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Is churchill college (computer science) more risky to apply to?

I have been reading through the statistics of different colleges for computer science and have found an incredibly high number of applications for Churchill colleges (twice that of trinity and up to 20% of applications). The acceptance rate is also the lowest of any college.

I have learnt that these statistics have no correlation to the actual difficulty of getting into a college, since they will ideally all have the same difficulty/standard to get into. If there are not enough students meeting that standard, applicants from the winter pool get chosen.

Churchill rarely takes applicants from the winter pool for CS and pools 10-20% of applicants, which probably means it is much more competitive than other colleges.

However, since the "standard" needed to get in is said to be the same across all colleges, and since Churchill intakes far more CS students than any other college, does this have any effect on how easy/difficult it is to get into?

I had just mentioned how there's no difference in difficulty just earlier, but i keep doubting that which is why I wanted to make sure if this is the case, sorry....
I think people just tend to apply there because it's closer to the west sites (and hence the CS department - although I think at least previously a lot of the first year courses at least were lectured in central locations?) and because it has a bit of a reputation as a "STEM" college (which may well be in part due to the location near the west sites where most of the departments are located - although as noted, not necessarily lectured at). If you want to be near the west sites you may also want to consider Fitzwilliam College which is basically around the corner from Churchill.

In any event, the only course/college combination I'm aware of which can make it harder to get in is maths at Trinity, because the absurdly skewed application rates to that course at that college means that plenty of otherwise entirely credible Cambridge prospects get rejected pre-interview (and hence, no chance of being pooled). Outside of that I think the pooling system for interviewed applicants generally captures those who get squeezed out by competition at that college, as they have much more facility to interview all those who are likely to get an offer from a college.

Note pooling 10-20% of applicants is pretty normal. I believe the statistics overall are that about 20% of applicants in total across all colleges get pooled each year, so 10-20% is aligning to that average or even potentially a little below the average. But due to the fact about 1 in 5 applicants gets pooled it's not worth pegging your hopes and dreams to one college usually. Just pick one you generally like the look/feel/location of and remember that the majority of students report liking their college once they get in even if they are pooled.
Obviously it's less likely that you get into your first-choice college than if you apply to a less popular one. (Though that doesn't mean you won't get into Churchill so if it's the college you prefer that doesn't mean you shouldn't apply!) Otherwise the pooling system shouldn't make it less likely of getting into Cambridge overall.

Without wanting to be too mean about Churchill, if that is your first preference then I'd say you're probably less likely to be really disappointed if allocated a quite different college, compared to if you had your heart set on, say, King's.
(edited 8 months ago)

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