Cambridge confirmation queries - ask the Admissions Team Watch

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Peterhouse Admissions
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Hi again everyone! We're back to help answer any questions about results, the summer pool, confirmation of places and starting at Cambridge. This thread will run through A level results week and until the 22nd August. We've put together a short FAQ below to help answer some of the most common questions at this time of year. TSR also has a very helpful guide on results day.

We know how stressful and emotional it can all be. We all get quite invested too, particularly in cases where we have applicants who we've seen in school, have come to our events/open days then the offer-holders open day or applicants who we know have had to overcome some seriously tough times. There's honestly quite a bit of air punching and excitement or swearing and disappointment when the results come in. It isn't us spouting clichés, we really do view each applicant as an individual and we're rooting for them!

If your question is along the lines of 'I think I missed my offer, what are my chances' then I'm afraid that nobody on TSR can help as all decisions on missed offers are made individually on case-by-case basis and there's really no point in engaging in long hypotheticals or trying to learn from previous cases. All our offer-holders are individuals and we treat them as such.

Experience also shows that (very) few students are actually clairvoyant – you may think you know exactly what mark you got but you really have to wait and see on results day. We’ve been doing this for a while and the overwhelming majority of people who are ‘convinced’ they’ve ‘failed’ and missed their offer are flat-out wrong.

FAQ
More general information, an FAQ about results day is here!

When do you get the results and make decisions?
We have some results now and will get more in the next few days and will aim to make and enter decisions for the majority of applicants ready for them to go live A level results day. However, there will be cases where a decision cannot be made yet (Summer Pool, we want to know marks, results are missing from the information we got sent etc.) where it won't be confirmed until after we have heard from you on the 16th.

What could happen?
Accepted if you meet the offer conditions
Accepted even though you missed (this may require you to send your marks)
Still under consideration by you preference College or the Summer Pool (send your marks). You won't be accepted by another College on the 16th
Rejected and released to your insurance choice or clearing if you miss the offer and are not thought to be of interest in the Summer Pool (the University has clear guidelines for this)

If you miss your offer and are still pending on the 17th, the Summer Pool takes place and you may:
Be accepted by your preference College
Be accepted by another College
Be rejected and released to your insurance choice or clearing

There's a slight chance you may still be pending after the 17th and once again you may:
Be accepted by your preference College
Be accepted by another College
Be rejected and released to your insurance choice or clearing

How will I know if I’m in?
You will know via UCAS Track, from the results you have achieved (if you meet or exceed your offer, your place is certain) and you should also hear from the College by post (hopefully on results day but possibly the next day if the post doesn't behave). If Track updates to show you as ‘unconditional’ at Cambridge then you’re in, regardless of whether the results you get meet the offer or not. Celebrate! Do not phone, email or turn up to check – if it says you’re in, then you’re in.

When will UCAS Track update?
Track updates by 8 am on the 16th. Don't read too much into things if your Track doesn't update - go and get your results before contacting us. There may just be a delay in the news getting from Cambridge to UCAS (we don’t update Track, UCAS do).

If Track hasn’t updated then collect your results before getting in touch with your college. Emailing your college is better than phoning (we’re busy and answering phones slows us down but we’ll respond to emails as and when we can). Do not turn up at the College as you will not be allowed in to see the Admissions Team and there’s nothing you can’t do via email.

I’ve missed my offer – what now?
If you have missed your offer conditions then you could still end up at Cambridge if Track is showing ‘conditional.’ Your preference College may decide to relax your conditions if you have just fallen short of your offer. All decisions are taken on a case-by-case basis taking all available information into account. This includes your personal statement, Admissions Assessment, submitted written work, teacher’s reference, interview reports, how close the missing grade was, how many other people missed their offer in your subject, how many other people miss their offer because of the same exam etc.

The important thing if you miss your offer is to tell the College your marks in every subject and arrange for any remarks as soon as possible. We’re happy for you to snap a picture on your phone and email it in the first instance but this should be followed up with a proper scan, ideally certified by a teacher, later on in the day.

If your preference College isn’t willing to relax your conditions then you may be either rejected or put into the Summer Pool (see below).

If your Track shows as rejected then I’m afraid your application to Cambridge has been unsuccessful and you have been passed to your insurance choice or into clearing. This won’t be what you hoped for so take some time to let things sink in. If this has happened there is no need to send your marks as there is no way to revisit your application unless a re-mark results in you meeting the original conditions of your offer by 31st August. A re-mark where you grades improve but don’t meet the offer conditions will not allow us to take you.

