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    As promised, here is the fourth instalment of my 'Ask an Admissions Tutor' threads. If you went to the Cambridge University Open Days last week and forgot to ask a crucial question or if you weren't able to go but have questions you would like to ask, or, indeed, if you just have questions about Cambridge Admissions, please ask it here and I will answer as soon as I can. This thread will run for three weeks and then a further thread will run after the A Level and AS Level results come out.
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    I'm planning on applying to study natural sciences (as a potential physicist), I do maths/ further, but have not taken any mechanics modules this year and will only take two next year (this is not my choice but what my school offers). Will this lack of mechanics disadvantage me in applying/ at interview as I won't have covered as much mechanics as others?
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    In post A level applications, does not having an A* in your subject of choice a disadvantage?
    If applying for an arts/humanities subject that is.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    As promised, here is the fourth instalment of my 'Ask an Admissions Tutor' threads. If you went to the Cambridge University Open Days last week and forgot to ask a crucial question or if you weren't able to go but have questions you would like to ask, or, indeed, if you just have questions about Cambridge Admissions, please ask it here and I will answer as soon as I can. This thread will run for three weeks and then a further thread will run after the A Level and AS Level results come out.
    Dear Tutor,
    Is choice of Maths Studies as one my SL subjects in IB diploma perceived as a disadvantage even if I apply for humanities?
    Thank you for your answer.
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    (Original post by Rose_Wavy)
    I'm planning on applying to study natural sciences (as a potential physicist), I do maths/ further, but have not taken any mechanics modules this year and will only take two next year (this is not my choice but what my school offers). Will this lack of mechanics disadvantage me in applying/ at interview as I won't have covered as much mechanics as others?
    Thanks for your message. It is quite possible that you will get asked about something related to M1 or M2 in the interview. You probably will have covered at least some of the material by the time of the interview in December but I suggest that you make the timetable of your Maths modules known in the part of the SAQ that talks about teaching difficulties.

    In the interview, if they cover things you have not yet been taught, remind them of this and they will either give you some more help or ask you something different.

    In short, then, it shouldn't materially damage your chances of doing well.
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    (Original post by AlexKay99)
    In post A level applications, does not having an A* in your subject of choice a disadvantage?
    If applying for an arts/humanities subject that is.
    Hi there, it will vary from candidate to candidate and will depend on a number of things. These may include how many A*s you got in your other A Levels and how closely related they are to your chosen subject (i.e., a A* in History might be considered just as useful as an A* in Economics or Religious Studies for an Economics or Theology student). It will also depend on by how far you missed the A*. In general, however, applying Post A, the more A*s you have the better.
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    (Original post by amelija)
    Dear Tutor,
    Is choice of Maths Studies as one my SL subjects in IB diploma perceived as a disadvantage even if I apply for humanities?
    Thank you for your answer.
    A disadvantage compared to having it as one of your HL subjects? No, it's fine to have it at Standard Level for all humanities subjects, with the exception of Economics, where you must have it as Higher Level.
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    I stared awkwardly at the open day as my friends had wanted me to say hi :lol:

    Anyway, Christ's is definitely the one! So I was wondering what accommodation costs were like as I can't find anything online!

    Thanks
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    Does your top 3 UMS average take into account any subjects you drop at AS level? So if I were to drop one of my top UMS subjects, would my average be calculated with that subject included, or from my remaining three subjects? Thanks.
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    I know this will probably differ by college and subject depending on how competitive the course is in a given year but how lenient do you tend to be with missed offers? I have an offer of A*AA (from Johns for CompSci) and say I ended up getting AAAA would I have any chance of still being accepted or is it effectively unheard of? Also, would the fact I have 4 subjects sway it at all?
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    Hi, I remember your first AaAT thread a while back (from a different college I think, but maybe I'm getting confused) and that was very helpful so hopefully the next batch of students will find this one just as useful!

    I wanted to ask about my chances of being accepted even if I miss my offer slightly. My firm choice University offer is Law at Caius College, which asks for A*AA. I take 4 A2s and I am worried that I will get AAAA (thus missing my offer), but in this scenario three of my 4 A2s should be very close to an A* if this happens. Will the fact that I did 4 A2s improve my chances of being accepted anyway? I also went to a failing state school for my GCSEs and am the first student from my current college to get a Cambridge offer, so will this stand in my favour too?

    Obviously I'm hoping that come results day it won't come to this, but I thought I'd clue myself up on whether I'd still have any chance if I just fail to meet my offer.

    Many thanks, much appreciated.
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    I stared awkwardly at the open day as my friends had wanted me to say hi :lol:

    Anyway, Christ's is definitely the one! So I was wondering what accommodation costs were like as I can't find anything online!

    Thanks
    Glad you made it to Christ's on the Open Day and still have us at Number 1! You should have said hello, I don't bite and you could still have remained incognito!

    Our accomodation costs vary from around £820 a term for the cheapest room to just under £1,400 for the most expensive. Most rooms are between about £1,000 and £1,200 a term, comparable to most Cambridge colleges. All our rooms are on site or within three minutes' walk of college for those second-year students who choose to live out of college in that year (about half do and the rest remain in college). Forty per cent of our rooms are ensuite and, obviously, they tend to be the more expensive ones.

    I hope that's helpful.
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    (Original post by kamich)
    Does your top 3 UMS average take into account any subjects you drop at AS level? So if I were to drop one of my top UMS subjects, would my average be calculated with that subject included, or from my remaining three subjects? Thanks.

    Yes, the top three will include the subject you are dropping if it is among your top three subjects.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Glad you made it to Christ's on the Open Day and still have us at Number 1! You should have said hello, I don't bite and you could still have remained incognito!

