedure, therefore reactive behaviour and too much variation between colleges. Also no one at the top thinking sensitively about what all this means to the 'Cambridge brand image' or individual applicants self confidence and happiness.

    (Yes - I do work in Marketing!)

    Minerva, I am assuming that with the disappearance of AS (and the UMS) the whole admissions procedure will have to change for Cambridge and that might be quite a good moment for the University to reconsider admissions procedure overall.
    Eh. Very true.
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    (Original post by Sheldonette C)
    Minerva, this thread has been a life line for me. I had an exam last week, got another one on Friday and I have been sooo stressed! I'm sorry I'm one of those people joining after the event, but to show my gratitude I'd like to add to the stats.

    I applied for Classics. Pooled by Newnham and fished by St. John's for re-interview. I've been dreading the rejection letter/email/track update ... then today I got an offer by post!! I still can't believe it after all this time. At least I can do my exam on Friday without falling apart.

    Thank you and everyone who has posted on this thread.
    Well done! They have been sending out some very late decisions this year. Good luck in the exams tomorrow. [Have added you to the stats.]

    (Original post by mummymo)
    My daughter finally got her rejection* letter (via email) yesterday afternoon. It’s a huge relief to have closure.

    She will probably be heading to Durham (University College) which looks like a wonderful place to study. She is very excited and I’m sure she will thrive there!


    Thanks Minerva for your help and support. Good luck to all the ex-poolees!


    *from Gonville and Caius for English Lit with no re-interview (she herself hasn’t posted elsewhere on this thread)
    Added to the stats. She'll have a ball at Durham; it's a great university.

    (Original post by guytouw)
    For the stats : fished by Fitzwilliam today for HSPS, originally pooled by King's College. Good luck to everyone on the thread, it is still possible to be offered a place!
    Wow! That's very late to hear good news - but better late than never
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    For anyone interested this is the feedback that they gave me, international ex-poolee reject from pembroke for NatSci Bio:

    Thank you for your request for feedback on your application to Pembroke College. I hope you will find the following information, which gives you a sense of the general picture of applications to Pembroke College, and your own application in that context, useful. This year, we received 870 applications for entry to Pembroke College in 2013 or 2014 and made 160 offers including 10 for 2014; of these 11 went to students from the inter-collegiate ‘Pool’ who had originally applied to other Cambridge Colleges. On paper the field was extremely well qualified and strong. Applicants who had sat AS Levels averaged, for example, 90% across their three best or three most relevant AS/A2 Level subjects; those doing IB were usually predicted overall scores in excess of 40 points; and those doing Scottish qualifications had regularly achieved several A1s at Higher Level. Where they sat GCSEs, the average candidate had achieved 7A*s. A relatively large number of students also had outstanding references: in some subjects, a significant number of the places this year went to applicants who were described as being academically among the best students teachers/lecturers had taught. The top group of candidates performed extremely well in tests and in interviews. Applicants who received offers averaged 95% at AS Level and several A*s at GCSE. The exceptional quality of this field meant that, to our very great regret, many excellent applicants were squeezed out at the margins by others who we judged to be stronger overall.


    I now write with specific reference to NSB and to your own application. We received 190 applications for the Natural Sciences tripos and made 31 offers in the subject this year. The high number of applications per offer requires us to place a significant emphasis both on existing exam results and performance at each individual interview. In the context of our overall field, your GCSE results were above average but your AS results were slightly below average and did not place you in the top group of our applicants in advance of interview. It is worth noting that the very strongest applicants tended to achieve results that are well above 90%s in all of their relevant subjects. At interview, you performed very creditably. You showed yourself to be mathematically able and you had some very good ideas surrounding some of the problems being discussed. For example, you spoke very well on the differences between compound eyes and simple eyes and worked methodically through the advantages and disadvantages. However, you did slightly less well in other elements of the interview. Your interviewer noted that you had difficulty recalling some key facts and your scientific knowledge was not as good as the very best candidates this year. For example, you lacked a detailed understanding on the question on depth perception and were not able to provide clear scientific insight. Overall, your performance was thought strong enough to merit inclusion in the Pool but not strong enough to lift you into our very top group of applicants following the interview. We should again stress the importance of the exacting standards across all existing exam results and interviews. This is an inevitable consequence of the strength of competition for places and our decision does not mean that we in any way doubt your clear academic ability.

