IELTS score and chances of getting accepted at Cambridge Watch

ohlookdonuts
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Hey guys,
Hopefully this wasn't asked before so I would like to know:
I am a student from the EU and I want to apply for the MPhil Advanced Computer Science program at Cambridge. Problem is that I really messed up my IELTS test: I got a 6.5 on writing. Which really sucks considering I got 9 (max) in reading, 9 in listening, and 7.5 in speaking, with an overall grade of 8. At the time when I took the test, I thought it was a really good score, however I saw on the Cambridge website that they require all scores to be >= 7.0. Which I exceed by far at everything except writing.
Problem is deadline is 31 march and I have no time left (and quite frankly no interest) in taking the test for a third time, as I do not think that I could score better on the essays (I took the test two times and got the same score on writing). My background is computer science and math and I am just not that good at writing essays in any language. It takes me forever to write even a half page on any topic not related to math/cs, even in my native language. I think that to some people writing just does not come easily. Am I completely screwed or do I still have a chance in my application getting considered? The master's at Cambridge best matches by far my research interests and have some graduate courses of huge interest to me. I'm a little stressed out by this ...
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GreenMagus
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The IELTS is not really relevant to your application: either you have what they want or you don't. It doesn't reflect your academic abilities, it just shows them that you can keep up with the teaching and you can interact with your fellow students. The only think that matters is that you're above the minimum requirement, I doubt they'll even look at it twice after that. Apply :-)
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MedPharm1
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(Original post by ohlookdonuts)
Hey guys,
Hopefully this wasn't asked before so I would like to know:
I am a student from the EU and I want to apply for the MPhil Advanced Computer Science program at Cambridge. Problem is that I really messed up my IELTS test: I got a 6.5 on writing. Which really sucks considering I got 9 (max) in reading, 9 in listening, and 7.5 in speaking, with an overall grade of 8. At the time when I took the test, I thought it was a really good score, however I saw on the Cambridge website that they require all scores to be >= 7.0. Which I exceed by far at everything except writing.
Problem is deadline is 31 march and I have no time left (and quite frankly no interest) in taking the test again, as I do not think that I could score better on the essays. My background is computer science and math and I am just not that good at writing essays in any language. It takes me forever to write even a half page on any topic not related to math/cs, even in my native language. I think that to some people writing just does not come easily. Am I completely screwed or do I still have a chance in my application getting considered? The master's at Cambridge matches by far my research interests and courses I would be interested in studying. I'm a little stressed out by this ...
Hey!
first of all calm down. Nothing is lost
They will consider your application I'm sure and then will probably give you a conditional offer. The condition being that you bring a TOEFL/IELTS/Cambridge certificate that fulfils their criteria.
Many of my friends are in the same situation here in Oxford. It won't be that much different at the other place :confused:
maybe someone from Cambridge can contribute something?

I am sorry to hear that it was only because of 0.5 points. That is the annoying thing about the language tests. I was in the same position about a year ago. Why don't you try the TOEFL iBT? Much easier...I can tell you...
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sj27
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From what I've seen of the Cambridge application process they take their IELTS minimum requirement very seriously, including the minimum per section. At least two of the people on my course had to retake it to get accepted. In cases of marginal miss, some - not all - courses offer a waiver via a test with the Cam language lab.

The good news for the OP is that you don't have to have met the condition at the time you apply (and I really would suggest you get your application in as soon as you can). It will however be a condition of your offer should you get one, and at that stage you can ask them if you need to retake or if you can do their internal test.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by GreenMagus)
The IELTS is not really relevant to your application: either you have what they want or you don't. It doesn't reflect your academic abilities, it just shows them that you can keep up with the teaching and you can interact with your fellow students. The only think that matters is that you're above the minimum requirement, I doubt they'll even look at it twice after that. Apply :-)
But if it requires all components to be above a band 7.0, and he's got a component at 6.5, in what way is he satisfying the minimum requirement?
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by MedPharm1)
Hey!
first of all calm down. Nothing is lost
They will consider your application I'm sure and then will probably give you a conditional offer. The condition being that you bring a TOEFL/IELTS/Cambridge certificate that fulfils their criteria.
Many of my friends are in the same situation here in Oxford. It won't be that much different at the other place :confused:
maybe someone from Cambridge can contribute something?

I am sorry to hear that it was only because of 0.5 points. That is the annoying thing about the language tests. I was in the same position about a year ago. Why don't you try the TOEFL iBT? Much easier...I can tell you...
Or keep taking IELTS. Writing is quite subjective so definitely could go up.
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Baron of Sealand
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It's a hurdle requirement which they will check usually towards the very end in the process if and when they decide to give you an offer.

