Hello, recently one of the teachers in my sixth form (who happened to go to Cambridge) told me the following, and I just wanted to check if this is true:
The Tompkins table portrays the academic results of all the colleges in Cambridge, and some colleges seem to be hogging the top spot for decades (ahem Trinity, Emmanual and a couple of others), while others are getting consecutive places in the last 5. Assuming the quality of teaching is the same all around, then that must mean these top colleges have students of a higher standard than the lower colleges obviously, and therefore the admissions deptartments of these colleges must have a much higher proportion of better applicants to choose from (compared to the colleges in last place). Now, I've been told at every possible occasion that applications to Cambridge are fair, that there isn't some 'easier'/'harder' colleges etc... But surely, if Trinity have such a high standard of students, they must be harder to get into for an 'average' student of Cambridge callibre.
So I just wanted to know what difference there is between say Emmanuel and some low-down-the-table college like Hughes Hall or St Edmund's (these might be mature colleges I don't know, but if they are then just insert the next lowest college that is not mature/gender selective) in terms of admissions. Like will Emmanuel genuinly expect higher results GCSE and A-Level-wise, will it give a tougher interview, will this competition for places mean that someone who doesn't expect to be at the top of the Cambridge foodchain has a lower chance of getting in?
I know the pool should supposedly correct this whole business, but losing one chance out of 2/3 just because Emmanuel has better food doesn't look like a good option to me.