Rejected from Trinity pre-interview, cannot figure out why

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username1939826
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A few days ago I was rejected from Trinity Mathematics pre-interview and neither myself nor my school can figure out why because my application was excellent on paper.

I was predicted 4xA* in Maths, FM, Physics, Computer science. I had an amazing reference which mentioned that I was first in all of the school mocks for each subject. I had a great personal statement which talked about four relevant supercurriculars I had done. At GCSE I had 9999887777, which is not perfect, but I cannot see it causing a pre-interview rejection. I also had the extenuating circumstances form because I had to self teach further maths due to a problem at school, but I still did the mocks in school. I go to a state school that does not get applicants/offers to Cambridge often.

One of the supercurriculars in my statement was more about physics than maths, but I was hoping the admissions tutors would see that I was just more interested in applied maths. Could this cause them to think I should have applied for physics instead?

Can anybody think of why I would have been rejected? I'm really hoping there has been some procedural error but I'm worried it will be too late if I wait for feedback in January. Has anyone been in this position before?
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marnieeeee
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(Original post by username1939826)
A few days ago I was rejected from Trinity Mathematics pre-interview and neither myself nor my school can figure out why because my application was excellent on paper.

I was predicted 4xA* in Maths, FM, Physics, Computer science. I had an amazing reference which mentioned that I was first in all of the school mocks for each subject. I had a great personal statement which talked about four relevant supercurriculars I had done. At GCSE I had 9999887777, which is not perfect, but I cannot see it causing a pre-interview rejection. I also had the extenuating circumstances form because I had to self teach further maths due to a problem at school, but I still did the mocks in school. I go to a state school that does not get applicants/offers to Cambridge often.

One of the supercurriculars in my statement was more about physics than maths, but I was hoping the admissions tutors would see that I was just more interested in applied maths. Could this cause them to think I should have applied for physics instead?

Can anybody think of why I would have been rejected? I'm really hoping there has been some procedural error but I'm worried it will be too late if I wait for feedback in January. Has anyone been in this position before?
hmm thats weird, have you been in touch with the admissions office?
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redmeercat
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You should be able to request feedback from Trinity if you email admissions. I'm sorry this happened, but please don't take it as a reflection on your ability.
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username1939826
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(Original post by marnieeeee)
hmm thats weird, have you been in touch with the admissions office?
My school are getting in contact, and I am really hoping it will work out, but I'm worried Trinity will think I am a sore loser. I just genuinely think something has gone wrong.
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GreenCub
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I must say that it's not unheard of for Trinity to reject people for maths without interview for no discernible reason, particularly internationals sometimes (though as you're doing A levels I take it this doesn't apply to you).

The information that Trinity has about you is precisely:


  • A levels and predicted grades
  • GCSE results
  • Personal statement
  • SAQ
  • School reference
  • Extenuating circumstances


It's definitely not your A level predicted grades and Cambridge tends not to care much about irrelevant GCSEs at all (did you get a 9 in maths?) and those grades are perfectly acceptable for Cambridge - I can't see them using irrelevant GCSE subjects to discriminate between candidates. If your reference was good, then the only other main thing is your PS and Cambridge tends not to care about the PS for maths either (I heard that at some colleges they don't even read it, but that might not be accurate).

I really can't see any reason why you'd be rejected pre-interview - you may want to check now whether there was some administrative error like the school entering your grades wrong on the application.
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username1939826
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(Original post by redmeercat)
You should be able to request feedback from Trinity if you email admissions. I'm sorry this happened, but please don't take it as a reflection on your ability.
Feedback is in January but by then interviews have happened and offers are out. I'm hoping to find out what has happened before then so that I still may have the opportunity of getting an offer this year instead of reapplying.
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username1939826
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(Original post by GreenCub)
I must say that it's not unheard of for Trinity to reject people for maths without interview for no discernible reason, particularly internationals sometimes (though as you're doing A levels I take it this doesn't apply to you).

