Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    My teachers once encouraged me to attend this lecture on Oxbridge at my school. It was quite long and of the subjects that came up was colleges. I've been to cambridge before and I've seen the colleges, some of them are very nice and grand (Trinity, St.Johns, etc.) and others less so (Girton, Robinson...). This got me thinking. A couple of people said that it was equally as hard to get into any college in Cambridge. Is this true? If there were the same number of applicants for each college for medicine (what I'm interested in taking) would I have the same chance of getting into Trinity compared to Girton? I'm rather skeptical. Also, the colleges I'm most keen on are

    Downing
    Trinity
    St.Johns
    Clare

    Of these ones, which is/has:

    1)the best reputation for medicine
    2) the easiest/hardest to get into

    I understand this question is going to get it's fare share of unnecessary comments, I'm looking just looking for a couple of answers. My UMS is 94 and I got 10 A* at GCSE. Currently taking a gap year. Would I even stand a chance at some of the more prestigious colleges such as Trinity and St.Johns?

    I also heard that you are guaranteed an interview at any college if your UMS is above 93. Any truth to this? Thanks for any answers
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by plagiarist)
    My teachers once encouraged me to attend this lecture on Oxbridge at my school. It was quite long and of the subjects that came up was colleges. I've been to cambridge before and I've seen the colleges, some of them are very nice and grand (Trinity, St.Johns, etc.) and others less so (Girton, Robinson...). This got me thinking. A couple of people said that it was equally as hard to get into any college in Cambridge. Is this true? If there were the same number of applicants for each college for medicine (what I'm interested in taking) would I have the same chance of getting into Trinity compared to Girton? I'm rather skeptical. Also, the colleges I'm most keen on are

    Downing
    Trinity
    St.Johns
    Clare

    Of these ones, which is/has:

    1)the best reputation for medicine
    2) the easiest/hardest to get into

    I understand this question is going to get it's fare share of unnecessary comments, I'm looking just looking for a couple of answers. My UMS is 94 and I got 10 A* at GCSE. Currently taking a gap year. Would I even stand a chance at some of the more prestigious colleges such as Trinity and St.Johns?

    I also heard that you are guaranteed an interview at any college if your UMS is above 93. Any truth to this? Thanks for any answers
    The 'official' line is that whichever college you apply to, you will have an equal chance of getting into the university (at some college or other). I do have slight doubts about this but it's close enough to the truth. However, it is categorically tougher to get into, say, King's for maths than Girton since the former simply has so many direct applicants. Though whether you apply to King's or Girton in theory you have an equal chance of getting to Cambridge somewhere.

    However, what complicates matters a little is that some people understandably don't want to go to Girton or Homerton or whatever. Hence, you may be marginally better off in terms of getting to a college you like if you apply to one with a slightly lower number of applicants; the second you're pooled you lose all control over your eventual destination.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Krollo)
    The 'official' line is that whichever college you apply to, you will have an equal chance of getting into the university (at some college or other). I do have slight doubts about this but it's close enough to the truth. However, it is categorically tougher to get into, say, King's for maths than Girton since the former simply has so many direct applicants. Though whether you apply to King's or Girton in theory you have an equal chance of getting to Cambridge somewhere.

    However, what complicates matters a little is that some people understandably don't want to go to Girton or Homerton or whatever. Hence, you may be marginally better off in terms of getting to a college you like if you apply to one with a slightly lower number of applicants; the second you're pooled you lose all control over your eventual destination.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    No.

    OP should simply apply to the college they most prefer. You should know better

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by plagiarist)
    My teachers once encouraged me to attend this lecture on Oxbridge at my school. It was quite long and of the subjects that came up was colleges. I've been to cambridge before and I've seen the colleges, some of them are very nice and grand (Trinity, St.Johns, etc.) and others less so (Girton, Robinson...). This got me thinking. A couple of people said that it was equally as hard to get into any college in Cambridge. Is this true? If there were the same number of applicants for each college for medicine (what I'm interested in taking) would I have the same chance of getting into Trinity compared to Girton? I'm rather skeptical. Also, the colleges I'm most keen on are

    Downing
    Trinity
    St.Johns
    Clare

    Of these ones, which is/has:

    1)the best reputation for medicine
    2) the easiest/hardest to get into

    I understand this question is going to get it's fare share of unnecessary comments, I'm looking just looking for a couple of answers. My UMS is 94 and I got 10 A* at GCSE. Currently taking a gap year. Would I even stand a chance at some of the more prestigious colleges such as Trinity and St.Johns?

