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    (Original post by Squishy)
    Hmm...my English teacher went to Clare a while ago. He sings higher than the 11 year old kids in my school. Are you sure there isn't some kind of castration policy for the Clare choir? :eek:
    They get you when you're sleeping!!!! :eek:

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    Bette Middler: "Wait till he's asleep then cut it off."
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    Bette Middler: "Wait till he's asleep then cut it off."
    Wow...i didn't know Bette Midler went to Clare!!!!!

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    (Original post by Toni Mag)
    Hi,
    I went to a private school - not a very good one - because I won a scholarship and I needed to board for (serious) family (medical) reasons. I got all A* at GCSE and AAAAA at A-level last year. I applied to Cambridge, LSE, Durham, etc and got none!
    The Cambridge admissions people were very nice. I was told, almost one year later when the admission tutor visited the hospital I work in, that I had done well at interview, but their quota for private schools was "over-filled". Can this be fair? My total family income is less than £35k p.a. and we struggle to keep me in private education. My folks haven't had a hol in 5 years, don't drink or smoke, and we have sold our car to reduce our weekly spend.
    Please can we have some fair recognition that not all private school students are useless toffs. Why do we not have anonymous, needs-blind admissions?

    I have applied again this year; here's hoping. :confused:

    toni


    The reason we don't have needs-blind admissions is because peoples' academic achievements are assessed by universities in light of the educational circumstances they have faced. You are misguided to assume that this is merely a labelling 'private' and 'state' as Cambridge is well aware of disparity between the two sectors, and the preferred method to use is average GCSE achievement and A Level achievement. At Clare College they use a very complex formula to manipulate students' results reflecting the S.D. and mean of students' achievements. The key point is, as all Oxbridge applicants' are aware- POTENTIAL is the key. I don't think it is unfair to say that most people would assume that someone from Harrow with 10A* is probably not as naturally gifted as someone from a comprehensive with 10A*, and that both are not as gifted as someone from an education college, who achieves 10A*. You accuse Cambridge of speaking in black and white, but it is you who is seeing in black and white.
    I highly doubt the legitamacy of your story to be honest, because I highly doubt that they would tell you something which could cause such controversy, even if it was true (which I don't beleive for a second).

    Your reference to your parents' income is telling as it belies the rest of your passage; in a country where the average married couple earns less than £27,000p.a., you simply can't consider yourself deprive for a family income of less than £35,000. Your parents made a choice to send their children to private education which is fine, and believe me you have not been penalised for your choice. There has to be some sort of adjustment to reflect the differing standards of applicants'. At the end of the day, we are saying this on the assumption that you just missed out for a place, when in fact you could have been quite a bit off and there hadn't really been a trade off.

    To be honest, the fact that your parents don't smoke, drink and haven't holidayed in five years is of little importance to your application to Cambridge. If we want to be petty, they could have chose someone else whose parents' had not holidayed for seven years, or ten years. All parents make sacrifices for their children.

    What infuriates me with posts such as this is that this idiot has shown a lack of understanding how hard all students have to work to get places at Cambridge. The assertion that a quota is in place is pathetic on the grounds that Cambridge has been given a state school target of 64% which it openly says it will not meet. It is reprived slightly by the fact that a large amount of working class (which Toni, is people from families with income less than £20,000) people come to Cambridge having held scholarships at private schools. Perhaps the ultimate proof of the pudding is the fact that private school pupils will make an increased percentage of the incoming year groups at Oxford and Cambridge.

    What we actually need, is a decent education system backed up with an examination system which provides an effective measure of applicants' achievement at 16 and 18. This would solve so many of the problems.
    Rant over.
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    (Original post by tomcoolinguk)
    The reason we don't have needs-blind admissions is because peoples' academic achievements are assessed by universities in light of the educational circumstances they have faced. You are misguided to assume that this is merely a labelling 'private' and 'state' as Cambridge is well aware of disparity between the two sectors, and the preferred method to use is average GCSE achievement and A Level achievement. At Clare College they use a very complex formula to manipulate students' results reflecting the S.D. and mean of students' achievements. The key point is, as all Oxbridge applicants' are aware- POTENTIAL is the key. I don't think it is unfair to say that most people would assume that someone from Harrow with 10A* is probably not as naturally gifted as someone from a comprehensive with 10A*, and that both are not as gifted as someone from an education college, who achieves 10A*. You accuse Cambridge of speaking in black and white, but it is you who is seeing in black and white.
    I highly doubt the legitamacy of your story to be honest, because I highly doubt that they would tell you something which could cause such controversy, even if it was true (which I don't beleive for a second).

