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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    A year into my course now (Mechanical engineering) and I am so appalled with myself.

    I managed to get 97 UMS average across Maths and Further maths aswell as acing Physics and Economics. Got the highest grades in my school and high A*s etc.

    My PS was full of work experience, My references where extremely good, even my Ucas advisor while reading it told me it's the best she has read in the last 10 years.

    My interviews went well and they went fine.

    Yet despite all this I was rejected from Cambridge. I am now at a University which has entry requirements of AAA (second best for my course) and everyone here is unambitious, just mess about and party everyday.

    I honestly hate myself. I did everything I could. Everything.

    What more could I do? I have the grades, the PS, the reference..just everything.

    Yet despite all of this I failed. Meanwhile 2 Students from my school got lower grades and managed to get in to the same course and lower UMS. How does that make any sense?
    You werent what they wanted. Dont hype up cambridge so much plenty of good unis with good prospects. Yes cambs is ideal but honestly ib the long term if you really are as good as you make yourself sound then youll be fine.
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    Which university are you studying at?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Everyone Advised against it. School. Parents. ( and brother who too has gone Cambridge)

    If they where not going to take me then, they would not have taken me now.
    Erm... loads of people have gotten in after reapplying.
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    #1

    (Original post by Poooky)
    Other universities also offer interviews.



    That's not entirely true, science clubs sure as they are applying for mech eng but everything else doesn't matter.



    Your interview was most likely the issue. Considering two people in your school got in with lower grades it won't be a problem with going to a very good school/very good area. Your grades are great and you have a wealth of extra curricular activities, and PS/reference won't really matter that much. I don't know whether the EngAA is used in the final consideration of the application but likely it was okay enough to get you an interview, but didn't really impress. You could always apply again but I don't know whether Cambridge accept applications from current university students. They don't accept transfers, so decide whether you're unhappy at your current university enough to want to drop out. You would have a decent shot at getting in, but it's not guaranteed

    What were your AS grades/UMS? Did you do much better at A2 or were they both equally high?
    I got 99 average in AS and it dropped in A2 when I stopped giving a ****.
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    (Original post by angelike1)
    Erm... loads of people have gotten in after reapplying.
    any statistics?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    any statistics?
    nah not really but its true

    maybe Doonesbury can confirm?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I played football for a team which is now in the second division right now, (won't mention name for privacy). Had I ****ing stuck with football I could be earning 5-7k a week doing **** all. But no, I gave it up for Cambridge.

    I speak 2 languages fluently. Also grade 6 piano.
    If it wasn't the interview or Engaa where you went wrong (and assuming they went great) I think this is where you went wrong. You gave up on all you considered irrelevant to cambridge engineering. Nothing is irrelevant, it shows extra skills. You focused too much on what you thought was 100% relevant to engineering, that you did few non-engineering activities. Engineering requires skills from all sorts of places, which can be applied to industry. Extra language qualification show good ability to communicate and learn. DofE and volunteering helps show good social skills. Music shows creative skills, even if it's not related to engineering.

    What your results showed the university was you can get good results in engineering, but what everything else you did didn't tell them was you can balance school and cambridge with what you enjoy and love.

    This isn't the end of the road for you. But what you need to seriously think about hwhat you did wrong regarding extracuricculars, what the successful students in your year did that you didn't to show the university they had a variety of transferable skills. You can always apply for a graduate course at cambridge at a later date, but start thinking about what you need to change now.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I got 99 average in AS and it dropped in A2 when I stopped giving a ****.
    Definitely interview then.

