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Statistics for Natural Sciences Applicants between 2014 and 2016

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Elizabeth Harking

Dear King's College, Cambridge,

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I kindly request some data from you regarding applications to King's College, Cambridge for undergraduate study.

Please could you provide the following data for applicants to Natural Sciences (Biological) for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 application cycles:

- Average UMS in best 3 A Level subjects
- No of A* at GCSE
- Called for Interview
- Interview Score/10
- Whether they were pooled

Yours faithfully,

Elizabeth Harking

King's College, Cambridge

1 Attachment

Dear Elizabeth Harking,


This is in reply to your enquiry received by the College on 18 June and
made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). I can confirm that
the College does hold some information related to your enquiry, but it is
exempt under section 40, personal data. Disclosure would require the
processing of personal data for reasons other than those for which it was
collected, and it is not possible to anonymise the third party data
subjects’ identities if the information which you requested is disclosed.
Therefore, the information is exempt under section 40 of the FOI Act.


We hope the following information will be helpful to you:




At King's, we are looking for promise and potential. So although existing
and predicted grades form a central criterion for admission, as do
interview scores, we are careful to interpret grades and interview results
in light of your personal and educational background. We assess each
application individually. We are interested to learn about your existing
knowledge and skills, but we endeavour also to find out how you would deal
with the new materials and ideas you would encounter at Cambridge. All
candidates are considered strictly on the basis of their academic promise.


During the application process, we look at:

• your academic record, including GCSE and AS (or equivalent) grades and
marks and A level (or equivalent, e.g. IB) grades or predictions, this
record being considered in the context of the quality (but not type) of
schools/colleges at which it was achieved; • your school/college
reference; • your personal statement; • your admissions assessment (taken
at interview) • your performance at interview(s)


With this holistic view you can understand that it is not possible to
predict your chances of success based on predicted grades and/or interview
scores. Our advice is to apply if you look like you can achieve the
standard offer of A*A*A at the end of sixth form.


UMS scores are being phased out with the A level reforms, so not all A
level applicants this year will have UMS scores for each subject. In
recent admissions rounds, the average Cambridge applicant scored about 90
per cent on this measure, while the average successful Cambridge applicant
scored nearer 95 per cent. But please note that both these figures are
only averages – applicants don’t need to have achieved a certain score in
every module and aren’t required to achieve 90 per cent or above in all
modules. There were successful Cambridge applicants who had UMS averages
in their best/most relevant three subjects below 90 per cent.


We read the whole of each application and take all parts of it into
account before deciding which students to invite for interview. As we only
invite students for interview who could potentially be made an offer, it
would be unusual to invite a student predicted less than our standard
offer for Natural Sciences (Biology) that year. The standard offer has
changed over the past four years. For further information you might find
this useful:


[1]http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk.... Please use
the interactive graph generator at the bottom of the page to generate
reports of interest.


We have no set quota for the number of applicants we invite for interview
– we invite all candidates who we could potentially make an offer to after
reading the paper application. In an average year, this is 80-90% of


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


Peter Jones

Freedom of Information Officer

King’s College, Cambridge

Cambridge CB2 1ST


Email: [2][King's College, Cambridge request email]


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