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The "Are my grades good enough for Maths..." Thread

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    (Original post by around)
    that's par for the course
    Wow really. So I should retake some modules? :/
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    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    What Zuzuzu said.
    Thanks for clearing that up; I was getting worried there.

    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    Very encouraging, thank you. I don't mind the offer lol, mathematically I'm incredible able. I revised 2-3 days before these exams and am expecting 95%+ in all modules bar C3 and C3. But this year however I've already started revision on maths and have self taught FP1 already even though I will have classes in September hehe, I really want to go to Warwick.
    With regards to getting an offer, Warwick give out offers pretty much automatically unless there are any major problems. Cambridge are very competitive so you may find it difficult to get an offer since there will be many other candidates with stronger GCSEs and AS results. Getting 95%+ will work in your favour however. As for the others, look on their websites to see what sorts of things they're looking for. I couldn't tell you much more than what's publicly available out there.

    With regards to grades, make sure that you maintain the A you're on on biology and try and push maths up to A*. With further maths, aim for A/A*. This should help you satisfy the sorts of offers you'll be getting.

    I'll tell you more about Warwick (I currently go there and it's great). They ask you to sit STEP which is a maths exam but with much greater difficulty. If you're able to revise 2-3 days before A-level exams then you certainly won't be able to do this with STEP. If you've already covered FP1 then when your class goes over it again, you'll have extra time which you can use to work on past STEP papers.

    Another way of easing yourself into the increased difficulty of STEP is to do AEA past papers. Even if you don't plan on sitting them, they give an opportunity to experience questions harder than what you get at a-level but not as hard as step.
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    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    Wow really. So I should retake some modules? :/
    You wouldn't be able to get any retakes done in time for submitting your UCAS application, so only do it if you think it would affect your overall grade required for meeting the offers.
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    Thanks a lot for the feedback!
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    posting for a friend:

    Hello, i'm currently thinking about which course to pursue at university. I have been looking at Maths, however i'm very worried I won't get anywhere respected with the UMS marks I've achieved so far. I only scored 83 in C1 and C2, (A in both). After recalling my paper the problem wasn't the answers, which were all correct; due to showing a lack of showing working I missed out on quite a few method marks which was stupid. Seeing as top universities like oxbridge now look at re-sits I don't plan on retaking C1/C2, so does this mean I now won't stand much of a chance in the British "Ivy League" schools?
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    (Original post by Hwaseung)
    posting for a friend:

    Hello, i'm currently thinking about which course to pursue at university. I have been looking at Maths, however i'm very worried I won't get anywhere respected with the UMS marks I've achieved so far. I only scored 83 in C1 and C2, (A in both). After recalling my paper the problem wasn't the answers, which were all correct; due to showing a lack of showing working I missed out on quite a few method marks which was stupid. Seeing as top universities like oxbridge now look at re-sits I don't plan on retaking C1/C2, so does this mean I now won't stand much of a chance in the British "Ivy League" schools?
    If they're looking at doing maths at uni then your friend will really need to focus on learning how to set out workings clearly, since the focus shifts towards proof-style questions where the workings are a lot more important than the final answer. Also, they may find the later modules harder so they can't afford to lose marks for this reason (just one or two more wrong questions could slip them below the borderline between A and B).

    However, you don't put UMS marks on the UCAS form; you just put grades. So from the university's point of view, your friend got an A at AS and, as long as they're predicted that for A2 and have similar grades for other subjects, they'll certainly be in a position to apply to the top universities. I know Cambridge do ask for the UMS marks (there might be some other places that do this as well I'm not sure) but usually, it's the grades that count. Tell your friend to have a look through the entry requirements of the universities they're considering to see if they feel capable of meeting them.
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    (Original post by ttoby)
    If they're looking at doing maths at uni then your friend will really need to focus on learning how to set out workings clearly, since the focus shifts towards proof-style questions where the workings are a lot more important than the final answer. Also, they may find the later modules harder so they can't afford to lose marks for this reason (just one or two more wrong questions could slip them below the borderline between A and B).

