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    (Original post by ComputerMaths97)
    Regarding AS UMS I am a bit confused as to how you compare students. More specifically, for Computer Science (w/Maths).

    So, to my understanding something called "Best 3 UMS" is used, consisting of the best 3 relevant UMS average correct? My question is, do they consider what subjects end up being part of that Best 3 UMS as well? For example, say we have two applicants with very similar "Best 3 UMS", however one of theirs is their Maths, Further Maths and Physics scores used, and the other uses Maths, Physics, Chemistry - who would be considered the applicant with the best exam results (just assuming they both did Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry and got 3 A's and a B each just for example)?

    Additionally, what has screwed over me and 100% of my friends doing Further Maths AS is that we had to do M2 instead of D1, is this something considered? Only two people in my year got an A in the M2 exam, yet 5 people in my year managed to get an A overall in Further Maths. We all dreaded M2 because it was so much harder than every other exam we took, and although I personally still achieved a high score, I worry that this one exam has ruined a lot of my friends chances :/

    Thank you for making this thread, it's always lovely to see you putting in the time to help us!
    Once more, with feeling, don't obsess over UMS averages!

    Several merit scores are calculated for each applicant - best 3, best 4, SUMS, maths+physics and maths. For all of these, all maths modules are combined into a subject. Merit scores are primarily for moderation, not for assessment(they make sure nobody deserving is overlooked, rather than dictating which students we take). You point out ways they fall short as an indicator of ability, which is why we dig much deeper than the averages and look at your module-by-module scores in each subject. This allows us to see variation in your scores and see how you got to the overall grade in each subject.

    I hope this is helpful - let me know if you have any further questions!
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Once more, with feeling, don't obsess over UMS averages!

    Several merit scores are calculated for each applicant - best 3, best 4, SUMS, maths+physics and maths. For all of these, all maths modules are combined into a subject. Merit scores are primarily for moderation, not for assessment(they make sure nobody deserving is overlooked, rather than dictating which students we take). You point out ways they fall short as an indicator of ability, which is why we dig much deeper than the averages and look at your module-by-module scores in each subject. This allows us to see variation in your scores and see how you got to the overall grade in each subject.

    I hope this is helpful - let me know if you have any further questions!
    Okay, so how important is contextual data for an applicant? Such as a student getting top of the year or 3rd in the year etc? Surely doing better than everyone else with the same resources is more impressive than getting higher scores but as well as 5 other people in your school for example?
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    (Original post by ComputerMaths97)
    Okay, so how important is contextual data for an applicant? Such as a student getting top of the year or 3rd in the year etc? Surely doing better than everyone else with the same resources is more impressive than getting higher scores but as well as 5 other people in your school for example?
    Contextual data is looked at (for example, your GCSE performance relative to the average at your school) and things like 3rd in the year are great things for teachers to mention in their reference (we can't otherwise tell things like that from the information we collect). No particular weight is applied to any one piece of information and we look at lots of information. What I'm trying to say, in a roundabout way, is that it isn't as simple as, say, top of the year with 91% vs 92% but only top 10.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Thanks for posting, we're happy to help.

    For post-qualification applicants, the first thing we look at is if you have achieved the typical offer (A*A*A for sciences). If you haven't achieved at this level then, unless there are compelling extenuating circumstances, you are unlikely to be invited to interview. I'm afraid that I think with A*AAB you are unlikely to be considered as a competitive applicant for Medicine. Taking new subjects in your gap year would be see as an additional year of A levels - we like applicants to achieve A*A*A in 3 subjects taken alongside one another. Whilst some resitting is ok and understandable, lots of papers in lots of subject is likely to cause concern.
    Thank you for your reply.

    I'm a little bit confused - would I be correct in saying that, given that A*AAB is not competitive and some post-A2 resits are okay, I would be a more competitive applicant if I resat one or two exams and applied with achieved grades?

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    Thank you for your reply.

    I'm a little bit confused - would I be correct in saying that, given that A*AAB is not competitive and some post-A2 resits are okay, I would be a more competitive applicant if I resat one or two exams and applied with achieved grades?

