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    (Original post by CancerousProblem)
    Also, when doing STEP questions, I'm kind of confused as to what kind of theorems I am expected to write a full proof for before I am allowed to use them.

    For example, I observe a lot of inequalities in the 'probability and statistics' questions can be easily proven via some form of the AM-GM or rearrangement inequality.

    I could therefore simply say 'By the AM-GM inequality/rearrangement inequality, therefore this, therefore we are done' and be done in 2 lines, but it appears in most cases, this is not really what the question wants for a part of a question expected to take 30 minutes or so.

    Obviously, I shouldn't have to write a full proof for Pythagoras Theorem/Geometric sums/most mainstream maths formulae everytime I want to use it in a question, so what is the sort of line between theorems I have to prove and theorems I have to prove before using? If I can simply state the name of the theorem, does it mean I am allowed to use it without proving it?
    I'm afraid I can't comment on how the ATS mark their STEP tests - you could contact them directly for advice here if you like. As I've previously mentioned, we receive copies of the STEP scripts for all of our STEP candidates, so if we can see that your working makes sense even if your answers are incorrect then that would work in your favour.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    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.
    Thanks unfortunately it was just a panic attack, which isn't anything extenuating, hopefully the other papers go better.

    Do you have any statistics relating to near miss natscis please?

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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    I'm afraid I can't comment on how the ATS mark their STEP tests - you could contact them directly for advice here if you like. As I've previously mentioned, we receive copies of the STEP scripts for all of our STEP candidates, so if we can see that your working makes sense even if your answers are incorrect then that would work in your favour.
    Thank you so much for responding to my (possibly too many) questions! I found the responses very on topic and helpful.

    EDIT: About this:
    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.
    In the 'College Admissions and procedures' section of the Maths Admission Guide PDF file, it states (There was a copying error so it's not accurate letter for letter, but it should be still accurate word-for-word.):
    5. Use of STEP means that the interviews are less important than in other subjects. Overall, about 450 conditional offers, for about 250 places, are made on the basis of the information obtainedfrom the applications forms and the interviews. Most offers require grade 1s in both STEP papers II and III. Of the Cambridge applicants, about 160 meet these conditions. Colleges then have theopportunity, for each applicant who has not quite made his or her offer, to consider the applicationas a whole and decide whether to offer a place.
    160/450 is roughly 35.6%, which is a bit more than a third.
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    Hi,

    Just how important are things such as work experience and curricular activities such as DofE when applying to Cambridge?

    If it helps, I'm talking about engineering of some sort.
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    (Original post by umutalberts)
    Thanks unfortunately it was just a panic attack, which isn't anything extenuating, hopefully the other papers go better.

    Do you have any statistics relating to near miss natscis please?

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    Hi,

    I'm afraid we don't have any meaningful statistics as a) the majority of applicants do make their offer and b) all those who narrowly miss are treated on a case-by-case basis with a huge number of factors being considered. Rest assured that we do understand and sympathise with the stress of exams.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    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!
    Hi, thanks for posting!
    We are used to processing applications from all applicants all over the world from all sorts of academic systems, so not having an AS results at the time of application is not that unsual. You would need to submit a COPA and you would need to submit a transcript alongside this, including as much information as you can. Taking the STEP I paper is not essential, but will give a helpful indication of your progress in Maths at a more advanced level than GCSE.

    Finally, yes, you are correct in thinking that the typical STEP offer for Maths at Peterhouse is 1, 1 in STEP II and III.
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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 I have some questions regarding application, for some background, I'm considering HSPS, I have a strong GCSE profile (90% A*, rest A) and do an awful lot outside of school that is relevant, the problem comes with AS, which I know Cambridge weights heavily, as, despite being predicted 4As, having done them, I know that I have under performed somewhat in one subject (latin) and am realistically looking at a B, although I'm dropping it at the end of AS. So with that in mind:

    1) When writing an application for a unique course such as HSPS, would Cambridge be put off if I wrote the application geared towards other universities, where I will be applying for Philosophy and Politics?

