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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Have you looked at the Human Sciences admissions requirements and syllabus lately? I am not that far off.
    Human Sciences did always sound interesting! I'll bear it in mind for a mid-life crisis...

    But then that GEM page about acceptable degrees does also still have the caveat:
    "Please note that, in addition to a degree in bioscience or chemistry, you must have two science A-levels, or equivalent qualification, of which one must be chemistry (unless you have a chemistry degree). If your degree is in a subject other than bioscience, you must also have a qualification in biology at GCSE or O-level, or dual-award science GCSE, or an equivalent qualification."
    So Oxford GEM-ers are still needing more than GCSE level sciences.


    Anyhow - I'm not in a great position to judge differences in science knowledge levels between your average AAA student & BBB student (don't think there were any! ) - but I've never heard AdamskiUK's 'supposedly' applied to the Oxford course & thinking back found that for preclinical Physiology/Biochemistry especially you do need to hit the ground running from your A level background & there was always a bit of work to be done if you didn't have Biology.
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    (Original post by jasmina10)
    Hi all
    I saw on the Oxford website that the standard offer for Mathematics is A*A*A, that the standard offer for the sciences is A*AA and for arts/humanities it is AAA.
    Why is this?
    It's supply and demand. If a lot of people want to go there, and the number of places is fixed, they set the bar high so that only the best-qualified candidates get in. Effectively, they can afford to be choosey.
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    (Original post by Pastaferian)
    It's supply and demand. If a lot of people want to go there, and the number of places is fixed, they set the bar high so that only the best-qualified candidates get in. Effectively, they can afford to be choosey.
    That is certainly not the case.The offers for a number of Oxford's arts subjects are lower than those of some other universities in circumstances where most candidates with offers from both, choose the (lower) Oxford offer.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    That is certainly not the case.The offers for a number of Oxford's arts subjects are lower than those of some other universities in circumstances where most candidates with offers from both, choose the (lower) Oxford offer.
    Your second sentence doesn't contradict what I said. A course which requires A*A*A is presumably more sought-after than one which requires AAA or lower. If another uni makes higher offers than Oxford for an arts course, then presumably that other place is more sought-after than Oxford. Again, supply and demand.
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    (Original post by Pastaferian)
    Your second sentence doesn't contradict what I said. A course which requires A*A*A is presumably more sought-after than one which requires AAA or lower. If another uni makes higher offers than Oxford for an arts course, then presumably that other place is more sought-after than Oxford. Again, supply and demand.
    I am afraid your analysis is far too simplistic.

    To do a sensible comparison you have to go back before the A* grade was used by Oxford because the use of the grade will deter applicants who are not likely to get one. Therefore I use the 2010 figures where all standard offers were AAA

    The number of applicants per place for law in 2010 was 11.1, for PPE 7 and for history and English joint 9.4. All these today require AAA.

    The equivalent figure for maths was 6 and for maths and philosophy 6.5. Today, these subjects require A*A*A.

    Chemistry had 3.5 applicants per place and earth sciences 3.6. Both of these courses now require A*AA.

    For law, KCL, UCL, LSE, Bristol, Durham, Nottingham and Queen Mary routinely make A*AA offers and one or two others offer some A*AA places. You ask on the law forum how many people would turn down their Oxford offer for one of these.
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    (Original post by Samuel Brennan)
    I applied to Cambridge Maths with 'just an A' and got an offer.
    A*AA in Maths, Further Maths Physics + 1,1 in STEP.
    In theory I could've got in with AA from Maths and Further Maths.
    I didn't say it would be impossible for someone with an A in Maths/Further Maths to cope, I said that generally people who get in to Oxford etc. don't have that much of a problem with getting an A* in Maths, to the point that it justified raising the standard offer. I was explaining the (possible) reasoning behind the change in offer.

    Also in your case I think the 1,1 in STEP is still a big factor isn't it? Even if you didn't get an A* in Further Maths A level, getting 1,1 in STEP will probably be a better indicator of your later performance in your degree.

