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Cambridge Applicants for 2013 Entry

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    (Original post by Llewellyn)
    It's worth it for other Universities (Durham, UCL, etc.) Cambridge won't care.

    Being a dastardly culprit of putting my music grades down there, I'm sorry for being misleading. I may remove that now, it's just something I am proud of (I love music )

    I'm not familiar with the Scottish higher system. But if you're doing maximum maths (i.e. as much as is offered), then you can apply. If you're doing standard maths + physics only, then you're going to be at a considerable disadvantage.

    You should also be aware that there are two pathways into physics. You can do maths for the first year then switch to Physics, or you can do Natural Sciences in the first year then switch to Physics. The choice is yours, but the maths option is pretty difficult because Maths at Cambridge is... well, Maths at Cambridge.

    If you're more confident in the applied-physics side, NatSci may be a better option. But again, going in with only Maths and Physics is questionable (but this isn't a problem if you're doing double Maths).
    Since I want to apply to Durham and UCL, I'll consider it worthwhile then. Haha you should be, it's a good achievement! And I can tell you have good taste by the fact you have Sigur Ros in your sig.
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    (Original post by Llewellyn)
    I'm not familiar with the Scottish higher system. But if you're doing maximum maths (i.e. as much as is offered), then you can apply. If you're doing standard maths + physics only, then you're going to be at a considerable disadvantage.

    You should also be aware that there are two pathways into physics. You can do maths for the first year then switch to Physics, or you can do Natural Sciences in the first year then switch to Physics. The choice is yours, but the maths option is pretty difficult because Maths at Cambridge is... well, Maths at Cambridge.

    If you're more confident in the applied-physics side, NatSci may be a better option. But again, going in with only Maths and Physics is questionable (but this isn't a problem if you're doing double Maths).
    I'm doing the maximum physics and maths that I can, at Advanced Higher level next year. My other advanced higher is RMPS which is totally unrelated - I don't know if this is a problem.

    I'm not sure if I'd like to study straight maths, because although I do love maths and it is by far my strongest subject, it is physics that really appeals to me. However, since I haven't studied any other science at any level, I don't think the NatSci route would really be fitting.

    Is it unusual to be accepted into a NatSci course with a background only in Physics and Maths? And would I be at a great disadvantage?

    Thanks for the reply
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    (Original post by ..lauren)
    I'm doing the maximum physics and maths that I can, at Advanced Higher level next year. My other advanced higher is RMPS which is totally unrelated - I don't know if this is a problem.

    I'm not sure if I'd like to study straight maths, because although I do love maths and it is by far my strongest subject, it is physics that really appeals to me. However, since I haven't studied any other science at any level, I don't think the NatSci route would really be fitting.

    Is it unusual to be accepted into a NatSci course with a background only in Physics and Maths? And would I be at a great disadvantage?

    Thanks for the reply
    To answer your questions directly;

    Yes you can get into natsci with only maths and physics. It has been done before. You wont be at a great disadvantage, but your options will be limited. I'm not the admissions officer, so i dont know whether they prefer or favour candidates who offer chem and biol over candidates who do not (it maybe worth emailing them)

    The maths with physics course (you would apply for maths) is identical to natsci physics in year 2 and onwards. The only differences are what you study in year 1. For natsci, you pick 4 options (maths + phys +?+?). For maths in year one you would do 3 maths options and physics (same as the natsci phys option). So if you only like maths and physics, the maths route may be better. The natsci route would mean that for year 1, you would need to do earth sciences or materials or something that wouldnt be as "relevant" to your interests.

    I must say though, surely the oxford course would be better? Oxford offer straight physics, they wont care about no chem or biol. their course will be 100% physics (Cambridge's will not!) That may be better suited to you.
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    (Original post by Kidioteque)
    Added. Just out of curiosity, why are the grades you've told me above (6A*s, 6As) different to the ones in your sig?
    Thanks
    The grades i've given above are my GCSE grades; my sig includes my O'Level grades as well (A*'s in Urdu, RS, and Accountings) which I havent included above just to avoid any confusions as in O'Level A is the highest grade but since O'Levels are now equivalent to gcse's AND they are a lot harder its not fair saying u got an A while in gcse A* is the highest grade. So, tbf i consider my A's in O'levels to be A*s when compared to gcse's esp when my marks were far above the A boundary. Hope this satisfies ur curiosity
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    (Original post by chickenonsteroids)
    I would have died you see... that's why I didn't take it

    i'll have like 8 or 9? can't remember

    of course but they'll be difficult
    Yh but it's physics :woo:

