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    (Original post by matt.thorne10)
    Hi Christ's,

    I was wondering how much winning an essay prize would help an application? Also, more importantly, whether it would be regarded the same at all colleges or would only really help at the college that ran the prize?
    It can be a help, yes. We've both taken and rejected people who've won our competition in History. All colleges will take seriously winning an essay prize but obviously the college which awarded the prize will have positive, personal knowledge of the winner or those highly ranked.
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    (Original post by teodorng)
    Hi! I'm an EU fresher at Modern and Medieval Languages, Clare College, and I'm now thinking what to pack and what I still need.

    What can you tell me about the computer-documents compatibility? I've heard about people having invested in a good Windows laptop and then realized that the documents sent by supervisors were unreadable because they were made on Apples; then they had to convert each and every file in order to be able to open them. Do I have to get a Macbook in order to be sure I can read everything without wasting time converting?

    If I had to choose myself with no restriction, I would deffinitely go for a Windows laptop, so my questions are: what specs do you find as being of absolute necessity? and: Windows or Mac?

    Replies from any of you who can tell me anything are welcome. Thanks a lot in advance!

    Best regards,
    TeodorNG
    Hello and congratulations on your place at Clare. You absolutely do not need a Macbook at Cambridge. A lot of people have Macs of course but most stuff is done in Windows and if one has a Mac you eed to be able to open stuff in Word, Excel etc.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Hello and congratulations on your place at Clare. You absolutely do not need a Macbook at Cambridge. A lot of people have Macs of course but most stuff is done in Windows and if one has a Mac you eed to be able to open stuff in Word, Excel etc.
    Thanks a lot for clarifying this! One less administrative issue to think about => more time to spend with the 1st year syllabus and readings.
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    (Original post by Mumofboys)
    Hello Christ's Admissions - first of all can I just say thank you for reading this and for all the help you give to everyone on this forum.
    My question is on behalf of my son who has just completed A levels achieving A*A*A*A in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics. The A was in Physics and is 3 marks off an A* so we have requested the photocopied script with a view to a remark.
    My son applied to Cambridge to read Engineering starting September 2016, but was rejected prior to interview on the grounds of not being strong enough academically (predicted grades were A*A*A*A), and we can only assume it was on the basis of his FM at AS which was a D I think. He was otherwise strong at AS and GCSE. The only other thing that has changed is that his predicted A was in FM, but this went to A* and Physics went from A* to A.
    He subsequently received an unconditional offer to read Engineering at a Russell Group Uni but is now wavering and talking about a gap year with a view to reapplying to Cambridge for 2017. We have the usual conversations about not wasting a year chasing the Cambridge dream, using the year productively (if it happens) - he already has a job offer for late summer with the Engineering company he did work experience with last summer, which he will discuss extending with them. I realise you cannot offer advice but would welcome your thoughts. Would the 2016 rationale for rejection blight this year's application?
    Many thanks for your help.
    Hello and thanks for your question. First of all many congratulations to your son on his excellent results and his place elsewhere. You are obviously aware of the issues involved and that is good.

    All I can add to the conversations that you are already having is to say that he would be a competitive candidate and much more so than last time. I would agree that a D grade at FM is probably the reason why he was not called for interview last time, given the importance of Maths to Engineering at Cambridge. He is clearly in a much strong position this time with 3 A*s and an A already achieved. His 3 A*s mean that he is eligible for compulsory pooling if he is not successful at his original college so he will definitely be offered an interview.

    The biggest negative at this stage is his A grade in Physics which will be something that will cause concern, though not insurmountable concern especially given that he is close to the A* boundary. He need not worry about last year's rejection - a lot of candidates are successful on reapplication, especially if they have achieved in excess of the standard offer.

    I hope this is useful. Essentially he has a good chance of an offer but nothing is guaranteed and that's what he needs to weigh up. Best of luck to him.
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    (Original post by DonAchille)
    I want to apply to maths, and I'm sitting advanced Highers in maths and mechanics and an A level in physics. I would be a mature student. What are my chances of being invited for an interview given my current academic profile will have very little mathematics on it? And is there anything I can do to help get an interview? I was considering doing the first few unit tests for my Advanced Highers to have a grade for them on the application.

    Thank you
    (Original post by DonAchille)
    I want to apply to maths, and I'm sitting advanced Highers in maths and mechanics and an A level in physics. I would be a mature student. What are my chances of being invited for an interview given my current academic profile will have very little mathematics on it? And is there anything I can do to help get an interview? I was considering doing the first few unit tests for my Advanced Highers to have a grade for them on the application.

    Thank you
    Christ's Admissions would you mind having a look at this post when you have a minute. Many thanks.
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    (Original post by teodorng)
    Thanks a lot for clarifying this! One less administrative issue to think about => more time to spend with the 1st year syllabus and readings.
    Just to jump in and say; if you have a Mac, or a Windows PC for that matter, you can get MS Office for free via Cambridge's licencing agreement with Microsoft. You can also get very good academic discounts on a new laptop if you need one.

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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    In unusual cases, especially those involving mature students, ATs are quite likely to take different views on specific issues. I'd leave it myself but you might want to ask in the mature student thread.
    Sorry for further questions but as you say that's what these threads are for!

