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The Official Cambridge Applicants for 2023 Entry Thread

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Original post by RK.S
Hi, just wanted some advise. @Oxford Mum

So I want to apply for Cambridge in 2023 ( I have just started year 12), and from reading lots of other forums, many applicants take 4 a-levels, but I am only taking 3 ( and an EPQ in second year). Do you think that I will be disadvantaged when applying for Cambridge.

In my college its not too late to take up another A-level but I have already missed out on so much content. Should I take a fourth or stick to just three?


Hi! I’ve applied this year and got an interview (just waiting to hear back!) but I’m just going through the threads to see if I can help anyone.
I only did 3 A Levels and I’m doing an EPQ this year, and that has been fine with my application, everyone except one person who got an interview I know at my school has done three a levels so I’d say that’d be absolutely fine! I think it’s best to really focus on three and get the best grades you can, rather than spreading yourself too thinly and not having enough time to work on four. The work load in year 13 is a lot with just three so if you work hard with three then I’m sure you’ll be great!!
Best of luck :smile:
Hey! As a 2022 applicant (just 12 more days until I get probably rejected haha!) if anyone has any questions about the application process, feel free to message me. (I applied for English at Fitzwilliam if that helps anyone specifically)

Coming from a state school student, the admissions process felt really alien to me at first and I literally *lived* off of forums like this to help during the application, so if there's someone out there in a similar position feel free to get in contact!

One thing I will say is:

Cambridge is an incredible university with fantastic resources and environment; but try not to let your application define your perception of your ability. I really struggled with this when applying, as I felt I justified my abilities by the fact that I was applying to Cambridge. At the end of the day, no matter how wonderful the institution is, the admissions process is intense and a rejection can be quite upsetting - you're incredible (and so much more than your grades!), and merely applying to Oxbridge shows you're resilient and focused enough to settle anywhere, whether that eventually be Cambridge or another university!

Good luck to you all, feel free to drop any questions if needed :smile:
A heads up that for students who might be eligible for outreach programmes/events, a *lot* of them will now be open for applications or will open very soon, including the big one of Sutton Trust. There will be a fair few with deadlines in February/March so it's a good time to research what's out there! This may be at Cambridge and its colleges but don't forget that many other universities run their own too all over the UK. :smile:
1) What A Levels are you taking from September (or other eligible qualifications)?

I do the IB programme..... I take Biology, Chemistry, and French at Higher level and Maths, Economics, and English literature at Standard level

2) What course at Cambridge do you have your eyes on? And why?

PBS, because it is the only course in a top UK uni to include the behavioral aspect of psychology

3) What grades did you get/are you predicted to get at GCSE?

I didn't do any GCSEs :wink:

4) Why Cambridge specifically? and why not Oxford?

Because I not only prefer the course but the closeness of living in a small town. Also the societies...

5) Which admissions tests do you have to sit, and when will you start preparing for them?

I take my IB exams in may, but I might have to sit for the TSA for specific colleges

6) What have you done in lockdown to help your studies and potentially your application to Cambridge?

I went to a lot of online courses and lectures, but I'm not sure I will include them in my personal statement

7) What do you want to do with your degree from Cambridge?

To be accepted into a good masters program (hopefully Oxford) and complete a PhD in the US, and do research (more funding)

8) Have you decided which college you're applying to?


