Official Cambridge St John's College 2020 Entry Applicants Thread Watch

ACherry
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Hey everyone! It'd been over a month since the summer open days at Cambridge, and it's not too long until we send our applications off! So, if anyone has chosen St John's college, or is thinking about applying there, I thought this thread would be pretty helpful!

I've copied the following questions (with some minor changes) from the 2020 university-wide application thread:

1)What A-levels are you taking and what grades are you hoping for?
2)What subject are thinking of applying for at Cambridge?
3)What GCSE grades did you obtain?
3)Why Cambridge?
5)Why St John's college?
6)What are you currently doing (academically especially) to make your application stronger?
7)Which other colleges are you considering (if any)?
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ACherry
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1) What A-levels are you taking and what grades are you hoping for?
Politics - A*
Philosophy - A
History - A*

2)What subject are thinking of applying for at Cambridge?
HSPS

3) What GCSE grades did you obtain?
4 x A*/9, 3 x A/7, 3 x B (not great)

3) Why Cambridge?
The HSPS course is really fantastic, I love the look of so many of the modules. The collegiate system also looks really welcoming for social life.

5) Why St John's college?
I think it's just the perfect college, really. The facilities great (huge playing fields, nice library, free washing), the accommodation is really nice, the funding opportunities are unparalleled to any other Oxbridge college, and the people are really friendly.

6) What are you currently doing (academically especially) to make your application stronger?
I've read seven books, entered three essay competitions, run MUN society, co-edited a social sciences journal, and written a 10,000 word report on the civil governance of Syria during the civil war.

7) Which other colleges are you considering (if any)?
I've chosen St John's as my absolute firm, but before that, I was considering Trinity and Peterhouse. I'd be happy at so many colleges though, but St John's is the #1 for me.
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RhynieChert
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hiya, i've just finished first year at cambridge and while i myself am not a johnian, my girlfriend and my best mate both are there so i have spent a LOT of time there and know a lot about student life there so if you have any questions about the college i reckon i could provide maybe a slightly less bias than most view of its advantages and disadvantages. it is a wonderful college and definitely a worthy choice
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conarch1
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1)What A-levels are you taking and what grades are you hoping for?
Biology - A*
Maths - A
Art - A*
2)What subject are thinking of applying for at Cambridge?
Architecture
3)What GCSE grades did you obtain?
4x 9 2x 8 3x 7 2x 6 1x 4
3)Why Cambridge?
I just loved the course there and the city
5)Why St John's college?
Because it has really nice grounds, art room and is very wealthy so hopefully many bursaries and grants
6)What are you currently doing (academically especially) to make your application stronger?
Work experience, reading, visiting buildings and exhibitions, creating a sketchbook for my portfolio
7)Which other colleges are you considering (if any)?

Queens maybe because its also nice and super close the the faculty

Does anyone know much about accommodation at Johns? Like do most of the rooms have en-suite or will there be a more expensive en-suite option available or are rooms just allocated by the scholars ballot?
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conarch1
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(Original post by RhynieChert)
hiya, i've just finished first year at cambridge and while i myself am not a johnian, my girlfriend and my best mate both are there so i have spent a LOT of time there and know a lot about student life there so if you have any questions about the college i reckon i could provide maybe a slightly less bias than most view of its advantages and disadvantages. it is a wonderful college and definitely a worthy choice
Hey, do you know about the accommodation options at St Johns like is there always an option to have an en-suite or is it by the scholars ballot or just randomly given. Also just any other useful experiences or information about Johns. Thanks so much
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cxs
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1)What A-levels are you taking and what grades are you hoping for?
Maths - A*
FM-A*
Physics-A
2)What subject are thinking of applying for at Cambridge?
Mathematics
3)What GCSE grades did you obtain?
No GCSE grades. So I need to submit transcript.
3)Why Cambridge?
Tripos!
5)Why St John's college?
Wealthy. The best except Trinity regarding mathematics.
6)What are you currently doing (academically especially) to make your application stronger?
Read more books.
7)Which other colleges are you considering (if any)?
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RhynieChert
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(Original post by conarch1)
Hey, do you know about the accommodation options at St Johns like is there always an option to have an en-suite or is it by the scholars ballot or just randomly given. Also just any other useful experiences or information about Johns. Thanks so much
first year accommodation is in North court/chapel court or in Cripps, bathrooms tend to be shared between about 2-5 people. how nice the room is really just depends on price, depending on how much you can afford your room might be very big with armchairs and lots of cupboards or it can be tiny with only the basics.

there are some ensuite rooms available in the ballot but yes these tend to be chosen by third years or second years in the scholars ballot. when you ballot you choose your room from those left but it works slightly differently if your balloting as a pair for a shared set or as a group for one of the houses near John's - I'm not too sure on the details here.

overall the room quality really does just very with price band so that's a judgement call to be made with how much you can afford to spend on accommodation.

