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    (Original post by syed__ahmed786)
    Hi
    What kind of extra curricular activities or wider reading and studying would you expect from a student applying to study Economics at Cambridge, and what kind of extra reading would make them stand out?
    Best Regards
    Syed
    Hi,

    We are predominately interested in your academic ability and potential and your interest and passion in your subject. Irrelevant extracurricular activities do not play a role in our admissions decisions. Interviewers will want to see that you have pursued your interest outside your schoolwork so we encourage you to follow up on aspects of economics which interest you and consider how economics relates to other topics, including other academic subjects, and its impact on people and the world.
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    I'm interested in doing HSPS at Cambridge, however, I've chosen science at A-levels, as my school was not offering humanities. Will the fact that I'm not doing essay-type subjects at A-levels hurt my chances of getting an offer?

    The A-levels I am doing are Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and AS english language.
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    (Original post by fandom-queen)
    I'm interested in doing HSPS at Cambridge, however, I've chosen science at A-levels, as my school was not offering humanities. Will the fact that I'm not doing essay-type subjects at A-levels hurt my chances of getting an offer?

    The A-levels I am doing are Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and AS english language.
    Hi, I'm afraid that we don't offer HSPS at Peterhouse. Your best bet would be to email the admissions offices of colleges you think you might be interested in and they should be happy to help you.
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    Hi,
    I really want to study chemical engineering at Cambridge and I'm a classically high performing student with a fair few super curricular activities and achievements (not the most but far from the least). Throughout the academic year I have scored no less than 95 UMS in all Further maths mocks but I feel as though I bombed my FP1 exam on thursday (low A at best) While I still have two other further maths modules to complete, D1 and S2, and the rest of my A level subject exams forthcoming (Maths, Chemistry and Physics) I am curious to know whether, with this in mind and assuming I smash my remaining exams, I can still get a place at cambridge for engineering. I am aware mathematical ability is integral to the course but is my one off, bad day enough to ruin my chances? Is a resit of FP1 acceptable?

    side note: predicted all A's for AS and I'm on track for A* A2 predictions in physics chemistry and maths
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    (Original post by DivineFavour)
    Hi,
    I really want to study chemical engineering at Cambridge and I'm a classically high performing student with a fair few super curricular activities and achievements (not the most but far from the least). Throughout the academic year I have scored no less than 95 UMS in all Further maths mocks but I feel as though I bombed my FP1 exam on thursday (low A at best) While I still have two other further maths modules to complete, D1 and S2, and the rest of my A level subject exams forthcoming (Maths, Chemistry and Physics) I am curious to know whether, with this in mind and assuming I smash my remaining exams, I can still get a place at cambridge for engineering. I am aware mathematical ability is integral to the course but is my one off, bad day enough to ruin my chances? Is a resit of FP1 acceptable?

    side note: predicted all A's for AS and I'm on track for A* A2 predictions in physics chemistry and maths
    Sorry to hear that you think you had a bad exam! We are sympathetic to situations such as yours and we understand a degree of resitting for exactly this reason. This is also one of the many reasons that we do not use hard, arbitrary grade or percentage cut-offs but are instead keen to meet everyone who has a realistic chance of an offer. Don't worry and good luck for your other exams!
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    Hello!

    I am thinking of applying to do Natural Sciences, more specifically Physics.

    Current subjects being studied at AS:

    Physics
    Mathematics
    Further Mathematics
    Business Studies
    Extended Project Qualification

    I am curious as to whether or not there is any need to continue studying Business at A2. Would it be advisable to discontinue this subject and to place my focus on relevant subjects if applying to Natural Sciences?

    Moreover, are there any super-curricular activities you would recommend? BAE Systems and e2v did not have the resources to accommodate me for work experience.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Hi, I'm afraid that we don't offer HSPS at Peterhouse. Your best bet would be to email the admissions offices of colleges you think you might be interested in and they should be happy to help you.
    I'll be sure to do that. Thanks.
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    Just want to start by saying thanks for this post, we all massively appreciate it!

    Quick first question, I assume you look at applicants contextually as well as nationally. I was wondering if being top of your year in certain subjects ( that are very strongly related to degree you're applying for of course) ever gives you a little *advantage* if I can call it that. Quick context - I go to a non-selective state school, we get 0-1 people into Oxbridge each year, and two years ago we got 2 in. To me that says as long as we're not a weak year, being top of year means I'd be allowed to have realistic hope - or is there no gain from *best in school* if not 95+ UMS ??

