How do Oxbridge develop you intellectually once onto the degree? Watch

cruciform
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Basically there is still a gap in intelligence between people from Oxbridge and universities lower down; even as good as UCL, Warwick, Bristol, etc. My question is how do they develop you intellectually once you get onto the degree, what sets it apart from the other top institutions i.e. it could be better teaching quality, harder course material, atmoshere, etc. I mean the top institutions require very similar A-level grades, so why is there still a fairly large intellectual gap between them?
Also an oxbridge degree seem much more rigorous than A-levels, how do you progress from there, it's like people on the degree haven't even reached their intellectual peak. Or is everyone actually just naturally very intelligent?
It beats me.
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Rucklo
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(Original post by cruciform)
Basically there is still a gap in intelligence between people from Oxbridge and universities lower down; even as good as UCL, Warwick, Bristol, etc. My question is how do they develop you intellectually once you get onto the degree, what sets it apart from the other institutions i.e. better teaching quality, harder course material, atmoshere, etc. An oxbridge degree seem much more rigorous than A-levels, how do you progress from there, it's like people on the degree haven't even reached their intellectual peak. Or is everyone actually just naturally very intelligent.
Erm they pick the best students?

Maybe why they are better? :rolleyes:
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Xenopus
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They make you do more essays, give you more work, and the lecturers are better in theory, and there are tutorials every week too.
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didgeridoo12uk
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harder work, and more of it. they simply push their students harder.

i also get 3 or 4 supervisions a week, which are amazing help. and you don't really get that anywhere else
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Rucklo
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(Original post by cruciform)
They get very similar A-level grades to those in other top institutions though. Also the top institutions have similar selection test and interview processes.
My sixth form is ranked 2nd in the country.

It asks for A's at GCSE.

That is why it's 2nd, it is certainly not the teaching (not saying its bad at oxbridge but its not the reason my sixth form is 2nd.)

Oxbridge has far more people with AAA than other unis.
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tazarooni89
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(Original post by cruciform)
They get very similar A-level grades to those in other top institutions though. Also the top institutions have similar selection test and interview processes.
But the people who get offers from both Oxbridge and other places are most likely going to choose the Oxbridge offer. So the other places are left with those people who were good enough to get the grades, but not good enough to get into Oxbridge.

(Disclaimer: in general)
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Simplicity
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I doubt there is anything special about Oxford or Cambridge or that if you look at any top ten for say Physics or Maths that the people who go to Cambridge will have a harder course than people who didn't.

To be fair, I got rejected from Oxford and yeah I don't care about it that much. Certainly, you must be pretty stupid to take a year out and then reapply, as that is wasted year.

But, I highly doubt Cambridge for say maths is superior to every other uni for maths.

P.S. Alot, is probably down to the individual.

(Original post by Rucklo)
Erm they pick the best students?
Not really. To judge the students they would test it with A levels and GCSEs. Both of which are really flawed. Cambridge and Warwick are better in that they test on STEP, however that is still a pretty poor example with emphasis on techniques and has no proofs in it.
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Rucklo
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(Original post by Simplicity)
Not really. To judge the students they would test it with A levels and GCSEs. Both of which are really flawed. Cambridge and Warwick are better in that they test on STEP, however that is still a pretty poor example with emphasis on techniques and has no proofs in it.
There not really flawed, generally the best students get the best grades.

STEP is used for a couple of subjects, probably like 2% of courses.

Of the 4-5 from my secondary school who have got into Oxford or Cambridge, I could have named who they would be before we even took are GCSE's.
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theBOON
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Imho Oxbridge students aren't distinguishable from other top University students by their intelligence. What distinguishes them are other important characterises like being hard-working and such.
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Slumpy
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(Original post by cruciform)
Also the top institutions have similar selection test and interview processes.
I disagree.
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harr
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(Original post by cruciform)
They get very similar A-level grades to those in other top institutions though. Also the top institutions have similar selection test and interview processes.
The difference in average A level grades isn't huge, but it's definitely noticeable. On this list, Oxford to Imperial is probably the biggest jump. I also know several people who were asked to get 95% in Maths and Further Maths, in addition to the two extra tests.

From what I've seen, other top institutions don't have similar processes. Only one other university interviewed me, and they'd already said that they'd give me an offer. Hardly any of the people I went to school with had proper interviews at other places either.
(Original post by Simplicity)
I doubt there is anything special about Oxford or Cambridge or that if you look at any top ten for say Physics or Maths that the people who go to Cambridge will have a harder course than people who didn't.
Perhaps you should check. I haven't looked into this extensively, but there seems to be some difference.
Not really. To judge the students they would test it with A levels and GCSEs. Both of which are really flawed. Cambridge and Warwick are better in that they test on STEP, however that is still a pretty poor example with emphasis on techniques and has no proofs in it.
Interviews? They're this minor thing Oxbridge do before making an offer.
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Simplicity
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(Original post by Rucklo)
There not really flawed, generally the best students get the best grades.

STEP is used for a couple of subjects, probably like 2% of courses.

Of the 4-5 from my secondary school who have got into Oxford or Cambridge, I could have named who they would be before we even took are GCSE's.
The flaw is generally. Anyway, if you really think that cambridge and oxford have all the best students then lol. The point is you can't claim at 100% that they have the best students.

Actually, for maths at Cambridge STEP is essential. The thing I don't undestand particularly for maths is how the uni would know who are the best mathematicians as A levels and STEP aren't really maths, more like jumping through hoops.

Lol, anecdotal evidence.
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Rucklo
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(Original post by Simplicity)
The flaw is generally. Anyway, if you really think that cambridge and oxford have all the best students then lol. The point is you can't claim at 100% that they have the best students.

