Official Cambridge 2020 Decisions [no discussion] Thread Watch

ohdearstudying
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Mod edit:
Thanks to tedinbed we also have an Offers spreadsheet

Please add your offer here:
https://forms.gle/VVWkejGQg1uJwjsR9

And you can check all offers received so far here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

----

Hello all,

The time has come! I have stolen the format from the beloved Doones (he is missed, I do hope he returns soon!) and also to Zacken
You can post in this thread to be forever captured in time and to let others know what your outcome was! Like last year it is being posted early so you can post a placeholder if you wish to do so, or, you could fill it in now - whichever you prefer!

Decisions will be sent out on Wednesday 15th January 2020 and that is the university-wide decision date. You should receive your decision via email and then a follow up letter if you are successful. UCAS Track will not update until the end of the month.

Please use the following format, deleting the bits that aren't relevant to you and if you can include your predicted decision alongside the decision you receive from Cambridge that would be really useful (I think we will see many many examples of poor self-reflection!)

Your post should like this, for example:

Decision: Accepted
Predicted Decision: Rejected


Predicted / Decision: Pending
Predicted / Decision: Accepted
Predicted / Decision: Accepted from Pool
Predicted / Decision: Rejected from Pool
Predicted / Decision: Rejected

Course:
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled):
Offer conditions:
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl):
Where were you when you heard:

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country):
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other):
GCSE Grades:
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it):
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades :
Other Qualifications
IB (with predicted score):
Other:

Reflection
Strengths:

Weaknesses:

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)

Why did you chose your college?

What other universities did you apply to?
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice?
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight?

General Comments & Advice for others:

Any official feedback received from your college:
(If you have not received it yet, which is most likely, if you could come back to this post and edit the feedback you receive in it would be most helpful and appreciated)

How do I get feedback?

A reminder there should be no discussion, please
Last edited by Doones; 4 weeks ago
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ohdearstudying
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This is going to be a lengthy post...

Decision: Rejected
Predicted Decision: Rejected

Course: Law
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Downing College
Offer conditions:
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl):
Where were you when you heard:

Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): Independent (State school from Year 7 - Year 11)
GCSE Grades: 87AABB55C4
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades: Politics (A*), History (A) and English Literature (A)
Other Qualifications: Functional Skills Level 2 in English, ICT and Maths and Entry Level 3 in Science (pretty irrelevant to be honest!)


Reflection (completed on Wednesday 8th January to avoid bias; updated on Sunday 12th January)

Strengths:
This is quite difficult because I always try and avoid being *that* type of Cambridge applicant, but I will say humbly and objectively the following:

My contextual GCSE score should be very strong, I came from a school where most people left without GCSEs in Maths and English, there were no 'high-flighers' who got similar scores to me...there were people who got some similar grades in some subjects to me but there was not really anyone who got a strong set of results in comparison. The year I did my GCSEs the A*-C rate was 32%, including Maths and English at a 4+ it goes down to 18.2% (I had to do a Freedom of Information Request for this data). I did my GCSEs in Year 10 and Year 11 (they did not teach Media Studies in Year 10, RS full course in Year 10, only did Statistics in Year 10 - for example). I self-taught 4 of my GCSEs and got A7BB in those. I am not the conventional or traditional applicant in any sense, there is a lot to me which I felt was covered within the ECF. My ECF to my knowledge was not just one giant piece of paper that was forlorn and miserable to read, I think my school would have been careful to make it appear to be a celebration of all I have achieved despite my medical condition. I have had a lot of luck along my way throughout the process, and my entire school career, the only reason I am at this school is because someone read a letter that had been put in the wrong pigeon hole (the admissions officer could have just thrown it away - purely the universe's intervention is all I put it down to).

I also was filled with a teeny weeny absolute smidgen of hope because when I was having breakfast (long story short) the sole admissions tutor for Downing remembered who I was from the Open Day and which course I was applying for. I did not know how to take that but all it was, to me, just nice that I made a positive impression of some sort . I feel like there were some areas of the interview I did really well, I think I came across as reflective and also more than happy to be corrected - I also was very much me in terms of making quite a few jokes but I also asked them really honestly when I did not understand something. Of course the interviewers are told to look interested, but in my second one the interviewer sat there listening really intently (to my silence), he seemed really keen for me to answer and his body language was of support rather than rushing. To me, it appeared he would have been happy to wait however long it took for me to get to the answer (which I eventually did with a little guidance!)

The test COULD be a strength, my argument was very strange but I do not know whether my communication of argument would have been clear enough or what they are looking for. My answer was nuanced, I felt quite pleased with the areas I spoke about they required a lot of niche knowledge which I was able to bring together and I felt as if I had a clear argument throughout. The timing worked out perfectly...I proof read perfectly and corrected many areas that would have made no sense without having done that.

