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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Hello, thank you for your questions and congratulations on your results.

    1) Unless students have three unreformed AS Levels then they will not have a UMS average. Even then, if they are taking a reformed fourth subject then the best 3 UMS will not necessary tell us what it used to tell us. We are not going to rank people by their UMS as we used to. We are not going to collect raw marks but if your teacher wish to mention them in your reference then that is fine.

    2) I'm afraid I really can't say. From what you've told me you look like you'd be a strong applicant at either university. The thing to do is to look at the courses on offer and the differences. All I would say about the new History and Politics degree at Cambridge is that we have looked closely at how it works at Oxford and tried to integrate the two disciplines more closely for students.

    3) As we've no data on previous applicants, it's hard to know what the acceptance rate will be for History and Politics. We are hoping that it will be popular among applicants. As in Oxford, students who apply for the joint course will be eligible for an offer in single honours, either from the college to which they originally applied or from another college via the Pool. I expect that quite a lot of H&P applicants will fall into this category even if they are unsuccessful in their joint honours application.

    4) I think either option could work fine. it;s not necessary to do 4 A Levels so only continue if you want to and by continuing with Maths you won't affect your performance in the other subjects. An EPQ can be a useful addition to the application as it gives you something to talk about in the PS and at interview but it doesn't form part of the offer.

    Sorry not to be more definitive in a lot of my answers but I hope that this is helpful nonetheless. Best of luck!
    Thank you so much that was really helpful! I just have a couple other questions if you wouldn't mind answering them:

    In terms of the actual History course at Cambridge the only thing putting me off is the compulsory paper on economic/social history - as someone who is much more interested in political history would you think I might not enjoy this or do people find it is better than they thought?

    And in terms of wider reading I know the general advice is just to read what interests you, but are there certain things we should/shouldn't do? E.g. i know a lot of people read those theoretical "what is history"-type books, is it worth reading one of these even though everyone will have done the same? (I was thinking maybe Collingwood The Idea of History is this a good one to go for?) At the moment I'm reading Hobsbawm's Age of Revolution as well as de Tocqueville and Burke on the French Revolution, any other recommendations for this kind of period? I'm also really interested in religious history, I have Burleigh's Earthly Powers are there any other books on modern religious history that would be good to talk about in PS?

    Sorry to keep bombarding you with questions, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this
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    Hi Christs admissions, I have just noticed you mention that you wont be looking at UMS in the same way that you used to. Will you therefore be more interested in looking at the scores of the admissions test? I'm asking since in my AS maths i got a relatively low 92.2 ums (applying for economics). Thanks
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    (Original post by kakerlake)
    Which kinds of study/experiences (e.g. reading, summer schools, lectures) look best when you write about the activities you do in your own time to proove your interest in a subject on your personal statement? I am struggling to fit them all in and need to leave some out
    There's no particular type of experience that looks best. All applicants are unique and you should write about the one/s that most affected you and your understanding of the subject for which you're applying. The key thing is to be reflective, don't just list what you've done but show us what you learned from doing it.
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    (Original post by _cryinglightning)
    1) Are interviews for humanity subjects (English Literature) based off one's personal statement?
    2) How does Cambridge view the EPQ? Would it ever form part of an offer? Would not having one be detrimental to an application (my sixth form believes it would be)?
    3) When do applicants hear if they are invited to interview? (How long before the actual date?)
    4) What sort of things should be included in the school reference?

    Thank you!


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    Hello and thanks for your questions.

    1) Some of a humanities interview may be based on the Personal Statement but a lot of it won't. One should be prepared to talk about anything on the personal statement but recognise that one of the things we are trying to do at interview is see how you handle unfamiliar material. We also often like to ask one or two of the same questions to everyone so we can benchmark their performance.

    2) The EPQ is a good thing. It helps prepare students in some ways for university in that you chose a subject, read about it and write a lengthy piece on it. it gives students something to talk about in the personal statement and also, sometimes, in the interview. It doesn't form part of our offers, however, and I would never look down on an application that didn't have an EPQ as part of it. Essentially, it's your choice - do it if you find something interesting to read and write about but don't do it to try to impress us.

