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Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
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    (Original post by ateitall)
    Thanks - unfortunately worried is my default setting.
    ... Preferences > System Startup Settings > Attitude to life > change to "chillax"

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    (Original post by ateitall)
    Hi Dr Spencer, just joined up with a quick question about choosing colleges. I'm worried about making a bad decision, and what will happen if I don't realise until I have started the course. In partidular if I do decide on a college and then get pooled to another but haven't had a chance to see it before I make a decision. If I start and really dislike that particular environment, bearing in mind I will probably be living in for the whole course, can I change college but still stay at Cambridge? Or could I leave and reapply? I really like the course I'm looking at but am so concerned about making the wrong decision and having to give up.
    Thanks for your question, don't worry you aren't alone in thinking about this. It's important to stress, however, that college choice is much less important than people think. You may find (or think) that you would be happier at College X rather than College Y but this is likely only to be by matter of degree. If you are unhappy at College X, then you're very likely to be unhappy at College Y too because it's Cambridge that you're unhappy with not your college if that makes sense.

    The vast majority of students, however, love their college (despite the odd grumble). That is because you are going to find people you like there. Sure, there will be some at any college that you don't like but that is true at school or in work. Colleges are large enough, and diverse, enough to accommodate all sorts of different people and you will find people you click with. And beyond college there is the rest of the university. You will spend a lot of time outside college, in lectures, in supervisions, in libraries, in town, at the theatre, cinema, concerts and society events, nearly all of which will involve people from outside your college. For some people college is the centre of their social life but for many it's just where they eat and sleep and have a few friends but the bulk of their university experience takes place outside.

    Every college has its own atmosphere, look and traditions, but you never really know a college until you are a member of it. So my advice is, in short, not to worry too much, you will get the Cambridge experience whichever college you end up at. It is very rare for students to move between colleges, not least because it's very rare for them to want to.
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    Thanks for your question, don't worry you aren't alone in thinking about this. It's important to stress, however, that college choice is much less important than people think. You may find (or think) that you would be happier at College X rather than College Y but this is likely only to be by matter of degree. If you are unhappy at College X, then you're very likely to be unhappy at College Y too because it's Cambridge that you're unhappy with not your college if that makes sense.

    The vast majority of students, however, love their college (despite the odd grumble). That is because you are going to find people you like there. Sure, there will be some at any college that you don't like but that is true at school or in work. Colleges are large enough, and diverse, enough to accommodate all sorts of different people and you will find people you click with. And beyond college there is the rest of the university. You will spend a lot of time outside college, in lectures, in supervisions, in libraries, in town, at the theatre, cinema, concerts and society events, nearly all of which will involve people from outside your college. For some people college is the centre of their social life but for many it's just where they eat and sleep and have a few friends but the bulk of their university experience takes place outside.

    Every college has its own atmosphere, look and traditions, but you never really know a college until you are a member of it. So my advice is, in short, not to worry too much, you will get the Cambridge experience whichever college you end up at. It is very rare for students to move between colleges, not least because it's very rare for them to want to.
    Thank you for your reply.
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    (Original post by ateitall)
    Thank you for your reply.
    You're welcome, I hope that it was useful.
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    You're welcome, I hope that it was useful.
    Thank you it was.
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    (Original post by ateitall)
    Thank you it was.
    Great, well best of luck with your application!
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    It's almost exactly on the national average which is 736.32. This is the score per student, however, and at Cambridge we tend to look at the score per exam entry, where the national average is 208.11. In terms of that, my own rule of thumb (and I stress it's mine as an experienced AT but not an official university one) is that anything from 230 to 240 is a good school, 240 to 250 a very good school and anything above 250 an excellent school.
    Hi, my school is 203.1 per average a level entry. Also what do you look at for secondary schools (GCSE) and what values are below or above average for GCSE schools?
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    Many thanks for this excellent opportunity of having an admission tutor helping to guide us. It's truly fantastic. I have decided to apply to Cambridge but hesitating on the colleges choice. My issue is that I was homeschooled for my CIE IGCSE, and while that was a fantastic opportunity to develop some key skills that have left me with not the greatest iGCSE grades. I achieved 3A*9As. I'm predicted A*A*AA for my A levels plus an EPQ. I achieved an A in my AS, but one of my modules went poorly with a UMS of 76. However, I'm applying for extenuating circumstances as I lost two family members this year. My primary weakness is my current lack of relevant medical work experience. I have work experience set up commencing from Dec 1st due to hospital regulations on shadowing surgeons. I also have another medical placement starting soon. Are there any particular colleges who don't look at work experience that extensively? Should I even apply? I really want to get an interview as this is where I feel my potential would shine and I hope my unique background may help me rather than hinder me.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    It's not used - they use your school's GCSE performance, and the Oxbridge success rate of your sixth form.