    Thanks.
    You would be in a better position if you had achieved the typical offer. There is no set number of resits 'allowed' but multiple (several papers in a subject, resits in several different subjects) can be a concern, particularly if your marks only improve slightly. If you are indeed interested in Medicine you should be aware that successful applicants generally exceed the typical offer - the average incoming medical student at Peterhouse this year has over 3 A*s.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    You would be in a better position if you had achieved the typical offer. There is no set number of resits 'allowed' but multiple (several papers in a subject, resits in several different subjects) can be a concern, particularly if your marks only improve slightly. If you are indeed interested in Medicine you should be aware that successful applicants generally exceed the typical offer - the average incoming medical student at Peterhouse this year has over 3 A*s.
    Ah, I see. Thanks for your help!
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    (Original post by roddylm)
    Do you have any preferences about which maths modules people take? I'm thinking of taking some extra modules (since if I get a STEP offer for CompSci with Maths from Cambridge or elsewhere I'd have to learn the content anyway), but I don't know whether to take extra mechanics or statistics. I got the impression that Christ's preferred mechanics, but I don't know if that's a university wide opinion, or just them.
    We haven't forgotten about you - we're awaiting a personal response from our Computer Science Director of Studies.

    For straight maths, I can say there's a preference for mechanics, but we're waiting to see if this is true for CompSci too.
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    What is the maths with physics interview like at Peterhouse?
    Do candidates just sit down and solve problems, or do they also talk about their passion and interests about the subject?
    What's your advice regarding maths with physics interview preparation?
    Thanks
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    I am aware that Peterhouse is not yet accepting students for Human Social and Political Sciences. But this question is more about the importance of different factors when it comes to the admission process.
    I am enamoured of the HSPS course at Cambridge. However there are a few things which I feel could obliterate any chance of me even getting an interview.
    My AS results are as follows:
    An A in psychology (86%)
    An A in sociology (97%)
    An A in politics (97.5%)
    And will be dropping drama (B at 78%)
    I changed schools when I went to sixth form so I during the time of me picking my subject choices I was very uninformed as you can see. Even though HSPS requires no specific subjects it does state on the Cambridge website that for a strong application pick no more than one non-facilitating subject, all of mine are non-facilitating. Also as I previously when to a very academically poor secondary school my GCSE profile isn't that strong with a mix of Bs and As with only one A*.
    So what I am asking is do you believe these two hurdles of poor subject choices and weak GCSE profile would demolish any chance I having at getting a place?

    Thank you
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    (Original post by stayg0ld)
    I am aware that Peterhouse is not yet accepting students for Human Social and Political Sciences. But this question is more about the importance of different factors when it comes to the admission process.
    I am enamoured of the HSPS course at Cambridge. However there are a few things which I feel could obliterate any chance of me even getting an interview.
    My AS results are as follows:
    An A in psychology (86%)
    An A in sociology (97%)
    An A in politics (97.5%)
    And will be dropping drama (B at 78%)
    I changed schools when I went to sixth form so I during the time of me picking my subject choices I was very uninformed as you can see. Even though HSPS requires no specific subjects it does state on the Cambridge website that for a strong application pick no more than one non-facilitating subject, all of mine are non-facilitating. Also as I previously when to a very academically poor secondary school my GCSE profile isn't that strong with a mix of Bs and As with only one A*.
    So what I am asking is do you believe these two hurdles of poor subject choices and weak GCSE profile would demolish any chance I having at getting a place?

    Thank you
    Hi, yes we don't offer HSPS but we can still talk generally. To me, you seem to have a strong set of AS results and there's nothing obvious which would 'obliterate' your chances. I would be very surprised if a College did not invite you to interview, provided you research what individual colleges consider as essential or advantageous A level choices.

    I can't find anything about facilitating subjects on the course websites: the faculty states "It is not essential for you to have studied any particular subjects previously" and the undergraduate prospectus states "No particular subjects at A Level/IB Higher Level (or equivalent) are required." There are no tricks or secrets to Cambridge admissions - things aren't any more complicated than the information provided publicly through the University, Department and College prospectuses and websites.

