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    I am currently taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computing and looking to do Computer Science with Maths at Cambridge. At the end of the year I was considering dropping Physics or Computing but recently I have been thinking maybe I shouldn't drop either to make up for pretty dismal GCSE grades: A* Maths, 6 As, 3 Bs and a C. Although they are pretty bad I've pretty much turned my education around and believe I can do pretty damn well in my A-Levels.

    So, should I drop a subject to ensure I don't dilute my final grades or do 4 A2s to make up for my bad GCSEs?
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    (Original post by JamieOH)
    I am currently taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computing and looking to do Computer Science with Maths at Cambridge. At the end of the year I was considering dropping Physics or Computing but recently I have been thinking maybe I shouldn't drop either to make up for pretty dismal GCSE grades: A* Maths, 6 As, 3 Bs and a C. Although they are pretty bad I've pretty much turned my education around and believe I can do pretty damn well in my A-Levels.

    So, should I drop a subject to ensure I don't dilute my final grades or do 4 A2s to make up for my bad GCSEs?
    I think you should drop Computing since Maths, Further Maths and Physics are more important and you need to concentrate on getting the best grades for them. Also, do well in the entrance exams and interview. If you do all that, it will make up for the GCSEs and a lot more.
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    (Original post by asmuse123)
    I think you should drop Computing since Maths, Further Maths and Physics are more important and you need to concentrate on getting the best grades for them. Also, do well in the entrance exams and interview. If you do all that, it will make up for the GCSEs and a lot more.
    I guess. Maths is by far my strongest subject and I'm one of the top 3 or so in my year so my current thinking was dropping computing as Physics contains more Maths and therefore will be easier for me to get a good grade.
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    (Original post by JamieOH)
    I guess. Maths is by far my strongest subject and I'm one of the top 3 or so in my year so my current thinking was dropping computing as Physics contains more Maths and therefore will be easier for me to get a good grade.
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    Exactly! Do A Level Maths, Further Maths and Physics and do the best you can. By that I mean get 2 A*s. I think they want the A*s in Maths and in Further Maths since you and to do Computer Science and​ Maths.
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    (Original post by asmuse123)
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    Exactly! Do A Level Maths, Further Maths and Physics and do the best you can. By that I mean get 2 A*s. I think they want the A*s in Maths and in Further Maths since you and to do Computer Science and​ Maths.
    Yeah you're probably right. Decisions, decisions, decisions...
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    Don't drop them. In all honesty if you're good enough for Cambridge you're good enough to do 4 A2s. I got very similar GCSEs to you (A* in maths, 4As 4Bs) then did 4 A2s and I got in so it is possible but I would definitely recommend doing 4.
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    (Original post by Sparticus515)
    Don't drop them. In all honesty if you're good enough for Cambridge you're good enough to do 4 A2s. I got very similar GCSEs to you (A* in maths, 4As 4Bs) then did 4 A2s and I got in so it is possible but I would definitely recommend doing 4.
    Eesh. By the looks of it Computing is a very time consuming A2... it could definitely lower my other grades...
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    (Original post by JamieOH)
    Eesh. By the looks of it Computing is a very time consuming A2... it could definitely lower my other grades...
    If you think you might struggle with the time taken up by doing 4 A2s you might seriously want to think about wether Cambridge is for you.
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    (Original post by Sparticus515)
    If you think you might struggle with the time taken up by doing 4 A2s you might seriously want to think about wether Cambridge is for you.
    You've got a point! Anyway I've been thinking and I'm pretty sure I'm going to carry on with all 4.
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    (Original post by JamieOH)
    I am currently taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computing and looking to do Computer Science with Maths at Cambridge. At the end of the year I was considering dropping Physics or Computing but recently I have been thinking maybe I shouldn't drop either to make up for pretty dismal GCSE grades: A* Maths, 6 As, 3 Bs and a C. Although they are pretty bad I've pretty much turned my education around and believe I can do pretty damn well in my A-Levels.

    So, should I drop a subject to ensure I don't dilute my final grades or do 4 A2s to make up for my bad GCSEs?
    i would drop as you will probably have to do step


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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    i would drop as you will probably have to do step


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    I will certainly have to do STEP right?
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    (Original post by JamieOH)
    I will certainly have to do STEP right?
    Kind of depends on what college. Some do TSA and some do step. Remember some can ask you to do step randomly.


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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    Kind of depends on what college. Some do TSA and some do step. Remember some can ask you to do step randomly.


