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    (Original post by speakerfone)
    I agree with you, so someone who has 100 A-Levels (all at grade B for example) SHOULD be deemed brighter than someone else has "only" 3 A-Levels, again all at grade B (also assume the person who 100 also did the 3 A-levels the other person did, as well as 97 other subjects).
    So why is the one with 100 A-Levels not given preference over the other, all else being equal?
    Maybe something the OCSD can comment on.
    We normally see applications with between three and five A levels (excluding general studies/critical thinking.) The number of A Levels you've taken and the subjects is considered, along with lots of other information we know about you. But only three A Levels count towards the standard conditional offer. We'd certainly notice if you'd done more.

    Most (but by no means all) of our A Level-taking applicants will be doing Maths, Further Maths and a science. The subjects that provide the most relevant preparation for our CS courses. There are only so many A Levels in these really relevant subjects. You start adding lots more A Levels, and pretty quickly you're adding in subjects that are totally irrelevant to us. For example, the fact that you've done your 5th, 6th and 7th A Levels in Home Economics, Archeology, and Dance really doesn't make you a better potential computer scientist. It tells us that you can juggle your time, and you're probably a very interesting person, but it doesn't tell us about your aptitude for the subject you're applying for. But the fact that you've done the first four A Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Additional Maths (for example) do help us to know you've got relevant knowledge to build on. As would a candidate who had "just" done these first four.

    Having said that, do remember that for us A Levels are just one part of the application process. All our candidates sit an aptitude test and, if they reach that stage, multiple interviews. These tend to be a more important factor that the number of A Levels sat. You might have done more A Levels, but if you can't apply the knowledge from the relevant ones during the aptitude test/interviews, extras aren't going to be much help.

    Hope that helps.
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    That's great to hear, I'll find another way of demonstrating that I am genuinely interested in the subject, I already am fluent in a number of programming languages so hopefully that would suffice. Once again, thanks for your help!
    You're welcome. You might find this information useful:
    *Things not to write on your UCAS personal statement
    * Background reading (which I really need to get around to renaming "Background reading and activities".)

    We don't have a tick list of things we want you to have done when it comes to showing your interest in the subject. We'd rather hear about what you've chosen to do, and why it interested you. That's what makes a personal statement personal!
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    (Original post by Oxford Computer Science Dept)
    You're welcome. You might find this information useful:
    *Things not to write on your UCAS personal statement
    * Background reading (which I really need to get around to renaming "Background reading and activities".)

    We don't have a tick list of things we want you to have done when it comes to showing your interest in the subject. We'd rather hear about what you've chosen to do, and why it interested you. That's what makes a personal statement personal!
    Ah, exactly what I would have said! Thanks again for your help, and I'll be sure to have a look at those books.
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    I'll be in a state school, but surely all these things were a consequence to something else.

    I'm not saying it should be a decisive factor but they should be acknowledged, otherwise people are wasting time even if they did achieve optimum results.

    You're saying that as if I'm not aiming for quality grades, I can assure you I am

    So if:
    Person A: A*A*A*
    Person B: A*A*A*A*a

    And they had the same PS standard and work experience, and interview. That person A who wasn't offered 4 a levels because of (lets say gcse results) should get the offer purely because they achieved all they could.

    Person B has also achieved optimum results but had more opportunities?

    In this scenario it'd be clear who should be accepted. I think anyway.
    I don't think Person B would get chosen over Person A purely because of that one extra A*. Lets say person A achieved 100% across Maths, Further Maths and Physics due to only doing 3 subjects and person B only got 90% across Maths, FM and Physics due to having a higher workload Person A would be more likely to get into Cambridge, as it's about quality and having the relevant subjects is what matters most.
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    (Original post by Robbie242)
    That's a very tough decision. Personally I'd have to look at their subject choices.

    Applicant A: Maths Further Maths, Economics, Physics
    Applicant B: Maths Further Maths, Physics

    Both are applying for pure mathematics.
    If we condense this into useful and not useful it simply goes
    Maths, FM, Physics are all relevant to mathematics degree, economics is a nice touch, but not relevant.
    Given applicant B has had less opportunity and has shown significant improvement since gcse.

    The amount of Alevels you do usually corresponds with how you did at gcse. So applicant A had mainly A*'s and Applicant B and 1A* few B's C's and A's we've seen hes made progress in maths - It would have to be applicant B.

    Amount of alevels correlates directly with how you did at gcse, though in an ideal world both applicants should be chosen.

