Can someone explain what Cambridge use to give interviews? (Medicine) Watch

XxxvatxxX
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I have not found a solid thread telling me what Cambridge use to select applicants to give out interviews to, so was wondering if someone could tell me, bearing in mind the new reform means that UMS wont really be in consideration.

(And if you could, what do they ask to select who to give offers to?)

Many thanks!!
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eliza154
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Cambridge interview about 80% of applicants - anyone they think has a realistic chance of getting in. so if you have predicted A2 grades that suggest you would be able to meet their standard offer, you should get an interview. At this stage it's not very selective

they use the personal statement, reference, GCSE grades, A level predictions, any admissions tests, and interview performance to decide whether to give you an offer.

good luck!!
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XxxvatxxX
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(Original post by eliza154)
Cambridge interview about 80% of applicants - anyone they think has a realistic chance of getting in. so if you have predicted A2 grades that suggest you would be able to meet their standard offer, you should get an interview. At this stage it's not very selective

they use the personal statement, reference, GCSE grades, A level predictions, any admissions tests, and interview performance to decide whether to give you an offer.

good luck!!
Hi! Thank you so much for this information!

Also, is it true that it is easier to get into Cambridge than Oxford? I mean, I heard there are more people applying per place at Oxford than Cambridge, So was wondering if that is really the case.
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eliza154
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At Oxford, they're much pickier about who to interview - last year they shortlisted about 1/3 of applicants for interview. Of those that got an interview, about 1 in 3 got an offer - so overall they made offers to approx 10% of applicants.

For Cambridge, over the last 5 years the average is about 20% of applicants got a place for medicine

so it sounds like from those statistics you have a better chance at cambridge?
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BlimeyGuv
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(Original post by XxxvatxxX)
Hi! Thank you so much for this information!

Also, is it true that it is easier to get into Cambridge than Oxford? I mean, I heard there are more people applying per place at Oxford than Cambridge, So was wondering if that is really the case.
I must say people underestimate what the stats say because they prefer Ox to Camb or vica versa, this is one of the problems of only being able to apply to one or the other. I know a potential medic who got to interview at Ox but got rejected. They preferred Ox to Camb so applied to Ox. If the stats say it is more difficult to get a place at one or the other on average it is more difficult! I am not saying they would of got a place at Camb but they are top of the school (a good one) academically and did some incredible super-curricular work and didn't get an offer. The Odds do matter!
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XxxvatxxX
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(Original post by BlimeyGuv)
I must say people underestimate what the stats say because they prefer Ox to Camb or vica versa, this is one of the problems of only being able to apply to one or the other. I know a potential medic who got to interview at Ox but got rejected. They preferred Ox to Camb so applied to Ox. If the stats say it is more difficult to get a place at one or the other on average it is more difficult! I am not saying they would of got a place at Camb but they are top of the school (a good one) academically and did some incredible super-curricular work and didn't get an offer. The Odds do matter!
I very much agree with this, surely when applying you have to take in mind the stats and although the differences in the course at these two may matter to some, in the end you are applying to one of the top universities, arguably, in the world, so doing some things that you may not like along the way is inevitable for how strenuous the whole process is! (Just my opinion haha, I'm sure a lot of people really care about the type of university and the course in particular ! )
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Doones
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(Original post by XxxvatxxX)
I very much agree with this, surely when applying you have to take in mind the stats and although the differences in the course at these two may matter to some, in the end you are applying to one of the top universities, arguably, in the world, so doing some things that you may not like along the way is inevitable for how strenuous the whole process is! (Just my opinion haha, I'm sure a lot of people really care about the type of university and the course in particular ! )
Apply to the course you most prefer, not the admissions stats. You will be studying there for 6 years, don't be spending those 6 years wondering what if...
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BlimeyGuv
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Apply to the course you most prefer, not the admissions stats. You will be studying there for 6 years, don't be spending those 6 years wondering what if...

There’s the rub! Given the option many Oxbridge applicants would choose the other place as a second choice.

This year I also know someone who applied to Oxford after a gap year having missed out at interview stage last year. This year they didn't even get invited to interview! Soul-destroying.

Have spoke to them since and they wish they had applied to Cambridge. It may not be their first choice but they would of been happy to do the course at Cantab given the chance. So they are now off to a famous US uni sadly as that was their backup. Incidentally it's another course that is statistically more difficult to get on at Oxford.
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Doones
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(Original post by BlimeyGuv)
There’s the rub! Given the option many Oxbridge applicants would choose the other place as a second choice.

This year I also know someone who applied to Oxford after a gap year having missed out at interview stage last year. This year they didn't even get invited to interview! Soul-destroying.

Have spoke to them since and they wish they had applied to Cambridge. It may not be their first choice but they would of been happy to do the course at Cantab given the chance. So they are now off to a famous US uni sadly as that was their backup. Incidentally it's another course that is statistically more difficult to get on at Oxford.
Any medicine offer anywhere is a thing to be cherished.

But there really is *no* guarantee they would have been more successful applying to Cambridge.
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username1865079
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(Original post by BlimeyGuv)
There’s the rub! Given the option many Oxbridge applicants would choose the other place as a second choice.

