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    (Original post by danielhx)
    Hi i have a question but first i would like to give you guys a bit of background into my situation. As a singaporean, i will be enlisting in the National Service for 2 years this December and it will be full time. I want to apply to do mathematics in university hopefully at Cambridge/Oxford so i'm stuck in a bit of a dilemma. I do have the slight inclination to want to study at Cambridge as i feel like MAT is not really my thing and i would do better in STEP. That being said, i feel like since i will be in National Service i won't have the time to meet the standard STEP offers given by Cambridge. So i was just wondering, with my results

    will i still be looking at a very standard 1,1 STEP offer? Does Cambridge always give out a STEP offer? What is the most lenient? Thank you so much for reading this and any help will be appreciated!!
    Your spoiler doesn't show anything - but, yes Cambridge will always give out a STEP offer unless you're obviously very exceptional like a full scorer on IMO or such stuff. Usually people on gap years may or may not get higher STEP offers because of their added maturity but it's on a very case-by-case basis and practice varies from college-to-college.

    If your only reason to want Cambridge over Oxford is STEP v/s MAT, I'd encourage you to think more about it - if you feel like STEP (the vastly harder exam) is more your thing then you should find MAT a walk in the park. Now if you've got other reasons for wanting Cambridge ('cause it's obvs better than Oxford ) then that's fine.
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    (Original post by sir albert)
    Dear Peterhouse Admissions, my daughter is weighing up her options to study Music. She has just started Yr13 and is doing Music (Pre-U), German (A2) and English Lit (A2). Her 'data' so far includes:

    GCSE - 3A*s & 7As - the A*s were in Music, Maths, German
    AS - German, raw mark 176/200, i.e 88% (Speaking 53/60 and Reading/Writing/Listening 123/140)
    Predicted A2 - Music - D2, German - A, English Lit. - A

    She did her GCSEs at a decent local state school and her AS (and A2s to come) at a good private school in Cambridge.

    In your experience, leaving aside interviews, tests, etc, how strong a candidate might she be in applying for the Music Tripos, in relation to what you normally see for these parameters?

    Any viewpoints and advice would be gratefully received.
    Thanks for asking! We don't just look at grades so it's hard to say exactly how strong a candidate your daughter would be but she would be a competitve applicant and is on track to meet the typical offer requirements - we consider D2 in pre-U to be approximately equivalent to an A* so D2AA meets the typical offer requirements.
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    (Original post by Abstract_Prism)
    I have a couple questions about the SAQ (specifically the extra personal statement):

    What makes a good SAQ personal statement? What things should and should not be included? How many characters do we get? Roughly what proportion of applicants choose not to complete it? And are you at any sort of disadvantage if you don't complete it?

    I'm just wondering if it should be in the same kind of style as the main personal statement or if you're meant to take a different approach.

    Thanks
    The most important thing to remember with the SAQ statement is that it is optional. Most candidates leave it blank and this is fine, it's just there in case there's anything you want to add, particularly if the course you're applying for here is slightly different than your choices elsewhere (e.g. NatSci here and a single science elsewhere, ASNC here and something else at other universities etc.). We'd rather it was left blank than you put something irrelvant in there or repeated points from your UCAS PS. Don't talk about why you like the College, this isn't relevant or particularly interesting.

    There is no disdvantage to leaving it blank, it is there as an opportunity to add information if you have anything relevant.
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    (Original post by anonymousguy24)
    Hello, I do not have gcse or anything before my AS level because all my exams were internal, would I be disadvantaged if I just left the UCAS form blank? Would a good AS score be enough? Thank you.
    Hi, don't worry if you don't have GCSE equivalent exams, we would just need evidence of recent academic performance and AS results will be ideal for this.
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    (Original post by profileradian)
    Hello Peterhouse,

    I am an international student studying in the UK and planning to apply for Economics in Cambridge.

    I did a full A-level mathematics (C1-4,S1,M1) and got UMS 98%, Economics UMS 93%, Chemistry 95%. I will be taking the whole Further Maths module, A2 Economics and Chemistry this year. My teachers said my UMS is sufficient for obtaining an interview, but I am rather worried.

    This is because I am from China and my English is not too fluent (IELTS score 7.5) , as I do not think I will perform particularly well in the essay session of the Economics Admission Assessment and the interview (if I got one). It is always frustrating when I couldn't express myself in a second language. May I know how important is the admission assessment and the interview will count towards my application? Will I be at a huge disadvantaged concerning the language barriers?

    Thank you very much for replying.
    Hi thanks for asking.