    However, you don't put UMS marks on the UCAS form; you just put grades. So from the university's point of view, your friend got an A at AS and, as long as they're predicted that for A2 and have similar grades for other subjects, they'll certainly be in a position to apply to the top universities. I know Cambridge do ask for the UMS marks (there might be some other places that do this as well I'm not sure) but usually, it's the grades that count. Tell your friend to have a look through the entry requirements of the universities they're considering to see if they feel capable of meeting them.
    Thanks for the reply, i'll pass it on. He's really confident in his mathematical ability, as he should be since he's amazing at maths (his dad is a teacher)...I suppose he just got unlucky. I'll tell him to find a list of uni's that ask for UMS marks.

    thanks again.
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    (Original post by Hwaseung)
    posting for a friend:

    Hello, i'm currently thinking about which course to pursue at university. I have been looking at Maths, however i'm very worried I won't get anywhere respected with the UMS marks I've achieved so far. I only scored 83 in C1 and C2, (A in both). After recalling my paper the problem wasn't the answers, which were all correct; due to showing a lack of showing working I missed out on quite a few method marks which was stupid. Seeing as top universities like oxbridge now look at re-sits I don't plan on retaking C1/C2, so does this mean I now won't stand much of a chance in the British "Ivy League" schools?
    Do they look at January retakes?!
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    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    Do they look at January retakes?!
    Cambridge, yeah. Everywhere else, no.
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    (Original post by Zuzuzu)
    Cambridge, yeah. Everywhere else, no.
    Oh sh*t, I did not know that. So I retook M1 and C2 from Jan getting an A and E respectively. If I got 95% in those modules this time around, what would they think? Negative thoughts? Lol.
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    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    Oh sh*t, I did not know that. So I retook M1 and C2 from Jan getting an A and E respectively. If I got 95% in those modules this time around, what would they think? Negative thoughts? Lol.
    Can't say really. I had resat M1 (77) and D1 (77) to 100 and 81 when I applied and it did me no harm, but obviously that's just one isolated case and tells you nothing.
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    (Original post by Zuzuzu)
    Can't say really. I had resat M1 (77) and D1 (77) to 100 and 81 when I applied and it did me no harm, but obviously that's just one isolated case and tells you nothing.
    Hmmm, interesting. And what uni do you attend now may I ask?
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    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    Hmmm, interesting. And what uni do you attend now may I ask?
    Still waiting for my a-level and STEP results. Either Cambridge or UCL.
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    From various anecdotal stories, it's clear there's no "unified Cambridge policy" on retakes.

    I'm not entirely clear what Aristotle has taken when, but to be honest, if they notice it, an E in a pure module is not going to look good at all. An E on a retake is even worse. In that position, I think I'd be looking for an excuse along the lines of "I didn't know I'd been entered for the exam; the first I knew of it was when an invigilator came to pull me out of a class. Only ended up with 30 minutes to do the paper".
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    From various anecdotal stories, it's clear there's no "unified Cambridge policy" on retakes.

    I'm not entirely clear what Aristotle has taken when, but to be honest, if they notice it, an E in a pure module is not going to look good at all. An E on a retake is even worse. In that position, I think I'd be looking for an excuse along the lines of "I didn't know I'd been entered for the exam; the first I knew of it was when an invigilator came to pull me out of a class. Only ended up with 30 minutes to do the paper".
    Let me clear it up then. January my exams; M1, C1, C2. Results; M1; E 46 C1; A 90 C2; A 84. I retook M1 and C2, M1 was due to a terrible teacher. C2 I retook because I was expecting 95%+ and just had a bad day. This summer though I'm expecting 95%+ on both. I definitely won't be getting an E on a retake. Will I still need an acceptable excuse. I can't exactly say 'my teacher can't really do maths'. Which by the way, is 100% true. I had to self teach C4.
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    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    Let me clear it up then. January my exams; M1, C1, C2. Results; M1; E 46 C1; A 90 C2; A 84. I retook M1 and C2, M1 was due to a terrible teacher. C2 I retook because I was expecting 95%+ and just had a bad day. This summer though I'm expecting 95%+ on both. I definitely won't be getting an E on a retake. Will I still need an acceptable excuse. I can't exactly say 'my teacher can't really do maths'. Which by the way, is 100% true. I had to self teach C4.
    Things may have changed since my day, but when I applied I'd say there were a lot of people who basically felt "if you're good at maths and take an A-level exam, you should get an A - there are no excuses". Not everyone had that view, but many did.