    There are no GCSE requirements for HSPS. GCSEs are of much less interest than AS levels and GCSEs are only considered relative to your school - all we want to see is that you did well (not necessarily top of the year etc.), whatever that means in the context of your school.
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    (Original post by 100708244)
    What is the maths with physics interview like at Peterhouse?
    Do candidates just sit down and solve problems, or do they also talk about their passion and interests about the subject?
    What's your advice regarding maths with physics interview preparation?
    Thanks
    Candidates for maths with physics have 2 maths interviews and a maths test (just like applicants for maths) and then a physics interview which is very similar to that given to candidates for physical natural sciences. It is mostly problem-solving, but there is likely to be a little discussion too. The best preparation, as for any maths application, is to practice solving as many hard maths problems as possible.
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    Hi
    Just started 6th form and going forward would been keen to go to Cambridge.
    How much difference would not having Maths at AS/A (did get A* at GCSE) make to my chances for NatSci (Bio) with Peterhouse?
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    Hi,
    I'm interested in applying for Law, I've just got a couple of questions:
    Are my AS results competitive enough?
    I got 4 As - 92% politics, 91% french, 88% spanish and 80% history (which I am dropping). Which gives me a 'best three' average of 90%.

    Also as law is a subject I've never studied before, what would be the best way to prepare for an interview?
    Thank you.
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    (Original post by crablet)
    Hi
    Just started 6th form and going forward would been keen to go to Cambridge.
    How much difference would not having Maths at AS/A (did get A* at GCSE) make to my chances for NatSci (Bio) with Peterhouse?
    Hi, Martin from the Admissions Team here. I studied Biological Natural Sciences and carried on to a Masters and a PhD and I didn't do A level maths!

    Whilst most candidates for Biological Natural Sciences do take maths A level, this isn't a requirement and there is a maths course in the first year (Elementary Mathematics for Biologists) specifically for those who did not take A level Maths. Your application wouldn't necessarily be harmed, depending on your choice of first year courses. Not having A level Maths limits your first year options and the importance of maths varies amongst those which don't absolutely require it. We would ideally want you to take at least 2 sciences (likely Biology and Chemistry) if not all 3 to A level.
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    I'm wondering how competitive for engineering my Scottish higher grades are, and how much consideration is taken when looking at Scottish exam result marks as the SQA exams are at a higher level then AS / A2.

    Technology 95%
    Mathematics 92%
    Chemistry 86%
    Physics 83%
    English 81%
    Biology 79%

    These were all 6 A band 1s at higher, but I am a little concerned especially with physics and biology.

    Additionally, is any credit given for studying extra subjects? The norm is five highers and two or three advanced highers, do students who take extra exams gain any advantage? I consider biology was my extra subject, I took it purely for enjoyment and because it was one of my top subjects (although my mark doesn't reflect my ability in the subject, I didn't perform well on the day of the exam). Whilst I still achieved the top grade for biology - A band 1 - does having six highers make me in any way more favourable? Also the same question with Advanced highers.
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    (Original post by alleseer98)
    Hi,
    I'm interested in applying for Law, I've just got a couple of questions:
    Are my AS results competitive enough?
    I got 4 As - 92% politics, 91% french, 88% spanish and 80% history (which I am dropping). Which gives me a 'best three' average of 90%.

    Also as law is a subject I've never studied before, what would be the best way to prepare for an interview?
    Thank you.
    Hi,

    Your A levels look good and you look to be on track for A*AA, although History is a little low - which subjects are you continuing this year?

    In terms of interview preparation, the best preparation is to continue with your wider reading, making sure you engage critically with it and can connect it to what you cover in school where applicable. It's also a good idea to make sure you haven't forgotten everything you revised for your ASs, but we don't expect you to devote tons of time to revision - the interviews are more a test of how you apply what you know rather than simply seeing how much you know.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    We haven't forgotten about you - we're awaiting a personal response from our Computer Science Director of Studies.