    Your UMS is good and I think you would be likely to get an interview. However please note that English language ability is one of things assessed at interview and through the Admissions Assessment as a strong command of written and spoken English is a requirement for our courses and our supervision style of teaching. If there are any concerns about your English, we would add an IELTS condition to any offer made. Please note that the typical IELTS condition for Economics at Peterhouse may be a little higher than is typical across the University and we would ask for 8 or 8.5 overall with at least 7.5 in each element. You do not need to achieve this level before applying, this would be part of any offer made.
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    (Original post by hapoomyi)
    Hello,

    I'm applying for English Literature.
    For AS I studied English lit, History, Philosophy & Ethics, and Psychology.
    I got 4As, with UMS in only Philosophy & Ethics where I got 93 in Philosophy and 100 in Ethics.
    I dropped Psychology and received the predicted grades for the three I'm carrying on with, and I got A*A*A.
    However, I did not get an A* prediction in English Lit, because of a huge lapse in marking where I got 60/60 on one paper but then 45/60 on the other.
    Because my total mark's right on the grade boundary for an A I don't want to risk getting it marked down to a B just to get an A* prediction, but if an A prediction will be detrimental to my application, I think I might have to take the risk.
    So basically- will an A prediction in English lit prove detrimental to my application?
    Hi, I think we can help:

    I don't think that would be a problem as your still on track to achieve above the level of the typical offer, but it would depend a little on your individual application. As we've said before, we don't expect perfection and are really looking to understand your acheivements, abilities and potential in the proper context and get an idea of your strengths and weaknesses.
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    (Original post by Person3816)
    Hello,

    I'm looking to study Physics, so will be applying for Physical Natural Sciences at Cambridge. Just curious as to how strongly my ability in a second science (i.e. chemistry) is viewed? And also, whether I can choose to only be interviewed in physics and maths for the 2 interviews? Or will one of the interviews have to include chemistry? As I would likely perform much better with maths/physics interview questions then chemistry ones. Assuming one interview will involve chemistry, to what extent would a weaker performance there damage my chances of an offer (also assuming my maths and physics abilities are good enough)?

    AS grades:
    Maths - A (C1 - 93, C2 - 95, S1 - 100)
    Physics - A (Raw mark = 110/160 ... 19 above A boundary)
    Chemistry - A (Raw mark = 111/160 ... 8 above A boundary)
    Biology - A (Raw mark = 94/160 ... 3 above A boundary)

    (Would you suggest disclosing all my raw marks? Would they be considered good? i.e. will they advantage or disadvantage me? )

    I've dropped Biology this year and picked up Further Maths AS. My predicted grades are A*A*A in Maths, Physics and Chemistry respectively. Again, would an A prediction for chemistry instead of an A* show that I can't hold a consistent standard across all the sciences?

    Also, would an acceptable reason for not taking A2 further maths be that I wanted to study every science in year 12? Obviously I realised I needed to take up AS this year, and am doing an extra module (M3) above the 3 I need for the AS, in order to compensate.

    Finally...
    What kind of score would a strong competitive candidate with a good shot of getting an offer be achieving in the NSAA? I scored 50% in the sample paper which was released, but am assuming I'll need to improve on that if I want a good chance of receiving an offer?

    Thanks
    (and sorry for the amount of questions!)
    Hi, great to hear you're thinking of applying for NatSci! I hope we're not all going to transfer all the anxieties of UMS onto raw marks, remember they're not the same and won't be used in the same way by us. Your teachers can disclose raw marks (it is not for you to do) if they wish and we will consider them in context with the rest of your application and in comparison with the rest of the field of applicants.

    For Natural Sciences, you would generally be interviewed in two Sciences, likely Physics and Chemistry/Materials. If you would prefer a Physics and a Maths interview then you should consider applying for Maths with Physics instead - remember that Natural Sciences is not a Physics course and you will have to study and we'd like you to do well at 3 experimental sciences for at least the first year.

    The typical offer for NatSci is A*A*A not A*A*A* so your prediction in Chemistry won't be a disadvantage. FM isn't required so don't worry about not having it to A2 but picking up AS FM will help you do well at Physics and the mathematics options here.

    We don't quite know what the distribution of scores will be and what is considered a 'good' score will be different for each applicant, depending on their background and the A levels they are taking.
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    Cross-post from here as it may be of wider interest.

