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    (Original post by PendaMercia)
    Her offer is Pre-U D2 D2 D2 in Economics, History and Geography to read law. In terms of UCAS tariff points.....

    As my daughter's offer is three levels above the typical offer, compounded further by the fact that subjects such as Economics and History are so subjective as to make the attainment of a D2 grade something of a lottery, she feels her offer is somewhat extreme. An offer which is one level above the typical offer is par for the course, two levels above the typical offer would no doubt have some justification of some sort, but three levels above the typical offer feels tantamount to a rejection.
    Firstly I think you misunderstand Cambridge offers. The standard pre-U law offer is D2,D3,D3 which is considered the same as A*AA and a higher offer of D2,D2,D3 would not be unusual at some colleges. Cambridge along with most better universities take no interest at all in UCAS points.
    So your daughter's offer is one, almost two but never three levels above normal.

    Typically students with A levels arrive with at least one or two grades better than their offer, the average is 2.7A* grades. This can be predicted by the fact that they offer AS results which give tutors more confidence. Pre-U is like IB in that there is nothing beyond GCSE except teacher predictions which are often optimistic.

    Generally harder offers are given when there is some uncertainty and the candidate is given the chance to prove they are good enough rather than a rejection. It's true to say that if she gained D2,D2,D3 she might still get in, but there would be no guarantee.


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    [QUOTE=Colmans;53006027]Firstly I think you misunderstand Cambridge offers. The standard pre-U law offer is D2,D3,D3 which is considered the same as A*AA and a higher offer of D2,D2,D3 would not be unusual at some colleges. Cambridge along with most better universities take no interest at all in UCAS points.
    So your daughter's offer is one, almost two but never three levels above normal.

    Typically students with A levels arrive with at least one or two grades better than their offer, the average is 2.7A* grades. This can be predicted by the fact that they offer AS results which give tutors more confidence. Pre-U is like IB in that there is nothing beyond GCSE except teacher predictions which are often optimistic.

    Generally harder offers are given when there is some uncertainty and the candidate is given the chance to prove they are good enough rather than a rejection. It's true to say that if she gained D2,D2,D3 she might still get in, but there would be no guarantee. ]





    Posted from TSR Mobile some colleges just give high offers. Don't make everyone with high offers feel bad
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    If PendaMErcia's child is aiming for Maths they have STEP offers as well as A level - and the offers are often very high indeed. About half the mathmos either don't take up or fail to meet their offer. The system for mathmos is quite brutal and perhaps Cambridge should be setting its own admission exams at an earlier stage rather than rejecting so many after A level.
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    I applied to Christ's and got rejected, unfortunately, but they handled the entire admissions process very well. I knew exactly what was happening and when, which was very reassuring. A girl I know applied to Jesus and had no idea when application outcomes were sent out - she thought she'd be contacted on the day of Oxford outcomes! Maybe there should be a univeristy-wide blanket email after interviews are completed outlining the decisions process, like Christ's sent out?
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    For EU students, the conditions given are relatively high, on a par with those required in the A-levels, many of which are also surpassed. From my d's experience in France, with a French (i.e. not international) BAC, she had to get 16 (read A*) in 2 STEM subjects and 16 overall. That is the 99th percentile. It made her entire life a race to prepare for these exams.
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    [QUOTE=papabee;53006397]
    (Original post by Colmans)
    Firstly I think you misunderstand Cambridge offers. The standard pre-U law offer is D2,D3,D3 which is considered the same as A*AA and a higher offer of D2,D2,D3 would not be unusual at some colleges. Cambridge along with most better universities take no interest at all in UCAS points.
    So your daughter's offer is one, almost two but never three levels above normal.

    Typically students with A levels arrive with at least one or two grades better than their offer, the average is 2.7A* grades. ]

    Posted from TSR Mobile some colleges just give high offers. Don't make everyone with high offers feel bad
    If you read my full reply I said some colleges routinely give A*A*A for law. I'm not aware of any colleges that routinely give A*A*A* for arts subjects.


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    (Original post by miraj3)
    Thank you for the opportunity to give you some feedback.

    Although I did not apply to Christ's College, I believe this issue may be an issue with many colleges.

    While disappointed that my application to read Economics at Downing College was unsuccessful, I wondered why my application was not entered into the Winter Pool - the University of Cambridge state that any applicant who is not offered a place by their original preferred college but have attained 93% or over in their best three AS Level subjects (for UK applicants) must be put into the Winter Pool.

    My three best AS Levels averaged 95.4% which is why I was surprised to see no mention of the Winter Pool on my decision letter.

    Could you please explain why Downing College (and maybe others) fail to automatically enter applicants into the Pool even though there is an agreed notion of auto-pooling?

    Many thanks!

