Usernamenumber1
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Hi, I am currently in year 12 studying Maths, physics, economics
GCSE's
Maths-A
English language-C
English Literature-B
Geography-A*
History-B
Art-C
French-C
Physics-A
Chemistry-A
Biology-A
Russian-A*
ICT-A*
I am hoping for A*AA
I really want to study land economy, however, should i even bother applying to Cambridge because of my poor GCSE's?
Also, many related courses at top universities require a b in gcse english langauge. But i got a c, should i retake the gcse english language in year 13 or concentrate on getting good a levels???
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Snufkin
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(Original post by Usernamenumber1)
Hi, I am currently in year 12 studying Maths, physics, economics
GCSE's
Maths-A
English language-C
English Literature-B
Geography-A*
History-B
Art-C
French-C
Physics-A
Chemistry-A
Biology-A
Russian-A*
ICT-A*
I am hoping for A*AA
I really want to study land economy, however, should i even bother applying to Cambridge because of my poor GCSE's?
Also, many related courses at top universities require a b in gcse english langauge. But i got a c, should i retake the gcse english language in year 13 or concentrate on getting good a levels???
Your GCSEs aren't poor, they're fine. Cambridge places much more importance on A level grades than GCSE grades, so you should apply if you want to go there. If you want to apply to universities which require a B in English language then obviously you should resit it, but not all good unis require a B (Cambridge doesn't, for example).
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RadiantElemental
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(Original post by Usernamenumber1)
Hi, I am currently in year 12 studying Maths, physics, economics
GCSE's
Maths-A
English language-C
English Literature-B
Geography-A*
History-B
Art-C
French-C
Physics-A
Chemistry-A
Biology-A
Russian-A*
ICT-A*
I am hoping for A*AA
I really want to study land economy, however, should i even bother applying to Cambridge because of my poor GCSE's?
Also, many related courses at top universities require a b in gcse english langauge. But i got a c, should i retake the gcse english language in year 13 or concentrate on getting good a levels???
An honest answer? Everyone else applying will have straight A* at GCSE and similar A level grades. Your GCSE grades are great but not for cambridge as 3 Cs is enough for them to filter you out. I may be wrong but I dont think cambridge will accept retakes?
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Snufkin
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(Original post by RadiantElemental)
An honest answer? Everyone else applying will have straight A* at GCSE and similar A level grades. Your GCSE grades are great but not for cambridge as 3 Cs is enough for them to filter you out. I may be wrong but I dont think cambridge will accept retakes?
False. Not everyone applying to Cambridge has straight A/A*s, every year people with distinctly average GCSE grades but good A level grades get in. They do not filter applicants.
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Usernamenumber1
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(Original post by Snufkin)
False. Not everyone applying to Cambridge has straight A/A*s, every year people with distinctly average GCSE grades but good A level grades get in. They do not filter applicants.
I went to an underperforming secondary school were only around 15 people went on to do a levels out of 150 and many pupils failed maths and english. Which is advantageous for me i guess if Cambridge look at it that way
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artful_lounger
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Unlike Oxford, Cambridge doesn't shortlist before interview, and will interview almost everyone that they deem as likely to meet their predicted grades. They then shortlist after interview; as a result, they don't really consider GCSE grades except for Medicine (unsurprisingly) and Maths (which is a special case at Cambridge).

Your GCSEs are fine, your A-level choices are suitable quantitative that they won't have any concerns about your ability to handle that element of the course. Provided your personal statement demonstrates an interest in, awareness of, and commitment to the subject you have a good chance of being interviewed. How that goes however is hard to predict
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gabyyy_pv
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I have an offer for September 2017 and I can honestly say, at the moment, they don't really look at GCSE grades - Cambridge understand that you can change a lot between GCSE and A-Levels and so currently don't refer to GCSEs (unlike Oxford, which prioritise it a lot) in the admissions process very much - it's very heavily focused on interview and admissions tests, alongside things like the personal statement, and of course predicted grades for A level. It's absolutely worth applying if you get the predictions you need for your A levels, regardless of what you get in your GCSEs.

