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    Hi all!

    Following on for our previous threads, and those by the Christ's Admissions Tutor, we're back for another two-week thread. We are running this a little differently to the 'Ask an Admissions Tutor' threads - we have a whole team of people here and your question will be answered by the most appropriate person, be they Admissions Tutor, Admissions Coordinator, Director of Studies or Supervisor. This may meant that it takes a little time to answer you questions, but we will get to them all!

    We are happy to answer any questions you might have about Cambridge, Peterhouse, the application process or our courses so please ask away!
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    Why are standard A level offers usually significantly lower than those for the IB?
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    (Original post by Pradia)
    Why are standard A level offers usually significantly lower than those for the IB?
    Hi, thanks for posting!

    Our typical offers are:
    A*AA for A levels in Arts/Humanities,
    A*A*A for A levels in Science,
    40-42 points and 776 or 777 at Higher Level for IB

    The typical offers for A levels and IB are set following research by the University which indicates that students who achieve the typical offers go on to perform similarly at Cambridge.

    It is worth saying that most people who are set an offer go on to meet, and indeed exceed, it. It is also worth pointing out that these are only typical offers and all offers are set on a case-by-case basis, in light of the candidate's circumstances, performance and academic profile. Some people may receive less strict offer and others may receive stiffer offers.

    At Peterhouse, we do not typically tie grades to particular subjects, however this is occasionally done on a case-by-case basis.

    Hope this helps! Please do feel free to ask anything else.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Hi all!

    Following on for our previous threads, and those by the Christ's Admissions Tutor, we're back for another two-week thread. We are running this a little differently to the 'Ask an Admissions Tutor' threads - we have a whole team of people here and your question will be answered by the most appropriate person, be they Admissions Tutor, Admissions Coordinator, Director of Studies or Supervisor. This may meant that it takes a little time to answer you questions, but we will get to them all!

    We are happy to answer any questions you might have about Cambridge, Peterhouse, the application process or our courses so please ask away!
    Hi there, thanks for running this thread.

    I asked this question on the Christ's Admission Tutor's thread but I thought I'd ask it here as well to see if Peterhouse take the same approach.

    I am hoping to apply for English this year. I am currently studying 4 subjects, 3 will be A Levels and the fourth (English) is a Pre-U. I will therefore only have AS Level UMS in 3 subjects. Would the fact that my strongest subject won't be included in my UMS average be taken into account? I'd be feeling a lot more confident about my results if I could disregard the weakest score for the purposes of the average!

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by Disco2000)
    Hi there, thanks for running this thread.

    I asked this question on the Christ's Admission Tutor's thread but I thought I'd ask it here as well to see if Peterhouse take the same approach.

    I am hoping to apply for English this year. I am currently studying 4 subjects, 3 will be A Levels and the fourth (English) is a Pre-U. I will therefore only have AS Level UMS in 3 subjects. Would the fact that my strongest subject won't be included in my UMS average be taken into account? I'd be feeling a lot more confident about my results if I could disregard the weakest score for the purposes of the average!

    Thanks!
    Hi, no problem we're happy to help!

    I think the answer is the same as for Christ's - Merit Scores are calculated centrally. We can see from your application that you are taking Pre-U and that you won't be continuing with English. Don't worry - this is quite a common situation and I think the importance of Merit Scores is often overstated. Your entire application is read through, in depth, by several people before any decision is made on your application and will be read several more times by even more people if you are invited to interview and to help decide who we issue offers to. We look at far more than just your best 3 average, which is why we go to so much effort to collect more information from you (SAQ, ECF, written work etc.).
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Hi all!

    Following on for our previous threads, and those by the Christ's Admissions Tutor, we're back for another two-week thread. We are running this a little differently to the 'Ask an Admissions Tutor' threads - we have a whole team of people here and your question will be answered by the most appropriate person, be they Admissions Tutor, Admissions Coordinator, Director of Studies or Supervisor. This may meant that it takes a little time to answer you questions, but we will get to them all!

    We are happy to answer any questions you might have about Cambridge, Peterhouse, the application process or our courses so please ask away!


    Hello there,

    Just for a quick background. I hoping to apply to study history this year. At GCSE I got 9A*s and 3As and I based on mock results I'm on tracking to receiving 4As. I study English literature, history , geography and French.

    1) I just wanted to ask for a perspective historian how much will it affect the weight on my application of history isn't the subject that I've scored the highest in (amongst my best 3 subjects)

    For example in the two sets of mocks I've done this year :

    - Geography I received the equivalent of full UMS in each of the two units both times.

