(Original post by angelafleming)
Cambridge: The reason for this decision is that competition in your subject was particularly fierce this year (we in fact had an all-time record number of applications) and your ranking on paper was not high enough for you to be included on our shortlist for interview. A final decision on your application will be made in late December/early January.
Any advice on what I should do?
Nice. Identical wording to my rejection-without-interview letter. Is there a new increased level of competition every year?
All you can do is realise Cambridge's selection process (indeed any universities) will not gaurentee them the best mathematicians (but being Cambridge they'll get a decent enough bunch with their method) so some people will get filtered out when they are good enough. EDIT: As for the Indian qualifications being the reason you were rejected - I was rejected applying with A's and 1 B at AS, a medical note to explain the B (I got a migraine in some exams) and predicted AAAA. Who knows how they differentiated between me and the other applicants with identical qualifications.
As for universities, if you're chosing between Warwick and Imperial, don't judge on "how good mathematically" as they are basically the same. Look at things like freedom of module choice, location, accomodation, facilities, sports & societies. I can't say much about Imperial, I ruled it out quickly as London is far too big and expensive for me, but Warwick I'm at.
It's a campus uni, halfway between Coventry and Leamington Spa. Coventry is a large, ugly town that I don't go near much. Good shops and cheap nightlife though. Leamington Spa is smaller and prettier and generally nicer. Unless you go through clearing you are gaurenteed accomodation on campus which I think is vital. Lots of freshers like you about, everything is close by. On advantage of Warwick is the sheer number of maths people, there is just under 300 in my year, which is approx 1 in 10 freshers, I think. So within my hall of 70 people there were 11 mathematicians which was really useful for working together/when you are confused about something. After the first year you move out to either Coventry or Leamington. Cov involves either a bus journey in, or living just outside the university boundary (10mins walk). Leamington is a 20min bus journey away but its not too bad as there are buses around every 5 mins during the day. The course has lots of options, the system works on "CATS", you do 120-150 CATS a year, 90 of which are core in the first year (and this decreases each year, 66 in year 2 I believe), the rest of which you chose from maths, stats, physics, languages, and you can apply for other courses too (I know someone who did all her options in english). The choice is difficult but I sign up for everything and drop stuff I don't like after a few lectures and that works well enough. One thing possibly quite unusual about the degree is the constant assessment. The first year counts 10% towards your final classification, and example sheets and tests count in some small way towards this (4-7 example sheets per module, worth 15% in total for that module, other modules like Vector s and Matrices, and Foundation in Year 1 Term 1 have a test each week). I like that system as otherwise I wouldn't work so hard term time, and it means by aceing the example sheets you can afford to do slightly less well in the exams. But it sucks when you are ill and can't slow down.