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Applying to Oxford and Cambridge Tayma Cannon, University of Cambridge.

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1 Applying to Oxford and Cambridge Tayma Cannon, University of Cambridge

2 The application process Choose course and College UCAS application (Cambridge Special Access Scheme) Submit by 15 October Result of application Choose ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ choices Exam results/ confirmation Written work / tests Start university Complete online SAQ (Cambridge) Interview

3 The Universities and the Colleges Role of the Universities Decide on course content Organise lectures, seminars, classes, practicals Set and mark examinations Award degrees Role of the Colleges Admit undergraduate students Organise tutorials (Oxford) / supervisions (Cambridge) Responsible for academic and pastoral care Provide accommodation and places to eat Collegiate universities:

4 Choosing a College Differ in terms of: Accommodation Appearance Facilities Location Size (number of students) Research Open application route 30 (Oxford) / 29 (Cambridge) Undergraduate Colleges

5 Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) (Cambridge only) Used to collect information not on the UCAS application Ensures consistent information about all our applicants Completed online, in multiple sessions if you want

6 What are we looking for? Applicants who have: chosen a subject that truly engages them complimentary interests and aptitude for our courses and teaching methods a strong record in examinations an excellent school/college reference the potential to succeed at the highest academic level vocational commitment (where appropriate)

7 Information used in selection We treat each applicant as an individual Academic record (e.g. GCSEs, AS and A Levels) School or college reference Personal statement Submitted written work (where requested) Test results (where applicable) Performance at interview

8 Subject Matters Cambridge: ’essential’, ‘highly desirable’, ‘desirable’ and ‘useful’ A Level subjects for some of our courses. Oxford: ‘essential’, ‘highly recommended’ and ‘helpful’. These subjects include: Chemistry, English Literature, History, Languages, Music, Mathematics and Physics. Other subjects that also facilitate course choice include Further Mathematics and Biology. Please see Undergraduate Prospectus for further guidance.

9 School/college reference and personal statement School/college reference How do we use them? Why are they useful/important? Personal statement How do we use them? What should they include?

10 Admissions tests Cambridge Bio-Medical Admissions Test (BMAT) Cambridge Law Test Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) College tests Oxford BMAT / UKCAT LNAT TSA Aptitude Test for Maths and Computer Science English Literature Aptitude Test (ELAT) Classics Language Aptitude Test Linguistics Aptitude Test History Aptitude Test (HAT) Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) Tests at interview for some subjects

11 Why interview? What are interviewers looking for? Your academic ability and potential to thrive at Cambridge Your self-motivation, commitment and passion for your chosen subject Your ability to think independently and critically No trick questions!

12 What happens at interview? Format What will I be asked about? Focused and challenging questions, typical of teaching and learning at Cambridge/Oxford New approaches to existing knowledge and problem-solving questions After Interview 1.Successful application 2.Unsuccessful application 3.Application placed in the ‘pool’

13 Outcome One applicant in four receives an offer, but … Every year more than 10,000 unsuccessful applicants go on to achieve three or more A grades at A level We would take more applicants if there were places available Competition is tough and our decisions are very difficult to make Not receiving an offer is not the end of the world!

14 What we have to offer Challenging, stimulating courses Top-rated teaching by top-rated lecturers Unique system featuring extensive small group teaching Superb facilities and unparalleled levels of student support

15 Academic life Tutorials / supervisions At least one per week One tutor + usually two students Exams: end of year, rather than termly Degree classification based on exams

16 Welfare and support Academic Pastoral Bursary Schemes Students supporting students University Counselling Services Disability Resource Centre (DRC)

17 Student life College community Cambridge University Students’ Union – CUSU Nightlife College and University societies Sport at every level Music and drama

18 Applicant Toolkit (

19 Information of teachers, tutors, HE advisers E-Newsletter

20 Information of teachers, tutors, HE advisers

21 Forthcoming Events Cambridge Teachers’ Conference, 3-5 April 2011 HE Advisers’ Conference,12-13 September 2011 Oxford Oxford Regional Teachers‘ Conferences 2011, June- July 2011

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