    I also wanted to ask, are we allowed to ask for UMS stats for recent years? I know there's no definite correlations/ minimum value to get you a place but personally, If i got UMS that was ~5 UMS average under the usual of those accepted, I'd genuinely feel like a place at Cambridge wouldn't suit me and on the flip side if I got ~5 UMS over most people, I'd damn well expect a place which would not be a good situation to be in xD , leading me on to my next point - do you ever take into account the suitability of someone for the course other than just whether they're good enough or not? For example, some people may score higher, but generally in *less relevant* modules/ courses (FP1 is more relevant than M1 for people applying for something like CompSci for example).

    One thing that's been my main problem - modules. Regarding Maths+Further Maths, for some reason my school make us do M2 in Year 12, which personally to me, is A LOT harder than D1 for example. Do you take that into account that I, and many others, will be doing a module that typically is an A2 module and therefore the grade boundaries will be higher as we're competing against mainly people doing it a year later. Therefore, naturally, someone with similar ability and work ethic is bound to get better "best 3 UMS" if doing D1 than me taking M2. Just wondering your take on that! Thanks again!
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    (Original post by ColeNate)
    Hello!

    I am thinking of applying to do Natural Sciences, more specifically Physics.

    Current subjects being studied at AS:

    Physics
    Mathematics
    Further Mathematics
    Business Studies
    Extended Project Qualification

    I am curious as to whether or not there is any need to continue studying Business at A2. Would it be advisable to discontinue this subject and to place my focus on relevant subjects if applying to Natural Sciences?

    Moreover, are there any super-curricular activities you would recommend? BAE Systems and e2v did not have the resources to accommodate me for work experience.
    Thanks for posting, hope we can help!

    For Natural Sciences we are really most interested in your performance in sciences, so it won't affect your application if you choose to discontinue Business Studies. However, you might find your options limited as you are only studying one experimental science (Physics). In the first year of the Natural Sciences course you will have to study 3 sciences (see list here) and your choice of courses does depend on your A levels. You should also be aware that your admissions interview is likely to include both a Physicist and another scientist such as a chemist.

    Alternatively, you may be interested in our Maths with Physics course.

    In terms of super-curricular activities, work experience is not expected, particularly when it is not directly relevant to what you are applying for. It may be better to spend the time reading around your subject and pursuing which parts of it interest you most, along with continuing to hone your maths skills. Downing College have a great site with details of resources and you could also try checking the #ExploreYourSubject hashtag on Twitter.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Thanks for posting, hope we can help!

    For Natural Sciences we are really most interested in your performance in sciences, so it won't affect your application if you choose to discontinue Business Studies. However, you might find your options limited as you are only studying one experimental science (Physics). In the first year of the Natural Sciences course you will have to study 3 sciences (see list here) and your choice of courses does depend on your A levels. You should also be aware that your admissions interview is likely to include both a Physicist and another scientist such as a chemist.

    Alternatively, you may be interested in our Maths with Physics course.

    In terms of super-curricular activities, work experience is not expected, particularly when it is not directly relevant to what you are applying for. It may be better to spend the time reading around your subject and pursuing which parts of it interest you most, along with continuing to hone your maths skills. Downing College have a great site with details of resources and you could also try checking the #ExploreYourSubject hashtag on Twitter.
    Thank you very much for your reply, this is very helpful!

    If I were to opt for Natural Sciences and choose to study Computer Science, Mathematics, Earth Sciences and Physics in my first year, would my chosen options at AS be a good platform for this?

    Wow, those resources look great. I will look into this further.
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    (Original post by joe12345marc)
    Just want to start by saying thanks for this post, we all massively appreciate it!

    Quick first question, I assume you look at applicants contextually as well as nationally. I was wondering if being top of your year in certain subjects ( that are very strongly related to degree you're applying for of course) ever gives you a little *advantage* if I can call it that. Quick context - I go to a non-selective state school, we get 0-1 people into Oxbridge each year, and two years ago we got 2 in. To me that says as long as we're not a weak year, being top of year means I'd be allowed to have realistic hope - or is there no gain from *best in school* if not 95+ UMS ??

    I also wanted to ask, are we allowed to ask for UMS stats for recent years? I know there's no definite correlations/ minimum value to get you a place but personally, If i got UMS that was ~5 UMS average under the usual of those accepted, I'd genuinely feel like a place at Cambridge wouldn't suit me and on the flip side if I got ~5 UMS over most people, I'd damn well expect a place which would not be a good situation to be in xD , leading me on to my next point - do you ever take into account the suitability of someone for the course other than just whether they're good enough or not? For example, some people may score higher, but generally in *less relevant* modules/ courses (FP1 is more relevant than M1 for people applying for something like CompSci for example).

