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Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
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    Can you lend any insights into interviews for economics? Sorry to ask another question.
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    (Original post by Ypw)
    Dear Dr Spencer,
    Many thanks for running this thread. I have a query about the extenuating circumstances form. During Year 12, I had anorexia which had a significant impact on my studies. I still did well in my AS levels but my UMS probably suffered a bit. I am considering submitting an extenuating circumstances form but I'm a bit worried that declaring my illness might count against me in my application, if the admissions team took this as evidence of unfitness to undertake the course. I'm actually well on the road to recovery although not quite there yet. I'll be applying for deferred entry so fully expect to be fit and healthy by then which I appreciate is very important given how intense the Cambridge course is.

    My other question is whether it is OK for my medical specialist to complete the form instead of school as they know much more about it than school.
    Hello and thank you for your question. I am very sorry to hear of your illness and I am glad that you are tackling it. I can assure you that your illness will not be held against you in your application. The ECF is there to provide context, the more we know the better the decisions we can make and, crucially, the better prepared we can be to support students when they get to Cambridge if their circumstances are on-going. It would be both illegal and unethical to use the information provided in the ECF to disadvantage an applicant. ECFs are only here to help applicants, not to hinder them in any way. Your condition is not unknown in Cambridge, a lot of high achievers suffer from it, and colleges are used to supporting students with it.

    You are obviously being very sensible in giving yourself time, by taking a Gap Year, to tackle your condition and prepare yourself for the demands of study at Cambridge, so well done. Yes, it's fine for the ECF to be completed by a doctor rather than your school if they are going to explain your situation better.

    I hope this helps and very best of luck for the future and your application.
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    (Original post by Josh.Lyman)
    Can you lend any insights into interviews for economics? Sorry to ask another question.
    It's no problem. You should expect to be given some Maths problems to solve and think about current economic issues, as they will often come up.
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    Dear Dr Spencer,
    I wish to start by saying thank you for giving up your time to run these threads; I, and I'm sure many other students, find them very valuable. I am applying to do history and modern languages.
    I have a few questions:
    1) I sat my IB exams this May and achieved 45 points, with 7s in HL History, French and English. However, in my Extended essay, on history, I achieved a B (although one mark off an A), and was wondering if this would be overlooked or not, given I achieved a 7 in HL History.
    2) How will the essay in HAA be marked? If you do not wish to declare a guide, then that is of course understandable, but any insight would be great.

    Thank you!
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    Hi Dr Spencer

    If I am predicted A*A*A does that put me at a disadvantage against other applicants with 3A* predictions for a humanities course? One teacher seems to predict low, to keep us working hard, even though I achieved a very comfortable A grade in the reformed AS (95% of raw).

    Also, just wondered if you looked at the applications as they come in? Do you peek or do you wait until after the deadline?
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    Hi, I'm based in Australia and will be sitting my IB exams in November. I'm afraid I haven't done as well in my mock exams, which probably means my predicted score could be less than a 776 at HL. Would I still be able to get an interview?
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    Hello again TSR. My name is Dr Andrew Spencer and I am the Admissions Tutor at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge. Welcome to my tenth Ask an Admissions Tutor thread, this time in my new guise as Murray Edwards Admissions. The Christ's Admissions profile, which I ran for the last three years, will continue under my successor but for the next month before the application deadline for Cambridge, I'll be answering your questions here so please fire away.
    7A* 4C (3 re-takes at GCSE) with expected A*A*A* (inc Maths & FM) at A-Level and expected S, S, S at STEP.
    Is there's any chance of doing maths?
    I'm in Y12.
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    (Original post by Oxidation)
    Is there even the slightest chance?
    If you currently hold those grades id be horrified if you didn't get an offer, if your predicting them yourself and have not got them then that would be more debatable if your school/college/reference is predicting this and you have academic record to suggest this is realistic again id be gobsmacked if you did not get an offer. I mean you would have to bomb the interview.
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    Hello and thank you for your question. I am very sorry to hear of your illness and I am glad that you are tackling it. I can assure you that your illness will not be held against you in your application. The ECF is there to provide context, the more we know the better the decisions we can make and, crucially, the better prepared we can be to support students when they get to Cambridge if their circumstances are on-going. It would be both illegal and unethical to use the information provided in the ECF to disadvantage an applicant. ECFs are only here to help applicants, not to hinder them in any way. Your condition is not unknown in Cambridge, a lot of high achievers suffer from it, and colleges are used to supporting students with it.

    You are obviously being very sensible in giving yourself time, by taking a Gap Year, to tackle your condition and prepare yourself for the demands of study at Cambridge, so well done. Yes, it's fine for the ECF to be completed by a doctor rather than your school if they are going to explain your situation better.

    I hope this helps and very best of luck for the future and your application.
    Dear Dr Spencer

    Thank you so much for your reassurance. You have been very helpful.

    Best wishes for your new role at Medwards!
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    Regarding the NSAA paper for natural sciences.

