Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Hey, everyone!

    I'm creating this discussion to seek out Students that have a strong interest in applying for Mathematics/Computer Science at Oxford in the UK. I'm stressing out about the MAT as it's approaching quickly in about 2 months and I thought it would be a great idea to find prospective students who would like to study for the MAT in a group format. I've been studying on/off for about 2 months and have decided that it's probably beneficial to interact with students interested in attending these schools until the application process is over. Unfortunately, I'm the only person I know that actually knows anything about the Oxford application process and actually wants to attend. If anyone is interested in skyping and studying for the MAT please message me or post in this discussion! I'll also post my test scores, so hopefully that gives you some credibility of my acceptance to these schools. Also I'm a US student...

    ACT - 36
    Math2 - 800
    Bio - 790
    Chem - 770
    AP CalcAB - 5
    AP Com. Sci - 5
    AMC 12A (Feb. 2016)- 117
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi! I graduated last year from Maths and CS at Oxford, so I'm very happy to answer any questions about applying, particularly as an international student, or the course itself.

    I also wrote this guest blog post recently on the application process, so it may be useful to those on this thread
    https://carambalache.wordpress.com/2...puter-science/
    Online

    11
    ReputationRep:
    There is currently a prep thread for the MAT with some nice advice if you want to have a look

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=4207788

    I may also take the MAT this year however for imperial not Oxford
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    If you're still going to prepare for the MAT, would you want to have group sessions on skype or something? I think I'd learn a lot more than studying by myself.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MarkovBrain)
    Hi! I graduated last year from Maths and CS at Oxford, so I'm very happy to answer any questions about applying, particularly as an international student, or the course itself.

    I also wrote this guest blog post recently on the application process, so it may be useful to those on this thread
    https://carambalache.wordpress.com/2...puter-science/
    I have lots of questions! First off, after I finish the MAT and get called in for the interview, does anything else matter at that point? Like once it's at the interview stage, do they still consider the whole application(MAT) or just the interview? Also, how much more competitive will it be for me since I'm a US applicant. From the application requirements(ACT/subject tests), it seems like it's easier to get in than a UK applicant, just from my standpoint.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AmanGottu)
    I have lots of questions! First off, after I finish the MAT and get called in for the interview, does anything else matter at that point? Like once it's at the interview stage, do they still consider the whole application(MAT) or just the interview? Also, how much more competitive will it be for me since I'm a US applicant. From the application requirements(ACT/subject tests), it seems like it's easier to get in than a UK applicant, just from my standpoint.
    Once you make it to the interview stage, I believe that carries the most weight. The tutors sometimes do look back at your MAT score and UCAS application, but I think that's usually if they need an overall picture for some reason, for example in borderline cases or to better understand your school background.
    (Tagging in RichE and gavinlowe, who know more about this.)

    If I understand the grade requirements for US applicants correctly (not something I'm hugely familiar with, I admit), it looks like you've already obtained the high school qualifications required through your SAT/ACT and APs, so if you do well on the application and interviews, it looks like you would be made an unconditional offer.
    I suppose the difference with applicants in the UK system or IB, for example, is simply that they often do not have their final qualifications at the time of applying, so the offer is conditional on getting the right results by the end of Grade 12. Don't know if that makes it easier or harder, just a different application timeline
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MarkovBrain)
    Once you make it to the interview stage, I believe that carries the most weight. The tutors sometimes do look back at your MAT score and UCAS application, but I think that's usually if they need an overall picture for some reason, for example in borderline cases or to better understand your school background.
    (Tagging in RichE and gavinlowe, who know more about this.)

