The ultimate tip for Oxbridge Triumph Watch

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cofactor
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if you want to impress the admission tutor take some AEA exam or STEP instead of doing more A-levels.

this is the ultimate tip for ppl applying to Oxbridge.
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happysunshine
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(Original post by cofactor)
if you want to impress the admission tutor take some AEA exam or STEP instead of doing more A-levels.

this is the ultimate tip for ppl applying to Oxbridge.
What are these AEAs? I've heard them being mentioned several times.

And STEP is some sort of maths things which are taken by folk who want to study maths and university?
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RxB
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(Original post by happysunshine)
What are these AEAs? I've heard them being mentioned several times.

And STEP is some sort of maths things which are taken by folk who want to study maths and university?
AEAs are 3-hour papers that go along with your A-level; no extra work in terms of syllabus but the exams are themselves harder. Don't affect the A-level grade but are awarded out of Distinction, Merit, Pass, Fail (I think). I'm taking AEA German in the summer.
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happysunshine
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(Original post by RxB)
AEAs are 3-hour papers that go along with your A-level; no extra work in terms of syllabus but the exams are themselves harder. Don't affect the A-level grade but are awarded out of Distinction, Merit, Pass, Fail (I think). I'm taking AEA German in the summer.
Thanks... that pretty much explains it all
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[email protected]
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(Original post by RxB)
AEAs are 3-hour papers that go along with your A-level; no extra work in terms of syllabus but the exams are themselves harder. Don't affect the A-level grade but are awarded out of Distinction, Merit, Pass, Fail (I think). I'm taking AEA German in the summer.
Are passes awarded in AEA ?? I thought it was just merit and distinction. I'm taking AEA maths this summer and regardless of the grade I have to declare it on UCAS so that slightly puts me off.
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theone
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There is no 'ultimate' tip. If you are really enthusiastic about your subject and are reasonably able, then, as long as you don't suffer from awful luck in college sellection, you should get a place. Whilst such exams might help you, there's no point in doing them at all if you're not enthusiastic, because the result may not be good, and interviewers are experienced enough to see through such a 'tactic'.
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theone
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(Original post by Katie Heskins)
Are passes awarded in AEA ?? I thought it was just merit and distinction. I'm taking AEA maths this summer and regardless of the grade I have to declare it on UCAS so that slightly puts me off.
You either get nothing, a merit or distinction in AEA. (corresponds to 70/100 ums and 80 ums for merit and distinction respectively i think). Katie, are you applying to Cambridge or Oxford for maths? I'd strongly advise you to take STEP I instead, it's about the same difficulty, but requires a bit more thinking. It might be a bit harder, but it'll look better (see last post ), and it'll probably improve your maths more. Good luck with your application.
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[email protected]
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(Original post by theone)
There is no 'ultimate' tip. If you are really enthusiastic about your subject and are reasonably able, then, as long as you don't suffer from awful luck in college sellection, you should get a place. Whilst such exams might help you, there's no point in doing them at all if you're not enthusiastic, because the result may not be good, and interviewers are experienced enough to see through such a 'tactic'.
especially since STEP is maths only and AEA is only offered in a select few subjects!
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cofactor
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(Original post by theone)
There is no 'ultimate' tip. If you are really enthusiastic about your subject and are reasonably able, then, as long as you don't suffer from awful luck in college sellection, you should get a place. Whilst such exams might help you, there's no point in doing them at all if you're not enthusiastic, because the result may not be good, and interviewers are experienced enough to see through such a 'tactic'.
Don't be mistaken. When I said about taking AEA i also imply at the same time that one must guarantee one has the ability to achieve Distinction. if u can't then there is no point taking the exam at all, a huge waste of both your and your teacher's time.
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Suzy_vet
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Why do you say its the ultimnate tip?

