Official Cambridge 2020 Decisions [no discussion] Thread

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tiger_lily485
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#81
Report 6 months ago
#81
Decision: Accepted
Predicted Decision: Rejected from pool

Course: Bio NatSci
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Churchill
Offer conditions: A* Further maths, A* Chemistry, A Biology
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: In bed

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State college
GCSE Grades: 11 A*s 1 A
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): Biology, Chemistry, Maths- full UMS in all
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades : Further Maths A*, Chemistry A*, Biology A*
Other Qualifications: Did A level maths early- A*


Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent) I thought it went horribly, about a 2/10

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent) Ok, could have been better- 6/10

Why did you chose your college? Went to the open day, really liked the relaxed non-traditional environment. Also a high proportion of science students.

What other universities did you apply to? Bath, Edinburgh, Bristol, Nottingham
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Bath


General Comments & Advice for others: Don’t worry too much about the process, at the end of the day I think they’re just trying to see if you’d work well in Cambridge, not necessarily if you’re a genius
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sbneelu
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#82
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#82
Decision: Accepted

Course: Computer Science
College: King's (original college)
Offer conditions: AAA in Scottish Advanced Highers (Mechanics, Physics, Statistics)
By what method did you hear: Email (and letter a few days later)
Where were you when you heard: Walking home after my physics prelim

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): I was assessed as Overseas (India) but I should qualify for Home fee by the required deadline
School Type: State
Scottish National 5 Grades: 6A1, 2A2
Scottish Higher Subjects & Achieved Grades: Maths (A1), Physics (A1), Chemistry (A1), Biology (A1), French (A1)
Scottish Advanced Higher Subjects & Predicted Grades: Mechanics (Predicted A1), Physics (Predicted A1), Statistics (Predicted A1), Maths (Achieved A1)

Reflection
Strengths: I've been programming for years and have a number of projects in my portfolio; maths and programming competitions; AH maths A1 achieved early

Weaknesses: I came out of the CTMUA thinking I'd messed it up completely. I feel like one of my interviews went kind of badly because I just froze up for a bit at one point.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment: CTMUA - Paper 1: 8.0/9.0; Paper 2: 6.8/9.0; Overall: 7.4/9.0

Interview Assessment: I reckon around 6 or 7/10?

Why did you chose your college? King's is such a pretty college. It's in the city centre, but on the right side of the city centre so I don't have to go through the city centre to get to the Computer Laboratory.

What other universities did you apply to?
Imperial College London, St Andrews, UCL, Glasgow; MIT and Harvard in the US
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Possibly St Andrews

General Comments & Advice for others: Even if you think the test/interviews went very badly, the rest of your application can make up for it, and you probably didn't do as badly as you think. Also, make sure you don't go through all the past papers for your admissions test months before October before you do any actual preparation (which I learned the hard way), unless your test has enough past papers to make that possible.

Any official feedback received from your college: N/A so far
Last edited by sbneelu; 6 months ago
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ABoringUsername
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#83
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#83
Decision: Accepted
Predicted Decision: It's complicated (and kind of explained down below)

Course: Maths
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Churchill
Offer conditions: A*A* (maths, further maths) A and 1 1 (in STEP II and STEP III)
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): yes
Where were you when you heard: In bed. Churchill sent their emails out early enough most people were still in bed and didn't have to spend the day waiting, which was nice of them!

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): UK
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State
GCSE Grades: 9999998A*7 Distinction*
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): None
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades : Maths: A* Further Maths: A* Physics: A* EPQ:idk
Other Qualifications
IB (with predicted score):
Other:

Reflection
Strengths:

My main strength was probably the way I approached the interviews/tests. I tried to see them as a way to test myself in a way that A levels typically wouldn't. I attempted to rationalise the process in a way that took the pressure off failure. For me, what helped was telling myself that if I didn't get an offer, then I probably wouldn't have enjoyed studying there and would have found it too difficult. Whether that is true or not, who knows? But it helped me.

On the actual day, I would say my test went well, along with my second interview. In that second interview, the main thing that helped me was relaxing more, which I struggled to do in the first one.


Weaknesses:

My main weakness would have probably been not knowing what to expect from the interviews to begin with. The main thing to bear in mind is that there are a lot of people to get through, so you should be prepared for the questions to start VERY quickly after entering the room. This threw me in the first interview quite a bit.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent): 8-9

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent): 1st interview: 4-5 / 2nd interview: 7-8

Why did you chose your college?

