Cambridge Special Access Scheme HELP!!! Watch

harmonyy.
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#21
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I don't want to create a new thread so if it's not a problem, I also have an enquiry regarding the CSAS.

During year 12 from November (2007) to April (2008) my shoulder was swollen, therefore it hurt to write ect... this really affected my revision. I am on course to be predicted AAA (hopefully) however my module grades won't be as strong.

Do you think I should apply for the CSAS or is my illness not that significant.

Thank you
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Ekpyrotic
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#22
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I just read the pdf with information regarding the CSAS; those applying via that will still have 4/5 A's at A2.
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trance addict
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(Original post by Greatleysteg)
I see you're from Liverpool. Do you mind me asking which school you go to?

What with 6 Liverpool schools in the worst 50 in the country, it's very possible that you've underperformed due to your education.

I mean, if it's somewhere like Parklands (1% 5A-C), New Heys (17%), St. Benedict's (~21%) etc, then what you've got is actually pretty good, for GCSE at least. I mean, I went to one of the better comps in Liverpool, and our average A Level student gets CDD.

Especially considering your extenuating circumstances, I don't think you should listen to what people are saying here... you just need to present a compelling case, effectively.

Don't give up!
doubt it, kids from my school have got straight a/a* when the pass rate was around 20% (incidentally a few of them have been to oxbridge too)
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Greatleysteg
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(Original post by Terry J)
I go to Gateacre Comprehensive which is the 15th best for results in the city with 61% A*-C GCSE for 2007
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/h...l/341_4429.stm

seems to be performing at somewhere around 37%, consistently.

It's at the LEA average... well, 0.4% or so below it.

I checked it again and couldn't believe how bad Liverpool schools are! 1%, 7%... so many awful ones, to which loads of my friends go/went.
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Greatleysteg
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(Original post by trance addict)
doubt it, kids from my school have got straight a/a* when the pass rate was around 20% (incidentally a few of them have been to oxbridge too)
Are they partially-sighted/with vision-related disabilities?

Did they suffer as many bereavement as the OP (including mother)?
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Greatleysteg
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(Original post by harmonyy.)
I don't want to create a new thread so if it's not a problem, I also have an enquiry regarding the CSAS.

During year 12 from November (2007) to April (2008) my shoulder was swollen, therefore it hurt to write ect... this really affected my revision. I am on course to be predicted AAA (hopefully) however my module grades won't be as strong.

Do you think I should apply for the CSAS or is my illness not that significant.

Thank you
You could always give it a shot, although I personally wouldn't, as I don't think it's significant enough - unless you were drugged up to the eyeballs half the time to stop the pain, it wouldn't have affected you that much.

Saying that, I was off school for 2 months right before GCSEs, and, even though it wouldn't have affected my AS/A2 results in the slightest, my Head of Sixth Form thought I should try to apply for the Oxford one... he was like, 'but for someone who'd missed so much school at such at such a pivotal time to get such good grades, never mind at a school like ours...', so it might be worth a shot.

Do you have/ can you get a doctor's note?
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Ekpyrotic
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Are they partially-sighted/with vision-related disabilities?

Did they suffer as many bereavement as the OP (including mother)?
You can either get the grades or you can't. There's no excuse for an E at GCSE. I think we're forgetting that the OP has CDDD. I'd be surprized if they got into any top 25 uni.
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Gimothy
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There are plenty of students who have gone to these bad schools and have performed reasonably well at GCSE; my school's pass rate is about 6% lower than yours (around 31%) but those intelligent enough still found a way to get a handful of A*/As. How are you going to cope at Cambridge? Do you honestly believe, with that performance, you deserve a place at one of the most prestigious academic institutes in the world? I certainly didn't when it came to my applications; I toyed with the romantic notion but learnt to face reality, setting my sights at a lower tier. There are plenty of other good unis/courses out there.
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Terry J
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Fine! Fair enough. I will set my sights lower.
All I want to know is how to get good grades, when I mention that I will put in 2 hours of revision for 6 days a week 13 weeks before the exam, people say "If that's how much effort you have to put in to get an A..."
People mention "easily and effortlessly" getting straight A grades.
It seems to me that you can't "effortlessly" get straight A grades, you need to revise for a long time.
What should I do, in order to get good grades?
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Schmokie Dragon
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#30
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With such low grades (compared to the typical Oxbridge student), I don't think you have much if a chance even with CSAS. However, I think if you are serious about getting into Cambridge you could try two things:

