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    (Original post by Parliament)
    Not a boring question! It's what the thread is for

    I got full UMS in both my A* subjects at A2 (English Lit and Geography). I also took German and Government and Politics. I was quite a way off an A* in German, but Government and Politics was badly assessed; you had to get >=90 in all four modules. I got 99 or 100 in three modules but 89 in one module, so I got an A despite having higher average UMS than most people who got an A*.

    I didn't really work much at all for my A2s. I worked extremely hard for my AS exams, on the basis that those results would be the key to getting into uni or not. Once I had my offer, all I had to do at A2 was meet it: a far easier task than getting an offer, especially if you've done well at AS.
    Thanks
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    (Original post by wallflowerannie)
    Hi! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions :P I have applied to Homerton to study English - I would love to go to Cambridge but I worry the stress would be too much for me. I suffer from anxiety and other mental health issues already and worry they would get worse? How do you feel the stress at Cambridge is for you?

    One other question I wonder about is how you deal with the stress of A Levels if you're predicted quite high grades? I'm predicted A*AA and I've developed quite a lot from GCSE so have problems with self-doubt which doesn't help with stress!! How did you cope with stress when doing A Levels?

    Thank you so much!!
    Heya! This is a really tricky question because everyone is so different and I don't want to apply generalisations to your specific circumstance, so read this post with that in mind.

    Cambridge has one of the least mentally healthy student bodies of any university in the UK. This is obviously worrying, but it also means that there is a very active discussion about mental health in Cambridge and colleges, campaign groups, students, and the university pour enormous resources into the problem. This doesn't mean it goes away, of course, but it does mean that it's usually straightforward to find help if you're struggling, which - I've heard - isn't the case across most of the UK.

    Obviously reacting to the problem is different to preventing the problem, and while Cambridge is quite good at the former (and improving all the time), it's terrible at the latter. Cambridge can be a phenomenally awful place to be. The operative words in that sentence are 'can be'; it's by no means the case that everyone (or even most people) at Cambridge has/develops mental health issues, but it can be a really awful environment. This is for several reasons. Firstly, terms are very short (8 weeks) but consequently very intense. You will be worked extremely hard and you will initially be unprepared for the massive step-change in intensity from school to Cambridge. No other university (with the exception of Oxford) works its students this hard, especially not in an English degree. You'll be expected to produce an essay on a (usually) totally unfamiliar topic/author every week, alongside classes and your extra-curriculars. This can be overwhelming, particularly in your first term. Secondly, it is often difficult to feel a sense of progress or accomplishment at Cambridge. You'll work really hard on your essay only to have it criticised every week by your supervisor - initially, this can be really upsetting because it feels like you're making no progress. This problem is especially germane to English, because you'll receive very little formal grading until you sit your Part I exams at the end of your second year! So it's difficult to track how you're doing. Thirdly, and this is what affected/affects me most of all, is that Cambridge is so different to everywhere else. It's a very different university experience, and it's really hard to explain this to friends at other universities. Put bluntly, you work harder and at a much higher level on an Oxbridge English course than you do on many other English courses. Meanwhile, when you go home at the end of term you'll experience another huge step-change in pace of life; it's like you've been spun around really really fast on a roundabout for 8 weeks and then suddenly you just jump off; it's an instant and disorientating deceleration and it can make you really quite ill (I was hospitalised at the end of my first term as, basically, stress caught up with me, and I'd say most people experience some sort of illness at the end of their first term).