    Oh that seems reasonable if they're your only exams in two years; depends how hard they are though

    Just suck up to your teachers a lot and you'll prob get better predictions
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    (Original post by 4mar_ar5en4l)
    Yh but it's physics :woo:

    Oh that seems reasonable if they're your only exams in two years; depends how hard they are though

    Just suck up to your teachers a lot and you'll prob get better predictions
    Oh no... in the final exams I have like 15 or something, it depends on how you count it and of what I can remember :sadnod:

    The teachers will think i'm crazy :lol:
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    (Original post by Llewellyn)
    Same! :confused: I have no idea why we're so far away from finishing, it feels like I've learned nothing at all since January.

    Luckily, ph2 is a bit of a joke for my board... Ph3 (AS practical) is nasty though :/ not only the erroneous error analysis but the questions on the paper are also actually quite tricky...
    Our class (of 6) and teacher are just proper cool with each other and we tend to get sidetracked quite a lot. We've been on like 2/3 unrelated trips because they were fun and interesting lol. Plus we spent just over a week on an ISA and our teacher was away for another week. Feels like we've done nothing as well!

    What board are you with? Yh the practical is hard for OCR as well. It's just the fact that the grade boundaries are so high.
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    (Original post by chickenonsteroids)
    Oh no... in the final exams I have like 15 or something, it depends on how you count it and of what I can remember :sadnod:

    The teachers will think i'm crazy :lol:
    Oh lol okay. Thats loads for one exam period!
    How hard would you say IB (you do do IB right?) is in comparison to A-Level (or GCSE)?

    Whatever it takes to have a good application
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    (Original post by 4mar_ar5en4l)
    Oh lol okay. Thats loads for one exam period!
    How hard would you say IB (you do do IB right?) is in comparison to A-Level (or GCSE)?

    Whatever it takes to have a good application
    Probably harder than taking 3 A levels just because you've got all the extra crap added on + 3 other subjects. But I don't take A levels so I'm not really in a position to judge all I know is that universities see A levels in a much better light lol imo

    Sure thing
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    (Original post by Llewellyn)
    To answer your questions directly;

    Yes you can get into natsci with only maths and physics. It has been done before. You wont be at a great disadvantage, but your options will be limited. I'm not the admissions officer, so i dont know whether they prefer or favour candidates who offer chem and biol over candidates who do not (it maybe worth emailing them)

    The maths with physics course (you would apply for maths) is identical to natsci physics in year 2 and onwards. The only differences are what you study in year 1. For natsci, you pick 4 options (maths + phys +?+?). For maths in year one you would do 3 maths options and physics (same as the natsci phys option). So if you only like maths and physics, the maths route may be better. The natsci route would mean that for year 1, you would need to do earth sciences or materials or something that wouldnt be as "relevant" to your interests.

    I must say though, surely the oxford course would be better? Oxford offer straight physics, they wont care about no chem or biol. their course will be 100% physics (Cambridge's will not!) That may be better suited to you.
    I will be sure to email them, but it does sound like the maths route may be more suited.

    I have also looked into the oxford course and do actually think that it is probably more suited to me. The reason why I was looking more to cambridge probably sounds silly, but they don't have an entry exam. It isn't because I'm scared to sit the exam, but my school hardly has a record of Oxbridge applicants (none in my experience) and it just seems like a lot of fuss that would mean actually talking to my teachers (something I don't do often).

    I'm not actually set on even applying to Cambridge or Oxford, I'd much rather go to St Andrews (which would mean no tuition fees). I am just looking in to it at the moment.

