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The Big "Are My Grades Good Enough for Cambridge?" Thread (Mk1)

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    I'm offended haha it is legitimate. And yes I have a certificate to show it was top in the world - thank you to the guy that actually offered constructive advice on reading around subjects. I do 12 a levels Ncea is not legal by law; particularly in private schools which are completely exempt. Ncea is regarded as sub par in comparison to the breadth, depth and academic rigor of the a level system.
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    (Original post by ALittleWayAway)
    I have a certificate
    pics or gtfo




    kidding, fair play to you if you're not indeed trolling. your academics are above and beyond what most UK applicants will have and, although i can't speak on behalf of people from other countries, i'd be amazed if most other international applicants had the same level of academic merit as you. best thing you can do now is read around your subject (incidentally, i don't think you've told us what it is you wish to apply for...?).
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    (Original post by ALittleWayAway)
    I'm offended haha it is legitimate. And yes I have a certificate to show it was top in the world - thank you to the guy that actually offered constructive advice on reading around subjects. I do 12 a levels Ncea is not legal by law; particularly in private schools which are completely exempt. Ncea is regarded as sub par in comparison to the breadth, depth and academic rigor of the a level system.
    Even in private education, the country's standard qualification is often favoured over any other, mainly because it is unusual to look to go abroad for tertiary education. And normally if people do look to do that they will do some form of the Baccalaureate.
    (Original post by ALittleWayAway)
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Hi guys and girls!

    I am a student from New Zealand looking to apply to Oxford or Cambridge (leaning towards Cambridge)

    Just want some feedback on my academics, other areas like extra curriculars are strong (DoE Gold etc)


    Cambridge:

    IGCSE English Language A* 97% (1st in World) [completed in y10]
    IGCSE English Literature A* 100%
    IGCSE Biology A* 100%
    IGCSE Chemistry A* 100%
    IGCSE Physics A* 100%
    IGCSE French A* 99%
    IGCSE Mathematics A* 98% [completed in year 10]
    AS Mathematics A 97%
    AS Thinking Skills A 100%
    AS Biology - A (90%)
    AS Chemistry - A (90%)
    AS Physics - A (91%)
    AS English Language - A (97%) (Top in New Zealand)
    AS English Literature -A (98%)
    AS Economics - A (93%)
    AS French - A (85%) Distinction in Speaking
    A2 Mathematics -A* (92%) (completed in year 12)
    A2 Thinking Skills -A* (93%) (completed in year 12)

    Cambridge Subjects for 2012

    A2 Biology
    A2 Chemistry
    A2 Physics
    A2 Economics
    A2 Further Mathematics
    A2 English Literature
    A2 French
    AS General Studies
    AS Global Perspectives
    AS Business Studies
    A2 Business Studies

    Notable Cambridge Achievements

    First in World IGCSE English Language (2009) -97%
    First in New Zealand AS English Language (2011)- 97%
    Top in New Zealand award across 5 AS levels (2nd - 2011)

    I heard its extremely competitive, what kind of chance do I have?

    Cheers!
    Reading this again, are you taking A levels over 3 or 4 years? Most UK students here are either: in the AS year (year 12 = 16/17yo) and about to finish AS or in the A2 year (year 13 =17/18) about to finish all their A levels.

    You took 2 GCSEs in 2009, the rest in 2010. Assuming you aren't doing the ncea, you would then have immediately started A levels. But it's 2012 now and you're talking about finishing the subjects next year, that's 3 or 4 years. Doing 12 A levels over 4 years is somewhat believable, although it is a very, very odd decision. Cambridge, and most UK universities will only care about performance in 3, maybe 4, of those subjects.

    The equivalent student in the UK would have already applied to universities by your age (you are y13), so that is somewhat believable.

    It doesn't really matter if you are lying or not, I think you are lying about at least some aspects of what you've put down. If everything is true then you don't have to worry.

    There are people who apply with similar records to that. However, those people normally do not bother with extra circulars. Those people also rarely bother visiting open internet forums. Those people rarely ask stupid, or redundant questions. You supposedly have achieved the top grade in everything you've done, how can you possibly be worried about not having done well enough academically?
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    You don't understand the NZ college system.

    College has 5 years 9-13
    Year 9 - Prep
    Year 10 - Prep for most, IGCSE for accelerated classes in 2 subjects
    Year 11 - IG
    Year 12 - AS (accelerated may do some a2)
    Year 13 - A2

    I am not trolling and I would not waste my time if I didn't have a legitimate reason to query the pertinence of my marks in the grand scheme of oxbridge admissions. I do extra curriculars because I love them and they are needed for the Ivy League, and a lot of a levels, because I love academia and its a diffrentiating point above and beyond the truck load of 4 A level A people, and if I can handle them all, why not do them?

