Nick_Ryerson
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#1
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#1
Hello,
I am interested in applying to Cambridge as a biology major undergrad, and then apply to med school afterward.

I know it's difficult to tell who will get accepted into the university, but I was wondering if you could offer your honest opinions.

Currently, I'm a junior in high school in the USA, and I'm in the IB program. My grades, so far, are all A+'s, weighted. I've yet to take the SATs or any IB tests.

After I graduate medical school, I really want to help people. Preferably in the third world, maybe South America or Africa. This summer, I'm actually traveling to Guatemala for 2 weeks to build a health clinic for Habitat for Humanity. Besides that, I do volunteer work in an Emergency Room, but not that many hours.

If i can maintain my grades and give an impressive interview, do you think I have a chance of getting into a Cambridge college?

I really appreciate those who read and respond. Thanks.
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kazi
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(Original post by Nick_Ryerson)
Hello,
I am interested in applying to Cambridge as a biology major undergrad, and then apply to med school afterward.

I know it's difficult to tell who will get accepted into the university, but I was wondering if you could offer your honest opinions.

Currently, I'm a junior in high school in the USA, and I'm in the IB program. My grades, so far, are all A+'s, weighted. I've yet to take the SATs or any IB tests.

After I graduate medical school, I really want to help people. Preferably in the third world, maybe South America or Africa. This summer, I'm actually traveling to Guatemala for 2 weeks to build a health clinic for Habitat for Humanity. Besides that, I do volunteer work in an Emergency Room, but not that many hours.

If i can maintain my grades and give an impressive interview, do you think I have a chance of getting into a Cambridge college?

I really appreciate those who read and respond. Thanks.
while i can't comment on chances of getting in, in the UK a lot of people study medicine as an undergraduate, i.e., at 18 years old. in fact i think cambridge has less than a hundred places (i think 20, not sure) for people doing medicine as a postgraduate (the uk's buggest postgrad med school is warwick that has like 150 places) also i dont think cambridge accepts people to do medicine at a post grad level who aren't citizens of the uk/eu (not sure).

unless of course you plan on going back to america to study for your med degree?
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Lizsco3
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Theoretically, yes, you do have a chance as good as anyone else. Also, you will probably be paying international fees, so that is always a good thing for them

Sadly though, only about 10% of all cambridge students are from abroad, which may be due to IB being a common school system for international applicants, and it being so hard to maintain the 40+ points that cambridge usually asks for. If you can meet whatever they ask for, then you do stand a good chance.

I think you should apply. Even if you don't get in, you tried at least, and if you don't apply, you'll never know what might have happened. Good luck!
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(Original post by Lizsco3)
Also, you will probably be paying international fees, so that is always a good thing for them

That makes no difference to whether someone will get in or not.
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Lizsco3
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(Original post by 3232)
That makes no difference to whether someone will get in or not.
If two applicants have exactly the same grades, did just as well as each other in their interviews, but one paid home fees, the other international fees (which are over ₤10,000 more than home fees), do you really think universities, who are constantly raising their fees, will not lean towards the applicant who pays more?

I'm not saying I agree with it; on the contrary, I think it is completely unfair, but it is the sad truth of today.
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(Original post by Lizsco3)
If two applicants have exactly the same grades, did just as well as each other in their interviews, but one paid home fees, the other international fees (which are over ₤10,000 more than home fees), do you really think universities, who are constantly raising their fees, will not lean towards the applicant who pays more?

I'm not saying I agree with it; on the contrary, I think it is completely unfair, but it is the sad truth of today.

Nope, not at all. Decisions are made by admissions tutors, who do not consider the financial implications when making a decision. Try talking to some of them and you'll realise this.
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Lizsco3
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Well, I hope so. There's always bias about how Oxbridge chooses their applicants; just look at some of the newspaper articles written about their application processes.
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Totally Tom
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Its all a load of tosh.

The admissions tutors are very plesant and practical people.
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Aladdin Sane
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(Original post by Lizsco3)
Well, I hope so. There's always bias about how Oxbridge chooses their applicants; just look at some of the newspaper articles written about their application processes.

She's got you there. Anything in a newspaper must be true.
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ti_amo
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well if you want an honest opinion. alot of cambridge and oxford count for who you know not what you know. its a sad fact of life and of course some people are lucky enough to get in but remember for medcine you need to apply before the 15th of october, which has just pasted so if your applying for next year you will know your final grades and then you can really look at it then, which is wiser. the admissions like people who are confident not shy anti-social ******s who often seem to be accepted (as told to me from a majority who have attended). otherwise your grades sound really promising and the work you do above that is great. if you do get accepted, which i think you deserve to be, beware the "rahs"
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HoboNerd
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(Original post by 3232)
That makes no difference to whether someone will get in or not.
If you're an international student, it does.