    It's not all doom and gloom though! The first term is going to be tough at any uni. There are certain things you can do to minimise your stress levels. Develop a workflow for the weekly essays to make them easier to manage (protip: 3 days reading, 1 day planning, 2 days writing/proofing, 1 day off/getting your books for the next week's essay). Get a sense of perspective: these essays aren't important in of themselves. They're only useful as revision aids for your exams, so your focus should be on reading a lot and understanding interesting arguments, material, and context, which you can revise from later. It's best not to get hung up on crafting this incredible essay each week - you won't be able to, and it's far better to treat them strategically as revision notes for your exams. Pursue what you find interesting, then. Try and get out of Cambridge from time to time! You can walk to Grantchester (BEAUTIFUL walk if it's a sunny day), or catch the train to London. I found this really helped me get some perspective and relax a bit. I'd meet friends from UCL for a meal or something and just chill out. I'd also advise getting hobbies: the worst thing you can do at Cambridge is focus too much on the academic side of things. I took up rowing when I got here; this is great because it keeps you fit, gets you out of Cambridge as you row down the river, and - most importantly - it gives you a tangible sense of progress and achievement which is so often missing from your degree. It's absolutely vital you do something else as well as just work!

    I guess that'd be my ramble on mental health in Cambridge. tl;dr: it's stressful, but there are strategies you can use to mitigate the stress, and over time you'll learn to cope with it much much better, and it'll make you a stronger person as a result. But I won't lie to you: first term can be really tough! Just stick it out and it gets easier thereafter.

    On A-Levels, quickly: I didn't really work for my A2s tbh. I have quite a strategic mind about these things and I had to meet my A*AA offer. I took four subjects to give me the best numerical chance of doing that, and took Geography (which I always found extremely straightforward) to enable me to get an A*, more or less. Honestly, getting the offer was the hard part for me; once I had that I was pretty confident about my chances of making it. So I coped with stress by having that strategic plan (prioritise my revision in Geography, English Lit, and Government & Politics to try and achieve an A* in one of them and As in the other two, and keep German as my fourth 'backup' in case anything went wrong, but I didn't really do much work for German).
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    (Original post by PlsBeGentle)
    Sorry for a boring question
    I'm thinking of making a post A level application, and looking on your profile it says you got 97 percent best three ums at AS and A*A*A best three at A2.

    Can you remember what your a2 ums was?

    Did you work equally hard at a2 or is it just flat out harder to get high ums at A2?

    Thanks
    Most subjects no longer have UMS...

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    (Original post by Parliament)
    Heya! This is a really tricky question because everyone is so different and I don't want to apply generalisations to your specific circumstance, so read this post with that in mind.

    Cambridge has one of the least mentally healthy student bodies of any university in the UK. This is obviously worrying, but it also means that there is a very active discussion about mental health in Cambridge and colleges, campaign groups, students, and the university pour enormous resources into the problem. This doesn't mean it goes away, of course, but it does mean that it's usually straightforward to find help if you're struggling, which - I've heard - isn't the case across most of the UK.

    Obviously reacting to the problem is different to preventing the problem, and while Cambridge is quite good at the former (and improving all the time), it's terrible at the latter. Cambridge can be a phenomenally awful place to be. The operative words in that sentence are 'can be'; it's by no means the case that everyone (or even most people) at Cambridge has/develops mental health issues, but it can be a really awful environment. This is for several reasons. Firstly, terms are very short (8 weeks) but consequently very intense. You will be worked extremely hard and you will initially be unprepared for the massive step-change in intensity from school to Cambridge. No other university (with the exception of Oxford) works its students this hard, especially not in an English degree. You'll be expected to produce an essay on a (usually) totally unfamiliar topic/author every week, alongside classes and your extra-curriculars. This can be overwhelming, particularly in your first term. Secondly, it is often difficult to feel a sense of progress or accomplishment at Cambridge. You'll work really hard on your essay only to have it criticised every week by your supervisor - initially, this can be really upsetting because it feels like you're making no progress. This problem is especially germane to English, because you'll receive very little formal grading until you sit your Part I exams at the end of your second year! So it's difficult to track how you're doing. Thirdly, and this is what affected/affects me most of all, is that Cambridge is so different to everywhere else. It's a very different university experience, and it's really hard to explain this to friends at other universities. Put bluntly, you work harder and at a much higher level on an Oxbridge English course than you do on many other English courses. Meanwhile, when you go home at the end of term you'll experience another huge step-change in pace of life; it's like you've been spun around really really fast on a roundabout for 8 weeks and then suddenly you just jump off; it's an instant and disorientating deceleration and it can make you really quite ill (I was hospitalised at the end of my first term as, basically, stress caught up with me, and I'd say most people experience some sort of illness at the end of their first term).

