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    Hello guys!

    I'm a Canadian looking forward to apply at Cambridge University in a few years. I'm currently studying in grade 11 and over here (Quebec, Montreal), our high school ends this year and then we move on to CEGEP (2 years of post-secondary education). I will be most likely doing the IB full diploma program for the next 2 years.

    So my question is, what exactly do they look at? I mean, do they look at your high school grades (grade 9-11) or your CEGEP (grade 12-13) transcript (IB grades)?

    And do they consider your final semester's grade or the whole year in general? We don't have any cumulative average here (every semester is a fresh start - the education system here gives more weight to your "academic growth" instead of doing any cumulative average of every semester...)

    ****

    I also have been diagnosed with several mood disorders. Do you think this will affect my admission? A friend of mine said it'd be better not to mention about it...but I had couple of downfalls throughout my education (I'm still dealing with them) and performed relatively poorly at school, although my 9th grades were excellent and I'm expecting to do well this year as well (grade 11). Do you think it will hurt my admission chances if I explain my issues (in a essay) and how I dealt with them? (Or do they have a different application for this?)

    Thanks a lot!! (I'm sorry for making this long!) =]
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    (Original post by leptons)
    Hello guys!

    I'm a Canadian looking forward to apply at Cambridge University in a few years. I'm currently studying in grade 11 and over here (Quebec, Montreal), our high school ends this year and then we move on to CEGEP (2 years of post-secondary education). I will be most likely doing the IB full diploma program for the next 2 years.

    So my question is, what exactly do they look at? I mean, do they look at your high school grades (grade 9-11) or your CEGEP (grade 12-13) transcript (IB grades)?

    And do they consider your final semester's grade or the whole year in general? We don't have any cumulative average here (every semester is a fresh start - the education system here gives more weight to your "academic growth" instead of doing any cumulative average of every semester...)
    Hi there, I went to an ontario high school but I think I can help.


    For me, (didnt do IB) they only looked at gr12 marks.

    HOWEVER since you are doing the IB that is probably what they will be looking at. Also they look at the whole year in general and not just the semester



    ****

    I also have been diagnosed with several mood disorders. Do you think this will affect my admission? A friend of mine said it'd be better not to mention about it...but I had couple of downfalls throughout my education (I'm still dealing with them) and performed relatively poorly at school, although my 9th grades were excellent and I'm expecting to do well this year as well (grade 11). Do you think it will hurt my admission chances if I explain my issues (in a essay) and how I dealt with them? (Or do they have a different application for this?)

    Thanks a lot!! (I'm sorry for making this long!) =]

    Your friend is wrong. It's better to mention them. My performance through high school was incredibly underwhelming thanks to clinical depression. E.g. Chemistry mark gr. 10 - 96%, gr.11 - 63%. Big big impact.

    It won't hurt your admission chances, of you explain your issues. However there is a seperate section for disabilities or anything that has disturbed your study (CSAS, UCAS disability section and if all else fails and for some reason you can't use those [this was my situation] you can bring it up at interview, i also mentioned it in my PS and my reference mentioned it too.

    No, it won't hurt your chances though.



    any more questions just ask.
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    (Original post by HDS)
    Hi there, I went to an ontario high school but I think I can help.


    For me, (didnt do IB) they only looked at gr12 marks.

    HOWEVER since you are doing the IB that is probably what they will be looking at. Also they look at the whole year in general and not just the semester






    Your friend is wrong. It's better to mention them. My performance through high school was incredibly underwhelming thanks to clinical depression. E.g. Chemistry mark gr. 10 - 96%, gr.11 - 63%. Big big impact.

    It won't hurt your admission chances, of you explain your issues. However there is a seperate section for disabilities or anything that has disturbed your study (CSAS, UCAS disability section and if all else fails and for some reason you can't use those [this was my situation] you can bring it up at interview, i also mentioned it in my PS and my reference mentioned it too.

    No, it won't hurt your chances though.



    any more questions just ask.
    Hi, thanks a lot for replying! Unfortunately the UCAS is only for UK/EU students. I'm surprised mentioning my issues won't hurt my admission, I thought colleges wouldn't want a weak applicant...You said you mentioned about your issues in your PS. What's that?(Sorry if this a silly question, but I'm fairly sure in your context it doesn't stand for postscript.)