I dont think there is a an ultimate tip, a whole load of stuff gets you in. And most of the people i know who have got in arnt doing AEA's. And stepp is only for maths, whats the point of that?
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[email protected]
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(Original post by theone)
You either get nothing, a merit or distinction in AEA. (corresponds to 70/100 ums and 80 ums for merit and distinction respectively i think). Katie, are you applying to Cambridge or Oxford for maths? I'd strongly advise you to take STEP I instead, it's about the same difficulty, but requires a bit more thinking. It might be a bit harder, but it'll look better (see last post ), and it'll probably improve your maths more. Good luck with your application.
I don't know where yet I'm applying, more inclined to apply to Oxford at the moment. I considered taking STEP 1 and 2 this summer but I not only find AEA alot more accessible, but I prefer the fact that they lead you through the question - I realise its not going to hold as much weight as STEP but that won't put me at a disadvantage because I'm in year 12.
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theone
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(Original post by cofactor)
Don't be mistaken. When I said about taking AEA i also imply at the same time that one must guarantee one has the ability to achieve Distinction. if u can't then there is no point taking the exam at all, a huge waste of both your and your teacher's time.
If you have the raw ability to get distinction then you will most likely get in as long as you're not an ass at interview. However, people's marks almost definitely depend upon how much effort you put in, and this is directly related to your enthusiasm in the subject usually. So it'll be your enthusiasm that gets you in, not your mark . I speak from personal experience, having earned a 2 grade last year in STEP I, hardly good, but i believe my enthusiasm came across at interview, and this was a major factor.
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theone
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(Original post by Katie Heskins)
I don't know where yet I'm applying, more inclined to apply to Oxford at the moment. I considered taking STEP 1 and 2 this summer but I not only find AEA alot more accessible, but I prefer the fact that they lead you through the question - I realise its not going to hold as much weight as STEP but that won't put me at a disadvantage because I'm in year 12.
Perhaps just taking 1 STEP paper is the best idea then? STEP 2 is quite a demanding exam to say the least . The more you do STEP exams the more you find they lead you through the question, maybe not as directly as AEA, but certainly a great deal of help is given. Also, AEA gives you no choice over the questions you answer, if there's a particular part of the syllabus you're weaker on, then you could be stuck on a question on that. STEP allows you to work towards your strengths in that respect. Whatever you choose, if you get some enjoyment from the exam and your grade is respectable (i.e you don't fail, which i'm sure you won't) then if you really want to do maths, i'd recommend cambridge. For maths, Oxford doesn't really have the same standard of teaching and the degree isn't respected as much (since the Cam degree is agreed to be a lot harder).
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[email protected]
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(Original post by theone)
Perhaps just taking 1 STEP paper is the best idea then? STEP 2 is quite a demanding exam to say the least . The more you do STEP exams the more you find they lead you through the question, maybe not as directly as AEA, but certainly a great deal of help is given. Also, AEA gives you no choice over the questions you answer, if there's a particular part of the syllabus you're weaker on, then you could be stuck on a question on that. STEP allows you to work towards your strengths in that respect. Whatever you choose, if you get some enjoyment from the exam and your grade is respectable (i.e you don't fail, which i'm sure you won't) then if you really want to do maths, i'd recommend cambridge. For maths, Oxford doesn't really have the same standard of teaching and the degree isn't respected as much (since the Cam degree is agreed to be a lot harder).
LoL...urm thank you for your excellent advise, but having made these decisions I've had to consider all of your arguements.
I've worked through STEP 1 papers, STEP 2 papers, STEP 3 papers and AEA papers. I've found there is little between STEP 1 and STEP 2 - the biggest jump was between STEP 2 and STEP 3. Although STEP offer the choice of answering pure, stats or mechanics, I only ever answer Pure questions because my pure is alot stronger - and I've covered everyhting I need in pure for all STEPs so that does limit the number of questions in the pure section I need to cover. Therefore, there's no reason why I should limit myself to just STEP 1. Although STEP questions are possible, they've taken me a while sometimes to get my head around and I can't afford to do this in the exam which is why I've decided to take AEA. The questions are worded so that you can understand what exactly they are asking you because the layout is very similar to that of an A level paper. I don't think Oxford, Cambridge or any other univeristy is going to look at my application and put me at a disadvantage for taking AEA as aposed to STEP and therefore I'm taking the exam I feel most happy with.
As in response to your Cambridge/Oxford choice - I've realised there is so much more to take into account when chosing between the two when it comes to applying for maths. Yes, Cambridge boasts an outstanding reputation for maths, but its not the only university to - infact Bath offends exceeds Cambridge's maths department according to some league tables. There are huge differences between the two universities and I should not be swayed to Cambridge solely on the basis that it has the reputation. As for an Oxford degree "not being as respected as much" - ?! you tell me an employer whose going to get picky about the fact that someone has an Oxford degree and not a Cambridge. please do enlighten me. And its completely dependent on what career you want to go onto in the future. Preferably I would want to study and then teach at the same university I do my maths degree at - I hardly think that if this happens to be Oxford, they are going to prejudice my teaching application if I had a degree from them.
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hildabeast
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(Original post by cofactor)
if you want to impress the admission tutor take some AEA exam or STEP instead of doing more A-levels.