    However if it was a case of applicant A has physics applicant B doesn't, then Applicant A is more desirable.
    That's a bit harsh, rejecting applicant A since he hasn't made as much of a progress at B. I don't see how being good at the subject from a young age would do any harm, I would actually suggest it shows more commitment.
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    x
    hi.
    i am doing 5-ish a levels and have applied to Cambridge for natsci.
    i say 5-ish becuase i do maths and further maths. yes you have to take maths and then do further maths. what normally happens for a person taking just maths is that the do AS maths in one year then A2 maths in the second year. what furhter mths ppl normally do is full A level maths (AS and A2) in the first year and full A level further maths (AS and A2) in the second year. i'm doing this along with chemistry, physics and biology because i enjoy them all. first i think you should choose a college or two, which might take a while. then you should go to their website, look at the bit about comp sci and see what their preferred a level combinations are because im sure if maths physics and german will cut it. Cambridge does not regard further maths as a seperate A level (never mind thats for my course) altho technically it is. sorry if this has already been answered i havent read the whole thread. hope this helps. feel free to PM me if you need more.
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    (Original post by joyie)
    Cambridge does not regard further maths as a seperate A level.
    That must be why its website says, under course requirements, "AS or A Level/IB Standard Level Further Mathematics (required by some Colleges)". :rolleyes:

    What nonsense!
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    "Essential A Level/IB Higher Level Mathematics
    Highly desirable AS or A Level/IB Standard Level Further Mathematics (required by some Colleges) and/or a physical science

    No prior knowledge of programming required."
    --website.

    go here
    click on entry requirements, then course requirements. there is a really helpful table.


    "We are looking for students who are highly motivated and enthusiastic about Computer Science and have the academic ability, particularly in mathematics, to learn very fast in a demanding course.

    Pembroke usually admits two Computer Science students a year. A-level Maths is essential. Further Maths is preferred (but not essential), and a science subject is useful. For the Computer Science with Maths option we require STEP Maths.
    We will, at interview, be interested in your experience with computers and in your ability to apply the mathematics that you have learnt to problems which are relevant to computing."
    --pembroke
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    That must be why its website says, under course requirements, "AS or A Level/IB Standard Level Further Mathematics (required by some Colleges)". :rolleyes:

    What nonsense!
    oops! well then i guess it must be different for computing, cos they said at least for courses like natsci that they werent too happy about counting maths, fm, an another subject as 3 alevels cos fm is kind of the same skills but harder than maths.
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    Could you please show us where it says 5 A levels are needed for doing a course at cambridge?
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    Hey everyone,
    Basically, I have a few questions regarding A-Level choices. I am currently studying 12 GCSEs and am predicted an A* in all of them, in the future I hope to go on to do Computer Science at Cambridge university. I was thinking about doing: Further Maths, Physics, German and then something else. I do not know whether Further Maths 'counts as' 2 A-levels, or it is simply one. Also, is there any point doing Maths as well as Further Maths, or is the Maths qualification included in Further Maths? I assumed that the reason Further Maths was seen as 2 A-Levels was because it included the Maths qualification, but I saw on here someone who had taken both Maths and Further Maths for A-level, so that has made me quite confused. Anyway, I read on the Cambridge website that the average number of A-levels that people have who study Computer Science there is 5, so my question is, how hard is it to do 5?
    Thanks,
    Tom

    Edit - Meh, now I'm confused, I just talked to my Sister, and she said that one cannot take Maths without Further Maths, I thought that Further Maths included everything in the Maths course, and you just did it in a shorter period of time, and then in the second year you did extra maths? Is it more like you put down Maths and Further Maths, and on your timetable it would just say 'Maths' or would there be two different lessons, Maths and Further Maths... My head hurts.

    you can do maths without further maths. I am doing just maths. I had the option to do it, but wanted to focus on what I needed.
    I wouldn't bother with 5. 4 is sufficient for Cambridge and I'd focus on getting high As in them all.
    Also, you need to do other things such as work experience, extra curricular and during A2 having 5 will become a burden during the year with UCAS, interviews, entrance exams. Its better to focus on 4 in my opinion.
    One of my friends got straight A* at GCSE and found A-level a jump and was struggling, so being able at GCSE won't necessarily mean you'll be fine at A-level. Although, chances are you will be if you work.

