Application process for engineering undergraduate at Cambridge Watch

GonMonCA
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Hi everyone, so I’m thinking in applying to Cambridge next year, but I would like to know how the application process works. Would be able to tell me in summary? Also, is it different depending in the college? What’s the same about all of them?
I hope you could help me out here.
Thanks!
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yankang.qi
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Cambridge colleges have mostly the same admissions process for most subjects. They might have slightly different entry requirements, but its mostly the same. It does not matter which college you apply to, you'll have an equal chance of getting into the university, I'll explain why in a bit.
First you need to send your UCAS form off to them by the 15th of October, very early compared to the deadline for other unis (15th January). Once they receive your application you will be sent an SAQ (supplementary application questionnaire) to fill out by the 22nd of October. This is just so they can have some extra information on you and know more about you.
You, applying for engineering, will need to take an admissions test. This normally takes place at the end of October or start of November. After this, you will begin to receive interview invites. They interview everyone who has a chance of getting in (i.e. you meet the entry requirements and didn't to poorly in the admissions test, around 75% of applicants). These interviews will take place in the first few weeks of December. Depending on the college, you may have 2 or 3 (sometimes 4) interviews. You interview will be scored.
After your interview, they look at all of your application and if they think you are good enough, they will send you an offer in January-ish. If you did poorly on one section you can make up for it by doing better in another section and still receive an offer.
Sometimes, a college has a strong set of applicants and you are rejected from that college. They may still think you are good enough for Cambridge and so they will put you in the Winter Pool. This is where all colleges put their good but not good enough candidates. Other colleges can then look at these candidates and, if they want to, they can send them offers instead. This means you will not go to the college you applied to but still get into to Cambridge.
Once you have an offer, you will need to meet or exceed the grades in your offer in your A levels. If you do, you will secure your place. If not they may reject you or they may leave your offer pending if you just missed your offer. If you just missed your offer, they may look at various things to decide whether or not to still give you a place, but most of the time they look at your raw marks and see how close you were to the grade boundary. Other times they will put you into the Summer Pool and see if other colleges want you.
I hope this clears things up
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GonMonCA
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Hiya,
I cannot emphasise how helpful that was, so thank you. Although I still have some questions about what you said. Doing poorly in the admission test, what percentage would that be? Although it might change every year, what has been the average? Also, the different interviews, will they be all the same, or different? (Eg. One about my past experience, projects I’ve made etc. Another one for them to see asses me in a task and so on) or will they be asking me the same thing in all the interviews? Lastly, what is the summer pool? And how does it work?
I’d appreciate if you could take the time to answer these questions.
Thanks a lot already for giving me all that information!
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by GonMonCA)
Hiya,
I cannot emphasise how helpful that was, so thank you. Although I still have some questions about what you said. Doing poorly in the admission test, what percentage would that be? Although it might change every year, what has been the average? Also, the different interviews, will they be all the same, or different? (Eg. One about my past experience, projects I’ve made etc. Another one for them to see asses me in a task and so on) or will they be asking me the same thing in all the interviews? Lastly, what is the summer pool? And how does it work?
I’d appreciate if you could take the time to answer these questions.
Thanks a lot already for giving me all that information!
I think admissions tests (I definitely know for NatSci, not sure about engineering) are graded according to percentiles, and the majority of people sitting that get interviewed. Try sending a freedom of information request to one of the colleges to get hold of the averages.

The summer pool is for those who narrowly miss their conditional offers. If your college can't take you, but they still think you're a strong applicant, you may get 'picked up' by a college with more free spaces.
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yankang.qi
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(Original post by GonMonCA)
Hiya,
I cannot emphasise how helpful that was, so thank you. Although I still have some questions about what you said. Doing poorly in the admission test, what percentage would that be? Although it might change every year, what has been the average? Also, the different interviews, will they be all the same, or different? (Eg. One about my past experience, projects I’ve made etc. Another one for them to see asses me in a task and so on) or will they be asking me the same thing in all the interviews? Lastly, what is the summer pool? And how does it work?
I’d appreciate if you could take the time to answer these questions.
Thanks a lot already for giving me all that information!
So yeah, Sinnoh explained the summer pool quite well and a FOI request might be a good idea. But you might also just want to search up the results for the admissions test and there might be examiners comments and whatnot.
The different interviews normally test different areas but I'm not too sure as I haven't had mine, hopefully I get an invite, yet and mine would be for medicine. They will all, most likely, test your ability to understand new topics based on topics you have learnt at A level. They won't really ask you about your past experiences and such as much. If you mention it in your personal statement they may ask a bit but it won't be the focus of the interview.
Edit: I found a FOI request for the ENGAA https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/engaa_stats
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GonMonCA
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Thanks a lot, I’m not too clear what an FOI is yet so I will do some research and see what I can find out in that link. Cheers!
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