    Your reference to your parents' income is telling as it belies the rest of your passage; in a country where the average married couple earns less than £27,000p.a., you simply can't consider yourself deprive for a family income of less than £35,000. Your parents made a choice to send their children to private education which is fine, and believe me you have not been penalised for your choice. There has to be some sort of adjustment to reflect the differing standards of applicants'. At the end of the day, we are saying this on the assumption that you just missed out for a place, when in fact you could have been quite a bit off and there hadn't really been a trade off.

    To be honest, the fact that your parents don't smoke, drink and haven't holidayed in five years is of little importance to your application to Cambridge. If we want to be petty, they could have chose someone else whose parents' had not holidayed for seven years, or ten years. All parents make sacrifices for their children.

    What infuriates me with posts such as this is that this idiot has shown a lack of understanding how hard all students have to work to get places at Cambridge. The assertion that a quota is in place is pathetic on the grounds that Cambridge has been given a state school target of 64% which it openly says it will not meet. It is reprived slightly by the fact that a large amount of working class (which Toni, is people from families with income less than £20,000) people come to Cambridge having held scholarships at private schools. Perhaps the ultimate proof of the pudding is the fact that private school pupils will make an increased percentage of the incoming year groups at Oxford and Cambridge.

    What we actually need, is a decent education system backed up with an examination system which provides an effective measure of applicants' achievement at 16 and 18. This would solve so many of the problems.
    Rant over.
    Well said.
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    (Original post by tomcoolinguk)
    The reason we don't have needs-blind admissions is because peoples' academic achievements are assessed by universities in light of the educational circumstances they have faced. You are misguided to assume that this is merely a labelling 'private' and 'state' as Cambridge is well aware of disparity between the two sectors, and the preferred method to use is average GCSE achievement and A Level achievement. At Clare College they use a very complex formula to manipulate students' results reflecting the S.D. and mean of students' achievements. The key point is, as all Oxbridge applicants' are aware- POTENTIAL is the key. I don't think it is unfair to say that most people would assume that someone from Harrow with 10A* is probably not as naturally gifted as someone from a comprehensive with 10A*, and that both are not as gifted as someone from an education college, who achieves 10A*. You accuse Cambridge of speaking in black and white, but it is you who is seeing in black and white.
    Quite right. I know that for the OAS they ask for past univeristy, oxbridge, class sizes, free school meals, A-C A-level and GCSE data to make decisions. .
    You have summed it up prefectly.

    I highly doubt the legitamacy of your story to be honest, because I highly doubt that they would tell you something which could cause such controversy, even if it was true (which I don't beleive for a second).
    I find it hard to belive that quotas exist. However, why would this guy make up a pack of lies - there are not too many trolls on here.

    Your reference to your parents' income is telling as it belies the rest of your passage; in a country where the average married couple earns less than £27,000p.a., you simply can't consider yourself deprive for a family income of less than £35,000. Your parents made a choice to send their children to private education which is fine, and believe me you have not been penalised for your choice. There has to be some sort of adjustment to reflect the differing standards of applicants'. At the end of the day, we are saying this on the assumption that you just missed out for a place, when in fact you could have been quite a bit off and there hadn't really been a trade off. .

    I know of people on £50k PA that considder themselves struggling for money. It is what you make of it. You will have got some advantages in the private education - attidues and interview skills for example, that those in other schools may not have. If the school was so bad why waste all that money?

    To be honest, the fact that your parents don't smoke, drink and haven't holidayed in five years is of little importance to your application to Cambridge. If we want to be petty, they could have chose someone else whose parents' had not holidayed for seven years, or ten years. All parents make sacrifices for their children.