However, this is worth keeping an eye on as with the new reformed A-levels the admissions system may well change in the next few years as people won't be taking AS levels so predictions will be less reliable, meaning they may look at GCSEs slightly more. This is incredibly unlikely though as an admissions talk I went to stressed that this is not a direction Cambridge wants to go in as they don't want to lose out on the best students who have only recently reached their potential in sixth form, and so did not get best grades at GCSE.

It's also worth looking very closely at individual colleges, as whilst this won't change your chances of getting in, it might change how you feel about Cambridge as an option. I looked around some colleges which I found really intimidating, so wasn't sure if I wanted to apply. I then found out about Fitzwilliam, which is a much more relaxed environment so is perfect for me - there really is a college for everyone, so even if you're not sure if Cambridge is for you, you will definitely find something to suit you (even if it takes a little while to find).

I would also recommend retaking your English GCSE if possible, as long as it won't affect your other grades, as even if it won't affect you getting in to uni, some employers have minimum grade requirements for maths and english and won't recruit you if you're competing against another candidate with a higher english grade. If you really want to concentrate on your a-levels, perhaps you could take a gap year and retake your english then?
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Usernamenumber1
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(Original post by gabyyy_pv)
I have an offer for September 2017 and I can honestly say, at the moment, they don't really look at GCSE grades - Cambridge understand that you can change a lot between GCSE and A-Levels and so currently don't refer to GCSEs (unlike Oxford, which prioritise it a lot) in the admissions process very much - it's very heavily focused on interview and admissions tests, alongside things like the personal statement, and of course predicted grades for A level. It's absolutely worth applying if you get the predictions you need for your A levels, regardless of what you get in your GCSEs.

However, this is worth keeping an eye on as with the new reformed A-levels the admissions system may well change in the next few years as people won't be taking AS levels so predictions will be less reliable, meaning they may look at GCSEs slightly more. This is incredibly unlikely though as an admissions talk I went to stressed that this is not a direction Cambridge wants to go in as they don't want to lose out on the best students who have only recently reached their potential in sixth form, and so did not get best grades at GCSE.

It's also worth looking very closely at individual colleges, as whilst this won't change your chances of getting in, it might change how you feel about Cambridge as an option. I looked around some colleges which I found really intimidating, so wasn't sure if I wanted to apply. I then found out about Fitzwilliam, which is a much more relaxed environment so is perfect for me - there really is a college for everyone, so even if you're not sure if Cambridge is for you, you will definitely find something to suit you (even if it takes a little while to find).

I would also recommend retaking your English GCSE if possible, as long as it won't affect your other grades, as even if it won't affect you getting in to uni, some employers have minimum grade requirements for maths and english and won't recruit you if you're competing against another candidate with a higher english grade. If you really want to concentrate on your a-levels, perhaps you could take a gap year and retake your english then?
Yeah I will retake english language. If i get the predicted grades i need for land economy at Cambridge. How do i write my personal statement as i have 4 other universities to apply which don't offer land economy. Instead Management and economics/Maths joint honours, which is similar but a different subject altogether.
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RadiantElemental
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(Original post by Snufkin)
False. Not everyone applying to Cambridge has straight A/A*s, every year people with distinctly average GCSE grades but good A level grades get in. They do not filter applicants.
Yes many get in if they have extenuating circumstances, go to a disadvantage school or do great in the interview/test phase. There are more then enough applicants with stellar grade for every cambridge course. However, since they do go to a disadvantaged school getting A* AA would show that they're really going above and beyond, so yeah they are likely to get an interview at least.
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gabyyy_pv
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This is directly copied and pasted from the Cambridge website for Land Ec:'We understand the Land Economy is a unique subject, and that you will be applying to other subjects in related areas with your UCAS personal statement. Don’t worry; we won’t fault you for discussing interests in related fields.'

