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    (Original post by englishstudent)
    Cambridge look purely for academic talent. Find me one place on an admissions website where they ask people to apply because of sporting aptitude. I actually bet you can't.
    Find me one place on an admissions website where they say they look "purely for academic talent". I actually bet you can't.
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    http://www.cam.ac.uk/cambuniv/ugpros...es/queens.html
    Very first line. Close enough ne c'est pas?
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    Close but no cigar, I'm looking for "purely for academic talent"
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    It practically means the same thing .
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    (Original post by Acaila)
    http://www.cam.ac.uk/cambuniv/ugpros...es/queens.html
    Very first line. Close enough ne c'est pas?
    Thank you!

    That's gonna hurt in the morning Jools! Many of them say something along those lines.
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    (Original post by englishstudent)
    Thank you!

    That's gonna hurt in the morning Jools! Many of them say something along those lines.
    Academic potential. The potential to do well academically, and swim not sink in Cambridge's challenging, demanding environment. Who's got greater academic potential - the candidate who loves Literature and will get AAAA, or the candidate who loves Literature, will get AAAA, and on top of that managed to do a wealth of demanding/impressive activites in their spare time.

    Re-read what Foolfarian says; yes some tutors will look solely at academics, some colleges may explicitly say this the only think they look at, but a "great deal do care" - if you've done something they find remarkable it will, as you said, stand you out from the crowd.

    Yes, academics are the primary, fundamental hurdle. But when you've got maybe 4-5 applicants per place with (virtually) identical academic credentials, all with a love of the subject, how does a tutor then differentiate?
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    "In assessing applications, the College is looking for academic ability, combined with enthusiasm and commitment to a chosen subject." - Clare College

    "academic excellence ... is valued above all else at Downing." - Downing

    "We admit students solely on the basis of academic potential." - Caius


    And there's the first line on the Queen's website.

    Need I go on?
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    "In assessing applications, the College is looking for academic ability, combined with enthusiasm and commitment to a chosen subject."

    "academic excellence which is valued above all else"

    "We admit students solely on the basis of academic potential. "

    "admits students solely on the basis of academic achievement and potential."

    "And what are we looking for in you? Academic potential."

    "Our admissions decisions are based solely on applicants' academic ability"

    "we select wholly on the basis of an individual's academic merit and potential."

    "Evidence of excellence in extra-curricular areas is welcomed, but can never be a substitute for what we are looking for above all: academic performance, potential and ambition."

    "Admission is based solely upon academic achievement and potential."


    Still close but no cigar?
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    (Original post by Jools)
    Find me one place on an admissions website where they say they look "purely for academic talent". I actually bet you can't.
    That's what I (or rather Acaila) has done.

    Don't bother trying to make some crappy argument; "Oh what I meant was...."

    ALL they want is academic potential.

    I can't be bothered carrying this on. We obviously have different opinions! But the evidence seems to support what I'm saying. Nowhere does it say they want people with strong extra-curricular. But IT DOES say they want people with strong academics. Pretty self explanatory.
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    (Original post by Acaila)
    "In assessing applications, the College is looking for academic ability, combined with enthusiasm and commitment to a chosen subject."

    "academic excellence which is valued above all else"

    "We admit students solely on the basis of academic potential. "

    "admits students solely on the basis of academic achievement and potential."

    "And what are we looking for in you? Academic potential."

    "Our admissions decisions are based solely on applicants' academic ability"

    "we select wholly on the basis of an individual's academic merit and potential."

    "Evidence of excellence in extra-curricular areas is welcomed, but can never be a substitute for what we are looking for above all: academic performance, potential and ambition."

    "Admission is based solely upon academic achievement and potential."