(if you don't like the sound of this sort of set up then there are other colleges that don't have price bands, your room quality just depends on where you fall in a random ballot and you can choose any room you like that is still left and they are all the same price - my friends at John's found their ballot very stressful as it doesn't happen till July-August and they weren't able to actually see any of the accommodation they were choosing and the multiple ballots was complicated and stressful too)
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Bookwork90
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Hey guys!
I am deciding between st johns or downing for medicine.
I really like st johns facilities but i have heard people there are quite pretentious and there is a strong lad culture.

Do let me know your thoughts on it and if people go there can you give me an HONEST opinion ?
Thx!
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mayhxn
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1)What A-levels are you taking and what grades are you hoping for?
Art- A*
Maths- A*
Physics- A
2)What subject are thinking of applying for at Cambridge?
Architecture
3)What GCSE grades did you obtain?
3x 9, 6x 8, 2x A*, 1x A, 1x 6
3)Why Cambridge?
The architecture course is so unique as it looks at the history of architecture as well as the creative side which I really love. Also the atmosphere is inspiring; I actually want to be productive whenever I’m there.
5)Why St John's college?
The architecture is absolutely stunning and I felt immediately inspired when I walked the grounds. The community of the college also seems so welcoming with plenty of societies to join.
6)What are you currently doing (academically especially) to make your application stronger?
I spent a week in an architecture firm, went on a weeklong summer school via Sutton trust to Cambridge, I attended a lecture, and have visited undergraduate exhibitions. I’ve also read two books on architecture, watched lectures on YouTube, visited art galleries and kept an ongoing sketchbook.
7)Which other colleges are you considering (if any)?

Not really considering other colleges, content with St John’s
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awakealways
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Good luck to everyone applying

1)What A-levels are you taking and what grades are you hoping for?
Maths A*
Economics A*
Chemistry A

2)What subject are thinking of applying for at Cambridge?
Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

3)What GCSE grades did you obtain?
11A* and 1A

3)Why Cambridge?
Absolutely love the course, get to choose modules outside of the main course as well

5)Why St John's college?
I want to go to a big college rather than small so I can meet a lot of new people

6)What are you currently doing (academically especially) to make your application stronger?
Went to a BPS conference, read books, did a research paper, co-run the psychology society at school

7)Which other colleges are you considering (if any)?


Gonville and Caius (I loved but the typical grade offer was higher than most of 2A*s and 1A and I would rather apply to a college with a typical offer of 1A* and 2 As)
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Student 1011
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1) FM A* (predicted)
Maths A* (achieved)
Economics A* (achieved)
Politics A (achieved)

2) Economics

3) GCSEs were weak
A*AAAAAABB

4) Cambridge is Cambridge at the end of the day, beautiful place, best in the country for econ, supervisions sound v insightful, full of ambitious and intelligent people

5) St John’s seems nice, good accommodation, large college, lots of money, good location and nice aesthetic

6) Currently doing a lot of wider reading (degree-level textbooks), economic literature and working part-time at an asset management firm

7) Was considering Trinity but thinking the level of competition for the places is gonna be insane

Good luck everyone.
Last edited by Student 1011; 1 month ago
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quirkster42
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hey!

1) maths A*
further maths A*
physics A*
chemistry A*

2) physical natural sciences

3) 9999999888A^

4) it's just perfect in every way really

5) ^^^
Last edited by quirkster42; 1 month ago
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phiphi29
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Hi I'm Sophia just joined from the other John's chat

1) What A-levels are you taking and what grades are you hoping for?
Biology - A*
Chemistry - A*
Further Maths - A*
(did my maths A-Level early and achieved an A*)

2)What subject are thinking of applying for at Cambridge?
Veterinary Medicine

3) What GCSE grades did you obtain?
99999999A*A*A*A^

3) Why Cambridge?
I love the vet course and how scientific principles are the foundation for the clinical practice in the later years. I love the city and the proximity of everything (not the case at other vet schools) and Cambridge itself is the perfect distance from my house - not too close and not too far (only 1.5 hours)

5) Why St John's college?
It's a big college which means it has fab facilities (i.e. free washing, mainly internal supervisions, support for EMS...) and gives me a great opportunity to meet loads of different people. It's also very beautiful and very central!