I'm debating between Homerton and Christ... Whichever is more fun :smile:
Politics, English and Geography, predicted 3A*
HSPS
Achieved 999999987
Oxford don’t have an HSPS equivalent, they have PPE but I’m not a fan of economics
No admissions test!!
An online course, read books, part of a political campaign
Political journalist or civil servant
Maybe trinity hall or pembroke or kings
1) What A Levels are you taking from September (or other eligible qualifications)?
Politics, History, Classical Civilisation + EPQ
2) What course at Cambridge do you have your eyes on? And why?
History, I've always loved history since I was a child, it's my passion, it's really cringing but I've spent every spare minute since I was little reading and learning as much as I possibly can about History
3) What grades did you get/are you predicted to get at GCSE?
4 A*s 5As 2Bs C and a pass in additional maths ( I sat the old system for grading) I'm a bit worried about my GCSE grades as I feel they're much lower than the majority of applicants. I come from a school that didn't really care much for high achievers.
4) Why Cambridge specifically? why not Oxford?
I've just never really had the same feeling about Oxford. It doesn't give me the same thrill and excitement that Cambridge gives me.
5) Which admissions tests do you have to sit, and when will you start preparing for them?
Depending on what College I choose I may have to sit the HAT.
6) What have you done in lockdown to help your studies and potentially your application to Cambridge?
I got the opportunity to do some work experience in a museum and I've been reading and learning as much as I possibly can about history.
7) What do you want to do with your degree from Cambridge?
Totally random and different but I either want to go into teaching or join the royal navy
8) Have you decided which college you're applying to?
I'm leaning towards Homerton but I also like the look of Jesus and Newnham
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Elisabeth Hughes
Hey! As a 2022 applicant (just 12 more days until I get probably rejected haha!) if anyone has any questions about the application process, feel free to message me. (I applied for English at Fitzwilliam if that helps anyone specifically)

Coming from a state school student, the admissions process felt really alien to me at first and I literally *lived* off of forums like this to help during the application, so if there's someone out there in a similar position feel free to get in contact!

One thing I will say is:

Cambridge is an incredible university with fantastic resources and environment; but try not to let your application define your perception of your ability. I really struggled with this when applying, as I felt I justified my abilities by the fact that I was applying to Cambridge. At the end of the day, no matter how wonderful the institution is, the admissions process is intense and a rejection can be quite upsetting - you're incredible (and so much more than your grades!), and merely applying to Oxbridge shows you're resilient and focused enough to settle anywhere, whether that eventually be Cambridge or another university!

Good luck to you all, feel free to drop any questions if needed :smile:

How did you do ?
Original post by Wdenoirval
How did you do ?

Hey! I got pooled and then rejected, but I fit the criteria for August Reconsideration :smile:
During February, Murray Edwards College are hosting three Subject Taster Sessions for Year 12 students who identify as female. We hope that these taster days can take place in College.
Each event includes:
An overview of the Cambridge course
A subject session led by an academic from the University of Cambridge
A talk on ‘Applying to Cambridge’ by the Murray Edwards College Admissions Tutor
The subjects and dates are as follows:
Monday 21st February History, History and Modern Languages (HML) and Modern and Medieval Languages (MML) taster day
Wednesday 23rd February Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS) taster day
Thursday 24th February Medicine taster day
Please use this form to sign up for the Subject Taster Days: https://cambridge.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eYftnnwb5orTUz4
Original post by tinkereleanor
1) What A Levels are you taking from September (or other eligible qualifications)?
Politics, History, Classical Civilisation + EPQ
2) What course at Cambridge do you have your eyes on? And why?
History, I've always loved history since I was a child, it's my passion, it's really cringing but I've spent every spare minute since I was little reading and learning as much as I possibly can about History
3) What grades did you get/are you predicted to get at GCSE?
4 A*s 5As 2Bs C and a pass in additional maths ( I sat the old system for grading) I'm a bit worried about my GCSE grades as I feel they're much lower than the majority of applicants. I come from a school that didn't really care much for high achievers.
4) Why Cambridge specifically? why not Oxford?
I've just never really had the same feeling about Oxford. It doesn't give me the same thrill and excitement that Cambridge gives me.
5) Which admissions tests do you have to sit, and when will you start preparing for them?
Depending on what College I choose I may have to sit the HAT.
6) What have you done in lockdown to help your studies and potentially your application to Cambridge?
I got the opportunity to do some work experience in a museum and I've been reading and learning as much as I possibly can about history.
7) What do you want to do with your degree from Cambridge?
Totally random and different but I either want to go into teaching or join the royal navy
8) Have you decided which college you're applying to?
I'm leaning towards Homerton but I also like the look of Jesus and Newnham

