looktoyourright
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Now doing A-lvls. Aiming for AAAA (Maths Ft, maths ,physics) in my a level for AS. Hoping for A*AA predicted grades. I want to apply for computer science - how hard is it to get in and what can i do over the summer to improve my chances.
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
Now doing A-lvls. Aiming for AAAA (Maths Ft, maths ,physics) in my a level for AS. Hoping for A*AA predicted grades. I want to apply for computer science - how hard is it to get in and what can i do over the summer to improve my chances.
Well yes, it is hard to get in, you're applying to one of the most competitive Computer Science departments in the country with an applications to offer ratio of about 1:10 and most applicants are going to have an excellent examinations record.

For more specific and targeted advice, please look at the department's admissions page. However, the two main hurdles you will face in terms of getting a place is the MAT exam (an exam they use to decide who to interview; about a third of applicants are interviewed) and the interview (about a third of interviewees get an offer). The MAT is an aptitude test which means it's quite difficult to revise for it specifically, but you should certainly be doing MAT past papers and similar exams like UKMT papers, BMO papers etc. are all good preparation. Read around the subject, Oxford's CompSci department probably has a reading list and Cambridge's department certainly does.
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looktoyourright
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
Well yes, it is hard to get in, you're applying to one of the most competitive Computer Science departments in the country with an applications to offer ratio of about 1:10 and most applicants are going to have an excellent examinations record.

For more specific and targeted advice, please look at the department's admissions page. However, the two main hurdles you will face in terms of getting a place is the MAT exam (an exam they use to decide who to interview; about a third of applicants are interviewed) and the interview (about a third of interviewees get an offer). The MAT is an aptitude test which means it's quite difficult to revise for it specifically, but you should certainly be doing MAT past papers and similar exams like UKMT papers, BMO papers etc. are all good preparation. Read around the subject, Oxford's CompSci department probably has a reading list and Cambridge's department certainly does.
Do they care a lot about GCSE grade - those were not amazing but I still got 1 A* and 4 A the rest not so great. Also i'm doing a-level chem but i'm doing pretty bad - i'd be lucky to get a C . Any chance that can reflect badly ?
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
Do they care a lot about GCSE grade - those were not amazing but I still got 1 A* and 4 A the rest not so great. Also i'm doing a-level chem but i'm doing pretty bad - i'd be lucky to get a C . Any chance that can reflect badly ?
Your GCSE results will definitely be below average for that course, however I don't think it's as important as the MAT or your interview performance. If you demonstrate a very high level of ability in the MAT and prove to the interviewers that you'd do very well on the course in the interview then I think they'd be happy to look over your GCSEs. I don't think your A Level Chemistry grade is the end of the world either, as long as you do well in your other exams (i.e. AAAC, preferably) and get an A*AA prediction or above.
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looktoyourright
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
Your GCSE results will definitely be below average for that course, however I don't think it's as important as the MAT or your interview performance. If you demonstrate a very high level of ability in the MAT and prove to the interviewers that you'd do very well on the course in the interview then I think they'd be happy to look over your GCSEs. I don't think your A Level Chemistry grade is the end of the world either, as long as you do well in your other exams (i.e. AAAC, preferably) and get an A*AA prediction or above.
Thanks for the advice I'm planning on getting AAAAC but one of the subjects is my language . I'll try to study C3/4 and FP1 to be ahead . Will that give me a great edge in the Mat?
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
Thanks for the advice I'm planning on getting AAAAC but one of the subjects is my language . I'll try to study C3/4 and FP1 to be ahead . Will that give me a great edge in the Mat?
It's an aptitude test so simply knowing more Maths probably isn't going to help you a huge amount although it may be worth getting through C3/4 as long as you've still got time to do plenty of practice with MAT past papers, and UKMT etc.
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looktoyourright
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
It's an aptitude test so simply knowing more Maths probably isn't going to help you a huge amount although it may be worth getting through C3/4 as long as you've still got time to do plenty of practice with MAT past papers, and UKMT etc.
So it's the mat paper I will be doing and that will be around November ? Do offers include STEP too? I'm also doing a placement for a month in the field . I'm guess that will boost my chances
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
So it's the mat paper I will be doing and that will be around November ? Do offers include STEP too? I'm also doing a placement for a month in the field . I'm guess that will boost my chances
Yes the MAT is in November as far as I'm aware. Offers do not include STEP. You're not going to have an advantage simply by having done a placement although it's still definitely worth doing for the experience.
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looktoyourright
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
Yes the MAT is in November as far as I'm aware. Offers do not include STEP. You're not going to have an advantage simply by having done a placement although it's still definitely worth doing for the experience.
I understand but it's always good to talk about in your personal statement . So am I almost guaranteed to take he mat as long as I get AAAAC and A*AA predicted? Does it matter in that course to have a lot of background knowledge for example coding as I have non or is good maths skills enough ?
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
I understand but it's always good to talk about in your personal statement . So am I almost guaranteed to take he mat as long as I get AAAAC and A*AA predicted? Does it matter in that course to have a lot of background knowledge for example coding as I have non or is good maths skills enough ?
Everyone who applies sits the MAT so you'll definitely take the exam if you apply, then using your MAT results (with your existing exam results) they decide who to interview (about a third).

