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Doones
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Cambridge used to send out its decision letters over the first weekend of the New Year. However, in order to reduce the uncertainty and stress for those applicants who are placed in the Winter Pool (3,874 last year) the university decided a few years ago to delay ‘decision day’ for long enough to allow the Pool process to be completed for almost everyone first.

And this year there has been another change that means everyone should learn where they are by email rather than a letter as previously.

This year's Decision Day is Wednesday 10th January.
And as noted by Peterhouse Admissions in this post:
(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
The University has collectively agreed that all candidates (regardless of college) be emailed with the outcome of their application on the 10th January. The only exception will be for candidates who are invited to second interviews who will start to hear from tomorrow afternoon*. Nobody else will hear any earlier. There may be instances where emails are not sent on the 10th so if you have not heard anything by the 11th you could contact your college. Candidates being made offers will very likely also be sent letters (with important contractual information), other candidates may also be sent letters but will get an email too which is likely to arrive first.

*Candidates invited to reinterview will have had colleges commit to this and will not be disadvantaged by missing calls or not immediately replying to emails. Pool interviews are a very small part of the admissions round with about 1.3% of applicants reinterviewed last year.
It is worth checking now that your preference college has your up-to-date contact details, including mobile and landline numbers. If these have changed since you were interviewed and you haven't told them just update your info on UCAS - your college uses that for decsions.

Most people will receive their email on Wednesday 10th January from their preference college (ie the one you applied to), and this will tell you one of the following:
  • you have been made an offer (however any conditions attached to that offer may be provided separately)
  • your application was unsuccessful
  • you were placed in the Winter Pool but unfortunately no other college expressed interest in your application, so your application was unsuccessful

The Winter Pool – what is it?
Spoiler:
Show


The Winter Pool is the mechanism by which Cambridge colleges ensure that all applicants of equivalent standard have a fair chance of an offer. About a fifth of all offers made every year go to applicants who have been pooled: 1,169 offers out of 3,874 pooled candidates in 2016/17. However, there is significant variation by course, college, and year; you can look up the statistics for individual colleges and subjects here.

If you were placed in the Winter Pool, and another college expressed interest in your application, you may hear directly from that college, not your preference college. The ‘new’ college will either have called or emailed you on 5th January or shortly afterwards to invite you for re-interview, or will make you a direct offer which you will hear about at the same time as everyone else gets their decision letters. If you haven't heard anything about an interview by very early this week, you can expect to hear the outcome of your application with everyone else on 10th January.

It's worth remembering that applicants who achieve offers through the Pool are as strong as those who achieve direct offers, and do just as well in their undergraduate studies.

What happens in the Pool?
Colleges place the files of everyone they think has a reasonable prospect of an offer in the Pool so that all the other colleges can look them over during meetings that have been taking place this week. Sometimes colleges retrieve applicants they placed in the Pool and make offers to them after all (this happened to 231 people last year). In most cases, applicants being taken out of the Pool by other colleges will be made a direct offer; only a small minority of applicants will be called back for another interview.

When will I hear anything?
Those being called for Pool interviews will be contacted directly by email or telephone by the college/s concerned, from Friday 5th January, with the interviews taking place later next week. UK-based applicants are advised to ensure that they are contactable (really important to check your email spam folders!) on Friday 5th January and Monday 8th January - there is a very tight turn around. However, this does not mean freaking out every time you see a missed call on your phone – last year, only 225 out of 3874 pooled applicants were recalled for interview, and of those people, only some will have been reading the equivalent of this thread! Given the rapid decline in numbers of people called for re-interview in recent years, I would expect that perhaps 20 or so TSR people will be contacted in this way, and it may well be fewer than that.

The email date for colleges making direct (ie without further interview) offers through the Pool is also Wednesday 10th January. Re-interviewed applicants should hear the outcome from Sunday 14th January onwards, although officially the final deadline is the end of January. If you have been successful after re-interview, you will hear only from the college that is making you an offer. If you have been unsuccessful, your preference college is responsible for letting you know, although it is to be hoped that the college/s that interviewed you would also tell you.

International applicants who were interviewed abroad, and those living outside Europe, will certainly not be called for re-interview. Someone living in Europe may be recalled, but this is very rare.

What are my chances of an offer following re-interview?
It is noticeable that over the years the number of applicants being called for re-interview has declined significantly. Back in the 2007-08 round, 548 people were re-interviewed, of whom 285 were successful. Last year, only 225 of 3874 pooled applicants (compared with 288 in 2015 and 370 in 2014) were re-interviewed and 95 (163 in 2015 and 170 in 2014) were made offers. The success rate is around 1 in 2, with some fluctuations from year to year.