Hi! Just to let you know, Murray Edwards are hosting a History Taster Day on Monday 21st Feb. Sign up is here if you're interested: https://cambridge.eu.qualtrics.com/j...Yftnnwb5orTUz4
Reply 50
1) What A Levels are you taking from September (or other eligible qualifications)?
Biology, Geography and Economics
2) What course at Cambridge do you have your eyes on? And why?
Geography. I love how it incorporates both social and physical sciences; it's a way to understand the world better.
3) What grades did you get/are you predicted to get at GCSE?
9999999887 A* (did a GCSE 3 years early with the old grading system)
4) Why Cambridge specifically? and why not Oxford?
A lot of my family went there and I loved visiting the city. I haven't 100% ruled out Oxford though.
5) Which admissions tests do you have to sit, and when will you start preparing for them?
There is a Geography Admissions Assessment for 3 colleges
6) What have you done in lockdown to help your studies and potentially your application to Cambridge?
Deciding to apply to Cambridge is a recent decision for me so I've started a bit late but I've been doing reading/watching documentaries on subjects I'm interested in.
7) What do you want to do with your degree from Cambridge?
I'd like to work at the Environment Agency
8) Have you decided which college you're applying to?
Not yet
1) What A Levels are you taking from September (or other eligible qualifications)?
Politics, German, Sociology, Religious Studies, EPQ
2) What course at Cambridge do you have your eyes on? And why?
HSPS - I'm massively interested in sociology and politics
3) What grades did you get/are you predicted to get at GCSE?
9999988887
4) Why Cambridge specifically? Why not Oxford?
Course mainly - the closest Ox does to HSPS is PPE and I hate maths and economics
5) Which admissions tests do you have to sit, and when will you start preparing for them?
N/A
7) What do you want to do with your degree from Cambridge?
No clue
8) Have you decided which college you're applying to?
Probably Sidney Sussex
any people taking gap years to apply this october? if so what are you doing in your gap year?
Reply 53
Original post by Theloniouss
Anyone considering law might want to check out Cambridge's new online course on futurelearn: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/exploring-law-studying-law-at-university

This is really good. Is there any courses for Engineering? Thanks
We're doing regular student-led guided tours of Christ's for prospective applicants! If you'd like to visit us, you can see the available dates and info on booking on our (new-looking!) website: https://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/visiting-christs/tours - plus info on self-guided tours.:smile:
Original post by Elisabeth Hughes
Hey! I got pooled and then rejected, but I fit the criteria for August Reconsideration :smile:

I hope they reconsider you. You have been a great help, offering your assistance to others. Nobody understands how stressful the process is until they have experienced it for themselves.
Original post by tinkereleanor
1) What A Levels are you taking from September (or other eligible qualifications)?
Politics, History, Classical Civilisation + EPQ
2) What course at Cambridge do you have your eyes on? And why?
History, I've always loved history since I was a child, it's my passion, it's really cringing but I've spent every spare minute since I was little reading and learning as much as I possibly can about History
3) What grades did you get/are you predicted to get at GCSE?
4 A*s 5As 2Bs C and a pass in additional maths ( I sat the old system for grading) I'm a bit worried about my GCSE grades as I feel they're much lower than the majority of applicants. I come from a school that didn't really care much for high achievers.
4) Why Cambridge specifically? why not Oxford?
I've just never really had the same feeling about Oxford. It doesn't give me the same thrill and excitement that Cambridge gives me.
5) Which admissions tests do you have to sit, and when will you start preparing for them?
Depending on what College I choose I may have to sit the HAT.
6) What have you done in lockdown to help your studies and potentially your application to Cambridge?
I got the opportunity to do some work experience in a museum and I've been reading and learning as much as I possibly can about history.
7) What do you want to do with your degree from Cambridge?
Totally random and different but I either want to go into teaching or join the royal navy
8) Have you decided which college you're applying to?
I'm leaning towards Homerton but I also like the look of Jesus and Newnham

Hi there@tinkereleanor!

I am very interested in what you have said here. What you say is "cringing" (spending every spare minute on history) is something that is prized by Oxbridge. Keep on doing it! It's important to really immerse yourself with your subject but "spare minute" are the key words. It should be 80% school subjects, 20% of "historying".

Even though you come from a "school that didn't really care much for high achievers", carry on regardless. Keep pootling on. The school will not be checking up on what you do in your spare time and if you don't want to tell anyone else, don't. You can tell us, though, because we understand and many on here will be very similar to you.

Working in a museum - I have already recommended this several times to history applicants and highly recommend it.