    - Whereas, with history I received full UMS (100) in my first unit and 92 UMS in my second unit but 100 UMS in the first unit and 85 in the second unit in the other sets of mocks.

    - With English it is likely that my English grade will equal that of my history grade or may be slightly lower.

    If my history grade is lower than my English grade grade but with similar results to those listed above or equal how much will this affect my application ?


    2) Also, I wanted to ask if as the overall UMS score calculated for the best three subjects increases does the chance of getting an offer increase ?

    3) what types of activities would you advise history applicants to do ? Currently I attend lectures, have some places booked on taster courses this summer, submitted an entrance for an essay competition and I'm doing some wider reading on topics that interest me -historical, political and social - such as wealth inequality in society. What else can I do to add to this ?

    4) How much weight would you say is given to the different parts of the application - grades (GCSE& A level) , essays submitted, interview, tests completed at the interview ?

    Thank you












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    Hello. I am very aware that Cambridge do not consider extra curricular activities when considering an offer to an applicant but what I wanted to ask is was to what extent is this true for medical applicants? The reason I ask this is because surely a range of extra curricular activities may demonstrate a person's suitability to work as a doctor (i.e shows ability to work with others, commitment etc...). Or is medicine, just like any other course at Cambridge, in that tutors are only assessing an applicant's academic potential? And if I may kill two birds with one stone and ask to what extent does AS UMS make up for less impressive GCSEs?
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    (Original post by ola3531)
    Hello there,

    Just for a quick background. I hoping to apply to study history this year. At GCSE I got 9A*s and 3As and I based on mock results I'm on tracking to receiving 4As. I study English literature, history , geography and French.

    1) I just wanted to ask for a perspective historian how much will it affect the weight on my application of history isn't the subject that I've scored the highest in (amongst my best 3 subjects)

    For example in the two sets of mocks I've done this year :

    - Geography I received the equivalent of full UMS in each of the two units both times.

    - Whereas, with history I received full UMS (100) in my first unit and 92 UMS in my second unit but 100 UMS in the first unit and 85 in the second unit in the other sets of mocks.

    - With English it is likely that my English grade will equal that of my history grade or may be slightly lower.

    If my history grade is lower than my English grade grade but with similar results to those listed above or equal how much will this affect my application ?


    2) Also, I wanted to ask if as the overall UMS score calculated for the best three subjects increases does the chance of getting an offer increase ?

    3) what types of activities would you advise history applicants to do ? Currently I attend lectures, have some places booked on taster courses this summer, submitted an entrance for an essay competition and I'm doing some wider reading on topics that interest me -historical, political and social - such as wealth inequality in society. What else can I do to add to this ?

    4) How much weight would you say is given to the different parts of the application - grades (GCSE& A level) , essays submitted, interview, tests completed at the interview ?

    Thank you
    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Hi! I'll work through your questions in turn:

    1) Not a problem - what you describe is far from uncommon. We would be interested in your history score and would look at it alone but remember that History at A level isn't essential for History at Cambridge and some applicants won't have studied it and this won't necessarily disadvantage them.

    2) There is a correlation between Merit Score and chance of an offer, but this is not the result of us caring about UMS more than other aspects of the application. There is also a correlation between Merit Score and average interview score, for example.

    3) The activities you have planned sound great! We're really looking to see if applicants have explored their interest in their subject above and beyond their schoolwork. The important thing is to be led by your interests and to enjoy what you are doing.

    4) No particular weight is ever given to any particular piece of information, rather all aspects of an application are considered holistically.

    I hope this is helpful, do tell me if there's something I haven't covered!
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    (Original post by thedylanman)
    Hello. I am very aware that Cambridge do not consider extra curricular activities when considering an offer to an applicant but what I wanted to ask is was to what extent is this true for medical applicants? The reason I ask this is because surely a range of extra curricular activities may demonstrate a person's suitability to work as a doctor (i.e shows ability to work with others, commitment etc...). Or is medicine, just like any other course at Cambridge, in that tutors are only assessing an applicant's academic potential? And if I may kill two birds with one stone and ask to what extent does AS UMS make up for less impressive GCSEs?
    Hi, thanks for posting!

    First and foremost, as for all our subjects, academic ability is the most important factor.

    However, you are right in thinking that Medics are assessed not only for their ability as students, but also as their suitability to make 'good' doctors, so extra-curricular activities do play more of a role. For Medicine, work experience is a little more important than in other subjects, but only really in the context of your desire to study Medicine, i.e. having worked with ill and/or disabled people: did it appeal for the future or was it something you found hard to cope with? The interviewers will be looking for ways to assess your potential as a future doctor (maturity, insight etc.) but we are aware that different candidates will have had very different levels of opportunity to demonstrate this already, which is why we are not as interested in extra-curricular activities as much as super-curricular (academic and related to your subject) activities.