    I hope this helps to explain our decision. We refine and improve our processes every year, but the choices remain extraordinarily difficult. Indeed, depending upon subject, we believe that around two-thirds of the applicants we assessed this year would have done well at Cambridge had we been able to admit them. We sent rejection letters to a large number of candidates who were, by any reasonable standard, very strong, and we realise that, when such applicants are unsuccessful in applying to Cambridge, it can often be very disappointing for them. We know how much students invest in their applications and are very grateful to have received yours. We wish you the very best for the future.
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    (Original post by joyie)
    For anyone interested this is the feedback that they gave me, international ex-poolee reject from pembroke for NatSci Bio:....
    Wow they took the time to be very specific. Commiserations on not getting in but I hope the feedback was useful to you!
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    (Original post by ukdragon37)
    Wow they took the time to be very specific. Commiserations on not getting in but I hope the feedback was useful to you!
    yeah it was good, just want my TSA scores now... even the rejection letter was very personal- its nice of them.
    how did your application go?
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    (Original post by joyie)
    For anyone interested this is the feedback that they gave me, international ex-poolee reject from pembroke for NatSci Bio
    After some pretty shabby treatment of applicants by keeping them hanging during a lengthy pool stage, I think Pembroke at least has really redeemed itself and Cambridge with this level of detailed (and very kindly) feedback. Good luck wherever you go Joyie.
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    I agree with crumpet1, whoever put that together has taken the time & put thought into it. Not just a standard letter sent off.
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    (Original post by joyie)
    yeah it was good, just want my TSA scores now... even the rejection letter was very personal- its nice of them.
    how did your application go?
    It went well... back in 2009

    You never get to know your TSA score. Even current students don't know theirs.
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    (Original post by ukdragon37)
    It went well... back in 2009

    You never get to know your TSA score. Even current students don't know theirs.
    I know mine from my feedback. I guess some colleges do things differently with regards to TSA.
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    (Original post by Oromis263)
    I know mine from my feedback. I guess some colleges do things differently with regards to TSA.
    Ah interesting. Normally you need to wait for the opportune occasion of a drunken Director of Studies before you can ambush him to coax your score out.
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    (Original post by joyie)
    The high number of applications per offer requires us to place a significant emphasis both on existing exam results and performance at each individual interview.
    Commiserations about your rejection, but the point I've highlighted here is key I think. Some subjects (which have a lot of very strong applicants per place) are so cut-throat that just messing up one part of the process leads to a rejection. It's brutual, but it's the only way they can reliably sort through people. This is most prevalent in Medicine, Engineering, Economics and "famous" college/subject combinations - one of which is BioNatSci at Pembroke.

    Being placed in the pool is evidence that you were good enough, but unfortunately it seems about 120 people were good enough and there were only 30 places. At the top end, I think it takes a touch of luck to get an offer (whether that be indirect or not).
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    Minerva, this is for your stats; my daughter was pooled by caius and re-interviewed by Murray Edwards on 12.1.2013. We received a letter from caius on 22.1.2013 (dated 17.1.2013) that she was not successful to get a place in Cambridge. I still love her and am proud of her for getting so far, and congrats to everyone who secured an offer. Thanks a million for this thread and all your advice and stats.
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    (Original post by docmom)
    Minerva, this is for your stats; my daughter was pooled by caius and re-interviewed by Murray Edwards on 12.1.2013. We received a letter from caius on 22.1.2013 (dated 17.1.2013) that she was not successful to get a place in Cambridge. I still love her and am proud of her for getting so far, and congrats to everyone who secured an offer. Thanks a million for this thread and all your advice and stats.
    Thanks for that - commiserations to your daughter, but there'll be plenty of opportunities for her to show what Cambridge missed out on
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    (Original post by ohlittlewolf)
    It hasn't come through UCAS yet D: But I went ahead and e-mailed them, purely because I am confident that no harm will come of it - I sent a very carefully-worded e-mail assuring them of my gratitude throughout.
    What did they reply? x
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    (Original post by joyie)
    For anyone interested this is the feedback that they gave me, international ex-poolee reject from pembroke for NatSci Bio:

    Thank you for your request for feedback on your application to Pembroke College. I hope you will find the following information, which gives you a sense of the general picture of applications to Pembroke College, and your own application in that context, useful. This year, we received 870 applications for entry to Pembroke College in 2013 or 2014 and made 160 offers including 10 for 2014; of these 11 went to students from the inter-collegiate ‘Pool’ who had originally applied to other Cambridge Colleges. On paper the field was extremely well qualified and strong. Applicants who had sat AS Levels averaged, for example, 90% across their three best or three most relevant AS/A2 Level subjects; those doing IB were usually predicted overall scores in excess of 40 points; and those doing Scottish qualifications had regularly achieved several A1s at Higher Level. Where they sat GCSEs, the average candidate had achieved 7A*s. A relatively large number of students also had outstanding references: in some subjects, a significant number of the places this year went to applicants who were described as being academically among the best students teachers/lecturers had taught. The top group of candidates performed extremely well in tests and in interviews. Applicants who received offers averaged 95% at AS Level and several A*s at GCSE. The exceptional quality of this field meant that, to our very great regret, many excellent applicants were squeezed out at the margins by others who we judged to be stronger overall.