    Maths and Further maths are two A-levels, but some courses count it as one, but computer science would consider it as two. Its for medicine where A2 further maths isn't liked.
    If you want an A* at A2, its 90% + in A2 modules, which is much harder than GCSE (but definitely possible)
    Where does it say the avg no. is 5? Afew of my friends studying there only did 3 subjects and I did 4 (one being critical thinking).
    Good luck
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    Hey everyone,
    Basically, I have a few questions regarding A-Level choices. I am currently studying 12 GCSEs and am predicted an A* in all of them, in the future I hope to go on to do Computer Science at Cambridge university. I was thinking about doing: Further Maths, Physics, German and then something else. I do not know whether Further Maths 'counts as' 2 A-levels, or it is simply one. Also, is there any point doing Maths as well as Further Maths, or is the Maths qualification included in Further Maths? I assumed that the reason Further Maths was seen as 2 A-Levels was because it included the Maths qualification, but I saw on here someone who had taken both Maths and Further Maths for A-level, so that has made me quite confused. Anyway, I read on the Cambridge website that the average number of A-levels that people have who study Computer Science there is 5, so my question is, how hard is it to do 5?
    Thanks,
    Tom

    Edit - Meh, now I'm confused, I just talked to my Sister, and she said that one cannot take Maths without Further Maths, I thought that Further Maths included everything in the Maths course, and you just did it in a shorter period of time, and then in the second year you did extra maths? Is it more like you put down Maths and Further Maths, and on your timetable it would just say 'Maths' or would there be two different lessons, Maths and Further Maths... My head hurts.
    I think different colleges/sixth forms do it in different ways - at my 6th Form, Maths and Further Maths are separate lessons, but at the college I was considering, people doing Maths and Further did the entire Maths course in Y12, and then F.Maths in Y13 (which I think is possibly better, because I'm encountering stuff in Further which we haven't done in Maths yet.)

    I'm doing 5 AS (Maths, Fmaths, French, Chemistry and History) and I'm not finding it a problem at all. This term I've had time to do those 5 and do a DipABRSM. It's not really necessary to do 5, as people have said Universities only make offers based on 3, but if you enjoy studying those subjects and would rather have work to fill your frees than twiddling your thumbs, do the 5, imo.

    Also, re. Further Maths not being considered as an additional A level - it isn't by some Universities if you're applying to do something completely unrelated - like Languages, say. They might offer you an A* in French and then two As in your other subjects, but if you're good at maths, you can do Further Maths. But obviously if you're applying for a course that needs maths, like computer science, they'll want Further Maths.
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    (Original post by joyie)
    for courses like natsci that they werent too happy about counting maths, fm, an another subject as 3 alevels
    This, again, isn't right. The Natsci website specifically states that maths and one of FM and physics is an essential A level combination for potential physicists and FM is listed as one of the five favoured science subjects, with no caveats as is the case with psychology.

    Please note that in the following 'science/mathematics subjects' refers to Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics. It does not include Psychology.
    http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergrad...ci/part1a.html
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    You have to do both further maths and maths. This is because further maths is sort of just a further study of what you did not learn in maths A level. Which means that maths is not included in further maths.
    Also you can take 5 if you really want but if it gets too hard than just drop it straight away??
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    I'll be in a state school, but surely all these things were a consequence to something else.

    I'm not saying it should be a decisive factor but they should be acknowledged, otherwise people are wasting time even if they did achieve optimum results.

    You're saying that as if I'm not aiming for quality grades, I can assure you I am

    So if:
    Person A: A*A*A*
    Person B: A*A*A*A*a

    And they had the same PS standard and work experience, and interview. That person A who wasn't offered 4 a levels because of (lets say gcse results) should get the offer purely because they achieved all they could.

    Person B has also achieved optimum results but had more opportunities?

    In this scenario it'd be clear who should be accepted. I think anyway.
    . University's like Oxford and Cambridge may not care about this but others probably will.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    This, again, isn't right. The Natsci website specifically states that maths and one of FM and physics is an essential A level combination for potential physicists and FM is listed as one of the five favoured science subjects, with no caveats as is the case with psychology.



    http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergrad...ci/part1a.html

    you obviously have not grasped what i was saying. by no means did i suggest that FM is not essential for some natsci applicants. what i was saying was, they are not too happy to count FM, maths and another subject as 3 full a levels and it is not broad enough.
    for example, if i took maths, further maths, and biology only, that would disadvantage me as a natsci applicant cos i dont have a broad enough knowledge base. you get?
    this is what theyve said:
    "Further Maths is thus a particular case which should be considered separately from others. In many ways it is effectively not a fourth, distinct A level, but grows out of work done for A level Maths. The combination of Maths and Further Maths is not, for those strong in the subject, as heavy a burden as combinations of Maths with any other A level."

