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    I'm currently picking my A-levels. I really enjoy programming and computing, so I've been thinking about CompSci, and love the look of the Cambridge course. The issue is, I would be doing Maths, FM, Physics, Econ and most people don't seem to take Computing for this course. This means Maths and Science are emphasised at interview.

    I wanted to ask anyone who knew how good I would have to be at these subjects. I think I'm pretty/very good at them, but I'm not 'genius' material. For example, I'm in 2nd set for both (although for sciences the sets were assigned in year 9 and never changed, so I might be more like bottom of top set) in a very selective school (as in afaik most people in the 'bottom' Maths set get A's at GCSE). Do I even stand a chance?
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    Cambridge will probably require beyond A*A*A* (they'll look at UMS) since they're absurdly competitive, and aptitude tests/STEP/interview-processes on top. It'll be quite literally a competition against the best in the country, so the likelihood of any individual actually making it is minute at best.

    If you're struggling to get very high A*s at GCSE (near 100% raw marks, few if any mistakes - none of this 65-70% for an A* nonsense), it'll only be an uphill struggle for Cambridge. A-levels naturally are a step up from GCSE in terms of conceptual understanding, so it'll be a tough journey.

    There are plenty of other well respected Universities (in terms of QS world rankings, UK league tables, research quality, etc) including LSE and UCL that are slightly less selective in their admissions processes. Russell Group universities are fairly easy to get into compared to the "top three"
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    Exceptional
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    You'll be wanting to be good enough to consider sitting STEP I, with a prediction of A* in A level maths/further maths. The interview + PS will play a big role too
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    Computer science involves a lot of maths at all universities, especially Cambridge. If you've just finished your GCSE's, it's probably a bit early to say how good you are (although you get an A* at GCSE without much effort). See how well you do at AS. If you are on track for A*'s in Maths and Further Maths at A-level there's no harm in applying. Physics isn't really too relevant.
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    like 10/10 good.
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    someone at my school got in with 4A*'s at A-level after applying during a gap year and their gcse's were poor like a D grade in physics... so don't think gcse's are the be all and end all guys...
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    Thanks everyone for your replies. Sorry, I was out for most of the day.

    TBH the choice is between Physics and Philosophy (with a view to maybe doing PPE), but apparently physics is pretty important for Cambridge according to their website. The thing is, if my interview is going to be mainly Maths and Physics-based (which seems to be the case), I feel they're not the areas I'm the very best in (I'm probably better at Computer Science itself, although they're difficult to compare). I'm enthusiastic about CompSci but I'm not a Maths/Phys-whizz. As in, I found the Physics paper this year really difficult (as did almost everyone) and that may have knocked me to the A/A* borderline, and I got 95% in iGCSE Maths in January after a lot of past papers, but got a B in my EoY10 exam because I had a really bad day. So I think I'm probably just not good enough tbh (this isn't meant to be a post for others to say that actually I'm great at it or whatever, just brutal honesty with myself).
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    (Original post by CSThrowaway)
    Thanks everyone for your replies. Sorry, I was out for most of the day.

    TBH the choice is between Physics and Philosophy (with a view to maybe doing PPE), but apparently physics is pretty important for Cambridge according to their website. The thing is, if my interview is going to be mainly Maths and Physics-based (which seems to be the case), I feel they're not the areas I'm the very best in (I'm probably better at Computer Science itself, although they're difficult to compare). I'm enthusiastic about CompSci but I'm not a Maths/Phys-whizz. As in, I found the Physics paper this year really difficult (as did almost everyone) and that may have knocked me to the A/A* borderline, and I got 95% in iGCSE Maths in January after a lot of past papers, but got a B in my EoY10 exam because I had a really bad day. So I think I'm probably just not good enough tbh (this isn't meant to be a post for others to say that actually I'm great at it or whatever, just brutal honesty with myself).
    See how you feel after A-levels. One thing I would suggest from this post is that you take a look at the Oxf*rd Computer Science and Philosophy course. I eventually chose to apply to Cambridge instead (I realised I preferred maths to essays), but if you are interested in both philosophy and computer science I think it would be really great. If you go to the open day, go and talk to Professor Millican, he's incredibly passionate about it and may well persuade you to apply on the spot. And as it is a joint honours you would probably be able to avoid the more mathsy parts of the CS course.
 
 
 
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