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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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    (Original post by black1blade)
    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.
    Which is why I’m primarily assuming either the interview or entrance test were the reason for the rejection.
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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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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    Which is why I’m primarily assuming either the interview or entrance test were the reason for the rejection.
    Yeah I mean from this thread it seems obvious that op has a pretty arrogant attitude, claiming they have failed by not getting into cambridge. Honestly while they probably do see relevant extra curricular actives as a positive in some ways, it could also show that they care more about getting into uni than the thing they want to study. Like the only real motivation to do work experience in relevant subject area at a very low level, is to have good stuff to put on your reference. Guess I'm lucky that it's almost impossible to find physics work experience XD.
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    (Original post by black1blade)
    Yeah I mean from this thread it seems obvious that op has a pretty arrogant attitude, claiming they have failed by not getting into cambridge. Honestly while they probably do see relevant extra curricular actives as a positive in some ways, it could also show that they care more about getting into uni than the thing they want to study. Like the only real motivation to do work experience in relevant subject area at a very low level, is to have good stuff to put on your reference. Guess I'm lucky that it's almost impossible to find physics work experience XD.
    Anything could have happened in the interview. Maybe OP’s attitude suggested to them that he’s aiming for Cambridge for the sake of it, or that he didn’t display actual interest but rather activities he did just to give the impression.
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    My teacher told me that sometimes one student will get into Oxbridge over another, and you will think to yourself "How? The student who didn't get in had better grades, a better personal statement, a stronger reference and good subject knowledge. However Oxbridge are very good at judging who will fit in and perform well with the different teaching methods they use. Now I think about it the student with the stronger application probably was not best suited to the course. They wouldn't have worked well in supervisions and would not enjoy the Oxbridge lifestyle. " That was what my teacher told me and she advised me that it wasn't all down to grades but it was about who could learn the best at an Oxbridge style education.
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    (Original post by Tian1Sky)
    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.
    Sadly, I must say you are wrong.

    My information comes from knowing someone who has personally experienced this. A good friend in the year above me attained 11A* GCSE, AAAA @ AS, was predicted (and achieved) A*A*A*. They applied for law at Cambridge, and had no weakness in their application. They requested feedback and there was almost no fault at all, the only negative Cambridge said was that 'There were better suited candidates to the Cambridge course'. Her AA was strong, the only thing that *may* have let her down was the interview. So academically she was perfect, this is my point when I say Cambridge doesn't want the finished article, they want people rough around the edges.

    The only other reason could have been that they were white and went to a private school, but I don't want to bring out that excuse.

    Promoting standardisation doesn't mean you can't use contextual data, it just means things like the interview and personal statement, which are subjective, don't have to be as heavily relied upon. That's why poor, state schooled, black students in the US still have disproportionally better chances than anyone else of being admitted into Ivy-league schools, and other colleges of that ilk.
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    Getting into Oxbridge requires some luck - OP might just have been unlucky for not getting in. But what surprises me is that OP picked an AAA uni as his second choice which I think he could be more ambitious. With these grades OP could pick Imperial instead (likely to get in as well) which is the second best to Cambridge.
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    (Original post by AryanGh)
    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.
    is that your plan big man
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    (Original post by thewinelake)
    I'd suggest that you ask "the college", not "Cambridge"...
    Good point
    • #5
    #5

    If you are studying mechanical engineering then the top 4 universities in the UK are Oxbridge, Imperial and Leeds according to the good university guide. All of these offer A*AA.

    Which university are you at?
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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    Sadly, I must say you are wrong.

    My information comes from knowing someone who has personally experienced this. A good friend in the year above me attained 11A* GCSE, AAAA @ AS, was predicted (and achieved) A*A*A*. They applied for law at Cambridge, and had no weakness in their application. They requested feedback and there was almost no fault at all, the only negative Cambridge said was that 'There were better suited candidates to the Cambridge course'. Her AA was strong, the only thing that *may* have let her down was the interview. So academically she was perfect, this is my point when I say Cambridge doesn't want the finished article, they want people rough around the edges.

    The only other reason could have been that they were white and went to a private school, but I don't want to bring out that excuse.

    Promoting standardisation doesn't mean you can't use contextual data, it just means things like the interview and personal statement, which are subjective, don't have to be as heavily relied upon. That's why poor, state schooled, black students in the US still have disproportionally better chances than anyone else of being admitted into Ivy-league schools, and other colleges of that ilk.

    The actual reason why your friend was rejected is that there were applicants who the admissions people considered to be better for the course, not because they were the finished article. Certainly, Cambridge accepts many people who are rough around the edges (after all, nobody is perfect), but it also accepts plenty who really do seem to be academically perfect. The interview is an important part of the admissions process. I obviously don’t know what happened in her interview, but it’s entirely possible that that was what made them reject her.

    Basically, no, that’s not Cambridge policy. Maybe it feels like it sometimes, but it isn’t.

    Cambridge doesn’t select based on race. People do not get rejected for being white. As for private school, a candidate’s educational background is a factor taken into account, but it’s certainly not the case that candidates get rejected just for being from a private school.

    In my understanding, the reason why black students in the US do well in admissions is not so much because of the way in which they are judged but because of the standard they are judged against.

    I think increased standardization in Oxbridge admissions would make it harder for the admissions people to use contextual data. The interview is important in Oxbridge admissions because it is designed to reflect the way in which teaching occurs at those universities, making it a useful way to predict if a candidate is going to do well there. Because of the interview, the personal statement becomes less important anyway.
    • #6
    #6

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    For teamwork I ran a physics club at school, sports as mentioned above, I organised school events with headboy + prefects.

    There isn't even a point anymore. Lost hope.
    I'm a prefect
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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    Sadly, I must say you are wrong.

    My information comes from knowing someone who has personally experienced this. A good friend in the year above me attained 11A* GCSE, AAAA @ AS, was predicted (and achieved) A*A*A*. They applied for law at Cambridge, and had no weakness in their application. They requested feedback and there was almost no fault at all, the only negative Cambridge said was that 'There were better suited candidates to the Cambridge course'. Her AA was strong, the only thing that *may* have let her down was the interview. So academically she was perfect, this is my point when I say Cambridge doesn't want the finished article, they want people rough around the edges.

    The only other reason could have been that they were white and went to a private school, but I don't want to bring out that excuse.

    Promoting standardisation doesn't mean you can't use contextual data, it just means things like the interview and personal statement, which are subjective, don't have to be as heavily relied upon. That's why poor, state schooled, black students in the US still have disproportionally better chances than anyone else of being admitted into Ivy-league schools, and other colleges of that ilk.
    I think you're right about finished articles in a sense. Who wants to teach someone who knows it all already?!

    Do you know her UMS at AS? A's are not of themselves sufficient... However, it's very likely that interview was where it went wrong.

    Of course someone with the same grades/UMS from a less privileged background (and I suppose there's still a link between race and privilege) would generally be considered a brighter candidate - pushy parents and private education do make it easier to get top marks.
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    I suspect this was the first time OP has 'failed' at something, and realising that he isn't the best at everything he does can be a painful lesson to learn. But that's life, it's been a year now and OP needs to stop complaining and concentrate on the job in hand. No point looking backwards.
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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.
    I suspect the answer to the OP's question is here,

    What his weakness is, it was obvious to those around him. Reapplying to Cambridge is relatively common. He clearly went to a very good school. No-one regarded it s a travesty when he didn't get in. No-one said "one more heave".
    • #7
    #7

    (Original post by LsDad)
    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
    Agree with you 100%
 
 
 
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