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Odd Cambridge offer (?)

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    I hold an offer for Law at Cambridge, entry 2013 (deferred).

    My offer is A*A*ABB in no particular order for the subjects History, English, Government and Politics, Maths, and French.

    I know it's not standard to receive offers on the basis of five A-Levels, which would probably account for the two Bs.

    The two A*s surprised me, though, as I've only ever seen offers demanding a single A*. Has anyone else had a similar offer in any subject for entry 2012 or 2013?

    I've thought of two possible reasons for the two A*s;

    (1. It might be standard practice for Cambridge offers from 2013, given reports of grade inflation,

    (2. I was a weaker candidate amongst those given offers, and the stringent offer reflects this.

    The latter explanation seems much more credible, but I'd be grateful to hear any other people's ideas.
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    Many offers have 2 A*s, a single A* just tends to be the typical offer.

    It may also be a result of your college choice. e.g. Churchill gives A*A*A law offers.
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    A*A*A was pretty common last year for law at some colleges I think. As above, Churchill I remember in particular doing this.
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    A*AA is the standard offer, but Cambridge can offer you whatever they want. You seem to have a pretty tough offer, but Cambridge wouldn't've given you an offer if they didn't think you could make it Good luck!
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    Cambridge can offer more than A*AA. They may do this if they think you have the potential to do well but aren't 100% sure of it: the idea, I think, is that if you will do well, you'll fulfill your potential and meet the offer and they were thus right to give you an offer. If you don't make it, they were wrong about your potential so good thing they don't have to take you on.

    I know my college has, in the past, given out A*A*A* offers for some subjects to candidates they weren't 100% sure about.

    (If it makes you feel better, a friend of mine worked out that he was given the hardest offer out of the 8 of us who got in for law that year. He then went on to consistently come in the top 5 of the year and has won 3 university prizes)
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    (Original post by mororge)
    I hold an offer for Law at Cambridge, entry 2013 (deferred).

    My offer is A*A*ABB in no particular order for the subjects History, English, Government and Politics, Maths, and French.

    I know it's not standard to receive offers on the basis of five A-Levels, which would probably account for the two Bs.

    The two A*s surprised me, though, as I've only ever seen offers demanding a single A*. Has anyone else had a similar offer in any subject for entry 2012 or 2013?

    I've thought of two possible reasons for the two A*s;

    (1. It might be standard practice for Cambridge offers from 2013, given reports of grade inflation,

    (2. I was a weaker candidate amongst those given offers, and the stringent offer reflects this.

    The latter explanation seems much more credible, but I'd be grateful to hear any other people's ideas.
    That's quite a heavy offer - not just the two A* grades but the insistence that you maintain five A Levels and get at least a B in each (that said, check your UMS because you may effectively just have to turn up for the last two if the maths works out, given that it's 280/400 for a B and you could potentially have up to 200 already, so it's unlikely that this'll be a binding constraint if you got good grades in all five)

    I'd definitely suggest the second of the two explanations - an A*A*A standard offer would scare off too many potentially good but unconfident candidates (many of whom will come from under-represented groups), though the university's evidence suggests that those getting A*A*A are much likely to do better at Tripos than those getting A*AA (in arts subjects at least - the tipping point for sciences is A*A*A*). But you have an offer now, so there's no point stressing about your position within the field. You just have to try and make it... Good luck.
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    A few years ago Newnham were offering 90%+ in every single exam the student was taking. far harsher than a simple A*

    If there's a lot of competition for places, or your DOS isn't entirely sure about some applicants they may give out higher offers, its completely up to them.
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    My friend has an A*A*A*A offer for Classics. (Including the one A* already achieved)
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    (Original post by emmaaa88)
    My friend has an A*A*A*A offer for Classics. (Including the one A* already achieved)
    In which case that would be an A*A*A offer then, surely? (normally grades that are already completed aren't quoted as part of the offer, or at least that's the convention on here). That said, that's still quite steep, especially for Classics.
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    (Original post by didgeridoo12uk)
    A few years ago Newnham were offering 90%+ in every single exam the student was taking. far harsher than a simple A*
    I'm sure you have to get 90% in every AS and A level exam to get an A* anyway?
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    (Original post by laura1234)
    I'm sure you have to get 90% in every AS and A level exam to get an A* anyway?
    You need to average over 90% over A2, and get 80%+ over the whole A level. Can get an A* with getting only 1 exam over 90%.
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    (Original post by laura1234)
    I'm sure you have to get 90% in every AS and A level exam to get an A* anyway?
    nah i thought you only had to get an A at AS and it was only the A2 grades that had to be 90%+

    and i vaguely remember in maths it was only the core modules you had to get 90%+ on....

    i did a'levels yeeeears ago though so not really sure how any of it works for sure
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    (Original post by lp386)
    In which case that would be an A*A*A offer then, surely? (normally grades that are already completed aren't quoted as part of the offer, or at least that's the convention on here). That said, that's still quite steep, especially for Classics.
    Yeah you're right, I still think it's mean they didn't include it though and give her an A*A offer instead So if she gets in she will have to have achieved, overall, A*A*A*A or greater.
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    (Original post by didgeridoo12uk)
    nah i thought you only had to get an A at AS and it was only the A2 grades that had to be 90%+

    and i vaguely remember in maths it was only the core modules you had to get 90%+ on....

    i did a'levels yeeeears ago though so not really sure how any of it works for sure
    I'm pretty sure you don't even need an A at AS, just 80%+ over the whole A level.
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    (Original post by emmaaa88)
    Yeah you're right, I still think it's mean they didn't include it though and give her an A*A offer instead So if she gets in she will have to have achieved, overall, A*A*A*A or greater.
    There's two reasons they'd do this:
    1) to show you can deal with the workload of three A Levels and still achieve at a high level.
    2) to stop you ditching the third subject and just working hard for the first two.

    Hence the offer being made on three grades rather than two - they don't just want to see that you can achieve to an A* standard, they want to see that you can balance three (or more) at the same time, since the workload at Cambridge will be far higher.
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    They also might really like you - they know you've applied to other unis with high offers, and many people pick their firm and insurance in grade order. Unis don't want to be your firm, so by giving a high offer they can guarantee they'll be your firm.
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    (Original post by emmaaa88)
    My friend has an A*A*A*A offer for Classics. (Including the one A* already achieved)
    Someone else I know who wants to do engineering has an A*A*AA and 1 in STEP I, with the A*'s in Maths and Physics.

    Pretty harsh I'd say
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    I had A*A*AAA, all subject specific, last year for non-camb; however Cambridge don't typically give out heavy full-A-level offers

    Churchill are probably the most demanding of the bunch, and I'm sure they give out a few 5 A-level offers these days here and there
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    I got A*A*A*A*A as an offer in specific subjects, which makes it 4A*s and 1 A in all.
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    lool

    Oxford offer

    I got A* maths in y12

    Normal e and m offer is AAA

    My Offer: AA

    Cambridge are just pure evil

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