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Mechanical Engineering at Cambridge watch

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    Hi everyone, I am in Year 12 studying A Levels in Maths,Physics, Chemistry and Design Technology. My ultimate ambition is to studyMechanical Engineering at Cambridge University. I have been predicted all As inmy AS year – (predictions were based on mock exams, tests and January modules)
    Any responses would be highly appreciated J.
    1) Do I have a chance of getting in withoutFurther Maths?
    · I started Year 12 doing FM but switched tochemistry (to broaden my horizons just in case I wanted to do chemicalengineering)
    · The other reason I dropped further maths wasbecause I felt I was at a strong disadvantage not doing the Additional Mathscourse. – I was playing catch-up with some of the course content whichprevented me from spending any time on Physics (my favourite subject at school)
    · I saw on Cambridge’s website that the vastmajority of its colleges find FM highly desirable. Do they make offers topeople without FM then?

    2) Number of A* at GCSE
    · I have 3 A*s at GCSE in Maths, IGCSE Physics andIGCSE Chemistry
    · Apparently, 8 A*s is usually the average toreceive an offer
    · Quite a few people have told me that offers areheavily based around the numbers of A*s at GCSE – (combined with all As at ASlevel).
    · However, surely an offer to study mechanicalengineering should/would not be based on getting an A* in biology or EnglishLit/Lang etc…

    3) If offers are not based around A2 results,how do I separate myself from the crowd?
    · I honestly do think that I could be aiming for 2or 3 A*s in my final A2 year (I’m not trying to sound arrogant). But, thatcould be irrelevant if I don’t get an offer – as I have said – my lack of FMand A*s at GCSE does not put me in the greatest of positions.


    4) Ways that I could separate myself from thecrowd
    · If I got a chance to be interviewed/sit the aptitudetests, etc… (e.g. STEP) and I did well in them, does that significantly improvemy chances? Or do the negatives still outweigh the positives?
    · 4 A2 levels – would do 4 subjects at A2 helpimprove my chances?
    · Arkwright Scholarship – does this improve mychances at all?
    · Extracurricular – I play a high standard ofsquash, tennis, I have done Silver DofE, doing Gold DofE etc…
    · Are there any other things I should do to improvemy chances?

    So ultimately, do you think it is worth applying? Many thanks
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    Mate! Your GCSEs are fine for Cambridge they really base your interview on your ums soo you have to achieve at least 95% in all your AS exams btw they send you a form where you have to enter the ums for all your module grades and oxford is based on GCSEs also further maths will help allot its pretty wise to try and do at least AS further maths next year or even do the A2 if your feeling ambitious if you do the AS fm next year you can wrote it on your UCAS and it will only make your application stronger and remember that when you apply to Cambridge you should be achieving 95% in all exams to be considered hope it goes well and good luck


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    Thanks for the reply. But I don't think its possible to do FM now - but even without it, do you think I still have a reasonable chance?
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    (Original post by NtainS)
    Thanks for the reply. But I don't think its possible to do FM now - but even without it, do you think I still have a reasonable chance?
    yeh probably but if you do make sure that your maths is solid try doing extra modules for mechanics and you should be okay but why not just do FM AS next year???
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    Not sure how to explain this but I'll give it a go:

    FM 1st year: C1,C2,M1 (Exams done in January) then, C3,C4,S1 (They are doing them next week)
    FM 2nd year: Something like (FP1, FP2, FP3, D1 and 2 other modules that I can't remember - I think one of them might be S2)

    Me doing normal maths 1st Year C1,C2,M1
    Me doing normal maths 2nd Year: C3, C4, S1

    I'm about 95% sure that my school would not let me take C3, C4, S1, FP1, FP2 and another module in my A2 year - too much work.
    I don't think my school do M2.

    So I don't think FM is possible (+my head of maths seems to hate me for dropping FM). Do you think I should get a tutor next year to do M2 and M3?
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    Do I have a chance of getting in withoutFurther Maths?
    Yes, but normally they come from schools that didn't offer the choice. The fact that your school offers it and you didn't do it means you're severely disadvantaged (for engineering) and they will count this against you. I'm not sure what Additional Maths is (extra GCSE? man I feel old!) but if you thought you wouldn't be able to catch up in A Levels because of that, you'd never make it past the first year even if you did manage to get an offer.

    Grades
    GCSEs don't matter as much as you'd think. The admissions say that UMS scores are much better indicators. The way I see it, if they're good enough to get you an interview then from there on it's up to you to impress them and convince them to give you a place. I know plenty of people with a few Bs and Cs who got in and survived (really feels like it at times) the 4 years and plenty with all As that failed to get past the first year.

    Ways that I could separate myself from the crowd
    · If I got a chance to be interviewed/sit the aptitudetests, etc… (e.g. STEP) and I did well in them, does that significantly improvemy chances? Or do the negatives still outweigh the positives?
    · 4 A2 levels – would do 4 subjects at A2 helpimprove my chances?
    · Arkwright Scholarship – does this improve mychances at all?
    · Extracurricular – I play a high standard ofsquash, tennis, I have done Silver DofE, doing Gold DofE etc…
    · Are there any other things I should do to improvemy chances?
    Only a couple of colleges require STEP for Engineering. Churchill is one of them and they want you to get a I and a II in Step II and III or whatever it was called, the two harder ones. I'd avoid it if you didn't do further maths.

    4 A2 - As most people would have done 4 (2x Maths, Phys, Chem) it doesn't improve your chances over other people, just brings you up to the same level playing field.

    Extra curricular - they couldn't give a ****. They want you to succeed academically and they look for the academic potential. That's it. The exception is obviously if it's subject related, e.g. if you've built an amazing robot or a car or something but if you like playing tennis it really doesn't matter regarding your application. It's a myth that you'd have to be multi talented in everything and have saved the world to get considered.
 
 
 
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