This year I also know someone who applied to Oxford after a gap year having missed out at interview stage last year. This year they didn't even get invited to interview! Soul-destroying.

Have spoke to them since and they wish they had applied to Cambridge. It may not be their first choice but they would of been happy to do the course at Cantab given the chance. So they are now off to a famous US uni sadly as that was their backup. Incidentally it's another course that is statistically more difficult to get on at Oxford.
US uni as a back-up?
Is this person international applicant?
If so, all uk universities has a strict quota (set by NHS/the government) on how many international applicants they can accept for their medicine course. (Not for any other course. Just medicine)
So them missing an offer twice is quite a lot to do with it, rather than becaus they chose (allegedly) more competitive oxford both times.
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BlimeyGuv
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(Original post by vincrows)
US uni as a back-up?
Is this person international applicant?
If so, all uk universities has a strict quota (set by NHS/the government) on how many international applicants they can accept for their medicine course. (Not for any other course. Just medicine)
So them missing an offer twice is quite a lot to do with it, rather than becaus they chose (allegedly) more competitive oxford both times.
No......apologies.....they are not a medic (I didn't make that clear) and they are UK.

This is why I think Cambridge has the edge as at least more people get to interview stage and perhaps gives you another chance to shine!
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username1865079
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(Original post by BlimeyGuv)
No......apologies.....they are not a medic (I didn't make that clear) and they are UK.

This is why I think Cambridge has the edge as at least more people get to interview stage and perhaps gives you another chance to shine!
Perhaps. But not all universities are looking for a same quality in applicants. For example, Oxbridge are only interested in how you excel and have potential in your chosen subject and don’t really care about anything else, but American universities appreciate ‘more rounded’ quality in you.
We can’t really say which is better.
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XxxvatxxX
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Apply to the course you most prefer, not the admissions stats. You will be studying there for 6 years, don't be spending those 6 years wondering what if...
But what if you don't really mind the course, like I'm open to literally any type of course, it just has to get me to my end goal of Medicine. If you're quite open like that, then surely you can look at the stats, and the admission requirements
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Doones
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(Original post by XxxvatxxX)
But what if you don't really mind the course, like I'm open to literally any type of course, it just has to get me to my end goal of Medicine. If you're quite open like that, then surely you can look at the stats, and the admission requirements
You apply to 4 medschools and await an offer from any of them. Any offer is an achievement.
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XxxvatxxX
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
You apply to 4 medschools and await an offer from any of them.
Haha, fair enough

But overall, my mind is swaying towards Cambridge, hopefully GCSE still play a part in selections!
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Doones
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(Original post by XxxvatxxX)
Haha, fair enough

But overall, my mind is swaying towards Cambridge, hopefully GCSE still play a part in selections!
Not really for Cambridge.
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XxxvatxxX
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Not really for Cambridge.
Damn, they dont use GCSE much? The person who answered me first gave me some sort of idea of what they use, but do you know any specifics pre-interviews and what they use when decision making?
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Doones
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(Original post by XxxvatxxX)
Damn, they dont use GCSE much? The person who answered me first gave me some sort of idea of what they use, but do you know any specifics pre-interviews and what they use when decision making?
They interview approx 75-80% of applicants. And applications are assessed holistically. No one thing is more important than any other, including the interview. There's no specific weighting for each aspect.
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BlimeyGuv
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(Original post by XxxvatxxX)
Damn, they dont use GCSE much? The person who answered me first gave me some sort of idea of what they use, but do you know any specifics pre-interviews and what they use when decision making?

Yes the person earlier in the thread stated they take in to account "personal statement, reference, GCSE grades, A level predictions, any admissions tests, and interview performance to decide whether to give you an offer." You can also add the all important super-curricular stuff you can do as well. As Doonesbury stated they consider the full Monty with no particular emphasise on your GCSE results.

Anyway back to the stats....they interview about 40% of the medics at Ox' and have about a 16% offer rate. I can't find the % they interview at Camb' but from what others indicate it is about 75%? and they make about a 23% offer rate. It's tough but given you can only apply to one of them the odds look better at Cambridge.
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username1865079
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(Original post by XxxvatxxX)
Damn, they dont use GCSE much? The person who answered me first gave me some sort of idea of what they use, but do you know any specifics pre-interviews and what they use when decision making?
At a risk of sounding like a broken record........
GCSE is only used as a contextual data = your performance vs your school’s average performance and your improvement (or otherwise) from GCSE to A-level.

So even if there’re 2 applicants with identical GCSE grades, if one of them went to a very good school where majority of students outperformed them, it’s not considered very promising while if the other’s performance was outstanding among their peers, it’s considred very favorably as it shows their true academic ability, determination and self-discipline regardless of the environment they happened to be.

Also, even if your GCSE was brilliant but not so much in A-levels, they’d think it’s worrying as it shows you’re not coping with higher level of study in A-level as you could in GCSE. (And A-level is a child-play compared to what it’s like at university)
But if someone with not so good gcse performance is improving a lot for A-level, they’d find it a promising sign.

So in short, everyone’s gcse is assessed differently completely depending upon each context.
And they regard more recent academic records, like A-level, is much more reliable source of information, so,yes, GCSE is not that important and never a game-changer for Cambridge application.
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