only some 60-something people WORLDWIDE achieve the top score each year...
that's a very small percentage, so it's a little ridiculous that cambridge still asks for a 43+
if they do seem to understand the IB, i don't get why they can't give more generous offers.
I've seen a 43 offer from Cambridge, never seen a 45. Of my friends who got into Oxford, everyone but me was asked for a 38 (I had 40). I think what people were pointing out that while the top 6% of people going to Cambridge seems fair, how many people get AAA or A*AA?
From certain articles from the Guardian, I've seen an average of 6% of students in a certain town or city get an A*, but it doesn't really give stats on whether these individuals get As as well. Presumably, however, more than 6% of A-Levels students get the A*AA that is normally required.
And the 45-- I'm still taking it as legit. You are presuming he/she is lying, and without sufficient proof, I might add. From what I've seen, 44 points is also an offer from Cam...so why doesn't a 45 offer seem true?
EDIT: Does anyone have the statistical bulletin for A-Levels, if such an item exists? We have to kind of measure it to see if 6% of people actually get A*AA in general...which is ENTIRELY possible given the large # of students taking these exams...
Hmm, this seems like an amusing thread. My subjects etc. are in my signature*.
OP: aim to get lots of points, but don't aim at a specific value. IB marking is too inconsistent and unpredictable to do that to any degree of certainty. My ToK essay was amazing and I got a B, my German is terrible and I got a 7. I worked moderately hard, especially right before exams (although I still ran my school's cadet inspection during the exam weeks), but the rest of the time I did more interesting things. Then again, perhaps you're one of these people who can actually revise effectively without imminent pressure. The only way I could get myself to revise was to do timed practice papers ad nauseam.
As for A-levels vs. IB, in terms of actual difficulty IB seems to have it harder (my school offered both), but a lot of that was due to everything happening in one go, and there being more subjects. In terms of content different subjects go different ways - IB Philosophy seems much nicer than A-level, whereas the teachers at my school definitely preferred A-level to IB Latin. I never found Maths that hard, but I was definitely in a minority with that.
As for offers and statistics, I'm fairly sure a friend of mine has a 43 offer for Oxford (PPE) at the moment, and someone in my year didn't get into Cambridge (Engineering) because he needed a 7 in Maths. Around 90 or so seem to get 45 each summer worldwide, but I'm pretty certain the majority of those are in the UK (I asked them to provide country-based statistics but they said they couldn't) - my school had two 45's, KCS Wimbledon had 10, and I'm sure Sevenoaks and North London Collegiate have quite a few more.
*Didn't realise I'd taken subjects out of my signature: I did HL Maths, Physics, Philosophy, and Latin, and SL German and English. My EE was on Philosophy.