    It's not all doom and gloom though! The first term is going to be tough at any uni. There are certain things you can do to minimise your stress levels. Develop a workflow for the weekly essays to make them easier to manage (protip: 3 days reading, 1 day planning, 2 days writing/proofing, 1 day off/getting your books for the next week's essay). Get a sense of perspective: these essays aren't important in of themselves. They're only useful as revision aids for your exams, so your focus should be on reading a lot and understanding interesting arguments, material, and context, which you can revise from later. It's best not to get hung up on crafting this incredible essay each week - you won't be able to, and it's far better to treat them strategically as revision notes for your exams. Pursue what you find interesting, then. Try and get out of Cambridge from time to time! You can walk to Grantchester (BEAUTIFUL walk if it's a sunny day), or catch the train to London. I found this really helped me get some perspective and relax a bit. I'd meet friends from UCL for a meal or something and just chill out. I'd also advise getting hobbies: the worst thing you can do at Cambridge is focus too much on the academic side of things. I took up rowing when I got here; this is great because it keeps you fit, gets you out of Cambridge as you row down the river, and - most importantly - it gives you a tangible sense of progress and achievement which is so often missing from your degree. It's absolutely vital you do something else as well as just work!

    I guess that'd be my ramble on mental health in Cambridge. tl;dr: it's stressful, but there are strategies you can use to mitigate the stress, and over time you'll learn to cope with it much much better, and it'll make you a stronger person as a result. But I won't lie to you: first term can be really tough! Just stick it out and it gets easier thereafter.

    On A-Levels, quickly: I didn't really work for my A2s tbh. I have quite a strategic mind about these things and I had to meet my A*AA offer. I took four subjects to give me the best numerical chance of doing that, and took Geography (which I always found extremely straightforward) to enable me to get an A*, more or less. Honestly, getting the offer was the hard part for me; once I had that I was pretty confident about my chances of making it. So I coped with stress by having that strategic plan (prioritise my revision in Geography, English Lit, and Government & Politics to try and achieve an A* in one of them and As in the other two, and keep German as my fourth 'backup' in case anything went wrong, but I didn't really do much work for German).
    Thank you so much for your detailed and honest response, I'm really grateful for you taking the time to reply!!

    That really helps me make an informed decision about going to Cambridge - I do tend to struggle with most of the problems you mentioned already, such as taking a lot of criticism at a time, adapting to change and I find it really anxiety-provoking when I don't know how much progress I'm making. It sounds like a very intense routine that you can't really escape from, though the rewards must be amazing. I would love to try my best to adapt to the stress at Cambridge if I were to get a place, but even A2 at the moment is really taking over in terms of stress, so I don't know how I would ever handle the stress at Cambridge! You should be really proud you've done it at Cambridge because not many people could! The environment at Cambridge seems really unique in terms of work load and not being able to talk about it to many people outside the university must be so tough.

    The hospital experience must have been so dreadful, I never knew the stress at Oxbridge could reach that high. You're incredibly brave for staying, and I can only imagine how strong you are now. I really hope you're feeling better now and have recovered. What you've said has really highlighted to me some issues I would need to think about if I am made an offer, because I'm already very sensitive to the issues you mentioned and I wouldn't want to go just for the sake of the name. Thank you for being so honest also as it has truly helped me realise things I didn't know before.

    Those ideas are really great, especially going out for dinner and sport! I love going out for dinner and Cambridge isn't too far away from where I live so if I was feeling really stressed I could visit my family. I do like a lot of routine and what you described in the planning of your essays seems interesting to do, but on top of your classes it must be a lot!
    Ah I've also noticed A levels take a lot of strategic planning! I've found the more emotionally detached I become from my A levels the better I find it and less stressed, so that helps a lot. I do tend to over-focus on how good my essay is in that moment, which has been detrimental for me in past essays. Looking at them as revision tools is a great idea!