    But no such ''necessary pooling'' exists for international applicants, I presume? While I fully understand that it is hard to create the same criteria to put international applicants with a variety of different qualifications in the Winter pool, it seems rather unfair that only UK applicants should have this chance (if that is indeed the case, of which I am not sure).
    Just to give an example, I have applied to Pembroke and received a straight rejection after my interviews, even thought my grades (the high school transcript) were perfect (and by perfect I mean 100% of what I could have achieved) and I was predicted to achieve 100% in my final examinations. So even thought apparently I must have royally tanked my interviews, it would have been nice to be put in the Winter pool based on my grades, not just on the decision of the college I have applied to.


    Sorry for posting in this thread as my comment is not directly connected to Christ's admissions, but perhaps Cambridge as a whole could give this some thought Thank you for reading!
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    (Original post by MistySmith)
    But no such ''necessary pooling'' exists for international applicants, I presume? While I fully understand that it is hard to create the same criteria to put international applicants with a variety of different qualifications in the Winter pool, it seems rather unfair that only UK applicants should have this chance (if that is indeed the case, of which I am not sure).
    Just to give an example, I have applied to Pembroke and received a straight rejection after my interviews, even thought my grades (the high school transcript) were perfect (and by perfect I mean 100% of what I could have achieved) and I was predicted to achieve 100% in my final examinations. So even thought apparently I must have royally tanked my interviews, it would have been nice to be put in the Winter pool based on my grades, not just on the decision of the college I have applied to.


    Sorry for posting in this thread as my comment is not directly connected to Christ's admissions, but perhaps Cambridge as a whole could give this some thought Thank you for reading!
    Any student can be pooled. But, yes, "auto-pooling" only applies to certain types of student.

    Also the Christ's Tutor is asking for feedback on behalf of the whole of Cambridge, not just Christ's

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    (Original post by miraj3)
    Thank you for the opportunity to give you some feedback.

    Although I did not apply to Christ's College, I believe this issue may be an issue with many colleges.

    While disappointed that my application to read Economics at Downing College was unsuccessful, I wondered why my application was not entered into the Winter Pool - the University of Cambridge state that any applicant who is not offered a place by their original preferred college but have attained 93% or over in their best three AS Level subjects (for UK applicants) must be put into the Winter Pool.

    My three best AS Levels averaged 95.4% which is why I was surprised to see no mention of the Winter Pool on my decision letter.

    Could you please explain why Downing College (and maybe others) fail to automatically enter applicants into the Pool even though there is an agreed notion of auto-pooling?

    Many thanks!
    I think you have already been told that all maths and FM counts as one subject and you posted that your UMS average was therefore below 93%.


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    (Original post by PendaMercia)
    You have kindly pointed out in a number of places in this thread that feedback is not given by the admissions tutors to offer holders, which given the number of the letters you are writing to those who have rejections, I can fully understand. However, my daughter has an offer for which it would be helpful to receive feedback. Her offer is Pre-U D2 D2 D2 in Economics, History and Geography to read law. In terms of UCAS tariff points that equates to 435 points compared to 420 points for an A*A*A* offer, 400 points for an A*A*A offer and 380 points for the typical offer in law. She pointed out that in the statistics published by the Admissions Office for the 2013 cycle, Cambridge only published acceptances up to 420 UCAS tariff points.

    As my daughter's offer is three levels above the typical offer, compounded further by the fact that subjects such as Economics and History are so subjective as to make the attainment of a D2 grade something of a lottery, she feels her offer is somewhat extreme. An offer which is one level above the typical offer is par for the course, two levels above the typical offer would no doubt have some justification of some sort, but three levels above the typical offer feels tantamount to a rejection.

    I fully appreciate why the policy exists of not giving feedback to offer holders, but would it not be reasonable for those with the most extreme offers to also be offered some kind of explanation?
    Another parent here, If it makes you feel any better about your daughter's high offer, my son has been given
    a D1,D2,D2, offer further to his D2 attained a year early. The highest offer I am aware of. This too is for an Arts subject. After the initial shock he has taken it on board. Much hard work ahead. Far better to receive an offer than not.
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    (Original post by MistySmith)
    But no such ''necessary pooling'' exists for international applicants, I presume? While I fully understand that it is hard to create the same criteria to put international applicants with a variety of different qualifications in the Winter pool, it seems rather unfair that only UK applicants should have this chance (if that is indeed the case, of which I am not sure).
    I believe there are many factors that do into this, such as subject balance, though I am not sure what you mean by "automatically pooled". My d, an EU applicant, was pooled and immediately got an offer; she was not informed that she was rejected by her original college and the offer came later than the normal offer letters. We then had to wait some weeks for the conditions.
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    I am the parent of a first year Cambridge student - he fortunately received a direct offer last year and did not have to endure the pool. Your "Ask an admission tutor" threads were very helpful in demystifying the process - so a rather belated "Thank you".

