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username3134
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#21
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#21
Well, that's the best attitude! Why not go for it? It's better to fail than it is to live your whole life thinking 'what if'.
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Geogger
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#22
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#22
Absolutely. Nothing ventured....
All you MUST do is get the maximum marks you can on AS. That will show the degree of interest , effort and commitment that Cam may well want! I'd still be careful about the college you choose! (current Cam students should be able to advise)
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emilycatelia
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#23
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#23
yes, i'll try my best! btw, i'd like some advice and suggestions about which college to choose for economics (both cam and oxford), especially from oxbridge students. plus, is cam's economics course better or oxford's e&m better? i know 'better' is difficult to define, but i mean general (including the content, the difficulty, the teaching, the research and which is more interesting - overall).

ps - a silly question but many people wants to know - is oxford "posh" and more likely to "discriminate" foreign people (which means they accept less foreign students)?

emily
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angelzland
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#24
Report 16 years ago
#24
Heya!
I thought my experience could help you out with your query. I tried out for the male dominated course of Economics at Cambridge (not really thinking i had a chance due to the fact it has a 70% male success rate and also my grades weren't astonishing: AABB.) Even tho my grades weren't the normal oxbridge requirements (and coming form a private school) i have to admit having atleast 4 As at as is a must! All the other people in my school year who got offered places at oxbridge had 4 and some even 5 As at AS level!. Luckily i was offered a place for 2004 (i must admit my interview got me my place!) and all my teachers were surprised when they found out (as i am no where near the brightest in my year but it just shows how far enthusiam can get you!)

As to the maths question...yes Economics at Cambridge does involve a sufficent amount of Maths for it to be quite unwise not to do it to A level! However, liking maths i do not love it (but i can cope with it) In the interview i was interrogated about my maths ability and about what we were doing in school at that current time. Also i was specifically told about the maths content and asked bluntly whether i wld be able to cope with it as the second year is mostly Econometrics (which is basically all maths based!). So before you decide whether you still want to do Economics at university....read up about it to get a good undersatnding of the course as you may be shocked to find out that at university its all very different than at A-level!

Sxxxxxxx
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emilycatelia
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#25
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#25
wow~~~you're very lucky! did cam ask you to solve maths problems in the interview?? i'm very interested to know the details of your interview (if you don't mind, can you tell me? i'm sure many people want to know!) i just want to know which uni is better for econ, cam or ox? because i'm thinking whether i should apply for cam or ox (if i get my A grades for as)

emily
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angelzland
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#26
Report 16 years ago
#26
Thanx...well at the interview i was very lucky (if not extremely lucky!) to not be asked any specific maths questions but for a moment there (when he got really into asking me about Maths) i thought he was going to whip out a piece of paper and ask me to ingerate or differentiate something! If that did happen it wld have def shook me up as doing maths on demand is not my strong point!
However some of my friends were made to sit a MAths/IQ thinking paper at the interview which they said was very very very hard (its one of those papers that really shows which candidates are bright and which are faking it) I however did not..not sure why. I think it just depends on which interviewer you have. I had a guy who was quite young and sweet so that helped the convo run along smoothly!

Sxxx
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doodlebeetle
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#27
Report 16 years ago
#27
Emily,

I'm studying Economics at Cambridge, and my boyfriend is a PPEist at Oxford, so I have a pretty good idea of the differences in the course.

Because Oxford's course is split with Politics and Philosophy, you're unlikely to gain as deep an understanding about Economics as at cambridge since you'll cover less ground in the subject. (The teaching style appears also rather different from that at Cambridge.) However, PPE is designed as such because the three subjects go well together, and you can specialise as you go on. My boyfriend is essentially doing Economics now with less courses in philosophy. Theres also less maths involved in their courses (and econometrics isn't compulsory). The downside of this, is that his tutor wouldn't support his application to do a masters in the US because he thinks the courses there would be too much of a jump from the work he's done in Oxford. (And also because his tutor is a git.)

I take it from your messages you're more interested in Cambridge(?)

If you're worried about Maths, make sure you choose a college that doesn't require STEP papers in general since they tend not to care as much about it. Maths *is* important for economics and I do advise taking Maths A2. You can avoid doing maths in your course to a high level, but it is VERY useful for understanding a lot of the course content (particularly microecs).

It's unwise to think that having business and economics a levels make a stronger application than one with a lot of maths, though it does show a commitment to your subject. Alevels which are 'watered down' versions of degrees are, IMHO, pretty useless. A friend of mine had an offer for Engineering, but the 3 A's were required in her 3 of 4 subjects which WEREN'T engineering! She would have gotten in even if she had failed it. I didn't do economics either, but the entire course was probably covered here within the first few weeks!

Finally, you want to know how to increase your chances. I might get flamed for saying this, but I think girls' colleges are easier to get into. However, whichever college you choose, do make sure you can give a good reason for applying there! New Hall has the lowest # of direct applicants per place and the Econs fellows make a REALLY big effort to make your interview experience as un-painful as possible. This gives you the best chance at performing well, and this is the main reason why I think female colleges are easier.

