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Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
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    Hi Dr Spencer
    I'm applying with IB predicted grades above the standard offer published on the website. If I get an offer, is it likely to be higher than the standard one? I will definitely try to meet my predicted marks but I'd hate to lose my chance at a place because I couldn't meet my predicted grades.

    Also, I took one of my subjects six months early in May since it wasn't offered for the southern hemisphere exam session and got a 6. However, I only found out that I had to do this in March the year before, giving me just over a year to complete the coursework. Will this be taken into account?

    Finally, I'm just curious - why is the standard offer for Law 776 at HL for IB, but A*AA at A-level? I was under the impression that a 7 in an HL IB subject was viewed as equivalent to an A*.

    Thank you!
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    (Original post by GarlicBread01)
    Hi I'm applying for Computer Science with Maths, I have a question

    I got 4A in AS for Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science. For A2 I decided to drop Computer Science (over dropping Physics) as my school doesn't have the option to take 4 subjects in year 13.

    I was wondering if I should talk about this decision in the SAQ? Or, seeing as how Cambridge recommend taking Physics instead of Computer Science, is this common for Computer Science applicants and doesnt really need explaining?
    I don't think that you need to explain it but it wouldn't do you any harm to set out your thinking.
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    Hi.
    I am planning to apply to study computer science at Cambridge. I performed less than optimal in my AS levels last year (a B in both Chemistry and physics). However, I got a UMS average of 91.3/100 in the 6 maths modules I took.

    I am doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry on to A level and am predicted:

    Maths - A*
    FuMa - A
    Physics - A*
    Chemistry - A

    Is it worth applying to Cambridge this year, or will the 2 Bs at AS make my application too uncompetitive for me to stand any reasonable chance?

    P.S. I have no real 'mitigating circumstances' to speak of, short of not being used to OCRs incredibly pedantic mark schemes.
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    Hi Dr. Spencer,

    I completed my high school in 2015, however, I have been away from education since, because of a serious drug addiction. Do you think I should mention it in my PS? From what I understand, PS is about your passion of a subject so should I just focus on why the course is right for me?
    Thank You.

    PS : I am applying to study maths.
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    Hello,

    I have already submitted my application and my SAQ and have received confirmation emails for both of these. However, my chosen college has not emailed me yet. I applied on 7th October- do you know when I should expect to hear from them?

    Thank you.
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    (Original post by Emilypickett)
    Hello,

    I have already submitted my application and my SAQ and have received confirmation emails for both of these. However, my chosen college has not emailed me yet. I applied on 7th October- do you know when I should expect to hear from them?

    Thank you.
    Every college is different. Which college did you apply to?

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    (Original post by jneill)
    Every college is different. Which college did you apply to?

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    Queens'
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    (Original post by trythis)
    For GCSEs and AS Levels, I was ill during the months leading up to the exams, but not on the exam days themselves, which affected my performance in final exams. Because I wasn't ill at the time of the actual exam, I wasn't eligible for extenuating circumstances. Is this something I should put in the SAQ to explain weaker performance in certain qualifications?
    You don't have to be ill only over the time of the exams to be eligible for an ECF. I would recommend that you get an ECF submitted on your behalf rather than discussing it in the SAQ.
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    Hello and thank you for your question and the information you have provided. On paper your GCSEs, AS Levels and A Level predictions are going to look quite weak in comparison to other candidates so you will need to perform very well in other aspects of the application to be competitive.
    Thank you very much for the reply, what sort of mark should i be hitting on the HSPSAA to preform very well currently I've obtained as 65%, this is on my first try.
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    (Original post by FTSE420)
    (1) how important is work experience for non-vocational subjects?

    (2) would an invasive surgery (with a general recovery time of around 3 months) that took place a month before AS exams count as something that I could put in an extenuating circumstances form?
    1) it's unimportant.

    2) yes, this should certainly be in an ECF.
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    (Original post by bahamasinparis)
    How important are undergraduate grades for a Dphil Education application? I have a 2:2 in hospitality and Merit classifications for 2 MA degrees which are both in social sciences. Would I have better luck applying into the Masters program first, or would my graduate degrees be sufficient?
    Undergraduate results are important but most weight is put on the most recent evidence in post graduate decisions.
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    (Original post by terribletouw)
    Hi Dr Spencer
    I'm applying with IB predicted grades above the standard offer published on the website. If I get an offer, is it likely to be higher than the standard one? I will definitely try to meet my predicted marks but I'd hate to lose my chance at a place because I couldn't meet my predicted grades.

    Also, I took one of my subjects six months early in May since it wasn't offered for the southern hemisphere exam session and got a 6. However, I only found out that I had to do this in March the year before, giving me just over a year to complete the coursework. Will this be taken into account?

