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    (Original post by L'Etudiant)
    Thank you very much for creating this thread, I was just about to email the Mathematics department. I wanted to ask if there is any chance I could be invited for an interview or be made a standard offer given my circumstances. I am doing the whole 18 Units for Mathematics so that would give me 3 A-Levels in Mathematics and I am also doing A2 Economics. I shall also be sitting STEP 2 and 3.

    I am a private candidate and was set to sit exams for AS Mathematics, AS Further Mathematics and AS Economics earlier this year during the summer exams but unfortunately my health took a turn for the worst and I only managed to sit 3 out of my 8 exams. Out of those 3 only one was for Mathematics - Core 1. I am very disappointed not to have been able to sit those exams as I was certain that I'd do well. I would understand if not having enough proof of my abilities is a good enough reason not to be considered but given a letter from my G.P who is well aware of my condition as well as a letter from a private tutor who knows me very well as a student and knows of my ability in Mathematics would I have a chance of being considered?

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you for your message and I am sorry to hear that you were ill. Your situation is a tricky one. If you have GCSEs then these would help us to make an impression of your application beyond the 3 AS modules you have taken. Your GP would need to fill in the Extenuating Circumstances Form.

    It is very hard to say what would happen without seeing the whole application. If you apply and do not get an interview or did get an interview and were not made an offer, I would not be too downhearted. You may well be in a better position in a year's time, once you have completed your A2s.

    Sorry not to be more explicit but I hope this is of some use.
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    Hello, and thank you for the thread

    I'm planning on applying for geography at Cambridge - I couldn't make the open day

    I just have a few questions:
    1) across the university, is geography highly demanded by students? Is it a popular subject in comparison to economics or medicine?

    2) I've just been through the list of colleges at Cambridge (I haven't got a clue which to choose) - would it be better for me to choose one and stick with it, or apply without choosing a college and then be placed in one automatically, should I get a place? Could I chance colleges if this was the case?

    3) how important are GCSEs in choosing who to give an offer to? Would they be taken into account if, perhaps, you didn't meet the required grades by a small amount?

    Thank you!
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    (Original post by Toxic_Legends)
    Thank you- this has been helpful!

    Sorry to bombard you with questions! but what does an admissions tutor look for in a student who is applying for say Economics or HSPS? and what would make an application stand out (apart from grades lol) for these chosen subjects. Thanks
    Well, for both of these subjects (and, indeed, for all subjects) grades are vitally important. Our research shows that the better you do in your A Levels (or equivalent) the better you are likely to do at Cambridge. For Economics, of course, Maths is particularly important given the heavy emphasis on Maths in the Economics course at Cambridge.

    Beyond grades, however, we are looking for a wider engagement with the subject. This can be done in lots of ways and there is no one thing that is better than anything else. What matters is not so much what you do to engage beyond the classroom but what you get out of it.

    One final thing on HSPS, it's such a broad course obviously and do not feel that there is only one way to approach it. Some candidates will have a definite preference for one aspect of the course (Politics or Sociology, for instance) whereas others will not. Do not think that you have to be fixed on a particular area and equally do not feel that you have to express interest in all aspects of the course in order for us to think that you are a good candidate. Be honest with us and with yourself. One of the joys of HSPS, and indeed of university more generally, is that you may go in thinking you are interested in one thing and come out interested in something else entirely.
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    (Original post by p.formanko)
    Hello, and thank you for the thread

    I'm planning on applying for geography at Cambridge - I couldn't make the open day

    I just have a few questions:
    1) across the university, is geography highly demanded by students? Is it a popular subject in comparison to economics or medicine?

    2) I've just been through the list of colleges at Cambridge (I haven't got a clue which to choose) - would it be better for me to choose one and stick with it, or apply without choosing a college and then be placed in one automatically, should I get a place? Could I chance colleges if this was the case?

    3) how important are GCSEs in choosing who to give an offer to? Would they be taken into account if, perhaps, you didn't meet the required grades by a small amount?

    Thank you!

    Hi there, don't worry about not making the Open Days, there are plenty of college open days in September if you do want to go on one. At Christ's ours are on 30 September and 1 October if I may be permitted a plug!

    To answer your questions: 1) Geography has slightly fewer than three applicants per place, meaning that it is not one of the more over-subscribed courses like Medicine or Economics.

    2) There is no advantage in terms of being successful in your application to choosing a college or aking an Open application thanks to our moderation system (the Pools). Essentially, it comes down to whether you wish to make your own choice or allow a computer to do it for you. if you genuinely can't decide then you might be happy to let a computer do it but, equally, you might want some ownership of the decision. I've heard the one at the top of the alphabetical list is a good college!