    If I understand the grade requirements for US applicants correctly (not something I'm hugely familiar with, I admit), it looks like you've already obtained the high school qualifications required through your SAT/ACT and APs, so if you do well on the application and interviews, it looks like you would be made an unconditional offer.
    I suppose the difference with applicants in the UK system or IB, for example, is simply that they often do not have their final qualifications at the time of applying, so the offer is conditional on getting the right results by the end of Grade 12. Don't know if that makes it easier or harder, just a different application timeline
    Oh ok, I understand now. Do you have any tips on preparing for the MAT and how you prepared and how well you did? I've been looking at statistics from previous years saying that almost 100% of people that obtain a 90-100 on the exam get an offer. Not sure how true this is, but regardless I'm trying to do my best to achieve that to get the best chance possible for an offer. It might sound a bit ambitious but I'm really adamant about achieving this. By the way, thank you for taking the time to respond!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AmanGottu)
    Oh ok, I understand now. Do you have any tips on preparing for the MAT and how you prepared and how well you did? I've been looking at statistics from previous years saying that almost 100% of people that obtain a 90-100 on the exam get an offer. Not sure how true this is, but regardless I'm trying to do my best to achieve that to get the best chance possible for an offer. It might sound a bit ambitious but I'm really adamant about achieving this. By the way, thank you for taking the time to respond!
    Check out the blog post I linked in my first response - it describes my advice/experience with applying, including MAT preparation

    The statistic you quoted is probably true but not very helpful IMO - it is perhaps better to note that the average score for successful applicants has ranged between 62 and 71 in recent years. Prepare for the test using past papers and the other resources available, and aim to do your best, but don't worry about achieving a near-perfect score, it's not necessary I admit I never asked for mine, but from a very rough estimate after I did the test felt like I'd correctly done at least 75%. If you've understood the concepts and communicate your reasoning clearly you should do well enough to get to the next stage!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MarkovBrain)
    Check out the blog post I linked in my first response - it describes my advice/experience with applying, including MAT preparation

    The statistic you quoted is probably true but not very helpful IMO - it is perhaps better to note that the average score for successful applicants has ranged between 62 and 71 in recent years. Prepare for the test using past papers and the other resources available, and aim to do your best, but don't worry about achieving a near-perfect score, it's not necessary I admit I never asked for mine, but from a very rough estimate after I did the test felt like I'd correctly done at least 75%. If you've understood the concepts and communicate your reasoning clearly you should do well enough to get to the next stage!
    What college did you attend? Also I've heard that some colleges emphasize written test scores more than interviews and was wondering if you knew what certain colleges like to see. Btw I'm leaning towards Keble college, if you have any specific tips for them.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MarkovBrain)
    Once you make it to the interview stage, I believe that carries the most weight. The tutors sometimes do look back at your MAT score and UCAS application, but I think that's usually if they need an overall picture for some reason, for example in borderline cases or to better understand your school background.
    (Tagging in RichE and gavinlowe, who know more about this.)
    I'd have to disagree with this. Everything is still in the mix at the end, the MAT score especially. In practice, in most cases, the MAT score and interview scores are the main selectors. They aren't used mechanistically - so, say, interview scores of 8, 8, 5, where the interviewers have commented that in the last interview the candidate looked very nervous, would be treated in that light; a MAT score where it was known the candidate was ill that week will be duly taken into context. Using these three indicators some applicants will have made a clear case for an offer, and some the opposite - and then there's commonly long discussions including revisiting the UCAS forms to decide more borderline cases, to decide who to promote for export (if the college has had a strong field that year), or to decide who to consider for import (if the college is struggling to fill its last few places).
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AmanGottu)
    I have lots of questions! First off, after I finish the MAT and get called in for the interview, does anything else matter at that point? Like once it's at the interview stage, do they still consider the whole application(MAT) or just the interview?
    We consider everything we know about you, so we do still consider the MAT, school results, personal statement, references, etc. But if you get an interview, you must have done well in the other aspects. The interview is probably the most important aspect, though: in my experience, it's the most reliable indicator of potential to do well.

    Also, how much more competitive will it be for me since I'm a US applicant. From the application requirements(ACT/subject tests), it seems like it's easier to get in than a UK applicant, just from my standpoint.
    I think there's some truth in that. Most offers based on international qualifications are still aligned with the A Level offer of AAA that we used to use, even though lots of subjects now require A*AA or A*A*A. This is something that the University is addressing (but perhaps not as quickly as we should). I think that reviewing the US qualifications is on the agenda for the coming year (although any changes won't take effect until the following year).

    It's worth noting that the offer is not a major part of the selection process. We only make offers to candidates whom we expect to make those offers. The difficult bit is getting the offer. That's in contrast to many other universities who make lots more offers than they have places.