Particularly the atmosphere of Churchill, the campus feels very spacious and relaxed. It is also further away from the city centre, which reduces the issues with tourists apparently. Alongside this, the fact that the college is more modern, has a high proportion of STEM subjects, and a high proportion of people from state schools made me think I would fit in there well. There was this video as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwtQaodU1rs

Also I kept hitting my head on the doors at Trinity

What other universities did you apply to? Durham, Warwick, Cardiff, Bath
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Durham
If you were rejected, which university is your firm choice? Durham, probably followed by Cardiff

General Comments & Advice for others:

Do the TMUA. It comes pretty soon before the interviews, and gets you thinking in that sort of style. In addition to that, if you get a good grade in it, it can drop your offer grades down for universities such as Warwick and Durham, meaning that you can more safely put them as insurance choices for if you do not meet the STEP grades.

Don't worry about mistakes. I made plenty of glaringly obvious mistakes in my interviews(a kid at GCSE level could have done it right). I think they appreciate that because you are doing the maths as you are thinking it, and because, chances are you are nervous, mistakes are going to happen much more easily.

Any official feedback received from your college: None
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andriii25
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#84
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#84
Decision: Accepted
Predicted Decision: Rejected from Pool
(I'm filling this after receiving my decision so note that, but damn I was sure that I'd get rejected)
Course: Engineering
College (original college): Jesus
Offer conditions: I'd like to know as well, hopefully, will receive them soon
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: I just came out of my maths exam when I decided to check my e-mails, with my friends watching, I jumped in joy when I saw the offer.

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): EU, so not a whole lot of this other stuff apply to me.

Reflection
Strengths: Uhh, interviews, and I hope my reference? My PS was decent I think, but so is everyone else's.
Weaknesses: ENGAA, could have practised more.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (ENGAA): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)
I'd say 6.5. While doing past papers my worst result was ~60% and the best being ~80%, I reckon the actual one is between the two. Had to guess around 5 questions in both Section 1 and 2. Could have gone better, but wasn't horrible.

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent): Around 7.5 for both the Maths and Physics one. I feel that the Maths one was more challenging and interesting overall, and strangely enough that's what I feel went better. I had around 20 minutes to solve exercises for that and then I discussed the unsolved ones with my interviewers. Both my interviewers were incredibly friendly, time passed swiftly. My second interview felt a bit more awkward, but still went well, and had a chance to meet my DoS, and also ask questions about the course at the end. I feel worse a bit about this because I didn't feel as "stretched" as people said I would be, the questions weren't impossibly hard, maybe I was just prepared.
I did answer most questions correctly I think, or corrected myself fast enough, but I did make silly mistakes (and probably so does everyone!), like miscalculating the units, or leaving off square root signs.

Why did you choose your college? So this is a difficult one because while I was shortlisting colleges for myself, I just had "seems fun" next to Jesus. I also thought that while it's still old it's not as mainstream as e.g. Trinity. Well, turns out last year Jesus had the most applicants and gives out rather few offers, so in retrospect that wasn't the best idea I suppose. But the huge college, with large green spaces were all a plus. Also, have I mentioned they have their own beer in the college bar?

What other universities did you apply to? In the UK: Imperial (Aeronautics), UCL (EEE), Edinburgh (General) and Manchester (Aerospace). In the Netherlands: TU Delft
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Aside from Cambridge I only have an offer from Manchester, but if I get in then either Edinburgh or Imperial probably.

General Comments & Advice for others:
For the ENGAA: Practice, practice, practice! Under timed conditions!!! This cannot be stressed enough! They say the ENGAA doesn't matter that much, and while it's true there is no hard cutoff score, you still need to do well on it, and more time passes the more the test will weigh as well. You might buy one of those ENGAA prep books. They are nothing amazing, but they are decent, and good if you lack problems. I found doing past PAT papers were useful (especially the problems worth 6 or fewer points). Others said past MAT and BPhO papers were useful as well.

For the interview: So normally it's hard to prep for interviews but for Engineering, fortunately, there is: https://i-want-to-study-engineering.org/ Do these problems before the interview, preferably all, they will come useful! I found it useful to properly work out and write the solutions organised in a notebook or two, this way I could go over these rather efficiently. Also, revise everything you learned.

Also while I'm grateful that I got into Jesus, looking back this was a bit risky move. Many applicants, few places offered e.g 14 for 160 last year. And while I do have faith in the pooling system, they still have less time to look over your file, so do note this information.
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Sophhhowa
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#85
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#85
Prediction: no idea
Decision: accepted from pool

Course: physical natural sciences
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): St. John’s to Robinson
Offer conditions: AAAA
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: in a chemistry practical on my 18th birthday

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): state comprehensive
GCSE Grades: 999A*A*A*A*A*A*A*
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): AAAA Maths, further, physics, chemistry
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades A*A*A*A (possibly 4 A*s depends how hard I work in further)

Reflection
Strengths: First subject interview went well. Good grades.