    3) GCSEs matter, but not as much as AS Levels for those that do them. When a candidate misses their offer, we will look at all aspects of the applicatio before making our final decision about what to do.
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    Hi,there. I'm planning on applying for Law at Christ's and I was wondering how important the grade for the fourth AS I sat is? As in, the subject that isn't one of my top three AS's. Say, for example, I got AAAC (worst case scenario) with 93+ UMS in the subjects I got A's in, would the C in the fourth subject completely jeaopardise my chances? I study History, Gov. and Politics, Sociology and Philosophy. I'm expecting to get the lower grade in Philosophy.

    Thanks a lot!
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Hi there, don't worry about not making the Open Days, there are plenty of college open days in September if you do want to go on one. At Christ's ours are on 30 September and 1 October if I may be permitted a plug!

    To answer your questions: 1) Geography has slightly fewer than three applicants per place, meaning that it is not one of the more over-subscribed courses like Medicine or Economics.

    2) There is no advantage in terms of being successful in your application to choosing a college or aking an Open application thanks to our moderation system (the Pools). Essentially, it comes down to whether you wish to make your own choice or allow a computer to do it for you. if you genuinely can't decide then you might be happy to let a computer do it but, equally, you might want some ownership of the decision. I've heard the one at the top of the alphabetical list is a good college!

    3) GCSEs matter, but not as much as AS Levels for those that do them. When a candidate misses their offer, we will look at all aspects of the applicatio before making our final decision about what to do.
    Thank you for the very helpful and quick reply!

    So if I were to let a computer choose my college for me (and I get allocated to, for example, Jesus college) but I want to change to Christ's (or any other college) would this be possible?

    If, say, I weren't able to come to any open days (or only one or two) is there any other way of establishing a view of all the different colleges, to help me choose which one?
    (If my question isn't phrased correctly, what I mean is, is there a way on deciding which college to go to without actually being present on campus?)

    Many thanks again
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    Hi, I'm planning on applying to read economics or land economy which I have researched and understand is vastly different, however I intend to apply for maths and economics for my other uni choices. Would my application be looked down upon since my personal statement would blatantly show that I wish to study maths and econ elsewhere?
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Thank you for your message and I am sorry to hear that you were ill. Your situation is a tricky one. If you have GCSEs then these would help us to make an impression of your application beyond the 3 AS modules you have taken. Your GP would need to fill in the Extenuating Circumstances Form.

    It is very hard to say what would happen without seeing the whole application. If you apply and do not get an interview or did get an interview and were not made an offer, I would not be too downhearted. You may well be in a better position in a year's time, once you have completed your A2s.

    Sorry not to be more explicit but I hope this is of some use.
    Thank you for your reply. I am so disappointed in myself for falling ill at such a bad time, I shall ask my G.P to fill in the Extenuating Circumstances form for me but even then I don't have much hope. May I ask if my predicted grades won't help anything? I am certain I can meet the entry requirements, I just hope I get the chance
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    Hello! Thank you for the thread

    I was wondering about the importance of GCSEs in the case that one doesn't do modular A-Levels? I will be doing Pre-U at Sixth Form and therefore will only have got predicted grades by the time of applying. Does that mean my GCSEs will matter more compared to those who do AS/A-levels?

    Many thanks in advance!:flower2:
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    Hi, thanks for running the thread.

    I have a couple of questions. I wish to study Natural Sciences on the biological route. I have taken Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths. I feel the unit 2 chemistry exam didn’t go as well as planed and as a result I predict my chemistry grade will be the lowest. Hopefully my average UMS for Biology, Chemistry and Maths will be above 90%, I feel with Physics included this should rise to above 93%. Which brings me to my first question, would having a higher average UMS across all four of my As levels account for / reduce the impact of having a lower UMS average across my three most relevant courses?

    I have got two confirmed summer schools and hopefully a third. The first is a three day Biology course at Selwyn College, and I also have a six day Biology course at Durham University. The third will hopefully be a five day Biology: Cell Biology and Genetics at Villers Park Educational Trust. My question is this, (assuming that I get on the third residential) due to the fact that only two residential courses can be put on a UCAS application which ones should be put on the application (Aside from talking about them on my PS)?
    Due to Chemistry not going as well as planed I feel I would be more likely to get an A* in Maths at A2 level. Would achieving an A* in Biology and Maths be acceptable or just as desirable as A* in Biology and Chemistry?

    Would only continuing three subjects to A2 level (having done four As levels) put me at a disadvantage compared to continuing with four(with regards to UCAS points)? In essence I would rather drop Physics and continue with my other subjects to avoid it affecting my other grades, but if this would disadvantage me much rather continue with four.