How should I prepare for my interview?
Get to know something about the college – use their website, and the TSR resources. Otherwise, make sure you read carefully any instructions you are sent, especially if there may be some kind of test, and review your personal statement. The most useful thing you can do, though, is to draw on the experience of being interviewed in December. The admissions tutors are as interested in how you think something through as they are in you getting to the ‘right’ answer – if indeed there is one :tongue:

More info about the pool here:
https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....applicants.pdf



Some FAQ:
When will I get my decision email?
Emails are sent by the individual colleges. They may arrive at any time but most likely during normal office hours (9am to 5:30pm UK time). Note, a "late" email is not necessarily an indication of a rejection.

I haven’t received my decision email yet – what should I do?
If you have not heard anything at all by Thursday 11th January, contact your preference college.

Is there any possibility of changing the college that has made me a Pool offer or called me for re-interview?
No. If you are worried about it being an all-women/out of town/modern/mature student college, check out the individual college threads in the Cambridge forum. Many others have been there before you!

Will my school/referee be told my decision?
(Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
On this, Colleges have historically done different things, some contacting referees and others not. There has been some considerable discussion about it and how to interpret the data protection act. It has been left up to Colleges to interpret the act and though I think some Colleges may continue to contact referees, I suspect that most will not. At Murray Edwards we are not going to contact referees.
When will UCAS Track be updated?
(Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
CAO (the central admissions office) plans to send the vast majority of decisions to UCAS on Friday so track will update after that. Nobody should panic if they've not heard anything on track. It's the communication from us which is of primary importance.
How do I get feedback on my application, and when will I get it?
(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
Email your college asking for feedback, including your name and UCAS ID. If you're thinking of reapplying it is useful to include this so we can address it in the letter. Letters are written individually and we get hundreds of requests so it can take a few months for them all to be sent.
Also Cambridge's official info: How to get feedback
NOTE: Offer holders can't request feedback, the offer *is* your feedback - but if really want to you can always ask your DoS when you go up to Cambridge.

Also:
The visit the Cambridge Offer Holders thread!
And we have a Decisions [No Discussion] thread for you to post all your details (Offer or Rejection!).

Other useful links:

And finally...
Do post in this thread and let us know how it's all working for you. If you have been successful, congratulations. If not, commiserations, but remember that there is life after a Cambridge rejection, as many excellent people have reason to know!
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Blackbird71
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Cambridge used to send out its decision letters over the first weekend of the New Year. However, in order to reduce the uncertainty and stress for those applicants who are placed in the Winter Pool (3,874 last year) the university decided a few years ago to delay ‘decision day’ for long enough to allow the Pool process to be completed for almost everyone first.

And this year there has been another change that means everyone should learn where they are by email rather than a letter as previously.

This year's Decision Day is Wednesday 10th January.
As noted by Peterhouse Admissions:
"The University has collectively agreed that all candidates (regardless of college) be emailed with the outcome of their application on the 10th January. The only exception will be for candidates who are invited to second interviews who will start to hear from 5th Jan*. Nobody else will hear any earlier. There may be instances where emails are not sent on the 10th so if you have not heard anything by the 11th you could contact your college. Candidates being made offers will very likely also be sent letters (with important contractual information), other candidates may also be sent letters but will get an email too which is likely to arrive first.

*Candidates invited to reinterview will have had colleges commit to this and will not be disadvantaged by missing calls or not immediately replying to emails. Pool interviews are a very small part of the admissions round with about 1.3% of applicants reinterviewed last year."

It is worth checking now that your preference college has your up-to-date contact details, including mobile and landline numbers. If these have changed since you were interviewed and you haven't told them, do so now, by email, putting "Applicant Contact Details Update" in the subject line so that the admin team will know what it is.

Most people will receive their email on Wednesday 10th January from their preference college (ie the one you applied to), and this will tell you one of the following:
  • you have been made an offer (however any conditions attached to that offer may be provided separately)
  • your application was unsuccessful
  • you were placed in the Winter Pool but unfortunately no other college expressed interest in your application, so your application was unsuccessful

The Winter Pool – what is it?
The Winter Pool is the mechanism by which Cambridge colleges ensure that all applicants of equivalent standard have a fair chance of an offer. About a fifth of all offers made every year go to applicants who have been pooled: 1,169 offers out of 3,874 pooled candidates in 2016/17. However, there is significant variation by course, college, and year; you can look up the statistics for individual colleges and subjects here.