    Again thank you so much for your reply, it really has helped my understanding of what Cambridge is like and whether it is right for me. Good luck in finishing your degree, you deserve a long break after it! :P I'm just going to wait to see if I get an interview, and if the even more unlikely happens and I get an offer, I will really take into account what you said!!
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    (Original post by wallflowerannie)
    Thank you so much for your detailed and honest response, I'm really grateful for you taking the time to reply!!

    That really helps me make an informed decision about going to Cambridge - I do tend to struggle with most of the problems you mentioned already, such as taking a lot of criticism at a time, adapting to change and I find it really anxiety-provoking when I don't know how much progress I'm making. It sounds like a very intense routine that you can't really escape from, though the rewards must be amazing. I would love to try my best to adapt to the stress at Cambridge if I were to get a place, but even A2 at the moment is really taking over in terms of stress, so I don't know how I would ever handle the stress at Cambridge! You should be really proud you've done it at Cambridge because not many people could! The environment at Cambridge seems really unique in terms of work load and not being able to talk about it to many people outside the university must be so tough.

    The hospital experience must have been so dreadful, I never knew the stress at Oxbridge could reach that high. You're incredibly brave for staying, and I can only imagine how strong you are now. I really hope you're feeling better now and have recovered. What you've said has really highlighted to me some issues I would need to think about if I am made an offer, because I'm already very sensitive to the issues you mentioned and I wouldn't want to go just for the sake of the name. Thank you for being so honest also as it has truly helped me realise things I didn't know before.

    Those ideas are really great, especially going out for dinner and sport! I love going out for dinner and Cambridge isn't too far away from where I live so if I was feeling really stressed I could visit my family. I do like a lot of routine and what you described in the planning of your essays seems interesting to do, but on top of your classes it must be a lot!
    Ah I've also noticed A levels take a lot of strategic planning! I've found the more emotionally detached I become from my A levels the better I find it and less stressed, so that helps a lot. I do tend to over-focus on how good my essay is in that moment, which has been detrimental for me in past essays. Looking at them as revision tools is a great idea!

    Again thank you so much for your reply, it really has helped my understanding of what Cambridge is like and whether it is right for me. Good luck in finishing your degree, you deserve a long break after it! :P I'm just going to wait to see if I get an interview, and if the even more unlikely happens and I get an offer, I will really take into account what you said!!
    Not at all! One thing I would say after reading my original post back is that it's honestly not a terrible place for everyone - some people arrive with pre-existing mental health conditions and absolutely thrive here, and others arrive healthy and struggle. This is why I want to avoid impressing generalisations of experience on you. My friend's depression has improved immensely since they got here - they're like a different person! Another friend had really bad eating problems before they got here and Cambridge has really helped them too (perhaps because the challenges of Cambridge can also be very rewarding, and as I mentioned there are lots of services available here to help you out if you're finding it tough).

    I think tbh one reason I was overwhelmed to start with was that I'd always taken academic success and not being stressed/mentally precarious for granted, so Cambridge was a bit of a slap in the face (just as it is for quite a lot of people and maybe I needed it haha). I think in that respect it can be a perverse boon to be aware already of your "self", as my friends were. Hopefully that makes sense.

    Best of luck with your application going forwards, and if you want to ask anything else you can always comment back or message me and I'll try to help
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    Is there any advice you could offer for an English Interview? I have a mock one on Monday (although I am 90% sure I haven't got a real one) and I'm really struggling to know how to prepare for it. Are there any tips you could give at all? Thank you!
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    (Original post by 10cking)
    Is there any advice you could offer for an English Interview? I have a mock one on Monday (although I am 90% sure I haven't got a real one) and I'm really struggling to know how to prepare for it. Are there any tips you could give at all? Thank you!
    Well, do more preparation than one day in advance (hopefully you have been!)

