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    (Original post by Kadak)
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    Biology,Chemistry, Physics and Single Maths.However Im finding I enjoy maths,so I want to pick up FM maths to at least as next year.
    But is it worth it if I want to apply for bio natsci?
    Hi,

    If you enjoy it and feel you can cope with the workload then by all means continue to study it. It's not essential though and the important thing is to make sure you are on track to do your best in three A levels. An important point is to thing not just in terms of admissions decisions, but preparing yourself for whatever courses you might like to take in your first, second or even third year of university.

    If you are convinced you're a budding biologist then Biology, Chemistry and Maths will allow you the freest reign of our relevant first year courses. Adding Physics and FM means you could do ANY NatSci course and could be a physical scientist as much as a biologist. It's worth repeating that you apply to Natural Sciences and are free to study any set of options you are qualified for (in terms of A levels or equivalent). We ask you to specify whether you lean more towards biological or physical sciences but this is non-binding on your first year courses and is used more as a way to decide which set of interviews you will have.
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    I understand that Maths and Further Maths are considered one subject in "Best 3 UMS" or is this incorrect? Because if so, surely someone studying M+FM+Phy + an irrelevant subject would be hugely disadvantaged? If this is true, I wish I knew this when picking my A levels haha.
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    Out of curiosity, what were the university ranges in UMS scores for natsci this year?

    Also if someone had a really strong application (ie high grades, AS UMS, GCSEs, good interview performance, very engaged with the subject etc) but misses their offer by one grade is their chance of getting a place anyway higher than if their application was not as strong initially? Anyway, what are the chances of being accepted as a near miss (for natsci)?

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    (Original post by joe12345marc)
    I understand that Maths and Further Maths are considered one subject in "Best 3 UMS" or is this incorrect? Because if so, surely someone studying M+FM+Phy + an irrelevant subject would be hugely disadvantaged? If this is true, I wish I knew this when picking my A levels haha.
    It is true that all maths are combined, but please also remember that multiple Merit Scores are calculated:

    Best 3
    Sciences UMS ('SUMS')
    Maths+physics
    Maths

    These scores are calculated for all candidates taking the appropriate subjects so we can see detail such as you mention. Also remember that the SAQ has all subject module scores listed individually and interviewers are very aware of which particular scores they're interested in and which subject are irrelevant for their courses.
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    (Original post by umutalberts)
    Out of curiosity, what were the university ranges in UMS scores for natsci this year?

    Also if someone had a really strong application (ie high grades, AS UMS, GCSEs, good interview performance, very engaged with the subject etc) but misses their offer by one grade is their chance of getting a place anyway higher than if their application was not as strong initially? Anyway, what are the chances of being accepted as a near miss (for natsci)?

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    Do you mean for applicants getting an offer? I don't have University-wide data on this, but for those made an offer at Peterhouse the range for 3 most relevant subjects was 86-99.8 (average 94.1, about 30% of offer-holders not studying A levels).

    Decisions on the relaxing of offers are made on a case-by-case basis, but this does involve revisiting their application and interview reports.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Do you mean for applicants getting an offer? I don't have University-wide data on this, but for those made an offer at Peterhouse the range for 3 most relevant subjects was 86-99.8 (average 94.1, about 30% of offer-holders not studying A levels).

    Decisions on the relaxing of offers are made on a case-by-case basis, but this does involve revisiting their application and interview reports.
    Yeah, thanks!

    Do you have any stats regarding near miss natscis? Honestly I'm just really scared I'll miss my offer especially since the exams I sat last week didn't go too well (I just blanked out from the stress - I knew all the answers right after the exam and felt incredibly stupid because of that), and would like to feel that I still stand a chance even if I don't get 2 A*s (I'm confident I can get As due to my high UMS last year).

