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    At school we're being bombarded 24/7 with statistics like: "you have to get over 90% in your AS modules for Cambridge," "On average people who have got into Oxbridge get 97% in their AS modules and about 10 A*s at GCSE," and "if you get about 85% in your AS modules then you'll be in the bottom 20% of people who are there."

    We're finding this a bit depressing. Are these actually true? Is anyone else getting the same from their school?
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    (Original post by jellybean1234)
    At school we're being bombarded 24/7 with statistics like: "you have to get over 90% in your AS modules for Cambridge," "On average people who have got into Oxbridge get 97% in their AS modules and about 10 A*s at GCSE," and "if you get about 85% in your AS modules then you'll be in the bottom 20% of people who are there."

    We're finding this a bit depressing. Are these actually true? Is anyone else getting the same from their school?
    It is true that your AS and A2 results have to be very very impressive in order to be called for an interview, but for Oxford I dont think it's generally as extreme as theyre making out. Although, those results will just mean you get called to interview, not necessarily get a place. Have in mind that the vast majority of applicants and interviewees get rejected and most of them, will have at least straight As.

    I think for Cambridge it's a different matter, as I had a friend who applied there who had to get over 90% in every module tob get in. This was for English lit, Im not sure if it applies to all other subjects.
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    Oxford don't know your UMS scores although at Cambridge I think it is that people who get in generally have 94%+ UMS. Oxford care more about GCSEs but it is only one part of your application.
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    For Cambridge the average interviewee has 90% UMS average in 3 most relevant (science) or 3 best (arts) subjects, while the average offer-holder has between 94 and 96%.]

    Souce:
    http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergrad...licants_v2.pdf

    Of course there will be offer-holders with significantly less (say 85%) (who somehow impressed despite relatively mediocre UMS or were on the access scheme, but this is not representative).

    No idea for Oxford.
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    Do they take into account how many subjects you're doing at one time? Does it matter what subject you're applying for or even what college? There is talk of making exams harder and marking more harshly, will they take account of this?

    What do people think?
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    (Original post by jellybean1234)
    Do they take into account how many subjects you're doing at one time? Does it matter what subject you're applying for or even what college? There is talk of making exams harder and marking more harshly, will they take account of this?

    What do people think?
    It depends, they care less about less relevant subjects. Four subjects is more or less standard so you don't really get extra points there. More competitive courses will obviously be more competitive.

    What position are you in? Subject?
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    Hey, basically I'm split into two minds atm. Worse thing is I've to make my decision by tomorrow. I want to apply to Cambridge for Engineering.

    Basically, for C1 I got 99ums, C2 I got 89 ums, G481 (Physics) - 81/90 ums, and Chemistry unit 1 I achieved 87 ums. I felt I could have done better especially in my C2 exam so I was wondering whether I should retake this module in the summer or not. I feel that high 90s possibly even a 100 ums is within my grasp (without being too boastful :P, but I have to aim high!)

    So yeah I wanted to know if I only resit one module will that affect my chances with universities? Would I be looked down upon if I retook C2 and by the end achieved a high UMS average potentially between 95-100?
    Is there anyone who know of anyone who's at Cambridge studying Engineering when they've retaken a module?

    Thanks guys
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    (Original post by milienhaus)
    It depends, they care less about less relevant subjects. Four subjects is more or less standard so you don't really get extra points there. More competitive courses will obviously be more competitive.

    What position are you in? Subject?
    I'm doing 5 AS levels + 2 instruments. I took 2 modules this January and got a high 80 and a middle 90 but they're not in my subject.
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    (Original post by jellybean1234)
    I'm doing 5 AS levels + 2 instruments. I took 2 modules this January and got a high 80 and a middle 90 but they're not in my subject.
    If you are applying for music then the instruments are relevant, but unfortunately if you're not they probably won't pay much/any attention to them.

    5 AS levels is obviously good but if you feel like taking so many will drag down key subjects or your average then you would be better off dropping one - Oxford will only see grades so if you get 5 A's then fantastic, but Cambridge sees UMS marks and most people will be > 90%. A high 80 and mid 90 are very good, and certainly good enough to apply, and if you get these kind of grades in all your subjects you will have a very competitive application.
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    Oxford place way less emphasis on AS results - I got AAAB, with the B being in one of the subjects I applied for. Got an offer for PPE at Corpus Christi Good luck with your application, and if you have even the slightest chance, go for it! x
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    To add some emphasis to what hamsterdowns mentioned, I had ABBC at AS and was interviewed and offered a conditional for AAA at A-level (Doing two new subjects in one year, as well as taking forward the A and one B). I think they care more about the entry tests than your AS grades! (I also don't have any GCSEs as an international applicant)
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    As just going through the whole entrance process, Cambridge focus heavily upon AS results, and you do need to have around 95%+ UMS in those im afraid. You don't actually need to declare your AS results for Oxford- I got AABB and got a place. GCSEs are more important for Oxford (I got 8A*, but it's all contextualised) and they actually have an entrance exam for all subjects (as opposed to the few in Cambridge). The entrance exam is important, and far less people get called to Oxford for interview than Cambridge (due to the exam). But you dont need to have perfect results all round, just be able to demonstrate that you're exceptional in the area you're applying for!
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    (Original post by jellybean1234)
    At school we're being bombarded 24/7 with statistics like: "you have to get over 90% in your AS modules for Cambridge," "On average people who have got into Oxbridge get 97% in their AS modules and about 10 A*s at GCSE," and "if you get about 85% in your AS modules then you'll be in the bottom 20% of people who are there."