1) take your A Levels, find out what grades you actually got and then apply accordingly

2) e-mail your chosen Cambridge college with details of your grades and situation. Ask them if they think they can help you with CSAS, or whether CSAS is a good route for you to take. In my experience the admissions tutors can be very helpful.

When I applied to Peterhouse I wanted to use the CSAS scheme due to some very sub-standard teaching I had recieved. When my school refused to sign the CSAS forms, the admissions tutor offered to phone my head of year and plead my case!
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epitome
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(Original post by TerryJ)
All I want to know is how to get good grades, when I mention that I will put in 2 hours of revision for 6 days a week 13 weeks before the exam, people say "If that's how much effort you have to put in to get an A..."
People mention "easily and effortlessly" getting straight A grades.
It seems to me that you can't "effortlessly" get straight A grades, you need to revise for a long time.
What should I do, in order to get good grades?
Hi Terry,

If you just want to know how to work effectively, you'd probably be best taking your query to the general academic/exam forums elsewhere on this site. This bit is Cambridge-specific.

There is some truth in what people have been saying about working (or not) towards the As, though, which might be worth taking on board. For a very large number of people at Cambridge, getting As just isn't dfficult, and doesn't require that much work (that is, apart from turning up to most lessons and doing the coursework, we might be talking about maybe a day's revision - or even less - per subject). This is not a model you should follow; its just to give you an idea of how lots of people here managed their A Levels). Furthermore, sometimes working too hard, particularly if it's in the wrong kind of way, can be seriusly counter-productive -- you can get bored/stale/over-worked/tired.
Effective work is not about quantity. It just isn't. And Cambridge isn't really about As, either, now we come to it -- yes, the vast majority of people here have AAA+ (and those that don't have good reasons for not having it), but that's not what caused them to get in. Because, frankly, A Levels don't say *much* about intelligence. That's why, often, someone with AAA will get in over someone with AAAAA -- because quantity doesn't necessarily represent quality.

To get good grades, I guess you just need to make sure you understand the material. And that's *understand*, not just learn by heart. Use it, think about it, talk about it, ask questions and try things out. There's no formula -- everyone does things differently. You should, however, make sure you (a) KNOW WHAT THE EXAM EXPECTS OF YOU (i.e. look at the mark schemes, and look at past papers), and (b) READ THE QUESTIONS PROPERLY. Because people lose a LOT of marks every year because of not doing those two things.

Good luck.
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Terry J
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#32
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what is the typical weekly workload for an oxbridge student?
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shunter7634
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(Original post by Terry J)
what is the typical weekly workload for an oxbridge student?
Maybe 40-45 hours, including contact time? Of course, this greatly varies by subject, and also by the ability of the student and how well they are able to understand the material.
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epitome
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(Original post by Terry J)
what is the typical weekly workload for an oxbridge student?
Hey Terry,

This is an impossible one to answer with any generalisable accuracy. It completely varies between people and subject, not to mention supervisors' expectations. The very rough guideline is 40 hrs/week, including contact time. This isn't entirely accurate, and is largely useless as a statistic, I suspect. Scientists have FAR more contact time than arts students; arts students have to do far more self-directed work. Scientists probably have less choice about how much work they do (in that they have a much more defined 'syllabus' to cover); arts students would find it much easier to do either much less work, or far, far more. It depends on the person.