EDIT: I realised I did not really talk about both interviews. In my first it was quite pleasant, a bit awkward at the end whilst I was packing my stuff up and the other interviewer tried to open this really stiff door and I asked the 'Are you busy today' question to try and fill the gap ... bit embarrassing. However, I made jokes in both my interviews which is very much me and they received them well.

Weaknesses:

I mostly view my weaknesses to be the flip side, more pessimistic view of what I have mentioned as my 'strengths'. I think my GCSE profile in itself is really weak, there are people who have been through worse and probably gotten better results than me. I worry about the exam, it was never going to be my strength but I have this strange (almost) confidence...but I am normally bad at evaluating. I do not think I would have done enough. Also, I lacked a lot of confidence in my responses I feel, they were a bit cautious and reflecting I think I just never really said anything with conviction rather like I was guessing...well, not quite but it was quite a lot of them having to ask me/translate back to me what the point I was making was.

The interview, I felt as if I did not get to the hard questions. When I was really nervous at the start and overcomplicated this simple question, the interviewer said I was doing really well and many people did not get beyond the first question (which was definitely reassurance but it was good to know I was not totally failing!) In both interviews, there were questions I found hard, but I did not feel like I was pushed into that corner of knowledge and knowing nothing that I expected/was prepared for to an extent.

EDIT: I think I lacked certainty in my interview, which is a bit frustrating as I kind of needed to be prompted. They did not have to tell me the answer it was a lot of 'not quite, look again' and then I'd have this moment of realisation at how straight forward the question was.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (Cambridge Law Test): I am going to go with a 6 , just because I have absolutely zero clue what they look for and all my mock tests were horrific...they were so so bad, my teachers said that I was for sure going to get rejected by the standard they were at. The test I submitted was a lot better than that, definitely. I felt like my answer was nuanced and pretty unique, I do not think people would have responded in the way I did, I am just not sure whether I communicated what I was thinking. I have the feeling I skipped a few stages in my argument that makes it look a bit odd.

Interview Assessment: 5 for the first interview and 6 for the second , average, but nothing groundbreaking. However, I struggle to see where I committed a deadly interview sin that would have killed my chances but I also did not have a 'Cambridge moment' where I said something that I thought made me worthy of getting in.

Why did you chose your college? I called all of the colleges and explained my health condition and what really struck me was how Downing could not do enough. Back in August they were offering me to come for another visit and they understood the importance of open dialogue with regard to health so so well. I felt that so many things fell into place on the Open Day and Downing was really high up on my list of colleges and I thought to myself 'Whether or not I apply will really depend on the tour guide' and of all students to have been randomly plucked she did Law and was absolutely amazing! She took over the whole tour to really show all the Law features of the college which was so cool!

What other universities did you apply to? Durham, Exeter, Leeds and Nottingham
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Nottingham or Exeter
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? Probably Durham, however, reapplication is not out of sight if I am sadly unsuccessful and I achieve A*A*A+.

General Comments & Advice for others:
If you want to apply absolutely go for it, do not let people tell you that you are not 'Cambridge material' or you are not smart enough. I was told in no uncertain terms I should not apply because I have 'never had an independent thought in my life' by one of my teachers. This story is all too familiar for many people and that is why Cambridge remains this elusive institution. Regardless of your background your love for education and your subject supersedes expectations people have for you or people from a similar background (Cambridge should and will see this!)

I would also suggest that you prepare for the Law test by doing things such as doing simple things when writing practice essays like a new paragraph for a new point and keeping up to date with current affairs and attending lectures saved that exam from being a total disaster. Do it in timed conditions and look at the mark scheme, the actual content is unimportant in that they are assessing your ability to argue and form judgements.

Any official feedback received from your college:
Last edited by ohdearstudying; 4 weeks ago
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3pointonefour
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Decision: Rejected from pool ~ more or less what I expected but still a shock!
Predicted Decision: Pooled (accepted from pool if lucky)

Course: Mathematics
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Trinity
Offer conditions:
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: School office

Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State
GCSE Grades: 999998887AA^
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): Maths (took early, A*), Further Maths (A), Physics (A), Spanish (A*, linear course internal exam)
A2 Predictions: A*A*A*

Reflection (filled out in advance)
Strengths:
Had a decent pre-interview test beforehand, noticed one or two good things in the interview that my interviewers praised me for.
Weaknesses:
Pre-interview test could've been much better (questions were fine but I made silly mistakes and just messed up under the pressure), was VERY slow at times in the interview, made the dumbest mistakes in the interview like forgetting what cos(x) looked like.
Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)
Pre-interview assessment, nothing much more to be said that hasn't been said already. 4.
Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)
Compared to the competition at Trinity genuinely like a 3.
Why did you chose your college?
Fell in love with it at the Open Day, it's so rich in mathematical culture and just being there was amazing.
What other universities did you apply to? Warwick, Bristol, Imperial, UCL.
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? UCL/Imperial.
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? UCL/Imperial.

