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Cambridge Maths Students and Applicants

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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 14-09-2014
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    (Original post by James314195)
    Hi guys, i'm in year 12 at the moment and am considering applying to Cambridge to do maths. The main reason i'm a bit worried is that i only got 3A*s at GCSE, the rest were A's and I've heard that for Oxbridge GCSE's are usually wanted all A* (or there abouts). For my A2's im doing maths, further maths and physics, predicted A*A*A. I have qualified for the UKMT Olympiad before and I am part of the UKMT mentoring scheme, I'm also doing STEP. My question is really is it worth applying, is there a half decent chance I could get a place, I don't go to private school, im the first in my family to even go to uni, so I'm not at a massive advantage from that perspective, but it's somewhere i really would like to go. So what do people think?Worth applying or not??

    Thanks
    As posted above there are countless similar threads.

    You said your taking Maths, Further maths and Physics to A2? Well that is probably what 90% of the other applicants for Mathematics would be doing and although Cambridge are generally a bit more lenient on GCSE's than Oxford - When they are faced with 300 applicants taking the exact same subjects as you are for mathematics it will unfortunately and undoubtedly fall on your interview, STEP and GCSE grades. Since you're lacking in the final of those 3 you might want to try and enhance your application, do an extended project or try and be different on paper somehow.
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    (Original post by James314195)
    Hi guys, i'm in year 12 at the moment and am considering applying to Cambridge to do maths. The main reason i'm a bit worried is that i only got 3A*s at GCSE, the rest were A's and I've heard that for Oxbridge GCSE's are usually wanted all A* (or there abouts). For my A2's im doing maths, further maths and physics, predicted A*A*A. I have qualified for the UKMT Olympiad before and I am part of the UKMT mentoring scheme, I'm also doing STEP. My question is really is it worth applying, is there a half decent chance I could get a place, I don't go to private school, im the first in my family to even go to uni, so I'm not at a massive advantage from that perspective, but it's somewhere i really would like to go. So what do people think?Worth applying or not??

    Thanks
    Cambridge doesn't put emphasis on ur GCSEs. So if you ace ur AS and get like 95% + then you will most likely get an interview and if you ace that, then you got the offer!
    However Oxford does put emphasis on ur GCSEs so u should apply to Cambridge cuz there is more chance you will get an offer from there!
    The STEP is the biggest thing you need to focus on so start preparing for it!
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    You'd be better off posting in this thread.

    You're in a good position, your GCSE grades won't be a big deal, they're excellent. The key thing is to show a passion and dedication for the subject and that you're very mathematically able - if you have these, you're a good candidate and it's worth applying.
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    (Original post by James314195)
    Hi guys, i'm in year 12 at the moment and am considering applying to Cambridge to do maths. The main reason i'm a bit worried is that i only got 3A*s at GCSE, the rest were A's and I've heard that for Oxbridge GCSE's are usually wanted all A* (or there abouts). For my A2's im doing maths, further maths and physics, predicted A*A*A. I have qualified for the UKMT Olympiad before and I am part of the UKMT mentoring scheme, I'm also doing STEP. My question is really is it worth applying, is there a half decent chance I could get a place, I don't go to private school, im the first in my family to even go to uni, so I'm not at a massive advantage from that perspective, but it's somewhere i really would like to go. So what do people think?Worth applying or not??

    Thanks
    Sorry, bro.. I accidentally negged you.. :/ But don't worry! You sound MORE than qualified to at least attempt to apply to Cambridge. You said you qualified for the UKMT Olympiad, which is a plus, and that you're from a disadvantaged background. I'm pretty sure that the staff at Cambridge will not let that blur their judgement in anyway, if not encourage them to give you a chance, since you seemed to accomplish so much despite it. I say give it a go. You won't lose anything by trying, love!

    Good luck! My thoughts and prayers are with you!
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    (Original post by James314195)
    Hi guys, i'm in year 12 at the moment and am considering applying to Cambridge to do maths. The main reason i'm a bit worried is that i only got 3A*s at GCSE, the rest were A's and I've heard that for Oxbridge GCSE's are usually wanted all A* (or there abouts). For my A2's im doing maths, further maths and physics, predicted A*A*A. I have qualified for the UKMT Olympiad before and I am part of the UKMT mentoring scheme, I'm also doing STEP. My question is really is it worth applying, is there a half decent chance I could get a place, I don't go to private school, im the first in my family to even go to uni, so I'm not at a massive advantage from that perspective, but it's somewhere i really would like to go. So what do people think?Worth applying or not??

    Thanks
    The best mathematician I've ever met is currently reading maths at Cambridge.
    The best mathematics department quite possibly in the world is found at Cambridge.

    Does it really matter whether you have a 2% greater chance of getting in? Challenge yourself. The potential benefits are well worth the risk.

    I say all this as a confessed and unrepentant Oxfordholic.
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    i balanced out the neg :P
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    (Original post by kidoo)
    Since you're lacking in the final of those 3 you might want to try and enhance your application, do an extended project or try and be different on paper somehow.
    Bull****. The "average" successful Cambridge applicant has 6 A*s, which is not much more than the OP's 3. When you take into account the state school background this difference narrows further - Cambridge look at contextual information such as performance of your school.
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    Thanks for the replies guys, there's alot of rumors about Oxbridge which obviously everyone has heard, it's nice to clarify! But yeah, I'm fairly sure I'll be applying, and my summer will be pretty much be spent at work and learning M3 and FP3 :P
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    (Original post by James314195)
    Hi guys, i'm in year 12 at the moment and am considering applying to Cambridge to do maths. The main reason i'm a bit worried is that i only got 3A*s at GCSE, the rest were A's and I've heard that for Oxbridge GCSE's are usually wanted all A* (or there abouts). For my A2's im doing maths, further maths and physics, predicted A*A*A. I have qualified for the UKMT Olympiad before and I am part of the UKMT mentoring scheme, I'm also doing STEP. My question is really is it worth applying, is there a half decent chance I could get a place, I don't go to private school, im the first in my family to even go to uni, so I'm not at a massive advantage from that perspective, but it's somewhere i really would like to go. So what do people think?Worth applying or not??

