Thank you to the students from Durham are who recently visited King's. In one of the sessions we asked you to write down some of your questions and concerns so that we could answer them here - we're sure there will be lots of prospective students who are thinking about exactly the same things!
Several of you brought the personal statement on your UCAS application up. Personal statements give you the chance to tell us about your subject interest(s), and the process of writing a personal statement can often help you to better understand your academic interests and intellectual motivations. We advise you to follow the UCAS advice about what to include in your personal statement, so it is a good idea to look at their FAQ's.
At Cambridge, all admissions decisions are based solely on academic criteria (ability and potential). Therefore, in your personal statement, we’d like you to:
• explain your reasons for wanting to study the subject at university
• demonstrate enthusiasm for and commitment to your chosen course
• express any particular interests within the ﬁeld
• outline how you’ve pursued your subject interest in their own time
This information is often used as a basis for discussion at interview, but there is no guarantee that this will happen and we also don't give score personal statements. (You can also look at our FAQs for this.)
The course you would like to study is definitely the most important thing to consider when thinking about University. If you want to know what a specific course is like at Cambridge in general you should have a look at the course structure on the relevant faculty page and reading student perspectives can also be a great way to get a more personal insight.
Does Cambridge have to be my firm choice or can I use it as my insurance?
You can of course put Cambridge as your insurance, if you want to. We're just like any other University in that regard. Your firm choice is your preferred university and course and this does not need to be Cambridge. The required grades for your firm choice are usually higher than your insurance choice.
You choose an insurance choice as a back-up choice in case you don't meet the grades for your firm choice.
How much better is having 4 A levels compared to having 3 A levels?
At Cambridge, we standardly make offers on 3 A levels. If a student wants to take an extra A level and is happy with the workload involved, than we have no objections to this. But it does not confer an advantage. We encourage our applicants to perform strongly in their chosen subjects rather than pursue more subjects and perform less well in them. See the information about developing your interests. Remember that we do not make offers on A level General Studies or Critical Thinking.
More questions? They can be specific or general. Please don't hesitate to email us!