    Don't think of yourself as having failed. Cambridge is not the pinnacle, there are so many other great universities and it doesn't really matter much after university anyway. You can obviously be as or more successful than any Cambridge student/graduate. I think your feelings towards your current uni may be affecting how much you feel you missed out on Cambridge. If you really really hate your current one, then drop out. Apply elsewhere, maybe do general engineering rather than mech so you have more places to apply to. But more than dropping out you need to stop the self pity and accept where you are, and work with it. If everyone is so unambitious, you have the opportunity to shine there. Aim for the top again. How are your grades at university?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    any statistics?
    Da*** do you need statistics for? Reapply and cross your fingers. It won't hurt anyone.
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    Hi Anonymous,

    Sorry but I'm going to give it you straight as I can't believe what I'm reading here:-

    First off, Cambridge doesn't owe you a placement, they had set criteria that year, loads of candidates to choose from. It's possible they could of made a mistake but more likely that other candidates came over better than you, that year at interview, so you didn't lose the opportunity it was just someone else came over better - that's life.

    Another year, different competition and it might of been a different outcome. you didn't get in, now get over it. Dust yourself down and make the best of where you are now. A whole world awaits, work at it.

    Secondly, and You won't like me for saying this one jot, but your replies stink of arrogance, I think you have had people blowing smoke up your ass telling you how great you are for so long that you are believing in your own self importance. Based on how you are acting now indicates to me that Cambridge actually made the right call not selecting you because unless things go your way, you struggle to adapt!

    You have a great opportunity in front of you. Forget the other students attitudes to the Course. It's what YOU make if it that counts. don't waste that opportunity whinging that you should be somewhere else and thinking you are better than everyone else and shouldn't be there. If you waste what you have then you are being an idiot!

    Sorry my post is harsh, but you need a wake up call - Carpee Diem
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    This is actually the opposite of Cambridge's advice. Cambridge only cares about extracurriculars that are related to the course you're applying for. You've made some big assumptions here, and you're advising others based on them. Maybe next time check first?

    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    I'm in year 12 and this is what I'm doing now.

    LAMDA Grade 6
    Piano Grade 8
    Viola Grade 8
    Performing in the school play
    DofE Gold
    Acapella
    Orchestra
    Swimming on Fridays
    Volunteering at a library
    Global Perspectives pre-U (mandatory with the school)
    2 Extra language GCSE's on top of French and German i already did

    I also did Grade 6 theory 2 years ago.

    I will NOT give these up this year in favour of good A-levels, because i can do both. Having an OK A* maths grade and all of the above is better than getting an really good A* in maths and doing none of the above. For engineering related stuff i do

    STEM Chemistry
    STEM Physics - radiation detector
    Space Design Competition
    Apply for work experience this year
    Enter an essay for a green tech design next year.

    As you can see the non-engineering related stuff far outweighs the engineering related stuff. But that's good. My A-Levels are basically all that matter when they look at your ability to handle the course. The non-engineering related stuff is what's the best indicator of skill variety.

    If it wasn't the interview or Engaa where you went wrong (and assuming they went great) I think this is where you went wrong. You gave up on all you considered irrelevant to cambridge engineering. Nothing is irrelevant, it shows extra skills. You focused too much on what you thought was 100% relevant to engineering, that you did few non-engineering activities. Engineering requires skills from all sorts of places, which can be applied to industry. Extra language qualification show good ability to communicate and learn. DofE and volunteering helps show good social skills. Music shows creative skills, even if it's not related to engineering.

    What your results showed the university was you can get good results in engineering, but what everything else you did didn't tell them was you can balance school and cambridge with what you enjoy and love.

    This isn't the end of the road for you. But what you need to seriously think about hwhat you did wrong regarding extracuricculars, what the successful students in your year did that you didn't to show the university they had a variety of transferable skills. You can always apply for a graduate course at cambridge at a later date, but start thinking about what you need to change now.
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    I actually have this fear right now. I'm applying for a social science course and I achieved A*A*A* (gap year) from a awful comp, and got the highest results in my schools history. The problem is I think I won't get into Cambridge, because of average references and a sub-par admissions assessment. I actually applied for the 5 most competitive uni's for my course, but even the 2nd best is a massive drop behind Cambridge, and I genuinely love the Cambridge course the most.