    One thing that's been my main problem - modules. Regarding Maths+Further Maths, for some reason my school make us do M2 in Year 12, which personally to me, is A LOT harder than D1 for example. Do you take that into account that I, and many others, will be doing a module that typically is an A2 module and therefore the grade boundaries will be higher as we're competing against mainly people doing it a year later. Therefore, naturally, someone with similar ability and work ethic is bound to get better "best 3 UMS" if doing D1 than me taking M2. Just wondering your take on that! Thanks again!
    Hi,

    No problem at all, thanks for using this thread!

    You're right in thinking that we look at your results in the context of your school and typical GCSE performance there, so performing high above your peers can be advantageous. Information like 'best in school' are also useful things for your teacher to put in your reference, to help us put you into context more.

    You can look into UMS statistics - as a rough guide, successful applicants over the last few years have got 93% at AS across their three best/most relevant subjects - but there are lots of nuances within this data (e.g. it differs across different subjects etc) and the most important thing to remember about this figure is that it is an average - plenty of successful applicants land far above and below this mark. With this in mind, your suggestion above is correct - you should not expect to be successful/unsuccessful on the basis of UMS scores alone. We go to great lengths to ensure that this isn't the case - as your can see from my first paragraph in this post!

    We do look at a candidate's 'suitability' and motivation for the course, and this is something that we assess at interview, rather than by looking at specific module types. However, if there is a huge variation in performance in different module types then this would prompt closer attention to module scores. I think a strong performance in any Maths modules would be expected for anyone applying for Computer Science because it is such a mathematical course, and the more advanced your maths is at the time of interview and (most importantly) the more understanding you have of the maths you have covered, the better chance you have of tackling the problems you are given - so it may work in your favour to have some FM under your belt.

    I hope this helps, let me know if it inspires any more questions! (We'll be back after the weekend, so bear with us if our response isn't that quick)
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Hi,

    No problem at all, thanks for using this thread!

    You're right in thinking that we look at your results in the context of your school and typical GCSE performance there, so performing high above your peers can be advantageous. Information like 'best in school' are also useful things for your teacher to put in your reference, to help us put you into context more.

    You can look into UMS statistics - as a rough guide, successful applicants over the last few years have got 93% at AS across their three best/most relevant subjects - but there are lots of nuances within this data (e.g. it differs across different subjects etc) and the most important thing to remember about this figure is that it is an average - plenty of successful applicants land far above and below this mark. With this in mind, your suggestion above is correct - you should not expect to be successful/unsuccessful on the basis of UMS scores alone. We go to great lengths to ensure that this isn't the case - as your can see from my first paragraph in this post!

    We do look at a candidate's 'suitability' and motivation for the course, and this is something that we assess at interview, rather than by looking at specific module types. However, if there is a huge variation in performance in different module types then this would prompt closer attention to module scores. I think a strong performance in any Maths modules would be expected for anyone applying for Computer Science because it is such a mathematical course, and the more advanced your maths is at the time of interview and (most importantly) the more understanding you have of the maths you have covered, the better chance you have of tackling the problems you are given - so it may work in your favour to have some FM under your belt.

    I hope this helps, let me know if it inspires any more questions! (We'll be back after the weekend, so bear with us if our response isn't that quick)
    Thank you! Yes I understand that we should be expected to do well in all maths modules, but the maths modules do vary a lot. I've noticed that I have a real weakness to mechanics, so 3 of my important 9 modules being mechanics cannot go well surely. I still expect >90 in all of them (maybe not M2 I'm not sure) but I feel like having a ~5 UMS disadvantage in a module mostly irrelevant to Computer Science shouldn't ruin my chances, only my opinion though! SO basically, we're just expected to *smash* every single maths exam and not much notice is taken into considering difficulty of modules in comparison? Thanks for the honesty!
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    Hello I am in year 12 taking Maths Mechanics, Physics, Chemistry and French AS.

    I have always been intent on studying Engineering at a top university but only recently gained that the department at Cambridge highly favour applicants with Further Mathematics.

    Given that I am on track to meet the predictions for the requirements, take up further maths AS next year and offer good STEP results, would my application be considered equally?
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    Hello,
    My subject combination is fairly weak. Chemistry, Math, English language and AICT at AS level for PBS at Cambridge.
    If i take up psychology AS and A2, drop aict and English, and apply post a-level, would my chances improve?
    My school is not "the best school" so they only offer economics, accounting, business studies, AICT , AS English Language, biology, chemistry and physics.
    I may suffer a lot if i took up biology since I haven't even studied it at IGCSE level.
    Which is why i have settled for maths, chemistry and psychology as my main three subjects.

