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laughylolly
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I've heard many people that go on to study Maths at the likes of Oxbridge, Warwick etc. have done well in the UKMT challenges.

I was wondering with say all A*'s and A's at GCSE and then straight A's at a Highers/ Advanced Highers / A levels does it really matter if you haven't done or haven't done well in these maths challenges?

I did very good in them when I was younger (junior MC) and got best in school but this year in the senior (after not doing any of the MC's for years), I didn't get an award at all.

Are they are true reflection of your mathematical capability?

Thanks.
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joestevens2092
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I don't know whether they reflect your true mathematical ability, but if you do well in any thing mathematical it's bound to look good on your application (for maths of course).
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laughylolly
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(Original post by joestevens2092)
I don't know whether they reflect your true mathematical ability, but if you do well in any thing mathematical it's bound to look good on your application (for maths of course).
Yeah... obviously they would look good. But thanks =)
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laughylolly
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Is there anyone else who can shed some more light on this??
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Evil Monkey
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Probably less so now there's A* at A-level. They're worth mentioning, but they're hardly Maths, it's all numeracy, it's like saying you're great at French in an application for an English language course.
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laughylolly
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(Original post by Evil Monkey)
Probably less so now there's A* at A-level. They're worth mentioning, but they're hardly Maths, it's all numeracy, it's like saying you're great at French in an application for an English language course.
Well put... I guess a lot of it is rather simple maths but it's the actual problem solving which is the challenging part.

I'm doing scottish highers so no A*'s for me but there are A1 bands which I guess are like A*'s.
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anshul95
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Well in my opinion no and I have consulted others on this matter. The reason why: compare a STEP paper to UKMT maths challenge paper - the STEP is a MUCH BETTER representation of what maths is like at uni.
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laughylolly
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(Original post by anshul95)
Well in my opinion no and I have consulted others on this matter. The reason why: compare a STEP paper to UKMT maths challenge paper - the STEP is a MUCH BETTER representation of what maths is like at uni.
Okay. That's good to know. I just got a little worried cause I didn't get an award at all even though I'm probably one of the brightest in my maths class.

I would say I'm looking forward to STEP but from what I've heard it's not the sort of thing to look forward to.

Thanks for your help.
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OMGWTFBBQ
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(Original post by laughylolly)
Okay. That's good to know. I just got a little worried cause I didn't get an award at all even though I'm probably one of the brightest in my maths class.

I would say I'm looking forward to STEP but from what I've heard it's not the sort of thing to look forward to.

Thanks for your help.
I went from Gold (5th year) to nothing (lower sixth) to silver (upper sixth - this year). I've vastly improved as a mathematician since A level in lower sixth and further mats in upper sixth; yet the awards from the maths challenge have been all over the place. Many of my classmates are the same.

There is a large amount of luck with the maths challenge - the mood you are in on the day can have a major effect.

Don't worry about it - it might be worth half a sentence on a personal statement, but it's no big deal really.
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innerhollow
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It's useful for demonstrating your problem-solving ability yes. However, it doesn't really seem to reflect your actual aptitude for actual Maths techniques- calculus, trigonometry, algebra etc. For example some of people who got Gold Awards, including the one who got top in the year, struggle with (fairly simple) Advanced Higher (equivalent to A-level) Maths stuff. I mean, the top mark in our year went to someone currently failing Advanced Higher Maths!