General Comments & Advice for others:
Don't be afraid to apply, even if you're not intending to go. Attend the open days and visit the colleges so you can decide which one you really like. In the interview, don't be afraid to let your passion for the subject come through and just try your best to be yourself! They want someone they can teach, so always take ideas on board. Lastly, don't ever regret the process if you get rejected. At times it may seem like you've worked so hard for nothing and that you just aren't clever. You are. Just because your personal learning style isn't suited to Cambridge doesn't mean you're in any way less academically capable. Just do your best and try and see the positives and what you gained from the whole application process (e.g. I was lucky to get interviewed by leading researchers in their fields and I also learnt how to improve my weakest topics in maths). Cambridge is genuinely amazing but so are you and there are many other unis out there that would happily take you.
Any official feedback received from your college:
Last edited by 3pointonefour; 4 weeks ago
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Doones
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thekidwhogames
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Decision: Accepted!!
Predicted Decision: Rejected from Pool

Honestly, I was completely and utterly convinced I have totally messed up my application through my interview so I'm very confused but VERY, very thankful for this chance!!

Course: Mathematics
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): St Catharine's
Offer conditions: A*A in Chemistry/Physics in any order + 1,1 in STEP 2&3
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): letter followed by email
Where were you when you heard: at home and ran once I saw the letter

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State
GCSE Grades: 999999A*A*87
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): AA in Physics & Chemistry
A2 Achieved: A*A* in Maths (Y11 self-taught) & Further Maths (Y12 self-taught)
A2 Predictions: A*A*A* in Chemistry & Physics & EPQ
Other Qualifications: Pass in Mandarin HSK1
IB (with predicted score):
Other:

Reflection
Strengths: Early A Levels achieved self-taught (A*A*) + supercurricular achievements (Gold IMC, Gold SMC (x3), Gold C3L6, Gold BPHO AS Challenge, Gold BPHO1 & sitting UKCHO1/BAAO soon, Merit IMOK, Merit BMO1(x2)) + top of school in most things (public exams eg top in both AS Physics/Chemistry and outperformed all Y13 in my school in A2 FM & also in most challenges/olympiads), first Cambridge Interview (went solid, fingers crossed) + with strong extenuating circumstances

Weaknesses: second Cambridge interview (worst thing in my LIFE: made no observations worthy of an offer, kept making mistakes in literally everything, couldn't use integration by parts properly (even tho I've done it many times in A2 Maths/FM before), didn't write much down out of stress (interviewer kept laughing and said I've got paper..) so completely destroyed my chances of a direct offer here!!

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent): Didn't have a test

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent): First interview went relatively well so I'd say 7.5-8.5 so say 8,8 (average) on both and second one, atrociously bad so maybe 2-4, maybe 5 idk?

Why did you chose your college? Very close to centre + liked how it looked + friendly college (although most colleges are)

What other universities did you apply to? Imperial, Warwick, UCL, Kings
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Imperial
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? I'd most likely take a gap year and reapply.

General Comments & Advice for others: Before applying, spend a lot of time on your subject - you're applying for one of the top universities so make sure you've thought long and hard about your subject choice. Once this is done, put all your efforts into the admissions processes for all the various universities you've applied to - any admission tests or whatever, find out how to practice and prepare for them. Find a college that you like - not just because of prestige and rep - but factors like distances from centres, accommodation, etc. and find out how they admit students eg whether or not there's a pre-interview test, how long are the interviews, how many you've got, etc. Next, start preparing for interviews. For Maths and STEM in general, this is a bit more accessible as you could just practice difficult problems from sources like STEP, national Science Olympiads etc (eg I've heard that the BPHO is very good prep for, not only the pre-interview test (NSAA) and pre-interview college test, but for the actual interviews as well. Similar things for Maths eg UKMT, BMO, STEP and for others, UKCHO, etc. It may also be worth learning around your subject eg learning more ways of approaching problems (and getting good at figuring out unseen material) and more advanced content too. Practice for your interviews and practice speaking and getting 'good' at actual interviews - saying everything you're thinking and taking on board all of the hints given as they're looking for people who are 'teachable' and would fit in the supervisions system at Oxbridge. Obviously, ensure your predictions are perfect etc. as this would help. Try your best in everything and apply - even if you don't think you'll get in! All the work will obviously make you a much more prepared student anyhow and you could even get a place at Oxbridge. If you don't get in, it is honestly not reflective of your abilities as it could have easily been that way for anyone - there's a (small, in my opinion) element of luck eg how you're feeling on the day and underperforming/having flukes etc. I would also try and breathe in the interviews and not panic (easier said than done, I know). Also, get mock interviews by teachers or Oxbridge (ex)students and do find/complete past interview questions to gauge difficulty and get a glimpse of what they're like.

