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    Hey

    Basically, Im a bit confused when it comes to the application statistics regarding Kings':

    In 2011 there were 56 applications to 5 places (this sort of runs throughout); but what Im puzzled about is why? Kings is a damn popular college, but why is its intake so low and why is the failure rate so high? Are the quality of applications worse than other colleges (Im not saying that the higher state school applicant is a causaul link to lower quality applicants, though there might be a correlation)...

    Also, with Trinity, what do you need to really shine at your application? I know high grades, PS and reference, but is it worth taking the risk to apply to Trinity when its so competive? I know go where you feel at home, but I'd love to make it to Trinity.....

    Im so confused :confused:
    Thanks guys!
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    (Original post by Narutopolaris)
    Hey

    Basically, Im a bit confused when it comes to the application statistics regarding Kings':

    In 2011 there were 56 applications to 5 places (this sort of runs throughout); but what Im puzzled about is why? Kings is a damn popular college, but why is its intake so low and why is the failure rate so high? Are the quality of applications worse than other colleges (Im not saying that the higher state school applicant is a causaul link to lower quality applicants, though there might be a correlation)...

    Also, with Trinity, what do you need to really shine at your application? I know high grades, PS and reference, but is it worth taking the risk to apply to Trinity when its so competive? I know go where you feel at home, but I'd love to make it to Trinity.....

    Im so confused :confused:
    Thanks guys!
    Hey,

    I am not completely sure about the statistics part of your thread but I think each college gets a set amount of places, but it just varies how many applicants there are.

    In regards to how to shine for Trinity, there are no real ways other than good UMS, PS blah blah. IMO it is worth applying to Trinity. If you really want it then you might as well apply there as for law you will spend three years there, additionally the pool system is such that every college is meant to be equally hard to get into. So if you apply to Trinity, get rejected but pooled you may well end up at a different college. A good idea is to have a nose around the colleges and see which you like, that is what I did and although I got rejected (for medicine :tears:), it is not always the one you think you will like that you do, the college I picked for example I had never heard of until I had a nose around.

    Good Luck
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    (Original post by Narutopolaris)
    Hey

    Basically, Im a bit confused when it comes to the application statistics regarding Kings':

    In 2011 there were 56 applications to 5 places (this sort of runs throughout); but what Im puzzled about is why? Kings is a damn popular college, but why is its intake so low and why is the failure rate so high? Are the quality of applications worse than other colleges (Im not saying that the higher state school applicant is a causaul link to lower quality applicants, though there might be a correlation)...

    Also, with Trinity, what do you need to really shine at your application? I know high grades, PS and reference, but is it worth taking the risk to apply to Trinity when its so competive? I know go where you feel at home, but I'd love to make it to Trinity.....