    Our accomodation costs vary from around £850 a term for the cheapest room to about £1,400 for the most expensive. Most rooms are between about £1,000 and £1,200 a term, comparable to most Cambridge colleges. All our rooms are on site or within three minutes' walk of college for those second-year students who choose to live out of college in that year (about half do and the rest remain in college). Forty per cent of our rooms are ensuite and, obviously, they tend to be the more expensive ones.

    I hope that's helpful.
    They wanted me to reveal my identity; I was about to but then turned away, and proceeded to collect some subject information leaflets, and Jan gave the nrich stem sheet.

    That's great thanks I read that those who get firsts can choose the rooms! That's what I call an incentive.

    Hopefully results day will treat me well now.
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    (Original post by Sparticus515)
    I know this will probably differ by college and subject depending on how competitive the course is in a given year but how lenient do you tend to be with missed offers? I have an offer of A*AA (from Johns for CompSci) and say I ended up getting AAAA would I have any chance of still being accepted or is it effectively unheard of? Also, would the fact I have 4 subjects sway it at all?
    First, congratulations on your offer and good luck. It is certainly not unheard of for people who have missed their offers to be accepted but, as you say, the circumstances will vary from college to college and, more importantly, from candidate to candidate. There is strong evidence to suggest that those admitted with one or no A*s in the Sciences do worse than those with two or more and the average acceptant in the Sciences do have around three A*s. It would be very rare, therefore, for someone with no A*s to be accepted for a Science course. I doubt that four A Levels would make much of a difference as the majority of Science students are doing four A Levels. Were John's to decide not to take you, they could always place your application in the Summer Pool and you might receive an offer from another college.

    It is vitally important if you do miss your offer to inform John's asap about your UMS scores, as the closer you are to an A* the more chance you will have. Good luck and try not to worry too much about it, though I appreciate that is easier said than done.
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    Hello, I'm applying for chemical engineering via nat sci, as chemistry and maths are essential to study for the course, what preference do you have out of biology and physics, should be continued to a level? I'm asking because I'll be doing AS further maths at the start of year 13 , doing M2 and M3 as the modules, therefore I'm not so sure if dropping physics would be a problem considering that I'll be doing three modules of mechanics.

    Thank you
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    (Original post by Law-Hopeful)
    Hi, I remember your first AaAT thread a while back (from a different college I think, but maybe I'm getting confused) and that was very helpful so hopefully the next batch of students will find this one just as useful!

    I wanted to ask about my chances of being accepted even if I miss my offer slightly. My firm choice University offer is Law at Caius College, which asks for A*AA. I take 4 A2s and I am worried that I will get AAAA (thus missing my offer), but in this scenario three of my 4 A2s should be very close to an A* if this happens. Will the fact that I did 4 A2s improve my chances of being accepted anyway? I also went to a failing state school for my GCSEs and am the first student from my current college to get a Cambridge offer, so will this stand in my favour too?

    Obviously I'm hoping that come results day it won't come to this, but I thought I'd clue myself up on whether I'd still have any chance if I just fail to meet my offer.

    Many thanks, much appreciated.
    Thank you, I'm glad it was helpful. Yes, I was at a different college then but have no taken up residence at Christ's.

    Congratulations on your offer and try not to worry. The vast majority of candidate make their offer, we wouldn't make it if we didn't think you were capabale and likely to achieve it.

    It is slightly more frequent for students to be acccepted to Humanities courses with no A*s than for Sciences but it does not happen often. Were you to miss, Caius would certainly take all aspects of your application into account before making their decision whether to honour your offer, reject your application or place it in the Summer Pool.

    As I said above, it is vital that you get your UMS faxed over to Caius as soon as possible so they have all the information before they make their decision. The closer you are to the A* boundaries the better your chances of being accepted by Caius or by another college in the Pool. Good luck and congratulations again on your offer.
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    (Original post by League_Masters)
    Hello, I'm applying for chemical engineering via nat sci, as chemistry and maths are essential to study for the course, what preference do you have out of biology and physics, should be continued to a level? I'm asking because I'll be doing AS further maths at the start of year 13 , doing M2 and M3 as the modules, therefore I'm not so sure if dropping physics would be a problem considering that I'll be doing three modules of mechanics.

    Thank you
    Hi there, in your circumstances it would be best to continue with Physics as it is more relevant to Chem Eng than Biology. It's good that you are doing plenty of Mech modules in Maths and FM but it would still be useful for you to have Physics as well.
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    They wanted me to reveal my identity; I was about to but then turned away, and proceeded to collect some subject information leaflets, and Jan gave the nrich stem sheet.

    That's great thanks I read that those who get firsts can choose the rooms! That's what I call an incentive.

    Hopefully results day will treat me well now.
    Well, you got to meet Jan and she's much nicer than me so you did well there!

    There are prize room for those who get Firsts, lots of colleges have a similar arrangement.

    Good luck with your AS results.
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    Hi, I'm a leaving cert student from Ireland. I attended the Cambridge open day last Thursday and really fell in love with the both the university and the NatSci course!

    I'm looking to study the physical sciences and was wondering about the interviews for Irish students, considering they ask some knowledge-based questions and one leaving cert subject is only worth 2/3 of an A-level. Will the interviewers take into account that I'm from a different system and how aware are they generally of the differences between the leaving cert and A-levels? By the way, my subjects relating to the course are biology, chemistry, physics, maths and applied maths (which is basically mechanics), and I do 4 other humanity/ language subjects too.

    Also, I attended one year of secondary school in the IB MYP and in the GCSE system, will this work to my advantage in any way, seeing as I know the leaving cert has a reputation for being too focused on rote learning?

    Thanks for the thread, I'm a bit shy in person so when I went up to ask these questions I chickened out and ended up only asking one!
 
 
 
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