    I think a lot of applicants are worrying about prep and are approaching these assessments in the same mindset as A levels. You are advised to read over the supplied material to make sure you're happy with the style of questions and the areas of knowledge expected but after that we don't expect lots of preparation as these are test of ability rather than knowledge (i.e. how can you apply what you know rather than who knows the most). You turn up and do your best

    Also bear in mind that they are designed to be challenging and are pitched at the level of our typical applicants. These might be the first exams you sit which are aimed at your ability range so don't be surprised if you find them tough. We don't know what sort of marks people will get until they've happened but we'd expect them to break down similar to Tripos exams with reasonable marks in the 50s and 60s, strong candidates in the 70s and very very strong candidates getting maybe 85%.Exactly what is considered a 'good' score will be different for each applicant, depending on their background and the A levels they are taking.

    They are not A levels and please bear this in mind when attempting them. If you regularly get 80, 90 or 100% in school then adjust your expectations - you're not supposed to be getting the same sorts of marks here
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    (Original post by Djangy)
    Hi,

    Just wondering if Cambridge try to balance gender numbers at all in deciding whom to accept? I.e. is someone applying for a course with a very skewed male:female ratio going to have slightly improved chance of getting an offer if they're in the minority? (For example, a girl applying for computer science.)

    Thanks in advance!
    Not really, we're interested in your potential to do well regardless of gender. To have a balanced student community, we would like to have a roughly 50:50 gender balance across the College (i.e. across all subjects) but academic ability and fairness in admissions decisions takes priority. Some courses are male-biased and others are female-biased so at a College level things often balance out.
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    (Original post by danielhx)
    Hi i have a question but first i would like to give you guys a bit of background into my situation. As a singaporean, i will be enlisting in the National Service for 2 years this December and it will be full time. I want to apply to do mathematics in university hopefully at Cambridge/Oxford so i'm stuck in a bit of a dilemma. I do have the slight inclination to want to study at Cambridge as i feel like MAT is not really my thing and i would do better in STEP. That being said, i feel like since i will be in National Service i won't have the time to meet the standard STEP offers given by Cambridge. So i was just wondering, with my results
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Spoiler: 4A* Math FM Phy Chem (97.7 UMS) overall for A2 n AS Step 1 grade 1
    will i still be looking at a very standard 1,1 STEP offer? Does Cambridge always give out a STEP offer? What is the most lenient? Thank you so much for reading this and any help will be appreciated!!
    Hi, thanks for asking. I think it is very likely verging on certain that if you were to be given an offer it would be for at least 1,1 in STEP II and III.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    The most important thing to remember with the SAQ statement is that it is optional. Most candidates leave it blank and this is fine, it's just there in case there's anything you want to add, particularly if the course you're applying for here is slightly different than your choices elsewhere (e.g. NatSci here and a single science elsewhere, ASNC here and something else at other universities etc.). We'd rather it was left blank than you put something irrelvant in there or repeated points from your UCAS PS. Don't talk about why you like the College, this isn't relevant or particularly interesting.

    There is no disdvantage to leaving it blank, it is there as an opportunity to add information if you have anything relevant.
    For a natsci applicant, would mentioning what streams I would like to do be worth doing? Also maybe a little bit about why you want to apply to the university?
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    Hi there Peterhouse, another question.

    A couple of pages back I mentioned that I got 98 UMS in one Politics exam but unfortunately got 66 UMS in the other. Well since then we got the script back and had a look at it, and my teachers agree that it was a well-written script that was marked very harshly. So we're going to send it for a remark. My only concern though is if despite it deserving a higher grade, they will refuse to change the marks due to the A-level remark reforms which came in this year which means that marks will not be changed unless there was a serious 'administrative error', not just the 'subjectivity' of examiners - even if they were marked very harshly the first time around.

    It's very disappointing to have been given the short stick by examiners, so if the mark is not changed, would Peterhouse be willing to accept additional information explaining the situation by my teachers and their opinion on what the script should have got, and perhaps could I send Peterhouse a copy of my exam script for them to judge for themselves?

    Many thanks
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    (Original post by Abstract_Prism)
    Hi there Peterhouse, another question.

    A couple of pages back I mentioned that I got 98 UMS in one Politics exam but unfortunately got 66 UMS in the other. Well since then we got the script back and had a look at it, and my teachers agree that it was a well-written script that was marked very harshly. So we're going to send it for a remark. My only concern though is if despite it deserving a higher grade, they will refuse to change the marks due to the A-level remark reforms which came in this year which means that marks will not be changed unless there was a serious 'administrative error', not just the 'subjectivity' of examiners - even if they were marked very harshly the first time around.

    It's very disappointing to have been given the short stick by examiners, so if the mark is not changed, would Peterhouse be willing to accept additional information explaining the situation by my teachers and their opinion on what the script should have got, and perhaps could I send Peterhouse a copy of my exam script for them to judge for themselves?