    Still close but no cigar?
    I would say a big fat Cuban cigar. Like the ones Fidel Castro smokes. What do you think Jools?
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    I liked this:
    (Original post by Priya)
    if you can't be sociable and do something other than your degree you won't go far in the employment market...which will then reflect badly on the uni you got your First from
    If so many Cambridge colleges are explicitly saying that they care solely about academics and nothing else, it may help to explain why today Oxford tends to be considerably more prolific at a national and international level regarding the number of renowned 'successful' graduates compared to Cambridge, in virtually every sector (except academia...), despite the latter's (slight) academic superiority.
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    (Original post by Jools)
    I liked this:

    If so many Cambridge colleges are explicitly saying that they care solely about academics and nothing else, it may help to explain why today Oxford tends to be considerably more prolific at a national and international level regarding the number of renowned 'successful' graduates compared to Cambridge, in virtually every sector (except academia...), despite the latter's (slight) academic superiority.

    Rubbish! Where? Can we see some statistics. I know which is the better uni! Look, most people at Cambridge are well-adjusted (as far as I know) but they weren't selected for their extra-curricular activities. And that is what the discussion's about!

    It would be nice if you could admit you're wrong. But you don't seem like one of those people who have that kind of capability. Put it this way - in my mind the debate's over. I don't wanna waste too much more time on this one.
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    (Original post by englishstudent)
    Rubbish! Where? Can we see some statistics. I know which is the better uni!
    I'm talking about which one's more prolific. Take Google for example:

    'Oxford University' + 'University of Oxford' = 4.648m
    'Cambridge University' + 'University of Cambridge' = 4.02m

    OK not the most complelling of evidence. But just the newspapers, the TV on a regular basis, successful/famous Oxford graduates are considerably more prolific.

    (Original post by englishstudent)
    Look, most people at Cambridge are well-adjusted (as far as I know) but they weren't selected for their extra-curricular activities. And that is what the discussion's about!
    Nobody is selected on the basis of their extra-curriculars, I never said that. I said that academia is the 'first hurdle', the fundamental discriminator. But after that if two candidates are identical, a lot of tutors would look at other stuff.

    (Original post by englishstudent)
    It would be nice if you could admit you're wrong. But you don't seem like one of those people who have that kind of capability.
    I was wrong in saying that Cambridge would explicitly say "we solely care about academics", and I'm quite surprised that they have. It would be a shame if someone's worked really hard to play sports at a national level or hit Grade 8 in an instrument or three, and for Cambridge not to give a **** in the slightest. Whilst some tutors may not care less, many will. Fact.
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    (Original post by englishstudent)
    All I am saying (and still saying) - and I'm not the only one, is that Cambridge look purely for academic talent.
    I think you are forgetting that admissions tutors (and your director of studies for that matter...) are human beings and not trained robots who work from a policy document stating that they are only looking for academic talent or for extra-curricular brilliance in candidates.

    Ultimately they are going to have to live and work around you for best part of three years and are going to want to be around interesting people. There has to be a line drawn between your AAAAA academic who is dull and anal and your AAAAA academic who does not extra-curricular stuff but love their subject and will be appealing to their DoS and admissions tutor because they are interesting for that. Naturally doing extra-curricular stuff that interests your interviewer will endear you to them but I do think it all revolves around how much you interest the interviewer. Also explains why a lot of people who get a tough grilling in interview end up getting an offer: they have caught the interest of the interviewer!
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    (Original post by jamesvb)
    I think you are forgetting that admissions tutors (and your director of studies for that matter...) are human beings and not trained robots who work from a policy document stating that they are only looking for academic talent or for extra-curricular brilliance in candidates.