    Finally, I'm just curious - why is the standard offer for Law 776 at HL for IB, but A*AA at A-level? I was under the impression that a 7 in an HL IB subject was viewed as equivalent to an A*.

    Thank you!
    Hello and thanks for your question. There is no set standard offer for IB in terms of overall points and offers tend to range between 40 and 42 points but always with 776 at HL. You should be prepared for an offer in that range but students do occasionally get a 43 offer - I don;t think I've ever seen higher than that.

    Yes, we'll take into account the early exam, just make sure you tell us on the SAQ.

    It is not as simple as drawing a straight line from a 7 in HL to an A* at A Level. Our IB offer is based on our research that shows that the more points you get and that 776 or above at HL means that you do better in Cambridge. Historically, of course, we had detailed Year 12 results at A Level that we didn't have for the IB and that was why, although our offer was A*AA, we were able to identify the strongest A level candidates and our successful Humanities entrants had in excess of 2 A*s at A Level.
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    (Original post by X86)
    Hi.
    I am planning to apply to study computer science at Cambridge. I performed less than optimal in my AS levels last year (a B in both Chemistry and physics). However, I got a UMS average of 91.3/100 in the 6 maths modules I took.

    I am doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry on to A level and am predicted:

    Maths - A*
    FuMa - A
    Physics - A*
    Chemistry - A

    Is it worth applying to Cambridge this year, or will the 2 Bs at AS make my application too uncompetitive for me to stand any reasonable chance?

    P.S. I have no real 'mitigating circumstances' to speak of, short of not being used to OCRs incredibly pedantic mark schemes.
    With two Bs at AS Level I am afraid that you are going to be somewhat on the back foot in your application. That's not to say that it can't be made up elsewhere but it is going to put you at a significant disadvantage.
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    (Original post by Shrayansh)
    Hi Dr. Spencer,

    I completed my high school in 2015, however, I have been away from education since, because of a serious drug addiction. Do you think I should mention it in my PS? From what I understand, PS is about your passion of a subject so should I just focus on why the course is right for me?
    Thank You.

    PS : I am applying to study maths.
    I don't think that the PS is the right place to discuss this, focus on your subject there. You can mention this in the SAQ, perhaps in the place where it asks if there is anything else you wish to tell us.
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    With two Bs at AS Level I am afraid that you are going to be somewhat on the back foot in your application. That's not to say that it can't be made up elsewhere but it is going to put you at a significant disadvantage.
    Thank you, when you say 'made up elsewhere' would this be at interview / CSAT. Would I even get an interview with these grades?
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    (Original post by Emilypickett)
    Hello,

    I have already submitted my application and my SAQ and have received confirmation emails for both of these. However, my chosen college has not emailed me yet. I applied on 7th October- do you know when I should expect to hear from them?

    Thank you.

    Hi there. Don't worry, you've already had the confirmation emails from UCAS and the SAQ so they definitely have your application. Colleges make first contact with their applicants at different times and they have a lot of applications to deal with in these few days. You should hear very soon with some more information.
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    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.
    Ohhh okk! Thank you for all the kind and helpful answers


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    Hi,

    I'm applying for medicine this year, and my AS grades are As in Maths, Biology, History, (critical thinking), and I got a B in Chemistry. Chemistry's reformed, and my predicted grades are A*A*A*A (A in chemistry). I've seen the statistics for medicine, so I get that the B could cause a massive problem, but it won't actually count towards my final grade and I'm pretty confident on getting a great BMAT score, so could my BMAT make up for it in terms of getting an interview, or even an offer?

    I'm not too fussed about getting an offer, but I would really like to have a go at the interview. I suppose what I'm asking is whether my B in the reformed Chemistry AS would put me at a really significant disadvantage, even if I excelled elsewhere, given how competitive medicine is.

    Thanks.
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    Hi Dr Spencer,

    Apologies first since this is not related to History or Murray Edwards, and thank you for your time!

    I am an overseas student applying for Land Economy. I have already submitted my UCAS, COPA and SAQ. I was just wondering when I could hear back from Cambridge whether or not they would like to interview me. I know that it is usually by the end of November, but since Land Economy is relatively small course, I thought it could be earlier. If you do not mind, could you please tell me since when you started inviting candidates to Cambridge interview when you were the Admissions Tutor at Murray Edwards?

    Thank you for your time again
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    Hi Doc,

    I have a couple more questions.

    Is it possible to drop your 4th A Level after putting it on your UCAS application and declaring it and if Cambridge have already received my application?

    Also, how should I prepare for the ELAT? Is it worth doing as many past papers as possible?

    Also, will it harm my application in any way if I don't provide an additional personal statement on the SAQ?

    Thank you very much !
 
 
 
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