The information that Trinity has about you is precisely:


  • A levels and predicted grades
  • GCSE results
  • Personal statement
  • SAQ
  • School reference
  • Extenuating circumstances


It's definitely not your A level predicted grades and Cambridge tends not to care much about irrelevant GCSEs at all (did you get a 9 in maths?) and those grades are perfectly acceptable for Cambridge - I can't see them using irrelevant GCSE subjects to discriminate between candidates. If your reference was good, then the only other main thing is your PS and Cambridge tends not to care about the PS for maths either (I heard that at some colleges they don't even read it, but that might not be accurate).

I really can't see any reason why you'd be rejected pre-interview - you may want to check now whether there was some administrative error like the school entering your grades wrong on the application.
Thank you for your reply. I have heard the same that PS was not an important factor for maths, so I'm really grasping at straws when I think it may have been the issue! I had an 8 in maths and I am a home applicant.
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Interea
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(Original post by username1939826)
Feedback is in January but by then interviews have happened and offers are out. I'm hoping to find out what has happened before then so that I still may have the opportunity of getting an offer this year instead of reapplying.
Trinity get a lot of outstanding maths applicants and can't interview them all - there seem to have been a lot of high level rejections this year, and it's never easy to work out their logic. Unfortunately if you've been rejected at this point there's no way for you to get pooled or anything, so it's time to focus on your other uni choices instead, who will likely be very happy to have you!
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hajima
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(Original post by username1939826)
Thank you for your reply. I have heard the same that PS was not an important factor for maths, so I'm really grasping at straws when I think it may have been the issue! I had an 8 in maths and I am a home applicant.
The 8 in Maths is a point of weakness and they may just not have liked your personal statement as much as you did. It's probably best not to dwell on it, Trinity is the most competitive college for Maths anyway.
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username1939826
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(Original post by Interea)
Trinity get a lot of outstanding maths applicants and can't interview them all - there seem to have been a lot of high level rejections this year, and it's never easy to work out their logic. Unfortunately if you've been rejected at this point there's no way for you to get pooled or anything, so it's time to focus on your other uni choices instead, who will likely be very happy to have you!
Thanks but in any case I am looking for some closure on where I went wrong in my application and how I could improve if I decide to reapply.
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username1939826
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(Original post by hajima)
The 8 in Maths is a point of weakness and they may just not have liked your personal statement as much as you did. It's probably best not to dwell on it, Trinity is the most competitive college for Maths anyway.
It is equally hard to get into all colleges at Cambridge, if they thought I would have a chance at another college they would have interviewed me and pooled me. I really doubt my GCSEs were the dealbreaker here, that would mean that there was absolutely nothing I could have done between starting 6th form and today to get into Cambridge; the system is holistic and considers all parts of the application.
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hajima
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(Original post by username1939826)
It is equally hard to get into all colleges at Cambridge, if they thought I would have a chance at another college they would have interviewed me and pooled me. I really doubt my GCSEs were the dealbreaker here, that would mean that there was absolutely nothing I could have done between starting 6th form and today to get into Cambridge; the system is holistic and considers all parts of the application.
That's not true. It's only equally as hard to get into each college after you get an interview, it's much harder to get an interview at Trinity compared to all other colleges, therefore it isn't equally as hard to get into each college overall. Your GCSEs and your personal statement in conjunction is quite easily a dealbreaker, which is what I said.
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Interea
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(Original post by username1939826)
Thanks but in any case I am looking for some closure on where I went wrong in my application and how I could improve if I decide to reapply.
Your referee can request feedback in January - this is the busiest time of the year for them, so they don't give feedback until then usually. I imagine Trinity will be getting a lot of very confused feedback requests this year though. In theory you have an equal chance no matter if you apply to a college directly or make an open application, but that phrasing does suggest that if you apply to a college as oversubscribed as Trinity then there is a chance they won't even have space to interview you, hence meaning you can't get pooled.
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username1939826
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(Original post by Interea)
Your referee can request feedback in January - this is the busiest time of the year for them, so they don't give feedback until then usually. I imagine Trinity will be getting a lot of very confused feedback requests this year though. In theory you have an equal chance no matter if you apply to a college directly or make an open application, but that phrasing does suggest that if you apply to a college as oversubscribed as Trinity then there is a chance they won't even have space to interview you, hence meaning you can't get pooled.
Have you heard of many other people in my position?
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R T
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(Original post by username1939826)
A few days ago I was rejected from Trinity Mathematics pre-interview and neither myself nor my school can figure out why because my application was excellent on paper.

