We are delighted that you have an offer of a place to read biological sciences here at Downing from October. Once you have received your exam results, you may want to think about making some preparation before you start your course at Cambridge. This may well ease your workload during term.

As it indicates on the official website for the Natural Sciences Tripos, there is no pre-requisite preparatory reading that needs to be done. However, the website does list some texts that might be useful introductions to some of the subjects. These range from the foundation textbooks (Molecular Biology of the Cell) to more ‘light’ reading. Rather than the available couple of months, it would probably take a good year to read everything suggested! However, you may want to browse some of these to help you in making your selections of courses.

You will shortly be receiving information on the University's 'STEM Start' course, which will provide key content revision for your subjects this year, in addition to providing advice and activities relevant to study skills more generally. We will also contact you with a date to meet to introduce ourselves as your Directors of Studies, and to discuss your options for your first-year papers. 

The Natural Sciences Tripos website has other useful information and is worth browsing. Please do also look at the information about the different IA courses as, although you do not have to make a final decision on your subject choices until you are actually here in Cambridge, it is obviously important to think about it and to have got any relevant information.  We will be asking you for your provisional options, or best guess at what you'd like to take, during September.  We will be in touch about this via email soon, and we can offer advice if you need it.

The months between completing your examinations, receiving your grades and, hopefully, coming to Cambridge are going to slip away all too quickly, and we look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.

Marta Correia, Neda Farahi, Amy Milton and Dee Scadden.