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    I want to study biochemistry possibly at oxford, they state requirements at 39 points and 7,6,6 at higher (7 in chem) and recommend math SL

    In my latest report I had all 6's (i am only in 2nd term of IB). Assuming I will be able to get a 7 in chem 6 in bio and 6 in english (my highers) BUT get a 7 in maths studies what do you think my chances are?
    I predict my final grade as 40 points & I got 6A* (3 A* in seperate scienes and 4A (one A math) and one B (french) in GCSE

    should I bother applying and sending all my applications earlier?
    i am also an international student
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    It's not all about grades, sometimes you can just be unlucky. But I think you've got a chance.
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    If*you*have*a*strong*person al*statement*you*should*have *a*chance...
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    thank you ^^ anyone else in similar position get in??
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    I don't think it would stop you getting in, but I would seriously consider whether you actually want to do biochemistry if you don't like/aren't very good at Maths. The Oxford Biochemistry course seems to have a lot of tough maths in
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    (Original post by jay8)
    I don't think it would stop you getting in, but I would seriously consider whether you actually want to do biochemistry if you don't like/aren't very good at Maths. The Oxford Biochemistry course seems to have a lot of tough maths in
    :ditto: this. One thing which many people have mentioned since coming here is their surprise at the heavy emphasis placed on Maths in subjects such as PPE, Philosophy and so on. It appears to be even more true in the case of sciences, i.e. Chemistry, Human Sciences, so I'd expect it to be the same for Biochem. I do French and Linguistics, and even we are expected, for the latter, to be comfortable with aspects of Maths/Physics.
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    Maths studies would be a serious handicap. You should have at least standard maths.
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    I know a chemist who's doing maths at a similar level to some of the work the mathmos are doing. So a lack of maths would make life very difficult.
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    (Original post by Bezzler)
    I know a chemist who's doing maths at a similar level to some of the work the mathmos are doing. So a lack of maths would make life very difficult.
    Chem isn't biochem, though. Maths is essential for chemistry but only helpful for biochem.
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    (Original post by BJack)
    Chem isn't biochem, though. Maths is essential for chemistry but only helpful for biochem.
    Ah okay, my bad. Merton doesn't do biochem any more, but I'd assumed that a lot of the maths for chemistry stuff would still apply. Nevertheless, actual maths would still be useful, I'm sure.
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    (Original post by Bezzler)
    Ah okay, my bad. Merton doesn't do biochem any more, but I'd assumed that a lot of the maths for chemistry stuff would still apply. Nevertheless, actual maths would still be useful, I'm sure.
    Any idea why Merton no longer offer it?
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    (Original post by BJack)
    Chem isn't biochem, though. Maths is essential for chemistry but only helpful for biochem.
    I think the problem with maths studies is that it only tends to be taken by people who can't manage maths standard. Although you might not need advanced maths (though I'd still expect at least AS Level), the perceived inability to do maths standard will affect your chances of getting an interview. Even if it doesn't, have you considered whether you will be able to do the maths if you get in?
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    (Original post by T-Dog)
    Any idea why Merton no longer offer it?
    Not a clue, sorry. I just know that current third years were the last year able to do it. There was probably a reason they stopped it, I just don't know why. Maybe not enough people were getting firsts, that sounds like a good reason for our warden...
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    A couple of people in my year switched to BioChem at the start of Michaelmas. I'm not sure if this was a one-off or whether they've started to take Biochemists again.
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    (Original post by suuuuuuseh)
    One thing which many people have mentioned since coming here is their surprise at the heavy emphasis placed on Maths in subjects such as PPE, Philosophy and so on. It appears to be even more true in the case of sciences, i.e. Chemistry, Human Sciences, so I'd expect it to be the same for Biochem. I do French and Linguistics, and even we are expected, for the latter, to be comfortable with aspects of Maths/Physics.
    I'm not disagreeing with this at all, but it's worth pointing out that this isn't just an Oxford thing. My sister did Chemistry at Reading, had to do Maths to a really high level, and thought her A-level Maths (which has since been dumbed down quite a bit) was essential. Her university did organise special maths classes for people without the A-level though, and I'm not sure if this would happen at Oxford.

    PS - suuuuuuseh I'm doing Spanish next year (toying with the idea of switching to linguistics after the first year, but obviously I don't want to get ahead of myself) and was just wondering which aspects of Maths and Physics were studied on the course. Is it hard to get used to if you've only done arts? Also, do French and linguistics and the sole language students have a tutorial every other week and a linguistics class between them, or do you get one of each every week? Thanks
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    (Original post by goose123)
    Her university did organise special maths classes for people without the A-level though, and I'm not sure if this would happen at Oxford.
    There are catch-up classes for people who haven't done enough maths already. (At least, there have been for chem, so I'd expect the same from similar subjects.)
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    (Original post by goose123)
    I'm not disagreeing with this at all, but it's worth pointing out that this isn't just an Oxford thing. My sister did Chemistry at Reading, had to do Maths to a really high level, and thought her A-level Maths (which has since been dumbed down quite a bit) was essential. Her university did organise special maths classes for people without the A-level though, and I'm not sure if this would happen at Oxford.