6) What are you currently doing (academically especially) to make your application stronger?
a LOT of work experience, reading books and journals, keeping up to date with current vet affairs, doing a FutureLearn course, doing VetCam (a residential for wannabe-vets at Queens in Cambridge)

7) Which other colleges are you considering (if any)?
I was considering Trinity Hall but honestly I think I'd be happy anywhere. I just want somewhere where I can have the option to cook for myself.
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phiphi29
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(Original post by Bookwork90)
Hey guys!
I am deciding between st johns or downing for medicine.
I really like st johns facilities but i have heard people there are quite pretentious and there is a strong lad culture.

Do let me know your thoughts on it and if people go there can you give me an HONEST opinion ?
Thx!
I think you'll find the odd few pretentious people wherever you go in Cambridge or in the world for that matter but I have also heard about the lad culture. I think the college is split fairly evenly in terms of gender. Have you also heard about the whole '"I'd rather be at Oxford than St John's" thing? 😂😂
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Zaxra
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(Original post by RhynieChert)
hiya, i've just finished first year at cambridge and while i myself am not a johnian, my girlfriend and my best mate both are there so i have spent a LOT of time there and know a lot about student life there so if you have any questions about the college i reckon i could provide maybe a slightly less bias than most view of its advantages and disadvantages. it is a wonderful college and definitely a worthy choice
what college did you go to?
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R T
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(Original post by Bookwork90)
Hey guys!
I am deciding between st johns or downing for medicine.
I really like st johns facilities but i have heard people there are quite pretentious and there is a strong lad culture.

Do let me know your thoughts on it and if people go there can you give me an HONEST opinion ?
Thx!
Ex Johnian here. Here's how it goes; every college has a rugby team and a few pretentious idiots who try their very best to pretend to be whatever their idea of cool is. In fact, this surely happens at every uni in the UK.

There's nothing special about john's when it comes to this. John's also has a rugby team. It also has around 160/180 students who aren't in the rugby team and tbh I was good mates with a lot of the rugby team also since they're absolutely fine when they aren't "singing" at night clubs.

Really this is how it works almost everywhere. "Lad culture" is really just a weird social thing that seems to crystallize on nights out among certain groups of people. Thing is, everyone who gets in is on some level a massive nerd and almost all of them are absolutely fine one on one.


#1 reason to not apply to a college is "because the students there are known for XYZ". The students at each college are almost completely changed every 3 years! The demographic of applicants for colleges is very very similar, except for the women-only colleges and the mature colleges of course. With the exception of certain Trinity students who really personify the "very posh, very clever, parents went to Trinity, 'of course I applied there, why didn't you'" ambience, it's almost impossible to tell who goes to what college without asking them.
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Zaxra
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(Original post by R T)
Ex Johnian here. Here's how it goes; every college has a rugby team and a few pretentious idiots who try their very best to pretend to be whatever their idea of cool is. In fact, this surely happens at every uni in the UK.

There's nothing special about john's when it comes to this. John's also has a rugby team. It also has around 160/180 students who aren't in the rugby team and tbh I was good mates with a lot of the rugby team also since they're absolutely fine when they aren't "singing" at night clubs.

Really this is how it works almost everywhere. "Lad culture" is really just a weird social thing that seems to crystallize on nights out among certain groups of people. Thing is, everyone who gets in is on some level a massive nerd and almost all of them are absolutely fine one on one.


#1 reason to not apply to a college is "because the students there are known for XYZ". The students at each college are almost completely changed every 3 years! The demographic of applicants for colleges is very very similar, except for the women-only colleges and the mature colleges of course. With the exception of certain Trinity students who really personify the "very posh, very clever, parents went to Trinity, 'of course I applied there, why didn't you'" ambience, it's almost impossible to tell who goes to what college without asking them.
Thanks that’s really useful! Also what’s up with this whole ‘I rather be at Oxford than St John’s’?? A bit confused haha
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R T
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(Original post by Zaxra)
Thanks that’s really useful! Also what’s up with this whole ‘I rather be at Oxford than St John’s’?? A bit confused haha
Pure, unfiltered jealousy. Poor lost souls who can't stand the sight of Johnians getting free things and winning everything

Since John's has no equal, the other 30 colleges need to band together against it to offer some form of rivalry
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Zaxra
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(Original post by R T)
Pure, unfiltered jealousy. Poor lost souls who can't stand the sight of Johnians getting free things and winning everything

Since John's has no equal, the other 30 colleges need to band together against it to offer some form of rivalry
Ahahaha thought so! St John's seems perfect in every way
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TravisBickle02
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Applying for Engineering at St John's.
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