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

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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.
    Have you ever done a STEP paper?
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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 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.
    More work (PPE at Manchester - 2/3 essays a term. PPE at Oxford - 16 essays a term). Smaller classes.
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    (Original post by Dadeyemi)
    Have you ever done a STEP paper?
    Okay, I will say STEP is probably a better test than A levels a much better test.
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    (Original post by GHOSH-5)
    You joke surely?

    Perhaps in the country; probably not internationally however: eg. Harvard's Math 55.

    As for as this thread goes, a mixture between the tutorials/supervisions and the leading researchers lecturing you probably help as to developing your way of thinking.
    Hmm, the Cambridge exam a hundred years ago is probably the hardest. But, Hardy didn't like it and so it was changed. Also, the people who passed with the highest scores didn't correlate to the people who went on to become top mathematician and physicists.

    That sounds cool. Anyway, being harder doesn't actually make it better nor does it make better students.

    P.S. I don't know that. Certainly, leading researcher doesn't equal being a good teacher.
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    (Original post by Simplicity)
    Anyway, being harder doesn't actually make it better nor does it make better students.
    True, but if it's purpose is to 'make' good mathematicians, then it's probably doing a good job, since, from somewhere I read, most of the Math 55ers become quality researchers in maths. [Disclaimer: I could easily be going mad, and have not actually read that somewhere, but I'm 90% sure I did.] You may find this interesting.
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    (Original post by GHOSH-5)
    True, but if it's purpose is to 'make' good mathematicians, then it's probably doing a good job, since, from somewhere I read, most of the Math 55ers become quality researchers in maths. [Disclaimer: I could easily be going mad, and have not actually read that somewhere, but I'm 90% sure I did.] You may find this interesting.
    Correlations don't imply causation. Anyway, it would be interesting to see if they become top mathematician or not.
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    (Original post by Dadeyemi)
    Have you ever done a STEP paper?
    They're mostly tests of technical ability with a small amount of insight required. They're quite dissimilar from university maths. For example, if a question on STEP wants to mention any topic on analysis it'll simply ask you to 'sketch' why a particular result is true, or to 'explain' why it's true. A university course in analysis would be much more likely to ask you to prove it. Having said that, A-levels are far worse - change the numbers slightly on C1 and you have the C1 exam for next year.
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    I think a lot of it is to do with being pushed very hard: I'm doing History, about which there is a long running joke as to its light workload. However, my friend at a top 40 uni, has done 3 essays in a term ( and a few presentations to be fair) I did about 11/12 essays last term. Each essay takes a few days of reading, and its then helpful to put in a bit of time preparing to defend it in a tutorial, using evidence from the lectures you are also expected to turn up to.

    (incidently, PPE's first year workload is a joke )

    He's not at UCL or a Russel Group uni, but its certainly not a bad one.
    I don't think I'm that much better at history than my friend, but doing roughly 3x his amount of work in a much shorter space of time ( 2 months rather than 3) will probably develop me intellectually much faster than his uni will him.

    Or it will break me
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    Seriously, what the ****? This question is up there among the most stupid things I've read in this sub-forum.

    Anyone with half a brain knows that:

    a) Academic performance does not equate to intelligence.
    b) A university has little to nothing to do with developing one's intelligence. It's all down to the individual, imo.

    A person with average intelligence, being with intelligent persons on a daily basis, won't necessarily become any more intelligent only because of the presence of such people. (okay, I know the OP probably didn't mean this but I'm trying to say something else here and I had to say this first...or I thought I had to) It's all down to what the person with average intellect does with them and more importantly, how the said person does these things.

    For instance, a child with academic difficulties, put next to another who is more academically adept than he is, will not necessarily become as well of an academic performer or develop his intelligence or whatever, just by being there. Mimicking what the other child does won't make him any more intelligent either. However, if the child is able to understand what the other child is doing, with help or possibly on his own, then yes, there is a chance he will eventually become more intelligent than he already is. Why? Because that way, he's thinking constructively. (I'm afraid I lack better terms) To what extent, I have no idea and I don't care - this was just to put things onto perspective.

    In my eyes, an intelligent person is someone who has good reasoning skills (can put a constructive/logical argument forward or at least think of one), can adapt himself (as in, if need be, change himself) to particular situations and can think and act independently, among other things.