I’ve missed the grades but have asked for a remark – what do I need to do?
We will make decisions using the grades we have, but will make a note on your file in the pool that you have requested a remark. If you do miss the offer it is very important that you email your marks to your College as soon as possible. We can take you back from your insurance choice if you meet the conditions of your offer by 31st August. We aim to act quickly so that you don’t miss out on accommodation etc. at your insurance choice or miss the opportunity to get a place in clearing.

Should I reapply?

Christ’s will be running a post-exams clinic to help students who missed their offers and students who did better than they thought decide whether to apply to Cambridge for 2019 entry. Successful reapplicants typically exceed the typical offer for their course so if you haven’t met the offer and don’t have compelling extenuating circumstances then a reapplication for the same or a different course is unlikely to be successful.

We appreciate that you have been thinking about starting in Cambridge and it will be a shock if you’re not accepted but remember that there are many excellent universities and that students who don’t come to Cambridge go on to do fantastically well, and be fantastically happy, elsewhere. Don’t make any rash decisions (e.g. rejecting your insurance because you feel angry) without talking to your supporters and advisers first.

I was rejected in January but have great results! Can I come to Cambridge?

The only way to start at Cambridge in October is to hold an offer. There is no opportunity to revisit unsuccessful applications at this point. Christ’s will be running an advice clinic if you want to think about reapplying for 2019 entry but remember that you may be rejected a second time so you should only consider this if you’re excited about the idea of a gap year and have something planned. Take your time and think very carefully about offers you hold to start in 2018.

What should(n’t) I do?
DO: Make a plan ahead of time for what you will do in case you miss your conditions. Are you happy with your insurance? Do you want to go into clearing?

DO: Take a charged smartphone if you have one, along with the relevant email addresses and phone numbers you might need.

DO: Stay calm! If you don’t get the results you were hoping for then it is probably best to get on top of sorting out remarks (once you’ve checked Track) before getting in touch with us as they are time-sensitive.

DON’T: Inform us of extenuating circumstances on results day – we can’t take them into account unless we know about them in advance.

DON’T: Phone to check if you’re really in or that there’s not a mistake on Track or you’ve not been sent the wrong letter – if you’re in then you’re in – congratulations!

DON’T: Phone around colleges hoping to be accepted – that isn’t how the Summer Pool works. If you weren’t made an offer in January then I’m afraid there’s no way to be accepted now. If you’re thinking of reapplying then there’ll be another thread for you along shortly. Please note that Cambridge does not take part in adjustment.

DON’T: Get your teacher/parent/carer/supporter/friend to call up for you. We can only discuss the details with the candidate themselves.

The Summer Pool
It is much smaller than the Winter Pool (a few hundred rather than 900ish) and about 25% of this is Maths. There isn't a set number of places - this depends on how many colleges are looking, how short of students they are (in all subjects) and who is in the pool. Colleges and the University can vary the number of students taken overall and taken in most subjects in response to the strength of candidates. Colleges would rather end up with a smaller year group than take a weak candidate* but success rates are generally higher than in the Winter Pool as colleges only Pool candidates who are realistic prospects for a place.

*So if you are fished you are meant to be at Cambridge - students from the Summer Pool or with waived conditions get the same results (no significant difference statistically) as those who met their offers.

How do I get put in the Summer Pool?
The College you hold an offer at decides whether they want to relax your offer or not and whether they think you're of interest in the Summer Pool (but there are strong guidelines as to what counts as a realistic Summer Pool candidate and there are some compulsory pooling criteria, just like at the Winter Pool). Only a minority of those candidates who miss their offer are put in the Pool.

THE PROCESS IS DIFFERENT IF YOU ARE AN OPEN OFFER HOLDER – SEE BELOW

How will I know if I am being put in the Pool?
Your preference College should tell you on the 16th that you are being put in the Pool and check that you’re happy with this. If you’d rather be released to your insurance or into clearing then let them know at this point.

THE PROCESS IS DIFFERENT IF YOU ARE AN OPEN OFFER HOLDER – SEE BELOW

When is it?
The Pool happens on the Friday after results day (17th).

When will I find out if I’ve been taken?
You should hear by the Friday evening but there is a chance that a small number of people won’t hear until the Monday. You’ll hear whether you are successful or not but please be reactive and don’t chase us – the more time we spend answering phones or emails then the less time we have to do what needs doing.

What are my chances?
Very roughly and with approximate fractions:

Overall about 2 in 3 offer-holders with conditional offers meet their offer (3 out of 4 excluding maths where only about 50% meet their offer). Of those who miss the offer about 1 in 3 are relaxed (nearer 40% excluding maths). Of those not relaxed, about 1 in 5 are pooled (nearer 1 in 6 for maths). Summer Pool pick rates vary way too much to make any statement about - everything is case-by-case. Overall about 4 in 5 of our offer holders end up at Cambridge (5 in 6 excluding maths).

