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    Hi, let's take this in chunks as you've asked a very important and timely question which I'm sure a lot of people are interested in.


    (Original post by Lementation)
    Dear peter house admissions,

    For medicine specifically:

    Now UMS is gone for many students, what specifically will you look at as a large factor now? I know you look at everything holistically, but AS UMS used to be such a huge factor.
    I think it's important to realise that although UMS was useful, it was never massively important as lots of candidates didn't present with UMS. This means we already have lots of experience in assessing candidates without UMS. Last year, across the University for Medicine, about 45% of applicants didn't have SUMS. As Medicine has used pre-interview assessment in the form of BMAT for a while, nothing much is changing, we'll just be considering 100% of applicants like we used to consider that 45%.


    (Original post by Lementation)
    Will BMAT take the weighting more? Will you look at Olympiads, GCSE's more now? Is there anything that we medic applicants can do, that you could reccomend that will help you to assess us. E.g if you think an EPQ will help you assess us then please say. I know you will probably reply with an answer that says everything is judged and looked at, but is there anything specifically that would help you guys out a bit I can't imagine how much harder admissions is going to be for you guys now !
    No particular weight is ever applied to any one piece of information and nothing is any more, or any less important than anything else. GCSEs specially will not be any more important. We really don't want to be prescriptive in your preparation - you should follow your interests as there are as many ways to approach medicine as there are medicine applicants.

    The EPQ isn't specifically considered in admissions decisions and won't be included in a conditional offer, but it is a good way to explore your subject. If your school or college doesn't offer the EPQ then there are plenty of other ways to achieve something similar - essay competitions or just reading books and things you find interesting. The EPQ and essay competitions are particularly useful as they encourage you to delve more deeply into a particular topic, but you can certainly do this by yourself too. As I said above, Medicine is one of the subjects which is changing the least because we've used BMAT for a while and we have lots of experience with non A level candidates in general.


    (Original post by Lementation)
    Secondly, if we sit externally assessed exams, do you think it would be a good idea to request the raw mark and national average / top percentiles for that exam and sent it with the application.

    Thank you so much for doing this, it's super super appreciated !!!
    We encourage schools to submit extra information about their candidates if they have it. I'm not sure how useful these will be though.
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    Ok thank you peter house. It's greatly appreciated
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    (Original post by Jasaron)
    Hi!

    I was wondering which schools fall under your flagging criteria. I am still at the same school I sat my GCSEs at, and they have never sent anybody to Oxbridge, and have a pass rate well below the national average (for GCSE). Is there any way for me to find out which flags apply to my school?

    Thank you.
    Hi, thanks for posting!

    This page on the University website might have your answer

    http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.u k/applying/decisions/contextual-data

    "We use two pieces of information on schools/colleges to supplement a student's application:
    • the performance of a school/college at GCSE level
    • the regularity with which a school/college sends successful applicants to the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford
    These data provide information on the context in which qualifications have been achieved, and the amount of experience teachers and advisers in a school/college have of the application process.

    Information on school/college performance at GCSE is prepared for us by the Admissions Testing Service, for English schools only. It allows assessors to see whether an applicant's academic record was representative of the educational cohort in the institution in which they were prepared for GCSE examinations. Therefore, we look at the average capped GCSE points score per pupil in the school/college, and, if it falls below 40 points (out of a maximum of 64), a flag is appended to an application.3

    Research undertaken by the Cambridge Admissions Office indicates that an applicant with excellent grades at GCSE from a below average school is likely to perform well in Tripos examinations.

    The experience a school/college has of the application process at Oxford and Cambridge also makes a difference to the guidance it’s able to give to applicants. Therefore, we flag schools/colleges attended by fewer than five students admitted to these Universities over the past five years. This isn’t a measure of the quality of the school/college or the relative performance of an applicant. Instead it makes our assessors aware that the applicant's school/college may be less able to advise them on applying to Cambridge and prepare them for the interview process.

    3. This is the average point score per pupil, capped at the eight best GCSE grades attained. On the scale we use, A* grades gain eight points and G grades gain one point."
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    (Original post by RJAV)
    Hello, I'm an Argentinian prospective Biological NatSci student. This November I take my A Level exams and I would be applying for the 2017 entry. However, my school only offers as science-maths subjects Biology and Maths, the other A Level subject is Spanish (which is compulsory and quite strange as we are native speakers). Actually I'm the only one here taking 3 A Levels, the rest takes 1 or 2 (my predictable marks are A*A*A* or A*A*A).

    I'm also taking AS French, Literature, Language and Art and Design, being my possible marks AABB 😭respectively.

    Why do we take 4 AS Levels instead of a 4th or 5th A Level? It's a kind of legal thing which takes place in all the country so as to make education broader.

    Finally, I could apply with Maths and Biology but also reading Chemistry before going to the UK as here we finish school this december and I would start next september. But... Chemistry reading could it not be as reliable as doing a graded exam, right?