    So I would certainly want to have an excuse ready in your situation. I'd probably say something like "My school got the scheduling horribly wrong and we covered the last half of the material in the week before the exam" (and then if asked questions about why you hadn't gone over it by yourself, say you'd trusted that the teacher knew what they were doing).
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Things may have changed since my day, but when I applied I'd say there were a lot of people who basically felt "if you're good at maths and take an A-level exam, you should get an A - there are no excuses". Not everyone had that view, but many did.

    So I would certainly want to have an excuse ready in your situation. I'd probably say something like "My school got the scheduling horribly wrong and we covered the last half of the material in the week before the exam" (and then if asked questions about why you hadn't gone over it by yourself, say you'd trusted that the teacher knew what they were doing).
    :O But I am good at maths. Surely if I get an A/A* this year for the full A level since I'm doing it like that, it will prove I'm capable and my January flop was just a minor blip?
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    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    :O But I am good at maths. Surely if I get an A/A* this year for the full A level since I'm doing it like that, it will prove I'm capable and my January flop was just a minor blip?
    Ideally, you should be getting an A* rather than an A in maths. I looked at the admissions criteria for Cambridge and although it doesn't actually say they ask for an A* in maths, I would expect that they would admit very few, if any people with just an A. So if you did get an A then that would effectively rule out Cambridge. For Warwick, since I know you asked about it, the standard offers for maths and MORSE require an A* in maths as well. I know the offers might change but as it looks, if you did get an A then you would need to rethink your university choices. Although thinking about it, Warwick might accept retakes to bring the mark up but I'm not really sure.

    If you get an A*, then that's fine you're on the right track. Warwick most likely wouldn't care about the E (if they even see it at all), except perhaps if you were in the situation of being a few marks off meeting your offer. Then they would look at individual exam results if there are a few extra spaces on the course to be filled. I'm not sure about MORSE though. With Cambridge, it's pretty much the standard for people to have or be predicted A* in maths. So due to the competitiveness of the course, they will be looking at other things to differentiate the candidates.
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    (Original post by ttoby)
    Ideally, you should be getting an A* rather than an A in maths. I looked at the admissions criteria for Cambridge and although it doesn't actually say they ask for an A* in maths, I would expect that they would admit very few, if any people with just an A. So if you did get an A then that would effectively rule out Cambridge. For Warwick, since I know you asked about it, the standard offers for maths and MORSE require an A* in maths as well. I know the offers might change but as it looks, if you did get an A then you would need to rethink your university choices. Although thinking about it, Warwick might accept retakes to bring the mark up but I'm not really sure.

    If you get an A*, then that's fine you're on the right track. Warwick most likely wouldn't care about the E (if they even see it at all), except perhaps if you were in the situation of being a few marks off meeting your offer. Then they would look at individual exam results if there are a few extra spaces on the course to be filled. I'm not sure about MORSE though. With Cambridge, it's pretty much the standard for people to have or be predicted A* in maths. So due to the competitiveness of the course, they will be looking at other things to differentiate the candidates.
    I agree, but one minor point, most places asking for a single A* don't specify whether it has to be in maths or further maths. Certainly, Cambridge, UCL and Durham don't - whether you'd get an offer from Cambridge without an A* would be as you say, unexpected, though.
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    (Original post by ttoby)
    Ideally, you should be getting an A* rather than an A in maths. I looked at the admissions criteria for Cambridge and although it doesn't actually say they ask for an A* in maths, I would expect that they would admit very few, if any people with just an A. So if you did get an A then that would effectively rule out Cambridge. For Warwick, since I know you asked about it, the standard offers for maths and MORSE require an A* in maths as well. I know the offers might change but as it looks, if you did get an A then you would need to rethink your university choices. Although thinking about it, Warwick might accept retakes to bring the mark up but I'm not really sure.

    If you get an A*, then that's fine you're on the right track. Warwick most likely wouldn't care about the E (if they even see it at all), except perhaps if you were in the situation of being a few marks off meeting your offer. Then they would look at individual exam results if there are a few extra spaces on the course to be filled. I'm not sure about MORSE though. With Cambridge, it's pretty much the standard for people to have or be predicted A* in maths. So due to the competitiveness of the course, they will be looking at other things to differentiate the candidates.
    If I don't get it this year though, I'll definitely be predicted it next year. Surely that will count?

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