Process to Shortlist Candidates for Computer Science

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Dear King's College, Cambridge,

Could you describe the process that is taken to shortlist candidates for interview for Computer Science at this college? For example, is some weighted average taken of certain metrics, e.g. the proportion of GCSEs at A*, predicted A level grades, or pre-interview assessment results, by which candidates are then ranked? Is there a cutoff score above which candidates are automatically recommended for interview?

Thank you very much for your time.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

King's College, Cambridge

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Dear John Smith,
This is in reply to your enquiry received by the College on 09/03/2021 and
made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). I can confirm that
the College does hold some information related to your request. Please see
the following response from the admissions team:
There is no cut-off score for the pre-interview assessment that guarantees
an interview. We do not have a weighting system by which certain parts of
the application are weighed up against each other. 
At King's, we are looking for promise and potential. So although existing
and predicted grades form a central criterion for admission, we are
careful to interpret grades in light of an applicant's personal and
educational background. We assess each application individually. We are
interested to learn about existing knowledge and skills, but we endeavour
also to find out how an applicant would deal with the new materials and
ideas they would encounter at Cambridge. All candidates are considered
strictly on the basis of their academic promise.
During the application process, we look at:
•       academic record, including GCSE and AS (or equivalent) grades and
marks and A level (or equivalent) grades or predictions, this record being
considered in the context of the quality (but not type) of
schools/colleges at which it was achieved;
•       school/college reference;
•       personal statement;
•       submitted work (if relevant);
•       admissions assessment (if required for the subject)
•       performance at interview(s) (if invited)
With this holistic view it is not possible to predict chances of success
based on grades alone. Every year we make offers to some students who did
not achieve as highly in GCSE/AS exams as others who end up being
unsuccessful. So our advice is to apply if a candidate looks like they can
achieve the typical offer at the end of sixth form.
If you have further questions please ask me in the first instance. I
attach a leaflet outlining the College's FOI Act policies and procedures.
If, after following those procedures you are still not satisfied with the
way in which your request has been dealt with you may apply directly to
the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Commissioner
will not entertain your complaint unless you have exhausted any relevant
internal review procedures.
Yours sincerely
Peter Jones
FOI officer, King's College, Cambridge
[King's College, Cambridge request email]

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