Cambridge cannot discriminate against poor home students (as stated several times on their web site), but unfortunately this does not apply to overseas students - and as such if comparing two equally qualified international students, the one who can afford the exhorbitant tuition fees would probably be admitted as opposed to the poorer student.
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Lizsco3
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(Original post by Engelbert)
She's got you there. Anything in a newspaper must be true.
Yes, don't believe everything you read, but it's not like I'm talking about tabloids here. I think it's generally agreed the guardian is a fairly respectable newspaper.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/high...191428,00.html
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Lidka
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(Original post by Lizsco3)
Yes, don't believe everything you read, but it's not like I'm talking about tabloids here. I think it's generally agreed the guardian is a fairly respectable newspaper.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/high...191428,00.html
Believe it or not, even the Guardian can skew things. That particular argument has been done to death on these forums. Oxbridge takes an inproportional amount of privately schooled applicants because more of them apply; not because the system is biased against state schooled applicants. It's not a hard concept to grasp, but the media, and members of the public, choose to stick with the mindset that Oxbridge must be how it was 50 or 100 years ago. They're wrong, it's completely different. It's a shame the general opinion is that way, because it stops a lot of good state-schoolers applying. I reckon the Cambridge application system is actually one of the fairest there is. But as the article points out, you can't admit students who don't allow themselves to be admitted.
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TheMagician
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I might just be mistaken but I don't see international students mentioned at all in the article. Nor fees for that matter.
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Donald Duck
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I'd say you have a good chance, about 50% (high for med in Camebridge). Keep up the work though, good to have stuff for your PS (its very different from america) and keep the grades up.
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The West Wing
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(Original post by monagro)
I'd say you have a good chance, about 50% (high for med in Camebridge). Keep up the work though, good to have stuff for your PS (its very different from america) and keep the grades up.
How on earth can you give him a numerical estimation of his chances? That's absolutely absurd.
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Lizsco3
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(Original post by Lidka)
Believe it or not, even the Guardian can skew things. That particular argument has been done to death on these forums. Oxbridge takes an inproportional amount of privately schooled applicants because more of them apply; not because the system is biased against state schooled applicants. It's not a hard concept to grasp, but the media, and members of the public, choose to stick with the mindset that Oxbridge must be how it was 50 or 100 years ago. They're wrong, it's completely different. It's a shame the general opinion is that way, because it stops a lot of good state-schoolers applying. I reckon the Cambridge application system is actually one of the fairest there is. But as the article points out, you can't admit students who don't allow themselves to be admitted.
It's all about bias. Everyone has different opinions about the application system, and about how fair it is. It's the same with other controversial topics, like abortion. And like our own opinions on this topic, aren't the opinions of the admissions tutors about the candidates bound to vary? One tutor may think a candidate is perfect for their course and the university, while another may think the same candidate is not at all what the university is looking for. Our perceptions can be completely different.

And tell me, if the cambridge application system is so fair why are only 10% of all students at the university from abroad?
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The West Wing
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(Original post by Lizsco3)
It's all about bias. Everyone has different opinions about the application system, and about how fair it is. It's the same with other controversial topics, like abortion. And like our own opinions on this topic, aren't the opinions of the admissions tutors about the candidates bound to vary? One tutor may think a candidate is perfect for their course and the university, while another may think the same candidate is not at all what the university is looking for. Our perceptions can be completely different.

And tell me, if the cambridge application system is so fair why are only 10% of all students at the university from abroad?
Off the top of my head:

a) They may have communication difficulties, poor English level
b) Not familiar with level of analysis needed for study at university, or the criteria by which tutors make decisions. An example is putting too much emphasis on extra-curricular activities, which are very important for the USA, but bear absolutely no relevance for Cambridge.
c) They're simply worse candidates who are less capable of academic success at Cambridge
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tenjon
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(Original post by Lizsco3)
Yes, don't believe everything you read, but it's not like I'm talking about tabloids here. I think it's generally agreed the guardian is a fairly respectable newspaper.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/high...191428,00.html
The Guardian has an entire section of its website called 'Oxbridge and Elitism'. It's hardly going to be the most neutral source of information on the issue. And I say that as a daily Guardian reader, just to clear any possible bias on my part.

As for the overseas question, Mr Sorkin there has pretty much got it. Other factors to consider, eg at Oxford most internationals apply for the famous courses (eg PPE, law) which are more competitive than average - I'd guess the same would be true for Cambridge. The ingrained differences between educational systems would also have a big effect, being geared for one system from age 14 or so makes it difficult to really understand a different one, etc etc.
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Lizsco3
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(Original post by The West Wing)
Off the top of my head:

a) They may have communication difficulties, poor English level
b) Not familiar with level of analysis needed for study at university, or the criteria by which tutors make decisions. An example is putting too much emphasis on extra-curricular activities, which are very important for the USA, but bear absolutely no relevance for Cambridge.
c) They're simply worse candidates who are less capable of academic success at Cambridge
Once again, bias and perception. 'Poor english level'? 'less capable of academic success'? Isn't that a bit of a preconception? If the cambridge system was fair, they would take other school systems, like AP or IB, or whatever and what they entail into account. Maybe it's the lack of acceptance of such systems that explains why only 10% of Cambridge's students come from abroad, rather than the unverified claims above.
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