I do English, and typically sit around the 30-50 hours mark. Some weeks, though, this might end up closer to 15...other weeks I might hit 70. Some people will consistently do the minimum, others' normal weeks might be more than most of us can cope with.

As I say, not relaly possible to generalise!
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Terry J
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Oxbridge students have weekly essays, what would these essays entail, how much work would have to be done and how long are they.
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epitome
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(Original post by Terry J)
Oxbridge students have weekly essays, what would these essays entail, how much work would have to be done and how long are they.
Your lack of acknowledgement of the responses you're getting is surprising. Everyone's answers are not, like, computer-generated...:rolleyes:

Once again, the answers to your questions completely depend on subject, individual student, and supervisor. Please realise that there is no formula or rule.
It's difficult to helpfully generalise even from my own experience, but to give you a rough idea: In English, I've typically had 2 essays a week (sometimes more, but 2 is normal). One is on the main paper for that term and will usually stand at 2-3,000 words. I would generally put in about 20-25 hrs work for this essay, though it can go up to 40 or down to about 8 (including both reading & writing time, obviously). Depends (a) how much reading there is to do (obviously some things take longer than others), (b) how interested I get in the subject, (c) how busy the week is, and (d) how demanding the supervisor is!
The other essay is, for the first 2 years anyway, on a subsidiary paper (or, rather, a paper over which you take longer, whilst it holds an equal number of marks). Generally this essay has stood at ~1,500-2,500 words, and I wouldn't expect to spend longer than about 12 hours on it in total. Sometimes, though, this might take as little as an hour, if I choose to do it 'timed'. Heavily depends what paper, though, because there is great variation.

Please note that this stuff varies massively from person to person, subject to subject, supervisor to supervisor. I've given you a general idea of *my* work life, because that's all I can do (and I understand where your question is coming from). But please give the exact numbers a margin.
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llys
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You're all so defeatist. :p: Yes it's very unlikely BUT
OP, I looked up the offers you're likely to get for your uni choices:

Aberdeen - French (4yrs) - CCC
Stirling - French (4yrs) - CCC
Bangor - French, Italian and Spanish - BCC
Nott Trent - French and Chinese - CDD
Sussex - French and Italian - ABB-BBB

IMO if you really think you are capable of getting BBB, which I'm guessing you do as you even think As might be attainable, you most probably will not want to go to Nottingham Trent or Stirling anyway. So you might as well replace that choice by Cambridge. As others have pointed out, it will probably not work, but so long as you keep that in mind, what have you got to lose? Just an uni choice which you would not be happy with anyway. (I'm totally assuming here, sorry if I'm off the track.)

On the other hand, maybe you should also look at some more realistic unis like Leeds or RHUL? They have BBB / ABB or such offers and from what I've heard they are nice & respectable unis.
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Terry J
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#38
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There are 5 main things stopping me from applying to Cambridge.

1) I am predicted CDDD at AS (I probably won't even get an interview)
2) I would rather apply to unis with lower expected grades so i have more chance of getting in.
3) I probably won't be able to cope with Cambridge work (3,000 word essay each week!)
4)I'd probably be dissuaded by teachers and family who would probably think i'm getting above my station.
5) I don't have A's at GCSE.

I would love to go to a great university like Cambridge but I don't think it's for me! It's very unlikely I'd get in (and I got an E at GCSE maths!)
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epitome
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They are quite significant things. It seems, though I don't know the whole story, that if you're going to stand a chance you would have to take a year or two or three out first, to boost your application (get the grades; and be convincing that you are *much* better than your grades). I'm afraid the CSAS just doesn't make up that much difference (that is, the difference between your grades and the ones Cambridge would expect). This might be far too much of a hassle, and a bit of a waste of your time.

Perhaps best to aim elsewhere?

(NB: Only do what YOU want to do, ultimately, because it's very much your life!)
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Terry J
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#40
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I've made up my mind!
I won't apply for Cambridge.
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