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Image of Photo of Juliette Thomas and Tim Smith

How I got into Cambridge – students share their tips with school pupils

Students Juliette Thomas (2018) and Tim Smith (2018) have been giving tips to potential applicants at events in Birmingham and Newcastle.

The events are part of the annual Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences series taking place across the UK, at which thousands of Year 12 pupils learn about life at Cambridge and get tips on securing a place from local students already studying at the University.

Juliette, 19, is a former pupil of Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield. She is studying Modern and Medieval Languages and helped at the Conference in Birmingham on Tuesday 19 March.

She said: “When I was at school, I went to the Conference in Birmingham and met loads of people from the area that seemed really normal and didn’t fit the ‘Cambridge stereotype’ I had in my mind.

“My biggest tip for getting into Cambridge is to do as much research as you can. Read both the prospectus and the alternative prospectus, and the University website, and if you have any specific admissions queries, contact Cambridge Admissions Office. Cambridge University Student Union’s (CUSU) website also features an ‘Ask a Student’ email address run by student volunteers.

“Also, don’t believe the myth that Cambridge is more expensive than other universities - there is funding for students that might find themselves in financial difficulty.”

Tim, 18, is a former pupil at Gosforth Academy in Newcastle. He is in his first year studying Maths at Jesus College, and helped at the Newcastle conference on Thursday 21 March.

He said: “I love being at Cambridge – and I want to encourage as many Year 12 students as possible to apply to study here too. I felt at home in Cambridge very quickly; when I got there I discovered there was someone else from Newcastle and someone from Sunderland in the next rooms along from me!

“It is competitive, but that’s part of the fun. There was a point after I’d taken one of the admission tests that I thought I’d blown my chances of getting a place. But even then I felt like applying had still been worthwhile - it’s good to challenge yourself and I actually enjoyed the process.”

The Conferences take place in Edinburgh, Swansea, Birmingham, Aintree, Newcastle, Lisburn and Epsom between 15-28 March. Many schools bring their pupils considerable distances to take part. 

Sessions for students give an overview of courses available at Cambridge, how to make an application, student life and finance, and the interview process. 

At Jesus College, we're committed to encouraging the best students to apply from all schools and backgrounds. We run a range of events for individuals and groups throughout the year, including open days and subject masterclasses. Find out about upcoming open days and more.  

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