    Why should the actions of somebody's parents make a difference. Image all the fuss if they let a person in on the grounds that his father was a friend of so and so or the board on thingammy PLC etc.
    Its about time people started to be judged on what they did themselves not parents, uncles etc.

    What infuriates me with posts such as this is that this idiot has shown a lack of understanding how hard all students have to work to get places at Cambridge. The assertion that a quota is in place is pathetic on the grounds that Cambridge has been given a state school target of 64% which it openly says it will not meet. It is reprived slightly by the fact that a large amount of working class (which Toni, is people from families with income less than £20,000) people come to Cambridge having held scholarships at private schools. Perhaps the ultimate proof of the pudding is the fact that private school pupils will make an increased percentage of the incoming year groups at Oxford and Cambridge..

    Here, here.

    What we actually need, is a decent education system backed up with an examination system which provides an effective measure of applicants' achievement at 16 and 18. This would solve so many of the problems.
    Rant over.
    Yes, or introduce applitude tests - they seem to be harder to manipulate by spoon-feeding etc.
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    (Original post by InterCity125)
    Yes, or introduce applitude tests - they seem to be harder to manipulate by spoon-feeding etc.
    There is a general trend this way. The only problem is a lot of aptitude tests can be manipulated quite harshly by spoon-feeding! Universities face the conflciting problem of whether to replace the tests every few years to prevent students' becoming to knowlegable about how to play it, and thus risk introducing a less effective discriminator. In America there is a movement away from aptitude testing, which has led to widespread reform of the SAT.

    The problem with coaching is quite a big one, and Oxford want the BMAT to be redesigned next year to counter it.
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    (Original post by InterCity125)
    Why should the actions of somebody's parents make a difference. Image all the fuss if they let a person in on the grounds that his father was a friend of so and so or the board on thingammy PLC etc.
    While I agree with this, there's the rather uncomfortable truth that elite American universities have risen to be among the world's best largely because they accept less able children of wealthy alumni (who then donate lots of money)...this then means they can afford to attract some of the best researchers and build the best facilities. I don't like it, but I can see why some universities give preference to international students who will pay higher fees, or children of stinking rich businessmen. Being on the moral high ground won't keep those crumbling buildings from falling down after all.
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    (Original post by tomcoolinguk)
    The reason we don't have needs-blind admissions is because peoples' academic achievements are assessed by universities in light of the educational circumstances they have faced. You are misguided to assume that this is merely a labelling 'private' and 'state' as Cambridge is well aware of disparity between the two sectors, and the preferred method to use is average GCSE achievement and A Level achievement. At Clare College they use a very complex formula to manipulate students' results reflecting the S.D. and mean of students' achievements. The key point is, as all Oxbridge applicants' are aware- POTENTIAL is the key. I don't think it is unfair to say that most people would assume that someone from Harrow with 10A* is probably not as naturally gifted as someone from a comprehensive with 10A*, and that both are not as gifted as someone from an education college, who achieves 10A*. You accuse Cambridge of speaking in black and white, but it is you who is seeing in black and white.