    So I assume they will proceed with me the same as they did with you for grades? Is it safe to say they will be looking at my gr12 (IB year 1) marks? What about gr.9,10 and/or 11 marks? (sorry if this is repetitive, I'm a bit insecure =S)

    Once again, thanks a lot!
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    (Original post by leptons)
    Hi, thanks a lot for replying! Unfortunately the UCAS is only for UK/EU students. I'm surprised mentioning my issues won't hurt my admission, I thought colleges wouldn't want a weak applicant...You said you mentioned about your issues in your PS. What's that?(Sorry if this a silly question, but I'm fairly sure in your context it doesn't stand for postscript.)

    So I assume they will proceed with me the same as they did with you for grades? Is it safe to say they will be looking at my gr12 (IB year 1) marks? What about gr.9,10 and/or 11 marks? (sorry if this is repetitive, I'm a bit insecure =S)

    Once again, thanks a lot!


    No. UCAS is for everyone (trust me on this one, I was an international student at a canadian high school and the few of my friends who did apply to UK unis were through UCAS, think of it like OUAC). And no it won't hurt your chances because it isn't a sign of weakness or an indicator of potential but rather a chemical imbalance, while most of society is intolerant rest assured that these are open-minded normal people.

    PS = personal statement, it's a field on the application form which says about why you want to study what you want to study and etc

    And WRT proceeding with you same as they did with me...well...they proceed with everyone pretty much the same way.... WRT marks since you're not a UK student they focus more on your final results, in your case the IB results. They will potentially look at the rest of your high school marks too. I didn't submit mine though since there was no point and they were not asked for.

    It's good to bring them up though if they are domonstrative of your mood disorder (from experience)
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    (Original post by leptons)
    Hi, thanks a lot for replying! Unfortunately the UCAS is only for UK/EU students. I'm surprised mentioning my issues won't hurt my admission, I thought colleges wouldn't want a weak applicant...You said you mentioned about your issues in your PS. What's that?(Sorry if this a silly question, but I'm fairly sure in your context it doesn't stand for postscript.)

    So I assume they will proceed with me the same as they did with you for grades? Is it safe to say they will be looking at my gr12 (IB year 1) marks? What about gr.9,10 and/or 11 marks? (sorry if this is repetitive, I'm a bit insecure =S)

    Once again, thanks a lot!
    Personal Statement.
    It's an A4 piece of paper where you lay out your hopes, dreams and aspirations, so that they can be read by the staff of five or less universities, they take that information and deem whether or not they feel you meet with their criteria.
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    @HDS - Thanks. It really did light me up (and give hope) reading your post...Wow glad to hear that the UCAS is for everyone!

    @Captain Nebula - Thanks for the reply!

    I will try my best to focus on my studies this year and hopefully do exceedingly well next year (IB!) =) Oh and HDS, if you don't mind sharing the details, can you tell me the grades they expected from you to admit you?
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    (Original post by leptons)
    @HDS - Thanks. It really did light me up (and give hope) reading your post...Wow glad to hear that the UCAS is for everyone!

    @Captain Nebula - Thanks for the reply!

    I will try my best to focus on my studies this year and hopefully do exceedingly well next year (IB!) =) Oh and HDS, if you don't mind sharing the details, can you tell me the grades they expected from you to admit you?

    Sure no problem. I'll PM you them however because...well...yeah Keep them private please.


    I finished high school in '08 btw.



    And yes UCAS is for everyone :yep:
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    Never tell anybody you are Canadian.
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    Alright,thanks! Oh and don't worry, I will keep them private!
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    (Original post by mackemforever)
    Never tell anybody you are Canadian.
    Why?..
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    (Original post by leptons)
    Why?..
    I was joking :P

    Just that I know that a lot of idiots view Canada as Americas retarded little brother!
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    (Original post by mackemforever)
    I was joking :P

    Just that I know that a lot of idiots view Canada as Americas retarded little brother!