    http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ontextual-data
    For my sixth form we get about on average 3-4. Is that good?


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    Hello Dr Spencer,
    i would like to ask your opinion on my UMS for my medicine application.
    GCSE : 9A*,A^,A
    AS Level : 5As in physics, chemistry, maths, further maths and biology
    A Level predictions : 4A* in physics, chemistry, maths and biology.
    Maths
    Core 1: 98
    Core 2: 91
    Statistics:100
    average UMS :96

    Further Maths
    Mechanics :90
    Decision :100
    Further Pure 1 :94
    Average UMS :95

    Would my mechanics score put me at a disadvantage and would I be likely to get an interview?
    Thank you
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    I'm very glad to be of help. No, you don't need a doctor's note (though a doctor can fill in the ECF though most of the time the school does) and it is still an EC even if you didn't raise it at the time - it happens quite a lot.
    Oh ok. But then wouldn't it be possible for people to just lie about ECs or is there a way you guys check?

    Also is self teaching a subject worth mentioning somewhere in the application as well as raw marks from linear subjects?


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    Hi,

    I am applying for Philosophy at Clare College post A levels (taking a gap year, have various plans and projects) and would like to double check something about the SAQ (having nightmares about having my application rejected because of an administrative mistake like this!). The flowchart on the Cambridge website indicates that you should submit a transcript if you have not taken at least six GCSEs in the past three years: I am not sure if this means I should submit one (battling with various interpretations of the past three years in my head and want to be completely sure). I completed upper sixth last summer and took sufficient GCSEs in year 11.

    Thanks!
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    Hello Dr Spencer

    I am in my last year of studies in France and am taking 8 modules this year for the French Bac.
    When most British students take 3 A levels, how do admissions tutors compare my grades? Do UMS grades apply in my case? I will be applying for MML.

    Also, I will be applying post Bac with final French Bac results as I am taking a gap year to live in the countries where the languages I hope to study are spoken. Last year I obtained mention très bien in the first part of the Bac.




    (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.
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    (Original post by metrize)
    Hi, my school is 203.1 per average a level entry. Also what do you look at for secondary schools (GCSE) and what values are below or above average for GCSE schools?
    38 is around the national average and anything below 40 we will flag as a low performing school on GCSEs compared to those of many Cambridge applicants. Anything above 50 is strong.
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    (Original post by AlphaWolfZ)
    Many thanks for this excellent opportunity of having an admission tutor helping to guide us. It's truly fantastic. I have decided to apply to Cambridge but hesitating on the colleges choice. My issue is that I was homeschooled for my CIE IGCSE, and while that was a fantastic opportunity to develop some key skills that have left me with not the greatest iGCSE grades. I achieved 3A*9As. I'm predicted A*A*AA for my A levels plus an EPQ. I achieved an A in my AS, but one of my modules went poorly with a UMS of 76. However, I'm applying for extenuating circumstances as I lost two family members this year. My primary weakness is my current lack of relevant medical work experience. I have work experience set up commencing from Dec 1st due to hospital regulations on shadowing surgeons. I also have another medical placement starting soon. Are there any particular colleges who don't look at work experience that extensively? Should I even apply? I really want to get an interview as this is where I feel my potential would shine and I hope my unique background may help me rather than hinder me.
    Hello and I am glad to be here to be of help. First of all, I am sorry to hear of your losses over the last year and please accept my sympathy.