This was the advice my school gave me. In hindsight, I now wish I had applied to a mixed college because I think I would have been good enough at interview elsewhere and could have gotten in through the pool otherwise. If getting into Oxbridge is more important than the college, then do do everything you can to improve your chances. Most importantly, *talk* to a lot of people and develop your interpersonal skills. This is the thing that will most help you at interview!

GOOD LUCK!
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emilycatelia
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#28
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#28
thank you for your advice. i've decided to do A2 maths. but i'm still unsure whether oxford or cambridge is better for economics. i cannot do PPE cos i don't do politics and i'm not very interested in politics either. since you're an economics student at cambridge, i want to know what you learn in the course. is there a lot of maths? also, do you know about oxford's "economics and management"? which course is better for me? as far as i know, e&m is more interesting for me - especially 2nd and 3rd year where i can choose to do what i like. however, development economics in cam's 2nd yr is quite interesting as well, also i can do management studies for 3rd yr. so i'm still comparing the two...

do you know anyone who does e&m at oxford who i can talk to? and when you said the teaching in oxbridge are different, how do they differ?

emily
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Saxman
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#29
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#29
E&M has only about 80 or so places, as opposed to 200 or so in PPE or Economics at Cambridge. It is also extremely competitive.

Cambridge has the best reputation for Economics, and if you like Economics it is the place to be. I am not at Cambridge myself but at Warwick which has a very similar course structure. And yes, there is a lot of Maths and Statistics. You should be very competent at differentiation and algebra. The Statistics is easier to pick up, as many people did not do stats at A-level (having done Mechanics say).

So yes, I would recommend doing A-level Maths.

And, I would recommend going for one of the newer colleges or a female college, as the competition will likely be less strong.
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Minta
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#30
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#30
(Original post by Saxman)
And, I would recommend going for one of the newer colleges or a female college, as the competition will likely be less strong.
I'd just like to say something about the female colleges being 'easier' to get into, as this is a rather irksome issue for me (I'm starting at New Hall next October, and no, I wasn't pooled there!). The female colleges ask for the same grades ie AAA as other colleges, and even though the aplicants might be slightly weaker than those to mixed colleges, the colleges won't just take someone because they applied there - there're plenty of strong female applicants who got pooled from mixed colleges to choose from.

As for the lower number of applicants per places, Newnham is becoming extremely popular, and even New Hall this year was 'snowed under' according to the admissions secretary (although this might admittedly have only been in comparison with previous years). It seems to me that the situation re: Cambridge, and Oxford, application numbers is getting worse every year, and I would be interested to find out the exact figures for each college - I wouldn't be surprised if there is no longer any such thing as a college that is 'easy' to get into, just that the odds at one college could be 3/4:1 as opposed to 5/6:1. IMHO, getting into any Oxbridge college is an achievement!
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emilycatelia
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#31
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#31
Thanks for your comment. There are a few things I really want to know:

1) Do all Cam colleges have the TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment) for Economics, and admission tests? I heard from someone that some colleges do not have TSA or/and admission tests and are more focussed on the interviews. However, people say the interviewers ask you to solve maths probs or economic probs in the interviews. Is this true? If so, how can I improve to answer quicker to these kind of questions?

2) Does Oxbridge care about my parents' salaries?

3) Does Cam look more into potentials or current ability?

4) Are there any specific things which Cam look for in a student?

Thanks in advance,

Emily
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Saxman
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#32
Report 16 years ago
#32
There are a lot of Cambidge colleges for Econ which just give you a straight interview. The one I applied to : Selwyn did, and other people who applied to other colleges said the same thing. Obviously this interview will discuss some sort of economic problem, and the best way to prepare for it is just to have a good understanding of your A-level material and to think about how the principles can be applied.

Your parents income is not an issue, unless of course you required some sort of grant etc.

As far as I have gathered Cambridge look for people capable of independent thought and ability to logically argue and reason. Basically someone who would be interesting to teach, and able to meet the demands of the course.
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Mysticmin
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#33
Report 16 years ago
#33
(Original post by emilycatelia)
i wanna do economics in cambridge (preferably at st. catharine's), but i want to know what is the chance of being accepted if i don't do a level maths (just as level, but not a2) - i do economics and business though...also, i got 8As, 3Bs, 2Cs for GCSE. i don't think that is good enough for cambridge, is it? i heard the competition for places is high, but how many people in uk actually got all "A's" for their as AND a2 level *curious*...

plus...what is the interview like?

please help!!!

emily
You need A2 level maths, I think - I just went through the cambridge interview process. I got rejected because I didn't perform well in the two maths questions thrown at me in the interview. A large number of people I met did double maths, and the guy in the interview kept asking why I was only doing a further maths AS instead of the full A2 further maths.

I think the economics applications this year on average were 6 to every offer made.
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samit_mapara
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#34
Report 16 years ago
#34
As far as chances of being accepted go, I read somewhere that it's about 1 in 4 on average, but it can be as high as 1 in 7/8 in some colleges.

You do need A2 maths to stand a realistic chance of getting in unless you have really good grades, in which case AS may just about be OK.

