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    (Original post by tristanperry)
    As I say, there will always be exceptions

    However the statistics clearly show that the majority of people taken in do at least 4 A-Levels.
    If not more, I suppose.
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    To the person who negatively repped me, I don't see HOW I've been arrogant and up myself at all, when I haven't even MENTIONED myself..
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    (Original post by westlake)
    If not more, I suppose.
    Yep, true enough
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    I asked about 5 or so admissions tutors if there was any advantage to taking more than 3 A-levels, to which everyone gave a resounding no. Even the head of admissions said that those with more than 4 A-levels need to find something better to do with their time.
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    (Original post by tristanperry)
    As I say, there will always be exceptions

    However the statistics clearly show that the majority of people taken in do at least 4 A-Levels.
    They do not. The majority have three A-levels.
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    Most of the guys from my school who end in top univ - took 5 As and 4A2.
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    Thats probably cos they were quite misinformed about the whole thing! You do not need so many qualifcations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Absolutely. Vazzy and I go to the same college, and most of our year only have 3 a levels.
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    Obviously everyone is going to say different things according to their own 'personal experiences' but I thought I'd add the things which I've heard the admissions tutor at my college say in her talk to prospective applicants at the open days.
    Whilst many people will have 4 A2s, this certainly does not mean that they won't even consider you. It's worth remembering that Cambridge interviews the vast majority of applicants, and those that are deselected before interview usually have things fairly drastically wrong with their application - like not being predicted anywhere near As. Therefore if you 'only' do 3 you are likely to have chance to justify yourself if necessary. For medics, as Vazzy has said, BMAT is very important and is being increasingly used in pre-interview deselection.
    Some colleges are likely to give out 4A offers if you're doing 4. If they don't, they're often more than happy for you to drop the fourth later on if you change your mind - again this was specifically stated by the admissions tutor.

    (Original post by Helenia)
    (Remember, UMS does not matter in U6th as long as you get the grades! )
    From what I have been told, this is not true. THe admissions tutor specifically said that they are more interested in high UMS than having an extra A level.

    And to finish with a bit of personal experience - yes, I did 4 A2s. One of them was English Literature. My offer specified As in biology, chemistry and physics. Therefore you can decide for yourself whether I count as having done 4 or not, as one wasn't relevant. The other thing to remember is that you (presumably) will not just be applying to Cambridge and other medical schools are looking for rather different things - they would generally prefer to see you do 3 A levels (perhaps with one non-science one at least to AS) and do more extra-curricular committments like voluntary work, and it's not worth tailoring your application so specifically to Cambridge that it puts you at risk of not getting a place elsewhere.
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    (Original post by darzona)
    From what I have been told, this is not true. THe admissions tutor specifically said that they are more interested in high UMS than having an extra A level
    I think you misunderstood what Helenia said. Cambridge will look at the majority of applications after AS Levels (L6th) is completed. At this point, your scores contribute to your chances of getting a offer. In the upper sixth, the final score out of 600 does not get used by Cambridge in the decision making process at all because this is already done by this stage, so Helenia is right in saying 'all you need to worry about is getting an A'. (It is complicated by the fact that Cambridge do ask for your final A2 score, but this is for other purposes, not ones which decide whether or not you get an offer)

    The extra alevel/better scores is a whole different argument. IMO, four AS levels at 290 is better than five at 260 any day. The presence of a fourth alevel is only useful if it something like Physics or Biology because these help in the actual medical course. (A2 Biology massively so) Cambridge don't particularly want you to do unnecessary Alevels for the sake of it!
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    Sorry if there was any misunderstanding. I know of people (not necessarily medicine) who have been given offers based on UMS, not just grades (i.e. they have to get over 90% UMS).

    If "the presence of a fourth alevel is only useful if it's something like physics or biology' then I'm another example that you won't be immediately disregarded if you only have 3, as my fourth evidently didn't count.
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    (Original post by darzona)
    Sorry if there was any misunderstanding. I know of people (not necessarily medicine) who have been given offers based on UMS, not just grades (i.e. they have to get over 90% UMS).

    If "the presence of a fourth alevel is only useful if it's something like physics or biology' then I'm another example that you won't be immediately disregarded if you only have 3, as my fourth evidently didn't count.
    Ah ok - never heard of those offers hehe
    Yeah definitely - having 3 alevels is absolutely fine and other people need to realise this! Having a fourth useful one just adds a very small pro to your application.
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    As for the fourth subject, if you have A levels in the three sciences a fourth A level in maths will be less interesting than one in philosophy or english. You will be asked why you did it at interview, but it will make you a more interesting candidate.
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    I disagree with the above, infact some colleges ask specifically for maths (Magdalene for example) as well as expecting chem and bio. The only uni I believe seem to have such a policy is UCL
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    They may request maths, but most colleges and universities will prefer chem, bio, physics and philosophy than chem, bio, physics and maths. Of course some will like the sciences, but especially at Oxbridge interview they will prefer a more varied and interesting candidate. The few colleges that require three sciences are probably the exception to this rule.
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    The more, the better. But judging the dumbing down of A-Levels, one can probably manage 8 A-levels in 2 years without much of a problem. 6 A-Levels if you plan to do a few extracurricular activities like music.
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    (Original post by jew unit)
    They may request maths, but most colleges and universities will prefer chem, bio, physics and philosophy than chem, bio, physics and maths. Of course some will like the sciences, but especially at Oxbridge interview they will prefer a more varied and interesting candidate. The few colleges that require three sciences are probably the exception to this rule.
    Would Cambridge prefer Bio, Chem, Maths, Humanity Subject; or Bio, Chem, Physics, Humanity Subject? Or does it really make no difference?
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    They would possibly prefer Maths but I suspect it would make almost zero difference. Maths will make your life easier at Cambridge, but Physics is hardly the most challenging A-Level.
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    (Original post by jew unit)
    They would possibly prefer Maths but I suspect it would make almost zero difference. Maths will make your life easier at Cambridge, but Physics is hardly the most challenging A-Level.
    Hmm well I find them both about the same difficulty, so I'll probs do maths, cos the teachers are much better for maths at my school. I was intending to do maths anyway.

    Funny, I thought people had said that physics was a good help for medicine, whereas maths wasn't really. Suppose it's a matter of opinion.
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    Maths can help with some of the more advanced aspects of physiology. These are also the parts where physics is useful, as there tends to be some electronics. Knowledge of the formulae is very easy to get though so I think your decision to go with the better teaching is a good one. Do make sure you don;t pick a college that requires three sciences as they may not be in favour of the extra subject. My college tends to look on it quite well though.
 
 
 
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