    Your GCSE and predictions are not going to be as strong as many candidates, especially for Medicine, but given your circumstances they can be contextualised.

    You will have done plenty of work experience by the time you enter so there's no need to worry about that. We appreciate just how hard it is to get good work experience and it's not going to be a major factor at any college.

    In terms of if you should apply, any medicine application is a risk as it's such a difficult course and many great medicine applicants get no offers at all but if you like our course then you should apply, though you'll need to be aware that on paper you won't be the strongest candidate.
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    (Original post by lilacpetall)
    Hello Dr Spencer,
    i would like to ask your opinion on my UMS for my medicine application.
    GCSE : 9A*,A^,A
    AS Level : 5As in physics, chemistry, maths, further maths and biology
    A Level predictions : 4A* in physics, chemistry, maths and biology.
    Maths
    Core 1: 98
    Core 2: 91
    Statistics:100
    average UMS :96

    Further Maths
    Mechanics :90
    Decision :100
    Further Pure 1 :94
    Average UMS :95

    Would my mechanics score put me at a disadvantage and would I be likely to get an interview?
    Thank you
    Hello and thanks for your question and information. You clearly will have a strong paper application. A score of 90 in mechanics is not going to be a significant disadvantage and I would expect you to get an interview.
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    (Original post by DamnDaniel2)
    Oh ok. But then wouldn't it be possible for people to just lie about ECs or is there a way you guys check?

    Also is self teaching a subject worth mentioning somewhere in the application as well as raw marks from linear subjects?


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    The ECF is submitted by the school or doctor and not the candidate which helps minimise the risk of untruths as the school is risking its reputation.

    You can put self-teaching in the SAQ, it's often useful to know.
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    (Original post by 1685)
    Hi,

    I am applying for Philosophy at Clare College post A levels (taking a gap year, have various plans and projects) and would like to double check something about the SAQ (having nightmares about having my application rejected because of an administrative mistake like this!). The flowchart on the Cambridge website indicates that you should submit a transcript if you have not taken at least six GCSEs in the past three years: I am not sure if this means I should submit one (battling with various interpretations of the past three years in my head and want to be completely sure). I completed upper sixth last summer and took sufficient GCSEs in year 11.

    Thanks!
    The past three years means before the academic year 2013-2014. The wording is not designed to ask for transcripts from those who have just finished their A Levels.
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    (Original post by La Strada)
    Hello Dr Spencer

    I am in my last year of studies in France and am taking 8 modules this year for the French Bac.
    When most British students take 3 A levels, how do admissions tutors compare my grades? Do UMS grades apply in my case? I will be applying for MML.

    Also, I will be applying post Bac with final French Bac results as I am taking a gap year to live in the countries where the languages I hope to study are spoken. Last year I obtained mention très bien in the first part of the Bac.
    Hello and thanks for your question. We'll look carefully at your overall average and specifically for results in particular relevant subjects. There's no UMS or equivalent in the French Bac. We want you to be on course for at least 16 and preferably 17 or above and with 17 in relevant subjects.
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    Hello,

    I applied on Monday and I did tell my college to fill an EC form, but I am not sure if they actually did or not, since all they asked was: "What affected your exams?" and I said the medical term for it and they said they will include it. Therefore, I dont know whether they actually mentioned it not (will ask tomorrow) and also I dont know if they explained the condition well, since they didnt ask me how it affected my exams and all that (I dont know what the form looks like, so are they expected to explain the situation?)

    Also, if now I want to get my doctor to write the EC form, can I still add it to my UCAS?

    Thanks for the help
 
 
 
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