    Gavin
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RichE)
    I'd have to disagree with this. Everything is still in the mix at the end, the MAT score especially. In practice, in most cases, the MAT score and interview scores are the main selectors. They aren't used mechanistically - so, say, interview scores of 8, 8, 5, where the interviewers have commented that in the last interview the candidate looked very nervous, would be treated in that light; a MAT score where it was known the candidate was ill that week will be duly taken into context. Using these three indicators some applicants will have made a clear case for an offer, and some the opposite - and then there's commonly long discussions including revisiting the UCAS forms to decide more borderline cases, to decide who to promote for export (if the college has had a strong field that year), or to decide who to consider for import (if the college is struggling to fill its last few places).
    (Original post by gavinlowe)
    We consider everything we know about you, so we do still consider the MAT, school results, personal statement, references, etc. But if you get an interview, you must have done well in the other aspects. The interview is probably the most important aspect, though: in my experience, it's the most reliable indicator of potential to do well.

    I think there's some truth in that. Most offers based on international qualifications are still aligned with the A Level offer of AAA that we used to use, even though lots of subjects now require A*AA or A*A*A. This is something that the University is addressing (but perhaps not as quickly as we should). I think that reviewing the US qualifications is on the agenda for the coming year (although any changes won't take effect until the following year).

    It's worth noting that the offer is not a major part of the selection process. We only make offers to candidates whom we expect to make those offers. The difficult bit is getting the offer. That's in contrast to many other universities who make lots more offers than they have places.

    Gavin
    Thank you both for stepping in and for your detailed explanations!
    AmanGottu - these responses from admissions tutors should give you a much better understanding of the process than my first answer.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AmanGottu)
    What college did you attend? Also I've heard that some colleges emphasize written test scores more than interviews and was wondering if you knew what certain colleges like to see. Btw I'm leaning towards Keble college, if you have any specific tips for them.
    I went to Magdalen. I think it's unlikely that colleges will differ significantly in their admissions practices: they will follow what RichE and gavinlowe described in their responses when looking at test and interview scores, and tutors probably come together in the end to review all candidates.

    Note that if you reach interview, and attend in Oxford, you will probably have interviews at two colleges. Also, applications are sometimes moved between colleges, for example if a tutor feels that a certain applicant for another college would be a particularly good fit in their own environment, or if one college has reached the number of offers it plans to make but still has a good applicant that deserves a place.

    Again, I don't know the exact details of this, but the key point is that you should put your best into the application as a whole, and don't worry about tailoring it to a specific college
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AmanGottu)
    Hey, everyone!

    I'm creating this discussion to seek out Students that have a strong interest in applying for Mathematics/Computer Science at Oxford in the UK. I'm stressing out about the MAT as it's approaching quickly in about 2 months and I thought it would be a great idea to find prospective students who would like to study for the MAT in a group format. I've been studying on/off for about 2 months and have decided that it's probably beneficial to interact with students interested in attending these schools until the application process is over. Unfortunately, I'm the only person I know that actually knows anything about the Oxford application process and actually wants to attend. If anyone is interested in skyping and studying for the MAT please message me or post in this discussion! I'll also post my test scores, so hopefully that gives you some credibility of my acceptance to these schools. Also I'm a US student...

    ACT - 36
    Math2 - 800
    Bio - 790
    Chem - 770
    AP CalcAB - 5
    AP Com. Sci - 5
    AMC 12A (Feb. 2016)- 117
    No idea if it has changed, but back when I did it, it had a lot of questions that I had never seen before, I didn't study for it particularly (like finding past papers or something). I thought I did terribly but they still invited me to interview afterwards.

    The one thing I did do, was show a lot of working. If they can see your thought process and like it, I think that could be important.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gavinlowe)
    We consider everything we know about you, so we do still consider the MAT, school results, personal statement, references, etc. But if you get an interview, you must have done well in the other aspects. The interview is probably the most important aspect, though: in my experience, it's the most reliable indicator of potential to do well.



