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Am I good enough for Oxbridge? Proving it here. Watch

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    (Original post by Kvothe the arcane)
    Thanks .

    I've applied for Natural Sciences. I'm only mid-story. Can already taste the bitter flavour if I miss my offer :lol:.
    I actually started posting on TSR because my GCSEs weren't great and I was worried about my future. The centre I sat them were just please someone got some A*-Cs and I was frustrated at the satisfaction with mediocrity and a bit resentful.
    I was informed that I'd have a shot if I did okay at college and so approached year 12 with some gusto and managed to do acceptably well. And then, you know .

    Part of me is glad I've had time out before uni. I used to be so arrogant and judgemental of people who were lazy. But now I can sympathise with lack of motivation + I understand how life can get in the way. I can appreciate how annoying I was as I consistently did well despite stressing about my results.
    I know a girl who did natural sciences @ Cambridge, so well done, its a really prestigious/challenging degree. She also got in against odds being from a Somali background like myself.
    I experienced problems at university, I had to retake a lot and almost dropped out due to depression/mental health problems, so I understand where you are coming from. Being successful at a steady pace, is better than doing it in a shorter space of time. It gets to your head easily
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    (Original post by MJlover)
    I know a girl who did natural sciences @ Cambridge, so well done, its a really prestigious/challenging degree. She also got in against odds being from a Somali background like myself.
    I experienced problems at university, I had to retake a lot and almost dropped out due to depression/mental health problems, so I understand where you are coming from. Being successful at a steady pace, is better than doing it in a shorter space of time. It gets to your head easily
    Have you graduated now then?

    I'm sorry to hear about your problems. Do you have them under control now?

    I try not to mention my struggles with MH here as it's a bit dettering and I appreciate the support I get.

    Well I'm no longer in such a supportive environment like college so it's more high stakes with having to work too! But I do work well with regular good work. I'm looking forward to the supervisions at Cambridge if I get in .
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    (Original post by Kvothe the arcane)
    Have you graduated now then?

    I'm sorry to hear about your problems. Well I'm no longer in such an environment so it's more high stakes! But I do work well with regular good work. I'm looking forward to the supervisions at Cambridge if I get in .
    Nah I haven't graduated will in two years though
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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    Slightly off topic but I'm wondering why Cambridge didn't continue to carry over their contextualisation of you? They can obviously see that you've had incredibly tough circumstances and have done so well in light of that, and that you do have the raw ability to thrive there. But it's not like your circumstances are favourable now - not many students who need A*A*A are working full time and supporting themselves? Most have pretty comfortable lives and go to good schools who prep them endlessly for that. I believe that you can get these grades of course, I'm just wondering why Cambridge look at contextualisation for your previous circumstances but seem to ignore them in your offer and gave you the standard offer?
    Extenuating Circumstances provide context for the overall application, but I doubt they would normally enable a significantly relaxed offer. That said, if an offer was narrowly missed I imagine they would still take them into account.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Extenuating Circumstances provide context for the overall application, but I doubt they would normally enable a significantly relaxed offer. That said, if an offer was narrowly missed I imagine they would still take them into account.
    I guess what confuses me is that they accept previous lower grades than normal based on contextualisation and circumstances. Of course some extenuating circumstances are acute I.e. They just happened over the GCSE exam period. But when the circumstances persist I really think they should be a little more lenient because KtA getting AAA is probably equivalent to someone of his natural intelligence at a good school with no major extenuating circumstances getting A*A*A*.

    If they really are committed to 'access' they should consider this as a student like KtA who has had such long-term and adverse circumstances getting AAA may miss their entry target but have more ability and passion to thrive at Cambridge than a kid in a private school/comfortable life bubble who happened to meet their offer.
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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    I guess what confuses me is that they accept previous lower grades than normal based on contextualisation and circumstances. Of course some extenuating circumstances are acute I.e. They just happened over the GCSE exam period. But when the circumstances persist I really think they should be a little more lenient because KtA getting AAA is probably equivalent to someone of his natural intelligence at a good school with no major extenuating circumstances getting A*A*A*.