    I perhaps should have been clearer in what I meant re an A in Maths: A large proportion of those with As in Maths A level seem to be of the 'rote learning' type and even an A* can be achieved through rote learning and being careful in the exam (I fall into this category). As such an A at Maths is not in itself a great indicator of potential for later study because it doesn't seem to distinguish between those who can just mindlessly apply techniques (and who wouldn't do too well at uni) and those who have a genuine flair for the subject but who might lose marks in the standard stuff (not being careful etc.) and get an A or a lower A* UMS average (I'm paraphrasing the Trinity, Cambridge prof. Imre Leader). That's exactly why STEP/MAT and interviews exist....

    However, as mentioned before I think Oxford raised the offer because for the most part the Mathematicians that they identified as having 'flair' and gave offers to, went on to get an A* anyway, despite there being some exceptions.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I am afraid your analysis is far too simplistic.

    To do a sensible comparison you have to go back before the A* grade was used by Oxford because the use of the grade will deter applicants who are not likely to get one. Therefore I use the 2010 figures where all standard offers were AAA

    The number of applicants per place for law in 2010 was 11.1, for PPE 7 and for history and English joint 9.4. All these today require AAA.

    The equivalent figure for maths was 6 and for maths and philosophy 6.5. Today, these subjects require A*A*A.

    Chemistry had 3.5 applicants per place and earth sciences 3.6. Both of these courses now require A*AA.

    For law, KCL, UCL, LSE, Bristol, Durham, Nottingham and Queen Mary routinely make A*AA offers and one or two others offer some A*AA places. You ask on the law forum how many people would turn down their Oxford offer for one of these.
    The number of applicants for a course isn't the only factor though - the predicted grades of the average candidate is also a factor. A course attracting relatively small numbers of very highly qualified candidates might adopt a different policy to an unrelated course which attracted a large number of candidates with more diverse academic backgrounds.

    But I'm wondering if we are arguing slightly at cross-purposes. My reply to the OP was an attempt to explain why different Oxford courses make different offers, not why Oxford makes different offers to other universities. Your law example is an interesting one nevertheless and I see now that it is not always so straightforward - good point.
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    (Original post by Pastaferian)
    The number of applicants for a course isn't the only factor though - the predicted grades of the average candidate is also a factor. A course attracting relatively small numbers of very highly qualified candidates might adopt a different policy to an unrelated course which attracted a large number of candidates with more diverse academic backgrounds.

    But I'm wondering if we are arguing slightly at cross-purposes. My reply to the OP was an attempt to explain why different Oxford courses make different offers, not why Oxford makes different offers to other universities. Your law example is an interesting one nevertheless and I see now that it is not always so straightforward - good point.
    Supply and demand plays a relatively small part in the process because Oxofrd has allowed the number of applicants to grow whilst keeping the number of interviewees static. Other universities have used grades to choke off demand. Oxford has allowed demand to grow more or less freely.
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    (Original post by Elles)
    Who says that..?
    Manchester head admissions and Cambridge 3rd year medical student.

    It's generally accepted that as long as you're pushing yourself to a good level of education that you're capable of doing most degree courses - especially those that aren't taught through A-Level.

    Medicine is a constant learning path. You can walk in with a B in English Language GCSE and struggle a lot more than somebody with A* because when you have to write up medical reports/ PBL questions, you're at a disadvantage. You have to constantly learn to improve, but it's not entirely necessary to start at such a high level.

    Current Uni's only set A*AA/AAA now because that's the typical offer a top candidate will usually be able to put forward. You might as well state that as your requirement if ~75% of your applicants will achieve those predicted grades.
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    (Original post by AdamskiUK)
    Manchester head admissions and Cambridge 3rd year medical student.
    OK, well an Oxford medical graduate disagrees - for the Oxford course specifically. I think First BM with BBB (these days) would be too painful.

    Apart from those exceptional BBB students with exenuating circumstances etc. etc. who have done other preparation work or for medical courses in general it might apply - for clinicals it probably does but sadly preclinical needed first!
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    (Original post by Elles)
    OK, well an Oxford medical graduate disagrees - for the Oxford course specifically. I think First BM with BBB (these days) would be too painful.

    Apart from those exceptional BBB students with exenuating circumstances etc. etc. who have done other preparation work or for medical courses in general it might apply - for clinicals it probably does but sadly preclinical needed first!
    Haha - I can possibly understand when coming from an Oxbridge point of view. I think perhaps what they intended to say was that a typical medical course would be fine with BBB. I would imagine that, with the more intense 6-year course that you guys undertake, it could be a tad more difficult.
 
 
 
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