    I hate to say this but a lot of the time when I look at statistics from FOI requests, Cambridge rejects most perfect candidates. Candidates data profiles, prove often the very highest candidate for a course (Usually 12A*+ GCSE, AAAAA @ AS, A*A*A*A*A* predicted, high AA score) is rejected. When comparing this to Oxford it differs a lot, I usually see Oxford take candidates mostly from the upper quartile of grades achieved, while Cambridge is across the spectrum.

    I think Cambridge believes many average candidates show signs of a 'higher ceiling', who haven't maximised their potential at A Level, probably due to being schooled at comps etc. I often think Cambridge wants the 'unfinished article'.

    It makes some sense but it is also somewhat illogical and indeed unjust. A candidate can obtain academic perfection from the age of 15 onwards, spend 3/4 years attaining perfect grades, yet be rejected on the basis of two dodgy 30 minute interviews or for messing up on a couple of random assessment questions. Or more ludicrosuly for being 'too perfect'.

    I actually think the UK's admissions system is horrendous. I dislike US standardisation but it is definitely fair. The US extra-curriclars emphasis is strange, however. So I'd like to see the UK have greater standardisation in it's admissions, not abitrary selections from candidates who may or may not achieve highly, oppose to those who already have.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I was rushing...
    They weren't criticising your writing, they were criticising Poooky for asking if you got an interview when you clearly said you did in the original post.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    A year into my course now (Mechanical engineering) and I am so appalled with myself.

    I managed to get 97 UMS average across Maths and Further maths aswell as acing Physics and Economics. Got the highest grades in my school and high A*s etc.

    My PS was full of work experience, My references where extremely good, even my Ucas advisor while reading it told me it's the best she has read in the last 10 years.

    My interviews went well and they went fine.

    Yet despite all this I was rejected from Cambridge. I am now at a University which has entry requirements of AAA (second best for my course) and everyone here is unambitious, just mess about and party everyday.

    I honestly hate myself. I did everything I could. Everything.

    What more could I do? I have the grades, the PS, the reference..just everything.

    Yet despite all of this I failed. Meanwhile 2 Students from my school got lower grades and managed to get in to the same course and lower UMS. How does that make any sense?
    I completely understand why you are annoyed, and think it is entirely reasonable. Unfortunately admissions are never going to be completely fair.

    But focus on the positives: work really hard and get a top first.

    Build up a good CV with relevant leadership skills etc.

    At Cambridge engineering, everyone will have similar A Level grades to you, so it would be harder to stand out. Typically, 20% of the Cambridge engineering cohort gets below a 2.1.
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    I edited my comment to include another paragraph.

    Also, I think it might have been your Engaa or Interview that went wrong. Remember - virtually everybody applying for engineering has been predicted A*'s in Maths / Physics and other subjects, and if they don't they're rejected outright. How high it is won't make too much difference. Plus GCSE's aren't really weighted at all. As far as A-level grades go you're at about the same level as a lot of applicants. You need to remember that even when you get the absolute best results in A-level, it's the extra stuff you do that matters. It's not just engineering-related stuff. it's completely unrelated stuff like music or social activities like DofE or drama. Did your application show evidence you know how to work in groups well? Because that's an important factor.
    I am unconvinced that you know what you are talking about.
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    I am unconvinced that you know what you are talking about.
    It was going well until they mentioned that EC's were important, god no haha
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    I strongly doubt anyone has ever been rejected for being too perfect.
    Having a standardized system would make it hard for Cambridge to take an applicant's school and background into account, putting those who went to less good schools at an even greater disadvantage.

    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    I actually have this fear right now. I'm applying for a social science course and I achieved A*A*A* (gap year) from a awful comp, and got the highest results in my schools history. The problem is I think I won't get into Cambridge, because of average references and a sub-par admissions assessment. I actually applied for the 5 most competitive uni's for my course, but even the 2nd best is a massive drop behind Cambridge, and I genuinely love the Cambridge course the most.

    I hate to say this but a lot of the time when I look at statistics from FOI requests, Cambridge rejects most perfect candidates. Candidates data profiles, prove often the very highest candidate for a course (Usually 12A*+ GCSE, AAAAA @ AS, A*A*A*A*A* predicted, high AA score) is rejected. When comparing this to Oxford it differs a lot, I usually see Oxford take candidates mostly from the upper quartile of grades achieved, while Cambridge is across the spectrum.