    P.S. Sorry for my language.
    Fantastic! Another prospective biologist!

    I think our reply in post #19 answers lots of your questions. The question for you is if you could find first year courses which interest you with maths and biology. Without a good grade (A or A*) in A level Chemistry, you probably wouldn't be able to study IA Chemistry, but any extra reading would certainly help you in Physiology or Biology of Cells. Rest assured, we wouldn't be concerned about lower grades in non-science AS levels.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Hi, good question!

    Yes, they are treated differently and research has been done on the appropriate conversion factor.
    Thank you

    How exactly does the conversion factor work? Is it the same concept as deciding what IB points are equivalent to A/A*s at A level?

    Also, now that most(?) courses will have a pre interview test, does that mean that if you have maybe 80-90% PUM/UMS average in your AS levels but perform incredibly well in the test you still have a good chance of getting interview?

    And finally, I want to apply for engineering and I won't have AS levels for further maths because CIE only has it at the full A level only. I know it won't disadvantage me exactly but do I still have to specify this in my application or is Cambridge already aware that CIE don't offer AS f/maths?


    Thank you for the help!
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    Hi, are you saying that for medicine, BMAT is the main way of ranking students? And that GCSEs and AS levels won't be looked at as much?
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    Hello,
    How far back in terms of school history do you look at? I've been to 3 different secondary schools, will all of them be taken into account?


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    (Original post by StrawbAri)
    Thank you

    How exactly does the conversion factor work? Is it the same concept as deciding what IB points are equivalent to A/A*s at A level?

    Also, now that most(?) courses will have a pre interview test, does that mean that if you have maybe 80-90% PUM/UMS average in your AS levels but perform incredibly well in the test you still have a good chance of getting interview?

    And finally, I want to apply for engineering and I won't have AS levels for further maths because CIE only has it at the full A level only. I know it won't disadvantage me exactly but do I still have to specify this in my application or is Cambridge already aware that CIE don't offer AS f/maths?

    Thank you for the help!
    The difference is simply due to how the percentage UMS (PUMS) is calculated by CIE. This happens in a predictable way so we can take it into account when assessing CIE candidates. Not all subjects will have a pre-interview assessment and in those which do, this will simply be an additional source of information to be considered holistically, with no weightings applied. Holistically in this case means that we will be looking to identify strengths, weaknesses and indicators of potential across all the elements of your application and that the expected level of performance is different for each candidate.

    We are aware of CIE and AS FM. You could mention this in the appropriate section of the SAQ/COPA if you want to be belt and braces about it.
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    (Original post by Ehmb)
    Hello,
    How far back in terms of school history do you look at? I've been to 3 different secondary schools, will all of them be taken into account?


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    We consider your GCSE school and the school you apply from (probably the same as your A level school).
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    (Original post by ronnydandam)
    Hi, are you saying that for medicine, BMAT is the main way of ranking students? And that GCSEs and AS levels won't be looked at as much?
    No I am certainly not saying that! There is no overall ranking as such - the admissions process is holistic and things like BMAT are considered alongside everything else we know about you, including contextual information, AS results, predicted grades, ECF (if applicable), personal statement, teacher reference etc. GCSE are looked at too, but only in the context of your school and we're not looking for any one thing - lower GCSE scores with very high predictions and BMAT can be more encouraging than 15 A*s with a mediocre BMAT and borderline predictions. There are no quotas or cutoffs at any stage, beyond being on track for A*A*A in relevant subjects.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Fantastic! Another prospective biologist!

    I think our reply in post #19 answers lots of your questions. The question for you is if you could find first year courses which interest you with maths and biology. Without a good grade (A or A*) in A level Chemistry, you probably wouldn't be able to study IA Chemistry, but any extra reading would certainly help you in Physiology or Biology of Cells. Rest assured, we wouldn't be concerned about lower grades in non-science AS levels.

    Thanks for answering. So summing up you concern in my Biology and Mathematics A Levels. By having only these two subjects my subject choices during the first year get restricted and so the same applies to the following years. So... maybe I could do (if I have the acceptance and aid of my school) A Level Chemistry but, being tested on May 2017, as now I'm not having the time to do it (and the school doesn't offer it, and I spend about 46 hours per week at school-a lot). Would you accept a kind of conditional application (would it be called?), doing Biology and Maths on November 2016 and Chemistry on May 2017?

    P.S. This year (until december) would be my year 13 in the UK, so I would have plenty of free time to do one A Level in 5 months.
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    Hi I'm thinking of applying to Cambridge to study architecture and will be taking Physics, Chemistry & Biology, as well as that I'm doing Art History - Cert He at Oxford university. Do you think biology is a good subject to take for architecture? My reasoning behind taking Biology is that it will teach me about the ecology.