    Thanks
    I don't know where you heard about needing all A* at GCSE. For Oxford, a higher % A* is better, but it isn't so much the case with Cambridge. I went to an Oxbridge Conference on Tuesday, and the admissions tutors from Cambridge said that an average Cambridge applicant had between 5-8 A*, but stressed that people were taken both over and under that limit, and that they placed much more emphasis on the UMS at AS. Cambridge interview 90% of their applicants, so if you believe that you have the potential to shine at interview it's gotta be worth an application right?
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    (Original post by James314195)
    I don't go to private school, im the first in my family to even go to uni, so I'm not at a massive advantage from that perspective
    Actually, that is a pretty big advantage. They take into account things like that in admissions.

    It's one choice out of five on Ucas, you're doing STEP anyway, there's basically nothing to lose by applying (as long as you make sure you have one choice where you'll definitely get in!). The most important thing is your AS level scores, and if they suggest you're on track to actually get the A2 results you give then heck, why not.
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    What information goes on your transcript?

    Someone told me it's a Faculty thing, and therefore doesn't include your supervision reports, which are a College thing and the Faculty doesn't even have them. But I'm a bit sceptical, because how does the Faculty know anything other than your Tripos marks and rank, if your College doesn't tell them?
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    (Original post by stripy_and_nice)
    What information goes on your transcript?
    Your percentage for each year. It also gives the percentage of people who were in each class. Apart from that it only gives things like your name and college. There are sections for the result on each paper, but mine just say "no recorded marks".
    (Original post by tommm)
    The "average" successful Cambridge applicant has 6 A*s
    Do you have a source? The people I know generally did significantly better than that.
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    (Original post by harr)
    Do you have a source? The people I know generally did significantly better than that.
    A presentation given to potential applicants by Oxbridge admissions tutors. The figure specifically referred to Cambridge, but not any particular subject. No idea where the figure came from or whether it's the mean or median etc.
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    (Original post by tommm)
    A presentation given to potential applicants by Oxbridge admissions tutors. The figure specifically referred to Cambridge, but not any particular subject. No idea where the figure came from or whether it's the mean or median etc.
    Fair enough. I'd have been interested to see the distribution though.
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    Hi! I've got an offer from Sidney Sussex....(standard 1,1 in II and III) and I'm starting to freak out a little...;p

    Anyway, I'd really like to get to know some other wannabe-mathematicians-at-Cam..so Hi
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    What's the logic to how many questions there are in a Part III exam, and how many you're marked on?

    In 2011, the rubric varied from 2 out of 3, 2 out of 4, 3 out of 5, 3 out of 6, 4 out of 6, to 5 out of 5 (with no. 3 carrying more weight), and at least one paper had 2 sections (answer 4 out of 6, and at most 3 out of the 4 in the first section).

    When do you find out what the exam rubric is going to be for a given course?

    :confused:
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    (Original post by lopterton)
    What's the logic to how many questions there are in a Part III exam, and how many you're marked on?

    In 2011, the rubric varied from 2 out of 3, 2 out of 4, 3 out of 5, 3 out of 6, 4 out of 6, to 5 out of 5 (with no. 3 carrying more weight), and at least one paper had 2 sections (answer 4 out of 6, and at most 3 out of the 4 in the first section).

    When do you find out what the exam rubric is going to be for a given course?

    :confused:
    It's up to the lecturer what format the exams take, how many questions there are, how many you're meant to answer, whether they're open or closed book, whether they're problems or bookwork, etc. They're not currently obliged to tell you what format the exam's going to take beforehand (this might change next year), but many do anyway -- send the lecturer an email if you want to know.
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    (Original post by nuodai)
    It's up to the lecturer what format the exams take, how many questions there are, how many you're meant to answer, whether they're open or closed book, whether they're problems or bookwork, etc. They're not currently obliged to tell you what format the exam's going to take beforehand (this might change next year), but many do anyway -- send the lecturer an email if you want to know.
    Thanks for this info. I don't know about other people, but if I had one exam which was wholly bookwork and another which was wholly problems, I'd prepare for them very differently.
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    (Original post by lopterton)
    Thanks for this info. I don't know about other people, but if I had one exam which was wholly bookwork and another which was wholly problems, I'd compare for them very differently.
    Indeed. Well the lecturers are meant to tell you whether the exam is bookwork, problems, open book, closed book, etc; but they're not obliged to distribute the rubric (i.e. how many questions there are, how many you should do and how the questions are weighted).
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    (Original post by nuodai)
    It's up to the lecturer what format the exams take, how many questions there are, how many you're meant to answer, whether they're open or closed book, whether they're problems or bookwork, etc. They're not currently obliged to tell you what format the exam's going to take beforehand (this might change next year), but many do anyway -- send the lecturer an email if you want to know.
    the idea being that second guessing people's intentions is an important transferrable skill and has to be taught somewhere in the course?

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