College set admissions test for physical NatSci Watch

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Report Thread starter 10 months ago
So I went to the open day and really like St. John's, but they're one of three colleges which require an additional assessment on top of NSAA and interviews.

I know I'd do better in interview answering general questions about physics because I get quite stressed out, and talking about stuff I specifically find interesting might help mitigate an internal meltdown. So, if they set an admissions test beforehand, does that mean the college would ask fewer technical questions (e.g. problem sheet style) in interview?

I guess the overall question is: is applying to John's the equivalent of shooting myself in the foot or is maybe to my favour or does it really not matter (and should I get off TSR and back to revising)?
Badges: 15
Report 10 months ago
I don't think so, although I don't know exactly what happens in a Johns NatSci interview. A Cambridge physical NatSci interview at any college will probably involve a substantial amount of provlem solving, as that is what they are interested in.


You would have 3 interviews, 1 tutorial (I think this means general), and two subject specific, which would be "exploring your analytical ability to think through scientific problems". And not intended to be a "memory test", if that is what you are worried about - they care more about how you think than exactly what you know.

That said, if you think you would do well at the test, that would give the college an extra positive bit of information about you.

At my college, Trinity, I had a test before the interview, and those quesions were used as a basis for discussion in the interview afterwards (check their website though for uptodate info on how they do admissions now, as my interview was a while ago!) - but at Johns it sounds like the purpose of the test is to check you are good at maths and applying maths.

My interview started with a general question from my personal statement to put me at ease before moving onto the main of the interview. You could tell the college beforehand if doing something similar would help you not panic at interview.

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