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My Brother's Application to Cambridge watch

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    Hi Guys, I'm looking for some advice regarding my younger brother.
    He wants to go to Cambridge and basically has no idea about:
    A) How to improve his chances of acceptance.
    B) What his chances are as it stands.

    My brother is in Year 11 at a state comprehensive and has the following GCSEs already:
    Maths - A* Geography - A* French - A Short Course RE - A* PE - B and ICT - B
    (2.5 A*s, 1 A and 1.5 Bs)

    This year he is predicted to achieve:
    English - A* Physics - A* Chemistry - A* Biology - A* Economics -A* Drama - A Literature - A Graphics - B
    (5A*s, 2As and 1 B)

    That would give him 7.5A*s, 3As and 2.5 Bs at GCSE.
    He is also taking early AS Maths (predicted A), Economics (predicted A) and Geography (predicted B).

    The ultimate goal is to study natural sciences or engineering at Cambridge University. Any pointers or tips would be much appreciated
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    edited... not very fair :P
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    (Original post by RobertWhite)
    Cambridge are GCSE nazi's. He'll need higher grades than that to stand a 'good' chance.

    EDIT: God, especially the natural sciences! It's one of their most popular degrees.
    Let's be honest, Cambridge have the right to be anything nazis :lol:
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    His GCSE's are fine. It is really unnecessary to be taking all those AS levels early (apart from maths perhaps) and it doesn't really boost his application that much if that's the reason behind it.

    Anyway if he wants to go into engineering he should take further maths and physics to A level, and for NatSci chemistry as well and if possible biology.
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    (Original post by RobertWhite)
    Cambridge are GCSE nazi's. He'll need higher grades than that to stand a 'good' chance.

    EDIT: God, especially the natural sciences! It's one of their most popular degrees.
    wrong information here dude.....Cambridge don't give two ****s about GCSE's - that's Oxford

    Cambridge simply care about AS module results - they request the UMS marks of ALL modules sat to date.

    Thus, with a good personal statement and high UMS in his AS modules, your younger brother has every chance

    (ofc, one thing i forgot to mention: make sure his AS are suitable for Natural Sciences....)
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    (Original post by RobertWhite)
    Cambridge are GCSE nazi's. He'll need higher grades than that to stand a 'good' chance.

    EDIT: God, especially the natural sciences! It's one of their most popular degrees.
    really hope you're joking there.

    his GCSE's are fine, just get him to concentrate on blitzing his AS levels and making his interview technique flawless
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    Cambridge are not GCSE Nazi's I think it's more Oxford.

    On their website they explain the context in which they view GCSE's, they take account of the type of school, so by your brother already gaining 2 A*'s and coming from a state comp, through their system it will be inflated to reflect the quality of the school, i.e. if it is a selective private school, GCSE's are taken at face vale, if from a bad state comprehensive, they are inflated to show the equivalent of those grades...

    If that makes sense...

    But he should focus on AS grades, and making sure he is doing extra-curriculars which stand out from others, thus bringing an element of individuality to his personal statement.
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    The GCSEs are fine.

    Natural Sciences is not one of the most popular courses, only 3 and a bit applicants for each place (see the entrance statistics here: http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ts.html#natsci )

    He needs 90% + in all of his AS modules (I'm talking in year 12 here). He needs to show "passion" for his subject, so attending public lectures, reading books, doing relevant work experience.

    One of our students, going for an interview for Engineering at Oxford was told "we can see from your personal statement why you are applying for Engineering" so they didn't talk about that at all and just asked him Maths questons (he got in).

