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Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
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    Hello,
    I just wanted to be clear on something. I have already done A-Levels in Maths (A*), Further Maths (A*), Physics (A), Economics (B) [1 mark to an A] and Persian (A*). In my 3rd year doing A-Levels, I will retake 1 or 2 Economics module to aim for an A* (predicted A* as well) and I "might" retake 1 Physics module for a hope of A* too, if it will advantage my application. (Will retaking Physics with A* prediction benefit me at all?)

    This year I will be doing a few new AS levels: Psychology, Computing, Additional Further Maths, AEA Maths paper and "maybe" STEP 1. I was wondering that if I get an offer for Economics, what will the offer be in your opinion. (Feel free to give a few possible outcomes, as I know it varies for each candidate).
    - Unconditional? As I got the A*A*A requirement already.
    - A in Economics only?
    - other?

    Also, is there a chance that they require me to get a specific grade in the extra AS levels I am doing? (I am guessing they would never do this, but I am just asking to make sure).

    Thank you once again
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    Hi, I am looking to apply to Cambridge for 2017 start, after a gap year. Will my AS grades (ABBD) still be a problem even though I got 3A*s at A level?
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    Two questions please.
    1. is Music AL problematic for Economics at Cambridge I'd combined with Maths, FM and Economics.
    2. Do you take into account late August birthdays, assuming equally good grades at AL.
    Thank you. (Though the fact that this is so useful suggests to me that entry is not as objective as it might otherwise be).
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    Hello again TSR. My name is Dr Andrew Spencer and I am the Admissions Tutor at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge. Welcome to my tenth Ask an Admissions Tutor thread, this time in my new guise as Murray Edwards Admissions. The Christ's Admissions profile, which I ran for the last three years, will continue under my successor but for the next month before the application deadline for Cambridge, I'll be answering your questions here so please fire away.
    Hello,
    You mentioned how Cambridge checks modular ums rather than the overall Ums.
    I want to Study engineering. In my math I got 98 C1, 97 C2 but 80 in S1, would this be sufficient as cambridge checks modular ums and stats isn't as relevant in engineering as the cores are?
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    I am just afraid that the benchmark will be higher for the scholarship applicants. As a Chinese, I am eligible to apply for the Jardine Foundation Scholarship. It is rumoured that it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, so I am worried that I will not be considered by the college if I got rejected by the scholarship committee. In addition, there are four preferred colleges for scholarship applications, must I apply to one of those four even my favourite college is not one of them?

    Thank you for the advice concerning the interview. I wonder if you know how the interview be like? As the admission test was newly added, will there still be mathematical questions in the interview for economics? Will it be based more on the personal statement/current affairs side (academic)?


    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    With a 96% average then you will be in a good position. Why would applying for a scholarship lower your chance of an offer? Which scholarship is it and yes candidates who are unsuccessful for scholarships are often successful in getting an offer.

    You don't need to know Economic history of Britain or the EU - many students apply without knowledge or background in this. It would be worth thinking about readily visible issues in Economics at the moment, Brexit and the EU being one, the US presidential election being another, the future of the Chinese economy a third. You don;t have to know everything about them but some sign that you have at least thought about significant issues facing the global economy would be a good thing.
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    Hi and thank you for answering my previous question. As a follow up, what use is the personal statement for Oxbridge? How heavily is it weighted in an application, what do you look for, or is it just fuel for interviews? Thanks
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    GCSE:
    Latin A*

    IGCSE:
    English A*
    Maths A*
    French A*
    German A*
    Physics A*
    Chemistry A*
    Biology A*
    Art A*

    Pre-U Grade:
    Maths D3

    Pre- U Predicted Grades:
    English D3
    History m1
    Economics D3

    I'm hoping to apply to Cambridge to study law for 2017, but I had a brief run in with depression and had to start taking anti-depressants and pain killers. I couldn't submit any decent work and my teachers used my lack of work as a basis for predicting these grades. Relative to my cohort, my gcse results were excellent, but I have fallen out of my school's faith for my Pre-Us.

    Do I still have a chance? I'm also applying to UCL, Durham, Bristol and UKC. If not, it will be easy enough for me to get into HKU where I live, but I would really like to remain in the UK. My parents will not allow me to take a gap year.

    Any advice is appreciated.
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    Dear Dr Andrew,May I know which colleges take in more international medicine applicants ?If my AS score for maths is 97 UMS average , 4A* A level prediction, however my GCSEs are only 8A*3A, do you think I am still in a competitive position as an international medicine applicant ?