    Will cambridge be getting our scores for each topic or just section?

    For instance, section 1 is made up of chemistry, physics, biology, maths and advanced maths/ physics. Would Cambridge get the score for maths, physics and chemistry or just a score for section 1 in total?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by qwertyuiop1998)
    Regarding the NSAA paper for natural sciences.

    Will cambridge be getting our scores for each topic or just section?

    For instance, section 1 is made up of chemistry, physics, biology, maths and advanced maths/ physics. Would Cambridge get the score for maths, physics and chemistry or just a score for section 1 in total?

    Thanks
    If it's like STEP they will get the entire script.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    If it's like STEP they will get the entire script.
    Thanks
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    Quick question. When will Economics applicants be able to see the results of their ECAA pre-interview exam? (I know we havent taken it yet, but is there is a date which we get to know how much we got in it?)
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    Hi Dr.Spencer, thanks for running this thread! I am a post-qualification applicant overseas, and this will be the second time I make an application to Cambridge (last year I got pooled and rejected). A few days ago I sent an email to my interested college's admission office to ask for their opinion on applicants taking a gap year, but didn't receive any replies. If I apply to this college in this round, would the admission officers notice that I am a second-time applicant(due to my email) and make relevant notes on my profile? And does my clarification of a second-time applicantion disadvantage my chance of getting an offer?Thank you in advance.
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    (Original post by francais123)
    Dear Dr Spencer,
    I wish to start by saying thank you for giving up your time to run these threads; I, and I'm sure many other students, find them very valuable. I am applying to do history and modern languages.
    I have a few questions:
    1) I sat my IB exams this May and achieved 45 points, with 7s in HL History, French and English. However, in my Extended essay, on history, I achieved a B (although one mark off an A), and was wondering if this would be overlooked or not, given I achieved a 7 in HL History.
    2) How will the essay in HAA be marked? If you do not wish to declare a guide, then that is of course understandable, but any insight would be great.

    Thank you!
    Hello and thank you for your kind comments and question. It's a pleasure to be able to help.

    1) With 45 point achieved in the IB, you'll be seen as a very strong candidate on paper regardless of your Extended Essay mark.

    2) There is a specification for the History assessment which lays out the sorts of things that markers will be looking for in the essay.

    Best of luck with your application and do ask more if you want to.
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    (Original post by crablet)
    Hi Dr Spencer

    If I am predicted A*A*A does that put me at a disadvantage against other applicants with 3A* predictions for a humanities course? One teacher seems to predict low, to keep us working hard, even though I achieved a very comfortable A grade in the reformed AS (95% of raw).

    Also, just wondered if you looked at the applications as they come in? Do you peek or do you wait until after the deadline?
    Hello and thank you for your questions. On that measure, then yes you will be at a disadvantage compared with other applicants with stronger predictions but, given that we don't pay a huge amount of attention to predictions (except where candidates are predicted below the offer level), it's not something you need to worry about too much.

    Personally, I don't have a set routine of when I start to look at applications in detail. I usually keep a track of numbers from day to day, but sometimes I will start looking at files early and other times I've waited for them all. This year, I'm waiting for them all to come in before I start reading them but not for any particular reason.
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    (Original post by xyrn)
    Hi, I'm based in Australia and will be sitting my IB exams in November. I'm afraid I haven't done as well in my mock exams, which probably means my predicted score could be less than a 776 at HL. Would I still be able to get an interview?
    If your predictions are below 776 at HL the there is a real chance that you won't get an interview, I'm afraid, though it's not certain either way.
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    (Original post by Oxidation)
    7A* 4C (3 re-takes at GCSE) with expected A*A*A* (inc Maths & FM) at A-Level and expected S, S, S at STEP.
    Is there's any chance of doing maths?
    I'm in Y12.
    Well, given that those are the top grades possible in both A Level and STEP, it would be pretty odd if you didn't have a chance!

    If your academic track record suggest that you are on course to achieve those sorts of grades, then you'll be a very strong candidate.
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    (Original post by Ypw)
    Dear Dr Spencer

    Thank you so much for your reassurance. You have been very helpful.

    Best wishes for your new role at Medwards!
    You're very welcome, very glad to have helped. Thank you for your best wishes, am enjoying the new role greatly!
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    (Original post by qwertyuiop1998)
    Regarding the NSAA paper for natural sciences.

    Will cambridge be getting our scores for each topic or just section?

    For instance, section 1 is made up of chemistry, physics, biology, maths and advanced maths/ physics. Would Cambridge get the score for maths, physics and chemistry or just a score for section 1 in total?

    Thanks
    There will be a single score for Section 1. It will have been marked by Cambridge Assessments and delivered to the university and colleges. The scale is the same as the BMAT scale (1.0-9.0) but the distribution of marks will be more even than in BMAT (where there is a big grouping of marks between about 4.0 and 7.0).
 
 
 
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