    What will the 2017/18 SAQ look like? Obviously from reading this thread not too dissimilar from before, but I'm just curious given the vast, vast majority of candidates won't have UMS.


    I'm currently torn between risking potentially shooting myself in the foot with my UMS averages with going for the English Tripos at Cambridge which I much prefer to Oxford's course, but with Oxford, my A*s will be 'stronger'. Especially with History. I just can't see an admissions tutor not wincing at the 61/100 at AS despite the 120/120 at A2. My UMS average across the 3 subjects is 84.75 which really worries me. I might apply to Christ's simply having heard your stance as Admissions Tutor on the whole situation. But I can't change what I sat in 2014, though I did consider 'boosting' the History A* grade at one point. I would really *much* rather apply for Cambridge, but it would be awful to be knocked out by the UMS average. I just struggle to see how I would be a competitive candidate. Would I be a bit of an anomaly? I know that UMS is primarily used to see whether candidates are on track for their predicted grades/university offer levels, but are post A-Level A*s seen as just that, or will a higher post A Level A* trump a lower one in marginal cases?
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    (Original post by bagginses)
    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
    Hello and thanks for your further questions. I'm a political historian myself but, while I understand your concern about the social and economic history paper, it's an important part of the Cambridge course and ensures that students are exposed to different types of history. This both makes them more rounded in their chosen specialisation but it also often results in them changing their interests. A Level history tends to be very politically focused, especially on the deeds and influence of 'great men' (Stalin, Hitler, Lenin, Bismarck, Garibaldi, Henry VIII, Cromwell etc.) and the Social and Economic paper helps as a corrective to that.

    That said, it is often hard to separate the political from social and economic history - the Peasants' Revolt for instance or the Reformation, 17th century religion; 18th century economic trade; poor relief in the 19th century; the role of women in society in the 20th century; the post-war Keynsian economic consensus or Thatcherism - all these things are taught in the social and economic papers but have deeply political sides to them so you'll still get a decent fll of politics, just from a different and interest angle.

    I've never read E.H Carr or Richard Evans, I've read some many personal statements which mention them I don't see the need! There's nothing wrong with reading these types of books but read them because you want to understand history and historical writing better not because you've been told to read them in order to make an application stand out. If you are interested in such a book, I'd recommend Marc Bloch's 'The Historian's Craft'. He was a hugely influential French historians before the Second World War and was executed by the Nazis for being a member of the French Resistance- an instance of history impacting on a historian!

    If you're reading Burke on the Revolution, then read Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, which was his response to Burke's Reflections. Burke's right of course ( ) but Paine's worth reading anyway!
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    (Original post by Themathsdebater)
    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
    We are certainly going to be interested in the admissions assessment but not to the exclusion of all else. it is merely going to be part of the deliberations. Maths UMS will continue to be of interest to us, especially for mathematics based courses.
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    (Original post by honeysugar)
    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?
    You can certainly apply with Chemistry. Details about payment and funding can be found here. If you want more information the best person to ask on TSR is Lucy Cavendish Admissions.
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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
    I can;t say for sure how detrimental a 90.3% average in Maths will be as I don;t know what you got/whether you did any other Science AS Levels. The Classics result won't matter. In the Maths and FM, it will help that you have some very strong scores and are brought down by a couple of modules. We;d rather that normally than for you to be consistently relatively low.

    What you can do now is have a look at the specimen CSAT (Computer Science Admissions Test), revise your Maths and ht the ground running next term so you get the best reference you can.
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    (Original post by davozgenius)
    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?
    You need to tell me the subject you wish to apply for but one module is not going to kill your chances and yes we would take into consideration that FM was self taught. It doesnt make a massive difference but it is something we notice.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Hello and thanks for your further questions. I'm a political historian myself but, while I understand your concern about the social and economic history paper, it's an important part of the Cambridge course and ensures that students are exposed to different types of history. This both makes them more rounded in their chosen specialisation but it also often results in them changing their interests. A Level history tends to be very politically focused, especially on the deeds and influence of 'great men' (Stalin, Hitler, Lenin, Bismarck, Garibaldi, Henry VIII, Cromwell etc.) and the Social and Economic paper helps as a corrective to that.

    That said, it is often hard to separate the political from social and economic history - the Peasants' Revolt for instance or the Reformation, 17th century religion; 18th century economic trade; poor relief in the 19th century; the role of women in society in the 20th century; the post-war Keynsian economic consensus or Thatcherism - all these things are taught in the social and economic papers but have deeply political sides to them so you'll still get a decent fll of politics, just from a different and interest angle.

    I've never read E.H Carr or Richard Evans, I've read some many personal statements which mention them I don't see the need! There's nothing wrong with reading these types of books but read them because you want to understand history and historical writing better not because you've been told to read them in order to make an application stand out. If you are interested in such a book, I'd recommend Marc Bloch's 'The Historian's Craft'. He was a hugely influential French historians before the Second World War and was executed by the Nazis for being a member of the French Resistance- an instance of history impacting on a historian!