Weaknesses: Second interview poor (it was on my worst topic in physics unfortunately)' bad bad bad NSAA- got far too stressed about it which got the better of me on the day

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT) include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent) NSAA 3

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent) 6
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Abi-S01
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#86
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#86
Decision: Rejected from pool
Predicted Decision: Rejected

Course: Chem eng via nat sci
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: In chem practical

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): Grammar/State
GCSE Grades: 999999887A*AA
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades :Maths-A*,Chem-A,physics-A*
Other Qualifications-AS-Maths-A,chem-A,bio-A,physics-A,further maths-A


Reflection
Strengths:
One of the interviews went well (i think) plus cambridge test went quite well.
Weaknesses:
College test was too hard and one interview was average.
Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): 8
Interview Assessment: 7

Why did you chose your college?
Sports, liked the location plus not too small or big

What other universities did you apply to? Imperial,UCL,notts,sheff
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight?Imperial

General Comments & Advice for others:
Course is super competitive so be prepared to put the work in. The reason why I predicted myself a straight rejection despite having a decent interview/test is cause of how well the others had prepared on the day which means if i can see it then the tutors defo will.

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) Probs poor in college test, not taken from pool cause people just did better in their interviews.
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novasae
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#87
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#87
Decision: Accepted
Predicted Decision: Rejected from Pool

Course: Biological Natural Sciences
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Clare College
Offer conditions: A*A*AA
By what method did you hear: Email
Where were you when you heard: I'd just got home from school (2:02pm)

Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State
GCSE Grades:A*988886655C
AS Subjects & Grades: Further Maths, A
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades : Biology, Chemistry, Maths & Further Maths (4A*)

Reflection
Strengths:
I have a good personal statement, with lots of relevant supercurriculars including a Nuffield project and I did quite well at interview. I also do 4 A-Levels in a school where 0-1 students take 4 A-Levels per year (struggling) and there are very few Further Maths students. I probably just came across as dedicated to my subject and as having a depth of knowledge in exactly the things my biology interviewers asked me about.

Weaknesses:
Average GCSE grades and a very poor NSAA

NSAA: 1 - I might be the only Cambridge offer holder ever with 0 marks in the second section of the NSAA. (just kidding - section 1 was fine, i just made loads of obvious mistakes on section 2. I think I showed that I did actually know all of the things I made mistakes on in interview, I was just nervous.

Interview Assessment: Not really sure, but it was good. Between 6 and 10. I wasn't nervous, but I did forget what collagen was called, and I waved my arms at one of my interviewers because he did it to me trying to explain something.

I went to a 'BioSciences Taster Day' at Clare where all of the DoS's, fellows, supervisors etc in each subject talked about their research. It felt very personal and I really liked the surroundings and the layout of Clare, with the garden and the river in between the two courts. I'm pretty sure I only got an offer because I was the only applicant not to walk through the middle gate or something

What other universities did you apply to? Imperial, Edinburgh, Bristol and Southampton for Biochemistry
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Edinburgh.

General Comments & Advice for others: Take advantage of everything that is available to you: masterclasses, workshops, etc. I applied to the Cambridge Sutton Trust summer school, knowing that I would be rejected, because I had other commitments at the time and might as well have. I ended up getting to go to an Experience Cambridge day, lol.

I'm really stressed about my conditions after seeing what the Magdalene lot have been getting. Clare sent out letters today if I'm not wrong so I will find out soon

EDIT: My offer came through on Track! A*A*AA. I firmed Cambridge and Insuranced (?) Edinburgh.
Last edited by novasae; 6 months ago
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wolfieboi_
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#88
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#88
Decision: Rejected without pool

Course: Medicine
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Trinity
By what method did you hear: Email
Where were you when you heard: I'd just got home from school

Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State
GCSE Grades: 999999877A + A in add maths
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades : Physics, Chemistry, Maths & Further Maths predicted 4A*s

Reflection
Strengths:
My BMAT was very high, I had strong A level predictions.

Weaknesses:
A very poor interview and maybe less work experience than others

BMAT: 9 - I got 6.5 6.6 3A, remember being really happy when I got the result

Interview Assessment: Really wasn't good, the interview focused entirely on biology questions and as I dont do the subject for A level i had forgotten some pretty basic stuff. Plus the interviewer was laughing at all my answers which didnt help my nerves.