    Thank you very much for the advice though, it has been very informative
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    (Original post by chickenonsteroids)
    Probably harder than taking 3 A levels just because you've got all the extra crap added on + 3 other subjects. But I don't take A levels so I'm not really in a position to judge all I know is that universities see A levels in a much better light lol imo

    Sure thing
    Oh lol I guess that means you have to do better then. Shame.
    Why did you pick the IB over A-level anyway?
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    (Original post by Etoile)
    Since I want to apply to Durham and UCL, I'll consider it worthwhile then. Haha you should be, it's a good achievement! And I can tell you have good taste by the fact you have Sigur Ros in your sig.
    Seconded! Bestival - Sigur Ros followed straight away by Stevie Wonder. Amazing.
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    (Original post by ..lauren)
    I'm doing the maximum physics and maths that I can, at Advanced Higher level next year. My other advanced higher is RMPS which is totally unrelated - I don't know if this is a problem.

    I'm not sure if I'd like to study straight maths, because although I do love maths and it is by far my strongest subject, it is physics that really appeals to me. However, since I haven't studied any other science at any level, I don't think the NatSci route would really be fitting.

    Is it unusual to be accepted into a NatSci course with a background only in Physics and Maths? And would I be at a great disadvantage?

    Thanks for the reply
    A friend of mine is starting this year with A levels in Physics, Maths, Further Maths and English Lit. They're fine, as long as you're strong at maths and physics. She was a wee bit thrown when she had an interview question on [H+] and pH, but it is just a log thing, so when that was explained to her, she understood.

    However, as mentioned, it does narrow your options should you go. Take a look at the NatSci website, I'll try find a link for you tomorrow.
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    (Original post by shaminn)
    Just realised you're going to do law Have you done any work experience or are you planning on doing some?

    Also with History, what exam board etc?
    Howdy. Yeah, I've spent a week between a County and Magistrates' Court, a week with a barrister, and have got weeks with Pinsent Masons and Anthony Collins LLP sorted for after exams. So that'll give me a month of experience, at least, which I feel isn't a bad start. Are you also applying for Law?

    AQA, and my two modules are Tsarist Russia and USA & Vietnam. Yourself?
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    (Original post by thediamonds)
    hello there!
    i am planning to apply to Cambridge as an international student, provided that i achieve my predicted grades

    Course: Law
    GCSE's: -
    AS levels: English Literature, History, Geography, Business Studies (predicted AAAA)
    Extracurricular: EPQ (start after the exams), one month work experience in a law firm

    I am trying to keep i touch with current affairs and have been reading The Economist and The Independent lately. What other sites/newspapers would you recommend?
    Added.


    Those are good places to start, try the legal section of The Guardian too.
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    (Original post by Kidioteque)
    ...
    Saw your post in the "Which College" thread, and here's what I have to say about the last part:

    Playing the numbers is an ok way to look at things, and perhaps narrow down your choices. However, put very little weighting on it, as the disparity between colleges is minute. Some colleges, such as Homerton, edge on the optimal, due to the huge intake and relatively small amount of 'prestige' or fame. This tends to lead to some weaker candidates applying to the modern colleges, thinking it increases their chances. However, personally I think that that would work against you, meaning you would only benefit from the intake numbers if your application is strong. Obviously, that being said, the modern colleges actually differ by very little to all the older ones. Cambridge is Cambridge! One thing to consider, however, is the modern colleges tend to get very few people fished from the pool, whilst the older ones, with more prestige, tend to have a lot of their candidates 'snapped up'.

    However, ultimately, whichever one is the prettiest seems like a good plan of action for me this year. The university rightly states that no matter where you apply, if you're a worthy candidate, then you will be made an offer, or be pooled elsewhere.

    A group of numbers I have looked to optimise is:

    Applicant number: Small, ~around the 1 to 4 ratio, or lower if possible
    Offer number: As above
    Pooled: Preferable to have a low number of people pooled to that college
    Offers from other colleges: When this is used in combination with applicant and offer numbers, it can boost the entrance ratio to nearer 1 in 3.
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    (Original post by Oromis263)
    A friend of mine is starting this year with A levels in Physics, Maths, Further Maths and English Lit. They're fine, as long as you're strong at maths and physics. She was a wee bit thrown when she had an interview question on [H+] and pH, but it is just a log thing, so when that was explained to her, she understood.

