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    My sixth form is taking the AS exams halfway through our first year of A-Levels, in the summer. Does this mean we will have UMS or not? I am hoping to apply to Cambridge and am aware of the high UMS marks needed to do okay in the application process, but am clueless on what's happening since others in the country aren't doing the AS exams under the new reformed system. So, what's the deal there?

    Also, my fourth A-Level subject is weak, the Oxbridge co-ordinator is thinking about not putting the fourth A-Level subject on my application later on in the year, since my other three are stronger and my teachers would like me to apply (as do I).
    Would not having a fourth subject be detrimental?
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    Yes you will get AS results and raw marks for subjects that aren't on the new reformed spec.
    UMS I am not sure about since there is now no need for them.
    There are admission tests at Cambridge now to give them more information from candidates who are not taking AS exams.

    It depends what course you are applying to. Not every school will let their pupils even do a fourth A2 so it shouldn't be detrimental providing that you are doing three suitable subjects for your chosen course.
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    (Original post by Pentaquark)
    Yes you will get AS results and there will be UMS marks from it.
    There are admission tests at Cambridge now to give them more information about candidates who are not taking AS exams.

    It depends what course you are applying to. Not every school will let their pupils even do a fourth A2 so it shouldn't be detrimental providing that you are doing three suitable subjects for your chosen course.
    I took Biology, and I want to do History. I do very well in my other subjects (History, English Literature and English Language) but I haven't got much of a scientific mind, so Biology is weaker.

    Thank-you! I was just wondering whether or not UMS would exist, since AS and A2 are decoupled now.
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    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    I took Biology, and I want to do History. I do very well in my other subjects (History, English Literature and English Language) but I haven't got much of a scientific mind, so Biology is weaker.

    Thank-you! I was just wondering whether or not UMS would exist, since AS and A2 are decoupled now.
    History, English literature and English Language seems like a great combination!
    I know for physical natural sciences taking further maths as a fourth A2 gives you an advantage even though some get in without it. This was coming from the head admissions tutor at Cambridge when I was on the university's shadowing scheme.

    But for other subjects I am not quite sure whether taking four is an advantage.
    I mean if you do well in Biology they are going to look upon it favourably in the way that if you can cope with all four, you are most likely going to cope with the workload at Oxbridge. However since you are doing well in your other three I'd drop biology personally, because if it is going to affect your grades then I don't think its worth taking the risk unless you like a challenge and you find it incredibly interesting. I am sure plenty of people have got in without four subjects so as long as you are amazing at the other three it shouldn't matter!
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    (Original post by Pentaquark)
    History, English literature and English Language seems like a great combination!
    I know for physical natural sciences taking further maths as a fourth A2 gives you an advantage even though some get in without it. This was coming from the head admissions tutor at Cambridge when I was on the university's shadowing scheme.

    But for other subjects I am not quite sure whether taking four is an advantage.
    I mean if you do well in Biology they are going to look upon it favourably in the way that if you can cope with all four, you are most likely going to cope with the workload at Oxbridge. However since you are doing well in your other three I'd drop biology personally, because if it is going to affect your grades then I don't think its worth taking the risk unless you like a challenge and you find it incredibly interesting. I am sure plenty of people have got in without four subjects so as long as you are amazing at the other three it shouldn't matter!
    Thanks so much! I should've taken Philosophy really, because I can cope with the workload, I just don't have a scientific mind. :facepalm:

    My teachers said I'd be fine with the workload, and am a good candidate due to my hardwork and enthusiasm towards my subjects. I do find Biology fascinating, so I don't want to drop it, purely because I want to learn it all. I just can't seem to hack the exam, yet I breeze through the other three. :dontknow: Without seeming snobby though, I am particularly good at History. I wrote an A2 A/A* grade essay in Year 8 so it's definitely my strong suit, and English is also a strong suit of mine as well. (And to think I almost did Chemistry instead of English Language!)

    Sorry to keep asking questions, but I also have low GCSES (Only 3 A*'s, 3 B's and 2 C's) but I missed practically four years of school and basically taught myself whilst not being able to walk and other medical issues. So the fact I have low GCSES, coupled with a weak fourth subject, is it too much of a risk to apply and be a successful candidate? Although I do qualify for extenuating circumstances.