You do not need to know how to code or have lots of background knowledge although obviously you will be expected to have done reading around our subject since they're not going to accept someone who doesn't know what they're getting themselves into! But yes, the most important thing is that your maths skills are very good and that you can show that you can think clearly and logically.
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looktoyourright
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
Everyone who applies sits the MAT so you'll definitely take the exam if you apply, then using your MAT results (with your existing exam results) they decide who to interview (about a third).

You do not need to know how to code or have lots of background knowledge although obviously you will be expected to have done reading around our subject since they're not going to accept someone who doesn't know what they're getting themselves into! But yes, the most important thing is that your maths skills are very good and that you can show that you can think clearly and logically.
Are you an existing student ? what can I do in the summer apart from learning c3/4 and doing past papers in mat to improve my chances ??? Is experience something they care about ?
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
Are you an existing student ? what can I do in the summer apart from learning c3/4 and doing past papers in mat to improve my chances ??? Is experience something they care about ?
I'm a student at the university but not in the Computer Science department. Look at the Computer Science department's website, they probably have better advice than I can give. I can only reiterate - find some reading lists, do some reading around the subject, make sure your maths skills are sharp.
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looktoyourright
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
I'm a student at the university but not in the Computer Science department. Look at the Computer Science department's website, they probably have better advice than I can give. I can only reiterate - find some reading lists, do some reading around the subject, make sure your maths skills are sharp.
What do you study? Are the interviews / mats hard? Is it worth the pain to get in?
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Palette
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
Are you an existing student ? what can I do in the summer apart from learning c3/4 and doing past papers in mat to improve my chances ??? Is experience something they care about ?
I believe Imperial College London offers some public Computer Science lectures over the summer so it may be good to attend one if you are able to attend.
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looktoyourright
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(Original post by Palette)
I believe Imperial College London offers some public Computer Science lectures over the summer so it may be good to attend one if you are able to attend.
You serious ??? Wow can you link me if possible? I'm guessing by public anyone can attend 😀😀😀
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
What do you study? Are the interviews / mats hard? Is it worth the pain to get in?
Earth Sciences. Obviously the interviews and MAT are hard... it's meant to push you to your limit. Whether it's worth the pain of getting in depends on how much you want to study at Oxford. But to be perfectly honest the application process isn't that horrific since even if you don't get in it's all good practice.
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
Earth Sciences. Obviously the interviews and MAT are hard... it's meant to push you to your limit. Whether it's worth the pain of getting in depends on how much you want to study at Oxford. But to be perfectly honest the application process isn't that horrific since even if you don't get in it's all good practice.
So are there many opportunities after Oxford ? And what % is considered good in mat?
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
You serious ??? Wow can you link me if possible? I'm guessing by public anyone can attend 😀😀😀
Yeah but book in advance. Imperial's scheduled events doesn't go any further than late June but here is one from Oxford:

http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/seminarsEvents.html

Also you ought to calm down slightly. MIT OpenCourseware is also useful- I plan to watch introductory OCW classical mechanics lectures over the summer purely for fun.
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
So are there many opportunities after Oxford ? And what % is considered good in mat?
https://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/study-her...dmissions-test

Scroll down for average scores of shortlisted and successful applicants though this includes people taking MAT applying for Maths.
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by looktoyourright)
So are there many opportunities after Oxford ? And what % is considered good in mat?
Well yeah there are lots of good opportunities, it's a great uni. Look at the link Palette gave regarding percentages.
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