    Just for clarification
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    (Original post by ALittleWayAway)
    You don't understand the NZ college system.

    College has 5 years 9-13
    Year 9 - Prep
    Year 10 - Prep for most, IGCSE for accelerated classes in 2 subjects
    Year 11 - IG
    Year 12 - AS (accelerated may do some a2)
    Year 13 - A2

    I am not trolling and I would not waste my time if I didn't have a legitimate reason to query the pertinence of my marks in the grand scheme of oxbridge admissions. I do extra curriculars because I love them and they are needed for the Ivy League, and a lot of a levels, because I love academia and its a diffrentiating point above and beyond the truck load of 4 A level A people, and if I can handle them all, why not do them?

    Just for clarification
    I do understand the NZ college system, the way your college works is very different. I think you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about in relation to the "pertinence of the Oxbridge system"; what did you expect the standard to be if you were anxious about being below it? The fact is you don't have a legitimate reason to be querying. You're either stupid or you're being satirical.

    My point about the dates is that you have told us that you are in year 13 now. But you are planning on applying post year 13, which is not usual for UK students. If you plan on doing/ finishing more next year, you will be doing A levels over 3 years, which is not usual either.

    I don't care if you're lying or not, you have the answer to the question you asked. Discussing whether or not you're lying is fallacious here.

    Doing more than 4 A-Levels is borderline pointless, and students who do more than 4 are not favoured at all. The whole point of A levels is that students specialise more, otherwise they'd do IB. Cambridge have said they only consider the top 3, or 3 most relevant subjects for A level students.

    If you had the slightest inclination to actually discover that you would visit their official website, or order a prospectus to find out. That would offer your a primary, unbiased statement. You could have emailed their admissions. Instead, you've come here. Now put on your analytical cap and try to understand that from the second person perspective; what would your reaction be?
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    (Original post by Kidioteque)
    Totally agree. Not to mention

    1) for somebody whose grades clearly portray them as very, very, very clever, you'd think they'd have the common sense to realise their qualifications would be good enough for Cambridge, or, failing that, be able to use the search function and compare them against the majority of other candidates.

    2) 97% in iGCSE English Language is undoubtedly very good but First in the World? Really? Hmm.
    I am currently doing my IGCSEs and the First in the World thing is clearly not true...I know a few people who got 100% in their language marks!
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    Quick question. Is achieving 90 UMS across your three best subjects at AS common? I know that around 20-25% of all people get an A in each subject and 1 in 6 get straight As but I would love to know this statistic too - even if it is just an estimate. Thank you.
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    (Original post by liamdunne)
    Quick question. Is achieving 90 UMS across your three best subjects at AS common? I know that around 20-25% of all people get an A in each subject and 1 in 6 get straight As but I would love to know this statistic too - even if it is just an estimate. Thank you.
    Not sure how common it is across he board but definitely a lot of Cambridge applicants will have around 90% average. The average for applicants is around 90 while for successful applicants its even higher. However, that doesn't mean you must have 90%+ ums to get an offer and certainly people with less get offers too.

    At my school, probably less than 10 (out of around 130) got 90%+ across their best 3 AS's.
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    (Original post by Llewellyn)

    Doing more than 4 A-Levels is borderline pointless
    As much as I agree with this in general, you're forgetting this guy
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    (Original post by liamdunne)
    Quick question. Is achieving 90 UMS across your three best subjects at AS common? I know that around 20-25% of all people get an A in each subject and 1 in 6 get straight As but I would love to know this statistic too - even if it is just an estimate. Thank you.
    Well given about 9% of grades are A* you can probably estimate from there that say 5% get 3A* assuming it follows the same pattern as A grades.
    Some may also get 90% average while missing out on the A* due to doing better in AS than A2.
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    (Original post by HeyyImRyan)
    As much as I agree with this in general, you're forgetting this guy
    I feel kinda sorry for people like that :lol:

    well if you do manage to do 24 A levels... :hat2:
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    (Original post by HeyyImRyan)
    As much as I agree with this in general, you're forgetting this guy