    Sorry for the questions, I'd absolutely love to study History at Cambridge, but I don't want to be aimlessly optimistic if I don't have a chance.
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    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    Thanks so much! I should've taken Philosophy really, because I can cope with the workload, I just don't have a scientific mind. :facepalm:

    My teachers said I'd be fine with the workload, and am a good candidate due to my hardwork and enthusiasm towards my subjects. I do find Biology fascinating, so I don't want to drop it, purely because I want to learn it all. I just can't seem to hack the exam, yet I breeze through the other three. :dontknow: Without seeming snobby though, I am particularly good at History. I wrote an A2 A/A* grade essay in Year 8 so it's definitely my strong suit, and English is also a strong suit of mine as well. (And to think I almost did Chemistry instead of English Language!).

    Sorry to keep asking questions, but I also have *low* GCSES (Only 3 A*'s, 3 B's and 2 C's) but I missed practically four years of school and basically taught myself whilst not being able to walk. So the fact I have low GCSES, coupled with a weak fourth subject, too much of a risk to apply and be a successful candidate?

    Sorry for the questions, I'd absolutely love to study History at Cambridge, but I don't want to be aimlessly optimistic if I don't have a chance.
    Your best bet is to ask on the Cambridge bit on the forums!
    I am certainly not one to ask for advice to whether to apply to Cambridge since I am only in year 12 right now But I've been to plenty of admissions talks about Cambridge and I have my mentor (who I got allocated with due to the shadowing scheme) who I can speak to whenever, so I feel like an expert haha

    I would certainly not be put off applying. You seem certainly capable!
    I understand completely when you don't want to be aimlessly optimistic.
    I'd love to go to Cambridge (for physical natural sciences) and had a similar dilemma to whether to carry on all four of my subjects. But again I don't want to get my hopes up so right now I am just focussing on doing amazingly well in my AS levels. Maybe just focus on doing well and then on results day you can start thinking about courses and oxbridge?

    I find all my subjects fascinating and I don't really care about whether it will affect my grades if I carry them all on. I know I'll definitely put in the work for them so I won't do too badly. But again I'll make a proper decision come results day but I am fairly confident that I will do well in all four.

    Definitely mention that on the form you get sent after you apply to Cambridge. The admissions tutor spoke to us about the SAQ form you get sent and how you can mention about any difficulties you have had to explain 'bad' results. Every little helps for them to make a good decision to whether you are going to do well on the course and have a better gauge your potential. Although obviously high UMS and brilliant interview weighs a lot more heavily than GCSEs. I wouldn't worry! That is a good set of GCSEs so don't feel discouraged to apply because of it. If you don't apply you will never know whether you would have gotten in!
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    Hey

    I'm just like you in a sense, I took Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English Literature at AS and came out with AAAB - with the B in Lit. I didn't take Lit to A2 as a result but Cambridge didn't mind at all Three is sufficient
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    (Original post by Pentaquark)
    Your best bet is to ask on the Cambridge bit on the forums!
    I am certainly not one to ask for advice to whether to apply to Cambridge since I am only in year 12 right now But I've been to plenty of admissions talks about Cambridge and I have my mentor (who I got allocated with due to the shadowing scheme) who I can speak to whenever, so I feel like an expert haha

    I would certainly not be put off applying. You seem certainly capable!
    I understand completely when you don't want to be aimlessly optimistic.
    I'd love to go to Cambridge (for physical natural sciences) and had a similar dilemma to whether to carry on all four of my subjects. But again I don't want to get my hopes up so right now I am just focussing on doing amazingly well in my AS levels. Maybe just focus on doing well and then on results day you can start thinking about courses and oxbridge?

    I find all my subjects fascinating and I don't really care about whether it will affect my grades if I carry them all on. I know I'll definitely put in the work for them so I won't do too badly. But again I'll make a proper decision come results day but I am fairly confident that I will do well in all four.