    TBF, he doesn't live in canada. Rather Quebec. He is a Quebecois.
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    People on here have been getting offers for Cambridge of about 39-41 overall with 7,7,6 or 7,6,6 at HL. So basically you want pretty much top marks on everything.
    No UK uni will accept an application unless it is through UCAS. While you're at it you could apply to up to four other UK unis at the same time. You get a space to write a personal statement about why you want to go to uni, why you have chosen your course, why the university should pick you, any extracurriculars (Cambridge don't place an awful lot of weight on ECs but it looks good to have some) etc. You can write about any personal circumstances like illness on there too; for example my friend's relatively low grade in English was due to him only having lived in an English speaking country for a year when he took the exam, so he wrote this on his PS.
    Cambridge also send you a questionnaire (SAQ) on the internet after you apply. There are spaces on there as well, such as "Additional Personal Statement" and "Anything else you would like us to know". If there isn't enough space to explain yourself fully you can always phone or email the college. If your illness affected your grades, definitely put it in. You are more likely to be rejected for unexplained bad grades than an illness that you are working to combat!
    So, anyway, good luck and enjoy your IB!
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    Hi Canadian person, I did the IB (November 09) in Australia and got an offer from John's, so here are what I think are the most important things:
    - Write a good personal statement, lots of resources available.
    - Don't worry about your local qualifications. I did my local state qualification at the end of year 10 (GCSE equivalent), which is widely considered throughout the state to be crap and no-one takes it seriously. I didn't even bother including my results (rather abismal!) and Cambridge didn't ask for them. If your results are a bit sub-par or if the system is difficult to understand then leave them out, and if Cambridge asks, you oblige.
    - We may be former colonies, but don't expect the heavy subsidies EU students get. You're looking at £25,000 pounds/year all up and if that's an issue then move on now before you get too attached!
    - Aim for 42. I have never EVER heard of Cambridge asking for more than 42 including 7,7,6 at HLs (they may specify a 7 in your subject, but they didn't for me).
    (Original post by MathsHamster)
    People on here have been getting offers for Cambridge of about 39-41 overall with 7,7,6 or 7,6,6 at HL.
    That's what I thought too, but my offer was 42 (for Music, can you believe that!) But fortunately I got 43. =)
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    (Original post by StormStryke)
    Hi Canadian person, I did the IB (November 09) in Australia and got an offer from John's, so here are what I think are the most important things:
    - Write a good personal statement, lots of resources available.
    - Don't worry about your local qualifications. I did my local state qualification at the end of year 10 (GCSE equivalent), which is widely considered throughout the state to be crap and no-one takes it seriously. I didn't even bother including my results (rather abismal!) and Cambridge didn't ask for them. If your results are a bit sub-par or if the system is difficult to understand then leave them out, and if Cambridge asks, you oblige.
    - We may be former colonies, but don't expect the heavy subsidies EU students get. You're looking at £25,000 pounds/year all up and if that's an issue then move on now before you get too attached!
    - Aim for 42. I have never EVER heard of Cambridge asking for more than 42 including 7,7,6 at HLs (they may specify a 7 in your subject, but they didn't for me).

    That's what I thought too, but my offer was 42 (for Music, can you believe that!) But fortunately I got 43. =)
    Wow, well done. I don't do IB but from what I have heard that is quite an acheivement!
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    I'm a Montrealer too and will be starting Cambridge next year.

    There's a couple things to remember when applying outside Canada - Our system is special because of CEGEP. The general rule is that your latest grades trump older grades. That means your CEGEP marks will probably mean much more than high school by the time you apply. Your high school grades will be looked at, but stellar marks at CEGEP will probably convey much greater academic potential.
    Also, Cambridge will probably be interested in knowing which subjects you take at CEGEP and may (emphasise the may, 'cause I really don't know) place more weight on classes that were relevent to your chosen subject. I know they do that for A-levels for Brits, so I assume it might be similar.

    ((Also, allow me to impart some wisdom by saying that CEGEP is an awesome time. Enjoy it. Try new things. That last one in particular I can't stress enough. Unlike high school you finally get the chance to do a bunch of random subjects. Take many. You may stumble upon a field of study you would never have expected to love. I started CEGEP convinced I would do engineering at uni. I ended up doing politics and religion, two subjects I would never have been exposed to if it wasn't for CEGEP. (Ok, enough old person rambling!)))

    As for your mental health problems, I would mention it if you need to explain a gap in your grades. It's much better that they can put your academic history into perspective and otherwise you risk just looking like you had bad grades for no good reason. A discreete few sentences in the 'any other info' part of the UCAS form should be enough.

    Good luck!
 
 
 
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