    [/rant]
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    You get some intelligent people at Oxford and Cambridge, but you also get very average students. You can't generalise and assume that being at Cambridge or Oxford = intelligence :nn:
    Can you generalise and say that the intelligent people outnumber these average students?

    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I'm inclined to agree.

    *cough* [isastudentcurrentlyatcambridge] *cough*
    Where does the intelligence gap come, then? Top forty universities? Top 100?

    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Well I wouldn't go all that far, but I certainly agree that its arbitrary. I do think they do everything in their power to counteract any biases towards students who are better at interview simply because of cultural advantage. They try, and often they succeed at getting very good students. But amazing people also often get missed, and really average people who managed to do well at A levels (which doesn't require intelligence) and were lucky at interview get in instead.
    I was rejected the first time I applied and accepted the second time. I then went on to get a first. This is neither proof that I'm a mistake or brilliantly intelligent or any other thing. Its just an example of how admissions to Oxbridge cannot be fool proof.
    How can you describe the Cambridge admissions process as arbitrary? :confused:

    Of course they miss amazing people, no sensible person claims that their very much non-arbitrary selection methods are 100% fullproof, nor that the number of highly intelligent people magically equal the number of places available at Cambridge, yet would you agree that the 'very good students' form a majority?

    If you don't believe A Levels require intelligence, what about GCSE grades, which various Oxford and Cambridge studies have shown are very much linked to degree performance and intelligence?

    Looking at your posts your first Cambridge attempt was for a completely different subject, and you claim you are not actually that good at science and maths, so is it at all surprising? What is your point? Surely they made the right decision both times?

    (feel free to merge my posts mods :o: )
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    (Original post by Le Gris)
    Seriously, what the ****? This question is up there among the most stupid things I've read in this sub-forum.
    You must be misunderstanding it, then, or have read very little else here.

    Anyone with half a brain knows that:

    a) Academic performance does not equate to intelligence.
    b) A university has little to nothing to do with developing one's intelligence. It's all down to the individual, imo.
    a) Not exactly a dreadful indicator, though.
    b) Developing intelligence isn't the same as developing intellectually.

    A person with average intelligence, being with intelligent persons on a daily basis, won't necessarily become any more intelligent only because of the presence of such people. (okay, I know the OP probably didn't mean this but I'm trying to say something else here and I had to say this first...or I thought I had to) It's all down to what the person with average intellect does with them and more importantly, how the said person does these things.
    So let me get this straight: you're having a go at the OP because something they didn't say is stupid?
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    (Original post by IrrationalNumber)
    They're mostly tests of technical ability with a small amount of insight required. They're quite dissimilar from university maths. For example, if a question on STEP wants to mention any topic on analysis it'll simply ask you to 'sketch' why a particular result is true, or to 'explain' why it's true. A university course in analysis would be much more likely to ask you to prove it.
    While true, this has a lot to do with the "knowledge base" - you're not expected to know about epsilon-delta proofs when you do STEP.

    I may be comparing unfairly, since it's 20 years since I did the Tripos and I've looked at STEP much more recently, but I personally found Tripos questions to be a lot more straightforward that STEP (That is, there was far less looking at a question and thinking "I'm not sure how I'm supposed to start this").
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    (Original post by Le Gris)
    Seriously, what the ****? This question is up there among the most stupid things I've read in this sub-forum.

    Anyone with half a brain knows that:

    a) Academic performance does not equate to intelligence.
    b) A university has little to nothing to do with developing one's intelligence. It's all down to the individual, imo.



    [/rant]
    Well I'd imagine there's a pretty strong correlation...
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    So let me get this straight: you're having a go at the OP because something they didn't say is stupid?
    Don't mind that part I wrote - I was fairly tired then and I tend to ramble more.

    I argued what was implied since not much else was said in the original post. And I didn't bother checking how long the thread was, etc. My "fault", I guess. :\


    (Original post by BJack)
    You must be misunderstanding it, then, or have read very little else here.

    a) Not exactly a dreadful indicator, though.
    b) Developing intelligence isn't the same as developing intellectually.
    a) It's too hit and miss to be a good one either.

    b) You are right, albeit not completely. The two aren't (always) mutually exclusive. I speak from experience when I say that a gain in intelligence can result in intellectual development and vice-versa.
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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.
    How would you test mathematical ability then? Lets hear your reforms to the education system.
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    (Original post by Simplicity)
    I doubt...people who go to Cambridge will have a harder course than people who didn't.
    Well from anecdotes, there does seem to be a higher workload, and there are features of the universities that are basically unique.