I only did AS maths in year 12, with the view to doing A2 in year 13, but my headmaster told me to do Further Maths to really improve my chances of getting in. So I did 3 modules in my spare time to catch up, and am doing Further Maths this year. I have an offer from Trinity College, Cambridge, so I guess his advice and all that extra work paid off!

The interview is OK as long as you prepare yourself for it mentally. Just make sure you read the business section in a good paper every day, and read The Economist. As long as you believe you have prepared to the best of your abilities, you won't be too disappointed if you don't get in, and if you do get in...it will all have been worth it.

Sam
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lovebourbon
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#35
Report 15 years ago
#35
i got gcse grades 9 A* and 1 A
i'm doing a-levels in maths with stats, english language, french, geo
predicted AAAA
my school doesn't do economics but it does offer furthermaths what are my chances? :confused:
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observer
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#36
Report 15 years ago
#36
If your school does not do eco, not a problem, cam does not care about that. Some DOS's even say economics at A level is the most useless A level subject there is. They might ask you why you did not do Further Maths though,

Its a reasonably strong application though. Email the admissions people if your not sure about your subject choice.
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icy
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#37
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#37
(Original post by emilycatelia)
1) Do all Cam colleges have the TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment) for Economics, and admission tests? I heard from someone that some colleges do not have TSA or/and admission tests and are more focussed on the interviews. However, people say the interviewers ask you to solve maths probs or economic probs in the interviews. Is this true? If so, how can I improve to answer quicker to these kind of questions?
i think all colleges have the TSA for 2005 admission. u can find samples of the test on their website. the sample is extremely easy... (i got all questions right on first attempt)... though u can expect the real test to be slightly harder. there is no way u can predict or prepare for the interview, but if u have a genuine interest for economics, then there is no reason to worry.

(Original post by emilycatelia)
2) Does Oxbridge care about my parents' salaries?
officially, no. but u must be able to pay ur tuition fees.

(Original post by emilycatelia)
3) Does Cam look more into potentials or current ability?
i think they're interested in ur past achievements, present abilities, AND future potentials. the latter two are more important, but if u lack the first, there is no reason for them to believe that u have any potential.

(Original post by emilycatelia)
4) Are there any specific things which Cam look for in a student?
as with all universities, they stress the importance ur competance in english and mathematics... so ur chances are slim.

personally, i find it odd that u like economics but not mathematics. economics is a live subject, but economic theory is dead. oxbridge does not only want students to study the conclusions to the various economic theories, but to explore the hidden wisdom behind them.

sorry for saying this, but u're too obsessed with "the best". u can't make up ur mind on whether cam or ox is better. with ur grades, u should be pragmatic and consider which university/college u have a greater chance of getting into... not "the best" one which is more likely to be the first to reject u.
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Jamie
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#38
Report 15 years ago
#38
(Original post by Minta)
I'd just like to say something about the female colleges being 'easier' to get into, as this is a rather irksome issue for me (I'm starting at New Hall next October, and no, I wasn't pooled there!). The female colleges ask for the same grades ie AAA as other colleges, and even though the aplicants might be slightly weaker than those to mixed colleges, the colleges won't just take someone because they applied there - there're plenty of strong female applicants who got pooled from mixed colleges to choose from.

As for the lower number of applicants per places, Newnham is becoming extremely popular, and even New Hall this year was 'snowed under' according to the admissions secretary (although this might admittedly have only been in comparison with previous years). It seems to me that the situation re: Cambridge, and Oxford, application numbers is getting worse every year, and I would be interested to find out the exact figures for each college - I wouldn't be surprised if there is no longer any such thing as a college that is 'easy' to get into, just that the odds at one college could be 3/4:1 as opposed to 5/6:1. IMHO, getting into any Oxbridge college is an achievement!
For the last 10 years the odds have been rising, but have generally been 4-1 to get into any cambridge college, but 3-1 to get into single sex college.
It's all rising now though.
(still beats the ass of Nottingham which is a staggering 14-1!)
J
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emilycatelia
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#39
Report Thread starter 15 years ago
#39
thank you for all these comments. everything depends on my AS results. one good thing about oxbridge is that they consider individual situations. i don't think anyone in this forum can judge whether anyone can get into oxbridge. only oxbridge students can give 'some' ideas. i'm not obsessed with oxbridge (i know some people in this forum are), cambridge is my target (not oxford), and i know what i'm doing. even if i'm not accepted, i still tried my best.
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yumi
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#40
Report 15 years ago
#40
i have the same 'busines st.'problem ... i got BS,Econ, Maths and Chemisry for AS .And i'm thinking of dropping BS in A2, simply coz i got bored with it and i don't think BS has had any help with my Economics... (my grade prediction for that is an A though)

But i heard that if u wanna apply 4 Cambridge you need at least 4 A2s otherwise you wouldn't be able to compete with other candidates. Is that true? Do those who have 4/5 A2 subjects have advantages over those who have only 3?
As English is my second language, i got a bit frightened by those traditional subjects like history and geography. So if i wanna take another AS subject,as someone suggested, in order to 'broaden my education' and increase my chance, i don't seem to have many choices(if any) :confused: Should i just keep Business Studies?
Can anyone give some advices on that?
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