What do oxford maths offer holders even do in their A2s since they dont have STEP?

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CancerousProblem
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I'm guessing they get to just chill for a whole year lol? that's very nice of oxford.

for real though, why doesn't oxford use step? it's clearly a far superior measure of mathematical potential than a levels, and much better preparation for the challenges ahead.
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TheIrrational
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(Original post by CancerousProblem)
I'm guessing they get to just chill for a whole year lol? that's very nice of oxford.

for real though, why doesn't oxford use step? it's clearly a far superior measure of mathematical potential than a levels, and much better preparation for the challenges ahead.
Oxford prefer interviews I guess... Cambridge give out roughly twice the number of offers as they have places because so many people can't do STEP. I guess Oxford just give out a nearly 1:1 offers to places ratio. MAT isn't trivial either.
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CancerousProblem
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(Original post by TheIrrational)
MAT isn't trivial either.
please have you even seen an MAT paper it's like bang smack in the middle of a level and step. you can't use THAT to measure potential, it's not hard enough.
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TheIrrational
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(Original post by CancerousProblem)
please have you even seen an MAT paper it's like bang smack in the middle of a level and step. you can't use THAT to measure potential, it's not hard enough.
Why then is the average mark usually ~50% and average mark of someone who gets and offer ~65-70%?

It's not as hard as STEP obviously, but still not trivial, or every serious applicant should get 90%+.
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CancerousProblem
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(Original post by TheIrrational)
Why then is the average mark usually ~50% and average mark of someone who gets and offer ~65-70%?
only explanation i can think of is bad photocopying/examiners accidentally turning 2 pages at once and missing questions

but then again you'd probably need both to happen to drop it to a 50% average
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TheIrrational
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(Original post by CancerousProblem)
only explanation i can think of is bad photocopying/examiners accidentally turning 2 pages at once and missing questions

but then again you'd probably need both to happen to drop it to a 50% average
Haha, fair enough. I guess Oxford just isn't that serious about their maths degree.
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Noble.
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(Original post by CancerousProblem)
I'm guessing they get to just chill for a whole year lol? that's very nice of oxford.

for real though, why doesn't oxford use step? it's clearly a far superior measure of mathematical potential than a levels, and much better preparation for the challenges ahead.
Despite me thinking that STEP is better than the MAT on the basis that it requires a significant amount of preparation, the MAT is also a good predictor of undergrad performance. In fact, in the statistical modelling I did for the university in determining how well factors prior to university predict success at the undergraduate level, the amount of data explained by the factors in maths is in line with Cambridge's. It's not a perfect comparison because of how the MAT and STEP differ in how they're graded, but the MAT does a very good job of differentiating applicants - which is the entire point.
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CancerousProblem
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(Original post by Noble.)
Despite me thinking that STEP is better than the MAT on the basis that it requires a significant amount of preparation, the MAT is also a good predictor of undergrad performance. In fact, in the statistical modelling I did for the university in determining how well factors prior to university predict success at the undergraduate level, the amount of data explained by the factors in maths is in line with Cambridge's. It's not a perfect comparison because of how the MAT and STEP differ in how they're graded, but the MAT does a very good job of differentiating applicants - which is the entire point.
my question wasn't intended to be about that; why wouldn't oxford want to slap an MAT 2 as part of their conditional offer, that is intended to be like a STEP paper? Wouldn't that give their prospective students less opportunity to idle in the upper 6, so oxford is more likely to have stronger undergrads coming in?
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Patrick2810
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guessing you go to Cambridge? :coma: :coma:
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Noble.
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(Original post by CancerousProblem)
my question wasn't intended to be about that; why wouldn't oxford want to slap an MAT 2 as part of their conditional offer, that is intended to be like a STEP paper? Wouldn't that give their prospective students less opportunity to idle in the upper 6, so oxford is more likely to have stronger undergrads coming in?
Well my response pretty much answers this. The process already provides Oxford with a similar level of information to Cambridge, useful in helping them determine who will be successful. While I think there would be a certain benefit from having an end of A2 test, to stop students from being able to relax during A2, the reality is setting an additional test is going to cost money, fundamentally change the admissions process, potentially without any real benefit.

(Original post by Patrick2810)
guessing you go to Cambridge? :coma: :coma:
Of course he doesn't. What Cambridge maths undergrad is going to be asking inane questions about Oxford's admissions process a few weeks before exams begin? :lol:
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newblood
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(Original post by Noble.)
Well my response pretty much answers this. The process already provides Oxford with a similar level of information to Cambridge, useful in helping them determine who will be successful. While I think there would be a certain benefit from having an end of A2 test, to stop students from being able to relax during A2, the reality is setting an additional test is going to cost money, fundamentally change the admissions process, potentially without any real benefit.



Of course he doesn't. What Cambridge maths undergrad is going to be asking inane questions about Oxford's admissions process a few weeks before exams begin? :lol:
Maybe hes a cambridge maths offer holder, struggling through the depths of STEP ahaha. To be fair, my mate in first year got something like 41 on the MAT (which was really low as far as people who got accepted goes) and he's doing pretty well at Oxford. I think STEP probably better correlates with degree scores than MAT does, but then again STEP is the best predictor cambridge has at all for any subject so its hard to compare another test to it.