    Year 12 results/predictions are of much greater interest than GCSEs as A levels give a clearer indication of your recent performance, and they cover more advanced material. The only GCSE requirements for Medicine are a C or above in Double Award Science and Mathematics (two single awards in GCSE Biology and Physics may be substituted for Double Award Science). A significantly better performance at AS than at GCSE can also indicate that you are on an 'upward trajectory' academically, which is always an encouraging sign.
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    Hello, I am posting here because it seems like I can get a reliable answer from you. I am currently studying medicine at corpus christi college, Cambridge in my 1st year and have decided that it is not for me. I have realised that I would rather do engineering, so I have posted here first before discussing this with my tutor and DoS. Therefore, could you explain to me if this is a possible switch and would likely to be authorised? I would really appreciate you to be brutally honest. Thank you.
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    Hello, I am a year 12 student studying biology, chemistry, physics and single maths. I have recently had a change of heart and wish to study engineering, however, a major problem is that I am not doing fm and my school offers it. Hence, if I self learn the remaining A level maths syllabus (C3, C4, S1) over summer and complete the entire fm next year, will this still give me a good shot at getting a place here or will I be grilled for not taking it at interview (I know this seems strange but I can imagine it being a probably scenario)? I achieved 10 A* at GCSE so this shouldn't be a problem.
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    Thank you for your reply. It's very reassuring to know that my lack of ability to reach nationals in a sport won't be held against me if I apply to Cambridge. However, I'm still very concerned about whether I should apply because of my GCSE grades. I asked the Christ's tutor the same question and their response was that in the last five years, they only admitted two people with the same number of A*s for GCSE as I have (7A*s 4As although one the the A*s is in a short-course). I'm confident that my AS UMS will be more on par with that of an average successful applicant but am still worried that my GCSEs may hold me back. Also, would it be worth mentioning to the tutors that for my non A* GCSEs, I had achieved A*s for the exams but the overall grade is lower due to controlled assessment marks. Would they take this into consideration given that the course I want to apply to is mainly assessed using exams? I guess I may be being hopeful here but I feel as though I shouldn't apply to Cambridge because of poor GCSEs even though I want to apply to a science course for which I feel I have the aptitude and ability to undertake. It doesn't make sense that my performance in German is being used as a deciding factor on how I'd cope with studying science.
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    Hi I'm in year 13 and will be taking a gap year so I am applying for 2016 entry for NatSci. I was wondering what UMS% the average successful NatSci applicant achieves and if my AS % will be taken into account or just my A2. Also I would like to know what Cambridge admissions tutors are looking for in gap year applicants. Thanks
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    (Original post by ET007)
    Hello, I am posting here because it seems like I can get a reliable answer from you. I am currently studying medicine at corpus christi college, Cambridge in my 1st year and have decided that it is not for me. I have realised that I would rather do engineering, so I have posted here first before discussing this with my tutor and DoS. Therefore, could you explain to me if this is a possible switch and would likely to be authorised? I would really appreciate you to be brutally honest. Thank you.
    Hi,

    This is really something you need to discuss with your Tutor and the relevant Directors of Studies. I'm afraid this is something TSR can't really help with.
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    (Original post by thedylanman)
    Thank you for your reply. It's very reassuring to know that my lack of ability to reach nationals in a sport won't be held against me if I apply to Cambridge. However, I'm still very concerned about whether I should apply because of my GCSE grades. I asked the Christ's tutor the same question and their response was that in the last five years, they only admitted two people with the same number of A*s for GCSE as I have (7A*s 4As although one the the A*s is in a short-course). I'm confident that my AS UMS will be more on par with that of an average successful applicant but am still worried that my GCSEs may hold me back. Also, would it be worth mentioning to the tutors that for my non A* GCSEs, I had achieved A*s for the exams but the overall grade is lower due to controlled assessment marks. Would they take this into consideration given that the course I want to apply to is mainly assessed using exams? I guess I may be being hopeful here but I feel as though I shouldn't apply to Cambridge because of poor GCSEs even though I want to apply to a science course for which I feel I have the aptitude and ability to undertake. It doesn't make sense that my performance in German is being used as a deciding factor on how I'd cope with studying science.
    Don't worry, as we mentioned earlier, Year 12 results are much more interesting. I can say that over the past two years we have accepted 4 people with 7 or fewer A*s out of 15 total offers for Medicine, including the Winter Pool results (the full range is between 2 and 15 A*s). We only ever consider GCSE results in the context of your school to account for the sorts of issues you mention. We don't compare you nationally and there is no minimum number of A*s you need to apply.
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    (Original post by Firestartc)
    Hello, I am a year 12 student studying biology, chemistry, physics and single maths. I have recently had a change of heart and wish to study engineering, however, a major problem is that I am not doing fm and my school offers it. Hence, if I self learn the remaining A level maths syllabus (C3, C4, S1) over summer and complete the entire fm next year, will this still give me a good shot at getting a place here or will I be grilled for not taking it at interview (I know this seems strange but I can imagine it being a probably scenario)? I achieved 10 A* at GCSE so this shouldn't be a problem.
    Hi,