Why did you chose your college?
Trinity were one of the only colleges that give offers involving FM as one of your three A levels

What other universities did you apply to? Bristol, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Warwick (for computer science)
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? Probably Edinburgh, but i dont have an offer there yet

General Comments & Advice for others: Don't apply trinity, it is way too competitive, I honestly feel if I applied somewhere else I may have been accepted. Revise everything on your PS and look up the areas your interviewers work in, as these will probably be the basis for interview questions. Don't be disheartened if your BMAT score is poor, from people I've spoken to, it seems as if there is a negative correlation between BMAT mark and chances of offer.
Last edited by wolfieboi_; 6 months ago
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Sophie.qoh
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#89
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#89
Decision: Accepted
Predicted Decision: Rejected

Course: Law
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): St Catz
Offer conditions:A*AA
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): got the email whilst at school in the afternoon but the letter was already here when I got home and had gotten there in the morning post
Where were you when you heard: in an English lesson

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State
GCSE Grades: 9s in English Lit, History, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Physics. 8s in English Lang, French, RE, Drama.
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): A in Chemistry
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades : A* in English Lit and Chemistry, A in History and French\.
Other Qualifications
IB (with predicted score):
Other:

Reflection
Strengths:
I felt pretty calm and collected on the day. I really enjoyed the CLT actually. I just engaged with the question well I think and genuinely found it interesting.
Weaknesses:
I'd read that they liked people who could sort of admit when they were wrong and then backtrack and correct their self. I got really into the discussion in the first interview and then afterwards felt like I may have been too forceful with my point. So then in my second interview, I wanted to be more tentative but I was then perhaps too lacking in confidence and assertiveness in anything I said. They give nothing away though - the interviewers are pretty neutral.

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 maybe a 7 or 8. I didn't buy any of the books. Just read some good papers frequently and planned all the past questions.
Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)
No idea! but it can't have been as bad as I thought.
Why did you choose your college?
A girl from my secondary school a few years older goes there and she always comes back to support Oxbridge applicants. She made it seem really friendly and welcoming. I also liked the combination of living in normal halls and living in more independent flats.

What other universities did you apply to? Law at UCL and Leeds. Law and French Law at Leicester and Kings College London
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Probably Leeds
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight?

General Comments & Advice for others: Be yourself. Try and talk to the other people at the interview. They're probably friendly and interesting people and you're all in the same boat. Don't over analyse everything. If you're on the student room then you're probably over analysing and overthinking but I really don't think you can tell how you've done.

Any official feedback received from your college:
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cxs
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#90
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#90
Decision: Accept
Predicted Decision: Accept
Course: mathematics
College: St John's
Offer conditions: IELTS, A in physics
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): email
Where were you when you heard: bedroom
Home, EU or International (Country): International (China)
GCSE Grades: no GESE, so provide a transcript
Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): mathematics (97/100) further mathematics (98/100)
Predicted Grades: A in physics
Other Qualifications: SSS in STEP, did it in year 12

Reflection
Strengths: STEP grades, interview.
Weaknesses: only 3 A-level, and merely A in physics

Why did you choose your college? beautiful, largest, football playground, welfare, ...

General Comments & Advice for others: Do put your time into mathematics. Find your friends to prepare for the interviews together. Treat Interviewers as your friends, and relax.
Last edited by cxs; 6 months ago
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elm1308
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#91
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#91
Decision: Accepted
Predicted decision: Pooled
Course: Mathematics
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): St John's
Offer conditions: A*A* maths and FM, A in another, 1 in STEP 2 and 3
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: at school

Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): Grammar
GCSE Grades: 999998888A*A
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades: Maths A*, FM A*, Physics A*, Chemistry A*


Reflection
Strengths: The way I approached questions in the interview and laid out my working methodically, and explained my thought process to them as I went. I'd also say that I didn't plan any of my answers to questions about my personal statement which made it more organic and real, especially when they asked about my work experience in an Oncology (cancer research) laboratory and I somehow linked it to my passion for maths.

Weaknesses: Lack of self-confidence and self-belief, especially hen surrounded by so many extremely talented, deserving candidates.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)
N/A (I didn't have one)

Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)
The 1st one: 8/9, I felt comfortable with all of the questions they asked me and finished with time to spare so the interviewers and I had a nice conversation about maths, Cambridge and a bit more about my personal statement.