    this is also what i was referring to when i said cambridge does not count maths and further maths as two seperate a levels. obv the comp sci tutors think differently as they are happy with just maths, fm, and physics at a level. i hope this is clear.
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    Don't get me wrong 12 A* in GCSE is very impressing, however A-level is a different ball game.
    I know people with 10 or 11 A* and yet they struggled to get an A in their a-levels.
    My recommendation to you is that take Maths, FM, German and Physics.
    Do maths A-level in one year and take the other 3 to A2 with you.
    I hope whatever your choice, you get what you want.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    (Original post by joyie)
    cambridge does not count maths and further maths as two seperate a levels.
    It is a pity you didn't quote a bit more of that document (which was produced almost seven years ago, by the way). It goes on to say

    We would expect students taking only those three A levels to be broadening or deepening their studies in some way, in the case of Maths applicants, this might mean preparing for STEP. Many Engineers, as well as Natural Scientists, would argue the same – certainly budding Chemical Engineers must have Chemistry – and the breadth of the Engineering Tripos means that there several other A levels (Electronics, the more academic varieties of Design Technology, Computer Science) that would better prepare a student than just a diet of Maths, Further Maths and Physics
    As I said in my first post, FM students invariably take a fourth A level (and maths, FM, physics and chemistry is, perhaps, the most common combination among science/engineering applicants). Cambridge isn't treating maths, FM and physics as only two A levels and it is nonsense to claim this; it is saying, in common with just about everyone of common sense, that this isn't quite enough in terms of preparation. I, for one, have never heard of anyone taking FM who was taking only only three A levels (as schools generally mandate a fourth in this case), so don't know of anyone who falls foul of this obvious advice.

    The key point is that five A levels is complete overkill.
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    Hey everyone,
    Basically, I have a few questions regarding A-Level choices. I am currently studying 12 GCSEs and am predicted an A* in all of them, in the future I hope to go on to do Computer Science at Cambridge university. I was thinking about doing: Further Maths, Physics, German and then something else. I do not know whether Further Maths 'counts as' 2 A-levels, or it is simply one. Also, is there any point doing Maths as well as Further Maths, or is the Maths qualification included in Further Maths? I assumed that the reason Further Maths was seen as 2 A-Levels was because it included the Maths qualification, but I saw on here someone who had taken both Maths and Further Maths for A-level, so that has made me quite confused. Anyway, I read on the Cambridge website that the average number of A-levels that people have who study Computer Science there is 5, so my question is, how hard is it to do 5?
    Thanks,
    Tom

    Edit - Meh, now I'm confused, I just talked to my Sister, and she said that one cannot take Maths without Further Maths, I thought that Further Maths included everything in the Maths course, and you just did it in a shorter period of time, and then in the second year you did extra maths? Is it more like you put down Maths and Further Maths, and on your timetable it would just say 'Maths' or would there be two different lessons, Maths and Further Maths... My head hurts.
    :eek: what are you on about :confused:

    you obviously have to take maths to do further maths - thats like asking can you do your phd without doing a undergrad degree

    whats the point in 5 A levels its not that common just concentrate on doing well in the 4 you picked
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    (Original post by Oxford Computer Science Dept)
    We normally see applications with between three and five A levels (excluding general studies/critical thinking.) The number of A Levels you've taken and the subjects is considered, along with lots of other information we know about you. But only three A Levels count towards the standard conditional offer. We'd certainly notice if you'd done more.

    Most (but by no means all) of our A Level-taking applicants will be doing Maths, Further Maths and a science. The subjects that provide the most relevant preparation for our CS courses. There are only so many A Levels in these really relevant subjects. You start adding lots more A Levels, and pretty quickly you're adding in subjects that are totally irrelevant to us. For example, the fact that you've done your 5th, 6th and 7th A Levels in Home Economics, Archeology, and Dance really doesn't make you a better potential computer scientist. It tells us that you can juggle your time, and you're probably a very interesting person, but it doesn't tell us about your aptitude for the subject you're applying for. But the fact that you've done the first four A Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Additional Maths (for example) do help us to know you've got relevant knowledge to build on. As would a candidate who had "just" done these first four.

    Having said that, do remember that for us A Levels are just one part of the application process. All our candidates sit an aptitude test and, if they reach that stage, multiple interviews. These tend to be a more important factor that the number of A Levels sat. You might have done more A Levels, but if you can't apply the knowledge from the relevant ones during the aptitude test/interviews, extras aren't going to be much help.

    Hope that helps.
    Actually I was refering to the general case, not necessarily for CS.

    If say someone applied for French, surely candidate A offering A-Levels in French, Spanish, English, Latin, German and Italian should be deemed a stronger candidate than candidate B only offering French, German and Spanish because all of candidate A's subjects are relevant for a French degree, (as opposed to say if he / she took French, maths and Biology).

    In addition, with the introduction of the IB offering more breadth, surely a candidate offering more A-Levels than the standard 3 should be at an advantage, all else being equal?
 
 
 

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