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What do Cambridge look for in an applicant?

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    Hello,

    I am currently 16 years old, with high aspirations of studying Mathematics with Physics at Cambridge University. Aside from achieving the best grades possible in my A-Level options, what other things do Cambridge look for? What will set me out from the rest? Work Exp? Voluntary Work? Further knowledge around my chosen subjects, which I have acquired through reading?

    Thanks in advance.
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    Be good at maths. Work experience and voluntary work are irrelevant unless they're directly related to maths (obviously they're good and you should do them, but they won't help your application). Further knowledge is good, but you can't really replace just 'being good at maths' -- Maths is one of those subjects where you can know lots of 'stuff' without knowing how to use it, but knowing how to use it is just as important. Know your Maths A-levels inside-out and more, try AEA, BMO and STEP questions (but only when you're ready of course), etc. Cambridge gives out lots of offers for Maths compared to other subjects because they know STEP will wipe out 40-45% of offer-holders, so in some ways getting an offer is the easy part!
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    a pretty face
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    Breasts.
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    (Original post by CharlieBoardman)
    Hello,

    I am currently 16 years old, with high aspirations of studying Mathematics with Physics at Cambridge University. Aside from achieving the best grades possible in my A-Level options, what other things do Cambridge look for? What will set me out from the rest? Work Exp? Voluntary Work? Further knowledge around my chosen subjects, which I have acquired through reading?

    Thanks in advance.
    You've probably seen this already, but the University has a page that answers this question in some detail. Hope this helps!
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    You have to be razor sharp at Maths and Physics but without any obvious personality disorders which often accompany high achievers in these subjects
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    (Original post by 079)
    a pretty face
    That ain't true or my offer would be unconditional.

    :ahee:
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    I have a maths offer from Emmanuel College. From my experience they couldn't care less about extra curriculars or voluntary work. At the Downing Open Day we were told that they "are not looking for well-rounded individuals" but were much more interested in your maths ability. I'd strongly recommend having a look at some STEP I questions over the summer - I did this and it really helped me when it came to the interview. Maybe try to read a few books about aspects of maths that interest you - I think Cambridge have a reading list on their website.

    Best of luck in your application.
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    (Original post by Languages Nutter)
    You've probably seen this already, but the University has a page that answers this question in some detail. Hope this helps!
    Thanks, I have seen that, and as you say, it isn't in great detail! That is what any university would expect isn't it haha?


    (Original post by the bear)
    without any obvious personality disorders which often accompany high achievers in these subjects
    What do you mean by this?
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    (Original post by the bear)
    You have to be razor sharp at Maths and Physics but without any obvious personality disorders which often accompany high achievers in these subjects
    lolno


    (Original post by CharlieBoardman)
    What do you mean by this?
    if you have to ask, you'll never know

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Updated: March 19, 2012
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