I was predicted 4xA* in Maths, FM, Physics, Computer science. I had an amazing reference which mentioned that I was first in all of the school mocks for each subject. I had a great personal statement which talked about four relevant supercurriculars I had done. At GCSE I had 9999887777, which is not perfect, but I cannot see it causing a pre-interview rejection. I also had the extenuating circumstances form because I had to self teach further maths due to a problem at school, but I still did the mocks in school. I go to a state school that does not get applicants/offers to Cambridge often.

One of the supercurriculars in my statement was more about physics than maths, but I was hoping the admissions tutors would see that I was just more interested in applied maths. Could this cause them to think I should have applied for physics instead?

Can anybody think of why I would have been rejected? I'm really hoping there has been some procedural error but I'm worried it will be too late if I wait for feedback in January. Has anyone been in this position before?
It's speculation on my part, but you probably just fell victim to Trinity being particularly oversubscribed this year + having reduced capacity for interviews, perhaps due to covid. I wouldn't think in a normal year that someone with your application would be rejected pre-interview.

The decision was probably made based on GCSE + prior Olympiad performance. I'm guessing they filled up the interview slots with people who slightly outperformed on a combination of those, as well as perhaps some post-A-Level applicants who applied with achieved 3A*+ grades
(Original post by username1939826)
It is equally hard to get into all colleges at Cambridge, if they thought I would have a chance at another college they would have interviewed me and pooled me. I really doubt my GCSEs were the dealbreaker here, that would mean that there was absolutely nothing I could have done between starting 6th form and today to get into Cambridge; the system is holistic and considers all parts of the application.
I've said this before but "all colleges and all course are equally hard" is true for most, but definitely not all combinations. There is no doubt that Trinity Maths, Caius Medicine and a few other infamous combinations do run the risk of being so popular and competitive that you can be pushed out without the consideration and chance that would be granted elsewhere.
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nogoodusersleft
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(Original post by username1939826)
It is equally hard to get into all colleges at Cambridge, if they thought I would have a chance at another college they would have interviewed me and pooled me. I really doubt my GCSEs were the dealbreaker here, that would mean that there was absolutely nothing I could have done between starting 6th form and today to get into Cambridge; the system is holistic and considers all parts of the application.
The one place this isn't true is maths at Trinity. I've seen rejections in the past couple days from Trinity maths for people with 5A* predicted, 1590 SAT etc
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Interea
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(Original post by username1939826)
Have you heard of many other people in my position?
There have definitely been a couple on the Cambridge Applicants thread - guess that's what happens when you pick the college that usually gets like 20% of the maths applicants unfortunately, just not enough time in the month to interview everyone.
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Profesh
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(Original post by username1939826)
It is equally hard to get into all colleges at Cambridge
Maths at Trinity is widely touted as among, if not the most competitive undergraduate course in the world, as well as (predictably) many times over-subscribed for this very reason: so no, not really.
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mnot
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(Original post by username1939826)
A few days ago I was rejected from Trinity Mathematics pre-interview and neither myself nor my school can figure out why because my application was excellent on paper.

I was predicted 4xA* in Maths, FM, Physics, Computer science. I had an amazing reference which mentioned that I was first in all of the school mocks for each subject. I had a great personal statement which talked about four relevant supercurriculars I had done. At GCSE I had 9999887777, which is not perfect, but I cannot see it causing a pre-interview rejection. I also had the extenuating circumstances form because I had to self teach further maths due to a problem at school, but I still did the mocks in school. I go to a state school that does not get applicants/offers to Cambridge often.

One of the supercurriculars in my statement was more about physics than maths, but I was hoping the admissions tutors would see that I was just more interested in applied maths. Could this cause them to think I should have applied for physics instead?

Can anybody think of why I would have been rejected? I'm really hoping there has been some procedural error but I'm worried it will be too late if I wait for feedback in January. Has anyone been in this position before?
Ask for feedback.

did you take STEP?
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username1939826
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(Original post by mnot)
Ask for feedback.

did you take STEP?
No I am not a reapplicant. I can only ask for feedback in January I was hoping to do as much as I can before then.
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