    A Cambridge interview is a conversation. Relax and view it as a chance to talk with a world-leading academic, and you'll get more out of it than you will if you're super defensive and view everything as a trick question or a trap. They're not trying to catch you out - they're trying to find the right questions to let you show yourself off (this is a hard job, cut them some slack). They'll deliberately challenge what you're saying because they want to see how you respond; while you feel you have argumentative ground to stand on defend your position, but yield once it becomes apparent that you're wrong. They want to admit applicants they can teach, not stubborn serial debaters who think losing an argument is grounds for ritualised suicide.

    There's no 'set list' of questions either. As I said, this is a conversation and your tactic should be to steer the interview onto areas you feel you can talk confidently and interestingly about. Let the discussion flow, but you should always be thinking about ways you can maximise the short time you have: how can you synoptically weave in other stuff you've read? How can you make that interesting point you've prepared in advance? How can you show off your reading to the best of your ability? That said, there are some questions which do recur. Basic ones like 'what have you been reading recently?' are obvious and are a gift vis a vis allowing you to shape the discussion. They also often ask quick-fire 'what have you read from x century?' type questions (more on this below). They can also pop you with harder ones: 'what is irony/ambiguity/tragedy/etc?' is a classic. It's also quite an unfair question because regardless of your definition you'll be wrong, so bear that in mind when responding.

    For reading/prep, your A-level course is the start point. Your personal statement should stretch beyond that narrow curriculum, but you must have other things to talk about beyond your personal statement and A-level curriculum. You must demonstrate significantly above-average reading which is both broad and deep. You must demonstrate that you're operating on a much higher level than almost every A-level candidate: what are you reading to challenge yourself? Are you already doing university-level content? How are you going supercurricular? If you arrive with nothing but your personal statement to talk about, they will find out within two minutes and you'll almost certainly be rejected. Make a wall chart and split it into two boxes for every century from the 14th to the 21st. One box is for prose, the other is for poetry. You should have at least one text in each box which you are confident in your ability to discuss interestingly by the time you get to interview. This will give you excellent breadth and allow you to make synoptic connections between old/new literature, which is a godsend for steering the discussion and seeming interesting and broad in your reading. Try to avoid hackneyed choices: I'd advise filling this chart with interesting canonical books. Avoid GCSE/A-level texts where possible, avoid really long books (give yourself a break and pick things which are nice and short), and avoid what my friends jokingly and disgustingly arrogantly call the 'I applied to Oxbridge and now I'm at Durham' applicant starter pack, which runs as follows:
    - I read Chaucer's Wife of Bath's Prologue/Tale and now I'm confident enough to assert that he was a proto-feminist
    - I read Jane Austen, pretty sure she's a proto-feminist
    - I read Northanger Abbey, I think it's a parody
    - I read the Brontes
    - I read Virginia Woolf and she's all I want to talk about for 20 minutes
    - I read Twelfth Night, golly isn't there some gender-bending going on there which I don't think anyone before me has ever noticed
    - I would now like to talk about romantic poetry (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron etc) and nothing else for 20 minutes

    No, no, no, no. They get that content so often, and it'll bore them. Find interesting stuff to talk about, or if you must do the above at least find interesting angles (eg I did talk about romantic poets but I related them to 20th century dystopian literature). Fun tip: look up your interviewers online beforehand and see what they've been writing on recently. See if any of it overlaps with anything you've done/have heard of, and prepare a bit on that. Then derail the interview onto that content; they'll enjoy talking about their own field and it'll be a more stimulating interview (hopefully).