    I think there's some truth in that. Most offers based on international qualifications are still aligned with the A Level offer of AAA that we used to use, even though lots of subjects now require A*AA or A*A*A. This is something that the University is addressing (but perhaps not as quickly as we should). I think that reviewing the US qualifications is on the agenda for the coming year (although any changes won't take effect until the following year).

    It's worth noting that the offer is not a major part of the selection process. We only make offers to candidates whom we expect to make those offers. The difficult bit is getting the offer. That's in contrast to many other universities who make lots more offers than they have places.

    Gavin
    Thank you, that makes a lot of sense! I also have a question regarding expected scores and how Oxford deals with that. I know that for UK applicants, students might have a conditional offer where they have to obtain certain scores after their interview in order to fulfill their offer, but I'm not sure if it works the same for US applicants. I do have the scores to apply, but I'm just wondering if international students are allowed to apply with untaken/expected test scores as well as UK students. I guess I'm basically saying if it's normal for international students to get conditional offers.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AmanGottu)
    Thank you, that makes a lot of sense! I also have a question regarding expected scores and how Oxford deals with that. I know that for UK applicants, students might have a conditional offer where they have to obtain certain scores after their interview in order to fulfill their offer, but I'm not sure if it works the same for US applicants. I do have the scores to apply, but I'm just wondering if international students are allowed to apply with untaken/expected test scores as well as UK students. I guess I'm basically saying if it's normal for international students to get conditional offers.
    We would treat you the same as a home student. If you have already taken qualifications (and achieved the requirements) you would get an unconditional offer. But if you haven't taken all your qualifications, you would get a conditional offer. In the latter case, it's useful if your referee can give predictions as to what (s)he expects you to get. Most international candidates have not sat their qualifications by the time of the interviews; but my impression is that most US candidates have sat their qualifications by then.

    Gavin
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gavinlowe)
    We would treat you the same as a home student. If you have already taken qualifications (and achieved the requirements) you would get an unconditional offer. But if you haven't taken all your qualifications, you would get a conditional offer. In the latter case, it's useful if your referee can give predictions as to what (s)he expects you to get. Most international candidates have not sat their qualifications by the time of the interviews; but my impression is that most US candidates have sat their qualifications by then.

    Gavin
    Thanks Gavin! Another question I have is regarding how rigidly the MAT is scored. Of course each problem has a set amount of points allocated to it, but is there partial credit given if enough work is shown? I also wanted to know if having a skype interview would influence the decision process significantly. If called in for an interview I'd definitely try my best to fly over for it, but it might not be possible.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AmanGottu)
    Thanks Gavin! Another question I have is regarding how rigidly the MAT is scored. Of course each problem has a set amount of points allocated to it, but is there partial credit given if enough work is shown? I also wanted to know if having a skype interview would influence the decision process significantly. If called in for an interview I'd definitely try my best to fly over for it, but it might not be possible.
    Gavin will probably come in and answer this admirably as usual, but as someone who did their interview over Skype, I thought I should mention that you won't be disadvantaged by having one, it may just be shorter than the interviews held in Oxford. The tutors understand that interviewing over Skype can be tricky and are very sympathetic about things like connection problems, repeating things as often as needed so that you understand the question! If you can make it to Oxford, great, but if not, let your college know so they arrange for Skype and you'll do just as well

    I believe that for the longer questions on the MAT, you will certainly get partial credit for your working (that being the important bit!), but wait for the experts to come in on this one
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AmanGottu)
    Thanks Gavin! Another question I have is regarding how rigidly the MAT is scored. Of course each problem has a set amount of points allocated to it, but is there partial credit given if enough work is shown?
    Yes, partial credit is given (for the long questions). Basically, we try to be fair, and recognise what candidates have achieved. Each part of each question has a certain number of marks allocated to it, and in most cases there's a further split of marks within each part, giving marks for various steps on the way to a full answer.

    I also wanted to know if having a skype interview would influence the decision process significantly. If called in for an interview I'd definitely try my best to fly over for it, but it might not be possible.
    Again we try to be as fair as possible. But a Skype interview is harder --for both interviewees and interviewers-- so for that reason attending in person is best if you can manage it.

    Gavin
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Have you ever participated in a Secret Santa?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.