Of those in the Summer Pool, there were 290 in the 2014 pool and 85 were taken.

Open offers
I have an open offer – what does this mean?
If you have an open offer and meet your conditions then your place at Cambridge is guaranteed. However, which college you’ll be at may not be determined until the Summer Pool on the 17th. We would then aim to communicate decisions as quickly as possible via email and UCAS track, to be followed up by full details in the post exactly as for others offered places in the summer pool. If you are an open offer holder and you miss your conditions, you may still be put in the Summer Pool but you wouldn’t be guaranteed a place.

Freshers information
Make sure to take a look at the official Welcome to Cambridge events where you'll have the chance to meet current students and fellow freshers!

How do I get my university email address?
You don't have to wait until you get here but you do have to wait for an email from Student Registry. This will have instructions on what to do. There's a leaflet from the University with information which is sent to all our incoming students but it can also be found at http://www.uis.cam.ac.uk/for-students/gettingstarted

Is there any preliminary reading?
Glad to hear you’re keen! There might be or there might not be, depending on your course and College. If there is anything your Director of Studies would like you to do then they will be in touch but please don’t chase us - there might not be any and make sure you’re taking a break!

Depending on your course you might also be registered for Moodle before you arrive so you can access reading lists and preliminary work. This can be done using the email address you gave on your application (which I hope you all kept up to date and isn't an expired school email!).

When should I arrive?
Your College will be in touch with dates. Lectures etc. will start in the week of the 1st Oct so most students will arrive over the weekend before and certainly by the 2nd. Your college may specify arrival times to help with the unloading of hundreds of cars into old buildings.

Overseas and EU students may be allowed to arrive a week earlier to attend some of the optional settling in events in international freshers week. You may also have to arrive early for course-specific summer schools etc. but your College will be in touch.

How do I sort accommodation?
Your College will be in touch with details of your accommodation. Cambridge is not like other universities - we work on the assumption that everyone will live in so you don't need to register for accommodation in the same way as at other universities. Your college will let you know when you can move in.

What's provided in my room?
It is difficult to say exactly what you'll get in all colleges but your room will be furnished and you'll almost certainly be provided with a duvet, pillow, lamp, desk, chair etc. Your college may be in touch with more information, otherwise drop your JCR freshers' rep an eamil - they'll be happy to answer any questions you have. There may also be an official freshers group on facebook or something.
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Doones
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Peterhouse Admissions Looks like some eejit (i.e. me) accidentally closed instead of stickied your thread!
Sorry ... :getmecoat:

But it's open again now!
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Doones
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
Should I reapply?

Christ’s will be running a post-exams clinic to help students who missed their offers and students who did better than they thought decide whether to apply to Cambridge for 2019 entry.
More on that Results Advice Clinic here:
https://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/open-d...results-clinic
:yy:
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Doones
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:tumble:

Peterhouse Admissions - seems everyone else is too nervous to ask anything!

So here's a question: what is the day-by-day process for A-level applications in the run-up to Thursday 16th?

I understand the University gets the results on Friday 10th evening, when do they go to the Colleges? And when do the Colleges make most of their decisions?
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mathswatcher
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Thank you for hosting the thread. Will everyone's STEP results come out at midnight on Wednesday?
Do any/many collleges email students before Track updates on results day to welcome them?
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lupin13
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Hi and thanks for hosting the thread will track update first or are you sending emails/letters with decisions?
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panic!intheexam
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If track doesn't update at 8am and the offer is still conditional does this mean the offer has been missed or could there be another reason for this ? What happens next if the offer is still conditional?
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CiaranM
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Hello. I hold an offer for 2019 deferred entry to do economics. As part of the conditions, I have to achieve an A* in maths (which I have already achieved from doing the A-level maths modules last year), but also an A* in further maths. What are some of the possible reasons for these conditions? Also, how likely would it be that the offer is relaxed if I meet the typical offer of A*A*A, but get an A rather than an A* in further maths?
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by mathswatcher)
Thank you for hosting the thread. Will everyone's STEP results come out at midnight on Wednesday?
Do any/many collleges email students before Track updates on results day to welcome them?
I'm afraid I don't know exactly when STEP is updated but all A level and STEP results are under embargo until 0600 on Thursday, and UCAS has asked universities not to contact people before 8 so Colleges cannot contact candidates before then. At Peterhouse we don't send welcome emails until the Friday, but your posted welcome pack should arrive on Thursday.
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by panic!intheexam)
If track doesn't update at 8am and the offer is still conditional does this mean the offer has been missed or could there be another reason for this ? What happens next if the offer is still conditional?
Read the FAQ
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by lupin13)
Hi and thanks for hosting the thread will track update first or are you sending emails/letters with decisions?
Probably Track will update first, before we're even in work. There may be cases where Track doesn't update but if this happens you should find out your results before emailing your college.
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by CiaranM)
Hello. I hold an offer for 2019 deferred entry to do economics. As part of the conditions, I have to achieve an A* in maths (which I have already achieved from doing the A-level maths modules last year), but also an A* in further maths. What are some of the possible reasons for these conditions? Also, how likely would it be that the offer is relaxed if I meet the typical offer of A*A*A, but get an A rather than an A* in further maths?
The first post explains we can't really say anything about the likelihood of any hypothetical scenarios. You will have been given that offer because your college wants to see you working hard at maths. If you meet the typical A*A*A offer but miss any specific conditions, you will be put in the Summer Pool if your preference college doesn't take you.
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
:tumble:

Peterhouse Admissions - seems everyone else is too nervous to ask anything!

So here's a question: what is the day-by-day process for A-level applications in the run-up to Thursday 16th?

I understand the University gets the results on Friday 10th evening, when do they go to the Colleges? And when do the Colleges make most of their decisions?
Good question!

Some colleges will have been working all weekend, but we're just starting to look at our results now.

The rest of today (Monday) will mostly be working out who has met their offer and then discussing the near misses, these can then be discussed further with Directors of Studies if necessary and waiting for marks from candidates on results day itself. Tuesday will be spent inputting decisions for communciation via UCAS, sorting accomodation allocations etc. Wednesday is mostly about preparing the postal welcome packs before waiting on phone and email on Thursday. Friday is Summer Pool and we hope to have everything wrapped up by the weekend.
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
Good question!

Some colleges will have been working all weekend, but we're just gstarting to look at our results now.

The rest of today (Monday) will mostly be working out who has met their offer and then discussing the near misses, these can then be discussed further with Directors of Studies if necessary and waiting for marks from candidates on results day itself. Tuesday will be spent inputting decisions for communciation via UCAS, sorting accomodation allocations etc. Wednesday is mostly about preparing the postal welcome packs before waiting on phone and email on Thursday. Friday is Summer Pool and we hope to have everything wrapped up by the weekend.
Thanks
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Keendad
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Thanks for this news- (I’m an interested parent!)
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lupin13
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
I'm afraid I don't know exactly when STEP is updated but all A level and STEP results are under embargo until 0600 on Thursday, and UCAS has asked universities not to contact people before 8 so Colleges cannot contact candidates before then. At Peterhouse we don't send welcome emails until the Friday, but your posted welcome pack should arrive on Thursday.
So International students (who already know their results) with near misses might not hear from Peterhouse until Friday if track doesn’t update?
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mathswatcher
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
I'm afraid I don't know exactly when STEP is updated but all A level and STEP results are under embargo until 0600 on Thursday
Thank you! So it's different from previous years then when STEP has gone out at midnight?
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by mathswatcher)
Thank you! So it's different from previous years then when STEP has gone out at midnight?
I meant that it is under embargo from our side - we are not to have any communcation with applicants until after 6am (and ideally 8am) on results day. This is to allow you to find out your results first, before finding out whether you're in. Universities are not supposed to disclose your results to you and although STEP has a connection with the University, Colleges are not the awarding body.

I think the confusion is that two separate but interlinked things happen on Thursday:
1) You find out your A level results
2) Any conditional offers you hold at UCAS update in light of the results
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Doones
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(Original post by mathswatcher)
Thank you for hosting the thread. Will everyone's STEP results come out at midnight on Wednesday?
Do any/many collleges email students before Track updates on results day to welcome them?
(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
I'm afraid I don't know exactly when STEP is updated but all A level and STEP results are under embargo until 0600 on Thursday, and UCAS has asked universities not to contact people before 8 so Colleges cannot contact candidates before then. At Peterhouse we don't send welcome emails until the Friday, but your posted welcome pack should arrive on Thursday.
STEP results are published at 00:01 Thursday. So you can be somewhat confident of a place if you meet the STEP requirement at midnight (although not entirely...).

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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by lupin13)
So International students (who already know their results) with near misses might not hear from Peterhouse until Friday if track doesn’t update?
Correct. But you might hear on Thursday or might be told you're being pooled. You certainly won't hear before Thursday.
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