    If they really are committed to 'access' they should consider this as a student like KtA who has had such long-term and adverse circumstances getting AAA may miss their entry target but have more ability and passion to thrive at Cambridge than a kid in a private school/comfortable life bubble who happened to meet their offer.
    Possibly, but they still need to be sure that students have the ability to do well in the Tripos. I'm also sure that KtA will do so, and will achieve the offer anyway
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Possibly, but they still need to be sure that students have the ability to do well in the Tripos. I'm also sure that KtA will do so, and will achieve the offer anyway
    Me also re KtA but I'm sure there are others like him and it's a shame if these are the types of people missing the uncompromising offers.
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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    ...
    Whilst I do agree with you broadly, Cambridge also needs to make sure that people arriving in October to study are at the suitable level so that they aren't floundering at the very beginning because their knowledge is patchy, no matter how intelligent they are, asking for A*A*A is one way of doing that.
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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    I guess what confuses me is that they accept previous lower grades than normal based on contextualisation and circumstances. Of course some extenuating circumstances are acute I.e. They just happened over the GCSE exam period. But when the circumstances persist I really think they should be a little more lenient because KtA getting AAA is probably equivalent to someone of his natural intelligence at a good school with no major extenuating circumstances getting A*A*A*.

    If they really are committed to 'access' they should consider this as a student like KtA who has had such long-term and adverse circumstances getting AAA may miss their entry target but have more ability and passion to thrive at Cambridge than a kid in a private school/comfortable life bubble who happened to meet their offer.
    Perhaps if I were homeless or something, but my life is a lot more stable than it used to be. Hopefully jneil1's confidence isn't misplaced! As I said, most of the mature college applicants will have ft jobs.

    A levels are thankfully routine and hopefully the scores of past material will be sufficient. People do complete post graduate education with kids and jobs etc.. Someone at my workplace works as a TA while doing a psychology masters. It's tough but hopefully doable.

    I'm just disappointed that the offer was A*A*A as I was told previously it was highly unlikely a 3rd A level would be necessary as I have an A in maths. I took the extra one because I didn't like the stain on my record and thought this might happen but I thought it was paranoia. I assumed I'd need A*A*(B) or something
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    Whilst I do agree with you broadly, Cambridge also needs to make sure that people arriving in October to study are at the suitable level so that they aren't floundering at the very beginning because their knowledge is patchy, no matter how intelligent they are, asking for A*A*A is one way of doing that.
    This. Plus I'm already rusty. Studying hard would force me to be at my A* game.

    And I won't be starting till after another gap year.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    Whilst I do agree with you broadly, Cambridge also needs to make sure that people arriving in October to study are at the suitable level so that they aren't floundering at the very beginning because their knowledge is patchy, no matter how intelligent they are, asking for A*A*A is one way of doing that.
    Interviews and aptitude tests should be used for that. And realising that actually A levels are incredibly limited. I know from my particular grammar school we had an unbelievable amount of support to meet Oxbridge offers and sometimes I think that a lot of hard work in a good environment with a natural base intelligence is enough for the grades Cambridge require. However with just the base intelligence which is arguably all you need to do well at Cambridge but a bad environment and no external support it is way more difficult to these grades.
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    (Original post by Kvothe the arcane)
    Perhaps if I were homeless or something, but my life is a lot more stable than it used to be. Hopefully jneil1's confidence isn't misplaced! As I said, most of the mature college applicants will have ft jobs.

    A levels are thankfully routine and hopefully the scores of past material will be sufficient. People do complete post graduate education with kids and jobs etc.. Someone at my workplace works as a TA while doing a psychology masters. It's tough but hopefully doable.

    I'm just disappointed that the offer wasn't A*A*A as I was told previously it was highly unlikely a 3rd A level would be necessary as I have an A in maths. I took the extra one because I didn't like the stain on my record and thought this might happen but I thought it was paranoia. I assumed I'd need A*A(B) or something
    I think that's because they want to see that candidates can do well with a full (i.e. 3 subject) A-level workload, as preparation for the Cambridge workload.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    I think that's because they want to see that candidates can do well with a full (i.e. 3 subject) A-level workload, as preparation for the Cambridge workload.
    If they're being truthful, there were applicants in the FB thread who did get 2 subject offers and I saw some A*A*C floating around but the minority, of course.

