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ash_moo
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#1
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Exactly what the title says

I did read the Wiki on 'Choosing A College' but me being me, it didnt make much sense because I dont know how to get all that info about each college to decide if its closer to Tescos or has a more relaxed atmosphere.

Hope I am making some sense

Any help's appreciated
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Helenia
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#2
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Start with the prospectus? Then have a look and see if you can find the website (or better, the JCR website) of the colleges you like. Then ask on TSR...
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Lidka
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Visit, if at all possible. Even if it's just for five minutes. Speak to current students. Work out your priorities: would you prefer to be nearer the shops, or the library? Do you want a gym, or a swimming pool? A mixed environment or all-female? The old buildings (and the tourists) or a quiet area out of town? etc. It's eventually all down to personal preference. And if it helps at all, the differences between colleges are not all that huge; you will be happy wherever you go.
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city_chic
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I had no clue. I simply looked in the prospectus and alternative prospectus. I kept narrowing it down until I had three. The one I ended up applying to seemed the right choice once I'd been there for my interviews.
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ash_moo
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(Original post by Helenia)
Start with the prospectus? Then have a look and see if you can find the website (or better, the JCR website) of the colleges you like. Then ask on TSR...
*clears throat*
at the risk of sounding extremely stupid (this is a Cambridge uni forum after all haha), whats JCR?
And erm...how do you get hold of a prospectus?

EDIT: Just looked on the website, and it gave me to link to order their printed prospectus
But I am still confused - what is an *alternative* prospectus?
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Excalibur
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Have a look in the official prospectuses, then at the alternative prospectuses for each college.

There is a thread somewhere in the Oxbridge forum with a very comprehensive guide on how to go about choosing a college. If you search around on TSR you may also be able to find more information.

Ask yourself:

- Far away or central?
- Mixed or all-female?
- Old or new?
- Big or small?
- Difference in admission criteria (requires TSA/written work/entrance test)?
- General competitiveness & prestige
- The gut feeling

For example - I wanted a central, mixed, not too old but not too new, big, no TSA, medium prestige. I kept narrowing it down until I got to Downing.
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ash_moo
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(Original post by Lidka)
Visit, if at all possible. Even if it's just for five minutes. Speak to current students. Work out your priorities: would you prefer to be nearer the shops, or the library? Do you want a gym, or a swimming pool? A mixed environment or all-female? The old buildings (and the tourists) or a quiet area out of town? etc. It's eventually all down to personal preference. And if it helps at all, the differences between colleges are not all that huge; you will be happy wherever you go.
Thanks
The thing is, there are quite a few colleges and most of them (I recall) offer medicine, so I just sort of freaked. "How am I supposed to choose from these?!" Lol.
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Lidka
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(Original post by borednconfused)
*clears throat*
at the risk of sounding extremely stupid (this is a Cambridge uni forum after all haha), whats JCR?
And erm...how do you get hold of a prospectus?
All the info you want is on www.cam.ac.uk. You can order a prospectus there, too.

(Original post by borednconfused)
Thanks
The thing is, there are quite a few colleges and most of them (I recall) offer medicine, so I just sort of freaked. "How am I supposed to choose from these?!" Lol.
Well, you can do an 'open' application where you're allocated randomly, if you like. OR write all the colleges' names down on a piece of paper, close your eyes, get a pin, stab blindly and apply to whichever one you poked. (Hey, it's as reliable a way as choosing one as any!)
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Opsimathmo
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All that matters is the Resonance. Just walk around, and when you get to the gates/lodge etc of each college search within yourself for any kind of reaction. Works everytime. Though Girton doesn't have one because it's not actually in Cambridge :p:
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Zhen Lin
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I decided to apply to Emmanuel for the following (bad) reasons:
1. It's near the central lecture halls, so less walking for the first two years of my course, Mathematics.
2. It has a good reputation.
3. It has been near or at the top of the Tompkins table the last few years.
4. Two previous applicants from my school have been successful in applying there, though both of them applied for Economics (if I recall correctly).
5. The number of students they take for my course is not too small.
6. It's not Trinity, which seems to attract the supergeniuses (for Mathematics anyway).
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black-eyed angel
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Basically all I did was look at the prospectus, I loved everything about Downing from the off, and despite my teachers trying to pressurise me into applying for another college (law is very competitive here) I went with my gut feeling, then got in!

