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    (Original post by crana)
    my school (private) has a fund together with the other schools in the "group" that you can apply to for help with travelling to interviews etc if you are from a low income family.

    a return coach ticket from bristol to cambridge with no spcial offers but a student card is about £20 - everyone is different - but if it had been £20 between me and maybe my cambridge place and i only absolutely had my own resources, no parents, nothing at all, im pretty sure Ic ould have made £20 - especially given the time you have from considering applying to cambridge to (possibly) having a pool interview. I know every penny helps when your family is really struggling but im pretty sure that in at least 6 months it wouldnt be completely and utterly impossible to scrape together twenty quid.
    That's quite an unfair thing to say. Sure, it sounds reasonable to you but you're not her, you're not in her situation, and you shouldn't judge. Also, there's usually only a week/couple of week's notice of a pool interview, not six months.

    Rant over.

    I also was considering an Open application, and my head mistress strongly advised me against it. She said that, in her experience, open applicants were slightly less likely to get a place, and also slightly less likely to accept it, as they got to the college they were assigned to for interview and took an intense disliking to it. I'm not personally sure how much of a difference it makes though.

    I found it helpful to approach the choice in stages, and eliminate colleges as the process progressed.

    1. Which colleges do your subject? Sounds obvious but can exclude some at an early stage.

    2. How many Fellows in your subject do they have? This can be an indication of how seriously they take your subject. I took 2 Fellows to be my minimum requirement.

    3. How many undergraduates in your subject do they take each year? Again, could be an indicator of how seriously it's taken, or just how big the college is. I didn't want to be the only classicist in my year, because classicists without Greek have to come up a week early and I would have been all on my lonesome. Then again, a friend chose to be in a college with just 1 place for her subject because she likes being the centre of attention...

    4. What interview process does the college have? I found this out from the faculty website, but I'm sure you can email for info if needs be. Some ask for essays, some give you tests on the day, and some (like the one I finally applied for), ask for nothing. I knew that I didn't have any essays that I was happy enough with to send in, and I didn't have enough time to write another one. Some people also prefer to avoid the tests.

    5. Could you carry on your interests/hobbies at the college. In general this doesn't rule many colleges out because there are so many uni-wide societies that it doesn't matter. But then, things like bar/library closing times and proximity of sports fields/boat houses can be an indicator.


    By this point, I had a shortlist of 5 colleges


    6. Atmosphere. I took a day trip to Cambridge and walked around to get a feel of the shortlisted colleges' atmospheres- there can be quite a surprising difference in mood. I realised that I didn't want to be in a place where I felt scared to touch the walls because they were so ancient/pretty/crumbly and i knew i'd probably be solely responsible for their demolition. Not naming any names *cough*Kings*cough*. Some places were too quiet for me, some too rowdy. Some just plain ugly. Newnham just felt like home when I walked in.

    7. Some faculties have a list of Fellows etc. The Classics website also had pictures. I noted who was at which college (though they sometimes share) and researched their interests. I also contacted a DoS for a tour of the faculty where I saw some people had a chat and lunch with a prof that I knew of (had read his books) and admired beforehand.

    If all of that still leaves you indifferent, perhaps an open application is for you. It's a very personal choice, although most people are happy wherever they go.


    Good luck with your decision

    Selena
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    if it helps, king's told me there had been over 50 places for the 10ish places to read english this year. but they would only tell me this after i had replied, which wasn't terribly useful... is this an unusually large number of applicants for a course at a college or not?
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    It depends on the course and the college and the year. For instance my pool offer college told me when I went to visit that there were 50 applicants for 5 places for Geography at Jesus this year... There were supposed to be about 15 according to last year's statistics, and Jesus is not 'the' Geography college, so that number of applicants was a huge anomaly. There are colleges which are always going to be popular for certain subjects (e.g. Downing for Law, Sidney Sussex and St Cats for Geography) but then sometimes a college will be massively popular for a subject one year for no apparent reason and you have absolutely no control over whether it will be the subject at the college you're applying to or not.

    I think naelse's advice is excellent. The only thing I would add is that you should ignore the statistics in the back of the prospectus when choosing a course. If you're a good candidate but apply to an oversubscribed college, they are likely to pool you. I don't think undersubscribed colleges are much easier to get in to because they'll only accept good applicants, and if they don't have enough they'll wait and take candidates out of the pool e.g. Newnham accepted 2 direct applicants for Geography and took 4 out of the pool this year. Thus I would say don't make an open application because last year your college of choice had lots of applicants. It's all a very inexact science and you can't predict what everyone else will do in the year you apply .
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    (Original post by UndiscoverdSelf)
    if it helps, king's told me there had been over 50 places for the 10ish places to read english this year. but they would only tell me this after i had replied, which wasn't terribly useful... is this an unusually large number of applicants for a course at a college or not?
    I guess King's is a popular college, and English is a popular subject.
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    (Original post by shiny)
    What are your criteria for colleges? Big/small? Rich/poor? etc...
    I don't really know, not too large or sporty. I don't really mind about rich/poor. I quite like the idea of an oldish college.
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    (Original post by Vivian)
    I don't really know, not too large or sporty. I don't really mind about rich/poor. I quite like the idea of an oldish college.
    Which rules out New Hall, Homerton, Fitzwilliam, Churchill and Robinson at least
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    (Original post by naelse)
    Which rules out New Hall, Homerton, Fitzwilliam, Churchill and Robinson at least
    Naelse what college are you going to? I'm going to John's. How much Greek do you know? I could personal tutor you hehe.
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    (Original post by Vivian)
    I don't really know, not too large or sporty. I don't really mind about rich/poor. I quite like the idea of an oldish college.
    You sound like a Clare/Emma person
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    (Original post by Joey_Johns)
    Naelse what college are you going to? I'm going to John's. How much Greek do you know? I could personal tutor you hehe.
    I'll be going to Newnham..