    Having seen the process last year and watched the various threads this year, I have some comments:

    Pooling system
    The pooling system has been improved - it seems to have been much smoother this year but there are a few things to be ironed out - and I may be repeating other comments:

    Emails should be the preference form of communication and there must be a day on which all offers and rejections go out to all applicants. Some applicants this year waited a week for an offer or rejection (not including the small number of medicine applicants still waiting for a decision). I can't imagine what the waiting applicants and their families went through. The applicants are by-and-large 18 years old and feel that their whole future rests on this decision. The failure of some colleges to recognise this is cruel.

    Offer communications should clearly say what they are (the word "offer" in the subject line?). There should no "roller coaster" communications.

    Offer conditions
    From what I can see, more "hard" offers have been made this year - 3 or 4 A* offers and, in particular, Magdalene seems to have given a 3 A* offer to all the science offer holders who have posted on these threads. You have explained the idea that some variation is appropriate in some cases but great care must be taken. Making a higher offer "standard", which it seems Magdalene has done, is unfair. From what I can see, Magdalene did not warn applicants that this year they were making 3 A*offers standard - the applicants could have applied to another college had they known. Certainly applicants for Engineering have fair warning that your college and a number of others may ask for STEP and they can choose to apply elsewhere.

    My particular concern about these high offers is that they are potentially discriminatory. Care must be taken in giving them to ensure that there is no bias but the other aspect is the effect on those with these high offers. They may choose not to "firm" Cambridge, feeling that the pressure to achieve a much higher offer than expected is too much (and that they are less "worthy" candidates because they have been given higher offers). It seems to me that those most likely to be put off in these circumstances will be those who are less self confident (and it is pretty well documented that young women tend to be less confident about their abilities than young men) and those whose schools or parents are less able to support them in achieving such high offers (more likely to be those at state schools). I am aware that many Cambridge students exceed their offers, even the very hard offers, but those statistics will not necessarily reassure the less confident holder of a hard offer. Careful monitoring is needed.

    General information
    Colleges should be encouraged to be much more open with prospective applicants. My particular gripe is the difficulty we had in trying to find out the room and meal charges from some colleges - they behaved as if this was an unreasonable request and that no one had ever had the temerity to ask before. Their responses were frequently quite unhelpful. And the costs DO vary considerably.

    Thank you for asking for feedback.
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    Sorry I just wish to disagree with some posters about some points that I wish for you to keep the same.

    I am a person who worries a lot before receiving results etc. Because I was in a gap year and the only person I knew applying to Cambridge, I was able to ensure I didn't learn the date that responses were sent any more than January time, so didn't spend the time before extremely worried and have a very sleepless night. I feel reminding applicants when the date is regularly would upset those who simply don't want to know. The date is clearly shown on the Cambridge website and the websites of all Colleges, so applicants should be easily able to find it out, should they want to.

    Also, I received both a letter and email from Emma. I was out the morning/early afternoon of the response day with a big group of people and received the email on my phone. The layout of this email meant that the subject and summary shown did not tell me the result of my application. If,as someone suggested, the outcome was shown in the subject of the email, I would have found out my result in front of people, something I really didn't want to do, as dealing with rejection would be terrible in public. Because of the layout I was able to wait until I was home alone and open my letter, allowing me to find out my outcome in a situation I was happy to do so.

    Just some points to think about when considering some changes, and thank you for allowing feedback.


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    (Original post by jneill)
    Lucy Cavendish AT is also on TSR.

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    Just to confirm, yes, I am here and will certainly be supporting my colleague from Christ's to ensure that your feedback reaches the appropriate decision-making bodies, at University level. It is true that Lucy Cavendish is a college for students aged 21 and over, but we have an equal voice on admissions processes, and an equal interest in ensuring these are fair and transparent for all concerned.
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    Hello everyone, thanks for your comments and questions over the weekend, I shall do my best to get through them today.
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    (Original post by ThatPerson)
    I am not a Cambridge applicant, but I do have a question.

    What could possibly merit an S,S STEP offer for Maths applicants?

    The logic behind such an offer does not make sense to me, as some people miss their STEP offer and still get in because Cambridge believes them to be of the right calibre, and those who achieve the standard 1,1 are definitely of the standard that Cambridge wants.
    S,S offers in STEP are not very common. I believe that some colleges rountinely give S,1 offers to overseas candidates whom they have not themselves interviewed. It is also usally only given by colleges who have an over-abundance of very strong Maths applicants and they may use it as a way of creaming off the very best performers in STEP for themselves and allowing other colleges to take those who still do well enough to merit entry to Cambridge. Someone who narrowly misses an S,S or an S,1 offer has a very strong chance of being picked up in the Summer Pool.