    Ultimately they are going to have to live and work around you for best part of three years and are going to want to be around interesting people. There has to be a line drawn between your AAAAA academic who is dull and anal and your AAAAA academic who does not extra-curricular stuff but love their subject and will be appealing to their DoS and admissions tutor because they are interesting for that. Naturally doing extra-curricular stuff that interests your interviewer will endear you to them but I do think it all revolves around how much you interest the interviewer. Also explains why a lot of people who get a tough grilling in interview end up getting an offer: they have caught the interest of the interviewer!
    No. You're wrong. Cambridge looks solely for academic talent. Even the college websites say so. Therefore all admissions tutors look solely for academic talent and none give a **** about anything else whatsoever...
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    (Original post by Jools)
    No. You're wrong. Cambridge looks solely for academic talent. Even the college websites say so. Therefore all admissions tutors look solely for academic talent and none give a **** about anything else whatsoever...
    uh huh... :rolleyes: and who ever says websites always tell the truth anyway? :cool:
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    (Original post by englishstudent)
    Thank you!

    That's gonna hurt in the morning Jools! Many of them say something along those lines.
    sigh, read more closely. Academic potential is the sole condition. In other words they will always demand the top 5 odd percent.
    However, they will not take someone who is top 2% but with no activities over someone else who is top 4% and a star rugby player to boot.
    WEll done you, you have spend some time doing other things, but you'll realise my argument sticks. If uni didn't actively seek people with outside interests it would be a very boring place. Are you honestly saying that you never once mentioned any of those in your CV or interview? Or that they never asked?
    Universities know that a CV is perhaps not the complete truth, but are you saying they therefore disregard them?
    I mean if what you say is true, then why do universities - not just cambridge, offer uni associated scholarships to talented sporting individuals. Even the choir and organ scholarships are examples. I remember a few years back Nottingham uni handing out a whole host of them to bump up their tabble tennis (yes table tennis) teams.

    And lastly, a little nugget of information for you. Being part of the 1st/2nd team in most major sports will drop you a full grade - ie 2.1 down to 2.2 etc.
    Doesn't stop them selecting people they know are going to head straight for sports over hitting the books.
    Do you honestly think that for every 2.2 attaining caius 1st boat rower there isn't a fat 1st reaching geek who didn't get in?

    I have the fact that not only have i worked within the system, and with the interviewers but have done so for 3 years. You have some crappy 'public statements' which are put there for 2 reasons. One to make people think its a level playing field with private schools (who have greater access to a lot of sports) Secondly its to stop people from not applying because they think they haven't got enough to their name.

    I'll finish with a quote from an interviewer for medicine (i won't name him just in case)
    "We've had a few good people so far, but they've all been a bit boring. I let Dr. Blank OK a couple of them so long as I get to choose some nice interesting ones."

    J
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    J, why do so many Cambridge colleges explicitly say that all they look for is academic potential? I find this just bizarre, and remain convinced that only a minority of tutors will look solely at someone's academics and 100% not care less about anything else.

    Though your comment about rowers - surely an admissions tutor would rather teach the "fat 1st-reaching geek" for 3 years rather than someone who's going to be more interested in being on the river than learning, have to reschedule a couple of tutorials when they've got to row, and end up with a half-hearted 2.1/2.2? At Ox the student journalists and politicians always end up in trouble; many tutors will stop them slipping from 2.1 despite the springboard for their careers.
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    (Original post by Invisible)

    You get boring and anal people who've done many extra cc's, I know 2/3 at school who are very involved with music and drama but are as boring as can be.
    someone who does drama and does a lot of it cannot be anal. really, they can't. they can do music though, that just requires them disappearing into the orchestra and playing when they're needed.
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    (Original post by Acaila)
    "In assessing applications, the College is looking for academic ability, combined with enthusiasm and commitment to a chosen subject."

    "We admit students solely on the basis of academic potential. "

    "admits students solely on the basis of academic achievement and potential."

    "And what are we looking for in you? Academic potential."

    "Our admissions decisions are based solely on applicants' academic ability"

    "we select wholly on the basis of an individual's academic merit and potential."

    "Admission is based solely upon academic achievement and potential."
    The fact that you can't deny many, not all but many, tutors will take extracurriculars into some consideration - obviously still putting academic merit first but not 100% disregarding other stuff, means that all of these statements, using words like 'solely' and 'wholly', are *******s!!
 
 
 
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