Don't go for the numbers game, it won't help you. Take things like the buildings/accommodation, location, JCR website into account.

No matter where you end up, you love your college anyway. I have friends at Cam that got pooled to the college they're at from another one, and they wouldn't have it any other way
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ash_moo
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(Original post by Lidka)
All the info you want is on www.cam.ac.uk. You can order a prospectus there, too.
thanks i just got it a couple of seconds before you posted - see my edit

(Original post by Lidka)
Well, you can do an 'open' application where you're allocated randomly, if you like. OR write all the colleges' names down on a piece of paper, close your eyes, get a pin, stab blindly and apply to whichever one you poked. (Hey, it's as reliable a way as choosing one as any!)
wahay! great idea - knowing me and my knack of taking forever to choose, this might just be the perfect solution (the stabbing blindly one lol).
Oh, and still no idea, I am now filling in a request form for a printed prospectus. How do I get alternative prospectuses, and what are they?
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ash_moo
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(Original post by black-eyed angel)
Basically all I did was look at the prospectus, I loved everything about Downing from the off, and despite my teachers trying to pressurise me into applying for another college (law is very competitive here) I went with my gut feeling, then got in!

Don't go for the numbers game, it won't help you. Take things like the buildings/accommodation, location, JCR website into account.

No matter where you end up, you love your college anyway. I have friends at Cam that got pooled to the college they're at from another one, and they wouldn't have it any other way
Great advice thanks
Erm, got everything you said except the JCR bit. Someone else mentioned that website too. Can anyone give me a link?
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Zhen Lin
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(Original post by Lidka)
Do you want a gym, or a swimming pool?
A fellow student in my school applied to Girton, because it was, apparently, the only one with an indoor swimming pool. She is, of course, big on swimming, having represented the school several times...
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black-eyed angel
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http://www.downingjcr.co.uk/ There's ours.

Just search [college name here] JCR on Google and it should come up. I think we have the best JCR website, but I am of course horribly biased!
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ash_moo
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(Original post by black-eyed angel)
http://www.downingjcr.co.uk/ There's ours.

Just search [college name here] JCR on Google and it should come up. I think we have the best JCR website, but I am of course horribly biased!
Ohhh...that makes so much more sense now. Thank you
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psyche87
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I did an Open application because I couldn't decide on a college (and never went to Cambridge before on my life). I did get extremely lucky with the Open app, though!

I think it would be far easier to choose a college if you were to visit Cambridge, though - at least look in colleges that you think you might want to go to, or you like the sound of, or whose name looks pretty, etc (doesn't really have to be a very good reason anyway), and then walk around and see if you think you might like to spend 3 years or more wandering around that place...
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ash_moo
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All the advice has really helped, thanks

Just one last question to ease my mind.
What are alternative prospectuses? Once I know that, I am well and truly ready to get on with the task at hand - actually choosing a college to apply to.
And if I still cant, I will do an open application
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Rudrax
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I think one person hit the nail on the head when talking about 'resonance'. When it boils down, the academic experience will be the same at every college and small details like 'closer to Tesco' some secondary really to looking around and chosing between a few that you like.
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ash_moo
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#20
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(Original post by Rudrax)
I think one person hit the nail on the head when talking about 'resonance'. When it boils down, the academic experience will be the same at every college and small details like 'closer to Tesco' some secondary really to looking around and chosing between a few that you like.
So I am guessing my best bet would be to actually go and visit the uni...
Would probably give me a better idea of what I like rather than looking at some prospectuses.
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