    Regarding the logic of making such steep offers, well I have suggested some logic for it in this answer and the general logic behind stiffer offers I have touched on elsewhere in the thread.
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    (Original post by cam 2015)
    Or if only Christ takes pride in collecting the information to enhance their admission process.
    As has been pointed out, the AT from Lucy Cavendish is also on TSR and a number of other colleges have an intermittent presence here but, no, this was a purely personal idea to try and garner some feedback from applicants about ways in which we might improve our processes. I will then pass it on to the Admissions Forum and hopefully it may influence our thinking when we review the Admissions Round, as we do each year.
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    (Original post by gretschforever)
    Thanks for all your feedback and insights. Totally understand the expense of setting up the overseas option. We did consider going to Cambridge to interview but work commitments made it more logical to stay closer to home so we were very grateful to have this option.
    The whole day was very well organised and the interviewer was obviously very experienced at both his field and interviewing.
    Our son is very very happy to receive an offer( to say the least!).
    The college website is fantastic at giving him an idea of what to expect once he arrives and starts studying.
    Thanks for setting up this thread - it has been very useful in understanding all the hard work and thought that Cambridge puts into this process.



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    I am very glad it worked out well for your son and that the college's website (Caius, was it?) was so good (college website do rather vary in quality it has to be said). We appreciate the expense of travelling to Cambridge and, although we do charge for interviews conducted overseas (unlike ones done in the Cambridge), we believe that it is important to offer excellent students a much cheaper alternative to display their abilities. It is not perfect but in general form it is the best that is practiable.
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    (Original post by chloe--)
    The only suggestion I could possibly make is for the Winter Pool re interviewees - I think there needs to be a definite date by which we'll find out the final result of the application, or a posting date like with the original offer letters. One candidate found out less than 24 hours after their interview, whereas I had my interview on Saturday and haven't heard a thing yet. Colleges letting us know how they'll tell us, letter or email, would be handy as well!

    I think it's great that the pool has been moved so the majority of applicants have found out their result though!

    Everything else in the application process has been great; Murray Edwards, for my reinterview, were brilliant (just a bit more info about what would happen after the interview would make it even better!)
    I hope you have found out by now and that it is good news?

    There is clearly an issue here about how we communicate to applicants who are being re-interviewed about the result. There is a definite date by which all re-interviewees should be contacted, it is today but we might be clearer about leeting candidates know when they will hear.

    There are some problems with this at our end which are worth explaining, however. For colleges that do a lot of reinterviewing from the Pool, it is not always possible to have every interview for the same subject on the same day and, given the pressure of time in arranging interviews, the college may not know at the time when it contacts each applicant when the re-interviewing process for that subject may be finished.

    It is possible, therefore, for some people to be contacted within 24 hours of their re-interview to give them the result, especially if they are being interviewed at a college that doesn't generally do very many or is in a subject where re-interviews are reasonably rare, while for other subjects (Nat Sci for instance) and colleges (Murray Edwards for instance) they may not have a definite decision for a few days.

    I agree, however, that it is something to which we should give some thought.
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    (Original post by JasperLee)
    The Didn't get in! In this day of openness and fairness why are we having to put up with quotas from state schools. My family have remortgaged to keep me at school and I feel I have let them down. I was predicted A*A*A* not even polled? My father left school and could not even read and write, from a large councils estate in west London. He has worked with one resolve, giving me a chance. The system is broken!!!!!!
    I am sorry to hear that you were unsuccessful, I am afraid that a lot of people are even with very high predictions. There has been quite a long discussion on the thread about private vs state schools, so I'll add my thoughts here rather than reply to each post individually.

    As has been pointed out, there is no state school quota. We have a target that 61-63% of our UK intake should come from state schools. This was calculated very carefully to reflect national achievement of our offer levels. Around 60% of those achieving A*AA and above are from the state sector and so it is only right that our intake should aim to reflect the national picture.

    In the 2013 admissions round (the last for which full data is currently available), 29.7% of Home applicants were from Independent schools, while 38.6% of entrants were from Independent schools.

    We tend to get it in the neck from both sides of the debate and our figures are open to use and abuse by people wanting to show bias one way or the other. From our perspective, however, we just want to teach good people and are prepared to look for them in Basingstoke, Bejing or Bradford. When making decisions, we are going to take into account all the information we have about that student, including the educational context from which they come.

    We are not bias but we do discriminate in the original and non-perjoative sense of the word - in that we recognise the different backgrounds from which people have applied to Cambridge and make careful judgements about their applications and their potential. Although we have a lot of data to help us, it is ultimately a human decision and these are prone to error. We will not always get things right, there are lots of people who get turned away who culd have done really well here had they got the chance and equally there are people whom we admit who, on reflection, properly should not have been admitted. But while we are not perfect, we do our best to ensure that we make the best and fairest decision possible given all the information that we have in front of us at the time at which we make the decision.
 
 
 
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