    We're finding this a bit depressing. Are these actually true? Is anyone else getting the same from their school?
    (Original post by jellybean1234)
    I'm doing 5 AS levels + 2 instruments. I took 2 modules this January and got a high 80 and a middle 90 but they're not in my subject.
    As has been said, instruments are only relevant for a Music degree :yes:

    It's in your interests to score as highly as possible. That said, it is not a guarantee to an interview or a place.

    I got an offer from Oxford with aaac at AS. My UMS marks were not stellar for two of those subjects, by any means. Then again, Oxford doesn't insist upon UMS marks and in my day, there was nowhere to write them on the UCAS form except within your personal statement :nah:
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    [QUOTE=The_Lonely_Goatherd;417706 00]As has been said, instruments are only relevant for a Music degree=QUOTE]

    Surely the fact that I do them must mean something? They take up a lot of time - almost as much as another couple of as levels.
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    (Original post by jellybean1234)
    Surely the fact that I do them must mean something? They take up a lot of time - almost as much as another couple of as levels.
    If you do them and also excel in your A levels, this shows good time management and motivation. If you do them and don't do quite as well in your A levels then they'd rather you just did A levels.

    There's a lot of stuff said in this forum about how admissions tutors want 'well-rounded' applicants. They don't, they want you to be excellent at your subject and in some respects they would prefer you not to have any other interests to distract you (obviously everyone does, though). However, jobs want well-rounded people later on, so keep it up if you can manage it.
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    (Original post by jellybean1234)
    Surely the fact that I do them must mean something?
    It does. As one Cambridge admissions tutor said to me, it means you have time in your timetable that you can clear in order to do more academic work when you get here. It doesn't give you any advantage for admissions purposes though, as is made clear on the Cambridge and Oxford websites.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    it means you have time in your timetable that you can clear in order to do more academic work when you get here.
    Why do colleges have orchestras and choirs etc if they'd rather people didn't do music?
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    (Original post by jellybean1234)
    Why do colleges have orchestras and choirs etc if they'd rather people didn't do music?
    It's not that they'd rather people didn't do music, it's just that they select people entirely on academic merit. There can be a little bit of tension between academic and musical obligations at times - my director of studies was delighted when I dropped out of choir, for example - but the academics who are selecting you only care about your ability to (a) do the subject concerned and (b) cope with a heavily academic degree which is both intense and time-consuming. Music is a "nice to have" for the college as a whole (as are sports, student theatre, being a Countdown champion, etc. etc.) but the academics who make the admissions decisions only really care about your ability to do the subject.

    As a result, any non-subject-relevant extra-curricular activity, be that sports, music, volunteering, Duke of Edinburgh, a part-time job (yada yada yada) is only useful in that it proves that doing three or four A Levels isn't taking up all your time. If that were the case, a Cambridge degree (and presumably also an Oxford one) would completely crush you. This is a pretty marginal concern - the assumption tends to be that if you're academically bright and motivated, you're capable of that strain.

    In this case, you're fine, with 5 AS Levels and also musical commitments, and that will probably be a (marginal) credit to your application. But don't convince yourself that your admission decision hinges on your musical talent - the people making the decisions really don't care about anything but your subject.
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    (Original post by jellybean1234)
    Why do colleges have orchestras and choirs etc if they'd rather people didn't do music?
    They have them for several reasons. One is that the orchestra is a relevant academic activity for some students, mainly those studying music. Others need a non-academic outlet. And the university and colleges want the kudos that goes with such things. But don't think taking part in any non-academic pursuit while at university (or before) will in any way excuse any slippage in academic effort and results; it won't.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    But don't think taking part in any non-academic pursuit while at university (or before) will in any way excuse any slippage in academic effort and results; it won't.
    I'm not looking for an excuse. I was merely wondering whether the fact that I did lots of extra curricular activities and 5 ASes would help me at all. I know officially people said not but this seemed strange to me. Now I know, thank you.
 
 
 
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