Any official feedback received from your college: N/A yet
(If you have not received it yet, which is most likely, if you could come back to this post and edit the feedback you receive in it would be most helpful and appreciated)
Last edited by thekidwhogames; 4 weeks ago
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gay*
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Decision: Pooled and Rejected
Predicted Decision: Rejection

Course: Economics
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Trinity
Offer conditions: No offer
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email at 8:51am
Where were you when you heard: the bus ew

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State
GCSE Grades: A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): AAAAA (Maths, Further Maths, Biology, English Literature, Physics).
A2 Predictions: A*A*A*A*

Reflection
Strengths: Strong Section 1A and 1B in the ECAA. Decent enough grades (though quite standard for a Cambridge applicant). Some aspects of the interview went well.

Weaknesses: Didn't write very much for Section 2 of the ECAA. A lot of the interview was pretty awkward and I think I messed up too many easy questions yikes ma. PS and Reference were just OK nothing special.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent): About a 7.5 overall.

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent) 5

Why did you chose your college? Trinity is fierce

What other universities did you apply to? UCL, Warwick, Bristol, Manchester
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? X
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? UCL

Any official feedback received from your college:
Last edited by gay*; 4 weeks ago
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Maiatg
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Decision: Pending
Predicted Decision: Rejected

Course: Human, social and political science
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Pembroke college
Offer conditions: n/a
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl):
Where were you when you heard:

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): Home, Scotland
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State
GSCE Grades: N/A
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): N/A
A2 Predictions: N/A
Other Qualifications
IB (with predicted score):
Other:
5 A’s at National 5
4 A’s and a B at Higher
Predicted 3 A’s at Advanced Higher

Reflection
Strengths: I think my personal statement was good, I do lots of relevant work to mainly politics outside of school which was useful. I live in quite an obscure place and I got asked a lot about that in my subject and my general interview which meant I knew what I was talking about and the discussions were really interesting.

Weaknesses: I just feel like the B at higher will bring me down a bit ahah
I didn’t think my interviews were anything spectacular and I didn’t really prepare as much as I should’ve for the test.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent) AHAA 5

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent) 6

Why did you chose your college? Pembroke is really pretty, they did some outreach stuff in Scotland as well and then they had an academic who specialises in criminology. I never got to go to any open days so there’s wasn’t that much in it for me.

What other universities did you apply to? St Andrews, Glasgow, Stirling and Aberdeen
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? St. Andrews
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? Hopefully St. Andrews!

General Comments & Advice for others: honestly I think just don’t take it too seriously? There were some people I met at interview who were complete nervous wrecks, obviously it’s a stressful time but you need to be confident in yourself and hope that’s good. I genuinely just think I’ll get a place if it’s right, but if I get rejected then it wouldn’t have been right.

Any official feedback received from your college: not received yet
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ponteari
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Predicted decision: rejected from pool
Decision: Offer

Course: HSPS
College: Churchill
Offer conditions: 42 (IB), 776 HL with 7 in HL history
By what method did you hear: Email
Where were you when you heard: School

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): EU
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State (but it is a Danish state school, which probably doesn’t contextually give any advantage in the application process as most Danish state schools have a lot of funding anyways)
IB (with predicted score): 44

Reflection
Strengths:
Strong entrance assessment part two (AHAA)
Progressed far in second interview
UWC shortcourse (rip was rejected from the real thing tho) often seen favorably by admissions offices
Weaknesses:
Weak entrance assessment part one (AHAA)
At the first interview I didn’t progress far with questions, and had a moment where I appeared distraught for not understanding the question. My first interview ended on a weak note, as I had difficulty answering the last question (which I can’t mention, but was about my personal ambitions at the college). Sometimes, I deviated a little from answering the question directly. At second interview, I made a few statements that were vague and did not communicate always in the most concise and reasoned manner, I was a little more chaotic.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment: AHAA, 6

Interview Assessment: 7

Why did you chose your college?
It looked beautiful and I thought the more laid back atmosphere would help tone down some of the intensity of a Cambridge education.

What other universities did you apply to?
LSE, UCL, Sussex, Edinburgh.
My insurance choice depends on my offers, I would prefer it to be LSE or Edinburgh but otherwise UCL.