    However, as mentioned, it does narrow your options should you go. Take a look at the NatSci website, I'll try find a link for you tomorrow.
    I've had a look at the NatSci page and it seems that it's possible to apply with only Physics and Maths, but the course structure means that this probably isn't the most suitable degree. As I said, I'm not even sure that I'll apply to Oxbridge, just looking into the prospect, but thanks very much for the advice!
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    (Original post by 4mar_ar5en4l)
    Our class (of 6) and teacher are just proper cool with each other and we tend to get sidetracked quite a lot. We've been on like 2/3 unrelated trips because they were fun and interesting lol. Plus we spent just over a week on an ISA and our teacher was away for another week. Feels like we've done nothing as well!

    What board are you with? Yh the practical is hard for OCR as well. It's just the fact that the grade boundaries are so high.
    I'm with WJEC, about 3 people quit physics from my class in March (when they got Us). Up until March, all of our lessons consisted of our teacher constantly answering their questions (can you explain that again? Why does light split up? Can light go backwards too?). It sounds awful, but I'm kind-of glad they have left.
    (Original post by ..lauren)
    I will be sure to email them, but it does sound like the maths route may be more suited.

    I have also looked into the oxford course and do actually think that it is probably more suited to me. The reason why I was looking more to cambridge probably sounds silly, but they don't have an entry exam. It isn't because I'm scared to sit the exam, but my school hardly has a record of Oxbridge applicants (none in my experience) and it just seems like a lot of fuss that would mean actually talking to my teachers (something I don't do often).

    I'm not actually set on even applying to Cambridge or Oxford, I'd much rather go to St Andrews (which would mean no tuition fees). I am just looking in to it at the moment.

    Thank you very much for the advice though, it has been very informative
    Well in terms of non-Scottish Universities, I'm sure Oxford/ Cambridge/ Imperial are probably the best thought of.

    Cambridge will have an exam (or equivalent) for almost every subject, you would do it at the interview stage though. If they don't have an exam, the interview will probably consist of mainly exam-based questions or thought paths. By picking Cambridge, you wouldn't be picking the easier way out.

    It's probably worth taking a PAT past paper (there is also a specimen on Oxford's website). If you're good at answering that style of questions (basically harder AS level questions, with a few interesting things you're not supposed to have seen before) then you might actually favour the Oxford process. I know that Oxford do put a lot of emphasis on their entrance exam though, so it may be a bit more everything-or-nothing, which I can understand trying to avoid.
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    (Original post by Llewellyn)
    Well in terms of non-Scottish Universities, I'm sure Oxford/ Cambridge/ Imperial are probably the best thought of.

    Cambridge will have an exam (or equivalent) for almost every subject, you would do it at the interview stage though. If they don't have an exam, the interview will probably consist of mainly exam-based questions or thought paths. By picking Cambridge, you wouldn't be picking the easier way out.

    It's probably worth taking a PAT past paper (there is also a specimen on Oxford's website). If you're good at answering that style of questions (basically harder AS level questions, with a few interesting things you're not supposed to have seen before) then you might actually favour the Oxford process. I know that Oxford do put a lot of emphasis on their entrance exam though, so it may be a bit more everything-or-nothing, which I can understand trying to avoid.
    Oh no, it isn't that I'm looking for the easy way out. The problem is organising with my school to sit the PAT, but I'm sure it wouldn't be that much of a fuss. I've already had a look at past papers and I've covered most of the work, more so in the maths section, but still only a small majority (about 40% maybe I haven't encountered before). I actually do quite like the idea of an entry exam and the application process of Oxford.
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    (Original post by Llewellyn)
    I'm with WJEC, about 3 people quit physics from my class in March (when they got Us). Up until March, all of our lessons consisted of our teacher constantly answering their questions (can you explain that again? Why does light split up? Can light go backwards too?). It sounds awful, but I'm kind-of glad they have left.
    I had this issue last year, class of 18 for Physics, 15 for Chemistry and 30 for Maths. They now stand at 8, 4, 8. A lot of people took Physics thinking it would be like GCSE, and didn't take A-level maths, which generally helps as it keeps your maths skills sharp. I spent a lot of last year helping the teacher out going round and tutoring. This will also sound awful, but at one point I had to explain to someone how to multiply something by 10. =/

    Chemistry this year is fantastic, as my teacher is just brilliant. He has fan sites... >.< and with just 4 of us, we blaze through topics. I always feel a bit awkward though, as the other 3 want to do chemistry, whilst I'm the physicist. ^_^
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