    I achieved 3A* 2A 3C at GCSE (unfortunately), to what extent will this affect my application bearing in mind I went to a failing state school witch came one mark of special measures in an Ofsted inspection in my final GCSE year.

    Sorry for all the questions.
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    (Original post by xfazzx)
    Hi,there. I'm planning on applying for Law at Christ's and I was wondering how important the grade for the fourth AS I sat is? As in, the subject that isn't one of my top three AS's. Say, for example, I got AAAC (worst case scenario) with 93+ UMS in the subjects I got A's in, would the C in the fourth subject completely jeaopardise my chances? I study History, Gov. and Politics, Sociology and Philosophy. I'm expecting to get the lower grade in Philosophy.

    Thanks a lot!
    Hi there, glad you are thinking about Christ's!

    In your worst-case scenario, we obviously will see all your module scores and we calculate a best three and a best four AS average. More attention is paid to the best three, as this is the strongest predictor of success at Cambridge, but we don't ignore the fourth score. I can't say exactly how much importance we might put on it without seeing a) what your scores were and b) what the rest of your application looked like. I hope this is useful, please feel free to come back if not.
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    (Original post by p.formanko)
    Thank you for the very helpful and quick reply!

    So if I were to let a computer choose my college for me (and I get allocated to, for example, Jesus college) but I want to change to Christ's (or any other college) would this be possible?

    If, say, I weren't able to come to any open days (or only one or two) is there any other way of establishing a view of all the different colleges, to help me choose which one?
    (If my question isn't phrased correctly, what I mean is, is there a way on deciding which college to go to without actually being present on campus?)

    Many thanks again
    No problem. Once you or the computer hhas made the decision about college, that's it, you cannot be reassigned until the Pool stage and that is doe by the colleges not by candidates.

    Any open day you come on to Cambridge, you will be able to visit any college you like. Just go to the Porters' Lodge and say that you are a prospective candidate and they will happily let you in.

    If you can't come to an open day don't worry. The first place to start would be the Cambridge prospectus it has brief college profiles in it that may allow you to narrrow down the ones you are interested in. After that, you can look at the websites of the colleges you like the look of and make your decision from there.

    It is probably best to avoid profiles on other websites or even discussion here in forming an impression of a college, except perhaps when students are talking about their own college and even then be aware that every student's view and experiences are personal to them. In general, college profiles are either wildly inaccurate or out of date. You only really get to know a college by being part of one but the vast majrity of Cambridge students are happy in their college, though they may not love everything about it!
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    (Original post by joey4live)
    Hi, I'm planning on applying to read economics or land economy which I have researched and understand is vastly different, however I intend to apply for maths and economics for my other uni choices. Would my application be looked down upon since my personal statement would blatantly show that I wish to study maths and econ elsewhere?
    Hi there, well done for putting research into both courses. They are, as you have realised, very different. Don't worry about your PS being weiighted towards Maths and Economics. If you decide to apply for Economics, it will be good that you are clearly interested in the Maths element of Economics given the focus on this at Cambridge, while for Land Economy, we know that this is a Cambridge specific course and students applying for it may well be applying for Economics, Law, Geography or something else at other universities. The Additional PS box on the SAQ form allows you to say in more detail about why you want to apply for this particular course. Don't make Cambridge the focus of your UCAS PS.
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    (Original post by L'Etudiant)
    Thank you for your reply. I am so disappointed in myself for falling ill at such a bad time, I shall ask my G.P to fill in the Extenuating Circumstances form for me but even then I don't have much hope. May I ask if my predicted grades won't help anything? I am certain I can meet the entry requirements, I just hope I get the chance
    You are welcome. Don't beat yourself up about your illness, it can happen to anyone at any time and that is why we have the Extenuating Circumstances Form. Obviously, we will look at your predictions, but nearly everyone has very strong predictions. In Maths, there is always the scope to be a little more speculative in whom to interview and to whom we make offers as we have the backup of STEP to help us.

    I do not wish to give false hope and your situation is an unfortunately tricky one, but equally I don't want you to think there is no hope either this year or, perhaps more so, next year once you have your results in hand.
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    (Original post by WinterWind)
    Hello! Thank you for the thread

    I was wondering about the importance of GCSEs in the case that one doesn't do modular A-Levels? I will be doing Pre-U at Sixth Form and therefore will only have predicted grades by the time of applying. Does that mean my GCSEs will matter more compared to those who do AS/A-levels?