    Another question - do you know where I can find statistics for mature students, entry into Cambridge and specifically architecture?
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    (Original post by Thomb)
    Another question - do you know where I can find statistics for mature students, entry into Cambridge and specifically architecture?
    Re Admissions Stats - choose your course/college/year here: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ply/statistics

    e.g. Looking at mature colleges: Lucy Cavendish. No admissions in last 5 years to Wolfson or St. Ed's.
    But note that "standard" colleges also admit 21+ students.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Re Admissions Stats - choose your course/college/year here: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ply/statistics

    e.g. Looking at mature colleges: Lucy Cavendish. No admissions in last 5 years to Wolfson or St. Ed's.
    But note that "standard" colleges also admit 21+ students.
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    Thanks jneill. I've noted that the mature students colleges have no admissions and am thinking of applying to Kings as the tutors have similar fields of interest as mine.

    p.s. (I'm not a girl )
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    (Original post by RJAV)
    Thanks for answering. So summing up you concern in my Biology and Mathematics A Levels. By having only these two subjects my subject choices during the first year get restricted and so the same applies to the following years. So... maybe I could do (if I have the acceptance and aid of my school) A Level Chemistry but, being tested on May 2017, as now I'm not having the time to do it (and the school doesn't offer it, and I spend about 46 hours per week at school-a lot). Would you accept a kind of conditional application (would it be called?), doing Biology and Maths on November 2016 and Chemistry on May 2017?

    P.S. This year (until december) would be my year 13 in the UK, so I would have plenty of free time to do one A Level in 5 months.
    Yes, this should be fine. You'd get a conditional offer as normal as conditions have to be met by 31st August. Remember to mention on your application that you will be taking Chemistry later. If you're self-teaching or having teaching problems with the A level Chemistry you can mention this on the SAQ or an ECF.
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    (Original post by Thomb)
    Hi I'm thinking of applying to Cambridge to study architecture and will be taking Physics, Chemistry & Biology, as well as that I'm doing Art History - Cert He at Oxford university. Do you think biology is a good subject to take for architecture? My reasoning behind taking Biology is that it will teach me about the ecology.

    Another question - do you know where I can find statistics for mature students, entry into Cambridge and specifically architecture?
    Hi, happy to help, but please note I can only speak for Peterhouse! Our typical offer for Architecture is A*AA with Physics or maths to at least AS, a practical art course (Art, Graphic Design, Textiles etc.) and/or extracurricular art courses are essential. Depending on what your Art History course entails, it may not include enough practical work so extracurricular art and drawing might be important.

    Biology and Chemistry are unlikely to play much role in our decision making, and we don't consider these courses particularly relevant for Architecture, but if you enjoy them that's great and we'd want to see you on track to do well (A or above) in at least one of them.

    Statistics aren't broken down by age of the student I'm afraid, but mature students are considered at all the standard-age colleges.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Hi, happy to help, but please note I can only speak for Peterhouse! Our typical offer for Architecture is A*AA with Physics or maths to at least AS, a practical art course (Art, Graphic Design, Textiles etc.) and/or extracurricular art courses are essential. Depending on what your Art History course entails, it may not include enough practical work so extracurricular art and drawing might be important.

    Biology and Chemistry are unlikely to play much role in our decision making, and we don't consider these courses particularly relevant for Architecture, but if you enjoy them that's great and we'd want to see you on track to do well (A or above) in at least one of them.

    Statistics aren't broken down by age of the student I'm afraid, but mature students are considered at all the standard-age colleges.
    What A levels do you consider to be particularly relevant to architecture? I only have a few (A levels) to choose from as I'm going to be studying online.
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    (Original post by Thomb)
    What A levels do you consider to be particularly relevant to architecture? I only have a few (A levels) to choose from as I'm going to be studying online.
    The essentials are Maths and Physics, along with practical art courses like Art, Graphic Design, Textiles (but your History of Art course might be practical enough, or you can take extra art classes - this is for the skills gained as well as the qualification, DT is not considered sufficient). Advantageous courses are History of Art along with any humanities or languages.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    The essentials are Maths and Physics, along with practical art courses like Art, Graphic Design, Textiles (but your History of Art course might be practical enough, or you can take extra art classes - this is for the skills gained as well as the qualification, DT is not considered sufficient). Advantageous courses are History of Art along with any humanities or languages.
    Alternatively I could take maths,fine art and english literature, would these be more advantageous?
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    (Original post by Thomb)
    Alternatively I could take maths,fine art and english literature, would these be more advantageous?
    So Physics, Biology, Chemistry vs Maths, Fine Art and English? Would the History of Art qualification be studied in both scenarios? Really either is fine, and could be the basis for a competitive application, but the second might be a little more relevant. There is a concern with both that not enough practical art is being undertaken unless through extracurricular work - the Fine Art A level doesn't involve as significant practical work as Art/Textiles/Graphic Design. You might be interested to look at the specification for the admissions assessment in Architecture to see some of the skills which are assessed.
 
 
 
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