The 2nd one: 6, I found this one more challenging, and realised a nicer way of solving one of the problems I had after the interview was over (which was incredibly frustrating)

Why did you choose your college?
St John's is gorgeous!! I know its competitive to get into (less so than Trinity though) but I thought I'd give it a shot seeing as it is my dream college

What other universities did you apply to? Warwick (offer), Durham (offer), St Andrews, Edinburgh
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Durham,St Andrews or Warwick... I'm very indecisive

General Comments & Advice for others: Until year 12 I didn't have any strong feelings towards maths, and actually wanted to apply for chemistry or Art (foundations course) at uni, but over the next year and a half I developed a real passion and love for the subject. This initial lack of interest meant I haven't been in many maths competitions (other than SMTC and BMO) during secondary school, so I felt like I was very far behind. The thought of STEP scared the living sh*t out of me at first, but by doing 1-3 questions a day for the past 5 months I have really improved and doing the questions (especially STEP 3 ones) is really enjoyable.

My advice would be to try not to compare yourself to those around you, there are a lot of smart people on this thread and many of them make me feel insecure about my ability in maths, but just remember you're applying to Cambridge for a reason, because you love you're subject and want to go to an institution which is renowned for it so just try your best
Last edited by elm1308; 6 months ago
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KarolL
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#92
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#92
Decision: Accepted from Pool

Predicted Decision: Rejected/ Rejected from Pool

Course: Physical NatSci
College: Christ's, pooled to Wolfson
Offer conditions: none
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): email
Where were you when you heard: queueing in the traffic on a motorway

Home, EU or International (Country): applied as home applicant, I am originally from Poland though
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State
GCSE Grades: N/A
AS and A2 Subjects & Grades: Chemistry (A), Physics (B), Maths (B), AS Further Maths (B) - there is a story behind these grades, though :P

Other Qualifications
Other:
polish maturity exam:
chemistry advanced 100%, maths advanced 92%, maths basic 100%, english basic 96%
1.5 year of the chemical engineering course at a local polish uni before moving to the UK

Reflection
Strengths:
my personal statement - several chemistry competitions, extra time studying during my ex uni time (I was involved in the chemistry students' association), and the NSAA - I think this might have contributed a lot towards the interview invitation and the offer following.

Weaknesses:
poor A-level grades - I sat these as a private candidate, after 4 years break from education in the middle of a very busy period in my company, trying to balance exams and my work commitments. Add to this mere two weeks spent on the revision and there you go my awesome grades. Actually, when I got the results slip from my exam centre I was shattered, gave up and decided that I would not apply to uni ('what could I offer them' I would think then?!) and actually did not apply last year. I put myself together this year though and decided to f**k it all and try, the worst scenario would have been being rejected.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc):
NSAA - maths 5.5-7.5, physics - 4.0-5.0, chemistry 7.0-9.0, section two probably about 90-95% (I chose two chemistry questions)

Interview Assessment: I really enjoyed both interviews, they seemed like one of the best tuition sessions I have ever had. But tbh I felt like they were way too easy, I walked out after both, let the adrenaline go down and reconsidered the questions, which seemed at that time then not so challenging. I as unsure whether it was because they were indeed not challenging and I did not progress within the interview to more complex problems or I was quite good at them. But at the end of the day it seems that they were not sooo bad
interview 1. something between 6-8.
interview 2. something between 5-7.
Why did you chose your college?
Christ's - central location with quite a large campus (so hoped for a room throughout the whole course) within a very reasonable price range as well as academic reputation and I really liked the College grounds themselves
I also considered Wolfson and it was a really close shot not to apply there directly, but from economical point of view Christ's was more attractive to me.
Now I think that maybe I was supposed to apply to Wolfson at the first place nonetheless...

What other universities did you apply to? none
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? N/A
If you were rejected, which university is benefiting from Cambridge’s huge oversight? N/A

General Comments & Advice for others:
Be positive! As you can see, my application was rather weak and I got an offer, what means the pre-interview assessment and the interview itself might be a game changer.

Any official feedback received from your college: N/A
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nells45581
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#93
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#93
Decision: Accepted from Pool
Predicted Decision: Accepted

Offer info

Course: History
College: Applied to Emmanuel, pooled to Churchill
Offer conditions: A*A*A
By what method did you hear: Email
Where were you when you heard: I had just woken up and was still in bed!