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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    It is true that all maths are combined, but please also remember that multiple Merit Scores are calculated:

    Best 3
    Sciences UMS ('SUMS'
    Maths+physics
    Maths

    These scores are calculated for all candidates taking the appropriate subjects so we can see detail such as you mention. Also remember that the SAQ has all subject module scores listed individually and interviewers are very aware of which particular scores they're interested in and which subject are irrelevant for their courses.
    Yeah being honest, I'm sure after a candidate has completed an interview, their application is then looked at in much more detail and the admissions team will know what they're looking for and know what truthfully they're not too bothered about! Fair enough, so no disadvantage to anyone picking a 4th subject (for the wrong reasons) and consequently not enjoying it and not scoring highly? The more I learn about the application process, the fairer it seems! Also, I would've loved to do a Computing A level but when I discussed it with my head of Sixth Form he explained that it's very hard to hire anyone that's skilled enough to teach it, but not skilled enough to go and get payed much more elsewhere with their skills! Following that, like there is (brilliant I must say) lots of Further Maths resources online, will they ever consider doing the same for other courses such as Computing so people can still persue their interests regardless of their schools resources and therefore not waste a year doing a subject they have no need nor interest for? Just asking for future years, would hate people have to do the same as me and really dislike one of their subjects!
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    Oh and for someone applying for Bio NatSci, and studying maths, physics, biology and chemistry A level, which would be the 3 most relevant?

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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    The information given above is correct - students from other universities can study Part II Maths as a postgraduate course (requirements here). This means that the finance requirements and financial support are the same as for other postgraduate courses offered by the university. There is no specific support available for that course, but general support is available.
    Thank you
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    Thanks for your answers, we all massively appreciate it!
    I'm sure a lot of the time you look at an applicant, but are worried about one aspect of their application (i.e their Physics UMS being not 90) that isn't directly, but is a bit, related to the degree their studying (i.e for this example, CompSci w/Maths is best example I can think of where physics isn't essential) would you then for example ask for an A* in it but still give them an offer, or do you prefer to try not to give out 3 A* offers so instead choose somebody else? Just wondering, I've seen some very high offers (4 A*s and STEP) for some applicants, and I've never really understood why offers can range so much! Thanks in advance!
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    Hello!
    Thank you so much for running this thread - I've been wanting to ask a few questions but have never really known who to ask!
    I'm hoping to apply to cambridge to study theology next year, not sure at which college yet though, but I'm really starting to worry that I've ruined my chances of even getting an interview. I'm in the middle of my AS exams at the moment but I feel as though they haven't really been going very well at all. I've been working so hard towards them all year, but I never really cope well with stress in the actual exam. My GCSE grades aren't great either (3 A*s, 7As, 3Bs) so I'm thinking I'll most likely have to retake one or more two AS exams. So I suppose my main question is, would I be penalised at all for retaking an AS exam, even if it improved the grade? Also, is it true that generally a candidate should have at least 93% in each of their AS grades?
    Thanks in advance!
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    (Original post by umutalberts)
    Yeah, thanks!

    Do you have any stats regarding near miss natscis? Honestly I'm just really scared I'll miss my offer especially since the exams I sat last week didn't go too well (I just blanked out from the stress - I knew all the answers right after the exam and felt incredibly stupid because of that), and would like to feel that I still stand a chance even if I don't get 2 A*s (I'm confident I can get As due to my high UMS last year).

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    Sorry to hear that you think your exams didn't go well. All I can say is that we handle it on a case-by-case basis and are sympathetic to near-miss candidates. There's another moderation process (the Summer Pool) to help candidates who narrowly miss their offers find a place at Cambridge.