Actually, for maths at Cambridge STEP is essential. The thing I don't undestand particularly for maths is how the uni would know who are the best mathematicians as A levels and STEP aren't really maths, more like jumping through hoops.

Lol, anecdotal evidence.
They are regarded as the best uni's in the UK, so erm yes they have the best students.

Prove otherwise.

And I am sure the far more intelligent people than you will have figured out how to find who is best at maths, which is not all they look for.
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Slumpy
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(Original post by Simplicity)
Actually, for maths at Cambridge STEP is essential. The thing I don't undestand particularly for maths is how the uni would know who are the best mathematicians as A levels and STEP aren't really maths, more like jumping through hoops.
Not quite it isn't.
As pointed out above, the interview goes some way to helping out this.
Oh? What would you define as real maths then? And as is stated by Cambridge, there seems to be a correlation between STEP and tripos success, which suggests that even if they aren't maths, they're indicative of the potential for maths.
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harr
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(Original post by Simplicity)
The flaw is generally. Anyway, if you really think that cambridge and oxford have all the best students then lol. The point is you can't claim at 100% that they have the best students.
I don't think anybody's tried to claim that they have all the best students. That would clearly be ridiculous.
Actually, for maths at Cambridge STEP is essential.
:facepalm:
The thing I don't undestand particularly for maths is how the uni would know who are the best mathematicians as A levels and STEP aren't really maths, more like jumping through hoops.
If you're good enough you're generally able to jump through the hoops. If you're not good enough it will probably be difficult to do so.
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Simplicity
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(Original post by harr)
The difference in average A level grades isn't huge, but it's definitely noticeable. On this list, Oxford to Imperial is probably the biggest jump. I also know several people who were asked to get 95% in Maths and Further Maths, in addition to the two extra tests.

I haven't looked into this extensively, but there seems to be some difference.

Interviews? They're this minor thing Oxbridge do before making an offer.
Lol, but that doesn't really show a increase in intelligence. Certainly, if you spent an hour a day going through maths past papers and then being really careful than getting 100% isn't that hard.

Hmm, there was a thread on this a while ago i.e. comparing past papers of top unis. And I think the general conclusion was no.

Yeah, but still. Most people would not do there best work at 17 so I can't really see how they can judge potential. Also, a lot of people don't get interviewed. Even if they get interviewed you are assuming that this will show who is the best student.
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Rubgish
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(Original post by Simplicity)
I doubt there is anything special about Oxford or Cambridge or that if you look at any top ten for say Physics or Maths that the people who go to Cambridge will have a harder course than people who didn't.

To be fair, I got rejected from Oxford and yeah I don't care about it that much. Certainly, you must be pretty stupid to take a year out and then reapply, as that is wasted year.

But, I highly doubt Cambridge for say maths is superior to every other uni for maths.

P.S. Alot, is probably down to the individual.
For a subject such as maths it is much easier to quantify how difficult the course is. I'd be surprised if the cambridge course wasn't one of the hardest, if not they hardest maths course around. Especially if you do part 3 of the tripos.


Not really. To judge the students they would test it with A levels and GCSEs. Both of which are really flawed. Cambridge and Warwick are better in that they test on STEP, however that is still a pretty poor example with emphasis on techniques and has no proofs in it.
Cambridge gets to see your AS-level module scores + they interview for every subject, this lets them choose between the people who are going to get 3A's and take the best of the bunch. And because of its reputation, the best people tend not to turn cambridge down.
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IrrationalNumber
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I'm actually going to agree with Simplicity here. Certainly at Warwick the people with very high marks at STEP aren't necessarily the ones who score highly at degree level. All of these entrance methods are flawed (interviews and entrance tests like STEP). I think it's possible that the extra practice people have had before they enter Cambridge allow for a more demanding course, at least initially, but I'm not sure it's fair to say that many of the students at Warwick, Manchester, Imperial e.t.c would struggle massively with Cambridge's course.
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Rubgish
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(Original post by Simplicity)
Lol, but that doesn't really show a increase in intelligence. Certainly, if you spent an hour a day going through maths past papers and then being really careful than getting 100% isn't that hard.
This simply isn't true, I know people who have spent 3/4 hours a day doing maths papers for weeks before AS level exams and then still only getting 70%.

Yeah, but still. Most people would not do there best work at 17 so I can't really see how they can judge potential. Also, a lot of people don't get interviewed. Even if they get interviewed you are assuming that this will show who is the best student.
No-one is suggesting you do your best work at 17, but the point is you can see if people do have potential by interviewing them. By a lot of people not getting interviewed, do you mean just for Oxford, because Cambridge interview around 90% of applicants. Regardless of what you think about the interview, you have to accept that its a better way of seeing how good someone is than just looking at a bit of paper. By interviewing them you aren't going to lose any information about the candidate, you can only add more.
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harr
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(Original post by Simplicity)
Lol, but that doesn't really show a increase in intelligence. Certainly, if you spent an hour a day going through maths past papers and then being really careful than getting 100% isn't that hard.
But it probably shows a difference in average intelligence (or average work ethic, or average number of A levels taken).
Hmm, there was a thread on this a while ago i.e. comparing past papers of top unis. And I think the general conclusion was no.
I wasn't talking about exams. You said "course".

I don't know what you count as a top university, but you seem to count Manchester as one. I've looked at some of their first year papers and they were a joke. It's entirely possible that I just happened to look at easy papers, but still... (Please note that I'm not saying that the papers for other unis will be similar.)
Yeah, but still. Most people would not do there best work at 17 so I can't really see how they can judge potential.
There wouldn't be much point in trying to judge potential after it has been acheived.
Also, a lot of people don't get interviewed.
Because they're not good enough or live on the international space station.
Even if they get interviewed you are assuming that this will show who is the best student.
No I'm not. I'm assuming that it'll give some indication. (Which it will.)
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