    Quick-fire misc tips incoming. 1) Take some time to think of your answer before wading in - ask for a few seconds if you need it. This is way better than panicking and offering a bad/rambly response. 2) Make eye contact with your interviewer and mind your body language. It sounds silly but just relax and be warm and affable. 3) Do lots of mock interviews (good you're already starting), and not necessarily with English specialists. I did a couple with random teachers, on the basis that they'll be less informed and thus will ask natural questions which will cause the discussion to flow more like it will in the real thing, and it'll also alert me to moments where I don't explain myself properly/I paraphrase/make something sound complicated. 4) Get to your interviews in good time, if you successfully get invited to the real thing. I lived far away from Cambridge so I came down the night before and stayed over, and I'm so glad I did: it really reduced the stress and tiredness of travelling and let me meet other candidates the night before which was super relieving and just made it a more fun experience overall. I'd arrive to my actual interview about 10 minutes early (it can be tricky to find the room sometimes so allow time for that) because I - this is terrible and I feel guilty - liked listening at the door to the previous candidate. It chilled me out.

    Was any of that useful? Good luck with your mock interview
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    (Original post by Parliament)
    Well, do more preparation than one day in advance (hopefully you have been!)

    A Cambridge interview is a conversation. Relax and view it as a chance to talk with a world-leading academic, and you'll get more out of it than you will if you're super defensive and view everything as a trick question or a trap. They're not trying to catch you out - they're trying to find the right questions to let you show yourself off (this is a hard job, cut them some slack). They'll deliberately challenge what you're saying because they want to see how you respond; while you feel you have argumentative ground to stand on defend your position, but yield once it becomes apparent that you're wrong. They want to admit applicants they can teach, not stubborn serial debaters who think losing an argument is grounds for ritualised suicide.

    There's no 'set list' of questions either. As I said, this is a conversation and your tactic should be to steer the interview onto areas you feel you can talk confidently and interestingly about. Let the discussion flow, but you should always be thinking about ways you can maximise the short time you have: how can you synoptically weave in other stuff you've read? How can you make that interesting point you've prepared in advance? How can you show off your reading to the best of your ability? That said, there are some questions which do recur. Basic ones like 'what have you been reading recently?' are obvious and are a gift vis a vis allowing you to shape the discussion. They also often ask quick-fire 'what have you read from x century?' type questions (more on this below). They can also pop you with harder ones: 'what is irony/ambiguity/tragedy/etc?' is a classic. It's also quite an unfair question because regardless of your definition you'll be wrong, so bear that in mind when responding.

    For reading/prep, your A-level course is the start point. Your personal statement should stretch beyond that narrow curriculum, but you must have other things to talk about beyond your personal statement and A-level curriculum. You must demonstrate significantly above-average reading which is both broad and deep. You must demonstrate that you're operating on a much higher level than almost every A-level candidate: what are you reading to challenge yourself? Are you already doing university-level content? How are you going supercurricular? If you arrive with nothing but your personal statement to talk about, they will find out within two minutes and you'll almost certainly be rejected. Make a wall chart and split it into two boxes for every century from the 14th to the 21st. One box is for prose, the other is for poetry. You should have at least one text in each box which you are confident in your ability to discuss interestingly by the time you get to interview. This will give you excellent breadth and allow you to make synoptic connections between old/new literature, which is a godsend for steering the discussion and seeming interesting and broad in your reading. Try to avoid hackneyed choices: I'd advise filling this chart with interesting canonical books. Avoid GCSE/A-level texts where possible, avoid really long books (give yourself a break and pick things which are nice and short), and avoid what my friends jokingly and disgustingly arrogantly call the 'I applied to Oxbridge and now I'm at Durham' applicant starter pack, which runs as follows:
    - I read Chaucer's Wife of Bath's Prologue/Tale and now I'm confident enough to assert that he was a proto-feminist
    - I read Jane Austen, pretty sure she's a proto-feminist
    - I read Northanger Abbey, I think it's a parody
    - I read the Brontes
    - I read Virginia Woolf and she's all I want to talk about for 20 minutes
    - I read Twelfth Night, golly isn't there some gender-bending going on there which I don't think anyone before me has ever noticed
    - I would now like to talk about romantic poetry (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron etc) and nothing else for 20 minutes

    No, no, no, no. They get that content so often, and it'll bore them. Find interesting stuff to talk about, or if you must do the above at least find interesting angles (eg I did talk about romantic poets but I related them to 20th century dystopian literature). Fun tip: look up your interviewers online beforehand and see what they've been writing on recently. See if any of it overlaps with anything you've done/have heard of, and prepare a bit on that. Then derail the interview onto that content; they'll enjoy talking about their own field and it'll be a more stimulating interview (hopefully).