    Thanks for posting. Regardless of whether your school offer it, it is still possible to apply for Engineering without a full Further Maths A level, and many applicants do this. However, given that our Engineering course (and therefore our assessment for it) is very mathematical, the more maths you have under your belt when you enter into the process, the better chance you will have of being successful.

    So my advice would be: don't pile so much study on yourself that you don't perform as well as you could in your Maths modules; but do take as many additional Maths modules as you can handle, particularly the Mechanics and Core modules, even if it doesn't result in a full A level in FM. Make sure you make your situation clear on the SAQ so we know what we can and can't ask you about at interview, and what kind of offer conditions we can give you if your application is successful.
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    (Original post by LordGaben)
    Hi I'm in year 13 and will be taking a gap year so I am applying for 2016 entry for NatSci. I was wondering what UMS% the average successful NatSci applicant achieves and if my AS % will be taken into account or just my A2. Also I would like to know what Cambridge admissions tutors are looking for in gap year applicants. Thanks
    Hi,

    Great to hear you're thinking of applying for Natural Sciences - it's a great course! Over the past two years, about 30% of successful applicants in NatSci didn't have UMS scores and of those that did the average in the 3 most relevant subjects was 93.7% (range 84-97%).

    For post-A level applicants we will look at UMS across both AS and A2 in the same way as we use AS for applicants in Year 13 (average of 3 most relevant subjects, all maths modules combined into a single score etc.). We will also be looking to see that you have achieved our typical offer conditions of A*A*A.

    You may be asked at the interview about your plans for your gap year. We're not looking for a full itinerary, but will want to see that you have plans for how to build and maintain your interests and abilities in your subject. In the interview itself, your interviewers will expect slightly more from you than from a Year 13 applicant in terms of intellectual maturity and a greater level of background knowledge, given you will have completed your A levels by the time of the interview.
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    Hello,

    I'm a graduate applicant waiting on a college membership decision. Do you know if camsis updates your status if you don't get into your top choices? Also, does your application then go to all the colleges with spaces left or any in particular
    Thanks!
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Hi,

    Great to hear you're thinking of applying for Natural Sciences - it's a great course! Over the past two years, about 30% of successful applicants in NatSci didn't have UMS scores and of those that did the average in the 3 most relevant subjects was 93.7% (range 84-97%).

    For post-A level applicants we will look at UMS across both AS and A2 in the same way as we use AS for applicants in Year 13 (average of 3 most relevant subjects, all maths modules combined into a single score etc.). We will also be looking to see that you have achieved our typical offer conditions of A*A*A.

    You may be asked at the interview about your plans for your gap year. We're not looking for a full itinerary, but will want to see that you have plans for how to build and maintain your interests and abilities in your subject. In the interview itself, your interviewers will expect slightly more from you than from a Year 13 applicant in terms of intellectual maturity and a greater level of background knowledge, given you will have completed your A levels by the time of the interview.
    Ok thank you very much for your help. Do you know anyone I can contact to discuss my current interests in Chemistry, Biology and Maths and can offer me suggestions on what I might find interesting to independently research? At the moment I enjoy reading the articles on HE+ but I struggle to find further topics that are presented in a fairly accessible way to a year 13 student trying to broaden his current understanding.
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    (Original post by LordGaben)
    Ok thank you very much for your help. Do you know anyone I can contact to discuss my current interests in Chemistry, Biology and Maths and can offer me suggestions on what I might find interesting to independently research? At the moment I enjoy reading the articles on HE+ but I struggle to find further topics that are presented in a fairly accessible way to a year 13 student trying to broaden his current understanding.
    Downing College have a really great resource to #ExploreYourSubject at http://www.discoverdowning.com/resources/. Or you can search twitter with that hashtag and a number of Cambridge Colleges post stuff. HE+ is great, as are the various masterclasses and taster days run by other colleges at Cambridge, for example the Biology residential at Trinity (http://www.access.trin.cam.ac.uk/bio...ications-open/). Enjoy!
 
 
 
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