    (Original post by Llewellyn)
    I feel kinda sorry for people like that :lol:

    well if you do manage to do 24 A levels... :hat2:
    The problem he encountered was he couldn't hack the workload in the first year, got a 2.ii, so switched to PPS, where he finished with a 2.i. The A-levels were impressive, but it went a bit downhill after that! That being said, a 2.i isn't a bad thing!
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    does your 4th AS count?
    I aiming for +90%UMS in three of my subjects but only getting about 70UMS in the other
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    (Original post by foodnom)
    does your 4th AS count?
    I aiming for +90%UMS in three of my subjects but only getting about 70UMS in the other
    If it is completely irrelevant to your course, it may not affect your application. However, bear in mind that there will be other people applying for your course who do have a 90%+ 4th AS. An application will be considered in its entirety, so any weak points may be detrimental.
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    (Original post by Oromis263)
    If it is completely irrelevant to your course, it may not affect your application. However, bear in mind that there will be other people applying for your course who do have a 90%+ 4th AS. An application will be considered in its entirety, so any weak points may be detrimental.
    I'm in a similar position. I'll most likely end up with a low B (but if the exam goes horribly I wouldn't discount the chance of a high C ) in physics, applying for geography. My other subjects are maths, geography and history so I would say physics is the most irrelevant. If my January grades and how well my exams are going so far is anything to go by, I think I'll have 90%+ in two and maybe just under, around 88-89 in the other.

    Add in the fact that I'm going to a summer school in august, do you think I'd be disadvantaged against other applicants because of my low B?
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    (Original post by Bulbasaur)
    I'm in a similar position. I'll most likely end up with a low B (but if the exam goes horribly I wouldn't discount the chance of a high C ) in physics, applying for geography. My other subjects are maths, geography and history so I would say physics is the most irrelevant. If my January grades and how well my exams are going so far is anything to go by, I think I'll have 90%+ in two and maybe just under, around 88-89 in the other.

    Add in the fact that I'm going to a summer school in august, do you think I'd be disadvantaged against other applicants because of my low B?
    It would be impossible, and very stupid of me, to suggest your chances of getting an offer. Your whole application is considered when they make a decision, so that means reference, PS, exam results and, of course, the interviews (should you make it that far). I can only offer some information regarding a friend of mine who received an offer. Said friend had AABB at AS, and received an offer for ASNAC. Ultimately, if you can prove yourself to be worthy of a place, you will get one. There is a correlation between academic achievement and people who achieve offers, but that by no means puts you at an instant disadvantage.

    Best of luck!
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    I am hoping to do a PhD in English Literature in Cambridge beginning October 2013 however I am weary of my grades as I attained only a middling 2.1 (the degree was split 50/50 in my two last years 2.2 in 2nd year but attained a 1.1 in third year) in my undergraduate degree however I attained a 1.1 (All As) in my masters degree both from a prominent Irish university.

    Will my undergraduate results bear badly on my chances?
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    GCSEs:

    CCCCCC

    English Lang
    English Lit
    Maths
    History
    French
    Food Tech

    A levels:

    A*A*A*a*

    English Lit
    Music
    Economics
    Politics
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    (Original post by maths134)
    Ok first of all, what are the 16 GCSE's in btw? (thats a lot of GCSE's!). Secondly, do not take psychology, as said above take further maths if it is offered. You should also probably decided between Engineering and Architecture first...
    hiya yeah I was just thinking about it these few days -

    I think on GCSE results day I'll be changing my AS options to either:
    Art, Physics, Maths, Geography
    or
    Art, Physics, Maths, Chemistry

    Not further maths because apparently it's not regarded as a 'desirable' subject by some Unis according to my physics teacher who took FM, Maths, Physics and went into Mechanical Engineering but flunked the degree and did physics.

    But the problem is that I'm struggling to hit high exam scores for geography.. and there's a lot of stuff to remember for it - case study detail.. but according to 6th formers who took geography in previous years, they've said that Unis are regarding geography to be a science? and that it's not a lot different to GCSE

    I'm doing OK in Chemistry compared to Physics.. I feel like I struggle in lessons but do OK in exams

    ^^Considering Chemistry/Geography for AS
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    (Original post by GrantG)
    GCSEs:

    CCCCCC

    English Lang
    English Lit
    Maths
    History
    French
    Food Tech

    A levels:

    A*A*A*a*

    English Lit
    Music
    Economics
    Politics

    Are these actual grades or what you expect to get? :confused: Or are you a troll?


    Seems strange how you went from a C at English Lit to an A*, it's not really a subject you can 'learn' to get such drastic improvements in...
Updated: August 16, 2012
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