General Comments
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jiaminglimjm
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Decision: Rejected from pool
Predicted Decision: Accepted

Course: Mathematics
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Magdalene
Offer conditions:
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: Walking in a park

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): International (Malaysia)
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): Private
IGCSE Grades: 6A* 4A

AS Subjects & Grades: Physics a(94), Literature in English b(72)
A2 Subjects & Grades: Mathematics A*(97), Further Mathematics A*(98), Physics A*(93)
A2 predicted: Computer Science A*
Other Qualifications
STEP I, II, III Grades (taken in 2019): S, 1, S

Reflection
Strengths: My achieved STEP, A-levels and personal statement. I'm taking a gap year and decided to reapply.
Weaknesses: The pre-interview assessment.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment:
6. I screwed up the first question but I managed to do like three of them plus a big hard one (it was a question from a STEP III past paper don't tell them i knew hehe)

Interview Assessment:
I think I did quite well, I'd say 7. I only answered one (curve sketching) question but it was a really nice development to a neat answer. Didn't have time to complete the second question. My interviewer talked about unconditional offers at the end and shook my hand!! (they didn't last year.. talked about pooling instead oof)

Why did you chose your college?
It has the most scholarship opportunities for me applying from Malaysia this year. It's a really really lovely place too.

What other universities did you apply to? Imperial (Maths and Computer Science), Warwick, Edinburgh, UCL
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Imperial
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? Imperial if I can find the funding. JMC is a wonderful course if it were not for the overseas fees. If all else fails maybe i'll just start working and self-study maths..
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Amrak
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Decision: Accepted
Predicted Decision: Accepted

Course: Medicine
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Trinity, pooled to Girton
Offer conditions: A*A*A
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: Class

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): Private
GCSE Grades: 9 9s, 1 8, 1 7
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it):
A2 Predictions: A*A*A*A*
Other Qualifications
IB (with predicted score):
Other:

Reflection
Strengths:
BMAT 5,9,6.3,3.5A
GCSEs
Interview 1 went well

Weaknesses:
Interview 2 was terrible hence why I got pooled. I got nervous and did not do as well.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)

7

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)

Why did you choose your college?
seemed cool

What other universities did you apply to?
imp,qmul,birm kings(biomed)

If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? imp
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight?

General Comments & Advice for others:

the interview is absolutely most important

Any official feedback received from your college:
(If you have not received it yet, which is most likely, if you could come back to this post and edit the feedback you receive in it would be most helpful and appreciated)
Last edited by Amrak; 4 weeks ago
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king axolotl
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Decision: DIRECT OFFER!!!
Predicted Decision: Rejected/Accepted from Pool

Course: Law
College: Queens'
Offer conditions: A*AA
By what method did you hear: Email at 09:50
Where were you when you heard: I was actually at home because I was in a mock exam when the email came through and I didn't want to open it at school (I have study leave) and I didn't open it until about 11:30!

Home, EU or International: Home
School Type: State comprehensive
GCSE Grades: 999999997A*
A2 Predictions: A*A*A* (Biology, Chemistry, History)

Reflection
Strengths: I feel my grades and my interview were probably the strongest aspects of my application. Again, I can't quite be sure because I enjoyed the interview but that probably doesn't necessitate it went well. My feelings about my personal statement also really fluctuates over time but I think (hopefully) it showed that I was committed to law!
Weaknesses: Possibly the admissions test, mostly based on the feeling of uncertainty I felt after I finished. Again, I know I didn't totally flunk it but I think there were definitely areas that I would do differently with retrospect.
At-Interview Admissions Assessment (CLT): 6 - I really liked the question that I picked and I think I wrote well, but I don't know if it was really that impressive. I wrote quite a lot and had a detailed plan but you can never really be sure haha.
Interview Assessment: 8 - I really enjoyed myself and I don't think there was a point were I was properly stumped. It was just a really fun conversation about what I enjoyed. However, I can't know how they felt about me! I also sometimes go back and think that maybe I should have answered some questions differently, but I think that's inevitable really.

Why did you chose your college?: I didn't come on the open day but I came at the beginning of term (on matriculation day yikes, but the train tickets were cheap!). Queens' was the college that was really inviting, even if it was an inconvenient day for me to be there. There was even a person who took me round! I also really like the mix of architectural styles and the very progressive attitude of the college.

What other universities did you apply to?: UCL, LSE, Durham and Manchester.
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice?: Durham (the grades are AAA which I didn't expect hahaha).
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight?: UCL, which is by far my favourite university after Cambridge!

