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Medicine at Cambridge watch

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    Hi all,
    I'm in year 12 and am studying chemistry, physics, maths and further maths. However, I did biology early (AS in year 10 and A2 in year 11) and got A*. My AS UMS was only 240/300 but my A2 was 298/300. I hope to apply to Cambridge next year for medicine.

    Firstly, will they count this as part of fulfilling my offer and secondly will this relatively low AS UMS score put me at a disadvantage or will they count the overall or A2 score or not look at my biology UMS and just count the A*?

    Thanks, any answers much appreciated.
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    I don't know the specific answers. But your attitude, subjects and grades are all in keeping with the kind of person that normally gets in for Medicine at Cambridge. Especially acing those A2 bio modules.
    I think you'll get in!
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    Don't think they care about biology for medicine. Get your other subjects above 95% and you'll have as good a chance as anyone
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    What are your GCSEs
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    (Original post by Cadherin)
    Hi all,
    I'm in year 12 and am studying chemistry, physics, maths and further maths. However, I did biology early (AS in year 10 and A2 in year 11) and got A*. My AS UMS was only 240/300 but my A2 was 298/300. I hope to apply to Cambridge next year for medicine.

    Firstly, will they count this as part of fulfilling my offer and secondly will this relatively low AS UMS score put me at a disadvantage or will they count the overall or A2 score or not look at my biology UMS and just count the A*?

    Thanks, any answers much appreciated.
    I would love to know how you got to do biology a level so early in your education...

    As far as I'm aware you got the A*, so it should be considered as part of your offer regardless. The UMS won't matter as far as I'm aware as you got the grade. I'm not a medicine applicant but all I know is don't be complacent when applying for cambridge medicine (probably the most competitive course in the country) , do lots of extra-curricular stuff to do with medicine smash your (most importantly) chemistry and maths/physics as levels and I'm sure you'll have a solid chance. An EP might be for you on a medicine related topic if you really want to show your passion for medicine.


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    They will almost certainly not consider Biology as part of your offer - they want to see you achieve A*A*A (or better) in one sitting, so Biology probably wouldn't count, though it might be in your favour as part of the overall picture. Contact the colleges you're interested in to check, but I'm pretty sure they'd still want you to complete 3 A2s at the end of year 13.
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    (Original post by Cadherin)
    Hi all,
    I'm in year 12 and am studying chemistry, physics, maths and further maths. However, I did biology early (AS in year 10 and A2 in year 11) and got A*. My AS UMS was only 240/300 but my A2 was 298/300. I hope to apply to Cambridge next year for medicine.

    Firstly, will they count this as part of fulfilling my offer and secondly will this relatively low AS UMS score put me at a disadvantage or will they count the overall or A2 score or not look at my biology UMS and just count the A*?

    Thanks, any answers much appreciated.
    The early achievement of an A* in biology will be seen as a good sign of your aptitude, and will be considered as part of your application in the same way that your personal statement is.

    However an A-level taken early, no matter the grade or UMS, will not form part of any offer as offers are based on 3 A-levels being taken at the same time in the same academic year. Therefore an offer would be based on your A-levels in chemistry, physics and maths.
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    (Original post by Rose Parton)
    What are your GCSEs
    8A*, 2A
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    (Original post by MrJAKEE)
    I would love to know how you got to do biology a level so early in your education...

    As far as I'm aware you got the A*, so it should be considered as part of your offer regardless. The UMS won't matter as far as I'm aware as you got the grade. I'm not a medicine applicant but all I know is don't be complacent when applying for cambridge medicine (probably the most competitive course in the country) , do lots of extra-curricular stuff to do with medicine smash your (most importantly) chemistry and maths/physics as levels and I'm sure you'll have a solid chance. An EP might be for you on a medicine related topic if you really want to show your passion for medicine.


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    Thanks for your answer - I was thinking of an EPQ - a good idea instead of or as well as further maths next year?

    In answer to your question, I self-studied it at A-level in Y10 and Y11 and the school encouraged me to do it. At that stage it was purely because I loved biology and wanted to go a bit further with it.
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    (Original post by Cadherin)
    Thanks for your answer - I was thinking of an EPQ - a good idea instead of or as well as further maths next year?

    In answer to your question, I self-studied it at A-level in Y10 and Y11 and the school encouraged me to do it. At that stage it was purely because I loved biology and wanted to go a bit further with it.
    You've definitely got the right attitude then, I wish I was like you at that age!

    I've heard a lot of medicine courses think further maths and maths are one subject. Personally I'd go for the EPQ but I'd ask around the medicine threads and see what they think. Apparently it is often used as a starting point of discussion for many interviews, which could be helpful to show off your interest


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    Yet another unfortunate person falling into the trap of doing a-levels early!

    You did very well to get those A2 marks - its a shame you didn't wait until year 12 to start as you'd probably have come out with some great UMS. So a 90% average across the whole thing? That would usually be below average but as you did it two years early you might get some charity. It might count for you, it might not. You could e-mail admissions to ask, but I suspect its going to depend on the individual assessing your application.

    Its not going to change what the core parts of the application are though: great AS UMS, BMAT and interview.