    Many thanks
    I'm glad you asked this, as I am literally in exactly the same situation as you, but for economics. Remarking is atrocious this year. My teachers saw my script and said the marking was bad, so I sent it off for a remark and it went down an extra 1 mark as opposed to going up 3 marks to an A, as my teachers said it would due to the erroneous marking. The new regulations are awful in my opinion, and are very, very unfair. So this is a question that needs answering.

    Additionally to this then, how much focus will Cambridge put on reformed AS grades? If predictions are immaculate, how will our grades themselves be assessed against those that didn't do them? Surely this doesn't even make us comparable. I am going to presume that the admissions tests will have significant weighting to put everyone on an even playing field??

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    Hi Peterhouse,
    I'm intending to apply for Economics, with the following grades:
    A in AS maths (300/300)
    A* in A2 maths (592/600)
    A in AS physics
    A in AS economics
    I have a few questions:
    Ought we disclose our raw marks for our papers in the reference?
    How important will the ECAA be in reviewing our applications?
    How are extenuating circumstances taken into account during the application process?
    Thank you,
    From Gautam.


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    Hi Peterhouse, thanks for doing this

    Earlier this year I sat my Maths A-Level a year early (and got an A* ). However my school only cashed in my AS. This year I am sitting all my Further Maths modules. I know I can't mention my A-Level Maths modules on UCAS, however can I mention them on the SAQ without them being cashed in? If I don't, is it going to look weird that I only have an AS in Maths and not one in Further Maths when it seems like I am completing both at A-Level this year? It feels like a weird position to be in to have sat exams and done well in them, yet not be able to speak about them.

    I might just be over thinking it, just wanted to know the perspective of admissions. Thanks
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    Thank you for your reply!

    As I didn't take the GCSEs last year so the only grades I have is the AS grades and UMS, I learnt that in this case I have to hand in my transcripts to Cambridge via the SAQ. However, I didn't get it from my previous school in China. All I have are the annual school report cards. Can I submit those instead of transcripts? Thanks
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    Hi Peterhouse, thanks for the thread. I will be applying for engineering this year, however the other courses I will be applying for will be biomedical engineering courses. My question is whether having a personal statement tailored more towards biomedical engineering will affect my prospects of getting an interview?
    Spoiler:
    Show

    In case it affects your reply. I achieved AAAA at AS in Maths, Physics, Further Maths, and Chemistry and though my predicted grades have not been finalised I am fairly certain they will be A*Maths A/A*Physics A/A*FM.
    C1: 100
    C2: 92
    M1: 87
    S1: 99
    D1: 86
    FP1: 74 (Will be retaking)
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    How much do Cambridge look at the reformed AS levels? Surely if they're only looking at the grades for them and not the raw marks or UMS then they can't be as important? How will people who have taken them and got, in my case AABB (both Bs in reformed subjects) be compared to people who haven't taken them?

    Surely this can't be compared?

    Am I to take it that the pre-interview assessment will form the basis for comparison across the board??


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    (Original post by k.russell)
    For a natsci applicant, would mentioning what streams I would like to do be worth doing? Also maybe a little bit about why you want to apply to the university?
    Yes this is probably a good use of the SAQ to tell us about why you're excited for Natural Sciences and which courses you like the look of.
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    (Original post by Abstract_Prism)
    Hi there Peterhouse, another question.

    A couple of pages back I mentioned that I got 98 UMS in one Politics exam but unfortunately got 66 UMS in the other. Well since then we got the script back and had a look at it, and my teachers agree that it was a well-written script that was marked very harshly. So we're going to send it for a remark. My only concern though is if despite it deserving a higher grade, they will refuse to change the marks due to the A-level remark reforms which came in this year which means that marks will not be changed unless there was a serious 'administrative error', not just the 'subjectivity' of examiners - even if they were marked very harshly the first time around.

    It's very disappointing to have been given the short stick by examiners, so if the mark is not changed, would Peterhouse be willing to accept additional information explaining the situation by my teachers and their opinion on what the script should have got, and perhaps could I send Peterhouse a copy of my exam script for them to judge for themselves?

    Many thanks
    Hi, you could send extra information (all candidates and their schools are welcome to) but we'd largely go by the result as declared by the exam board. We don't really have a choice and have to trust the results they certify as otherwise there would be no end to the submission of scripts where candidates felt hard done by.

    I appreciate that you are disappointed with the result but the best things is to put it behind you and move on .
 
 
 
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