Essay Page 26
Cambridge just before the Second World War. He came very close to heading up MI6 and fled to Moscow just before the government found him out.)

The sense of elitism is strong but also subtle. We are led to believe it is privilege to be there and that we only got in because of luck. The Admissions Tutor of the College you apply to (no undergraduate applies to the University itself, only research students do that) makes the decision, and it often depends more on your interview than anything else.

It took me a few days to realise that the "system," at least in Cambridge, was designed to create people who would have no problem interacting with anybohref="/2002/html/2002_multimedia_bernard1.htm" Bank of England, or the President of the United States, or the Queen. You are taught to stand up for what you believe is right. You must

do it with tact, scholarship, diplomacy, humor if possible, but you never shy away. The exams given at Cambridge are called Tripos Exams, and you must do at least two to complete a degree. Most people do a Part I and then a Part II in the same subject, and you do this for three years (unlike America's four). It is possible, if you get permission, to do two Part I exams or - and this is rare - a Part I in one subject and a Part II in another, provided you can prove you can handle it. There are lectures and supervisions (the latter called tutorials at Oxford). The lectures cover numerous subjects directly related to what you are doing. The supervisions are one-on-one sessions of about an hour a week with a supervisor from your college if possible. The supervisor will assign an essay subject, give some guidance about what you may want to read to prepare, and one week later you will sit in front of him and read the essay. Often, as you read, he asks questions about why you made a particular statement.