    If anything does happen to disadvantage you in an exam (bereavement, broken wrist, fire breaks out etc.) it's important that you get your teacher to let us know as soon as possible and not wait until results day before mentioning it as it may then be too late to take these circumstances fully into account.
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    (Original post by umutalberts)
    Oh and for someone applying for Bio NatSci, and studying maths, physics, biology and chemistry A level, which would be the 3 most relevant?
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    In this case it would be your 3 best. Where candidates do sit 4 subjects we can see a four subject average as well (remembering that all maths scores are combined to a single subject.
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    (Original post by joe12345marc)
    Yeah being honest, I'm sure after a candidate has completed an interview, their application is then looked at in much more detail and the admissions team will know what they're looking for and know what truthfully they're not too bothered about! Fair enough, so no disadvantage to anyone picking a 4th subject (for the wrong reasons) and consequently not enjoying it and not scoring highly? The more I learn about the application process, the fairer it seems! Also, I would've loved to do a Computing A level but when I discussed it with my head of Sixth Form he explained that it's very hard to hire anyone that's skilled enough to teach it, but not skilled enough to go and get payed much more elsewhere with their skills! Following that, like there is (brilliant I must say) lots of Further Maths resources online, will they ever consider doing the same for other courses such as Computing so people can still persue their interests regardless of their schools resources and therefore not waste a year doing a subject they have no need nor interest for? Just asking for future years, would hate people have to do the same as me and really dislike one of their subjects!
    Hi,

    The reason we put so much effort into making Futher Maths resources available for all students is that they are often a significant part of typical offers for applicants to some of our courses (e.g. Maths, Engineering, Computer Science, Natural Sciences) our candidates, in a bro. The same isn't really true of Computing (or at least, nowhere near as often) so I think it's unlikely that Cambridge will produce any resources for A level Computing any time soon.
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    Hello again,
    How does the auto pooling system work and what are the conditions for applicants that have finished their A levels?
    Thanks
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    (Original post by LordGaben)
    Hello again,
    How does the auto pooling system work and what are the conditions for applicants that have finished their A levels?
    Thanks
    There are lots of reasons a candidate may be pooled, some compulsory, some 'discretionary.' Admissions Tutors don't know the reason from looking at the file, although there is a cover sheet summarising the applicant written by the interviewers. For post-A level applicants, pooling is compulsory in all subjects except maths and medicine if the candidate has achieved A*A*A* (with A*s in sciences (including maths) if applying for a science course). For IB, the criterion is 42 and 776 (7s in sciences for science courses, again excluding maths and medicine). Pooling is also compulsory if there was a serious issue which affected the candidate's interviews.
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    Thank you so much for running this thread!

    I've got quite a serious problem, I want to apply for entry to undergraduate Maths in 2016. However, there are a number of things stopping me.

    In my country, the academic system begins in January and ends in November. My IBDP course has started in January and I am currently midway through my first year. However, my passion for Maths has led me to do massive amounts of self-studying and as a result, I unintentionally completed the syllabus for my IBDP course. This does mean that I'm going to be very bored for the next year and a half and I plan on switching to A-Levels.

    I plan on sitting for the full CIE A-level qualifications for Maths and Further Maths in November 2015 (this year) and am preparing to sit the STEP I exam coming up next month on the 15th of June. I have my CIE IGCSE results (8 subjects, 7 A*'s and 1 A with distinction in ICE).

    If I want to apply for entry in 2016, I will need to submit by UCAS application by October 2015, however, my application will only contain pending A-level qualifications, IGCSE results and the STEP I result. Unfortunately, I have no mocks or AS levels to show on the application. I do fear that this is going to ruin my chances of gaining an offer. If I did gain one, however, I would know whether I met or failed to meet the offer by February of 2016 when the results from my A-Levels sat in November come in. I will then sit for any relevant STEP modules in August of 2016, that is, most likely, STEP II and III?

    Could you please advise me on my options?