I don't have any experience of Jesus or Homerton, but I know someone who studied at Newnham. They have beautiful gardens and are in a tranquil setting, directly opposite the Sidgewick site (handy!) Her mother visited and said it exuded a "quiet atmosphere of girl power". I actually went to offer holder day and was very impressed.

Good luck and as a bit of a guide, here is the history chapter for Cambridge demystified.

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6467768
Original post by guacamalba
1) What A Levels are you taking from September (or other eligible qualifications)?

I do the IB programme..... I take Biology, Chemistry, and French at Higher level and Maths, Economics, and English literature at Standard level

2) What course at Cambridge do you have your eyes on? And why?

PBS, because it is the only course in a top UK uni to include the behavioral aspect of psychology

3) What grades did you get/are you predicted to get at GCSE?

I didn't do any GCSEs :wink:

4) Why Cambridge specifically? and why not Oxford?

Because I not only prefer the course but the closeness of living in a small town. Also the societies...

5) Which admissions tests do you have to sit, and when will you start preparing for them?

I take my IB exams in may, but I might have to sit for the TSA for specific colleges

6) What have you done in lockdown to help your studies and potentially your application to Cambridge?

I went to a lot of online courses and lectures, but I'm not sure I will include them in my personal statement

7) What do you want to do with your degree from Cambridge?

To be accepted into a good masters program (hopefully Oxford) and complete a PhD in the US, and do research (more funding)

8) Have you decided which college you're applying to?


I'm debating between Homerton and Christ... Whichever is more fun :smile:

Hi there!

PBS is fascinating, and if I could have my time back again, this may well have been the course I would have applied for

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6641356&p=90439622#post90439622

By all means, apply to Oxford for a masters after your undergrad degree if you are keen and talented...plus you do not have to have done your first degree at Oxbridge to get in for a masters. I would imagine that if you are an overseas student, getting funding would also be a major consideration (for the masters).

As for which is most fun.. students at both colleges will tell you theirs is the friendliest! Both will contain fantastic tutors, amazing, interested students, so just go for the one you like the look of best

Here is the Cambridge Demystified colleges chapter, containing videos

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?p=88684784&highlight=Cambridge%20Demystifie
Original post by may.strange
Politics, English and Geography, predicted 3A*
HSPS
Achieved 999999987
Oxford don’t have an HSPS equivalent, they have PPE but I’m not a fan of economics
No admissions test!!
An online course, read books, part of a political campaign
Political journalist or civil servant
Maybe trinity hall or pembroke or kings

Hi May, how are you?

HSPS is a great and varied degree. No wonder you are interested in this!

Here is the HSPS chapter of Cambridge Demystified

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6467680&p=88369946#post88369946

and please see the post above about the colleges

@t4pedeck
Original post by shzzh
1) What A Levels are you taking from September (or other eligible qualifications)?
Biology, Geography and Economics
2) What course at Cambridge do you have your eyes on? And why?
Geography. I love how it incorporates both social and physical sciences; it's a way to understand the world better.
3) What grades did you get/are you predicted to get at GCSE?
9999999887 A* (did a GCSE 3 years early with the old grading system)
4) Why Cambridge specifically? and why not Oxford?
A lot of my family went there and I loved visiting the city. I haven't 100% ruled out Oxford though.
5) Which admissions tests do you have to sit, and when will you start preparing for them?
There is a Geography Admissions Assessment for 3 colleges
6) What have you done in lockdown to help your studies and potentially your application to Cambridge?
Deciding to apply to Cambridge is a recent decision for me so I've started a bit late but I've been doing reading/watching documentaries on subjects I'm interested in.
7) What do you want to do with your degree from Cambridge?
I'd like to work at the Environment Agency
8) Have you decided which college you're applying to?
Not yet

Hi there! I think it would beneficial if we could call up @azby1098 for this. He was considering Cambridge but got into Oxford geography as a re-applicant.

Here is the Cambridge Demystified geography chapter

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6905686&p=93556052#post93556052

and the Oxford Demystified geography chapter

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?p=88721706&highlight=Oxford%20demystified%20-%20Geography

The latter concentrates very much on the environmental aspect of geography, so you will probably find this very interesting.

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