    PS - suuuuuuseh I'm doing Spanish next year (toying with the idea of switching to linguistics after the first year, but obviously I don't want to get ahead of myself) and was just wondering which aspects of Maths and Physics were studied on the course. Is it hard to get used to if you've only done arts? Also, do French and linguistics and the sole language students have a tutorial every other week and a linguistics class between them, or do you get one of each every week? Thanks
    Oooh, that's interesting- when I applied I'm pretty sure you couldn't do Spanish sole; you had to either choose another language/artsy subject, or you would be placed on the Spanish/Linguistics course by default!

    If you study Linguistics from first year, it's divided into three main areas- Grammar/Morphology (prescriptive rules behind languages in general, patterns between them etc.), Phonetics/Phonology (literally how speech sounds are produced, but also their significance, and the acceptability of different speech sounds in different languages), and General Linguistics (main theories behind language in general, covering acquisition, sociolinguistics, accent/dialect, different ways of studying languages and so on).

    Of these, Phonetics is the only one so far where we've needed any scientific knowledge, and even then it's been limited. Biology is quite important for the first few weeks, because you learn a lot about the larynx, and its role in the production of speech sounds. Physics crops up every now and then, but it's more to help you understand exactly why certain things happen- you could get away with just accepting the fact that they do happen in a large number of cases. In a few weeks we'll be starting labs, looking at soundwaves produced in speech, but, again, I think it's done very much in context, so it's more likely to draw on basics from GCSE if anything, and any more complicated aspects you should pick up through doing it.

    I'm not entirely clued up on how picking it as a second year option works, but as far as I know, you get to be a lot more selective with what you do. So if you're a little unsure about the science-y side of it, you could focus more on the development of Spanish as a language, and its unique features, through studying some more General Linguistics or Grammar/Morphology based modules. As for tutorials, they work depending on the week- so on odd weeks you generally have a literature seminar, where you discuss one of the set texts with your tutor and the other students from your college. Then the following week, you have a tutorial where the essays are given back, and your tutor might choose to focus on a particular aspect of the text which has caused problems or some sort of interest. You have translation classes every week, where you're set a translation to do and hand in before the next class, and then you'll go through it together. Many colleges also have compulsory oral classes every week (ours are 1.5 hours long on a Tuesday evening, beware :p:). For Linguistics you have either a Grammar class or tutorial each week (again, depending on whether it's odd or even), and for these you'll be expected to hand in answers to set problems or an essay respectively. You also have a Phonetics/Phonology class every week, and you'll be set essays/diagrams/transcriptions to be brought along to the next class.

    Phew, sorry if that was a bit rambly! Let me know if you need any clarification on anything
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    (Original post by goose123)
    I'm not disagreeing with this at all, but it's worth pointing out that this isn't just an Oxford thing. My sister did Chemistry at Reading, had to do Maths to a really high level, and thought her A-level Maths (which has since been dumbed down quite a bit) was essential. Her university did organise special maths classes for people without the A-level though, and I'm not sure if this would happen at Oxford.

    PS - suuuuuuseh I'm doing Spanish next year (toying with the idea of switching to linguistics after the first year, but obviously I don't want to get ahead of myself) and was just wondering which aspects of Maths and Physics were studied on the course. Is it hard to get used to if you've only done arts? Also, do French and linguistics and the sole language students have a tutorial every other week and a linguistics class between them, or do you get one of each every week? Thanks
    thanks but i think chem is a lot more mathy since most require math higher/a level for chem but most unis dont mention math for biochem( apart from oxford and im guessing cambridge ;p)
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    There is less maths in biochem than in chemistry, but there's still maths (and physics, for that matter) of a much higher standard than maths studies will give you. Doing maths studies just says 'I can't handle proper maths and can't be bothered to do the work to get better at it', which isn't really the message you want to be giving to Oxford. The whole thing basically consists of remembering GCSE and reading the calculator manual. And anyway, standard maths should be pretty damned easy for someone serious about science- it's less than single A level maths.
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    As someone who took both Maths SL and Chem HL in the IB, I can confirm that Maths Studies will cast a substantial shadow over your application; the vast majority of people taking Maths Studies and Chem SL struggled enormously with the (very basic) Maths that it involved. Similarly, friends of mine taking Biochem at other universities such as Warwick and Bath have commented on the high level of Maths required.
    I do believe however that Biology has significantly less Maths - perhaps this would be worth considering?
 
 
 
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