    I went to summer school last year to start off the greek, but i've forgotten most of it! lol I remember the alphabet, and i can still decline the nouns and pronouns. Verbs are a blurthough... I have the reading greek books, and I was planning to start going through it after exams. Thanks for your offer! I'll be bothering you with problems soon, no doubt!
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    (Original post by naelse)
    I'll be going to Newnham..

    I went to summer school last year to start off the greek, but i've forgotten most of it! lol I remember the alphabet, and i can still decline the nouns and pronouns. Verbs are a blurthough... I have the reading greek books, and I was planning to start going through it after exams. Thanks for your offer! I'll be bothering you with problems soon, no doubt!
    To be honest I also cannot remember alot of what I learnt and I only did it to AS level. I'm banking on the fact that it will come back to me when I can be bothered to learn stuff again...I hope. This was most apparent last week when watching some trashy American program, a fraternity was called Theta Delta Zeta but it was only in 'TH D Z' form on their shirts. For the life of me I couldn't remember what Z was called. I obviously knew it was the Greek Z but had a complete mental block and couldn't remember for the life of me what it was called. God did I feel stupid when I found out. It brought home that I was actually going to have to do some work over the summer
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    (Original post by Joey_Johns)
    To be honest I also cannot remember alot of what I learnt and I only did it to AS level. I'm banking on the fact that it will come back to me when I can be bothered to learn stuff again...I hope. This was most apparent last week when watching some trashy American program, a fraternity was called Theta Delta Zeta but it was only in 'TH D Z' form on their shirts. For the life of me I couldn't remember what Z was called. I obviously knew it was the Greek Z but had a complete mental block and couldn't remember for the life of me what it was called. God did I feel stupid when I found out. It brought home that I was actually going to have to do some work over the summer


    I'll be working my socks off all summer too... are you going to bryanston?
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    I dno if someone said this before but here is my help:


    Admission statistics by subject:
    http://www.cam.ac.uk/cambuniv/ugpros...pplying02.html

    annnd FOUND IT. this is what i was looking for, it takes a bit of skillful manipulation on the Cambridgesite, with the 'previous' and 'next' buttons u hav to mess up the system, but here it is in all its glory:

    http://www.cam.ac.uk/cambuniv/ugpros...plying02e.html
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    (Original post by naelse)


    I'll be working my socks off all summer too... are you going to bryanston?
    No my Auntie lived in Greece for 20 years, so I will be round hers a bit. Everything should click back into place after a few days though, I don't really need to learn it again, it is just a case of a refresh. We were taught to a very high standard at our school, easily degree 1st year standard in both Latin and Greek so hopefully, *fingers crossed* I should remember it easily.

    My aunties story is rather amusing. The first place she went to live in Greece was Ithaka and she stayed there for 10 years. She did this unaware of the Odyssey story. Then she moved to Athens for 10 years and visited Hissarlik near the end of her stay, although by that time she had read the Odyssey and probably went so she could be interesting as she always tells people she did the 'Odyssey backwards'.
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    (Original post by shiny)
    You sound like a Clare/Emma person

    What is st Catz like it isn't too sporty is it :eek: I really like the look of Clare too though.
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    (Original post by MentallyIll)
    This is assuming that Trinity tutors make efforts to help you get out of the pool. I understand Clare really go the extra mile to help applicants they have pooled, but how does Trinity compare?

    I've heard that Emmanuel is quite good at getting their unsuccessful applicants pooled. Does anyone know if this is true?
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    (Original post by hitchhiker_13)
    I've heard that Emmanuel is quite good at getting their unsuccessful applicants pooled. Does anyone know if this is true?

    Yeh, Seer was pooled from Emma to Trinity for Philosophy!
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    (Original post by Vivian)
    What is st Catz like it isn't too sporty is it :eek: I really like the look of Clare too though.
    No, I don't think you have to be sporty to be there, seems like an ok sort of place to me, but I only know a couple of people there.
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    (Original post by shiny)
    You sound like a Clare/Emma person
    So are Clare and Emma quite similar? I think I'm going to apply to one of them (assuming of course I get the grades I want in the summer). I really like both - Clare is lovely, and I like that it's on the river, but Emmanuel is gorgeous too. This is probably a stupid way to pick colleges, but there are som few important differences between them.
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    Emma has the cool ducks!

    However, I prefer Clare's location by the river to Emma's more central position.
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    (Original post by hitchhiker_13)
    So are Clare and Emma quite similar? I think I'm going to apply to one of them (assuming of course I get the grades I want in the summer). I really like both - Clare is lovely, and I like that it's on the river, but Emmanuel is gorgeous too. This is probably a stupid way to pick colleges, but there are som few important differences between them.
    Well, they're both strong academically, about the same size and have a good social reputation. Of course I'm biased however I don't know anyone at Emma so couldn't say too much about the place. Clare is more musical (but then it's more musical than pretty much everywhere) but Emma is probably more sporty - couldn't get much less sporty than Clare. I'm sure you'd like it here, but have a look at some others too before you make up your mind.
 
 
 
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