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    Hi guys, so I'm thinking of applying for Maths at Cambridge, but feel majorly disadvantaged compared to people here.

    Our school didn't really take the Maths challenge seriously and we didn't even get the full time to do it, so subsequently didn't go to any maths Olympiads. Also, I am yet to read any maths books, but I'm planning to start in the next few days.

    The only thing I have going for me is my UMS scores of 100% in maths and 95% Further maths in AS.

    My question is would they care much about the BMO and SMC and the fact I have no work experience specifically in maths (all my work experience is in different departments of Engineering)?
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    (Original post by raff97)
    Hi guys, so I'm thinking of applying for Maths at Cambridge, but feel majorly disadvantaged compared to people here.

    Our school didn't really take the Maths challenge seriously and we didn't even get the full time to do it, so subsequently didn't go to any maths Olympiads. Also, I am yet to read any maths books, but I'm planning to start in the next few days.

    The only thing I have going for me is my UMS scores of 100% in maths and 95% Further maths in AS.

    My question is would they care much about the BMO and SMC and the fact I have no work experience specifically in maths (all my work experience is in different departments of Engineering)?
    Nah you're fine. Don't worry about maths challenges, or olympiads, or work experience (how would you even get work experience relevant to maths courses at University?). Just get cracking on those books and your UCAS application in general. Your results are good and that's the main thing by quite a margin for Cambridge.
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    (Original post by SParm)
    Nah you're fine. Don't worry about maths challenges, or olympiads, or work experience (how would you even get work experience relevant to maths courses at University?). Just get cracking on those books and your UCAS application in general. Your results are good and that's the main thing by quite a margin for Cambridge.
    Thanks for your help. But currently with lack of extra curricular activities, I'm finding it very tough to write a strong PS. I'm waiting for "Fermat's last theorem" by Simon Singh to arrive in the post. I hope that will give me something to talk about, along with the old "maths is interesting blah blah" as padding should be enough.

    Do you reckon just that 1 book would suffice? Or should I try to get another couple?
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    (Original post by raff97)
    Thanks for your help. But currently with lack of extra curricular activities, I'm finding it very tough to write a strong PS. I'm waiting for "Fermat's last theorem" by Simon Singh to arrive in the post. I hope that will give me something to talk about, along with the old "maths is interesting blah blah" as padding should be enough.

    Do you reckon just that 1 book would suffice? Or should I try to get another couple?
    I think I mentioned three books and talked about why they were interesting and that was enough padding for me, so it's probably worth going and get another couple (from the library maybe? not really necessary to buy them) and then you can talk about those in your personal statement as well.

    Honestly it's not that much of an issue because I assume you're applying to Universities like Cambridge/Warwick/Bath/Durham/Imperial etc. and those universities are very much results based so your personal statement just needs to effectively show that you have some interest in mathematics and you should be fine. It doesn't need to be amazing or ultra convincing in my opinion.

    Edit: Also, forgot to say this but getting started on STEP and the MAT (in case you're applying to Imperial) is also a good idea because it shows interest and you can talk about it, and it also helps you prepare for the interview, and just gets you better at maths generally.
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    (Original post by SParm)
    I think I mentioned three books and talked about why they were interesting and that was enough padding for me, so it's probably worth going and get another couple (from the library maybe? not really necessary to buy them) and then you can talk about those in your personal statement as well.

    Honestly it's not that much of an issue because I assume you're applying to Universities like Cambridge/Warwick/Bath/Durham/Imperial etc. and those universities are very much results based so your personal statement just needs to effectively show that you have some interest in mathematics and you should be fine. It doesn't need to be amazing or ultra convincing in my opinion.

    Edit: Also, forgot to say this but getting started on STEP and the MAT (in case you're applying to Imperial) is also a good idea because it shows interest and you can talk about it, and it also helps you prepare for the interview, and just gets you better at maths generally.
    again thanks for advise, its much appreciated. Well looks like I have a busy few months ahead of me with the reading and STEP preparation, and hopefully it ends well.