    I also heard that you are guaranteed an interview at any college if your UMS is above 93. Any truth to this? Thanks for any answers
    If you're applying for 2017 entry for Medicine/Oxbridge then the deadline has already passed . . . ?
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Edminzodo)
    If you're applying for 2017 entry for Medicine/Oxbridge then the deadline has already passed . . . ?
    Details, details...

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by plagiarist)
    I also heard that you are guaranteed an interview at any college if your UMS is above 93. Any truth to this? Thanks for any answers
    Yes. But not for Medicine (or Maths).

    Also, CAO says this:

    Careful ongoing analysis of our admissions statistics shows that, for equally well-qualified applicants, making an open application or applying directly to a College does not affect your chance of being made an offer of a place. This is because we have rigorous procedures in place to compare all applicants for each subject before selection decisions are finalised. Strong applicants who’ve been squeezed out by the competition at their original College can be made an offer by another College through the pool. Colleges would rather admit a strong applicant from the pool than a weaker applicant who applied directly to them. See further information regarding how to choose a College.
    http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...sing-a-college


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by plagiarist)
    My teachers once encouraged me to attend this lecture on Oxbridge at my school. It was quite long and of the subjects that came up was colleges. I've been to cambridge before and I've seen the colleges, some of them are very nice and grand (Trinity, St.Johns, etc.) and others less so (Girton, Robinson...). This got me thinking. A couple of people said that it was equally as hard to get into any college in Cambridge. Is this true? If there were the same number of applicants for each college for medicine (what I'm interested in taking) would I have the same chance of getting into Trinity compared to Girton? I'm rather skeptical. Also, the colleges I'm most keen on are

    Downing
    Trinity
    St.Johns
    Clare

    Of these ones, which is/has:

    1)the best reputation for medicine
    2) the easiest/hardest to get into

    I understand this question is going to get it's fare share of unnecessary comments, I'm looking just looking for a couple of answers. My UMS is 94 and I got 10 A* at GCSE. Currently taking a gap year. Would I even stand a chance at some of the more prestigious colleges such as Trinity and St.Johns?

    I also heard that you are guaranteed an interview at any college if your UMS is above 93. Any truth to this? Thanks for any answers
    "Reputation for medicine" really doesn't matter. Caius has a thing about being "the medic college" but nobody really cares once you're there and certainly not afterwards. I think Downing has a couple more places per year than the others, but not sure that makes them much less competitive. Just pick the one you like (though Clare is awesome! )
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by jneill)
    Details, details...

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    If the OP is on a gap year then surely they would be applying for 2017 entry? Or does he/she mean that they are currently in Y13 and intend to take a gap year afterwards?
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Edminzodo)
    If the OP is on a gap year then surely they would be applying for 2017 entry? Or does he/she mean that they are currently in Y13 and intend to take a gap year afterwards?
    I'm agreeing with you

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by jneill)
    I'm agreeing with you

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Oh, sorry!
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by plagiarist)
    My teachers once encouraged me to attend this lecture on Oxbridge at my school. It was quite long and of the subjects that came up was colleges. I've been to cambridge before and I've seen the colleges, some of them are very nice and grand (Trinity, St.Johns, etc.) and others less so (Girton, Robinson...). This got me thinking. A couple of people said that it was equally as hard to get into any college in Cambridge. Is this true? If there were the same number of applicants for each college for medicine (what I'm interested in taking) would I have the same chance of getting into Trinity compared to Girton? I'm rather skeptical. Also, the colleges I'm most keen on are

    Downing - awesome accommodation, from what I've seen. I like the architecture there too.
    Trinity - if you get a first at Trinity then $$$$$$$
    St.Johns - we all hate John's
    Clare -

    Of these ones, which is/has:

    1)the best reputation for medicine
    Not worth worrying about. Caius apparently has a 'reputation', but I think it's mostly because 1) we take the largest number of medical students and 2) receive more supervisions per week than other colleges. But this does not necessary translate to better grades, and more importantly its your own performance that matters, not the reputation of your college.
    2) the easiest/hardest to get into

    I understand this question is going to get it's fare share of unnecessary comments, I'm looking just looking for a couple of answers. My UMS is 94 and I got 10 A* at GCSE. Currently taking a gap year. Would I even stand a chance at some of the more prestigious colleges such as Trinity and St.Johns?

