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    Okay last couple of days I have been thinking about applying to Cambridge rather than Oxford for English (Q300)

    I have narrowed my choice down to Queens' and Caius. I particularly liked some of the formalities of Caius but then on the other hand, preferred the location of Queens'.

    Is one particularly harder than the other to get into? I know Caius have some interesting guidelines to submitting college work.

    Can anyone persuade me either way?
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    Is one particularly harder than the other to get into?
    No, not at all.
    It's pretty much standardised throughout the University, so don't try to play numbers games like that.
    Both are extremely popular colleges, and both have very good English fellows & reputations...both are old (as you know) and quite traditional. Both have dodgy bits and groovy bits!
    Go for whichever takes your fancy (and location is as good a reason as anything else). To be honest, between those I would be torn!
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    Hello! I thought you were applying for Oxford? Anyway, just go with the one you prefer! (...and of course that's Queens' :p:)
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    What, may I ask, did you prefer about Queens' location?
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    While there may be certain formalities of Caius that are attractive, their formals definitely do not fall into this category. From what I gather the whole food situation at Caius is a little odd...meal tickets, no allocation of seats for formals, meals served way too quickly, and a general boarding school atmosphere (or so I imagine). I've only attended one formal and no doubt people will speak out in defence of Caius, but the fact such a formal was deemed acceptable put the college in my bad books.
    I'm not going to claim that I couldn't possibly be happier at any other college, but I'm more or less certain that Caius wouldn't be for me.
    In conclusion, Queens' is better.
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    (Original post by Neutral_Tones)
    Hello! I thought you were applying for Oxford? Anyway, just go with the one you prefer! (...and of course that's Queens' :p:)
    Well yes I was...in fact I'm still not sure! At the end of the day it's whether I want to do a standardised admissions test at Oxford, or just rely on school based essays and two interviews at Queens'/Caius.

    I'm really nervous about the Aptitude Test at Oxford as it's the first year it's being set and I don't want to hinder my chances.

    It's probably a minor factor, but I shouldn't apply if I don't have confidence in what I'm doing.
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    Andrew, the ELAT at Oxford isn't going to harm your chances at all. Because it's still in the initial stages they kind of just watch the correlation between all the other elements of your application and the ELAT - only after it proves its usefulness will it be taken entirely seriously. Also, if anything you should be glad of the opportunity to show the admissions tutors more of yourself - the better an idea of your abilities (or lack thereof, of course!) the fairer their decision should be. I know it's probably counter-intuitive, but you should be running towards all the challenges they can throw at you...The more assessments of 'you' there are, the more you can be happy with their decision. No sneaking through the back door by avoiding tests!

    You should be more concerned about the differences between the Oxford & Cambridge courses, because there are a fair few hunking great big ones!

    (That probably all sounds quite harsh - it's not meant to, really).
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    I feel you're looking at the whole application procedure too logically - people get in who don't deserve to be there, hence its's case of luck as well as ability.

    I simply do not need the restrictions of the ELAT - it's not simply a test to showcase your literature skills. It has specific criterion and that's not me! Have you read much about it? I'd rather just demonstrate my literature skills in interview.

    I'm naturally inclined to the application procedure that suits me, I really don't see what's wrong with that - I'm just trying to give myself a better chance. I think it's the law aptitude test where you must get a certain point score to even get an interview!!!!

    Call me obstinate, but I'm pretty sure you must understand my reasoning given there is little, from what I see, to choose between the course.
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    (Original post by johnrambo)
    While there may be certain formalities of Caius that are attractive, their formals definitely do not fall into this category. From what I gather the whole food situation at Caius is a little odd...meal tickets, no allocation of seats for formals, meals served way too quickly, and a general boarding school atmosphere (or so I imagine). I've only attended one formal and no doubt people will speak out in defence of Caius, but the fact such a formal was deemed acceptable put the college in my bad books.
    I'm not going to claim that I couldn't possibly be happier at any other college, but I'm more or less certain that Caius wouldn't be for me.
    In conclusion, Queens' is better.
    Oh please, can we move on from the 'Caius food/formal is rubbish' nonsense? It's such a different system to most other colleges' that comparisons are fairly meaningless. Still I'd like to comment on a few of your assertions:

    • Meal Tickets: Yes they're odd (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) and arguably outdated. Personally I've come to quite appreciate the possibility of a 3 course served meal each evening that I've paid for whether I go and eat it or not and I enjoy the social aspect of the whole college eating together daily.
    • Meals served too quickly: Ey? This is not an issue I've ever experienced.
    • General boarding school atmosphere: I really don't know what you mean by this as I've never been to a boarding school but this is not something I've ever heard mentioned by any Caians so can only conclude you imagine wrongly.

    So yeh, the food isn't great but I would be suprised if this wasn't the case in plenty of other colleges (which don't get mentioned nearly as much). Personally I've never met anyone for whom it is such an issue that having come here they've decided 'Caius isn't for them'.

    To add to the unfair comparisons: My only experience of a Queens' formal was overwhelmed by boisterous drinking society members (I think) who continually disrupted the meal and got a large number of people embarrasingly drunk but hey, they might normally be lovely.

    To conclude: Much as I'm tempted to claim Caius is better just to balance things out I really don't think I'm in any position to judge and anyway I like what I've experienced of both colleges. I expect you'd enjoy either.
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    (Original post by DrCube)
    Oh please, can we move on from the 'Caius food/formal is rubbish' nonsense? It's such a different system to most other colleges' that comparisons are fairly meaningless. Still I'd like to comment on a few of your assertions:

    • Meal Tickets: Yes they're odd (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) and arguably outdated. Personally I've come to quite appreciate the possibility of a 3 course served meal each evening that I've paid for whether I go and eat it or not and I enjoy the social aspect of the whole college eating together daily.
    • Meals served too quickly: Ey? This is not an issue I've ever experienced.
    • General boarding school atmosphere: I really don't know what you mean by this as I've never been to a boarding school but this is not something I've ever heard mentioned by any Caians so can only conclude you imagine wrongly.