General Comments & Advice for others: Cambridge has been my dream for a really long time but when I imagined it I always thought of it as a fantasy. I never expected to get an offer. My general advice is just to be confident in yourself, whether that comes to writing your personal statement, writing your CLT or talking in the interview. Being pessimistic can really bog you down, as I know, but if you just remember that it's out of your hands ad that if it doesn't go to plan it's your loss then I think (while not coming out totally unscathed!!!) that the process will certainly weigh less on you!
Last edited by king axolotl; 4 weeks ago
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agentundercover
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#12
Decision: -
Predicted Decision: Rejected/Accepted from Pool

Course: NatSci
College: Jesus
Offer conditions: -
By what method did you hear: -
Where were you when you heard: -

Home, EU or International: Home
School Type: Grammar
GCSE Grades: 999999998A*
AS Subjects & Grades: None taken
A2 Predictions: A*A*A*A* (Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry)
Other Qualifications: -

Reflection
Strengths:
Interview (I talked through all my reasoning and thought processes out loud and concisely and didn't stop communicating with the interviewers even if I was stuck); GCSEs; super curricular activates and Personal Statement
Weaknesses:
Interview (revised my weakest areas of Further Maths in case it came up and was asked about GCSE knowledge that I wasn't able to recall); NSAA (unable to know how well I did - I answered all but 7 questions but had to make educated guesses for the majority)

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment: NSAA
(include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent) I think I did okay but not as well as the practice papers. Not too sure of how I actually did, so I'd rate it a middling 5

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)
First interview went badly (probably a 4 at most) but the at-interview assessment and second interview went extremely well (probably an 8 or 9)

Why did you chose your college?
Because it has lots of green spaces and while it's not too far out from the middle of the city, it doesn't feel claustrophobic. The architecture is stunning and I loved the general feel of the place when I went to visit. The food and accommodation are really subsidised and great, plus Caff is meant to have the best food on campus!

What other universities did you apply to?
Durham, Loughborough, Manchester and Exeter
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Durham
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? Durham or Loughborough

General Comments & Advice for others:

Any official feedback received from your college:
TO BE EDITED IF NEED BE
Last edited by agentundercover; 1 month ago
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tedinbed
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#13
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#13
Decision: Rejected from Pool
Predicted Decision: Rejected

Course: NatSci
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Downing
Offer conditions:
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl):
Where were you when you heard:

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State very normal
GCSE Grades: A^9999997777A
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): Chemistry (A)
A2 Predictions: 4 x A*
Other Qualifications
IB (with predicted score):
Other:

Reflection
Strengths: Personal statement, impressive Olympiad stuff, interest in subjects, reference

Weaknesses: ??? - GCSEs/NSAA/Interview

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment: NSAA: 5

Interview Assessment: 5 - however I really enjoyed the experience and think I would enjoy tutorials. Completely mucked up something really simple related to something on my personal statement - I knew this was wrong when I was about 5 - duh.

Why did you chose your college? Location, wide open spaces

What other universities did you apply to?
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? still waiting on Durham
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? might take a year out and reapply (if get the grades)

General Comments & Advice for others:

Any official feedback received from your college:
(If you have not received it yet, which is most likely, if you could come back to this post and edit the feedback you receive in it would be most helpful and appreciated)
Last edited by tedinbed; 2 weeks ago
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Harvvey
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#14
Decision: Rejected
Predicted Decision: Rejected

Course: Human, Social & Political Sciences
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): St Catharine's College
Offer conditions: n/a
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: In the car I just passed my driving test in!

Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State
GCSE Grades: 987766665
A2 Subjects: English Literature, History & Politics
A2 Predictions: A*AA

Strengths: My first interview went really well, it was very conversational and they seemed pleased by my responses. One of the interviewers I had on the day called my personal statement interesting, so I'm happy about that. Also, I'm praying my contextual factors will push me a little bit, but I'm not overly optimistic.

Weaknesses: My GCSE grades are easily some of the worst I've seen on here for a Cambridge applicant. I'm hoping the contextual factors behind them (location, school's performance) will help to justify them though. Also, my second interview was rather challenging and I feel like the interviewers were trying to get a certain answer out of me, but I stuck with my initial thoughts because I thought they were right - not sure if this was a good idea.

Arts-Humanities Admissions Assessment (AHAA): It's difficult for me to judge how my pre-interview assessment went. I seem to be the opposite from most applicants who took the AHAA this year and actually think Section 1 was much better for me than Section 2. I felt like I understood the statements and made the right choices for answers - though I could also be a clown. Section 2 fell a bit flat in my opinion, but I think I still had a coherent argument. Luckily, I wasn't asked about that in my interview! Overall, I'd rate it a 6.