Background info

Home, EU or International: Home
School Type: Private co-ed
GCSE Grades: 99999999A*A*
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades: History A*, Maths A*, English Literature A*, EPQ A*
Other Qualifications: B in Additional Mathematics (Advanced), ABRSM music grades to 8 with distinction and diploma with merit

Reflection

Strengths: high predicted grades, unusual EPQ topic and areas of interest mentioned on personal statement
Weaknesses: interview performance, possibly not enough prior reading

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, probably an 8 on the multiple choice and 7 on the essay

Interview: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent) 8 on the first one, 4 on the second

Why did you chose your college? I sang at the Emma chapel last year and thought it was amazing

What other universities did you apply to? Durham, St Andrews, KCL, Royal Holloway
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? Either Durham (AAA) or St Andrews if they give me a better offer

General Comments & Advice for others: Be enthusiastic and confident at your interview.
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emily124
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#94
(Original post by ohdearstudying)Mod edit:
Thanks to tedinbed we also have an Offers spreadsheet

Decision: Accepted
Predicted Decision: Rejected

Course: History & Politics (Hispol)
College: Corpus Christi
Offer conditions: A*AA
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): I got an email from the admissions officer
Where were you when you heard: In my Psychology class

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): I am a home student
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): State!
GCSE Grades: Four 9s, three 8s, one 7, two A*s and a distinction
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): I got four As in Literature, Maths, History and Psychology
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades : I have dropped maths, and I am predicted to get an A* in English and As in History and Psychology. I really hope I get an A* in History though/as well

Reflection
Strengths: I am genuinely very interested in my course and naturally, spent a lot of time researching and reading around my subjects. This meant that when it came to interviews, I didn't feel forced to read the news, read extra books etc because it was what I genuinely did in my spare time, and really eased me into the interviews successfully.

Weaknesses: I doubted myself consistently, persistently and quite disgustingly throughout the whole process. I was so surprised when I was called back for an interview, let alone an offer! I really late my immigrant background, the fact that I am a person of colour and from a average state school get to me, and it developed a crippling imposter syndrome that psyched me out at times. It is my biggest regret.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (e.g. NSAA, CSAT, ELAT, ENGAA, BMAT, etc): I did the AHAA and found it ridiculously difficult, and everyone in my city that did the exam agreed. Although I did all the practise papers available, it still not enough to prepare you for the difficulty. I'd say it was a 4/10.

I also think it is important to note that if you're planning on doing hispol too, there isn't a dedicated section in the paper for such candidates (I think the cohort is only about 50 students a year if I remember rightly!). Although I think you should check with your examiner as well in case the papers do change in future, I was told to do the history essay on the day. But when I was practising for the exam, I would sometimes do some of the HSPS questions too.

Interview Assessment: My first interview was beautiful and really excited me to go to Cambridge because funnily enough, it isn't/wasn't (still conflicted) my first choice. It was very conversational, largely based on my personal statement and my interviewers were very kind and cracked a few jokes here and there. I do want to say that apart from reading around your subject, your personal statement and revising your content, there is really not much you can do, at least for a humanity degree. The questions asked are very abstract and very unlike the questions a teacher would ask in a classroom setting, but ever so fascinating, and you do leave the room feeling as though your brain has been stretched. But its not intense at all; one of my interviewers simply asked if I liked to read and I do advise that you're honest throughout.

My second interview wasn't so great and I was convinced that I had blown my chance of an offer. I had misinterpreted the source that I was given, felt much less prepared and frankly, the interviewers were much colder. Of course I know different now, but it did feel as though I wasn't cut out for Cambridge.

Why did you chose your college?: There isn't a specific reason why I chose Corpus. I do regret not doing enough research on the colleges but I think I was too worried about the application process and honestly, my school and I knew very little about the collegiate system generally because I am the first student to have ever been offered a place. I searched all the colleges up and my gut just lead me to Corpus, as cringe as that sounds.

What other universities did you apply to?: LSE, Durham, Exeter and Newcastle

If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice?: This is a sticky question because I am still juggling LSE (I haven't heard back as yet) and Cambridge for my firm. If I don't make LSE, I think Durham or Newcastle will be my insurance.
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caitlin_y
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#95
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#95
Decision: Accepted
Predicted Decision: Rejected

Course: History and Politics
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Homerton
Offer conditions: A* A (History and English Literature in any order) A (in one of my other 2 subjects)
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): An owl arriving 7 years late...Nah I wish, email
Where were you when you heard: In a multimedia classroom watching my friends' coursework

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): International - China/Australia
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): Other - International school
GCSE Grades: 10A*
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): 4As - Geography, History, Spanish, English Lit
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades : Predicted 4A*s, already have an A* in Chinese
Other Qualifications: EPQ, LAMDA, ABRSM

Reflection
Strengths: GCSE grades (top in the world for history lol), extracurricular activities. I am also quite interested in my subject as both history and politics have had quite profound impacts on me...just thinking about the idea of studying it for 3 years at uni pleases me I felt quite laid-back about the whole process when I was applying and prepared myself for everything including the possible outcomes, not sure how, but that kind of attitude definitely helped!