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by EllaMay98)
    Hello!
    Thank you so much for running this thread - I've been wanting to ask a few questions but have never really known who to ask!
    I'm hoping to apply to cambridge to study theology next year, not sure at which college yet though, but I'm really starting to worry that I've ruined my chances of even getting an interview. I'm in the middle of my AS exams at the moment but I feel as though they haven't really been going very well at all. I've been working so hard towards them all year, but I never really cope well with stress in the actual exam. My GCSE grades aren't great either (3 A*s, 7As, 3Bs) so I'm thinking I'll most likely have to retake one or more two AS exams. So I suppose my main question is, would I be penalised at all for retaking an AS exam, even if it improved the grade? Also, is it true that generally a candidate should have at least 93% in each of their AS grades?
    Thanks in advance!
    Hello,

    I'm glad you're finding it helpful! First of all, you certainly wouldn't be penalised for retaking one or two AS level exams, particularly if you significantly improved your grade as a consequence. Everyone has off-days, and retakes are not uncommon amongst our applicants! They are only a cause for concern if a candidate is retaking the same module repeatedly without much improvement, or if they are resitting lots of modules. You can indicate on your SAQ which modules you intend to resit, so we can bear that in mind for your assessment.

    In terms of your AS grades, it is neither expected nor necessary for you to have at least 93% in all your AS subjects. (That misinformation comes from the statistic that the average AS performance of successful applicants across the whole university, in all subjects, is 93% - lots of people fall far above and far below this threshold). We would, however, be looking at your AS marks to see that you are on target to achieve our typical offer which, for Theology & RS, is A*AA.

    I hope this helps - give us a shout if you have any more questions.
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    (Original post by CancerousProblem)
    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.
    I don’t recall Peterhouse ever having given a 4A* offer, so you'll have to ask your friend which College made them that offer to find out why the conditions were so high.

    There isn't a policy that offers are higher for international students. Each offer is tailored to the individual candidate taking into account their entire application, including interview performance, predictions and potential. In theory there could be as many different offers as candidates. In practice we have typical offers that most candidates end up with. These offers would be similar across colleges in a given subject. An important thing to note is that an offer is always realistic; we would never give an offer a candidate clearly has no hope achieving.

    As I've already mentioned, applications are handled on a case by case basis, so there could be any number of reasons for unsual offer conditions being given in certain circumstance. A possible example when a candidate gets higher than the typical 11 @ STEP II,III offer is: the candidate has a brilliant school record, excelled in some parts of the interview but did surprisingly poorly in others. Overall we think the candidate deserves an offer but we are a little concerned and want to stretch the candidate. Remember if such a candidate does not make the higher offer, we can still relax the offer (for example if the person only missed by a few marks and the STEP script, which we can see, has lots of good things about it).

    We cannot speak for other colleges, so you'd have to ask Trinity or Gonville & Caius about their offer decisions. Here is my guess re Trinity: they have loads of fantastic candidates, so a higher than average proportion make the offer. As they have limited places, they give higher offers as insurance. Depending on success rate they then relax some offers. In a good year they may not be able to relax any offers but such candidates end up in the summer pool where they are very likely to be picked up by other colleges. This is just a guess, I may be totally wrong. The point here is that the system as a whole is pretty robust. With the winter pool and summer pool we try our best to make sure no candidate of high ability misses a place in Cambridge regardless of the College they chose.

    By the way, I don’t recognize the stats that a third of offer holders make the offer. The average is about 50%, I think.
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    (Original post by CancerousProblem)
    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*?
    Correct – for Maths applicants to Peterhouse, we only care about maths. If a candidate of ours makes the STEP offer, then we would almost certainly take them even if they failed the A level (or equivalent part), although this has never happened. However, it is important that candidates don’t neglect the A level part of their offer as their insurance offer university will probably not ignore that bit. Also, if a candidate narrowly missed STEP but had very good A levels in a range of subjects, then this gives us more confidence to relax the offer as there is evidence that the candidate can work hard in a wide range of subjects. It might also mean that if the person ends up doing not so well in maths and decides to change subject (say Natural Sciences), then this is more likely to be possible, because they have proven that they are good at Physics.
 
 
 
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