2015 A Level Reform Cambridge Application Issues

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Ali Jord
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Hi all,
I am currently studying maths, further maths, physics and chemistry in year 12 (I intend to take them all at A2 level), and I intend to apply to Cambridge as my first option.

However, I noticed on the Cambridge Application website, it mentions that Cambridge puts heavy emphasis on AS results.

My problem is that my school isn't offering the AS exams, so my question is, since my school isn't offering the AS exams, am I at a disadvantage when applying for Cambridge?

Thanks in advance.
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sweeneyrod
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The lack of AS exams is a recent change, so it is difficult to say how Cambridge will adapt. Certainly, many other people will be in the same position as you, so you will not be at an intrinsic disadvantage. However, you will probably be judged more on your GCSE's, admissions tests, personal statement, predictions etc. than applicants in previous years.
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Doones
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You probably saw this or the press coverage of it:
http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ication-reform

Specifically:
"For the 2015-17 cohort of students starting their sixth form studies in an environment where there is likely to be a mixture of reformed and unreformed A Levels, we will continue to use UMS in those subjects that retain it. We strongly encourage potential applicants to take AS Level examinations in at least three, and preferably four, subjects, whether reformed or not, at the end of Year 12. This will provide us with a strong measure of applicants’ recent academic progress, will assist us and the students in judging whether an application to Cambridge is likely to be competitive, and will provide reassurance that grade predictions are not relied upon too heavily in a new system."

So you are correct they would prefer you to take AS-levels, but many schools are also not allowing pupils to take them in subjects they are carrying to full A-level.

Hopefully with that in mind, Cambridge will be announcing their updated admissions process for 2017 applicants soon....
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Peterhouse Admissions
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The University is considering how to adapt its admissions system in light of A-level reforms, but has not made a final decision. Whatever we decide, we will continue to assess a package of evidence of academic attainment and potential to ensure that our system is as fair and meticulous as possible. We will advise all schools and colleges as soon as any decisions have been made.

You will not be disadvantaged by following whatever your schools policy is and we have plenty of experience in assessing candidates without AS results.
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Doones
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
The University is considering how to adapt its admissions system in light of A-level reforms, but has not made a final decision. Whatever we decide, we will continue to assess a package of evidence of academic attainment and potential to ensure that our system is as fair and meticulous as possible. We will advise all schools and colleges as soon as any decisions have been made.

You will not be disadvantaged by following whatever your schools policy is and we have plenty of experience in assessing candidates without AS results.
Thanks for jumping in

Can I ask is that statement correct? I would have thought at this stage in the cycle the decision would have already been made? It's getting quite late in the academic year to be making any changes to the current advice...
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by jneill)
Thanks for jumping in

Can I ask is that statement correct? I would have thought at this stage in the cycle the decision would have already been made? It's getting quite late in the academic year to be making any changes to the current advice...
Yes. PM sent.
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physicsmaths
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(Original post by jneill)
Thanks for jumping in

Can I ask is that statement correct? I would have thought at this stage in the cycle the decision would have already been made? It's getting quite late in the academic year to be making any changes to the current advice...
I imagine Maths will stay the same. Since UMS and modules don't play a massive role as they donin other subjects.
Hope they use more CSAT like tests.


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Elegantsolution
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(Original post by jneill)
You probably saw this or the press coverage of it:
http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ication-reform

Specifically:
"For the 2015-17 cohort of students starting their sixth form studies in an environment where there is likely to be a mixture of reformed and unreformed A Levels, we will continue to use UMS in those subjects that retain it. We strongly encourage potential applicants to take AS Level examinations in at least three, and preferably four, subjects, whether reformed or not, at the end of Year 12. This will provide us with a strong measure of applicants’ recent academic progress, will assist us and the students in judging whether an application to Cambridge is likely to be competitive, and will provide reassurance that grade predictions are not relied upon too heavily in a new system."

So you are correct they would prefer you to take AS-levels, but many schools are also not allowing pupils to take them in subjects they are carrying to full A-level.

Hopefully with that in mind, Cambridge will be announcing their updated admissions process for 2017 applicants soon....
(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
The University is considering how to adapt its admissions system in light of A-level reforms, but has not made a final decision. Whatever we decide, we will continue to assess a package of evidence of academic attainment and potential to ensure that our system is as fair and meticulous as possible. We will advise all schools and colleges as soon as any decisions have been made.

You will not be disadvantaged by following whatever your schools policy is and we have plenty of experience in assessing candidates without AS results.
I will be sitting AS exams in the June exam period. I have been asked if I want to "cash in" the exams, but the explanation the guy gave me left me a little more confused than i had been. Ive also tried searching the forum but it only seems to be about re sits.

Just to be clear, I will be sitting AS Maths, Further Maths and physics as a private candidate for the first time this year. Should I cash in? Ill be doing A2 exams next year.
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Doones
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(Original post by Elegantsolution)
I will be sitting AS exams in the June exam period. I have been asked if I want to "cash in" the exams, but the explanation the guy gave me left me a little more confused than i had been. Ive also tried searching the forum but it only seems to be about re sits.

Just to be clear, I will be sitting AS Maths, Further Maths and physics as a private candidate for the first time this year. Should I cash in? Ill be doing A2 exams next year.
I don't think it matters re cashing because you still would declare your module UMS in the SAQ, but ask Peterhouse AT in his thread to be sure.

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Elegantsolution
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(Original post by jneill)
I don't think it matters re cashing because you still would declare your module UMS in the SAQ, but ask Peterhouse AT in his thread to be sure.

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Thanks!
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by Elegantsolution)
I will be sitting AS exams in the June exam period. I have been asked if I want to "cash in" the exams, but the explanation the guy gave me left me a little more confused than i had been. Ive also tried searching the forum but it only seems to be about re sits.

Just to be clear, I will be sitting AS Maths, Further Maths and physics as a private candidate for the first time this year. Should I cash in? Ill be doing A2 exams next year.
It won't make a difference to Cambridge - you will be asked to declare your UMS (whether cashed-in or certificated or not) on your Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ). For other universities which don't use the SAQ it may make a difference so be sure to ask them.
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FrenchNerd2
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In terms of having done a mixture of the new linear A levels (History, and AS Sociology) and the old modular A levels (French and Maths), will I need to submit a transcript for my linear A levels as well as declaring UMS marks for my modular A levels on the SAQ? The information on the Cambridge website is a bit unclear about this for me.
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Doones
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(Original post by FrenchNerd2)
In terms of having done a mixture of the new linear A levels (History, and AS Sociology) and the old modular A levels (French and Maths), will I need to submit a transcript for my linear A levels as well as declaring UMS marks for my modular A levels on the SAQ? The information on the Cambridge website is a bit unclear about this for me.
If you are doing UK qualifications you don't (usually) need to provide a transcript

http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ications-or-ib


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