One thing to note though is that writing is always the lower rated one. In all countries it's the lowest average, and in their past papers they have only ever shown band 8.0 pieces and nothing more.
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sj27
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(Original post by clh_hilary)
It's a hurdle requirement which they will check usually towards the very end in the process if and when they decide to give you an offer.

.
Not sure what you mean by that. You don't need to have it to get an offer, but if that is the case it will then become a condition of the offer along with finances etc. Once you are made an offer you need to upload evidence of meeting all the conditions before the offer is confirmed by Cambridge.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by sj27)
Not sure what you mean by that. You don't need to have it to get an offer, but if that is the case it will then become a condition of the offer along with finances etc. Once you are made an offer you need to upload evidence of meeting all the conditions before the offer is confirmed by Cambridge.
I mean they don't really factor that in until the final stage (deciding on the conditions).
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sj27
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(Original post by clh_hilary)
I mean they don't really factor that in until the final stage (deciding on the conditions).
It's a standard condition of entry so it's not really a decision so much as a box that needs to be ticked before any offer can be confirmed.
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TheBigJosh
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Well surely you don't meet the criteria, so isn't your chance minimal?
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Klix88
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(Original post by TheBigJosh)
Well surely you don't meet the criteria, so isn't your chance minimal?
An offer can be made which is conditional on meeting that criteria before the course starts. If they get such an offer, the OP can retake to try and meet the criteria.
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TheBigJosh
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(Original post by Klix88)
An offer can be made which is conditional on meeting that criteria before the course starts. If they get such an offer, the OP can retake to try and meet the criteria.

Oh yeah of course, but I'm sure the OP said that it wasn't feasible to retake in time.

EDIT: '' Problem is deadline is 31 march and I have no time left (and quite frankly no interest) in taking the test for a third time'' - to quote the OP.

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sj27
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(Original post by TheBigJosh)
Oh yeah of course, but I'm sure the OP said that it wasn't feasible to retake in time.

EDIT: '' Problem is deadline is 31 march and I have no time left (and quite frankly no interest) in taking the test for a third time'' - to quote the OP.

And if you read my first post above, he doesn't have to meet the condition before he applies, and there is a chance he will be allowed to do a language lab test rather than rewrite IELTS - either way if he gets an offer and decides he wants to take it up he still has plenty of time to meet the condition.

The deadline he gave is the application deadline, not the deadline for meeting conditions, which is end July.
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virtsou
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i failed too in ielts writing section (i had quite similar markets with you) and they just asked me to attend EAP in seasonal program (its absolutely nothing! really!). Nothing more. No one really cares in my department about your language conditions! so if you are OK academically you will be fine!
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sj27
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(Original post by virtsou)
i failed too in ielts writing section (i had quite similar markets with you) and they just asked me to attend EAP in seasonal program (its absolutely nothing! really!). Nothing more. No one really cares in my department about your language conditions! so if you are OK academically you will be fine!
Ah, there we go, I knew there was some other option!

Although be aware it is department dependent as well. I have seen some departments say they insist on the IELTS conditions being met and will not accept any internal Cam assessment in lieu.

I'm more worried that the OP is leaving it quite late to send his application in. I know the application deadline has not arrived yet but that department has already started giving offers out.
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virtsou
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yes probably this is the case. i can't imagine for example the english department to accept something like that
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Emilija
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Hi there,
I am not planning on taking the IELTS, but I wanted to share my story with you... I got a conditional offer from Cambridge, without fulfilling the language requirement (although I have passed CAE at grade B, but they ask for an A), so you don't have to have passed an english exam in order to get an offer. Anyway I am taking TOEFL tomorrow so wish me luck (I've been told that TOEFL is easier than the Cambridge ESOL exams and according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, my CAE grade B equalls TOEFL 110-120, thus I am still confused why they do not recognize CAE passed at grade B, but they do recognize 100 on TOEFL)...
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sj27
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(Original post by Emilija)
Hi there,
I am not planning on taking the IELTS, but I wanted to share my story with you... I got a conditional offer from Cambridge, without fulfilling the language requirement (although I have passed CAE at grade B, but they ask for an A), so you don't have to have passed an english exam in order to get an offer. Anyway I am taking TOEFL tomorrow so wish me luck (I've been told that TOEFL is easier than the Cambridge ESOL exams and according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, my CAE grade B equalls TOEFL 110-120, thus I am still confused why they do not recognize CAE passed at grade B, but they do recognize 100 on TOEFL)...
I find your post mildly confusing. Are you saying you got a conditional offer before you fulfilled the language requirement, but that you have to meet it (TOEFL) as one of your conditions?
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Emilija
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(Original post by sj27)
I find your post mildly confusing. Are you saying you got a conditional offer before you fulfilled the language requirement, but that you have to meet it (TOEFL) as one of your conditions?
Yes I got conditional offer, and one of the conditions is to pass an english exam.
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