Interview Assessment: My interview was... average. I didn't have any shining moments, but I don't think I made any stupid mistakes in either interview - a bit of a surprise for me to be honest. My first interview was the better one. It felt conversational and I enjoyed discussing the topics on my personal statement with the admissions tutors, whereas in my second one I felt a lot more pressure. It may have been due to the questioning style though - there was a lot of "why?" and "how?" after my responses! I'd rate the interviews a 5.

Why did you choose your college? It's small, but cosy, and very pretty. It's also in the middle of Cambridge near the buildings for HSPS so it makes travel fairly easy. Plus, it seemed to be nice and friendly from people online, and from my visit to interview.

What other universities did you apply to? Durham, Exeter, Kent and Loughborough
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Exeter or Durham
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? Exeter or Durham

General Comments & Advice for others: Read your statement and any extra reading on it before your interviews again. It will help massively. And make sure you're reading around the subject, I've heard they like to ask about any reading you've done recently and your opinion on it.

Any official feedback received from your college: n/a

-----

Reaction post-decision: I was expecting this entirely, my GCSEs aren't strong and my interviews could have gone a bit better. I'm happy though because I finally know my decision. I'll ask for feedback, just for closure, but other than that it looks like my future is in Exeter or Durham!
Last edited by Harvvey; 4 weeks ago
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legallyroyal63
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#15
Decision: Accepted!!!
Prediction: Rejected

Course: Law
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Gonville and Caius
Offer conditions: A*AA
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: at home in my bed after a gruelling history exam

Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): Grammar
GCSE Grades: 9998887777A
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it):
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades : A*A*A*A (EPQ, English lit, History, Economics)
Other Qualifications
IB (with predicted score):
Other:

Reflection
Strengths: I think that my personal statement and super-curricular were particularly strong and the interviewers seemed impressed by them (I have done essay competitions, had work experience at a major barristers chambers in London, EPQ, Cambridge Sixth Form Law Conference). My GCSE's are ok and I'd say that my A-level predictions are good. I also have a very good reference.

Weaknesses: I don't think that I have any blatant weaknesses - I just think that maybe other candidates out performed me. Maybe the CLT? I'm not 100% sure how it went but I'd like to think that it was ok.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)
CLT - 6

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)
6.5

Why did you chose your college?
I just really liked what I saw on the open day, I like that the master of the college is female (tells me a lot about the college dynamics) and they accept a lot of law students which kind of creates a nice little community!

What other universities did you apply to? LSE, UCL, Nottingham and Leeds

If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Probably Nottingham

If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? LSE hopefully. If I don't get into Cambridge or LSE+UCL then I'll re-apply next year

General Comments & Advice for others: Shoot your shot! You'll never know unless you try

Any official feedback received from your college:
N/A
Last edited by legallyroyal63; 3 weeks ago
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thesubmarine
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Decision: Rejected
Predicted Decision: 50/50

Course: HSPS
College: Pembroke
Offer conditions: Pending
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): 10:15 via email (but that's 5:15 am for me)
Where were you when you heard: Sleeping. I woke up an hour after I got the email.

Home, EU or International (Country): International (USA)
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): Public
Standardized Tests: SAT 1470, ACT 34
SAT II: World History 740, US History 780
AP Achieved: 555554 in US Government, World History, US History, Calculus AB, European History, and English Language
AP Predictions: 555555 in German Language, English Literature, Statistics, Comparative Government, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics
Other Qualifications: Admission to the State Student Bar of Georgia with Honors, American Bar Association Law and Civics Honor Roll (x2). Idk if this counts, but I worked on Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign on her outreach staff.

Reflection (filled in before)
Strengths: Achieved and predicted grades, Interview, personal statement

Weaknesses: Probably section 1 of the AHAA (but I was interviewed so my section 1 couldn't have been that bad)

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment: 5, Section 1 wasn't good, Section 2 was really good

Interview Assessment: 9, It went really well. I honestly wouldn't change anything about it even if I could.

Why did you chose your college? Near the center of the city, its size, and its long history

What other universities did you apply to? LSE, UCL, Manchester, Edinburgh, and universities in the US
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? An Ivy League school (if I get in) or LSE
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? Same as above

General Comments & Advice for others:
Apply even if you don't think you'll get in! Academic record is important, but if you write a good PS, do well at the assessment, and have a good interview, you absolutely can get in. But at the same time, I'm quite surprised that I did not get an offer given my interview and achieved and predicted grades. Hopefully the official feedback will clear up my confusion, but absolutely think that I should have gotten an offer. Oh well.

