Interviews

There are some mock interviews and videos of current students talking about why they chose Cambridge which are all made by Emmaneul students on this youtube channel.

The interview is often portrayed as the most important and nerve-wracking part of the admissions process, but honestly, it isn't that bad! The interviews are only a part of the information that admissions tutors receive about applicants, and they're looked at alongside your predicted grades, teacher's reports, and your personal statement to assess whether you're right for Cambridge, and whether you could cope with the course.

Secondly, forget all those myths you've heard about interviews, because they're not true. Interviewers simply want to see that you're enthusiastic about your subject; they want to see that you can think about issues analytically and form your own opinions. They can't achieve that by behaving in a crazy manner or trying to freak you out - they understand that most applicants are nervous and they take that into account. So don't stress too much about the interviews.

A little preparation can help you feel more confident and may come in useful - read the newspapers because interviewers may often use current affairs as a starting point in discussion. The interviews aren't there to test your knowledge, they're to test your academic potential and commitment to the subject, so it's also useful to know a little about developments in your subject area.

  • Using all the information they've collected about you, the college will decide whether to offer you a place or not. This decision is based purely on your academic potential, not your personal beliefs, sexuality, religion, or race. They want the people who they consider to be the best academically.
  • You'll probably hear from the college in late December/early January. You may be made an offer, which will probably be in the A*A*A/A*AA range. You may be rejected, in which case you won't be coming here, but you'll end up at another university where you'll be equally happy, or you may be pooled.
  • Pooling occurs when a college which is oversubscribed for a particular subject has an applicant whom they think is able enough for Cambridge, but whom they don't have any space for. Other colleges which may be undersubscribed in that particular subject area can then have a look at you and see if they want to offer you a place. You may be offered a place at an alternative college, or invited for another interview, or you might be rejected.
  • If you're offered a place then congratulations! Now you have to focus on getting those grades!