    (Original post by MrJAKEE)
    I would love to know how you got to do biology a level so early in your education...
    Never do a-levels early! With an extremely high frequency, students that will later go on to get As and A*s will come out with Cs and Ds because they weren't ready and were less supported, which can make you look bad to universities and add to the workload when you are doing GCSEs (which can be important). And then even if you do get a good grade, it won't be counted as part of an offer for many unis as they specify "in one sitting". There are no advantages other than to let your parents pretend you are somehow 'special'.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Yet another unfortunate person falling into the trap of doing a-levels early!

    Never do a-levels early! With an extremely high frequency, students that will later go on to get As and A*s will come out with Cs and Ds because they weren't ready and were less supported, which can make you look bad to universities and add to the workload when you are doing GCSEs (which can be important). And then even if you do get a good grade, it won't be counted as part of an offer for many unis as they specify "in one sitting". There are no advantages other than to let your parents pretend you are somehow 'special'.

    I don't necessarily agree - doing early A-levels if you're confident of getting a good grade is a good thing, as it stands you out and allows you to study more (science) subjects during y12 and y13 and get higher UMS as you won't be under pressure to do 5 in y12 for Oxbridge.

    Plus if you really enjoy the subject, then it's surely good only for the sake of that if nothing else?
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    Never do a-levels early! With an extremely high frequency, students that will later go on to get As and A*s will come out with Cs and Ds because they weren't ready and were less supported, which can make you look bad to universities and add to the workload when you are doing GCSEs (which can be important). And then even if you do get a good grade, it won't be counted as part of an offer for many unis as they specify "in one sitting". There are no advantages other than to let your parents pretend you are somehow 'special'.
    I'd agree for the most part of that, that's why I was shocked at someone getting an A* in biology in year 11 (on top if the workload of GCSES). I think it varies obviously but definitely shows that the student has some sort of academic potential - I don't see how it can harm an application from the poster to Cambridge medicine (although I'll admit I'm not a medicine applicant so I could be wrong). From the people at my school for instance a lot of the medicine at cambridge folks did an AS in French/Spanish, so perhaps it could help? Who knows.


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    (Original post by Cadherin)
    I don't necessarily agree - doing early A-levels if you're confident of getting a good grade is a good thing, as it stands you out and allows you to study more (science) subjects during y12 and y13 and get higher UMS as you won't be under pressure to do 5 in y12 for Oxbridge.

    Plus if you really enjoy the subject, then it's surely good only for the sake of that if nothing else?
    You don't need to do 5 for Oxbridge. What you need is (for Cambridge at least) to get high average UMS in your three most relevant subjects (mid 90s).

    Nexttime makes a valid point. If you do well in it doing it early then what is the point if it won't actually count towards your application or offer. And if not, and you struggle because you have taken it early, you have a bad A level grade that you have to explain.

    It may help for other subjects, I wouldn't know. But for Medicine, it doesn't help to do it early and it doesn't help to do more than 4 AS. What you do need to do is focus on getting very good marks in year 12 and 13 and not unnecessarily over extend yourself.
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    (Original post by Cadherin)
    Thanks for your answer - I was thinking of an EPQ - a good idea instead of or as well as further maths next year?
    I'm holding an offer for Medicine at Cambridge for entry this year - I didn't do an EPQ and stuck with F. Maths.

    Lots of my friends are seriously regretting doing an EPQ - but then again, F. maths is difficult and a lot of extra work at A2! Personally I don't mind because it doesn't form part of my offer so the pressure is off somewhat. The one benefit sometimes talked about with EPQs is it being a talking point at interview, but you could always do a more interesting course on Coursera. Plus, at the Cambridge interview, there weren't too many questions about anything like that which I'd done.
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    (Original post by Cadherin)
    I don't necessarily agree - doing early A-levels if you're confident of getting a good grade
    Lots of people confident of getting a good grade do not in fact do so.

    it stands you out and allows you to study more (science) subjects during y12 and y13 and get higher UMS as you won't be under pressure to do 5 in y12 for Oxbridge.
    Why would you do 5? That's not needed at all.

    GCSEs can be very important - its not like you're just idling along before you reach AS. Plus doing one early does not generally mean that you can de less later - as said, offers tend to specifically forbid this.

    Plus if you really enjoy the subject, then it's surely good only for the sake of that if nothing else?
    Then read a book, read wikipedia, go to a lecture, etc etc. No need to tie yourself down to a rigid curriculum, especially if this might cost you a university place (and it might).
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    (Original post by I Treye'd)
    I'm holding an offer for Medicine at Cambridge for entry this year - I didn't do an EPQ and stuck with F. Maths.

    Lots of my friends are seriously regretting doing an EPQ - but then again, F. maths is difficult and a lot of extra work at A2! Personally I don't mind because it doesn't form part of my offer so the pressure is off somewhat. The one benefit sometimes talked about with EPQs is it being a talking point at interview, but you could always do a more interesting course on Coursera. Plus, at the Cambridge interview, there weren't too many questions about anything like that which I'd done.
    Thanks for your comments - what were the questions at interview really focussed on? Was it mainly content, the health service, etc?
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    Could this possibly be a case of passive-aggressively pointedly refusing to respond to those posters that aren't telling you what you want to hear?
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    (Original post by Cadherin)
    Thanks for your comments - what were the questions at interview really focussed on? Was it mainly content, the health service, etc?
    I won't go into too much detail, but they were almost exclusively science based.
 
 
 
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