    On the lectures front, look at the Institute of Physics and Institute of Engineering and Technology websites for events in your areas. There may well be other groups as well, but they are the ones I've been to.
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    (Original post by tiny hobbit)
    He needs 90% + in all of his AS modules
    I'm sure it would help, but he definitely doesn't need 90%+ in all of his AS modules (or even as an average).
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    Cambridge are as much GCSE nazi's as Oxford. I always thought Cambridge were more anal about it.
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    Why doesn't he just do the research himself. It's not hard to use google.
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    (Original post by RobertWhite)
    Cambridge are as much GCSE nazi's as Oxford. I always thought Cambridge were more anal about it.
    I can't speak for Oxford, but my GCSEs are really nothing to shout about and yet I'm at Cambridge, and the same goes for quite a few of my friends (not just at my college) who I've discussed this with. Maybe we're all anomalies, but I'm more swayed to the viewpoint that Cambridge thinks there are more important things than some exams that you did when you were 15-16 (e.g. exams you did when you were 16-17, interview performance, test at interview).
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    (Original post by nuodai)
    I can't speak for Oxford, but my GCSEs are really nothing to shout about and yet I'm at Cambridge, and the same goes for quite a few of my friends who I've discussed this with.
    Perhaps, but I did stress a 'good' chance. Not saying it's not possible because of course it is. Just it would help if he managed to get higher.
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    Your application will not even be considered with less than 8A*s. The Bs look bad too.

    (Original post by RobertWhite)
    the interviews were fine and they got rejected (one got in).
    If the interview goes fine, you haven't got in. The purpose of the interview is to push you to your limit, so normally if you find you can't answer the latter questions, the interview has gone well. If you struggle early on, the questions will be brought down in difficulty, so you start answering and feel like it's going well.
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    (Original post by RobertWhite)
    Cambridge are GCSE nazi's. He'll need higher grades than that to stand a 'good' chance.

    EDIT: God, especially the natural sciences! It's one of their most popular degrees.

    I don't see why the neg. I'm being honest. Why do we live in a society that hides the truth? I'm not saying he can't do it and that it's not possible. I'm merely being realistic, there is no point veiling what it's like right now. I have very intelligent friends who applied to Cambridge and have 12 A*'s at GCSE, A*'s predicted at A level, the interviews were fine and they got rejected (one got in). Everything matters, your brother is growing into an adult now and he deserves to know the truth. Ignorance is NOT a bliss.
    I know people who have got into Cambridge with a majority of B's and C's at GCSE's. Therefore, it would seem that they don't care about the a great deal, you must remember that their entry requirements are A-level results alone. Read page 7 from the link below.

    http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...acherguide.pdf
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    (Original post by d4nny)
    Your application will not even be considered with less than 8A*s. The Bs look bad too.



    If the interview goes fine, you haven't got in. The purpose of the interview is to push you to your limit, so normally if you find you can't answer the latter questions, the interview has gone well. If you struggle early on, the questions will be brought down in difficulty, so you start answering and feel like it's going well.
    One of my friends got asked why snow was white, he attempted it to a decent degree and got rejected
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    (Original post by King-Panther)
    I know people who have got into Cambridge with a majority of B's and C's at GCSE's. Therefore, it would seem that they don't care at too much, you must remember that their entry requirements are A-level results alone. Read page 7 from the link below.

    http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...acherguide.pdf
    I never said it was impossible, just easier :^_^:
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    (Original post by RobertWhite)
    I never said it was impossible, just easier :^_^:
    I agree, that is true.
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    Tips or pointers: come back and ask for advice when you have AS levels.
    Otherwise, keep on truckin'.

    edit: I'm not going to get heavily involved in the GCSE debate. In short, AS ums scores matter far more; if there are two candidates with similar AS ums scores, one with higher GCSEs, they will be far more inclined to decide based on interviews etc than on GCSEs.
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    Dont let people fool you that you need hundereds of A*s at GCSE. Cambridge mainly look at your AS modular scores, your interview and any tests you have there. They love you to be enthusiastic in interview to show that you really love your subject (which I hope your brother should if he wants to take it for /4 year!s )

    Taking AS modules early can be beneficial in a few repects but it may be utting more pressure on his GCSEs. Its a lot easier to be able to concentrate on 4 or 5 AS subjects than 11 or so GCSEs AND 3 AS levels.

    On the natural sciences note, it depends what subjects he wants to do as part of the course. maybe suggest suggest looking into that now? because some require certain subjects at AS and A level and some are preffered even though they may not mention it! for example, for chemistry, it may sound silly but they love furhter maths even if it is just an AS. but there is a lot of maths in chemistry so that looks good and puts you above somebody with the same grades as you who doesnt do further.

    It sounds as if he needs to a lot of research. the cambridge website is good. and id suggest ordering a prespectus from the uni. you can never know too much about a uni before applying.

    good luck to him.
 
 
 
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