Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    I am absolutely determined to go to Cambridge and I've got my eyes on HSPS or POLIS, for various reasons.

    I had so many grand plans for work experience and this and that but then along came mocks and all the deadlines closed whilst I was revising biology.

    Can anyone suggest any schemes/work experience/volunteering or anything that could help me fill my summer with productive things to boost an application?

    Last summer I paid about £5 to attend something about A level choices at Cambridge and at the end there was the opportunity to attend a lecture, which is where I really got interested in international relations. I found this scheme purely by chance and I am sure there are others out there, I just can't find them. So if anyone can offer any guidance about where I can find such things, please do tell!

    My main interests are economics, politics, history, a bit of game theory and international relations and geopolitics. If anyone can suggest anything at all I'd be really grateful, as I've already missed out on so much because of my own stupidity, and I really want to have a productive summer. I entirely appreciate its not necessarily what you do, but what you get out of it, however currently I am not going to be doing much at all. I've applied to do some volunteering at a nonprofit Campaign Against the Arms Trade, and if anyone else can suggest similar political non profits that I could volunteer at, I'd again be very grateful.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I'm going to keep it real with you.

    This was my application to politics at Cambridge:
    - 4A*'s at A Level - 99% UMS in Politics
    - Good personal statement and references
    - good interview and assessment scores
    -I had worked with an MP, read over 40 books in my subject area, worked for a few different campaigns including 2017 GE, did multiple socio-economic schemes, went to Cambridge shadowing

    Outcome: Pooled and rejected
    Reason: 'Not enough spaces'

    The point being you can have a perfect application and still get rejected. Nothing you do over summer will boost your application, Cambridge are known for not caring about extra-curricular activities. Reading and getting good grades are he most important thing you can do. Don't waist your summer pandering to Cambridge, try and form a strong application in the most key areas: assessment, interview, grades. Do 1 or 2 extra curriculars if you want to do them anyway, not for Cambridge. I really don't want to be demoralising but you'll realise in 2 years time the majority of this extra stuff simply does not matter, just enjoy the summer for now.
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Have some fun bro.

    If you're applying to Cambridge then I think it's fair to say that you'll need to be doing a lot of reading in the subject area which you like (hopefully) so just explore and dabble with your subject area of interest.
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Storyus)
    I am absolutely determined to go to Cambridge and I've got my eyes on HSPS or POLIS, for various reasons.

    I had so many grand plans for work experience and this and that but then along came mocks and all the deadlines closed whilst I was revising biology.

    Can anyone suggest any schemes/work experience/volunteering or anything that could help me fill my summer with productive things to boost an application?

    Last summer I paid about £5 to attend something about A level choices at Cambridge and at the end there was the opportunity to attend a lecture, which is where I really got interested in international relations. I found this scheme purely by chance and I am sure there are others out there, I just can't find them. So if anyone can offer any guidance about where I can find such things, please do tell!

    My main interests are economics, politics, history, a bit of game theory and international relations and geopolitics. If anyone can suggest anything at all I'd be really grateful, as I've already missed out on so much because of my own stupidity, and I really want to have a productive summer. I entirely appreciate its not necessarily what you do, but what you get out of it, however currently I am not going to be doing much at all. I've applied to do some volunteering at a nonprofit Campaign Against the Arms Trade, and if anyone else can suggest similar political non profits that I could volunteer at, I'd again be very grateful.
    Work experience is neither needed or necessary for Cambridge unless you’re applying for medicine.

    Just simple things like reading around the subject you’re interested in applying for is sufficient.
    If you want to attend lectures, Gresham College in London regularly host free lectures on various subjects which they have the archive on their website (also free for anyone).
    Many organizations, like universities, think-tanks, research institutions, academic societies, sometimes host lectures/talks/panel discussions that’s open to public. Some of them are also archived on their website, so you don’t necessarily have to go there.
    The only thing you have to do is google it (Try ‘public lecture, ‘international relations (or whatever theme you’re interested)) and see what comes up.


    Really no need to do a lot or anything grand. They know and understand not everyone can access to great work experience/volunteering and they do not penalise you for not doing such things nor give you a brownie point for just doing them.
    What they’re interested is NOT a list of things you’ve done as supercurricular, but what you’ve learned from the experience to develop your thinking.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I'm an undergrad in Cambridge at the moment (doing Psychological & Behavioural Sciences but I was originally a NatSci).
    I spent my Year 11 Summer learning Japanese after a trip to Japan and playing video games.

    Just use it as a break to refresh yourself and do what you want to do for fun so you can focus on your A-Levels afterwards. Some people may try to deny it, but most of the weight for admissions is placed on grades. To be honest, I'm pretty sure I only got in because of my high UMS average.
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    General advice I received from a Cambridge tutor-
    We want to see evidence of taking academic risk taking
    My translation:
    Do something which will give you a ‘spike’ - Something that makes you stand out from the crowd (in a good way). Everyone is going to have perfect personal statements and references, amazing UMS, fantastic GCSEs- that’s all a given. However, not everyone is going to have won an essay competition, or gotten their EPQ published in a student journal. That’s a supercurricular and just one is enough.
    Secondly, to echo somebody else’s comment- Cambridge really do not care about your work experience or lack thereof. It’s what you’ve learnt and how you’ve reflected on it that counts. With the right wording any experience can be turned in to a valuable one.
    I would recommend you try and read around whatever takes your fancy. I would like to emphasise that Cambridge Interview 70% of applicants - so wowing at interview will make you stand out. From interview it’s more or less a level playing field (supposedly).
    Also a lot of it is down to luck. The process is not infallible; even the best applicants get turned down. You’ll hear lots of stories like the one above about people being the ideal candidate and the getting rejected - that’s does not mean that you shouldn’t work or that it is meaningless.
    I would also like to add that there is no ‘formula’ that will guarantee you success. All this advice on the forum is a suggestion. Ultimately, it’s whether they (the tutors) feel you are best placed in an environment like Cambridge.
    Good luck!
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
 
 
 

University open days

  1. University of Cambridge
    St Catharine's College Undergraduate
    Sat, 8 Sep '18
  2. University of Cambridge
    St Catharine's College Undergraduate
    Sat, 15 Sep '18
  3. University of Cambridge
    King's College Undergraduate
    Tue, 18 Sep '18
Poll
How are you feeling in the run-up to Results Day 2018?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.