    3) This year I expect that subjects without a pre-interview assessment will hear from probably 7 November onwards whether they have an interview. Those with a pre-interview assessment won't hear before Monday 14 November and most probably not until the end of that week and the start of the next. We aim to give at least two weeks notice of an interview, the vast majority of which will be in the weeks beginning Monday 5 and Monday 12 December.

    4) The school reference should focus on your academic qualities, potential and suitability for the courses for which you have applied. Particularly useful is a sense of where you rank among your own cohort and among previous applicants.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    If it's not confidential, do you mind sharing the details surrounding the error in marking STEP scripts that led to students being notified on Thursday about grade changes? What sort of errors occurred? Sorry if I sound nosey, it just sounds mysterious and got me curious.
    I've said on the STEP thread that as far as I know it was a marking issue on a few scripts. We haven't been told more than that and, as a medievalist, I probably wouldn't understand the intricacies of the marking of STEP if I were told!
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Hello everyone and welcome to a new Ask an Admissions Tutor thread, back for its fourth year.

    I will be here for the next month to answer your questions about admissions to Cambridge, especially if you are planning to apply this year but also to help those already holding an offer for this year and waiting for your results.

    Do please fire away and I'll answer them as well and as quickly as I can.
    Will CAMBRIDGE accept me for graduate medicine with a degree in chemistry? Or should I do biomedical sciences? Also, would I have to pay for the course myself?
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    Hello Christ's Admission!

    I have just completed my AS Levels and am slightly disappointed with my results - I got 90.3% average in my maths and further maths (with 95% or above in all but 2 modules where I scored 74% and 81%).

    Also, I got a B in Classics.

    I will be applying to Cambridge for Computer Science. I was wondering how much these UMS's will deter my chances and what I can do to make up for my losses.

    Thank you
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    Hello and Thank you, I got AAAAA [5 A's] in maths, further maths, physics ,chemistry and biology but harbouring the hardest A levels came at a price. it pulled down my maths/FM average to 90.67 maths 297/300 and FM 247/300. maths is fine but FM was disappointing and all due to 1 module FP1 68/100 does this kill my
    chances and does it help that FM was self thought?
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    (Original post by ArafatQ)
    Hello Christ's Admission!

    I have just completed my AS Levels and am slightly disappointed with my results - I got 90.3% average in my maths and further maths (with 95% or above in all but 2 modules where I scored 74% and 81%).

    Also, I got a B in Classics.

    I will be applying to Cambridge for Computer Science. I was wondering how much these UMS's will deter my chances and what I can do to make up for my losses.

    Thank you
    What were the two bad modules?
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    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    What were the two bad modules?
    Further Maths: 74%
    Statistics: 81%

    I'm definitely going to retake further maths, it was my strongest module in the mocks and I just panicked in the exam :/
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    (Original post by ArafatQ)
    Further Maths: 74%
    Statistics: 81%

    I'm definitely going to retake further maths, it was my strongest module in the mocks and I just panicked in the exam :/
    Further maths being FP1? I can greatly sympathise, I messed up that last year (but happily nevertheless have a place for Computer Science).
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    (Original post by champ_mc99)
    Yeah I thought about that but pretty much all applicants will have the same AS grades (esp since they've scrapped UMS) and GCSE's aren't treated with much of a high deal right? How much weight is put on the reference?
    I think people underestimate the importance of GCSEs. No one at Cambridge has ever said they were vital but they aren't useless by any means. There's a bit of a myth that Oxford loves GCSEs and Cambridge doesn't care about them. It's true that in the past GCSEs were less important than AS Levels but they weren't unimportant and I think the truth of our position and Oxford's lies much more in the middle, with Oxford perhaps having a bigger emphasis on them than we do.

    We'll have to wait and see how many students have the same AS results. We look carefully at the reference. We are going to make decisions holistically. Obviously BMAt will be important but it's not going to be used on its own to tell us anything.
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    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    Further maths being FP1? I can greatly sympathise, I messed up that last year (but happily nevertheless have a place for Computer Science).
    Oh wow, that's such a sigh of relief! Could I ask you a few questions through PM please?
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    (Original post by ArafatQ)
    Oh wow, that's such a sigh of relief! Could I ask you a few questions through PM please?
    Sure!
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    Do you prefer personal statements that go straight into the main body of the essay or ps's with a brief introduction ? Also how are offers going to be made? I haven't sat AS exams in History or English this year, and I intend to apply for English this year.
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    (Original post by Yo_Classics)
    Hi all!...Interested in Cambridge Classics here, the 3 year course starting September 2017.