    Many thanks!
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    (Original post by elegantmaths)
    I don't really have a good reason except I really want to give Cambridge a shot. I didn't really take my A levels seriously at the time and really regret it because I know I am capable of achieving the highest grades (e.g. I performed really well on olympiads when I actually studied for them, unfortunately I didn't do the same with my A levels thinking that good olympiad performance would compensate in the eyes of admissions tutors which is not the case apparently). The reason I can't go to uni is for religious reasons of living on interest-based loans being not allowed, so at the moment I can only apply to unis that give enough financial support for living purposes (food/accommodation), and being a mature student Cambridge has one of the highest bursaries (unfortunately my family is quite poor so I won't be able to get any help from them). Is this a good enough reason to retake my A levels and reapply, or could I be rejected based on it?

    Thanks!
    Thank you for providing more information. My thoughts are that if you do very well in your retakes then you would have a chance as a mature student but I would not rate it as a very high one as there would be a severe doubt about your work ethic that wouldn't be easily assuaged.

    The blunt question we would have to ask, and I don't mean this to sound harsh, is why take a chance on someone who needs two goes to get motivated for A Levels when there are five applicants per place who only needed one shot at A Levels to achieve their potential? As I say, it's not irrecoverable but that's a big hurdle that you will have to overcome.
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    (Original post by Fbiemad)
    Hello,
    I just wanted to be clear on something. I have already done A-Levels in Maths (A*), Further Maths (A*), Physics (A), Economics (B) [1 mark to an A] and Persian (A*). In my 3rd year doing A-Levels, I will retake 1 or 2 Economics module to aim for an A* (predicted A* as well) and I "might" retake 1 Physics module for a hope of A* too, if it will advantage my application. (Will retaking Physics with A* prediction benefit me at all?)

    This year I will be doing a few new AS levels: Psychology, Computing, Additional Further Maths, AEA Maths paper and "maybe" STEP 1. I was wondering that if I get an offer for Economics, what will the offer be in your opinion. (Feel free to give a few possible outcomes, as I know it varies for each candidate).
    - Unconditional? As I got the A*A*A requirement already.
    - A in Economics only?
    - other?

    Also, is there a chance that they require me to get a specific grade in the extra AS levels I am doing? (I am guessing they would never do this, but I am just asking to make sure).

    Thank you once again
    You will have a somewhat strange profile with all those extra AS levels so it's hard to predict exactly what an AT at another college might do faced with your profile. If it were me, I'd probably ask for an A* in Economics, as asking for an A seems fairly pointless given how close you were the first time and is want to see some result from all that extra work you were doing this year and to assuage any doubts over the non mathematical side of economics.
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    (Original post by Omgaf)
    Hi, I am looking to apply to Cambridge for 2017 start, after a gap year. Will my AS grades (ABBD) still be a problem even though I got 3A*s at A level?
    We'd certainly look at your AS results and want up figure out a) the reason why they were relatively low and b) why the improved so greatly at A2. We really like to see progression so that will doubtless be seen as a good thing. So, will your relatively weak AS matter? Yes, but not in a way that should overly concern you.
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    (Original post by studentrhume)
    Two questions please.
    1. is Music AL problematic for Economics at Cambridge I'd combined with Maths, FM and Economics.
    2. Do you take into account late August birthdays, assuming equally good grades at AL.
    Thank you. (Though the fact that this is so useful suggests to me that entry is not as objective as it might otherwise be).
    Hello and thanks for your question. 1) There's nothing wrong with Music A Level and doing it in combination with your other subjects will cause no difficulty in applying for economics.

    2) Relative age within a single year group (September-August) is not a big factor, no, but it is something that one is aware of when making decisions.

    We try to make Admissions as objective as possible but, given that it is a human process aimed at judging achievements made in different contexts and trying to discern potential, it is always going to be subjective to an extent.
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    (Original post by Hamza Rashid)
    Hello,
    You mentioned how Cambridge checks modular ums rather than the overall Ums.
    I want to Study engineering. In my math I got 98 C1, 97 C2 but 80 in S1, would this be sufficient as cambridge checks modular ums and stats isn't as relevant in engineering as the cores are?
    We look at overall and modular scores. S1 is, as you say, not hugely relevant for Engineering but most applicants for Engineering in Year 13 will have six modules rather than the three you have. Your C1 and C2 modules are strong and that will help but there will be people with more consistent scores.
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    (Original post by profileradian)
    I am just afraid that the benchmark will be higher for the scholarship applicants. As a Chinese, I am eligible to apply for the Jardine Foundation Scholarship. It is rumoured that it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, so I am worried that I will not be considered by the college if I got rejected by the scholarship committee. In addition, there are four preferred colleges for scholarship applications, must I apply to one of those four even my favourite college is not one of them?