    If I achieve 100% in a maths test for 2 year olds and someone, who's 9 also gets 100%, does that mean that he is more gifted and has more potential than me? Here your theory crumbles. If someone gets perfect marks one cannot ever accuse him/her for being less gifted than anyone else as he did not fail on anything. If on the other hand someone from a comprehensive did slightly better, then there most definitely is a case to argue. As long as the results are identical, as you suggested, your argument's syntax is flawed.
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    (Original post by Yannis)
    If I achieve 100% in a maths test for 2 year olds and someone, who's 9 also gets 100%, does that mean that he is more gifted and has more potential than me? Here your theory crumbles. If someone gets perfect marks one cannot ever accuse him/her for being less gifted than anyone else as he did not fail on anything. If on the other hand someone from a comprehensive did slightly better, then there most definitely is a case to argue. As long as the results are identical, as you suggested, your argument's syntax is flawed.
    Crap/irrelevant analogy - we're talking about educational circumstances, not the personal properties of candidates. A better analogy would be if you and me both scored 100% in a test, but you'd had hours of intensive/expensive private tutoring while I'd had no help atall - I would appear to be the more naturally gifted candidate. It may well be that you have the same or greater natural ability and would have scored 100% even without teaching also - but unlike me you did not demonstrate it so it cannot work in your favour as it did for me. It's one of the disadvantages of a private education- if you don't want it, dont go to a private school.
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    (Original post by calumc)
    Crap/irrelevant analogy - we're talking about educational circumstances, not the personal properties of candidates. A better analogy would be if you and me both scored 100% in a test, but you'd had hours of intensive/expensive private tutoring while I'd had no help atall - I would appear to be the more naturally gifted candidate. It may well be that you have the same or greater natural ability and would have scored 100% even without teaching also - but unlike me you did not demonstrate it so it cannot work in your favour as it did for me. It's one of the disadvantages of a private education- if you don't want it, dont go to a private school.
    But what he is saying is that if you both score 100% it is impossible to say who is more clever. This is why it is flawed to say someone with 10A*s from a crap school must be brighter than 10 A*s from a good school. the most you can get is 100% so you just cannot say one is more bright than the other.
    The only way you could tell who was better would to be to set a harder exam.
    What uannis is trying to say is that you should not assume that someone from a bad school is brighter than someone from a good school when they both have the top grades.
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    You can say that on average a student with 10 A*s from a crap school is a better student than one with 10 A*s from a top school, but this cannot hold up on an individual basis. When considering one applicant against the other, you must not hold such preconceptions.
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    (Original post by MadNatSci)
    I couldn't possibly comment on that
    Well, you're a girl, and therefore less likely to be attractive to some people... *must not say any more or else I'm probably committing libel or something *
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    You might say that a candidate with 100% in an exam has a responsibility to then go take the next level of that exam, or take some other subjects, or do some extra curiculars, or do some outside reading, lest it be assumed that they were only just capable of getting 100%.
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    (Original post by Louise_1988)
    But what he is saying is that if you both score 100% it is impossible to say who is more clever. This is why it is flawed to say someone with 10A*s from a crap school must be brighter than 10 A*s from a good school. the most you can get is 100% so you just cannot say one is more bright than the other.
    The only way you could tell who was better would to be to set a harder exam.
    What uannis is trying to say is that you should not assume that someone from a bad school is brighter than someone from a good school when they both have the top grades.
    Yes, we've established that you can't tell who is "more clever" if they both score the same. However, the person who had the worse teaching is also demonstrating their natural ability as well as the grades themselves.

    If you choose a private education you choose better facilities, teaching etc but with the downside that people will know you had these advantages and thus give less value to your achievements than to those of someone who managed the same without them. You pay to put yourself at an advantage, so if you achive the same as someone who did so without it then theirs is more valued.

    It's a bit like drawing in a game of golf with Tiger Woods but with a handicap of 250 - you had a 250 shot advantage from the start, so if he scored the same without it then he's almost certainly the better player. If you want to show you're really better than him, then either forget about your handicap or beat him by a long way.
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    (Original post by Louise_1988)
    But what he is saying is that if you both score 100% it is impossible to say who is more clever. This is why it is flawed to say someone with 10A*s from a crap school must be brighter than 10 A*s from a good school. the most you can get is 100% so you just cannot say one is more bright than the other.
    The only way you could tell who was better would to be to set a harder exam.
    What uannis is trying to say is that you should not assume that someone from a bad school is brighter than someone from a good school when they both have the top grades.
    At least someone is showing a good understanding of my position. The argument does not hold for a 1 to 1 comparison as with the extra teaching, etc. the private school pupil still gets 100%. If it so happened that the two students in question got identical, but imperfect marks (i.e. 98%), then your theory is indeed true, as both could have done better, but one had more help to do better. In fact what you said is true for most cases except the case when both students get perfect grades as in that situation one cannot really say who is brighter. (yes there are some clever people in private schools as well).