this is the ultimate tip for ppl applying to Oxbridge.
Hmmm, think someone was at the Oxbridge regional conference at Old Trafford today... :rolleyes:
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lucerna
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Well, IMO unless you take the AEAs in lower sixth, then you're not going to be that much advantaged, surely. The admissions tutors might be a bit more impressed at interview when they see you're planning to take one with your A-levels, but it could easily flip the other way and they'll make you an offer that includes a Distinction in your subject, as well as A level grades.

I would have liked the option to take them, purely for intrest's sake. I wouldn't have liked the extra pressure of having to excel in it though...
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house badger
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Offers do not include AEAs as they don't work on UCAS. I got merit in economics AEA and still got into Oxford (doing law however). A friend of mine got a distinction and got in to do PPE (perhaps more relevant). They're helpful but not everything. Oxbridge adimissions are made primarily on the interview (and associated tests etc). A level predictions AEA etc only really help in getting an interview in the first place.
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scanner
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(Original post by hildabeast)
Hmmm, think someone was at the Oxbridge regional conference at Old Trafford today... :rolleyes:
So who was saying what about AEAs?? I thought the official policy at Oxford was that they do not give too much weight to AEAs. Some schools do not do them therefore access to these exams is still very uneven. I'm sure it's taken into account if a candidate that is doing one or more AEAs - it shows some sort of sign of their supposed ability in that subject. But I'm not sure tutors can take any further account than this without adding a further layer of potential unfairness to an already questionable admissions method.
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Wasp39
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(Original post by scanner)
So who was saying what about AEAs?? I thought the official policy at Oxford was that they do not give too much weight to AEAs. Some schools do not do them therefore access to these exams is still very uneven. I'm sure it's taken into account if a candidate that is doing one or more AEAs - it shows some sort of sign of their supposed ability in that subject. But I'm not sure tutors can take any further account than this without adding a further layer of potential unfairness to an already questionable admissions method.
Thoughthe AEAs may not neccessarily advantage your application (although it may still be advantageous to put them on your UCAS form), I think the AEAs/STEP can also act as a backup if you don't meet the offer. One of the 'official' sources says something along the lines of "If you don't meet your original offer of an A in a subject, then a distinction on AEA and a B in the subject may be an acceptable substitute" (Can't quote that directly though.)
If you do put STEP/AEA on your app. form, it may pay off to apply to a college where they don't or rarely make them part of offers if you don't want to have to depend on them. (certainly Engineering @ Cam tell you whether Colleges make offers including them or not). However, whilst I the main reason for choosing a College should really be that you LIKE the place!!!!!
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scanner
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(Original post by PhilipGarsed)
Thoughthe AEAs may not neccessarily advantage your application (although it may still be advantageous to put them on your UCAS form), I think the AEAs/STEP can also act as a backup if you don't meet the offer. One of the 'official' sources says something along the lines of "If you don't meet your original offer of an A in a subject, then a distinction on AEA and a B in the subject may be an acceptable substitute" (Can't quote that directly though.)
If you do put STEP/AEA on your app. form, it may pay off to apply to a college where they don't or rarely make them part of offers if you don't want to have to depend on them. (certainly Engineering @ Cam tell you whether Colleges make offers including them or not). However, whilst I the main reason for choosing a College should really be that you LIKE the place!!!!!
Agreed - definitely an advantage to do them and I'm sure they can play that backup role. Never heard of anyone at Oxford getting an offer conditional on an AEA - if it happens it's very rare.
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