    Firstly, let me also thank Christ's Admissions. Really appreciate you guys doing this for all of us.

    Regarding Predicted Grades, as we know with AS exams being phased out, there won't be actual, external AS Results for Year 12 work now. So how will you assess post-GCSE 'things that have happened'?

    As well as the Pre Interview Assessment, how will you compare these two hypothetical candidates for, say, the HSPS course at Christ's, the application 'packages' being very similar except:

    Jane, who has Latin AS (96 UMS), Spanish AS (82 UMS) and will also do linear History and linear English Lit at A2, predicted A*A*A*A;

    and her twin sister Jill , who has not done any AS exams and will do 4 linear A2s in History, English Lit, Physics, Psychology, predicted A*A*A*A?

    How seriously will you take the School Reference, especially in this transitional period for AS exams?

    Any other observations as Cambridge Admissions transition from ASs to a post AS world, having found ASs so useful for so many year s now?

    Many thanks.

    Budding_Classicist
    Hello and thanks for your question. It's not a multiple person account it's just me doing this!

    Post GCSE assessment is doubtless going to be tougher this year than it has been previously. it's important to emphasise, however, that we are used to dealing with candidates without UMS. In several subjects up to half the field in the past did not have modular A Levels. There are a number of things we can look at: unreformed AS UMS; reformed AS grades; admissions assessments; performance in internal exams that are referenced in the UCAS reference; evidence of super-curricular activities; and, of course, interviews. None of these are as clear cut or well researched as the correlation between AS Levels and Cambridge performance and so it will all have to be handled very carefully, but, as I say, we are used to doing that with other qualifications.

    I don't think hypothetical scenarios pitching supposedly near-identical candidates are very helpful so I'm afraid I'm not going to get into that.

    We always take school references seriously. Admissions Tutors are pretty good at reading between the lines and they can be very helpful.

    My general observation on admissions post modular A Levels. is that no one quite knows what is going to happen and that is nerve-racking and exciting at the same time. To use a term made famous by Donald Rumsfeld we have known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns and it's the latter I'm most worried about.
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    (Original post by Makhib19)
    Hello thank you for your reply and I didnt know that there was the SAQ form which will be very helpful.

    Two more questions, sorry!

    I would be applying from scotland and the grades I recieved were AAAAAC (C in English) at Higher and AAAD (D in English) at Advanced Higher. Would the English grade deter me or impact my application?

    Also would I be able to apply for a second course at Cambridge along with a Medical application, for example for Chemistry?

    Thank you so much.
    It's no problem, happy to help. The English results are a bit surprising given your other results but I doubt it's going to be something that's going to affect things very much - it's your science ability that matters. We want to see as many band 1s in those As at Higher and Advanced Higher as possible.

    No, you can only apply for one course at Cambridge.
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    How much of an advantage would an essay competition be? Thanks
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    Hi there!
    I got AABB in my AS levels, plus an A in general studies. I wasn't really expecting to do so well- I consider those grades to be really impressive so I'm thinking now about Oxbridge. However when I'm on these forums people mostly have all As, and if they even get one B it's due to extenuating circumstances or something. I'm waiting now for my predicted grades from school, and if I had to if guess they'd be A*A*B. I'm confident I could get A*AA if I focus entirely on applying. Would two Bs harm my application for linguistics? Do you have any advice for me?
    Thank you very much in advance.
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    Hello Christ's Admission's tutor and thank you in advance for reading this.

    I'm thinking applying to Cambridge for law...but in light of my AS results I am not sure if it is still possible to get in.

    My AS subjects are: Economics, Maths, History and Philosophy.
    I achieved all A's in my subjects, but my UMS that I calculated from just averaging the UMS of my subjects:

    Mean UMS of top 4: 85.6%
    Mean UMS of top 3: 85.8%
    (The UMS of all four subjects lie in the range of 85-86%, so I believe even if UMS will be calculated differently this year, it is still a very close approximation).

    So my concern is this:
    - Is there a good enough chance for me to get an interview despite these UMS scores?
    - If I can get an interview, am I still too disadvantaged by these scores to have a decent chance of getting an offer even if my interview goes well?
 
 
 
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