Applying to Cambridge
Frequently asked questions What’s the most important part of my application? Every application is assessed holistically – Admissions Tutors consider all of the information available (see p7) together before making any decisions. While the most recent exam results carry the greatest weight, the relative importance of each element varies because each student is different. No part of an application is considered in isolation; for example, a student’s performance at interview alone doesn’t determine the outcome of their application. What extra-curricular activities will help my chances of admission? As our admissions decisions are based on academic criteria (ability and potential), your participation (or not) in specific extra-curricular activities isn’t taken into account (unless it’s relevant to the course you’re applying for) and doesn’t affect your chances of being made an offer of a place at Cambridge. However, when composing your personal statement you should consider the importance that your other university choices may place on extra-curricular activities. What work experience do I need to have? Work experience isn’t expected or required. However, for vocational courses, such as Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, having some relevant work experience is useful and recommended. It demonstrates commitment to your intended career and gives you the opportunity to acquire greater understanding of the realities and pressures associated with that career.
What’s the University’s position on exam resits? We appreciate that even very capable students may have a ‘bad day’ when an exam doesn’t go quite to plan. While it’s now less common to be able to resit exams, if you have/had the opportunity your application is unlikely to be adversely affected by resitting one or two modules. However, there would be concern if you needed to resit numerous exams, particularly where only a marginal improvement could be achieved. I go to a state/private school – will this disadvantage my application? No. The University and its Colleges are committed to offering admission to students of the highest intellectual ability and potential, regardless of background (www.cam.ac.uk/admissionspolicy/). We don’t discriminate for or against applicants because of the type of school they attend, and research shows that students from different educational backgrounds do equally well at Cambridge. Can I take a gap year? About one in 10 students coming to Cambridge takes a gap year. You should state your intention to defer entry in your UCAS application and be prepared to talk about your proposed year out at interview. Please also refer to the specific course pages if you’re considering applying for Engineering (p58), Mathematics (p78) or the Graduate Course in Medicine (p83).
University of Cambridge Undergraduate Prospectus 2016 Entry