So, to conclude, I think it would be useful on an application, but don't expect it to do anything amazing. Being able to solve some fancy numeracy problems won't help you if you can't even manage the basic A-level Maths. Things STEP and BMO on the other hand... now THERE'S some real tests of mathematical ability.
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Gimothy
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(Original post by Evil Monkey)
Probably less so now there's A* at A-level. They're worth mentioning, but they're hardly Maths, it's all numeracy, it's like saying you're great at French in an application for an English language course.
I would disagree. I think they require greater skills in logic and ingenuitive thinking than GCSEs and A level. The content may be predominantly numerical, but the thought processes required are, in my opinion, more in the spirit of university maths. I'm speaking as someone who has done all of the aforementioned and is studying maths at university.
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Evil Monkey
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(Original post by Gimothy)
I would disagree. I think they require greater skills in logic and ingenuitive thinking than GCSEs and A level. The content may be predominantly numerical, but the thought processes required are, in my opinion, more in the spirit of university maths. I'm speaking as someone who has done all of the aforementioned and is studying maths at university.
I'm speaking as exactly the same, and I think it's safe to say anyone who comments will be too, to be blunt it's meaningless for anyone else to say anything as they won't have a view into the area to know what of it's relevant.
You kind of need to remember that different unis do different sorts of Maths though, there's no standardised syllabus at this level. Yours is obviously more of an applied course, which is in the minority by far. I agree they need more, which is why I said they're still worth mentioning, but they only need more in that you're not explicitly shown what you need to be using, it's a practically negligible difference.
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Gimothy
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(Original post by Evil Monkey)
I'm speaking as exactly the same, and I think it's safe to say anyone who comments will be too, it's meaningless for anyone else to say anything.
You kind of need to remember that different unis do different sorts of Maths though, there's no standardised syllabus at this level. Yours is obviously more of an applied course, which is in the minority by far. I agree they need more, which is why I said they're still worth mentioning, but they only need more in that you're not explicitly shown what you need to be using, it's a practically negligible difference.
Well, although you're correct, it would be meaningless for them to comment, they still do on this forum, and in voume. And I have no idea why you think I am doing an applied course; I take almost exclusively pure modules. You've then gone on to agree with me that they need more? For a maths student, your arguments are a bit disorganised.
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Evil Monkey
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(Original post by Gimothy)
Well, although you're correct, it would be meaningless for them to comment, they still do on this forum, and in voume. And I have no idea why you think I am doing an applied course; I take almost exclusively pure modules. You've then gone on to agree with me that they need more? For a maths student, your arguments are a bit disorganised.
Wow, you're quick enough to bite there. Ever thought that you might have mistook what I said since we're using subjective terms?
Pure and Applied themselves aren't so clear cut, pure isn't everything that's not stats or mechanics. Read up on a couple of pure mathematicians and you'll find they all have very different ideas of what does and doesn't constitute pure maths, the same can happen here. And even then, pure modules can be taught in a more applied fashion to help understanding, their basis doesn't discount it at all.
Don't be so quick to assume others have screwed up, you can misunderstand things, or even just not know them.

As for agreeing with you, I don't see how it went against what I was saying at all personally. Yes you had a valid point, but I think you're overstating it. You said the same sort of thing to me originally too, it doesn't mean everything you said is wrong.

Read innerhollow and OMGWTFBBQ's comments, they've said the same as me more anecdotally, it might help you understand what I was saying.
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Jasminge
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same with me! when i was younger it was just consecutive gold every year but recently it's just been the silver :/ i think the senior ones are more dependent on how hard you work and how much maths knowledge you have (IMO). the earlier ones i would say are more to do with natural mathematical ability (not just because i did fairly well in them )
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Nick Longjohnson
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I did **** in the UKMT. I'm **** at maths. I do engineering. Go figure.
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F1Addict
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Ummm, I'd say if you did well in the latter UKMT challenges and came like top 3 in your school or something, then it'd be worth to chuck in a sentence in your PS; 2 sentences would be pushing it.
STEP would be much, much better.
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LugzMcPie
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If you imagine the university and they have 50 students with exactly the same predicted grades and you need to pick only a handful to award a place to - things like the UK Maths Challenge just help you to stand out a bit. It's not about mathematical ability, it's about logic. It does no harm putting it on, and you needn't mention the levels where you entered and didn't get a certificate so it's not going to work against you. It's all about bigging yourself up, basically!
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raggamuffin93
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It's definitely worth mentioning even if it's just to show you're interested in taking part in maths outside of the curriculum. It's a different way of thinking and shows you can do problem solving questions rather than learning formulae, but I agree with an earlier post that STEP is definitely closer to university maths.
Mention anything to do with maths really, I was asked about it in a mock oxbridge and a manchester interview and it's quite an easy topic for a conversation. The grades can vary from year to year, depends really on the paper (e.g. if there are more geometry, number, probability) and how you're feeling on the day.
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Gimothy
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(Original post by Evil Monkey)
Wow, you're quick enough to bite there. Ever thought that you might have mistook what I said since we're using subjective terms?
Pure and Applied themselves aren't so clear cut, pure isn't everything that's not stats or mechanics. Read up on a couple of pure mathematicians and you'll find they all have very different ideas of what does and doesn't constitute pure maths, the same can happen here. And even then, pure modules can be taught in a more applied fashion to help understanding, their basis doesn't discount it at all.
Don't be so quick to assume others have screwed up, you can misunderstand things, or even just not know them.

As for agreeing with you, I don't see how it went against what I was saying at all personally. Yes you had a valid point, but I think you're overstating it. You said the same sort of thing to me originally too, it doesn't mean everything you said is wrong.

Read innerhollow and OMGWTFBBQ's comments, they've said the same as me more anecdotally, it might help you understand what I was saying.
Patronising much? You're still adamant that my studies must be applied, for a reason that you're yet to elucidate. There's been a miscommunication somewhere, but I doubt it's worth trying to resolve.
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