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    I am trying to choose between oxford and cambridge for maths (currently in year 12). i am leaning towards oxford, but i am struggling to decide for sure. i am considering the following points:

    oxford -

    - seems to be better for those beyond the very top mathematicians in the year
    - i much prefer the city, closer to home
    - i have been told it has more breadth than cambridge, which i think i would prefer
    - considered easier to get into

    cambridge:

    - if i dont apply, would linger on whether i could have got in
    - harder, more challenging course
    - step (while I've been told i have the ability to do well in it, i am not sure if i want to spend the majority of year 13 worrying about it and preparing, especially as even if i received an offer i would be unsure if i was going to get in or not)
    - seems as a whole more academic (which is not a positive thing for me)

    could anyone clarify or correct me on any of these points, or suggest further arguments?
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    I much prefer Cambridge (although I have minimal knowledge of Oxford maths). Cambridge entrance uses STEP rather than the MAT exam that Oxford uses. I much prefer STEP to MAT as Ill be sitting in a couple of months (end of y13) but it is much easier than you will first imagine. Just get a good start and if you really have a passion for maths it will become easier (especially as I was terrible to start with). MAT is much more quick fire and on fairly bland questions so I find it harder to do better in that.
    I suppose you just need to ask yourself, are you applying for the ease of the whole situation or are you doing it for the greater understanding of mathematics? Hope this helps atleast a bit
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    (Original post by jacu111)
    I am trying to choose between oxford and cambridge for maths (currently in year 12). i am leaning towards oxford, but i am struggling to decide for sure. i am considering the following points:

    oxford -

    - seems to be better for those beyond the very top mathematicians in the year
    - i much prefer the city, closer to home
    - i have been told it has more breadth than cambridge, which i think i would prefer
    - considered easier to get into

    cambridge:

    - if i dont apply, would linger on whether i could have got in
    - harder, more challenging course
    - step (while I've been told i have the ability to do well in it, i am not sure if i want to spend the majority of year 13 worrying about it and preparing, especially as even if i received an offer i would be unsure if i was going to get in or not)
    - seems as a whole more academic (which is not a positive thing for me)

    could anyone clarify or correct me on any of these points, or suggest further arguments?
    I'm in the same position as you, but learning towards Cambridge

    Cambridge pros for me:
    Nicer and smaller city which i like
    Closer to home (only slightly)
    Better in maths (it's a fact)
    Preferred sports clubs and societies
    On a whole more prestige
    Accepts more state school applicants
    Cheaper (or so I've heard)

    Oxford pros:
    MAT is easier than STEP (BIG POINT) - I am not worried about meeting the A level requirements so it would put a great pressure off because you would be almost guaranteed to go there if you got an offer
    Look at GCSE's more


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    Just thought I'd put in my thoughts on Oxford! I'm definitely biased towards Oxford but I thought it would contrast the previous two posters

    Pros for Oxford:
    - I agree with you that it's *possibly* easier to get into if you're not the top top top mathematician
    - MAT is much easier to prepare for because you don't need to learn anything new, you just need to adapt your problem solving skills to university style questions
    - The offer will always be A*A*A
    - IMO it's a nicer city, and I like it being larger because you can get away from the centre and there's still a university feel
    - The exams are very straightforward, there are 3 hour exams where you choose 4/6 questions, and 1.5 hours where you choose 2/3, and every question is marked out of 25
    - As long as you get a 2:1 (about 70% of students) at the end of third year you can stay on for fourth year
    - Amazing newly built Maths Institute

    Cons for Cambridge:
    - STEP is at the same time as A levels
    - Your offer could include any STEP papers and marks (eg they could say get a 1 in STEP 1 and 2, or they could say get an S in STEP 2 and 3)
    - V confusing exam structure, just answer as many questions as you can, and the big marks come from the ends of the questions
    - You're only guaranteed to be allowed to stay on for fourth year if you get a First (about 30% of students)

    Good luck with your decision!
 
 
 
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