    Is there any book that you recommend? the Cambridge reading list is quite long and I'm not sure which would best prepare me for a Maths degree and look best on my personal statement.
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    (Original post by raff97)
    again thanks for advise, its much appreciated. Well looks like I have a busy few months ahead of me with the reading and STEP preparation, and hopefully it ends well.

    Is there any book that you recommend? the Cambridge reading list is quite long and I'm not sure which would best prepare me for a Maths degree and look best on my personal statement.
    I mean I read "What is Mathematical Analysis?" by Baylis and that was pretty cool, if a bit hard because you don't really come across analysis in school and it's a whole different way of thinking about mathematics. Really it depends on what kind of stuff you're looking for, and what kind of maths you think you'd enjoy recreationally at this point.

    Pure maths in the context of University is not the same as your core modules or really your further pure modules either (these modules are more like the "methods" courses you see at University, which are definitely more on the applied side in general). But if you like thinking analytically and carefully, then pure maths is usually quite nice to look at.

    But lots of people seem to look at books that introduce pure mathematics to A-Level students for the books they write about in their personal statement:

    - A Concise Introduction to Pure Mathematics by Liebeck seems to be popular.
    - How to think like a Mathematician wasn't that bad.

    And as I said, the Baylis book I mentioned was the other one I read.

    There's also "Reaching for Infinity" by Gibilisco which I haven't read, but I can assure you the material (that of discussing infinity rigorously) is quite accessible and in general just requires a solid understand of injective, surjective, and bijective functions. (Also it's just a really pretty area of pure maths for beginners imo, one of my favourite things I saw in first year.)

    So you can look at some stuff there, and also the reading list provided by Cambridge and pick a couple of books that might tickle your fancy
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    (Original post by SParm)
    I mean I read...
    lol'd

    (Original post by SParm)
    really pretty
    so's your face

    OT: I know nothing about maths, SParm is a clever man when he tries, heed his recommendations and you shall succeed.
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    (Original post by SParm)
    I mean I read "What is Mathematical Analysis?" by Baylis and that was pretty cool, if a bit hard because you don't really come across analysis in school and it's a whole different way of thinking about mathematics. Really it depends on what kind of stuff you're looking for, and what kind of maths you think you'd enjoy recreationally at this point.

    Pure maths in the context of University is not the same as your core modules or really your further pure modules either (these modules are more like the "methods" courses you see at University, which are definitely more on the applied side in general). But if you like thinking analytically and carefully, then pure maths is usually quite nice to look at.

    But lots of people seem to look at books that introduce pure mathematics to A-Level students for the books they write about in their personal statement:

    - A Concise Introduction to Pure Mathematics by Liebeck seems to be popular.
    - How to think like a Mathematician wasn't that bad.

    And as I said, the Baylis book I mentioned was the other one I read.

    There's also "Reaching for Infinity" by Gibilisco which I haven't read, but I can assure you the material (that of discussing infinity rigorously) is quite accessible and in general just requires a solid understand of injective, surjective, and bijective functions. (Also it's just a really pretty area of pure maths for beginners imo, one of my favourite things I saw in first year.)