Did you do any maths in your gapyear? Ive not been very productive myself..
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Noble.
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(Original post by newblood)
Maybe hes a cambridge maths offer holder, struggling through the depths of STEP ahaha. To be fair, my mate in first year got something like 41 on the MAT (which was really low as far as people who got accepted goes) and he's doing pretty well at Oxford. I think STEP probably better correlates with degree scores than MAT does, but then again STEP is the best predictor cambridge has at all for any subject so its hard to compare another test to it.

Did you do any maths in your gapyear? Ive not been very productive myself..
Yes, obviously neither MAT or STEP is a perfect correlation, so you'll find people who do well/poorly in both but end up doing differently in the degree. STEP probably does correlate better, because it's more similar to degree level where it becomes near enough entirely about how much work you put in (at places like Oxford and Cambridge anyway).

No, I didn't do any maths in my gap year, but I wish I did. The combination of starting undergrad maths and being relatively rusty was something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy :lol:
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newblood
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(Original post by Noble.)
Yes, obviously neither MAT or STEP is a perfect correlation, so you'll find people who do well/poorly in both but end up doing differently in the degree. STEP probably does correlate better, because it's more similar to degree level where it becomes near enough entirely about how much work you put in (at places like Oxford and Cambridge anyway).

No, I didn't do any maths in my gap year, but I wish I did. The combination of starting undergrad maths and being relatively rusty was something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy :lol:
I thought cambridge maths was so hard that putting in lots of work wont get you the grades, while at an easier uni it is more akin to "the more work you do, the better you'll do".

Hmm I'm tempted to, but my way of thinking has so far been; next few years are going to be **** hard...why not enjoy life while you can lol.
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Noble.
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(Original post by newblood)
I thought cambridge maths was so hard that putting in lots of work wont get you the grades, while at an easier uni it is more akin to "the more work you do, the better you'll do".

Hmm I'm tempted to, but my way of thinking has so far been; next few years are going to be **** hard...why not enjoy life while you can lol.
Hmm, I don't think of it that way. At lower ranked universities for maths, say UCL/Bristol/Manchester, you'll get people who are potentially 'Oxbridge' standard, but you'll also get people at the other end of the spectrum (i.e. there's a larger variance in ability). At Oxford, at least, where everyone is of a similar high standard, I think the playing field is much more level and it becomes about how much work you put in vs. someone else. Given that the maths is essentially identical at Oxford and Cambridge for the first three years, the work is hard, but it's possible for absolutely everyone on the course to understand it given the level of ability (perhaps with a slight exception at the bottom end) so in a large sense it does become about how much work you do. There is the argument that with the larger numbers of IMO people at Cambridge there are different levels of ability, but I don't particularly think IMO and undergrad. performance are that well correlated. I've heard (potentially untrue) stories about some IMO champions at Cambridge on 2:2s, 2:1s, and one of the top IMO guys is at Oxford and doesn't do particularly well considering (apparently).
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physicsmaths
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(Original post by Noble.)
Hmm, I don't think of it that way. At lower ranked universities for maths, say UCL/Bristol/Manchester, you'll get people who are potentially 'Oxbridge' standard, but you'll also get people at the other end of the spectrum (i.e. there's a larger variance in ability). At Oxford, at least, where everyone is of a similar high standard, I think the playing field is much more level and it becomes about how much work you put in vs. someone else. Given that the maths is essentially identical at Oxford and Cambridge for the first three years, the work is hard, but it's possible for absolutely everyone on the course to understand it given the level of ability (perhaps with a slight exception at the bottom end) so in a large sense it does become about how much work you do. There is the argument that with the larger numbers of IMO people at Cambridge there are different levels of ability, but I don't particularly think IMO and undergrad. performance are that well correlated. I've heard (potentially untrue) stories about some IMO champions at Cambridge on 2:2s, 2:1s, and one of the top IMO guys is at Oxford and doesn't do particularly well considering (apparently).
Lol I know someone who is also a Cambridge Maths offer holder(at trinity) there is a kid at his school in Year 10 who is an IMO reserve ! Some of these kids are just ridiculous.


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HeavisideDelts
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(Original post by Noble.)
Hmm, I don't think of it that way. At lower ranked universities for maths, say UCL/Bristol/Manchester, you'll get people who are potentially 'Oxbridge' standard, but you'll also get people at the other end of the spectrum (i.e. there's a larger variance in ability). At Oxford, at least, where everyone is of a similar high standard, I think the playing field is much more level and it becomes about how much work you put in vs. someone else. Given that the maths is essentially identical at Oxford and Cambridge for the first three years, the work is hard, but it's possible for absolutely everyone on the course to understand it given the level of ability (perhaps with a slight exception at the bottom end) so in a large sense it does become about how much work you do. There is the argument that with the larger numbers of IMO people at Cambridge there are different levels of ability, but I don't particularly think IMO and undergrad. performance are that well correlated. I've heard (potentially untrue) stories about some IMO champions at Cambridge on 2:2s, 2:1s, and one of the top IMO guys is at Oxford and doesn't do particularly well considering (apparently).
They're similar, Oxford is probably as close as it gets compared to any other uni, but the Cambridge tripos is harder both on difficulty of content and examination questions.

Especially by time you get to 3rd year: Part II is harder than any other 3rd year in the country.
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