On what criterion does the University of Cambridge select candidates for interview?

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Naveed2002
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What are Cambridge's main focus during application review for Interview selection? Is the personal statement a focus?
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izzxm
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Depends which course I guess, I'm pretty sure they interview the majority of maths applicants because every personal statement for the course is pretty much the same
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Naveed2002
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(Original post by izzxm)
Depends which course I guess, I'm pretty sure they interview the majority of maths applicants because every personal statement for the course is pretty much the sameI
I have gone for Engineering (H100), what are the requirements?
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vyper47
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(Original post by Naveed2002)
I have gone for Engineering (H100), what are the requirements?
Sit back, relax, and assume you're not going in

At least that's what I'm doing. If you're too much expecting, you'll get depressed if you actually don't get in (most likely, statistically). However, keep no expectations, and if you do get in (again, non-negligible probability!!), you'll probably rejoice louder!!!

I assume you're international?
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Naveed2002)
What are Cambridge's main focus during application review for Interview selection? Is the personal statement a focus?
How many gems you have on TSR ...
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R T
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(Original post by Naveed2002)
What are Cambridge's main focus during application review for Interview selection? Is the personal statement a focus?
School grades and the ENGAA score. Including any personal circumstances if relevant. (i.e. "Can this person get A*A*A"; "did this person do well enough on the ENGAA that they wouldn't drown in an interview with harder questions")

Cambridge will interview everyone who they think has a realistic chance to get an offer. This is usually about 80-90% of the applicants.

The personal statement is going to be largely ignored at this stage.
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Naveed2002
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(Original post by vyper47)
Sit back, relax, and assume you're not going in

At least that's what I'm doing. If you're too much expecting, you'll get depressed if you actually don't get in (most likely, statistically). However, keep no expectations, and if you do get in (again, non-negligible probability!!), you'll probably rejoice louder!!!

I assume you're international?
Yea mate, I'm international, and it's nerve wrecking tbh. Thank you though, that advice makes sense.
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Naveed2002
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(Original post by R T)
School grades and the ENGAA score. Including any personal circumstances if relevant. (i.e. "Can this person get A*A*A"; "did this person do well enough on the ENGAA that they wouldn't drown in an interview with harder questions")

Cambridge will interview everyone who they think has a realistic chance to get an offer. This is usually about 80-90% of the applicants.

The personal statement is going to be largely ignored at this stage.
My grades for AS have been 4 A's out of 4 subjects. Predicted grades are likely at the least 3A* and 2A's or at best 4A*'s and one A in AS English. Based on this, and that I have mentioned quite some extra cirricular, do I have a solid chance?
As for the Personal Statement, why do they ignore it??
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R T
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(Original post by Naveed2002)
My grades for AS have been 4 A's out of 4 subjects. Predicted grades are likely at the least 3A* and 2A's or at best 4A*'s and one A in AS English. Based on this, and that I have mentioned quite some extra cirricular, do I have a solid chance?
As for the Personal Statement, why do they ignore it??
Extra circulars wont matter. It is quite literally only about how good you are at the subject you're applying for. The people who decide who gets in for Maths don't care about whether or not someone plays the violin. The people who decide and will teach a candidate in History don't care at all if that candidate plays Tennis in their free time, or spends their free timing knitting.

The PS is ignored because its just unmoderated words. Any candidate can write anything in there without having to worry about proving it. More than that, any candidate can get their parent, teacher or even pay a 3rd party to write anything they want in there. Beyond this, individual colleges may get hundreds of applicants for some subjects. They are just too busy to consider taking 5-10 minutes to read and critically analyse such a subjective factor.

By applying to oxbridge it is already obvious that a candidate has their **** together and is prepared for a much more gruelling application than a typical uni would give, and so there is an assumption that the candidate knows what they are doing and either does really want to study the subject, or is capable of pretending they do to a degree that can't be back-inferred by reading a very short piece of writing.
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Naveed2002
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(Original post by R T)
Extra circulars wont matter. It is quite literally only about how good you are at the subject you're applying for. The people who decide who gets in for Maths don't care about whether or not someone plays the violin. The people who decide and will teach a candidate in History don't care at all if that candidate plays Tennis in their free time, or spends their free timing knitting.