    Im so confused :confused:
    Thanks guys!
    Okay, a number of things
    - different colleges take different numbers of people in different subjects. Nothing interesting to read into it really.
    - The failure rate is so high because that's how many places they had that year. It tends not to vary much. Nothing to do with state school applicants, honestly.
    - I don't buy the idea that Trinity is somehow super-competitive compared to other colleges. Consistently, people who try to play the system by applying to colleges perceived as "easier" or who had fewer applications per place the year before have it backfire horribly. Thanks to the pooling system, the quality of people who get in at all colleges will essentially be the same. Apply to the one you want to go to.
    - I saw a similar post last week - may have been you, actually - asking about Trinity being super-competitive, but I'll note they've taken out of the pool the last two years. That doesn't sound like an impossible college to get into to me. (Conversely, this doesn't mean it'll happen again this year!) I don't see much evidence for the idea that Trinity is that much more difficult to get into than other colleges, apart from in maths, though maybe people will leap in here and provide it.
    - Additionally, there's nothing "special" that each college is looking for unless they state it specifically on their website - to get into Cambridge, you need excellent grades, a good interview and good subject tests if you have to take them (to put it very simplistically). That holds for all colleges, and you don't need any extra shine for Trinity.
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    (Original post by lp386)
    Okay, a number of things
    - different colleges take different numbers of people in different subjects. Nothing interesting to read into it really.
    - The failure rate is so high because that's how many places they had that year. It tends not to vary much. Nothing to do with state school applicants, honestly.
    - I don't buy the idea that Trinity is somehow super-competitive compared to other colleges. Consistently, people who try to play the system by applying to colleges perceived as "easier" or who had fewer applications per place the year before have it backfire horribly. Thanks to the pooling system, the quality of people who get in at all colleges will essentially be the same. Apply to the one you want to go to.
    - I saw a similar post last week - may have been you, actually - asking about Trinity being super-competitive, but I'll note they've taken out of the pool the last two years. That doesn't sound like an impossible college to get into to me. (Conversely, this doesn't mean it'll happen again this year!) I don't see much evidence for the idea that Trinity is that much more difficult to get into than other colleges, apart from in maths, though maybe people will leap in here and provide it.
    - Additionally, there's nothing "special" that each college is looking for unless they state it specifically on their website - to get into Cambridge, you need excellent grades, a good interview and good subject tests if you have to take them (to put it very simplistically). That holds for all colleges, and you don't need any extra shine for Trinity.
    Thanks And yes, that was me last week Im just getting paranoid....
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    (Original post by lp386)
    - I don't buy the idea that Trinity is somehow super-competitive compared to other colleges.
    Trinity constantly dominates the Tompkins Table which might be seen as a good indicator for the high quality of its students. Nonetheless, other factors such as a solid financial support and monetary incentives for the student body might play a role in it as well.
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    (Original post by Pandin)
    Trinity constantly dominates the Tompkins Table which might be seen as a good indicator for the high quality of its students. Nonetheless, other factors such as a solid financial support and monetary incentives for the student body might play a role in it as well.
    But I've yet to see any evidence for this having any effect in making application more competitive than it would be at other colleges, nor that the average standard of students applying there is greater.

    I think this is just a modified version of the oft-cited but wrong advice to apply to new colleges/women's colleges on the basis that it's "easier to get in" there. This is the second time I've seen this question this week, possibly just one data point if OP is the same person I was talking to (ranting at?) before. Yes, definitely same OP - so it is just one person asking.
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    (Original post by Narutopolaris)
    Thanks And yes, that was me last week Im just getting paranoid....
    Ah, okay, sorry - I didn't see this post before replying to Pandin below. I'll put an edit in.

    I'd strongly recommend applying to whichever college you want to spend three years at. If that's Trinity, great, if applying there will make you super-paranoid then perhaps consider applying elsewhere. Whatever suits you best. Good luck!
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    (Original post by Pandin)
    Trinity constantly dominates the Tompkins Table which might be seen as a good indicator for the high quality of its students. Nonetheless, other factors such as a solid financial support and monetary incentives for the student body might play a role in it as well.
    Vast numbers of Mathematicians. Maths is probably the only subject where they may have apply higher criteria. Otherwise Trinity is no different.
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    (Original post by Azarimanka)
    Vast numbers of Mathematicians. Maths is probably the only subject where they may have apply higher criteria. Otherwise Trinity is no different.
    And come to think of it, given the way the Tompkins Table works, that probably accounts for a big chunk of their consistently high position. Though to be sure of that, I'd have to double-check the class lists.
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    (Original post by lp386)
    And come to think of it, given the way the Tompkins Table works, that probably accounts for a big chunk of their consistently high position. Though to be sure of that, I'd have to double-check the class lists.
    Eg, last year

    20 1 9 21 7 22 3 3

    39 Mathmos at Trinity

    20 with a 1st

    9 with a 2.1

    7 with a 2.2

    3 with a 3rd.

    Colleges with a high proportion of science students tend to do well in the Tompkins table. IN all honesty the table is a complete joke, and isn't used by the University.
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    (Original post by Azarimanka)
    Colleges with a high proportion of science students tend to do well in the Tompkins table. IN all honesty the table is a complete joke, and isn't used by the University.
    I don't know about the Tompkins table, but at Oxford then the "colleges with lots of scientists do better in the Norrington Table" statement is almost certainly false.
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    (Original post by fluteflute)
    I don't know about the Tompkins table, but at Oxford then the "colleges with lots of scientists do better in the Norrington Table" statement is almost certainly false.
    I guess it depends on the way it's calculated and the classing guidelines in the subjects concerned. Here certainly Natural Sciences and Maths award more firsts than most arts subjects, which, because of the way Tompkins is calculated*, you'd expect to have a positive impact from the firsts "bonus" that outweighs the increased risk of 2.iis and thirds. Of course, it depends on how well they teach their students, and perhaps there's some crowding out in terms of resources.

