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    (Original post by ANM775)
    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
    And with some people the glass is always half empty:-

    Here we have someone really that's complaining about the life cards they are playing, yet they have 4 kings in Poker but really wanted 4 Aces. They fail to see what's in front of them. They fail to see they have that winning hand and can only think "I wish it was 4 Aces" yet they have a hand they can win with.

    The OP has GCSE grades some candidates would dream of, great A level grades that less than the top 4% of the UK would dream of and they are on a Top degree course in one of the best university's in the UK, but the OP can't see that. They can only see "it's not Cambridge"

    if they [email protected] the opportunity up they have, a position that many students would swop with then more fool them. I guess some people don't know what they have until it's gone!

    This is all in the OPs mind. They need to bury the Cambridge suitcase, they didn't get in, ok Cambridges loss, what's next, I'm going to prove how great I can be and become a total success, ahead of everyone else at my current University be the best student here and secure the best degree - then do something meaningful with it when you get out.

    Never look back at what you missed, focus on what you have and play those four kings to win the long game!

    From now on your glass should be half full - change your outlook
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    (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.
    Oh what is this, don't you follow the OP down a black hole as well! you are giving students a bad name; that they can only cope if they win every race!

    Take big breaths, just give everything your best shot, if it's meant to be its meant to be "que sera sera - what will be will be" don't start fretting, just give it a go!
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    Silly question, but did you not ask the admissions people at the college? Maybe I've missed where you said you did...
    ...but this was for admission in 2016? A bit late to reapply now, maybe - but might be worth asking.

    BTW, those people saying that having insufficient unrelated extra-curricular activities are talking nonsense.
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    People just don't seem to get it here.

    Oxbridge is much more than grades, the only thing you GCSEs, ASs, personal statement etc get you is possibly to the interview. If you don't perform at the interview it matters little how good your grades and predicted grades are you are not going to get in. Almost everyone who applies will have similar grades/predicted grades.

    Oxford gets about 6 applications for each place and interviews about half of them, all will be capable, all will have the grades they are looking for.
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    You could always ask the uni for feedback, they may not respond but you’ve got nothing to loose.
    Also, perhaps you could apply to Oxford, instead of Cambridge, next application cycle. I don’t know a lot about Engineering application but perhaps you would fit their criteria better than Cambridge’s? Or even a different college within Cambridge?
    • #3
    #3

    What uni?
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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're not always guaranteed to get in with good grades and PS. Maybe it could be that your interview didn't go as well as you thought it did. What university are you going to now if you don't mind me asking?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    What uni?
    I’ll amend my response: You could always ask Cambridge for feedback- specifically on your interview if that is where you think you fell short
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    (Original post by Marianu9701)
    I’ll amend my response: You could always ask Cambridge for feedback- specifically on your interview if that is where you think you fell short
    I'd suggest that you ask "the college", not "Cambridge"...
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    the people who "got lower than you" must've done something that made them more favourable than you as a candidate. find out what it is instead of looking down on them lol. if you got rejected, that means you aren't the perfect candidate - there's not fluke, you got rejected for a reason. no matter how much you gas yourself up you aren't the perfect candidate, even if your grades are the best it can be, and your PS is as loaded as you say it is.

    did you get feedback for your interview performance? did you keep your attitude in check? "everyone is unambitious and party everyday" what did you think cambridge was gonna be? just everyone study 24/7 and not make small talk, just intellectual debates and thought-stimulating conversation allowed? no night clubs in sight and everyone is extremely determined and steadfast in becoming the world's greatest in that field?
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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?
    Why don't you call up Cambridge and ask why you didn't get in, it doesn't always work but usually unis are happy to let you know if you explain that you are curious why you didn't get in and say you want to know so you can improve.
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    It's not everything about grades, once you loose your delusion and realise that tutors / employers look at other things apart from academics, only then you will answer your own question
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    That's why I'd take a gap year after getting such grades, since you know that you're set academically, you now must set out to impress Unis with other factors, e.g Experience etc, by the time you apply in Jan/Oct etc, you will have covered all the stops.
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    Why didn't you apply to more unis that require A*s?
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    I wouldn't put so much emphasis on the term 'failed'. You may not have been accepted into Cambridge, but your grades are still an accomplishment. You're not a failure.

    If your uni is the second best for your course then that's still a great choice. Don't concern yourself with what the people around you are doing - if they want to mess about then that's their problem.

    Use them as motivation to achieve higher then they will. Be the best!
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    Also yeah your interview and/or the admissions test obviously just went badly. Maybe you weren't enthusiastic enough at the interview or were arrogant. They probably just didn't think you had as much potential to do well on the course and thrive in that environment as other people, making a few less mistakes on a-level maths papers than your peers isn't going to change that.
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    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.
    I think it is frankly ridiculous and unfair to suggest that doing more extra curricular activities gives you a greater chance of getting in as that would be hugely unfair to people like me who couldn't afford to do a lot of these extra curricular things and I mean most of them are kinda pointless and boring anyway.

    They want to see enthusiasm and ability for your subject and also your ability to learn in that environment. The interviews are there to test how you would respond to Cambridge's intimate tutorial system so the interviewers just want to know if you are someone they could actually teach.

    I've already received a letter from one of the unis I've applied to for physics which seemed mostly stock but there were a few sentences saying about how it was a joy to read about my interest and passion for mathematical and theoretical physics and saying that I would be a great asset to the school. That personal statement had maybe 10% stuff unrelated to physics which was mostly just listing a few of the other things I am interested in like prog rock and D&D XD. I didn't even mention the months of volunteering I did at oxfam but so far it doesn't seem like Birmingham, Warwick or Manchester are particularly perturbed by the lack of extensive extra circular so I see no reason why Cambridge would be. They want the best students end of, not people who did pointless crap like NCS.
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    Oxbridge don't accept everyone with stellar grades - they have a certain teaching method, and they probably thought you weren't suited to it. Unfortunately you're going to have to accept what you're given - it's not exactly you're doing Sports Science at Southampton Solent now, is it?
    • #4
    #4

    University is not the end all be all.
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    (Original post by LsDad)
    And with some people the glass is always half empty:-

    Here we have someone really that's complaining about the life cards they are playing, yet they have 4 kings in Poker but really wanted 4 Aces. They fail to see what's in front of them. They fail to see they have that winning hand and can only think "I wish it was 4 Aces" yet they have a hand they can win with.

    The OP has GCSE grades some candidates would dream of, great A level grades that less than the top 4% of the UK would dream of and they are on a Top degree course in one of the best university's in the UK, but the OP can't see that. They can only see "it's not Cambridge"

    if they [email protected] the opportunity up they have, a position that many students would swop with then more fool them. I guess some people don't know what they have until it's gone!

    This is all in the OPs mind. They need to bury the Cambridge suitcase, they didn't get in, ok Cambridges loss, what's next, I'm going to prove how great I can be and become a total success, ahead of everyone else at my current University be the best student here and secure the best degree - then do something meaningful with it when you get out.

    Never look back at what you missed, focus on what you have and play those four kings to win the long game!

    From now on your glass should be half full - change your outlook
    PRSOM - couldn't word it better myself.
 
 
 
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