    2) Just how much weighting is given to AS, and would it be pointless to apply with say, 85% UMS, despite having a very good profile in everything else?

    3) Does Cambridge take into account different UMS weightings across subjects and exam boards, and would they therefore be more understanding of a slightly lower UMS in say, OCR English where 90% raw marks only converts to less than 85% UMS?
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    (Original post by Bazbaz)
    Hi I have some questions regarding application, for some background, I'm considering HSPS, I have a strong GCSE profile (90% A*, rest A) and do an awful lot outside of school that is relevant, the problem comes with AS, which I know Cambridge weights heavily, as, despite being predicted 4As, having done them, I know that I have under performed somewhat in one subject (latin) and am realistically looking at a B, although I'm dropping it at the end of AS. So with that in mind:

    1) When writing an application for a unique course such as HSPS, would Cambridge be put off if I wrote the application geared towards other universities, where I will be applying for Philosophy and Politics?

    2) Just how much weighting is given to AS, and would it be pointless to apply with say, 85% UMS, despite having a very good profile in everything else?

    3) Does Cambridge take into account different UMS weightings across subjects and exam boards, and would they therefore be more understanding of a slightly lower UMS in say, OCR English where 90% raw marks only converts to less than 85% UMS?
    Once again, I'm afraid I can't really help too much with regard to HSPS specifically as it's not a subject we offer at Peterhouse.

    1) Remember that part of your application to Cambridge is the SAQ and that this includes a box for an optional personal statement which you can tailor to the Cambridge course specifically. It is designed for exactly this reason - for candidates applying to courses (ASNaC, NatSci etc.) which perhaps aren't offered elsewhere in the same format

    2) No one piece of information is ever considered in isolation and no particular weight is ever given to any particular piece of information. If you're on track to meet the typical conditional offer, we would strongly encourage you to think about applying.

    3) We don't get involved in discussions about difficulty or the moderation of different exam boards or subjects but neither do we simply take UMS averages at face value, instead looking at individual module scores alongside the teacher's reference, predicted grades, personal statement etc. UMS is not the be-all and end all, rather just one of the many things Cambridge uses to assess ability, aptitude and potential.

    Hope this helps!
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    (Original post by BigBadWoofWoof)
    Hey, I was reading the guide for mathematics applicants pdf guide, and apparently the admissions process is slightly different for each college.

    Some college has an 'applied maths' interview. Can you explain what this is? Is this different from the standard interview in some way? Because I'm not too fond of doing mechanics/statistics and I would rather stick to the pure math questions, so If this is primarily a mechanics/statistics based interview I know which colleges to avoid xD

    Edit: What's the difference between an applied maths interview and a subject interview?
    There are some differences between colleges: in some, candidates take a written test on which the interview (or part of one of the interviews) is based; in others, candidates are given problems to solve in the interview.

    `Applied maths interviews': we cannot speak for other colleges. In Peterhouse there are two interviews. In both, candidates tackle a range of problems from pure maths as well as applied. If a candidate does not have sufficient background in some area (eg mechanics), then we avoid questions on that topic. Our aim is not to test the knowledge of candidates, but to test what they can do with the knowledge they have. We try to give candidates an opportunity to shine.
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    (Original post by CancerousProblem)
    Thank you so much for responding to my (possibly too many) questions! I found the responses very on topic and helpful.

    EDIT: About this:


    In the 'College Admissions and procedures' section of the Maths Admission Guide PDF file, it states (There was a copying error so it's not accurate letter for letter, but it should be still accurate word-for-word.):


    160/450 is roughly 35.6%, which is a bit more than a third.
    To clarify: the 50% figure includes those who narrowly missed their offer but were admitted. I checked exact figures from the last two years which are 49% and 44%.
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    (Original post by Rabadon)
    Hi,

    Just how important are things such as work experience and curricular activities such as DofE when applying to Cambridge?

