Cambridge Natural Sciences Admissions Test Topics

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peppercherry
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I'll be applying to Cambridge in October this year for Natural Sciences. For the admissions test in Section 1, there are different topics including Maths, the sciences, and Advanced Maths and Advanced Physics. I know it seems like I'm worrying about tiny details, but I was wondering if there's any advantage to taking the Advanced Maths/Physics topic instead of Physics - ie. do the admissions staff value the advanced section over the normal Physics section?

(I take Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Further Maths A Levels)

Thank you!
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Forecast
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(Original post by peppercherry)
I'll be applying to Cambridge in October this year for Natural Sciences. For the admissions test in Section 1, there are different topics including Maths, the sciences, and Advanced Maths and Advanced Physics. I know it seems like I'm worrying about tiny details, but I was wondering if there's any advantage to taking the Advanced Maths/Physics topic instead of Physics - ie. do the admissions staff value the advanced section over the normal Physics section?

(I take Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Further Maths A Levels)

Thank you!
I don't think it really makes any difference because there's so many other factors that will influence the outcome of your application. But purely from the statistics, here are the percentages of applicants who received an offer for each possible combination of sections:

Physics/Chemistry: 28%
Physics/Advanced Maths: 31%
Physics/Biology: 22%
Biology/Chemistry: 31%
Biology/Advanced Maths: 19%
Chemistry/Advanced Maths: 25%
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R T
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(Original post by peppercherry)
I'll be applying to Cambridge in October this year for Natural Sciences. For the admissions test in Section 1, there are different topics including Maths, the sciences, and Advanced Maths and Advanced Physics. I know it seems like I'm worrying about tiny details, but I was wondering if there's any advantage to taking the Advanced Maths/Physics topic instead of Physics - ie. do the admissions staff value the advanced section over the normal Physics section?

(I take Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Further Maths A Levels)

Thank you!
No I really don't think they would. Just do what topics you think will give you the highest possible mark. The admissions tutors will have no particular bias, they won't have time to do breakdowns like that. They will probably just look at the total mark for selection.

Also the above statistics, although helpful and informative, are potentially misleading if over analysed. People who have the confidence to do the advanced maths section may be self-selecting (i.e. this is correlation not causation) and be a smaller sample than the other option combinations. This is also only data for 1 year, and at that a year where it was first introduced.

Honestly my suspicion is that section 1 (MCQ, short qs) is less important than both AS UMS %s, the interview and section 2. From what I remember, UMS was the best predictor of performance at University for physnatsci by quite some margin (it had the highest spearman coefficient).

That said obviously a very bad mark would be worrying and an excellent mark would be evidence of potential.
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Doones
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(Original post by peppercherry)
I'll be applying to Cambridge in October this year for Natural Sciences. For the admissions test in Section 1, there are different topics including Maths, the sciences, and Advanced Maths and Advanced Physics. I know it seems like I'm worrying about tiny details, but I was wondering if there's any advantage to taking the Advanced Maths/Physics topic instead of Physics - ie. do the admissions staff value the advanced section over the normal Physics section?

(I take Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Further Maths A Levels)

Thank you!
As per R T, just play to your strengths answering the sections you will do best in, not trying to play games with admissions statistics.
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