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Cambridge Colleges and Offer Rates

HinatazakaHinatazaka 7 replies7 threadsRegistered User New Member
I chacked statistical data of Cambridge Undergraduate Study and noticed there is big defference in offer rate by colleges.
I am intending to apply for Cambridge by open application, but I am wondering if there exists easiest college to get offer.
(Of course, I know all colleges are highly competitive enough to enter)
Is it effective for applicants to choose one of these colleges statistically?
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Replies to: Cambridge Colleges and Offer Rates

  • Twoin18Twoin18 1599 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes, some colleges are (much) less popular than others, so picking one of these can make sense at the margins, though pooling is designed to offset popularity. Nevertheless, less popular colleges are often (though not always) slightly less strong and therefore might be marginally easier to get into. I would certainly pick a college you like rather than doing an open application.

    Factors impacting popularity include distance from town (eg Girton, Fitzwilliam), age (eg Robinson) and current/former women’s colleges (Newnham, Murray Edwards and Girton) as well as wealth, particularly where that correlates with less housing provision.
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  • HinatazakaHinatazaka 7 replies7 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you for your reply.

    In fact, I am an international prospective student from Asia and about to apply for Cambridge after one year completion of BA degree in my home country in order to meet the entry requirement.

    Therefore, although I do not apply as mature students, I am already 20 years old.
    I know there are four mature colleges.

    Thus, it would be greatly appreciated if you could explain suitable colleges in terms of policies of colleges and statistical data.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6731 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Hinatazaka, admissions stats are available, year by year (by college & course) on Cambridge's website:


    You can search by subject and by college*. If you want to be really thorough, you could download the last 10 years (links are on the website), build an Excel spreadsheet and track the trends. You will see that even the # of applications to a given college can fluctuate a good bit year on year (you can imagine what happened to the number of applications to Worcester college at Oxford when it emerged that Emma Watson would be going there, or Edinburgh with Prince William), but even without high profile students school applications are variable. As @Twoin18 pointed out there are some personal preferences that attract applicants, such as a desire for an older/more traditional v a newer/more modern environment, but outreach programs by individual colleges can affect applicant numbers as well.

    Or, you could take it from an Admissions tutor at Peterhouse:

    "No matter how much we stress the point, people still try and game the system. If you are trying to do this remember that there are hundreds of others just like you trying to play the same games and that application numbers fluctuate a lot between years - changes by over a third are not uncommon. Some of the colleges with the highest pre-interview rejection rates are those with reputations of being 'easier' to get into - unacceptable applicants are unacceptable regardless of which college they apply to, just as strong applicants can be seen as strong regardless of college."

    (emphasis added)

    You can also look at the relative rankings over 10 years of Cambridge colleges on the (now sadly defunct) Tompkins Table:


    While you will see that certain colleges (such as Trinity, Emmanuel, Christ, G&C are usually in the single digits (ie, highly ranked) and certain others are usually in the high double digits, most of them ping around a *lot* year to year. It can also matter the subject: Trinity is famously strong at Math, for example.

    tl;dr: apply Open or apply at the College that takes your fancy (I assume you have found this: https://thetab.com/uk/cambridge/2017/09/28/the-tabs-comprehensive-guide-to-the-cambridge-colleges-97976, but there are other less colorful examples!)

    * ignore the 'maintained' category on the Cambridge stats pages- that's a reference to type of UK school the applicant goes to
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