Selection for interview
Murray Edwards College will usually offer an interview in December to all those applicants from the UK and Europe who have a realistic chance of obtaining an undergraduate place at Cambridge. (Overseas applicants will sometimes be offered an earlier interview at a venue nearer their home.) However, due to the level of competition for places there will be a number of applicants each year who will not be invited for interview. Those invited represent the strongest applicants for that subject in that year. Those not invited include those who have not submitted complete documentation and whose application is therefore invalid.
We consider each application received with care. Each application is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and by an academic in the subject field that the applicant has chosen. We take into account academic record (the results attained and the relevance of the subjects studied), academic references, personal statements and where appropriate specific tests (such as the BMAT for clinical courses). We also consider the educational background of the applicant and the extent of their academic achievement in the context of the overall academic performance of their school.
This policy is consistent with that agreed across all colleges in the University of Cambridge.
Those disadvantaged by illness or other circumstances
The academic record of some very able students will not fully reflect their ability because they have experienced disruption due to illness or home circumstances. Where this is the case we encourage schools to support an application by completing an Extenuating Circumstances Form to explain the nature and likely impact of the difficulty. We review all applications with care and interview those for whom there is reasonable evidence of exceptional academic potential which might merit a place. We take into account the difficulties faced by the student and the strength of the field overall.
Those studying A levels and GCSE
Our standard offer is A*AA (usually in A2 subjects studied concurrently). We would expect module scores at AS level to provide good evidence that this standard is being achieved. In most cases this will mean that in order to be considered for interview applicants should have an average score above 85% in the three subjects most relevant to their chosen course of study. (Many of our applicants have an average in the high 80s or above.)
We normally expect to see several A* grades at GCSE but we are always pleased to consider a few applicants each year who have not performed as strongly at GCSE but who are clearly excelling in A level studies.
Those studying in other qualification systems
We receive a high number of applications from other qualification systems each year. We still take into account all the factors described above in deciding whether to invite for interview. In reviewing the academic record we consider whether the applicant is likely to reach our minimum offer level for that qualification system. We use past exam performance, references and school predictions to inform us. Students whose first language is not English must be able to demonstrate fluency in academic and technical communication (verbal and written).
Those applying for Medicine
Medicine is highly competitive. In order to have a realistic chance of a place at Cambridge, and therefore to be invited for interview, applicants will normally, but not always, score higher than CC in the first two sections of the Bio-Medical Admissions Test (BMAT). If studying GCSEs and A levels they will usually also have a minimum of five A* at GCSE and an average of at least 85% in their three best AS subjects (usually higher).
Updated by HB April 2013