    So you can look at some stuff there, and also the reading list provided by Cambridge and pick a couple of books that might tickle your fancy
    I'll have a look at my local library and see what they have
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    Uni applying for: Warwick (first choice) York, Sheffield, Leicester and Coventry
    GCSEs: 7A*s 7As
    AS-Levels (studied/grades): I studied Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Government & Politics and I got 4As
    Predicted grades (from teachers): A*A*A (the A is in Politics)
    Background reading: Quite a few of Ian Stewart's works, a couple of other less intense reads including Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh
    Anything else maths related: I got an A* with distinction in the AQA Level 2 qualification and also did some tutoring in Year 11 and Year 12 for those on C/D borderlines at GCSE at the request of my teachers. I'm also intending to take STEP I and II in June.
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    Uni applying for: Cambridge, Durham, Warwick, Bath, Nottingham
    College applying for (if Oxbridge): Pembroke
    GCSEs: 11A* 1A (including A* with distinction in AQA level 2 certificate in further maths)
    AS-Levels (studied/grades): Maths (300/300), further maths (300/300), physics (290/300) and chemistry (290/300)
    Predicted grades (may be self-predicted): A*A*A*A*
    Background reading: ALL THE BOOKS ;D haha I love maths - I read about it all the time
    SMC/BMO: I haven't done much before, but I am on the UKMT senior mentoring scheme
    Anything else maths related: Have had offers from Warwick and Bath so far.. Will be taking STEP II and III
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    (Original post by Jessb_3125)
    Uni applying for: Cambridge, Durham, Warwick, Bath, Nottingham
    College applying for (if Oxbridge): Pembroke
    GCSEs: 11A* 1A (including A* with distinction in AQA level 2 certificate in further maths)
    AS-Levels (studied/grades): Maths (300/300), further maths (300/300), physics (290/300) and chemistry (290/300)
    Predicted grades (may be self-predicted): A*A*A*A*
    Background reading: ALL THE BOOKS ;D haha I love maths - I read about it all the time
    SMC/BMO: I haven't done much before, but I am on the UKMT senior mentoring scheme
    Anything else maths related: Have had offers from Warwick and Bath so far.. Will be taking STEP II and III
    When did you send your application ?


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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    When did you send your application ?


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    On the 3rd of October x
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    (Original post by Jessb_3125)
    Uni applying for: Cambridge, Durham, Warwick, Bath, Nottingham
    College applying for (if Oxbridge): Pembroke
    GCSEs: 11A* 1A (including A* with distinction in AQA level 2 certificate in further maths)
    AS-Levels (studied/grades): Maths (300/300), further maths (300/300), physics (290/300) and chemistry (290/300)
    Predicted grades (may be self-predicted): A*A*A*A*
    Background reading: ALL THE BOOKS ;D haha I love maths - I read about it all the time
    SMC/BMO: I haven't done much before, but I am on the UKMT senior mentoring scheme
    Anything else maths related: Have had offers from Warwick and Bath so far.. Will be taking STEP II and III
    Impressive.
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    (Original post by DomStaff)
    Impressive.
    Aha thank you x
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    (Original post by DomStaff)
    Impressive.
    this one definately deserves the damn lol


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    (Original post by Jessb_3125)
    On the 3rd of October x
    damn hope my wareick offer comes quickly my application was sent a few days ago.


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    warwick*


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    (Original post by Jessb_3125)
    Uni applying for: Cambridge, Durham, Warwick, Bath, Nottingham
    College applying for (if Oxbridge): Pembroke
    GCSEs: 11A* 1A (including A* with distinction in AQA level 2 certificate in further maths)
    AS-Levels (studied/grades): Maths (300/300), further maths (300/300), physics (290/300) and chemistry (290/300)
    Predicted grades (may be self-predicted): A*A*A*A*
    Background reading: ALL THE BOOKS ;D haha I love maths - I read about it all the time
    SMC/BMO: I haven't done much before, but I am on the UKMT senior mentoring scheme
    Anything else maths related: Have had offers from Warwick and Bath so far.. Will be taking STEP II and III
    How far did u get in the maths challenegs ie. smc scores and bmo scores


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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    How far did u get in the maths challenegs ie. smc scores and bmo scores


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    Idk our school never really cared about it much... I've done Kangaroos and stuff and have gotten Gold certificates.
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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    damn hope my wareick offer comes quickly my application was sent a few days ago.


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    I hope so too! I have heard that they are being quick this year bc last year they left it all till the last minute, or something... Good Luck!!!
 
 
 
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