    (Original post by Simplicity)
    Certainly, you must be pretty stupid to take a year out and then reapply, as that is wasted year.
    I don't think I would call this year a 'waste' for me - care to explain?
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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.


    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.
    I imagine someone's already ripped this post to pieces, but cause its on the first page, I can't help myself.

    1st paragraph: The Cambridge maths course IS harder than anywhere else. Most of the content (at least in the first two years) is covered elsewhere, but the Tripos questions are definitely harder. No question.

    2nd paragraph: one of my best friends reapplied to oxford this year and got in (after initially getting rejected). and is currently on a work placement year. so yeah, DEFINITELY year wasted...

    3rd paragraph: why did you pick virtually the only subject that Cambridge does unequivocally win at to pick on? sure, it's not leagues ahead of other top unis, but there's no denying its the best, if only by a small amount.

    4th paragraph: correct.

    5th paragraph: don't talk about what you don't know. STEP DOES have proofs in it. and not all of maths is about proofs anyways. and it is a good indicator. you can't swot up on maths to get good at STEP. you need to get very very good at maths if you hope to get a 1,1. everyone who has an offer for maths at cambridge got 95%+ average UMS in maths at A-level. they need STEP, and it does a good job at differentiating students.





    grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
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    o yeah, with regards to the actual topic.

    Cambridge works you like a daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawg.

    there's no substitution for hard work.

    unfortunately.
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    (Original post by IrrationalNumber)
    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.
    half of the Cambridge maths students struggle an awful lot.

    so yeah, I would wager the bottom half of manchester maths students couldn't handle it.

    its intense.
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    (Original post by SouthernFreerider)
    I imagine someone's already ripped this post to pieces, but cause its on the first page, I can't help myself.

    1st paragraph: The Cambridge maths course IS harder than anywhere else. Most of the content (at least in the first two years) is covered elsewhere, but the Tripos questions are definitely harder. No question.

    2nd paragraph: one of my best friends reapplied to oxford this year and got in (after initially getting rejected). and is currently on a work placement year. so yeah, DEFINITELY year wasted...

    3rd paragraph: why did you pick virtually the only subject that Cambridge does unequivocally win at to pick on? sure, it's not leagues ahead of other top unis, but there's no denying its the best, if only by a small amount.

    4th paragraph: correct.

    5th paragraph: don't talk about what you don't know. STEP DOES have proofs in it. and not all of maths is about proofs anyways. and it is a good indicator. you can't swot up on maths to get good at STEP. you need to get very very good at maths if you hope to get a 1,1. everyone who has an offer for maths at cambridge got 95%+ average UMS in maths at A-level. they need STEP, and it does a good job at differentiating students.




    grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Well, hmm I don't think I can currently judge that. But, being harder does not mean being better. If you look at the history of the tripose GH Hardy basically said he wasted his time on learning to do tricks to pass the exam.

    Actually, I do think that is a wasted year. Well, in a way if you want to get a job in the real world than yes that wouldn't be wasted, as you will have work experience. However, to me that would be a wasted year, espically since academically your ability drops a lot when you get older.

    Well, a small amount. The point is it up to the individual or the individual is what is improtant not the uni itself. At the end of the day what makes a person good at subject is not the uni, nor is it being able to pass tests.

    (Original post by SouthernFreerider)
    o yeah, with regards to the actual topic.

    Cambridge works you like a daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawg.

    there's no substitution for hard work.

    unfortunately.
    Hmm, I don't know about that. Hmm, but lol hard work itself is not everything. I would argue creativity is more improtant.

    P.S. This is stupid, at the end of the day maybe Oxbridge students can pass exams better than everyone else. However, ironically the two great mathematician and physicist in the last century went to crappy unis, that is Grothendieck going to nearly the worst uni in France and Einstein failing to get into the top uni.
 
 
 
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