    I think Cambridge believes many average candidates show signs of a 'higher ceiling', who haven't maximised their potential at A Level, probably due to being schooled at comps etc. I often think Cambridge wants the 'unfinished article'.

    It makes some sense but it is also somewhat illogical and indeed unjust. A candidate can obtain academic perfection from the age of 15 onwards, spend 3/4 years attaining perfect grades, yet be rejected on the basis of two dodgy 30 minute interviews or for messing up on a couple of random assessment questions. Or more ludicrosuly for being 'too perfect'.

    I actually think the UK's admissions system is horrendous. I dislike US standardisation but it is definitely fair. The US extra-curriclars emphasis is strange, however. So I'd like to see the UK have greater standardisation in it's admissions, not abitrary selections from candidates who may or may not achieve highly, oppose to those who already have.
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    Cambridge admissions are notoriously unpredictable but it seems like you definitely exceeded their academic criteria. Most likely, the interview was where you performed less well than others, and perhaps the Admissions test if you sat one when you applied. I say less well because it does not mean you necessarily performed badly, but that competition for courses like Engineering at Cambridge is exceedingly high and there are so many factors like the specific questions you were asked on the day, how the interviewer 'perceived' you, how much you were able to 'shine' relative to others, that can mean it is never a binary decision.

    I can admit that when I was rejected from Cambridge, I felt similar to you, but I got over it and so should you. Obviously it's difficult, but life is not fair sometimes, and you can't always 'win' at everything the first time. You need to reassess your motivations and career goals and set achievable targets rather than feeling immediate dejection from missing on a singular elusive top spot. If you wanted to land the best Engineering job, internship etc then the field is known to be open to a wide variety of universities. If your aim was to study further at graduate level at a more prestigious university than where you are currently at, all you have to do is work hard at undergrad and try to gain the most from your experience to paint the best possible application going forward.

    You mentioned that your fellow coursemates aren't as hard-working as you, but I don't see why that should stop you from performing at a high level to gain whatever you want despite the momentary setback.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    A year into my course now (Mechanical engineering) and I am so appalled with myself.

    I managed to get 97 UMS average across Maths and Further maths aswell as acing Physics and Economics. Got the highest grades in my school and high A*s etc.

    My PS was full of work experience, My references where extremely good, even my Ucas advisor while reading it told me it's the best she has read in the last 10 years.

    My interviews went well and they went fine.

    Yet despite all this I was rejected from Cambridge. I am now at a University which has entry requirements of AAA (second best for my course) and everyone here is unambitious, just mess about and party everyday.

    I honestly hate myself. I did everything I could. Everything.

    What more could I do? I have the grades, the PS, the reference..just everything.

    Yet despite all of this I failed. Meanwhile 2 Students from my school got lower grades and managed to get in to the same course and lower UMS. How does that make any sense?
    If you don't mind, could you give more detail on these things?:

    1. how much emphasis was specifically on you learning and reading around the subject (Mechanical) engineering in your PS?
    2. if you happen to remember, what did you write your SAQ additional PS?
    3. In either PS, what did you put as your reason for choosing Mechanical Engineering (if you did)?
    4. How did you prove your aptitude in extensions of engineering specifically, e.g. engaa, or anything else that you happened to do, not including A levels/an EPQ?
    5. Can you give (a lot) more detail as to how you performed in the interview?
    6. What do you think made your application stand out from others'?
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    maybe you were the wrong race/social class and they were under pressure to get more people of other one's

    maybe they thought we already have one brother going here, lets give a new family a chance

    maybe they just didn't think highly of your brother and so didn't want you coming here as a result

    maybe the interviewers just didn't like the look of you or stereotyped you negatively

    maybe the lower grade guys spoke with more passion and enthusiasm in their interviews

    tbh, it could be a million and one things. you're not really going to get good reliable answer here from us
 
 
 
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