    My school only offers English language as an AS subject which is why i might have to drop it and history and English lit aren't available in my school.
    I can self-teach psychology as my passion for it will surely help me .
    Would it be worth it if I apply for Cambridge this year provided I get 85%+ and if rejected, apply again next year post a level? Will my chances increase with these subjects? I really wanted to apply this year but my weak combination is demotivating me.
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    One thing I worry about is the fact a lot of weight is put onto UMS scores, yet I know as a fact I can get 3 A*s next year in M,FM and Phy yet the chances of me getting an offer of that are low. I think A levels should be a lot harder, so you don't get 100's of applicants with basically the exact same scores. Sometimes, 1 little mistake can lose 5 UMS, which is a lot of the time the difference between someone with an offer and an unsuccessful applicant. Which is how I understand why they give out more maths offers as STEP supposedly filters some applicants out (although on a shadowing experience at Cambridge, I met a girl studying maths in her 2nd year that got 2,2 in her STEP II and III but her offer was 1,1). This leads me nicely onto my main to questions:
    1) Do they do the same for Computer Science with Maths and possibly other degrees that require a STEP result (giving out more offers than places) and therefore is so, do you just fully reject the people that have a Comp Sci w/Maths offer, beat their offer but miss their STEP requirement but a grade?
    2)Can you reject someone if they've received an offer and got the grades? Or is receiving an offer a 100% guarentee of a place if they hit required grades? I say that because, as they offer so many offers with STEP requirements for Maths, what if a much higher than expected proportion of people get the STEP grades? Would you have to reject some or, as I assume, you do give out offers so that if that is the case, they can all be offered a place still?
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    (Original post by joe12345marc)
    2)Can you reject someone if they've received an offer and got the grades? Or is receiving an offer a 100% guarentee of a place if they hit required grades? I say that because, as they offer so many offers with STEP requirements for Maths, what if a much higher than expected proportion of people get the STEP grades? Would you have to reject some or, as I assume, you do give out offers so that if that is the case, they can all be offered a place still?
    If you meet the full terms of your Offer you will be accepted. No ifs no buts. It's a legally binding contract.

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    Sweet

    I heard one of my friends (not in UK) needed 4A* at a level (they were doing 4 a levels AND IB) for a offer, which I thought was a bit unusual.

    Are the offers usually higher for international students, or is there a different circumstance in which Cambridge makes higher than normal offers? If so what is it?

    If this differs from subject to subject, I'm kind of curious because I've heard stories of people getting a range of step offers from Cambridge ranging from double S grades to a 1, 2 grade, instead of the usual 1,1.

    When does this happen?e

    Edit: Apparently Gonville and Caius tend to give easier offers than other Colleges for Maths. According to the Maths Admissions booklet, 90% of Gonville and Caius offer holders meet their offers, whereas only a little more than a third of maths offer holders across Cambridge meet their offer.

    It appears Trinity College tends to be the college that gives out the 'S' step offers.

    This information contradicts the claim that it is equally difficult to get into Cambridge regardless of which college you apply to. I find it difficult to believe that the people applying to Gonville and Caius are in general, stronger applicants than those applying to Trinity College, so if it's equally difficult to get into cambridge regardless of the college you apply to, that makes a pretty big question mark to be filled in.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    If you meet the full terms of your Offer you will be accepted. No ifs no buts. It's a legally binding contract.

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    (Original post by joe12345marc)
    what if a much higher than expected proportion of people get the STEP grades??
    IF lots of people do well on step, they increase the grade boundaries. Problem solved lol. The STEP grade boundaries are based on how well people did on the paper anyway.
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    Also, I've been told that for maths, the only thing cambridge is really concerned about is how good my maths is. If that is the case, why does the offer include an A in some other irrelevant subject? (Well, I mean it's usually physics but if they don't take physics then it could be something else.) Wouldn't it make more sense to ask for A*A*A* in maths, further maths, and additional further maths (I know some schools dont offer additional further maths, but you can just self study like everyone self prepares for STEP?) Or if those modules don't really add anything, as STEP grades are sufficient, then why not just A*A*?
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    (Original post by CancerousProblem)
    Edit: Apparently Gonville and Caius tend to give easier offers than other Colleges for Maths. According to the Maths Admissions booklet, 90% of Gonville and Caius offer holders meet their offers, whereas only a little more than a third of maths offer holders across Cambridge meet their offer.

    It appears Trinity College tends to be the college that gives out the 'S' step offers.

    This information contradicts the claim that it is equally difficult to get into Cambridge regardless of which college you apply to. I find it difficult to believe that the people applying to Gonville and Caius are in general, stronger applicants than those applying to Trinity College, so if it's equally difficult to get into cambridge regardless of the college you apply to, that makes a pretty big question mark to be filled in.
    2014 data for Maths

    Cauis
    + Applicants : 44
    + Acceptances : 7
    Success rate: 16%

    Trinity
    + Applicants : 209
    + Acceptances : 37
    Success rate : 18%

    So in 2014 it was (slightly) harder to get into Cauis than Trinity


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