The Pool

The Winter Pool is designed to ensure that the best applicants who have been squeezed out by the competition at their original College are offered places. Colleges would rather admit a strong applicant from the pool than a weaker applicant who applied directly/was allocated to them.

Unfortunately, sometimes we have more good candidates than we have places. The Pool allows other Colleges the chance to look at these applications. Some candidates are then made an offer directly by another College, others are asked to come back to Cambridge for a second set of interviews in early January and others, unfortunately, are not taken and are then rejected. Queens' has a good track record in the Pool - we typically have 30-40 candidates each year who are taken by other Colleges.  Around 20% of all Cambridge offers each year are made through the Pool.

The Winter Pool is designed to ensure that the best applicants who have been squeezed out by the competition at their original College are offered places. Colleges would rather admit a strong applicant from the pool than a weaker applicant who applied directly/was allocated to them.

In a few cases, offer holders who haven’t quite met the conditions of their original offer may still be offered a place following a small ‘summer pool’ that takes place once examination results are released.

For more information read the University's Guide to the Winter Pool.