Hjortlund
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Hey there everyone!

Any prospective applicants for Physical Natural Sciences that have begun preparing for the NSAA? I'm currently at a loss in regards to what resources I can/should be using to prepare, besides the single specimen paper that has been provided. Any recommendations?
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Peterhouse Admissions
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Don't sweat it too much! The assessments have been designed so that lots of preparation isn't necessary or particularly helpful as we realise your school/college work or whatever else your doing is likely to be more important. They are assessments of aptitude more than anything else - you turn up and do your best (obviously looking at the specimen and specification is useful though). Remember that they're different to A levels in that there isn't a pass mark and results will be looked at in the context of the rest of your application including information on your background and your school. We've put together an FAQ on our website.
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SashaVenkat
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I'm applying for Biological NatSci this year and I think doing more Qs on your weak spots will be helpful.
I'm so scared, just a month left!!
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Hjortlund
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(Original post by SashaVenkat)
I'm applying for Biological NatSci this year and I think doing more Qs on your weak spots will be helpful.
I'm so scared, just a month left!!
Hadn't thought about it, but damn that is soon... :eek:
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EvilScientist
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
Don't sweat it too much! The assessments have been designed so that lots of preparation isn't necessary or particularly helpful as we realise your school/college work or whatever else your doing is likely to be more important. They are assessments of aptitude more than anything else - you turn up and do your best (obviously looking at the specimen and specification is useful though). Remember that they're different to A levels in that there isn't a pass mark and results will be looked at in the context of the rest of your application including information on your background and your school. We've put together an FAQ on our website.
Hello, do you know how for physics there is Isaac Physics which improves your problem solving ability? Do you know if a similar website or resource exists to help improve your problem solving in Biology? I looked everywhere, but unfortunately almost all the questions I come across in Biology questions is that they are about knowledge, and no application/problem solving. Even Biology olympiads i looked at are about knowledge and almost no problem solving. Do you recommend or know any problem solving biology questions resources that only require AS/A level knowledge?
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by EvilScientist)
Hello, do you know how for physics there is Isaac Physics which improves your problem solving ability? Do you know if a similar website or resource exists to help improve your problem solving in Biology? I looked everywhere, but unfortunately almost all the questions I come across in Biology questions is that they are about knowledge, and no application/problem solving. Even Biology olympiads i looked at are about knowledge and almost no problem solving. Do you recommend or know any problem solving biology questions resources that only require AS/A level knowledge?
The sample papers give you an idea of what to expect and to practise. Section 1:
http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...tion_paper.pdf section 2:
http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...tion_paper.pdf.

Problem solving is the application of knowledge and this is what the NSAA is assessing. The biology questions given in the specimen paper for both sections involve solving problems through the application of knowledge, just as the physics questions do.

Extensive preparation for the assessments isn't expected, required or particularly advantageous beyound looking at the sample papers and the specification and checking you're happy with your knowledge of the required topics
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SashaVenkat
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Is there a file with the answers to the second paper? I can't find any on the university website.
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ishbeldyke
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Hello everybody,

I'm applying for biological natural sciences and I'm wondering which parts of the NSAA I should complete?

Am I allowed to complete chemistry, physics and maths questions in section 1 for example?

Thanks
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Doones
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(Original post by ishbeldyke)
Hello everybody,

I'm applying for biological natural sciences and I'm wondering which parts of the NSAA I should complete?

Am I allowed to complete chemistry, physics and maths questions in section 1 for example?

Thanks
It states exactly what you do on the specimen paper
http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...tion_paper.pdf

Note your preference for bio doesn't mean you HAVE to answer the biology questions - although it would be a bit strange if you didn't.
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gracemi
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I'm applying for the biological route of the NS course and I'm really nervous for the NSAA!!! But other than the specimen paper and having a look through the specification to see if there's anything you absolutely don't know, I don't think there's much you can do. I'm more nervous for the interview where you have to answer similar questions out loud and under pressure!!
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jamestg
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(Original post by jneill)
It states exactly what you do on the specimen paper
http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...tion_paper.pdf

Note your preference for bio doesn't mean you HAVE to answer the biology questions - although it would be a bit strange if you didn't.
Do you think if we're invited to interview, they'll have a copy of our paper?
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liziepie
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(Original post by jamestg)
Do you think if we're invited to interview, they'll have a copy of our paper?
From the Peterhouse FAQ linked earlier:

Please note that written answers to some of the longer answer questions may be discussed at interview.
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jamestg
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(Original post by liziepie)
From the Peterhouse FAQ linked earlier:
**** I'm actually going to have to remember what I write
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Peterhouse Admissions
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If interviewers want to discuss your answers in detail, they will make sure you have your scripts back to look over in advance .
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reginaph
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What kind of papers/prep are you guys doing for the chemistry section of the NSAA; currently I've been doing PAT papers for physics and maths prep
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Liam Lau
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Do people think that questions at interview will be more geared towards what you have chosen in the NSAA? Such as picking chemistry over Advanced Maths & Physics? I've been doing some PATs and PhOs, I think they may be overkill though. Chemistry, I had a look at the questions, it's very similar to multiple choice questions in Edexcel Chemistry A level.
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NeverLucky
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(Original post by reginaph)
What kind of papers/prep are you guys doing for the chemistry section of the NSAA; currently I've been doing PAT papers for physics and maths prep
I'm not really doing much but you can have a look at the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge papers. Also, if you don't mind dealing with annoying Imperial units, then maybe look at some of the MCQs in the Chemistry SAT subject tests. Obviously a lot of the content won't be on the NSAA but it's good for practising MCQs.
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NeverLucky
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(Original post by Liam Lau)
Do people think that questions at interview will be more geared towards what you have chosen in the NSAA? Such as picking chemistry over Advanced Maths & Physics? I've been doing some PATs and PhOs, I think they may be overkill though. Chemistry, I had a look at the questions, it's very similar to multiple choice questions in Edexcel Chemistry A level.
Most likely not, chances are you'll have interviews with professors from Maths, Chemistry and Physics if you applied to do NatSci physical.
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Hariex
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
The sample papers give you an idea of what to expect and to practise. Section 1:
http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...tion_paper.pdf section 2:
http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...tion_paper.pdf.

Problem solving is the application of knowledge and this is what the NSAA is assessing. The biology questions given in the specimen paper for both sections involve solving problems through the application of knowledge, just as the physics questions do.

Extensive preparation for the assessments isn't expected, required or particularly advantageous beyound looking at the sample papers and the specification and checking you're happy with your knowledge of the required topics
If not extensive preparation, what sort of preparation would be required? Is any preparation beyond completing the specimen paper necessary? I'm at loss as to how much preparation I should be doing for this, and what exactly I should be doing... (I'm applying for Theology if this makes a difference)
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Liam Lau
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(Original post by NeverLucky)
Most likely not, chances are you'll have interviews with professors from Maths, Chemistry and Physics if you applied to do NatSci physical.
thanks!
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