    Quick-fire misc tips incoming. 1) Take some time to think of your answer before wading in - ask for a few seconds if you need it. This is way better than panicking and offering a bad/rambly response. 2) Make eye contact with your interviewer and mind your body language. It sounds silly but just relax and be warm and affable. 3) Do lots of mock interviews (good you're already starting), and not necessarily with English specialists. I did a couple with random teachers, on the basis that they'll be less informed and thus will ask natural questions which will cause the discussion to flow more like it will in the real thing, and it'll also alert me to moments where I don't explain myself properly/I paraphrase/make something sound complicated. 4) Get to your interviews in good time, if you successfully get invited to the real thing. I lived far away from Cambridge so I came down the night before and stayed over, and I'm so glad I did: it really reduced the stress and tiredness of travelling and let me meet other candidates the night before which was super relieving and just made it a more fun experience overall. I'd arrive to my actual interview about 10 minutes early (it can be tricky to find the room sometimes so allow time for that) because I - this is terrible and I feel guilty - liked listening at the door to the previous candidate. It chilled me out.

    Was any of that useful? Good luck with your mock interview
    Thank you so much! Your reply has been much more helpful than anything else I have found! Don't worry, I have been doing some preparation, but I feel that I now know how to steer my reading and learning to that of what they are both looking for and what interest me. I feel like I have put myself at a slight disadvantage in my personal statement because I linked so many books that I haven't given myself too much scope to go much 'further' in the short time I have. Through both preparing something 'extra' for those previously mentioned in my PS and to discover new works too it will be difficult, but I am definitely up for it! Thank you for all of the tips too, i really do appreciate it and will take on your advice! Thank you
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    (Original post by Parliament)
    Fun tip: look up your interviewers online beforehand and see what they've been writing on recently. See if any of it overlaps with anything you've done/have heard of, and prepare a bit on that. Then derail the interview onto that content; they'll enjoy talking about their own field and it'll be a more stimulating interview (hopefully)
    I think this can be risky - especially if you aren't genuinely prepared for or, worse, not really interested in the area. You could end up far out of your comfort zone without a paddle very quickly. Which would be awks...

    It's certainly worthwhile (and sensible) to check out your interviewers, but maybe judge how the interview is going before pulling that particular ace out...
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    I think this can be risky - especially if you aren't genuinely prepared for or, worse, not really interested in the area. You could end up far out of your comfort zone without a paddle very quickly. Which would be awks...

    It's certainly worthwhile (and sensible) to check out your interviewers, but maybe judge how the interview is going before pulling that particular ace out...
    The key word is 'overlaps' - by chance one of my interviewers was writing on Kazuo Ishiguro (one of my favourite writers), and Middlemarch (which I also happened to have started reading) at the time of my interview, so it seemed natural to talk about those. They visibly perked up at the mention of their own interests too (understandably). So yeah, I completely agree with you: definitely check your interviewers beforehand and if there's something they're doing which interests you, go for it, but don't try to become an expert on 16th century Puritanical literature the week before your interview!
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    (Original post by Parliament)
    The key word is 'overlaps' - by chance one of my interviewers was writing on Kazuo Ishiguro (one of my favourite writers), and Middlemarch (which I also happened to have started reading) at the time of my interview, so it seemed natural to talk about those. They visibly perked up at the mention of their own interests too (understandably). So yeah, I completely agree with you: definitely check your interviewers beforehand and if there's something they're doing which interests you, go for it, but don't try to become an expert on 16th century Puritanical literature the week before your interview!
    Indeed
 
 
 
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