    I now write with specific reference to NSB and to your own application. We received 190 applications for the Natural Sciences tripos and made 31 offers in the subject this year. The high number of applications per offer requires us to place a significant emphasis both on existing exam results and performance at each individual interview. In the context of our overall field, your GCSE results were above average but your AS results were slightly below average and did not place you in the top group of our applicants in advance of interview. It is worth noting that the very strongest applicants tended to achieve results that are well above 90%s in all of their relevant subjects. At interview, you performed very creditably. You showed yourself to be mathematically able and you had some very good ideas surrounding some of the problems being discussed. For example, you spoke very well on the differences between compound eyes and simple eyes and worked methodically through the advantages and disadvantages. However, you did slightly less well in other elements of the interview. Your interviewer noted that you had difficulty recalling some key facts and your scientific knowledge was not as good as the very best candidates this year. For example, you lacked a detailed understanding on the question on depth perception and were not able to provide clear scientific insight. Overall, your performance was thought strong enough to merit inclusion in the Pool but not strong enough to lift you into our very top group of applicants following the interview. We should again stress the importance of the exacting standards across all existing exam results and interviews. This is an inevitable consequence of the strength of competition for places and our decision does not mean that we in any way doubt your clear academic ability.

    I hope this helps to explain our decision. We refine and improve our processes every year, but the choices remain extraordinarily difficult. Indeed, depending upon subject, we believe that around two-thirds of the applicants we assessed this year would have done well at Cambridge had we been able to admit them. We sent rejection letters to a large number of candidates who were, by any reasonable standard, very strong, and we realise that, when such applicants are unsuccessful in applying to Cambridge, it can often be very disappointing for them. We know how much students invest in their applications and are very grateful to have received yours. We wish you the very best for the future.
    Thank you so much for posting this. What wonderful feedback. You should feel very proud. My daughter applied to Pembroke to study Phys NatSci and was also pooled. It's interesting to see details about numbers of applicants and information about what the college was looking for in them. Best wishes for the future.
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    (Original post by PugsMum)
    Thank you so much for posting this. What wonderful feedback. You should feel very proud. My daughter applied to Pembroke to study Phys NatSci and was also pooled. It's interesting to see details about numbers of applicants and information about what the college was looking for in them. Best wishes for the future.

    Minerva, firstly for your stats: my son (not posting on here himself) was pooled for Phys Nat Sci, re-interviewed and then drowned. Has offers from Durham, Imperial and UCL so will probably go to Durham, unless takes a year off and re-applies. Still waiting to hear from St Andrews.

    Secondly, I wanted to thank you more than words can describe, for all your work on this thread. Like many, parents and candidates, I feel I have only been kept alive over the past few weeks by hanging on to this thread.

    Finally, I wondered whether I could ask people, through you, for their experience in re-application. I know there have been some posts about this already, and I take as granted the idea that it would be pointless even to think about it without 4A*s - which he is predicted anyway - this summer, and sky-high USM as well: at least 95%.

    I have three concerns in particular: first, can anyone give any details about which universities might not repeat an offer? (eg Durham!)

    Second, although various people have spoken about re-application, my son is under the impression that it is only possible if applications are withdrawn from UCAS BEFORE taking A Levels, and becomes impossible after receiving A Level results because by then the firm offer has become contractually binding. On the other hand no one else has mentioned this problem on this thread. Does anyone have a clue?!

    Third, how different might Oxford be? - my son only applied to Camb because of Nat Sci, but strongly preferred Oxford, so maybe it would make sense, if he re-applies, to do so there. Any thoughts, or is that heresy on a thread dedicated to Cambridge?

    I know this thread has practically come to an end now, but if there is another thread I should be on, it would be great to know. AgedParent is too old to know much about these things, and badly needs help. (In fact this is the first forum etc I have ever been on - beat that!)

    If anyone is still reading this, my thanks to all of you for the good grace which most people have shown in dealing with their great disappointment - it has been an education for me. Good luck to you wherever you do go - Durham? -
    and I hope lots of you interesting people meet up there (including own offspring!?) and have the intellectual time of your lives. And fun!
 
 
 
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