The PS is ignored because its just unmoderated words. Any candidate can write anything in there without having to worry about proving it. More than that, any candidate can get their parent, teacher or even pay a 3rd party to write anything they want in there. Beyond this, individual colleges may get hundreds of applicants for some subjects. They are just too busy to consider taking 5-10 minutes to read and critically analyse such a subjective factor.

By applying to oxbridge it is already obvious that a candidate has their **** together and is prepared for a much more gruelling application than a typical uni would give, and so there is an assumption that the candidate knows what they are doing and either does really want to study the subject, or is capable of pretending they do to a degree that can't be back-inferred by reading a
So basically all they have is my grades (4a's at AS), A-Level predicteds (probably A*A*A*A*A) and my recommendation. How come are they going to judge me on this alone? I mean most OXBRIDGE candidates anyways have top-notch grades, so what do they use to narrow down students?
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Ray3RE
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(Original post by Naveed2002)
So basically all they have is my grades (4a's at AS), A-Level predicteds (probably A*A*A*A*A) and my recommendation. How come are they going to judge me on this alone? I mean most OXBRIDGE candidates anyways have top-notch grades, so what do they use to narrow down students?
I would take anything I say with a pinch of salt, but generally what I have gathered form this process is that everything is inflated and dubious. Predicted Grades are often inaccurate (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...dicted-grades/) and Personal Statements can be misleading. However the application is viewed holistically so the short-comings of using each aspect are mitigated, so having a good Personal Statement can only help. They will have your AS Grades, Recommendation, Predicted, Personal Statement and then measure those against your performance at interview. This is one of the reasons why, particularly for Cambridge, the interview rate is high and yet the admission rate is considerably lower, so your chances of getting an interview are high and then the rest is up to your performance (also any entrance tests).

Probably wasn't much use but hope this helped, feel free to correct anything I may have misunderstood.
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Mikos
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Your chances for interview will largely be based on predicted grades, prior exam data (eg GCSE and AS grades), qualifications (e.g. is your subject combination suitable?), reference and your performance in a pre-interview admissions assessment. They may also look at your personal statement, and while I think it’s misleading to say it will be ignored, at the pre-interview stage it is hugely unlikely to lose you an interview unless you wrote your PS for the wrong subject or something equally ridiculous. The importance of the personal statement increases at interview (where they may ask you about something you’ve spoken about) and in post-interview decision making (where it may be used as an indicator of your enthusiasm for your subject).
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R T
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(Original post by Naveed2002)
So basically all they have is my grades (4a's at AS), A-Level predicteds (probably A*A*A*A*A) and my recommendation. How come are they going to judge me on this alone? I mean most OXBRIDGE candidates anyways have top-notch grades, so what do they use to narrow down students?
This is what the tests and interviews are designed to do. They are intentionally designed to be hard enough that despite what the average candidate is like in terms of ability, they'd get things wrong and need help.

And you'd probably be surprised how many oxbridge candidates do not have perfect grade profiles.
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Theloniouss
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I think it's primarily predicted grades and pre-interview assessment scores. I've looked through a variety of FOI requests and not once noticed an applicant be interviewed with less than the required grades predicted. I'd also say (bit of a guess here) that those applicants accounted for about 20% of applicants, leaving about 5% to be filtered out for having the wrong subjects and poor assessment performance.
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by Naveed2002)
I mean most OXBRIDGE candidates anyways have top-notch grades, so what do they use to narrow down students?
the admissions assessment
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Fredericks1
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(Original post by R T)
And you'd probably be surprised how many oxbridge candidates do not have perfect grade profiles.
I think he meant only out of the serious oxbridge candidates who will get offers.


In general the only criteria that really matters is the pre interview admissions test, do well in that and no matter how bad you messed up everything else you will get an interview.
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Naveed2002
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
the admissions assessment
ok but is the assessment the only criteria? Any other they use?
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by Naveed2002)
ok but is the assessment the only criteria? Any other they use?
if they've taken GCSEs or equivalent they could look at that too
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