    In suggesting that going to a private school is bad, many factors other than the fact that the school is private are ignored. A lot of students go to a private school for the prestige later in their lives and do not do so because they are extremely rich, but because they are good enough to get a scholarship. There are a lot, who cannot go to a state school because for one reason or another their parents live abroad and boarding is compulsory. School education is not only chosen by the percentage chance of being accepted into Oxford or Cambridge, but a lot of other factors also play a large role in the choice, often much larger than the fact that it is 'easier' to get into Oxbridge.

    The fact that it is easier to get into Oxbridge is also ultimately flawed. I came from a highly regarded private school and we have only had 10-12 Oxbridge offers for a year of 200 recently.
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    It's true that a lot of people will look down at your achievements if you came from a private school, but your golf analogy is also fallible. If both, you and Tiger score with one shot and yours was from 3 feet, whereas he started at the starting point, then you cannot say that Tiger is better, as noone knows whether you could also score in one from the starting point or not if you tried. The handicap analogy is wrong as you do not get a handicap when you sit your exams. I sit down and do exactly the same paper as someone else and it is marked in the same way. I am not guaranteed to get at least so many or so many more than I would otherwise get. For all I know I could get a U. So the handicap thing doesn't quite work.
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    (Original post by Yannis)
    The fact that it is easier to get into Oxbridge is also ultimately flawed. I came from a highly regarded private school and we have only had 10-12 Oxbridge offers for a year of 200 recently.
    So highly regarded, that I go to the same one!
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    (Original post by Yannis)
    It's true that a lot of people will look down at your achievements if you came from a private school, but your golf analogy is also fallible. If both, you and Tiger score with one shot and yours was from 3 feet, whereas he started at the starting point, then you cannot say that Tiger is better, as noone knows whether you could also score in one from the starting point or not if you tried. The handicap analogy is wrong as you do not get a handicap when you sit your exams. I sit down and do exactly the same paper as someone else and it is marked in the same way. I am not guaranteed to get at least so many or so many more than I would otherwise get. For all I know I could get a U. So the handicap thing doesn't quite work.
    But based on the evidence available he is better.

    All this consideration of "what ifs" is nonsense. If you really want to show you're better then you've got to demonstrate it - there's no use saying "but I got 100%, you can't get higher than 100%", as you could go to the next level if there is one, or do another couple of subjects.

    The handicap analogy referred to education, not examination. While private/state are equal under exams they are not in the education given - the private sector has (or certainly should have) better teaching and resources. Compared to a state educated person, a privately educated student has an advantage from the start - just like playing golf against a better player but with a high handicap. If you do not achieve any more despite having an added advantage then you can expect your acheivement to be lesser regarded than somebody who managed without your advantage.
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    (Original post by Yannis)
    At least someone is showing a good understanding of my position. The argument does not hold for a 1 to 1 comparison as with the extra teaching, etc. the private school pupil still gets 100%. If it so happened that the two students in question got identical, but imperfect marks (i.e. 98%), then your theory is indeed true, as both could have done better, but one had more help to do better. In fact what you said is true for most cases except the case when both students get perfect grades as in that situation one cannot really say who is brighter. (yes there are some clever people in private schools as well).

    In suggesting that going to a private school is bad, many factors other than the fact that the school is private are ignored. A lot of students go to a private school for the prestige later in their lives and do not do so because they are extremely rich, but because they are good enough to get a scholarship. There are a lot, who cannot go to a state school because for one reason or another their parents live abroad and boarding is compulsory. School education is not only chosen by the percentage chance of being accepted into Oxford or Cambridge, but a lot of other factors also play a large role in the choice, often much larger than the fact that it is 'easier' to get into Oxbridge.

    The fact that it is easier to get into Oxbridge is also ultimately flawed. I came from a highly regarded private school and we have only had 10-12 Oxbridge offers for a year of 200 recently.
    You rightly point out that there are other advantages to going to private as well as academic ones, so why do you feel that there shouldnt be any
    disadvantage? That disadvantage will inevitably be that whatever your academic achievements (even perfect grades) everyone will know that you have received more than the usual amount of help to get them, thus your achievement will be slightly diminished in most peoples eyes, especially compared to someone who has achieved the same grades with no advantage whatsoever! Thats life!
 
 
 
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