    If it helps, I'm talking about engineering of some sort.
    Hi,

    First and foremost, we're interested in your academic ability and potential and how you have explored your subject outside of the school curriculum. We're much less interested in irrelevant extracurriculars like Duke of Edinburgh.
    Work experience is not expected, particularly when it is not directly relevant to what you are applying for, although if it is part of the reason you want to study Engineering then you could mention this.

    Hearing about your wider interests is interesting, but it is not used for admissions decisions and we recommend spending no more than about 30% of your personal statement talking about activities and work experience, and the majority of it addressing the academic side of the course you're applying for (but remember that that other universities do differ in their approach to work experience and extra-curriculars).
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Hi, thanks for posting!
    We are used to processing applications from all applicants all over the world from all sorts of academic systems, so not having an AS results at the time of application is not that unsual. You would need to submit a COPA and you would need to submit a transcript alongside this, including as much information as you can. Taking the STEP I paper is not essential, but will give a helpful indication of your progress in Maths at a more advanced level than GCSE.

    Finally, yes, you are correct in thinking that the typical STEP offer for Maths at Peterhouse is 1, 1 in STEP II and III.
    I haven't created a UCAS application yet but I have already completed my application for sitting STEP I, but whilst entering for the exam, I left the UCAS number blank. If I were to create a UCAS application now, would I still be able to use the STEP I grade received next month?
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    (Original post by joe12345marc)
    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!
    CompSci with Maths students take 50% of the courses of the Maths Tripos in their first year. For this reason, applicants go through the same assessment as those for Maths in addition the the interview in Computer Science. The offer would normally be A*A*A plus 1,1 at STEP II and III, which would cover the kind of concerns that you talk about. In the recent past we had applicants not achieving the STEP condition but whose offer was relaxed or who were offered a place in Computer Science with NatSci option. Such decisions of course depend on the individual. Also, as we have few candidates for Computer Science with Maths, we cannot really talk about typical cases.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    I haven't created a UCAS application yet but I have already completed my application for sitting STEP I, but whilst entering for the exam, I left the UCAS number blank. If I were to create a UCAS application now, would I still be able to use the STEP I grade received next month?
    I'm not sure, but it should be possible - the important thing is the results certificate. Contact UCAS if you have any difficulty.
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    What's your college view towards someone resitting one module because they did dire in it?If that module was part of a subject thatbosnt related to the course they want to do At Cambridge, how does that affect it?
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    (Original post by Kadak)
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    What's your college view towards someone resitting one module because they did dire in it?If that module was part of a subject thatbosnt related to the course they want to do At Cambridge, how does that affect it?
    We understand that everyone can have an off day from time to time and are very sympathetic to resits in these circumstances. Resits won't necessarily disadvantage your application, but concerns can be raised if lots of resits are needed, particularly if only slight improvement is gained.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    We understand that everyone can have an off day from time to time and are very sympathetic to resits in these circumstances. Resits won't necessarily disadvantage your application, but concerns can be raised if lots of resits are needed, particularly if only slight improvement is gained.
    What if its only one resit ?Is it fine ?
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    (Original post by Kadak)
    What if its only one resit ?Is it fine ?
    It will be fine.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Hi, no problem. We don't offer Psychology at Peterhouse so I can't really go into detail, but I can say that it is very much taught as science subject so sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Maths etc) are great preparation.

    For Natural Sciences, Chemistry and Biology does meet the entry requirements, provided you can choose a list of first-year courses which you are happy with. What is your third A level subject?
    Either music or english literature. I just wanted to know if i'd be at too much of a disadvantage if i only have biology and chemistry as my two science subjects... Because i wanted my other two to be arts subjects to give me a variety of choices at the end of year 13.
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    How important is Physics UMS to a Maths application? So say a 96% in Maths and a 85% in Physics. Will this hold me back from gaining an interview ?

    Thanks for the help ?
 
 
 
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