    I also heard that you are guaranteed an interview at any college if your UMS is above 93. Any truth to this? Thanks for any answers
    No idea, but then given Cambridge interview most applicants I'd say if your UMS is 93 you've got a very good chance of being interviewed.
    So I answered a few of your smaller questions, see above (in bold). As for the thread title:

    Your chances of getting into Cambridge will be the same whatever college you apply to, thanks to the 'winter pool' system. As explained by jneill, strong candidates that apply to oversubscribed colleges (e.g. King's College) and are just squeezed out by the competition will be placed in the winter pool, so they can get 'fished' by colleges that are undersubscribed, and thus might find a 'strong' candidate in the winter pool to be better than those who have applied to the college (or at least, within the top x amount of candidates, with x being the number of places available at the college). Note that being oversubscribed definitely does not mean a college is 'better' than a less popular one.

    The winter pool however, does not ensure that your chances of getting into your college of choice will be the same - as in the above example, your chances of getting into King's are technically lower than getting into a college that is, less 'popular' with applicants (via direct application), because there are more applicants i.e. more competition for places. Sure if all colleges had an equal number of applicants and places, as you mentioned, then yes the chances of getting in should be the same - but that's not the case. As an aside, this is why I don't really see the point of going with an open application, because open applicants are simply assigned to colleges that have been undersubscribed to balance the numbers somewhat - if you really didn't care where you end up, and wanted to randomise selection, you'd be better off rolling a die or picking a college name out of a hat.

    All that said, is it really worth strategising - calculating the ratio of applicants to places available, and applying to a college that you may not particularly like - just to ensure that your chances of getting pooled to a college you didn't choose are lower? I did that, but fortunately the college with one of the best applicants: places ratio was also the one I liked most and ultimately applied to (Caius). Anyway, I would advise against doing the same, as A) is it really worth spending that much time obsessing over your college choice when you could be doing more productive things and B) people end up liking whatever college they end up at.

    Furthermore, going off your GCSEs and AS UMS, you seem like a strong candidate anyway so I don't think you need to worry about the above.

    Best of luck with your application!

    TL;DR your chances of getting into Cambridge are the same regardless where you apply, your chances of getting into your college of choice will technically differ, but not enough to make it worth taking into consideration (see reasons A and B). So just apply to whatever college you like the most. Also Caius is the best :P

    EDIT: see the replies below.

    (Original post by Helenia)
    Caius has a thing about being "the medic college" but nobody really cares
    rekt :cry2:
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Rhetorical Hips)
    Note that being oversubscribed definitely does not mean a college 'better' than a less popular one.
    ^This bit is particularly important.

    And also it's worth noting that "over-subscribed" colleges also attract proportionately larger numbers of less competitive students. e.g. King's is the most over-subscribed college and many applicants are relatively speculative and/or less well-qualified applicants. So any "well-qualified" applicants there actually have as good a chance as at any other college.

    Indeed filtering out the "uncompetitive" applicants across all colleges reinforces CAO's point that equally "well-qualified" applicants have the same chance of getting into Cambridge no matter which college they apply to.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jneill)
    ^This bit is particularly important.

    And also it's worth noting that "over-subscribed" colleges also attract proportionately larger numbers of less competitive students. e.g. King's is the most over-subscribed college and many applicants are relatively speculative and/or less well-qualified applicants. So any "well-qualified" applicants there actually have as good a chance as at any other college.

    Indeed filtering out the "uncompetitive" applicants across all colleges reinforces CAO's point that equally "well-qualified" applicants have the same chance of getting into Cambridge no matter which college they apply to.
    Ah if that's the case then I completely agree. Given that I've never looked that deeply into the statistics, I was working off the assumption that there was an even spread of competitive and 'non-competitive' applicants across all colleges. Interesting that the stereotype is that weaker candidates would apply to the less popular colleges, but the statistics appear to show the opposite.
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Rhetorical Hips)
    Ah if that's the case then I completely agree. Given that I've never looked that deeply into the statistics, I was working off the assumption that there was an even spread of competitive and 'non-competitive' applicants across all colleges. Interesting that the stereotype is that weaker candidates would apply to the less popular colleges, but the statistics appear to show the opposite.
    Weaker (but "smart") candidates may well apply to less popular candidates to play the stats game, but my guess is many (especially internationals) apply to the famous/pretty/touristy ones.

    I have no data to support this...
 
 
 
The home of Results and Clearing

3,050

people online now

1,567,000

students helped last year

University open days

  1. University of Cambridge
    St Catharine's College Undergraduate
    Sat, 8 Sep '18
  2. University of Cambridge
    St Catharine's College Undergraduate
    Sat, 15 Sep '18
  3. University of Cambridge
    King's College Undergraduate
    Tue, 18 Sep '18
Poll
How are you feeling about GCSE results day?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.