    If you're reading Burke on the Revolution, then read Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, which was his response to Burke's Reflections. Burke's right of course ( ) but Paine's worth reading anyway!
    Sorry to interrupt! Just had to poke my History loving nose into it. I really liked what you said here, and I was compelled to respond. I'm going to pick up Marc Bloch's work immediately. What an interesting insight! Is there much material out there about his own execution? I'm really intrigued by the "History impacting on a Historian" comment - it's like a box within a box!!

    I have Burke's work in my room actually, actually. I'm going to get around to it sometime and I'll pick up Paine's 'Rights of Man' afterwards. Right now, I'm reading 'The Long European Reformation' by Peter Wallace. It really puts the reformation in it's political and economical place in time, and how each (Religious/Political/Economical) are intrinsically linked. And it's so interesting to see how things developed between reformers, leaders, countries and societies from the time span within the book. The argument that the Reformation wasn't a quick process, and that people couldn't comprehend the Reformation for years after it's 16th Century happening, is something I'm really agreeing with whilst I'm reading it. I like all types of History, really. I can't pick a favourite one. I keep telling me mum that I just want to "learn it all" but she says that's not quite possible. I can try though!

    Of course, I'll bore you if I start rambling. Honestly, I'm the bane of my History teachers life, I never quite shut up.

    After I finish 'The Long European Reformation', I'll be reading the Protestant Ethic by Webber, and then City of God by St Augustine. Do you have any 'companion pieces' for this particular 'theme'? It's just for my own interest really. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for somebody interesting in the way the world has been shaped throughout History, especially religious, and the comparisons and differences we can draw between the world we live in now and how the world has shaped to be this way? Just a little anecdote that I've been trying to bring up my own conclusions for, recently.

    Sorry I keep on appearing in this thread. I just... I can't get enough of the subject! The A-Level History course doesn't satisfy me. I wish I had six sets of eyes so I could read History things at six times the pace.
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    Hello there,

    I didn't apply to Cambridge and am starting on a university course elsewhere this September. I was wondering, is it possible to transfer from another university into the second year at Cambridge? Also, please could you let me know where I could find out how many PhD places there are in languages/ social science each year?

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by espicton98)
    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.
    Hello and thanks for your questions. There isn't a right or wrong way t start a personal statement. Personally I'm not a big fan of quotations at the start, simply because I've read so many and it is supposed to be your statement not Mark Twain's or Karl Marx's.

    If you stuck for a way to start, begin by describing how you got interested in your subject. It need not be a particular moment but, in the case of an English student, it might start with a particular author or book that you read. It's not the most original way to start but it gets you going and that's what the start should be about. 'Memorable' starts are rarely good ones!

    We will make offers by assessing applications holistically, by looking at all the data that we have on candidates and coming to a decision. We are very used to dealing with candidates without AS Levels.

    Best of luck in your application.
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    Hello, I am hoping to apply for mathematics. I did a full A level in maths this year however my school has not 'cashed' it in so it won't be showing up on UCAS, the only thing that will appear is the AS. Since Cambridge will only have AS maths to look at (most people additionally have AS further maths or the A2 in maths), will it disadvantage my application?

    Also, my UMS for AS maths were C1-100 C2-100 S1-83. How much will a poor S1 grade affect my application?

    Thank you!
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    (Original post by jdizzle12345)
    How much of an advantage would an essay competition be? Thanks
    I gave an answer on this a little earlier today that you might like to look at. Doing one is good, a sign of super-curricular activity, doing well is also good obviously but on its own it isn't going to get a place.
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    (Original post by ICB)
    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.
    Hello and thanks for your questions. TSR isn't always the most representative sample of Cambridge applicants so don't be intimidated by what people have said. With AABB you won't be thee strongest applicant on paper but that doesn't mean you can't get an offer.

    My advice would be ensure that you are predicted at least A*AA (A*A*B isn't enough) by working very hard at the start of term. Read and think about Linguistics as much as you can and have a look at the specification for the Linguistics at-interview assessment.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Hello and thanks for your questions. There isn't a right or wrong way t start a personal statement. Personally I'm not a big fan of quotations at the start, simply because I've read so many and it is supposed to be your statement not Mark Twain's or Karl Marx's.

    If you stuck for a way to start, begin by describing how you got interested in your subject. It need not be a particular moment but, in the case of an English student, it might start with a particular author or book that you read. It's not the most original way to start but it gets you going and that's what the start should be about. 'Memorable' starts are rarely good ones!

    We will make offers by assessing applications holistically, by looking at all the data that we have on candidates and coming to a decision. We are very used to dealing with candidates without AS Levels.

    Best of luck in your application.
    Thankyou so much for such a detailed response, you have put my mind to rest a little !
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    (Original post by Empyral)
    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?
    Hello and thanks for your questions. The new History and Economics AS Levels don't have UMS only raw marks and you can't calculate UMS from that. With four As at AS, despite the relatively low UMS I am inferring you got in Maths and Philosophy, I think you would get an interview but that isn't guaranteed. Your application isn't going to be the strongest in terms of public examinations but if yoou do well in other aspects of the process you can still get a offer, yes.
 
 
 
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