    Many thanks in advance!:flower2:
    GCSEs are important for all candidates who have them. In case of those who do not do modular A Levels then they become more important as we do not havve Year 12 results. Plenty of people doing Pre-Us or the IB get offers every year, so do not worry that you will be disadvantaged. If your GCSEs are less strong than you would like, and you think you are likely to do much better in the sixth form, there is always the possibility of applying once you have your Pre-U results. Essentially, you should be aiming for D1s and D2s if possible, though D3s are sometimes acceptable. Good luck!
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    (Original post by Kezza97)
    Hi, thanks for running the thread.

    I have a couple of questions. I wish to study Natural Sciences on the biological route. I have taken Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths. I feel the unit 2 chemistry exam didn’t go as well as planed and as a result I predict my chemistry grade will be the lowest. Hopefully my average UMS for Biology, Chemistry and Maths will be above 90%, I feel with Physics included this should rise to above 93%. Which brings me to my first question, would having a higher average UMS across all four of my As levels account for / reduce the impact of having a lower UMS average across my three most relevant courses?

    I have got two confirmed summer schools and hopefully a third. The first is a three day Biology course at Selwyn College, and I also have a six day Biology course at Durham University. The third will hopefully be a five day Biology: Cell Biology and Genetics at Villers Park Educational Trust. My question is this, (assuming that I get on the third residential) due to the fact that only two residential courses can be put on a UCAS application which ones should be put on the application (Aside from talking about them on my PS)?
    Due to Chemistry not going as well as planed I feel I would be more likely to get an A* in Maths at A2 level. Would achieving an A* in Biology and Maths be acceptable or just as desirable as A* in Biology and Chemistry?

    Would only continuing three subjects to A2 level (having done four As levels) put me at a disadvantage compared to continuing with four(with regards to UCAS points)? In essence I would rather drop Physics and continue with my other subjects to avoid it affecting my other grades, but if this would disadvantage me much rather continue with four.

    I achieved 3A* 2A 3C at GCSE (unfortunately), to what extent will this affect my application bearing in mind I went to a failing state school witch came one mark of special measures in an Ofsted inspection in my final GCSE year.

    Sorry for all the questions.
    That's ok, I'll do my best to cover them all.

    1) We get a Science UMS and a best three and four UMS average which will help us to look very broadly at how you have done at AS and a strong science profile across the board would be good even if there was some weakness in one relevant subject (e.g. Chemistry).

    2) I think the best thing would be to put down on your UCAS form the two courses you got the most out of.

    3) It is unlikely, though not impossible, that colleges will specify which subjects they wish you to get the 2 A*s in for NSB.

    4) Most science students taken 4 science subjects through to A2 but I do not think that for NSB it will be a disadvantage to drop to three providing that you think this will benefit your work in the other three subjects.

    5) If the school was underperforming in attainment at GCSE, we will be aware of that and would look at your results in that context. Providing we can see a marked improvement at AS, which seems likely, then it would not be a problem.

    I hope that covers everything, do come back if you want more clarification.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    GCSEs are important for all candidates who have them. In case of those who do not do modular A Levels then they become more important as we do not havve Year 12 results. Plenty of people doing Pre-Us or the IB get offers every year, so do not worry that you will be disadvantaged. If your GCSEs are less strong than you would like, and you think you are likely to do much better in the sixth form, there is always the possibility of applying once you have your Pre-U results. Essentially, you should be aiming for D1s and D2s if possible, though D3s are sometimes acceptable. Good luck!
    Thank you for such a quick reply! I'm much appreciated
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    (Original post by AlexKay99)
    Hi again, thank you for your previous reply, I have yet another question

    I'm a fast-track student and I've completed my A levels within one year this year and it was very difficult. On top of that I'm a private candidate who is self taught because my health put me at a disadvantage when I was in school and I missed a lot of it and got 'bad' (compared to the average Cambridge applicant) GCSE grades and by 'bad' I mean A*A*BBBBCCCD, the two A*s are in the most relevant subjects-English and History (I'm applying for English Literature). (Also I attended a failing state school in a poor area)

    I would like to ask, if I get the grades (at least A*AA), how would Cambridge view my application as a fast track private candidate?

    Thank you!
    Given your circumstances, I think we would look sympathetically at your application providing you reach the required standard. That said, applying Post A-Level with one A* is always problematic as there will always be people with better results/who will go and get better results than that.
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    Thank for your answer to my previous question.

    I just thought of another one which is:
    When applying for computer science, Is chemistry taken into account when calculating the average from the 3 most relevant ( out of Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry) because out of all of my subjects i have the least faith in Chemistry (i dont think ive done amazingly well in it.)
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    (Original post by WinterWind)
    Thank you for such a quick reply! I'm much appreciated
    You are welcome. I would have replied sooner, but the site appeared to crash this afternoon!
 
 
 
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