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    Having not looked into STEP at all really (I've looked into MAT) I'm not quite sure what it consists of, people on here act like it is Maths that we won't cover in AS as they act like they study for it as if it is a new subject. With MAT it seems to be just Core 1 and Core 2 maths with trickier questions. Could you maybe enlighten me to the differences?
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    (Original post by JamieOH)
    Having not looked into STEP at all really (I've looked into MAT) I'm not quite sure what it consists of, people on here act like it is Maths that we won't cover in AS as they act like they study for it as if it is a new subject. With MAT it seems to be just Core 1 and Core 2 maths with trickier questions. Could you maybe enlighten me to the differences?
    Step 1 n 2 consist of c1-c4 s1-2 m1-2 and equivalents. Step 3 is further maths and is very broad. All the step 1,2 spec and fp1-3 m3-5 s3-4 and equivalent.
    The difference is this, step is extremely hard, complete different style and again very hard. It is much harder then mat.


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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    Step 1 n 2 consist of c1-c4 s1-2 m1-2 and equivalents. Step 3 is further maths and is very broad. All the step 1,2 spec and fp1-3 m3-5 s3-4 and equivalent.
    The difference is this, step is extremely hard, complete different style and again very hard. It is much harder then mat.


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    Thanks. What do you mean by equivalents? And do you take STEP 1 along with STEP 2 or just STEP 3 on its own? If STEP 3 contains the STEP 1 and STEP 2 spec it would seem strange to sit 3 along with 1 or 2?
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    (Original post by JamieOH)
    Thanks. What do you mean by equivalents? And do you take STEP 1 along with STEP 2 or just STEP 3 on its own? If STEP 3 contains the STEP 1 and STEP 2 spec it would seem strange to sit 3 along with 1 or 2?
    Cause other people do Scottish qualifications and IB etc. step 3 includes the step 1n 2 spec ontop of the further maths spec and additional mech and stats modules. Step 2 n 3 are harder then step 1 hence why Cambridge give offers in 2n3 for maths and compscis(not 100% sure about this).


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    (Original post by JamieOH)
    Eesh. By the looks of it Computing is a very time consuming A2... it could definitely lower my other grades...
    (Original post by Sparticus515)
    If you think you might struggle with the time taken up by doing 4 A2s you might seriously want to think about wether Cambridge is for you.
    It is *not* necessary to offer 4 A2s, although for STEM subjects it is relatively common. In 2013/14 application cycle 21% of Offer holders had 3 A2s. That's a lowish percentage but the point is 21% of successful applicants don't offer lots of A2s.

    This year, my son offered 3 A2s and has an Offer for Engineering (M&FM + Physics).

    It is much more important to get good grades in 3, than poorer grades in 4.
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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    Cause other people do Scottish qualifications and IB etc. step 3 includes the step 1n 2 spec ontop of the further maths spec and additional mech and stats modules. Step 2 n 3 are harder then step 1 hence why Cambridge give offers in 2n3 for maths and compscis(not 100% sure about this).


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    Damn it sounds like A LOT of work, so if I was doing CompSci and Maths I would have to know C1-4, S1-2, M1-2, FP1-3, M3-5 and S3-4 because I would be doing STEP 2 and 3? If I just do pure CS do I not have to sit a STEP test?
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    (Original post by jneill)
    It is *not* necessary to offer 4 A2s, although for STEM subjects it is relatively common. In 2013/14 application cycle 21% of Offer holders had 3 A2s. That's a lowish percentage but the point is 21% of successful applicants don't offer lots of A2s.

    This year, my son offered 3 A2s and has an Offer for Engineering (M&FM + Physics).

    It is much more important to get good grades in 3, than poorer grades in 4.
    I honestly don't know what to say. Doing 3 A2 sounds like a good idea with the workload of STEP... but 21%? I've got some long and hard thinking to do.
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    (Original post by JamieOH)
    I honestly don't know what to say. Doing 3 A2 sounds like a good idea with the workload of STEP... but 21%? I've got some long and hard thinking to do.
    Many schools expect pupils to take 2 additional A-Levels if they are doing Maths and FM. So MOST people applying to Camb will be offering 4 (or more) A-Levels. That's why 3 is relatively less common. BUT, and this is absolutely critical, it is NOT a Cambridge requirement. The Admissions Tutors posting on TSR have been very clear about this, and my son's personal experience bears this out.

    It really is more important to do well in the A2s you take, than to try to take more than necessary.

    Maybe ask the Christ's Admissions Tutor when he resumes his thread in the next few weeks to be sure.

    Oh, and AS and A2 is much more important than GCSE - so don't worry about what's done, just focus on what's to come...

    And good luck!
 
 
 
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