    I was only hopeful for what I said above because of calls/emails but of course I recognised that there were no guarantees. TG I decided to resit all 3!
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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    Interviews and aptitude tests should be used for that. And realising that actually A levels are incredibly limited. I know from my particular grammar school we had an unbelievable amount of support to meet Oxbridge offers and sometimes I think that a lot of hard work in a good environment with a natural base intelligence is enough for the grades Cambridge require. However with just the base intelligence which is arguably all you need to do well at Cambridge but a bad environment and no external support it is way more difficult to these grades.
    I'm not entirely sure you understand what I mean. Interviews and aptitude tests are used for that, but Cambridge does need to make sure that everybody arriving in October has the knowledge required in order to start off the course, a person might be really intelligent but if his extenuating circumstances dictates that he knows only enough of the A2 material to get a B in FM, let's say, it's very unlikely that he'll be able to start off the maths tripos without a massive amount of struggling and catching up to do on top of the already heavy workload.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    I'm not entirely sure you understand what I mean. Interviews and aptitude tests are used for that, but Cambridge does need to make sure that everybody arriving in October has the knowledge required in order to start off the course, a person might be really intelligent but if his extenuating circumstances dictates that he knows only enough of the A2 material to get a B in FM, let's say, it's very unlikely that he'll be able to start off the maths tripos without a massive amount of struggling and catching up to do on top of the already heavy workload.
    You can know all of a subject and be good enough to get the grade required but miss it because your circumstances are unfavourable.

    I get what you're saying and don't want to ruin KtAs thread because I'm talking more generally and not him specifically but I appreciate your input and jneill
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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    You can know all of a subject and be good enough to get the grade required but miss it because your circumstances are unfavourable.

    I get what you're saying and don't want to ruin KtAs thread because I'm talking more generally and not him specifically but I appreciate your input and jneill
    It's certainly not fool-proof and Cambridge does look at things on a case-by-case basis (aw yiss I am junior jneill right now) even if you miss your offer.

    Fair enough, I agree. Appreciate yours as well. :ahee: P.S: Took down your avatar already?
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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    You can know all of a subject and be good enough to get the grade required but miss it because your circumstances are unfavourable.

    I get what you're saying and don't want to ruin KtAs thread because I'm talking more generally and not him specifically but I appreciate your input and jneill
    No system is perfect, but Cambridge seems to do a pretty good job most times. And there's plenty of other great unis for the times when they get it wrong.

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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    You can know all of a subject and be good enough to get the grade required but miss it because your circumstances are unfavourable.

    I get what you're saying and don't want to ruin KtAs thread because I'm talking more generally and not him specifically but I appreciate your input and jneill
    Hmmm EW. The thing is, I didn't know the content. That's why I didn't do well. If something were to go amiss in my exam season then that would be unfortunate and noone could predict that but Zacken is right, I should be at a certain standard this June. I happened to be solid on the topics they asked at interview but I would have to be similarly study on everything to do the course. And it's unlikely that I'd be A* level prepared but not do well. I don't really have exam anxiety (and if I did, I'd probably find Cambridge system too stressful).

    I'm slightly disappointed about the 3 A level thing but I think their offer is reasonable. It isn't like there is a STEP thing for my subject which I could do sufficiently well in to offset a slip in A level grades.

    If I don't do well now then it's probably the case I simply cannot work as hard as I need to while working. If that is true, then I won't be the standard they require at the start of the course. I'm okay with that.
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    (Original post by Kvothe the arcane)
    Hmmm EW. The thing is, I didn't know the content. That's why I didn't do well. If something were to go amiss in my exam season then that would be unfortunate and noone could predict that but Zacken is right, I should be at a certain standard this June. I happened to be solid on the topics they asked at interview but I would have to be similarly study on everything to do the course. And it's unlikely that I'd be A* level prepared but not do well. I don't really have exam anxiety (and if I did, I'd probably find Cambridge system too stressful).

    I'm slightly disappointed about the 3 A level thing but I think their offer is reasonable. It isn't like there is a STEP thing for my subject which I could do sufficiently well in to offset a slip in A level grades.

    If I don't do well now then it's probably the case I simply cannot work as hard as I need to while working. If that is true, then I won't be the standard they require at the start of the course. I'm okay with that.
    Completely and your positivity and resolve as well as not being a victim to your circumstances is very inspiring to me. (I have to be careful because I said something like this to another user and they got funny with me that I was calling them inspiration porn :lolwut:)

    I was talking more generally though but as Zacken, you, and jneill have pointed out, Cambridge do generally get it right and if people want lower and easier offers they should apply to Oxford :rofl:

    Thanks all for reasoned discussions. That doesn't often happen on TSR when people disagree with you. Also love that Zacken is now a mini jneill. TSR father and son :toofunny:
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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    I was talking more generally though but as Zacken, you, and jneill have pointed out, Cambridge do generally get it right and if people want lower and easier offers they should apply to Oxford :rofl:
    I was scrolling through the Oxford offers thread and thinking the same thing: soooooo many AAA offers like what?
 
 
 
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