    Definitely mention that on the form you get sent after you apply to Cambridge. The admissions tutor spoke to us about the SAQ form you get sent and how you can mention about any difficulties you have had to explain 'bad' results. Every little helps for them to make a good decision to whether you are going to do well on the course and have a better gauge your potential. Although obviously high UMS and brilliant interview weighs a lot more heavily than GCSEs. I wouldn't worry! That is a good set of GCSEs so don't feel discouraged to apply because of it. If you don't apply you will never know whether you would have gotten in!
    Yeah I might ask around, I did ask earlier and was told it should be sufficient and I seem capable. I just can't get enough of asking and I think I'm irritating the flip out of them Oh, I wish I had done the shadowing scheme. A mentor is very lucky of you to obtain! Hopefully we'll both get in, hey? Yeah, I'd love to go to Cambridge for plenty of reasons, and I feel like I could if I do amazingly at AS, but this Biology business is a bit of a potential complication.

    Trying very hard for Biology, assessments just don't seem to favour me. I understand the content, but the tests throw me off. Wish I could do another AS but my Dad won't let me.

    Yeah, I think I'll just concentrate on doing well. I'm a bit scared about not getting good UMS averages, since humanities can be quite subjective to the conditions of the day. Although when people say they can't revise for humanities, whilst I didn't for GCSE and did well, A-Level is a bit of a different story. I could've probably pulled off 6 A*'s at least, but I only got 3 because I barely went to secondary school. Thanks so much, you seem very friendly, and best of luck with your AS-Levels! I'm sure you'll do well!

    What subjects do you study?

    (Original post by enaayrah)
    HeyI'm just like you in a sense, I took Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English Literature at AS and came out with AAAB - with the B in Lit. I didn't take Lit to A2 as a result but Cambridge didn't mind at all Three is sufficient
    Oh well that's cool, you still did well in AS Lit! Best of luck in the summer and your application!
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    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    My sixth form is taking the AS exams halfway through our first year of A-Levels, in the summer. Does this mean we will have UMS or not? I am hoping to apply to Cambridge and am aware of the high UMS marks needed to do okay in the application process,

    Also, my fourth A-Level subject is weak, the Oxbridge co-ordinator is thinking about not putting the fourth A-Level subject on my application later on in the year, since my other three are stronger and my teachers would like me to apply (as do I).
    Would not having a fourth subject be detrimental?
    All you will formally get for the new AS and A level grades is a grade. You can ask your school for the marks but they will not be UMS marks and the grade boundaries will vary between subjects, exam boards and exam seasons so 60% might be terrible in one subject (e.g. Maths) but at the top in another (e.g. drama). This means that Cambridge will not be able to use them easily as a comparator.

    If you take the 4th subject then you will get a grade and you will have to declare it.
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    (Original post by Compost)
    All you will formally get for the new AS and A level grades is a grade. You can ask your school for the marks but they will not be UMS marks and the grade boundaries will vary between subjects, exam boards and exam seasons so 60% might be terrible in one subject (e.g. Maths) but at the top in another (e.g. drama). This means that Cambridge will not be able to use them easily as a comparator.

    If you take the 4th subject then you will get a grade and you will have to declare it.
    So, if AS Levels don't work as easily to compare applicants therefore I obtain 3 A grades for my AS Levels but they don't know to the extent it was an A grade, and my GCSES aren't brilliant but I do have particularly major extenuating circumstances and a talent for my chosen subject etc etc, will it still be a decent application?
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    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    So, if AS Levels don't work as easily to compare applicants therefore I obtain 3 A grades for my AS Levels but they don't know to the extent it was an A grade, and my GCSES aren't brilliant but I do have particularly major extenuating circumstances and a talent for my chosen subject etc etc, will it still be a decent application?
    Ask Cambridge.
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    (Original post by Compost)
    Ask Cambridge.
    Will do
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    (Original post by Compost)
    All you will formally get for the new AS and A level grades is a grade. You can ask your school for the marks but they will not be UMS marks and the grade boundaries will vary between subjects, exam boards and exam seasons so 60% might be terrible in one subject (e.g. Maths) but at the top in another (e.g. drama). This means that Cambridge will not be able to use them easily as a comparator.

    If you take the 4th subject then you will get a grade and you will have to declare it.
    Ahh I did not know that there won't be UMS marks.
    So when Cambridge ask you for marks you would give them the raw marks?
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    (Original post by Pentaquark)
    Ahh I did not know that there won't be UMS marks.
    So when Cambridge ask you for marks you would give them the raw marks?
    No idea. All I can see is that all schools will get by the normal electronic transfer from the exam boards will be an overall grade. If they want any more then they're going to have to do to the secure sites and get what they can. It's not at all clear at the moment.
 
 
 
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