Weaknesses: Relatively low UMS for my AS subjects (just scraping the A boundary for English! Messing up history etc.), my school is also lacking Oxbridge preparation experience and I barely met any other international students applying for hispol, so the application process was a little frustrating and I couldn't really rely on anyone or ask for advices or anything like that...

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 - 3? (the kitchen source analysis caught me by surprise, kinda ran out of time on the first section too )
Interview Assessment: (include what you think you scored: 1=bad, 10=excellent)
I'll give a 7 for my first interview as it went relatively well (or so I thought), 2nd one was not as good so maybe a 3...
Why did you chose your college?
Love the architecture, perhaps more welcoming and less intimidating than the iconic trinity/kings also I sort of like its relatively remote (quieter) but not too remote location haha
What other universities did you apply to? LSE, UCL, King's, Edinburgh
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? LSE

General Comments & Advice for others: Don't panic, just be yourself and treat this as a learning process! (some real cliché advice here I know) Be prepared for every step of your application
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mimimi2002
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#96
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#96
Decision: Accepted

Course: Medicine
College: Gonville And Caius (original college)
Offer conditions: A*A*A in Maths, Chem, and Bio in any order
By what method did you hear: Email (and letter a few days later)
Where were you when you heard: At home

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): EU
School Type: International School

School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): Other - International school
GCSE Grades: 10A*
AS Subjects & Grades (include UMS if you have it): Didn't do AS
Predicted Grades: 4A*
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades : Predicted 4A*s
Other Qualifications: BMAT: 4.6, 5.8, 3.5A


Reflection
Strengths: I had done research for 2 months and a half at the Stanford Genome Technology Center in genetics, had carried out a project for nanocapsules for insulin release at Yale's Young Summer Scholars Program with a scholarship.

Weaknesses:My BMAT was very weak compared to other students + I didn't have any work experience in the NHS + I'm from outside the UK

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment: BMAT: 4.6, 5.8, 3.5A

Interview Assessment: I don't know.

Why did you chose your college? Caius is such a pretty college. It's in the city centre, has a really strong medicine history, the Nobel Prize winner for medicine this year went there and it has a very large medicine community.

What other universities did you apply to?
Imperial College London, UCL, Durham (for NatSci), Imperial (for material science); Stanford and Brown in the US
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? I got accepted into all of them, except UCL, where I withdrew my offer before my interview.

Any official feedback received from your college: N/A so far
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david.stout
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#97
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#97
Decision: Accepted
Predicted Decision: Rejected

I'm an international (US) applicant and didn't know about this forum until recently, so I know this post is a bit late. Still, I thought it would be worthwhile in case anyone uses this page for reference in the future.

Course: HSPS
College: St John's
Conditions: AP: 555 Calculus BC, English Literature and Composition, European History
By what method did you hear: Email
Where you were when you heard: Eating breakfast

Home, EU, or International: International (United States)
School Type: State, in UK parlance. Public, in US parlance
Standardized Tests: SAT 1570, ACT 35
SAT II: World History 800, US History 800, Spanish 760
AP: 5555554 on World History, Spanish Language and Culture, Physics I, Physics II, US History, Human Geography, English Language and Composition

Strengths: Grades and AP scores, although I'm not exactly sure how they line up with A levels and such. I also think my UCAS personal statement was one of the better essays out of the many others I wrote to apply to US universities.

Weaknesses: The 4 on AP English Language is not ideal. I also felt the pre-interview assessment went the worst out of any part of the application process.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment: 6: I finished the test in time and had some time left over go back and look over questions I felt shaky about, of which there were many. I didn't end up feeling much better about most of them when I turned in the test than when I first answered them, however.

Interview Assessment: HSPS at St John's does 3 interviews. The first was about me as a student in general and is conducted by tutors outside of the field you wish to study, and I felt like I did fairly well on this one, maybe an 8, as I was well prepared to expand on a lot of the things they asked about in my personal statement. The second interview was about the history and politics side of HSPS and I thought this one went alright as well, a 7 or an 8, due to the AP history classes I've taken and am taking and because history and politics are the areas I am interested in and enjoy. The third interview was about the anthropology side of HSPS, and I think it's here that I faltered most, maybe a 4. Anthropology and such is probably the area in HSPS that I am least familiar with, and I struggled to find meaningful anecdotes like those I felt had helped me in the second interview. Answers I gave based on information the interviewers provided, however, I think were still reasonably sound.

