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Cambridge Economics Students and Applicants

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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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    Just to clear this up for anyone who is wondering:

    You do not need Further Maths to get in to the Economics Tripos. However, it does help a lot. And the level of Maths in the tripos itself is high enough that you will wish you'd taken it.

    I'm currently studying Economics at Cambridge, and even having done FM some of the Maths is still quite challenging. Some other economists in my college who haven't taken it, however, find it miles harder. (Proof you don't need it, but that it helps) Also, may I suggest you focus on the stats papers.. It will make your life miles easier. Good Luck!
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    Have any of you guys had done preparation for Cams economics interview? Can you plz tell me what kind of thing that is quite important to prepare with? Tks!!!! And what about all the tests in the interview, are they excessively tough?
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    (Original post by Musicy)
    Have any of you guys had done preparation for Cams economics interview? Can you plz tell me what kind of thing that is quite important to prepare with? Tks!!!! And what about all the tests in the interview, are they excessively tough?
    Make sure you are up to date with current events and sharp on your Maths and A-level Economic theory.
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    (Original post by Musicy)
    Have any of you guys had done preparation for Cams economics interview? Can you plz tell me what kind of thing that is quite important to prepare with? Tks!!!! And what about all the tests in the interview, are they excessively tough?
    As zhx said, make sure you are have kept up to date to with your current affairs and are comfortable with the concepts you have covered in maths (esp. C1 and C2) and economics. Try and understand them rather than just learning them e.g. what is differentiation showing.
    In addition to this, try and go in with the right mindset. You may well be nervous but it's worth having some practice interviews to see if those nerves prevent you from thinking coherently and if so, how you can overcome this. It's also important think flexibly and this is where your understanding of topics will show. For example, they might set you a differentiation question, but then they will be testing whether you understand how it links to a consumer maximisation problem. They won't expect you to know anything outside of the syllabus (apart from having an idea about current affairs and stuff you have mentioned in the PS), but they might try to take your understanding of the topics to its limits.

    As for tests, as far as I know there are a few colleges who use the TSA, and then the odd college sets their own tests. The TSA can be prepared for by doing some past papers and practice questions http://www.admissionstests.cambridge...st+Preparation, but I guess it helps if you've done AS critical thinking.
    I'm not really sure what college tests are like, but I can link you to a sample provided by Gonville and Caius, which I think is also a good indicator of what questions you might get in an interview. Although interviews will vary by college and often by applicant. http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/sites/defau...est_Oct102.pdf

    Interviews are probably going to be tough, but they are a good indication of what supervisions will be like and whether you will benefit from the Cambridge system. You probably wont come out of your interview thinking you've done really well, but hopefully you will have enjoyed the experience. Interviews will be taken in conjunction with UMS scores, test scores or submitted work, and also a general enthusiasm you can convey through the interviews and in the personal statement, so don't see them as make or break.

    Anyway, rambled on long enough now, hopefully the above helps .
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    Hi guys,

    I'm just wondering roughly how many students attend each economics lecture in Cambridge. Is it like LSE where students from other departments (perhaps land economy) join the economics students in their lectures, or is it generally only for students studying economics?
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    (Original post by RooT_Fifteen)
    Hi guys,

    I'm just wondering roughly how many students attend each economics lecture in Cambridge. Is it like LSE where students from other departments (perhaps land economy) join the economics students in their lectures, or is it generally only for students studying economics?
    It is almost exclusively those studying economics (so something like 120 students for compulsory papers). There's nothing to prevent other students attending, but very few students would have the time and/or inclination to do so.
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    If I applied to do Economics at Cambridge during my gap year and were to do AS Further maths in it, having already gotten A*A*A, will Cambridge give me a conditional offer based on further maths or will they give me an unconditional?
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    (Original post by OneTimer)
    If I applied to do Economics at Cambridge during my gap year and were to do AS Further maths in it, having already gotten A*A*A, will Cambridge give me a conditional offer based on further maths or will they give me an unconditional?
    This is really going be done on an individual basis. Although the standard offer is A*AA, there is nothing to stop colleges making 2-3 A* offers (apart from being passed over by students in favour of more lenient offers at other colleges) if they want their applicants to be of a certain standard or are unsure about them.
    Similarly, they might want you to get a certain grade in further maths, but this is going to depend on the individual college and their opinion of your application.

    I would also recommend you take further maths to A2 level is possible. Although 3 A levels is perfectly fine, it might be on the short side when many applicants with be applying with 4 and some with 5+ (excluding general studies). I can only speak for my own college hear, but I think there is an increasingly tendency for colleges to prefer students with A level further maths, so if you have the full A level it would be a huge boost to your application. Only take it if you think you can manage it and get a good grade though.
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    You should definitely think about entering some essay competitions, they really show that you're interested in the subject itself if you're willing to go out of your way to do related to economics in your own time, it's even better if you win or get shortlisted.

    If you google economics essay competition, a couple come up. RES run a very popular one and there's one run by the Cambridge Economics Society as well. I'd really recommend those. They definitely gave me something to talk about in my interview.
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    Get 100% UMS in your best 3 subjects and have a genuine passion for Economics and you should get in.
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    (Original post by MarcoWilding27)
    I've just started my AS levels at college (Maths, Economics, Biology, Chemistry) and am hoping to apply for Economics at Cambridge at the start of next year. I know that any course at Cambridge is extremely competitive so i was wondering if people could give me some advice on how to strengthen my application.

    At GCSE i got 8 A*s (Maths, Stats, Double Award Science, Economics, RE, DT, German) 3 As (English Language, History, IT[half], Citizenship[half]) and a B (English Lit).