If you were placed in the Winter Pool, and another college expressed interest in your application, you may hear directly from that college, not your preference college. The ‘new’ college will either have called or emailed you on 5th January or shortly afterwards to invite you for re-interview, or will make you a direct offer which you will hear about at the same time as everyone else gets their decision letters. If you haven't heard anything about an interview by very early this week, you can expect to hear the outcome of your application with everyone else on 10th January.

It's worth remembering that applicants who achieve offers through the Pool are as strong as those who achieve direct offers, and do just as well in their undergraduate studies.

What happens in the Pool?
Colleges place the files of everyone they think has a reasonable prospect of an offer in the Pool so that all the other colleges can look them over during meetings that have been taking place this week. Sometimes colleges retrieve applicants they placed in the Pool and make offers to them after all (this happened to 231 people last year). In most cases, applicants being taken out of the Pool by other colleges will be made a direct offer; only a small minority of applicants will be called back for another interview.

When will I hear anything?
Those being called for Pool interviews will be contacted directly by email or telephone by the college/s concerned, from Friday 5th January, with the interviews taking place later next week. UK-based applicants are advised to ensure that they are contactable (really important to check your email spam folders!) on Friday 5th January and Monday 8th January - there is a very tight turn around. However, this does not mean freaking out every time you see a missed call on your phone – last year, only 225 out of 3874 pooled applicants were recalled for interview, and of those people, only some will have been reading the equivalent of this thread! Given the rapid decline in numbers of people called for re-interview in recent years, I would expect that perhaps 20 or so TSR people will be contacted in this way, and it may well be fewer than that.

The email date for colleges making direct (ie without further interview) offers through the Pool is also Wednesday 10th January. Re-interviewed applicants should hear the outcome from Sunday 14th January onwards, although officially the final deadline is the end of January. If you have been successful after re-interview, you will hear only from the college that is making you an offer. If you have been unsuccessful, your preference college is responsible for letting you know, although it is to be hoped that the college/s that interviewed you would also tell you.

International applicants who were interviewed abroad, and those living outside Europe, will certainly not be called for re-interview. Someone living in Europe may be recalled, but this is very rare.

Some FAQ:
I haven’t received my decision email yet – what should I do?
If you have not heard anything at all by Friday 12th January, contact your preference college.

Is there any possibility of changing the college that has made me a Pool offer or called me for re-interview?
No. If you are worried about it being an all-women/out of town/modern/mature student college, check out the individual college threads in the Cambridge forum. Many others have been there before you!

What are my chances of an offer following re-interview?
It is noticeable that over the years the number of applicants being called for re-interview has declined significantly. Back in the 2007-08 round, 548 people were re-interviewed, of whom 285 were successful. Last year, only 225 of 3874 pooled applicants (compared with 288 in 2015 and 370 in 2014) were re-interviewed and 95 (163 in 2015 and 170 in 2014) were made offers. The success rate is around 1 in 2, with some fluctuations from year to year.

How should I prepare for my interview?
Get to know something about the college – use their website, and the TSR resources. Otherwise, make sure you read carefully any instructions you are sent, especially if there may be some kind of test, and review your personal statement. The most useful thing you can do, though, is to draw on the experience of being interviewed in December. The admissions tutors are as interested in how you think something through as they are in you getting to the ‘right’ answer – if indeed there is one :tongue:

Also:
The current Applicants thread will shortly become the Decision Discussion thread (and then becomes the Offer Holders thread).
And we have a Decisions [No Discussion] thread for you to post your details (Offer or Rejection!).

And finally...
Do post in this thread and let us know how it's all working for you. If you have been successful, congratulations. If not, commiserations, but remember that there is life after a Cambridge rejection, as many excellent people have reason to know!
How do I check that my preference college has my up-to-date contact info?

And thank you so so much Doonesbury for having been so helpful and supportive throughout the past few months-- I can't imagine what it would've been like without you so promptly answering all of our many, many (and often repetitive) questions and calming us down when we have heart/panic/anxiety attacks with wise words and the Chart of Doon
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Doones
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(Original post by KikiO15)
How do I check that my preference college has my up-to-date contact info?

And thank you so so much Doonesbury for having been so helpful and supportive throughout the past few months-- I can't imagine what it would've been like without you so promptly answering all of our many, many (and often repetitive) questions and calming us down when we have heart/panic/anxiety attacks with wise words and the Chart of Doon
Have your details changed since you applied? If not they are up to date.