Why did you choose your college? The first representative from Cambridge I talked to, who opened my eyes to the possibility of applying there (which I previously hadn't really considered), was from St John's and mentioned that St John's, being one of the larger colleges, was also one of the most diverse and international. This is something I was looking for in a university as it aligns well with the career I hope to pursue in foreign service and diplomacy. It also just seemed fitting to apply to the college which, in a way, had inspired me to apply to Cambridge in the first place. I had never visited before my interview (9 hours on a plane is very inconvenient and expensive), but now that I have I can say that I love the grounds and particularly the chapel and the bridge of sighs, which are quite unlike any of the US alternatives.

What other universities did you apply to? In the UK: Manchester, Birmingham, LSE, and St Andrew's. In the US: University of Texas at Austin (my hometown), University of California at Berkeley, the Ohio State University, the George Washington University, Georgetown University, American University, Boston University, Princeton, Stanford (the last two, like Cambridge, were long shots that I applied to just for the heck of it)

If you were accepted, what is your Insurance choice?: Either UT Austin or Georgetown

General comments and advice: Especially for international applicants, if you are not sure whether you want to apply to Cambridge, I would recommend just going for it. You don't have much to lose, and it's a great opportunity/excuse to visit the UK (if you're thrifty about it), which is pretty special for an American anglophile like me. Even if I had not been accepted, the experience of being able to visit the beautiful town and campus of Cambridge is not something I will ever forget. Granted, I might not be so cheerful if that experience had ended in rejection, but I still think stepping out of my comfort zone this way would have been constructive for me.
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Nick125
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#98
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ohdearstudying
Hi! Since you're the person who created this thread I just thought of letting you know that the responses excel spreadsheet, (mentioned in your post in the first page) is not letting you view responses before number 211, I think it has stalled for some reason. Could this be fixed so one can view all responses? Thanks a lot
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fleurgw
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#99
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#99
Decision: Accepted

Predicted Decision: rejected, maybe from pool?

Course: Engineering
College (original college, plus fishing college if pooled): Pembroke
Offer conditions: A*A*A with A* in Further Maths and A*A in Maths and Physics but doesn't matter which way round
By what method did you hear (Email/Letter/UCAS/owl): Email
Where were you when you heard: In a lesson

Optional (but preferable!)
Home, EU or International (Country): Home
School Type (Private/State/Grammar/Other): Grammar
GCSE Grades: 999999998A* + FSMQ A
A2 Subjects & Predicted Grades : Maths (A*) Further Maths (A*) Physics (A*) Music (A)

Strengths:
I think my personal statement was pretty good and my GCSE grades are strong. Of the interviews, one seemed to go quite well as I understood the problems and didn't need too much advice to get to an answer.

Weaknesses:
I felt the admissions assessment went pretty badly, I ran out of time with a lot to go and the questions felt more difficult than the ones I'd done in practice papers so I ended up having to put random answers in for quite a lot of the multiple choice.

Pre- or At-Interview Admissions Assessment (ENGAA): maybe a 4.5/10? I thought it was terrible but I did manage to get some answers, the timing was a bigger issue than I expected but there were definitely questions I could do.

Interview Assessment: I had two interviews: the first went pretty well and I worked through quite a few problems without much help and I was explaining my thought process fairly coherently. The second was not so good but looking back on it I did answer quite a few questions, I just felt like the interviewer didn't like me (but maybe that was just me being paranoid). I got stuck on one problem because we hadn't covered that topic yet in Physics but with a few hints I got to the answer.

Why did you chose your college? It was pretty, central, and has good music societies/choir which was a big draw for me. I'm not really sure tbh I just liked that one best on the open day

What other universities did you apply to? Bath, Bristol, Exeter (Exeter campus), Exeter (Penryn campus)
If you were accepted, what is going to be your Insurance choice? on UCAS, it's Bristol (Engineering Design) but I have an interview for the Dyson Institute degree apprenticeship which would be my insurance if I get it.

General Comments & Advice for others:
For engineering (and I've heard maths is the same), don't expect them to talk about anything on your personal statement or you as a person at all really, it will just be questions related to your A Level content and thinking through problems you haven't seen before. I wish I'd revised my A Level stuff more instead of making sure I could talk about all the books on my personal statement in detail.
Also, if you're unsure about applying go for it. I only really applied because my physics teacher said why not and convinced me I had a chance. I really didn't think I'd get in and wasn't sure it was worth going through the whole process if I didn't get in, but I'm glad I gave it a go now.
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