    For straight maths, I can say there's a preference for mechanics, but we're waiting to see if this is true for CompSci too.
    Thanks for replying. If it's relevant, I've already done D1 and D2, and will do FP2 and FP3.
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    I will be applying for Computer Science w/Maths and would simply love much more information on how an interview would go - Would Maths or Computer Science be the priority? I have a real passion for Maths and it's something I want the chance to portray as part of the interviews - will there be a chance to? I really haven't done that much regarding Computer Science out of school since why I want to study it at degree level - I want to learn it all the right way! But I can tell this was a bad decision and I should've just spent some time researching my interests instead of waiting for University to teach it all to me - but how badly will it ruin my chances? I wouldn't be applying for Computer Science if it wasn't my main interest yet I feel Universities will think I'm not that interested due to the lack of extra-curricular Computer Science things I've done.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Hi,yes we don't offer HSPS but we can still talk generally. To me, you seem tohave a strong set of AS results and there's nothing obvious which would'obliterate' your chances. I would be very surprised if a College did notinvite you to interview, provided you research what individual collegesconsider as essential or advantageous A level choices. Ican't find anything about facilitating subjects on the course websites: thefaculty states "It is not essential for you to have studied any particularsubjects previously" and the undergraduate prospectus states "Noparticular subjects at A Level/IB Higher Level (or equivalent) arerequired." There are no tricks or secrets to Cambridge admissions - thingsaren't any more complicated than the information provided publicly through theUniversity, Department and College prospectuses and websites. There are no GCSE requirements for HSPS. GCSEsare of much less interest than AS levels and GCSEs are only considered relativeto your school - all we want to see is that you did well (not necessarily topof the year etc.), whatever that means in the context of your school.
    sorry for butting in but this is theinformation the university provide to the applicants regarding 'facilitatingsubjects.http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ectmatters.pdf And here's an excerpt in regard torecommended/suggested choice of A-levels.
    Are you inclined towards the arts orsocial sciences?If you think you would like to study anarts or social sciences course at university but you are not sure which one,then English Literature,1 History, languages and Mathematics are good‘keystone’ subjects: choosing one or more of these will provide a goodfoundation for your subject combination.Other good choices to combine thesesubjects with include: an additional language, Ancient History, ClassicalCivilisation, Economics, Further Mathematics,2 Geography, Philosophy, ReligiousStudies and sciences (Biology, Chemistry or Physics).Other possible subject choices, forinstance Archaeology, Citizenship, English Language, Environmental Science,Government and Politics, History of Art, Law, Music, Psychology or Sociology,are useful preparation for some of our arts and social sciences courses.The arts and social sciences coursesoffered at the University of Cambridge are: Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic;Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; Classics; Economics; Education; English;History; History of Art; Human, Social, and Political Sciences; Land Economy;Law; Linguistics; Modern and Medieval Languages; Music; Philosophy; Theologyand Religious Studies.
    3 subjects OP is applying with are all fromthe third option, so to speak, in the list above. Wouldn't it make OP'sposition as a candidate a weaker than that of other candidates with simlar grages but with at least one or two facilitating/keystone subjects? If both are treated equally, wouldn't everyone choose to takeless challenging subjects to get better grades? (I understand grades are notall, but hope you understand the point I'm trying to make here.)=
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    (Original post by Gwenuin)
    I'm wondering how competitive for engineering my Scottish higher grades are, and how much consideration is taken when looking at Scottish exam result marks as the SQA exams are at a higher level then AS / A2.

    Technology 95%
    Mathematics 92%
    Chemistry 86%
    Physics 83%
    English 81%
    Biology 79%

    These were all 6 A band 1s at higher, but I am a little concerned especially with physics and biology.

    Additionally, is any credit given for studying extra subjects? The norm is five highers and two or three advanced highers, do students who take extra exams gain any advantage? I consider biology was my extra subject, I took it purely for enjoyment and because it was one of my top subjects (although my mark doesn't reflect my ability in the subject, I ble? Also the same question with Advanced highers.
    didn't perform well on the day of the exam). Whilst I still achieved the top grade for biology - A band 1 - does having six highers make me in any way more favoura

    Hi, we don't get percentages for Scottish Highers, just the grades. We would expect applicants to be on track for AAA at Advanced Highers in relevant subjects (subject requirements the same as for A level students). Just as with A levels it is better to excel in 3 than to do less well in more. For Engineering, English and Biology would likely be considered as less relevant.
 
 
 
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