And :hat2:
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Ilaria95
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Hello everyone!
I actually received a conditional offer on the 18th December after submitting it all on the 28th November: that was so early! What does that mean? Do you think I will hear from colleges on the 10th of January?
Thank you everyone and good luck to you all!
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Doones
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(Original post by Ilaria95)
Hello everyone!
I actually received a conditional offer on the 18th December after submitting it all on the 28th November: that was so early! What does that mean? Do you think I will hear from colleges on the 10th of January?
Thank you everyone and good luck to you all!
This thread is for undergrads - I think you are an MPhil applicant?

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Ilaria95
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
This thread is for undergrads - I think you are an MPhil applicant?

Yes I am, sorry! Who should I ask?
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Doones
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(Original post by Ilaria95)
Yes I am, sorry! Who should I ask?
The 10th January is a decision day for undergrads not postgrads. You've already got your offer, so what do you need to ask about?
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Farheen613
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Cambridge used to send out its decision letters over the first weekend of the New Year.
Thank you so much
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by KikiO15)
How do I check that my preference college has my up-to-date contact info?
Keeping them up-to-date on UCAS is the best way. If your contact details change, just update them at UCAS, there's no need to contact your college.
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Doones
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
Keeping them up-to-date on UCAS is the best way. If your contact details change, just update them at UCAS, there's no need to contact your college.
Noted, and edited the OP.
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illusorygroup
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If I have applied for deferred entry is there any chance that they will give me an offer but for 2018 entry instead?
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Doones
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(Original post by illusorygroup)
If I have applied for deferred entry is there any chance that they will give me an offer but for 2018 entry instead?
It's unlikely. But yes if you only indicated it on your SAQ then it's viewed as more of a "request" than a strict instruction.

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Ilaria95
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I would like to know when I will hear from a college and if anyonone knows why I’ve been offered a position this early. Thank you!
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Doones
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(Original post by Ilaria95)
I would like to know when I will hear from a college and if anyonone knows why I’ve been offered a position this early. Thank you!
I don't think it's unusual. But you'd be best to ask in the postgraduate thread here:

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=4839450
Official CAMBRIDGE 2018 Postgraduate Applicants thread

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ImprobableCacti
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Cambridge used to send out its decision letters over the first weekend of the New Year. However, in order to reduce the uncertainty and stress for those applicants who are placed in the Winter Pool (3,874 last year) the university decided a few years ago to delay ‘decision day’ for long enough to allow the Pool process to be completed for almost everyone first.

And this year there has been another change that means everyone should learn where they are by email rather than a letter as previously.

This year's Decision Day is Wednesday 10th January.
And as noted by Peterhouse Admissions in this post:
When will UCAS Track be updated?
Track won't be updated until a day or two after the 10th January. Probably Friday.

Also:
The current Applicants thread will shortly become the Decision Discussion thread (and then becomes the Offer Holders thread).
And we have a Decisions [No Discussion] thread for you to post your details (Offer or Rejection!).

And finally...
Do post in this thread and let us know how it's all working for you. If you have been successful, congratulations. If not, commiserations, but remember that there is life after a Cambridge rejection, as many excellent people have reason to know!
What was Cambridge TSR like before Doonesbury?
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Doones
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(Original post by ImprobableCacti)
What was Cambridge TSR like before Doonesbury?
Before me there was (and to an extent still is) the amazing Minerva who I shamelessly adapted the OP from.
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ImprobableCacti
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Before me there was (and to an extent still is) the amazing Minerva who I shamelessly adapted the OP from.
Oooo!! I feel bad (partly for being so young) for having not heard of Minerva! At least there was someone giving awesome advice to all of the hopefuls!
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Minerva
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Before me there was (and to an extent still is) the amazing Minerva who I shamelessly adapted the OP from.
(Original post by ImprobableCacti)
Oooo!! I feel bad (partly for being so young) for having not heard of Minerva! At least there was someone giving awesome advice to all of the hopefuls!
:wavey:
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giantlabrador
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Hi i have received my offer via email but they said view your conditions on Track yet Track hasn't updated yet - Is this normal? Did they make a mistake? Im just really nervous and excited because this is just too gd to be true....
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by giantlabrador)
Hi i have received my offer via email but they said view your conditions on Track yet Track hasn't updated yet - Is this normal? Did they make a mistake? Im just really nervous and excited because this is just too gd to be true....
Congratulations on your offer! This is entirely normal - it often takes a few days for Track to update.
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