    So yeh, the food isn't great but I would be suprised if this wasn't the case in plenty of other colleges (which don't get mentioned nearly as much). Personally I've never met anyone for whom it is such an issue that having come here they've decided 'Caius isn't for them'.

    To add to the unfair comparisons: My only experience of a Queens' formal was overwhelmed by boisterous drinking society members (I think) who continually disrupted the meal and got a large number of people embarrasingly drunk but hey, they might normally be lovely.

    To conclude: Much as I'm tempted to claim Caius is better just to balance things out I really don't think I'm in any position to judge and anyway I like what I've experienced of both colleges. I expect you'd enjoy either.
    So far I'm completely lost concerning Caius' meal tickets and formals, yet for me this is one of the attractions. Why do you want everything so prescribed? It adds a bit of adventure, surely? :rolleyes:

    Anyway, 'bad food' breeds good conversation.
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    Anyway, 'bad food' breeds good conversation.
    I'm not sure about 'good' conversation. It's just creates fertile ground for moaners!
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    What's the accommodation like at Queens'?
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    (Original post by Andrew_2006)
    I'm not sure about 'good' conversation. It's just creates fertile ground for moaners!
    I suppose that could be the flip side of the coin.
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    I feel you're looking at the whole application procedure too logically - people get in who don't deserve to be there, hence its's case of luck as well as ability.

    I simply do not need the restrictions of the ELAT - it's not simply a test to showcase your literature skills. It has specific criterion and that's not me! Have you read much about it? I'd rather just demonstrate my literature skills in interview.

    I'm naturally inclined to the application procedure that suits me, I really don't see what's wrong with that - I'm just trying to give myself a better chance. I think it's the law aptitude test where you must get a certain point score to even get an interview!!!!

    Call me obstinate, but I'm pretty sure you must understand my reasoning given there is little, from what I see, to choose between the course.
    Yes, I suppose it was quite a logical thought. And I understand why you might not see it as a good thing. If you feel very doubtful/anxious/wary about the ELAT, then - as you suggest - it's best not to do it. But the likelihood is that you DO have demonstrable written skills, which hopefully would aid your application. Having said that, I was concerned about the Newnham test-at-interview, so I get why you wouldn't willingly walking into the arms of ELAT. (Retrospectively, however, I was needlessly worried - I almost certainly performed badly, but it doesn't seem to have mattered much).

    Sounds to me like you've pretty much already made up your mind not to do the ELAT...in which case, see you in Cambridge!
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    By the way, how many bits of work did you have to submit to Newnham? And was there any reason you chose that college? I think I'm right in saying it's a female-only college - do you find this okay?

    Oh btw Queens' where I think I will end up applying doesn't have a test-at-interview - so it's all good
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    By the way, how many bits of work did you have to submit to Newnham? And was there any reason you chose that college? I think I'm right in saying it's a female-only college - do you find this okay?

    Oh btw Queens' where I think I will end up applying doesn't have a test-at-interview - so it's all good
    Two essays (and we had a written test on interview days, too). I submitted one about *Streetcar Named Desire* (my AS coursework), and an essay about Heaney's poetry (just a normal one written in the course of yr12).

    I chose Newnham, quite honestly, because when I (accidentally) walked into it on a University Open Day, not knowing (a) which college it was or (b) that it was all-women, I fell in love with it. Everything about its atmosphere felt absolutely right, and from that moment there was no other college for me. only afterwards did I find out the all-female thing, and although I would *never* have considered it previously, for some reason then that fact ceased to matter. Then I read up about the college more and realised how cool its history is, and also how good its facilities are. but the primary reason I applied to it was pure gut reaction and instinct.

    How do I find the single sex thing? The vast majority of the time I honestly do not notice it. I've a really even split of male & female friends, because I do loads of things with University societies. What's more, I'm friends with some incredible women, who previously I probably would have wanted nothing to do with because of some misconceived idea of a 'type'. The college really is just a base from which to explore the wider University, and as a base Newnham is awesome. In short: I love it!

    Glad to hear you're inclining away from "The Dark Side".
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    It might interest you to know that Queens' don't make you sit prelim exams for English at the end of the first year. They might review this soon, as people (especially those who did gap years) can really panic when Part I comes around, and they feel they'd have liked the practice. Since the college room ballots are random, messing up prelims wouldn't be a problem; and most places don't take them very seriously (unlike 'real Tripos'), so I doubt it would be much more stress. But it might interest you, nevertheless.

    I'm utterly non-objective here, being a Queens' alumnus, but: both the English Directors of Studies there are fantastic and immensely supportive, and I can't really imagine their being any better. As far as I know, the best of Caius' staff have migrated or retired. I suspect Caius has the better college library, since it used to be the UL, and had Mr JHP at its helm.
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    both the English Directors of Studies there are fantastic and immensely supportive, and I can't really imagine their being any better.
    I second that - and I only know them from their reputations and occasional lectures. They do seem to be fantastic. I'd be envious, but we've got our own English fellow[strike] to be chuffed about.
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    In my interview they were both fantastic - really relaxed and fun and also challenging and interested in what I had to say. And they both have badass facebook profiles (reason enough for anybody to want to be taught by them).
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    I've entered this conversation a bit late, but: Queeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeens'.
    End of my contribution.
 
 
 
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