    It's pretty much definitely true for Trinity with mathmos though, given the high numbers of mathmos and their average grades. I'll do the maths later as to what the benefit to them with regards to the table is, but I really ought to do some dissertation reading and stop watching the new Chris Hayes show first!

    *(5 points for a first, 3 for a 2.i, 2 for a 2.ii, 1 for a 3rd, averaged over the number of students)
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    (Original post by Azarimanka)
    Colleges with a high proportion of science students tend to do well in the Tompkins table. IN all honesty the table is a complete joke, and isn't used by the University.
    (Original post by lp386)
    I guess it depends on the way it's calculated and the classing guidelines in the subjects concerned. Here certainly Natural Sciences and Maths award more firsts than most arts subjects, which, because of the way Tompkins is calculated*, you'd expect to have a positive impact from the firsts "bonus" that outweighs the increased risk of 2.iis and thirds. Of course, it depends on how well they teach their students, and perhaps there's some crowding out in terms of resources.
    I think your explanation for Trinity's success, saying it is successful because of it being mathsy, is not right, as the Tompkins Table largely reverses the effect:

    "The scores in each subject are then weighted to a common average, to avoid the bias towards colleges with higher proportions of students entered for subjects which receive higher average grades" (taken from wikipedia).
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    (Original post by Pandin)
    I think your explanation for Trinity's success, saying it is successful because of it being mathsy, is not right, as the Tompkins Table largely reverses the effect:

    "The scores in each subject are then weighted to a common average, to avoid the bias towards colleges with higher proportions of students entered for subjects which receive higher average grades" (taken from wikipedia).
    Excellent point - I think it's a bit more nuanced than that. That would remove the effect of maths having higher-than-expected grades, but wouldn't remove the effect that Trinity is very, very good at it and gets higher than normal grades within the maths cohort. It's still possible for the maths students within Trinity to be pushing Trinity up the Tompkins table compared to the "true" position of their non-maths students even after accounting for the fact that Cambridge maths students are more likely to get firsts than those in other subjects.

    This means that even after accounting for subject type, it's possible (if I've understood correctly) for Trinity's maths dominance to give a higher than expected impression of the college's overall position. That's a bit garbled, so I'll try and put it simply - if Trinity's non-maths students are as good at non-maths students at other colleges, because of the relative standard of their maths students, they'll still place higher in the Tompkins table even after adjusting for subject.
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    (Original post by lp386)
    Excellent point - I think it's a bit more nuanced than that. That would remove the effect of maths having higher-than-expected grades, but wouldn't remove the effect that Trinity is very, very good at it and gets higher than normal grades within the maths cohort. It's still possible for the maths students within Trinity to be pushing Trinity up the Tompkins table compared to the "true" position of their non-maths students even after accounting for the fact that Cambridge maths students are more likely to get firsts than those in other subjects.

    This means that even after accounting for subject type, it's possible (if I've understood correctly) for Trinity's maths dominance to give a higher than expected impression of the college's overall position. That's a bit garbled, so I'll try and put it simply - if Trinity's non-maths students are as good at non-maths students at other colleges, because of the relative standard of their maths students, they'll still place higher in the Tompkins table even after adjusting for subject.
    Given that Trinity attracts better mathematicians than the rest whilst the standard in other subjects is pretty much the same, I share your point.

    But still, I'd prefer some evidence that only one subject accounts for Trinity's success. Moreover, it would be interesting to get to know the reason for the colleges' positions, e.g. why Emmanuel is so strong etc. and if this is also attributable to just one single subject.

    I honestly doubt that all applications to different colleges are equally competitive, since it is not possible for admissions tutors to shift high quality applications from students who wish to study at one of the prestigious colleges to less sought after colleges, and while the pooling system might guarantee that the best students get offers from Cambridge, it only pools students that were not good enough for the college they initially applied to. To make it clear, if you apply to a college for which the demand is higher, you will have to be more competitive than a usual successful applicant for your subject to get an offer from this precise college. Nevertheless and as I mentioned before, it does not harm your chances of getting an offer from Cambridge, although it might come from a college at the bottom of Tompkins Table such as Homerton, Newnham and Girton.
 
 
 
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