Any official feedback received from your college:
Pending
Last edited by thesubmarine; 4 weeks ago
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con.8
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pending
Last edited by con.8; 1 month ago
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tfg784
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#18
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#18
Decision: Rejected
Predicted Decision: Rejected from pool

Course: Natural Sciences (physical)
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Jesus
Offer conditions:
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl):
Where were you when you heard:

Home, EU or International (Country): EU (The Netherlands)
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State (but private schooling is very uncommon, so on a national scale my school is probably comparable to a grammar school)

Other Qualifications: Dutch VWO: All 9's and 10's (equivalent A*) for GSCE equivalent and predicted 10 for maths, 10 for chemistry, 9 for physics and 9 for biology (equivalent 4 A*), plus more subjects that aren't relevant to my course

Reflection
Strengths: Multiple medals from Dutch olympiads, also silver medal at EUSO (European-level olympiad that UK doesn't participate in for some reason), PS and recommendations highlight my enormous interest in the course, good on paper, tried to keep smiling throughout my interviews

Weaknesses: NSAA and possibly interviews. I also am quite young as I would only be turning 18 after the second term, so that might worsen my chances.

NSAA: Horrible, I hadn't practiced under timed conditions (rookie mistake haha) and was so stressed during the first part which clouded my judgement and had to scribble in random bubbles for a couple questions at the end. I stupidly misread a question in part II that caused me to work out a much more difficult problem than was asked which wasted lots of time and meant I couldn't continue with the formula I had derived and forced me to abandon the entire question. I hope they might be impressed with the more advanced derivation that I mistakenly did and grant me sympathy points but I doubt it! I also couldn't finish my other question because I mistakenly wasn't granted enough time, but I've already contacted my college about that, haven't gotten a response...

Interview Assessment: No clue! I did solve everything and felt like I could react well and flexibly to interviewers' hints, but I felt very slow and had many brain blanks. The highlight is when I accidentally blurted out that ethane was polar which was not even relevant to the question I was also thrown by tiny details like notation that I was taught differently, but hopefully they can see through nerves as I'm sure everyone has them!

Why did you chose your college?: Begrudgingly visited the college during the Open Day and was amazed by the relaxed student environment in which you can excel but aren't stressed out more than necessary by extra pressure! I also loved the rooms and the spaciousness. I was a bit scared by how popular Jesus is, I think the chance of being placed without being pooled is incredibly small for me

What other universities did you apply to?: a Dutch university for quite a different course

General Comments & Advice for others: Throughout all the stress and the emotional rollercoaster of applying and waiting just try to enjoy the special experience of getting to focus and expand on your favorite subject! Also think about how much you've grown as a person by this whole process, no matter the result!

Edit: and practice admissions tests under timed conditions!
Last edited by tfg784; 4 weeks ago
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GreenCub
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Last updated 16th Jan

Decision: Accepted from Pool
Predicted Decision: Accepted from Pool

Course: Maths
College: Trinity (applied to), Gonville & Caius (offer)
Offer conditions: A*A*A + 1,1 in STEP
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: Outside my sixth form common room

Home, EU or International: Home
School Type: Grammar
GCSE Grades: 99999999987A*
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades: Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics (predicted all A*)

Strengths: Grades, reference, PS and subject related supercurriculars. I also think I did reasonably well at picking up hints in my interview.

Weaknesses: I didn't answer that many questions in my at-interview maths test. I haven't done as many olympiads as some other applicants due to not starting Maths early, but this is unlikely to have any measurable effect as far as Cambridge is concerned.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment: I had a 1-hour test right before my interview. I panicked and didn't answer as many questions as I was hoping for in the test, so maybe I'd score it a 2 or 3.

Interview Assessment: I went over the questions I finished or almost finished in the test, and completed another 3 questions which I began during the test. I think I was quite good at picking up on hints (although I have no idea what the "average" amount of help required is so I could be wrong). I think I did reasonably well at justifying steps which is very important in maths (explaining when you can't divide by zero etc). There fortunately weren't any particularly long silences or pauses in my interview. I'd rate it a 6.5.

Why did you choose your college? I really like the college grounds as well as the fact Trinity take a lot of maths students (about 40 per year) and I prefer having more people around who study the same subject. Also the history that it has for maths.

What other universities did you apply to? Imperial, Warwick, UCL and Birmingham.
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Probably Warwick.
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? Imperial or Warwick - I haven't decided yet. If I get rejected but do well in STEP, I might consider reapplying.

General Comments & Advice for others: For people applying next year, if you have an at-interview test try to stay as calm as possible (easier said than done) and if you get stuck on a question, be sure to give it a full attempt rather than move on too early. If you're nervous in your interview don't worry too much - the interviewers will know that it's a stressful situation.
Last edited by GreenCub; 4 weeks ago
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RM_Asclepius
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