The Student Room Group

Feeling really bad about bombing my Cambridge admissions test

I sat the HAA this morning, and despite a ton of prep, it didn't go well at all. I genuinely don't think there's much more I could've done to revise, it just happened not to go well on the day, but I still feel awful. I worked towards it for ages, only screw it up. Part of it was time pressure, and I know there's nothing I can do now, but I feel really angry at myself for messing it up, because rejection feels extremely likely now. I have no motivation to prep for interview because it really was that bad. I know it's not the be all and end all, but I've dreamed of going to Cambridge for so long, and it's genuinely really upsetting to see it all go up in smoke in one day.
(edited 3 months ago)
Hey I'm really sorry to hear that you're feeling so down about it, that's never fun. You never know, it might've gone better than you think. Also, the HAA is just one step of the admissions process- like you said, it's really not the be all and end all. They might even ask you about it at the interview, and you can say what you wanted to do better. Try not to worry too much- just because it didn't necessarily go amazing, it doesn't mean you have no chance at a place. At the end of the day, all you can do is your best, and you should be really proud of yourself for doing it- it sounds like it's a lot of work and very stressful, but you still did it which is amazing in itself. And in terms of the interview, maybe try and look at it as an opportunity to just enjoy yourself and talk to experts about history, and that might help with the motivation? No matter what, you've already done really well! I hope this helps 🙂
Original post by eilnabrmnat
I sat the HAA this morning, and despite a ton of prep, it didn't go well at all. I genuinely don't think there's much more I could've done to revise, it just happened not to go well on the day, but I still feel awful. I worked towards it for ages, only screw it up. Part of it was time pressure, and I know there's nothing I can do now, but I feel really angry at myself for messing it up, because rejection feels extremely likely now. I have no motivation to prep for interview because it really was that bad. I know it's not the be all and end all, but I've dreamed of going to Cambridge for so long, and it's genuinely really upsetting to see it all go up in smoke in one day.

You could always re-apply next year if you don't succeed with getting an offer this admissions cycle. 🙂
Reply 3
Original post by eilnabrmnat
I sat the HAA this morning, and despite a ton of prep, it didn't go well at all. I genuinely don't think there's much more I could've done to revise, it just happened not to go well on the day, but I still feel awful. I worked towards it for ages, only screw it up. Part of it was time pressure, and I know there's nothing I can do now, but I feel really angry at myself for messing it up, because rejection feels extremely likely now. I have no motivation to prep for interview because it really was that bad. I know it's not the be all and end all, but I've dreamed of going to Cambridge for so long, and it's genuinely really upsetting to see it all go up in smoke in one day.

Hey don't worry. I sat it as well and it was hard to say about how exactly I did (maybe only Cambridge will tell). What about it that happened? How exactly did you go? Maybe you are being too harsh on yourself?
Original post by eilnabrmnat
I sat the HAA this morning, and despite a ton of prep, it didn't go well at all. I genuinely don't think there's much more I could've done to revise, it just happened not to go well on the day, but I still feel awful. I worked towards it for ages, only screw it up. Part of it was time pressure, and I know there's nothing I can do now, but I feel really angry at myself for messing it up, because rejection feels extremely likely now. I have no motivation to prep for interview because it really was that bad. I know it's not the be all and end all, but I've dreamed of going to Cambridge for so long, and it's genuinely really upsetting to see it all go up in smoke in one day.


If it's any consolation, for many years we kept stats on this forum tracking how well people thought they had done in assessment/interview compared with their actual success in getting an offer/interview score.

Frankly you could probably train an octopus to move pebbles and be more accurate than candidates were in assessing themselves in the process!

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