    So i think based on my grades i should be alright, as long as i get As in my AS and A levels. However i am aware grades alone are not enough.

    So what other activities (sports or academic) could anyone suggest to give my application more depth and improve my chances of getting a place?

    Thank you for your time, Marcus.
    Also, don't write your entire application in bold letters to get their attention.
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    (Original post by z0tx)
    Also, don't write your entire application in bold letters to get their attention.
    (Original post by digestives)
    Get 100% UMS in your best 3 subjects and have a genuine passion for Economics and you should get in.
    (Original post by milkybarkid8)
    You should definitely think about entering some essay competitions, they really show that you're interested in the subject itself if you're willing to go out of your way to do related to economics in your own time, it's even better if you win or get shortlisted.
    If you google economics essay competition, a couple come up. RES run a very popular one and there's one run by the Cambridge Economics Society as well. I'd really recommend those. They definitely gave me something to talk about in my interview.
    Holy bump batman, this thread is 5 years old
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    (Original post by wibletg)
    Holy bump batman, this thread is 5 years old
    Ha HA! Didn't notice, the boldness of the OP must have overwhelmed me.
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    (Original post by lp386)
    Ack. Trying to frantically cram for tomorrow's macro exam, but there's just so much material - until last year, the paper was set up so you only had to revise three-fifths of the course - 24 lectures. Now they've introduced compulsory questions to avoid topic-picking and you have to learn all 40. It's just far, far, far too much material and most of my revision for the past week has felt like the material was just bouncing straight off the front of my brain. :bricks:

    Nobody fainted, vomited or died during this morning's exam though, so that's good. (Actually, come to think of it, that's also my idea of a good date...)
    May I ask how difficult is the economics tripos? Are there things that are extremely difficult conceptually or is it more the workload? For example, would it be possible for an "average" student to get a 1st with enough hard work and what is the maths like? PM or reply here would be very much appreciated
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    (Original post by Extricated)
    May I ask how difficult is the economics tripos? Are there things that are extremely difficult conceptually or is it more the workload? For example, would it be possible for an "average" student to get a 1st with enough hard work and what is the maths like? PM or reply here would be very much appreciated
    I thought I already answered this question, but anyway here goes again:
    - Difficult, but not impossibly so.
    - Concepts, material and workload all quite tough.
    - An average student will not get a 1st, by definition (if they did they wouldn't be average). The compulsory maths isn't that hard, if you're comfortable with the stats and algebra in Further Maths it isn't too big a jump to be honest. The technical optional papers are more challenging conceptually.
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    (Original post by alex_hk90)
    I thought I already answered this question, but anyway here goes again:
    - Difficult, but not impossibly so.
    - Concepts, material and workload all quite tough.
    - An average student will not get a 1st, by definition (if they did they wouldn't be average). The compulsory maths isn't that hard, if you're comfortable with the stats and algebra in Further Maths it isn't too big a jump to be honest. The technical optional papers are more challenging conceptually.
    Apologies if you've also answered this, but how challenging is the 2nd year maths option and what kind of first year background would you recommend to have? I've found the maths part of QM alright (stats has been more confusing).

    I think that taking maths next year would be a struggle, but it might be worth it in the long run if it makes my other papers seem comparably easier and keeps my options open.
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    (Original post by Ray_Han)
    Apologies if you've also answered this, but how challenging is the 2nd year maths option and what kind of first year background would you recommend to have? I've found the maths part of QM alright (stats has been more confusing).
    It's really quite challenging, there is a lot of material and it's the most conceptually difficult of the 2nd year papers. Personally I found that I spent almost as much time and effort on each of the individual components (calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics) of Paper 6 (2nd year Maths) as I did on the other papers in their entirety (i.e. 3 times as much work for Maths).

    (Original post by Ray_Han)
    I think that taking maths next year would be a struggle, but it might be worth it in the long run if it makes my other papers seem comparably easier and keeps my options open.
    This is the upside, it does have significant positive externalities on all the other papers, and allows you to do the more technical options (such as the highly interesting Paper 4 ETA) in 3rd year and for your dissertation. Moreover, it is the kind of paper that if you do it right can drag up your average, because it's actually possible to get the higher marks (over 80) if you get the questions completely correct.

    My advice is that if you can get a 1st in QM, then go for the Maths option.
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    (Original post by alex_hk90)
    It's really quite challenging, there is a lot of material and it's the most conceptually difficult of the 2nd year papers. Personally I found that I spent almost as much time and effort on each of the individual components (calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics) of Paper 6 (2nd year Maths) as I did on the other papers in their entirety (i.e. 3 times as much work for Maths).


    This is the upside, it does have significant positive externalities on all the other papers, and allows you to do the more technical options (such as the highly interesting Paper 4 ETA) in 3rd year and for your dissertation. Moreover, it is the kind of paper that if you do it right can drag up your average, because it's actually possible to get the higher marks (over 80) if you get the questions completely correct.

    My advice is that if you can get a 1st in QM, then go for the Maths option.
    Thanks for the advice, helpful as always . ETA does look interesting, though I imagine even more conceptually difficult. Yeah that is probably what I will base my decision on, how well I do in the exams next week. I think I would enjoy doing the development paper, but I can do a development option in 3rd year after doing maths in second year, and not vice versa. The workload on that paper is also meant to be quite high, so the issue is going to be whether I can get my head around the concepts in maths.
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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...uide-economics

    Cause for concern?
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    Nah, most of the low scores seem to be due to 'student satisfaction' measures, which are neither important nor reliable (I vaguely remember the university/college/faculty/some authority saying not to answer those surveys, so only the people really dissatisfied would have answered them).

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Updated: October 20, 2014
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