    Thank you for the advice concerning the interview. I wonder if you know how the interview be like? As the admission test was newly added, will there still be mathematical questions in the interview for economics? Will it be based more on the personal statement/current affairs side (academic)?
    The Jardine is restricted to specified colleges (four of the top of my head) and the competition is very fierce as it is for all of the overseas scholarships that we have. It doesn't mean, however, that if you lose out on the scholarships that you have no chance of an offer as there are many more places in Cambridge than we have full scholarships.

    I can't tell you exactly what will happen in your interview as they are all unique. I expect, however, that maths will still form an important part of at least one of your interviews. If you're asked to send in an essay then you should I expect to discuss that and it's always a good idea to feel confident talking about anything you mentioned on your personal statement or in the SAQ/COPA.
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    Thank you for providing more information. My thoughts are that if you do very well in your retakes then you would have a chance as a mature student but I would not rate it as a very high one as there would be a severe doubt about your work ethic that wouldn't be easily assuaged.

    The blunt question we would have to ask, and I don't mean this to sound harsh, is why take a chance on someone who needs two goes to get motivated for A Levels when there are five applicants per place who only needed one shot at A Levels to achieve their potential? As I say, it's not irrecoverable but that's a big hurdle that you will have to overcome.
    Thanks for your reply. I know this is for Murray Edwards but would the same apply for a mature college such as Lucy Cavendish? Also would retaking all my A levels in one go rather than just a few modules assuage the concerns regarding retakes? (I originally took maths, further maths and physics but am planning to do maths, further maths and additional further maths this year, all 18 modules - I can't do physics because the practicals are simply too expensive). In short, I am determined to retake whether or not it would mean I get an interview/offer from Cambridge, but as I said I definitely want to give it my best shot.
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    How does Cambridge feel about students who have been working and studying at the same time during 6th form - is it seen as impressive? The university clearly recognizes the pressure of working and studying, as they do not allow students to have ordinary jobs whilst at uni
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    Thank you for the answer above. One supplemental please:

    How would Cambridge look on a deferred application for economics. I understand that this is frowned upon for Maths. Is this the case also for deferred application for Economics at Cambridge?




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    (Original post by MCPClark)
    Hi and thank you for answering my previous question. As a follow up, what use is the personal statement for Oxbridge? How heavily is it weighted in an application, what do you look for, or is it just fuel for interviews? Thanks
    Hello and thanks for your questions. We don't weight parts of the application. The personal statement is mainly used as a jumping off point for interviews, especially in the arts and the humanities. In the Sciences, it is usually used (when it is used) as a 'settler', to get you to talk about something you're comfortable with to calm any nerves. In the humanities, it can often lead to a more substantive and useful discussion. This isn't hard and fast, of course, but a general picture.

    Some colleagues are more interested in the PS than others but I think it's fair to say that it's generally less important for us than for universities where they have less data about you.
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    (Original post by jccgsis)
    GCSE:
    Latin A*

    IGCSE:
    English A*
    Maths A*
    French A*
    German A*
    Physics A*
    Chemistry A*
    Biology A*
    Art A*

    Pre-U Grade:
    Maths D3

    Pre- U Predicted Grades:
    English D3
    History m1
    Economics D3

    I'm hoping to apply to Cambridge to study law for 2017, but I had a brief run in with depression and had to start taking anti-depressants and pain killers. I couldn't submit any decent work and my teachers used my lack of work as a basis for predicting these grades. Relative to my cohort, my gcse results were excellent, but I have fallen out of my school's faith for my Pre-Us.

    Do I still have a chance? I'm also applying to UCL, Durham, Bristol and UKC. If not, it will be easy enough for me to get into HKU where I live, but I would really like to remain in the UK. My parents will not allow me to take a gap year.

    Any advice is appreciated.
    Hello and thank you for your question. I am afraid that with 3 D3 predictions and an M1 prediction that you would be very unlikely to receive an interview at Cambridge so I would not use it as one of your 5 choices of university. Normally, I would suggest that, if you really wanted to come to Cambridge, then you should apply with your results in hand but, if this is not possible, then I'm afraid that Cambridge is going to be out of reach. I am sorry not to be more encouraging.
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    (Original post by elegantmaths)
    Thanks for your reply. I know this is for Murray Edwards but would the same apply for a mature college such as Lucy Cavendish? Also would retaking all my A levels in one go rather than just a few modules assuage the concerns regarding retakes? (I originally took maths, further maths and physics but am planning to do maths, further maths and additional further maths this year, all 18 modules - I can't do physics because the practicals are simply too expensive). In short, I am determined to retake whether or not it would mean I get an interview/offer from Cambridge, but as I said I definitely want to give it my best shot.
    You would need to ask Lucy Cavendish about they might handle your situation, not doing the practical elements won't be a problem for a self-studying mature student. Best of Luck!
 
 
 
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