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Cambridge Natural Sciences Interview Applicants 2023/24

Hi, I thought I'd make a thread for those who have an interview with Cambridge for Natural Sciences(biological & physical).
We can use this to help each other prepare for our interviews with any useful videos or websites we've found, general advice we've received, practice interviews with each other over zoom, and anything else.
If you've had an interview and learnt anything then please let us know.
Just put anything that could be useful here.
Some questions to answer if you want to get involved but don't know what to say:
Are you biological or physical natural sciences?
What are your A levels, and predicted(or achieved)?
What college have you applied to?
When is your interview?

Good luck to everyone🤞🤞

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I am interested in physics natural sciences, mostly physics itself. I applied to Downing College. I took chemistry, physics and maths in 2023 for A levels and got a*'s. I found this youtube video very useful https://youtu.be/FuFUoSBUWFM?si=olhRXiSB-e1zw9t9
Reply 2
Does anyone know of any good resources for preparing for chemistry interview questions (bio nat sci, if relevant)?
Reply 3
What counts as biological or physical science? Do you not just pick three subjects in each year of the course and specialise in the fourth year if you want to?
Original post by x.k.z.x
What counts as biological or physical science? Do you not just pick three subjects in each year of the course and specialise in the fourth year if you want to?

From my understanding you choose modules in every year, with a few compulsory in your first year, and then as you advance in years your modules become more specialised.
So generally your first year modules are a lot broader and between subjects, for example material science is kinda chemistry and kinda physics. Those broader modules you're more interested in will fall into one of two categories; biology or physical. And you should know if your more interested in biological or physical sciences
Reply 5
Original post by Ben.biggyy.junk

From my understanding you choose modules in every year, with a few compulsory in your first year, and then as you advance in years your modules become more specialised.
So generally your first year modules are a lot broader and between subjects, for example material science is kinda chemistry and kinda physics. Those broader modules you're more interested in will fall into one of two categories; biology or physical. And you should know if your more interested in biological or physical sciences


Thank you so much but tbh I don’t really know which I fit into, I’m kind of just floating in the middle for now. But thank you so much for your response!
Original post by x.k.z.x
Thank you so much but tbh I don’t really know which I fit into, I’m kind of just floating in the middle for now. But thank you so much for your response!

Happy to help.
What are your more curious about, biological or physical? (I know it might not be a simple answer, but I find it helps people know what they are most intrinsically motivated by)
what did people who got interviews get in the nsaa roughly this year?
Original post by asqwdfrgthjk
what did people who got interviews get in the nsaa roughly this year?

I did terribly to have gotten an interview; maths 3.8, physics 2.5, physics (section 2) 3.9
It's a bit below average, but I did expect that as the style of test isn't a strong point for me.
How did you do?
Original post by Ben.biggyy.junk
I did terribly to have gotten an interview; maths 3.8, physics 2.5, physics (section 2) 3.9
It's a bit below average, but I did expect that as the style of test isn't a strong point for me.
How did you do?

honestly similar to you, 3.8 maths, 4.3 physics, 3.5 phys section 2
i also struggle when it's not questions leading into things tbh, i was panicking throughout the exam
was very unhappy with the results but i have to put that out of my mind rn and focus on my lancaster interview and if i end up getting an interview its great but if not then oh well
If anyone has an interview for phys natsci and would be interested in doing interview practice, could you send me a private message.
(I'm taking a gap year so I don't have a school to practice with)
Reply 11
Original post by Ben.biggyy.junk

Happy to help.
What are your more curious about, biological or physical? (I know it might not be a simple answer, but I find it helps people know what they are most intrinsically motivated by)


I don’t really find an interest in biology right now, I enjoy chemistry more however if I was gonna go down the chemistry route I would need sufficient maths skills and I don’t have that as I am not doing a level maths. So I feel like I should just pick something in between, like pick a broad range of subjects in first year to see what I like and don’t like and then from there I will specialise into what I really want to do. I suppose the physical sciences would best match the description I’m describing- just worried about the maths aspect of it.
Original post by x.k.z.x
I don’t really find an interest in biology right now, I enjoy chemistry more however if I was gonna go down the chemistry route I would need sufficient maths skills and I don’t have that as I am not doing a level maths. So I feel like I should just pick something in between, like pick a broad range of subjects in first year to see what I like and don’t like and then from there I will specialise into what I really want to do. I suppose the physical sciences would best match the description I’m describing- just worried about the maths aspect of it.

Sadly you do need A level maths to study natural sciences at Cambridge: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/natural-sciences
Maths will definitely come up in biology, it'd be less advanced than what is needed for chemistry but it'd still be advanced
Reply 13
Original post by Ben.biggyy.junk

Sadly you do need A level maths to study natural sciences at Cambridge: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/natural-sciences
Maths will definitely come up in biology, it'd be less advanced than what is needed for chemistry but it'd still be advanced


Yeah I saw that, but there is a small chance of having no a level maths to get into Natsci.
Original post by x.k.z.x
Yeah I saw that, but there is a small chance of having no a level maths to get into Natsci.

Ah yes I see that.
I'd go with chemistry then because I think you'd find it easier learning the extra maths for the subject you enjoy more, and in both chemistry and biology you will have to learn a degree of complex maths.
Good luck!
Good luck with your applications folks.

Think you might get more traction on your thread if it wasn’t in the medical schools sub forum.

@normaw might you be able to move it over to the NatSci forum please (or wherever might be most appropriate!)
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by George&Mary44!
Good luck with your applications folks.

Think you might get more traction on your thread if it wasn’t in the medical schools sub forum.

@normaw might you be able to move it over to the NatSci forum please (or wherever might be most appropriate!)

Definitely a good idea, thanks🙏
Reply 17
Original post by Ben.biggyy.junk

Ah yes I see that.
I'd go with chemistry then because I think you'd find it easier learning the extra maths for the subject you enjoy more, and in both chemistry and biology you will have to learn a degree of complex maths.
Good luck!


Thank you very much!
Original post by George&Mary44!
Good luck with your applications folks.

Think you might get more traction on your thread if it wasn’t in the medical schools sub forum.

@normaw might you be able to move it over to the NatSci forum please (or wherever might be most appropriate!)

Thread moved to the Cambridge forum :smile:
Reply 19
Original post by asqwdfrgthjk
what did people who got interviews get in the nsaa roughly this year?

Maths 4.2, Physics 3.7, paper 2 Physics 4.3

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