Also for Cambridge you fill in another form (the SAQ) which includes a lot of extra information (such as modules studied etc. at A-level) and any problems you've had with the teaching of any of your subjects. On this form, which is completed after you have submitted your UCAS application, there is also room to put down further reasons why you want to study that particular subject - they're very understanding that the course you are applying to at Cambridge may not be available at other universities, and so they do take that into account when viewing your personal statement, and allow you to give them extra information on your SAQ if you choose to.

Also, check with the different universities you'll be applying to - a lot of them will allow you to send a separate personal statement to them detailing why you specifically want to study their individual course. In your main personal statement, focus on the main course you are applying for. Then you can send tailored personal statements to the universities you are applying to for a different course (just check before you apply with the admissions tutors that sending a separate personal statement is okay with that particular university).
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gabyyy_pv
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(Original post by Usernamenumber1)
I went to an underperforming secondary school were only around 15 people went on to do a levels out of 150 and many pupils failed maths and english. Which is advantageous for me i guess if Cambridge look at it that way
Cambridge look at your grades in context - this means they will look at the schools you went to and how well you performed compared to the average there, so this really won't be a problem!
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nexttime
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Unlike Oxford, Cambridge doesn't shortlist before interview, and will interview almost everyone that they deem as likely to meet their predicted grades.
Cambridge interviews about 75% of its applicants. 'A majority' yes, but "almost everyone" - not true. Therefore it clearly does operate a pre-interview selection system - most users of the English language would call that 'shortlisting'.

Unless you are referring to something specific about Land Economy in which case i await your source.
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Doones
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(Original post by nexttime)
Cambridge interviews about 75% of its applicants.
That's interesting - that's been updated by the university since I last checked, they previously said 80%. Personally I felt 75% was closer to the truth overall.

But it also varies by course/college and year-to-year. For LandEc it's generally higher rather than lower.
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nexttime
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
But it also varies by course/college and year-to-year. For LandEc it's generally higher rather than lower.
Yes I'd imagine so. Though by how much is pure speculation.

Its quite frustrating that Cambridge doesn't release data on this. On the TSR wiki Cambridge and Edinburgh are the only med schools for which this number cannot be found.

[I should really probably find some time to update that page]
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beiber25
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You have to be super bad to not get into Land Economy
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Doones
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(Original post by nexttime)
Its quite frustrating that Cambridge doesn't release data on this. On the TSR wiki Cambridge and Edinburgh are the only med schools for which this number cannot be found.

[I should really probably find some time to update that page]
Edinburgh would have to disclose it under an FOI request. Cambridge is more hassle because you'd have to ask each college as they are individually responsible not the university/department.
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Doones
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(Original post by beiber25)
You have to be super bad to not get into Land Economy
LandEc applicants have a 20.3% success rate. That's similar to Law (20.5%) and Medicine (20.4%), and "easier" than Natural Sciences (21.5%).
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beiber25
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
LandEc applicants have a 20.3% success rate. That's similar to Law (20.5%) and Medicine (20.4%), and "easier" than Natural Sciences (21.5%).
lol thats such a stupid comparison. Applicants to law and medicine are all the best quality, much more bad land econ applicants. And there are More than 1000 applications for law, only a quarter for land economy.
Conclusion: LandEconomy is piss easy.
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Doones
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(Original post by beiber25)
lol thats such a stupid comparison. Applicants to law and medicine are all the best quality, much more bad land econ applicants. And there are More than 1000 applications for law, only a quarter for land economy.
Conclusion: LandEconomy is piss easy.
What does the number of applicants have to do with it? There's 250 VetMed applicants with a 25.5% acceptance rate, so is VetMed piss easy too?

The median AS UMS for accepted LandEcers in 2014 was 93.3. For Law it was 93.5, basically the same.
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beiber25
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
What does the number of applicants have to do with it? There's 250 VetMed applicants with a 25.5% acceptance rate, so is VetMed piss easy too?

The median AS UMS for accepted LandEcers in 2014 was 93.3. For Law it was 93.5, basically the same.
...in easier subjects. I can see arguing with you is futile lol. I have an offer for Maths at Cambridge, conditional on STEP.
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