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Can someone give the approximate percentage weightings, of a Cambridge applicant? Watch

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    Can someone please provide the approximate percentage weightings of the different aspects of an application to Cambridge university? For example, at Cambridge, GCSEs have a percentage weighting of x, A level predicted grades have a percentage weighting of y, and the entry test has a percentage weighting of y? Assuming AS levels are being taken (in the decoupled linear A levels).

    Assuming the course is Computer Science.

    (Feel free to add any other aspects which I didn't state)

    GCSE grades - %
    AS grades + UMS percentages - %
    A level predicted grades - %
    Entry test performance - %
    Interview performance - %

    Just wish to educate myself on the approximate importance of various parts of an application.
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    (Original post by STr_Schl_)
    Can someone please provide the approximate percentage weightings of the different aspects of an application to Cambridge university? For example, at Cambridge, GCSEs have a percentage weighting of x, A level predicted grades have a percentage weighting of y, and the entry test has a percentage weighting of y? Assuming AS levels are being taken (in the decoupled linear A levels).

    (Feel free to add any other aspects which I didn't state)

    GCSE grades - %
    AS grades + UMS percentages - %
    A level predicted grades - %
    Entry test performance - %
    Interview performance - %

    Just wish to educate myself on the approximate importance of various parts of an application.
    That is a very big ask. It will vary from subject to subject and any answers people do come up with will be massive approximations!
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    (Original post by MexicanKeith)
    That is a very big ask. It will vary from subject to subject and any answers people do come up with will be massive approximations!
    I'd welcome any approximations.
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    (Original post by STr_Schl_)
    I'd welcome any approximations.
    There isn't any weighting for any part of application.
    All aspects of application of each candidate are looked at and assessed individually and holistically.

    I'll tag some other veteran members of Cambridge forum to back me up on this, in case you're in doubt.

    Murray Edwards Admissions
    Peterhouse Admissions
    Doonesbury
    Reality Check
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    (Original post by STr_Schl_)
    Can someone please provide the approximate percentage weightings of the different aspects of an application to Cambridge university? For example, at Cambridge, GCSEs have a percentage weighting of x, A level predicted grades have a percentage weighting of y, and the entry test has a percentage weighting of y? Assuming AS levels are being taken (in the decoupled linear A levels).

    Assuming the course is Computer Science.

    (Feel free to add any other aspects which I didn't state)

    GCSE grades - %
    AS grades + UMS percentages - %
    A level predicted grades - %
    Entry test performance - %
    Interview performance - %

    Just wish to educate myself on the approximate importance of various parts of an application.
    (Original post by vincrows)
    There isn't any weighting for ant part of application.
    All aspects of application of each candidate are looked at and assessed individually and holistically.

    I'll tag some other veteran members of Cambridge forum (including people to back me up on this, in case you're in doubt.

    Murray Edwards Admissions
    Peterhouse Admissions
    Doonesbury
    Reality Check
    Some years ago when I first got interested in the admissions process at Cambridge I was convinced there was a weighting, even though Cambridge wouldn't say what it was. I considered that an applicant's recent academic performance (i.e. UMS) was the primary filter to getting an interview - much more important than assessments/gcses/personal statements/etc. And that the interview then decided whether or not you got an offer. I mean look at the stages involved in the process...

    UMS opened the door, the interview gets you in.

    It's obvious isn't it?!

    Except it isn't.

    As vincrows says the process *really* is holistic. They consider everything, and strengths in some areas can be offset by weaknesses elsewhere. An otherwise strong candidate can be weakened by a poor interview, but equally a strong interview won't be enough if you are weak elsewhere. It all counts. This is why they spend literally hours assessing your application. It also explains why Cambridge typically interviews approx 75% of applicants.

    The only thing is that GCSEs really aren't that important, but there's no specific weighting for it. They just know that GCSEs aren't a great predictor of Tripos success. Strong GCSEs won't get you a place, and "weak" GCSEs won't prevent one.

    Note. This is different for Oxford where some subjects certainly do have weightings for the interview shortlist stage.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Some years ago when I first got interested in the admissions process at Cambridge I was convinced there was a weighting, even though Cambridge wouldn't say what it was. I considered that an applicant's recent academic performance (i.e. UMS) was the primary filter to getting an interview - much more important than assessments/gcses/personal statements/etc. And that the interview then decided whether or not you got an offer. I mean look at the stages involved in the process...

    UMS opened the door, the interview gets you in.

    It's obvious isn't it?!

    Except it isn't.

    As vincrows says the process *really* is holistic. They consider everything, and strengths in some areas can be offset by weaknesses elsewhere. An otherwise strong candidate can be weakened by a poor interview, but equally a strong interview won't be enough if you are weak elsewhere. It all counts. This is why they spend literally hours assessing your application. It also explains why Cambridge typically interviews approx 75% of applicants.

    The only thing is that GCSEs really aren't that important, but there's no specific weighting for it. They just know that GCSEs aren't a great predictor of Tripos success. Strong GCSEs won't get you a place, and "weak" GCSEs won't prevent one.

    Note. This is different for Oxford where some subjects certainly do have weightings for the interview shortlist stage.
    Thanks for the response. What about Oxford, just out of interest? What would the weightings (for shortlisting stage) be for example, Mathematics?
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    (Original post by STr_Schl_)
    Thanks for the response. What about Oxford, just out of interest? What would the weightings (for shortlisting stage) be for example, Mathematics?
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...201%20Ltr.docx

    NB. This very much doesn't mean GCSEs are twice as important as the MAT.

    Also
    https://www.merton.ox.ac.uk/undergra...-joint-schools


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    (Original post by STr_Schl_)
    Thanks for the response. What about Oxford, just out of interest? What would the weightings (for shortlisting stage) be for example, Mathematics?
    See the "shortlisting" section of this page for the way in which oxford weight medicine applications to determine who is interviewed https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me...cal/statistics

    Most subjects at oxford don't publish this sort of information, I know from my tutors that for chemistry (at my college atleast) they give a score for each aspect of someones application (including grades, personal statement, teachers reference and some form of score to account for your results in the context of your school). The scores are then used to determine who is interviewed (for chemistry virtually everyone is interviewed ~95%) at interview, the highest scorers would have to have a bad interview to miss an offer and the lower scorers would need to interview very well to get an offer. So although there is some systematic scoring the final decision is holistic and includes a bit of everything.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Some years ago when I first got interested in the admissions process at Cambridge I was convinced there was a weighting, even though Cambridge wouldn't say what it was. I considered that an applicant's recent academic performance (i.e. UMS) was the primary filter to getting an interview - much more important than assessments/gcses/personal statements/etc. And that the interview then decided whether or not you got an offer. I mean look at the stages involved in the process...

    UMS opened the door, the interview gets you in.

    It's obvious isn't it?!

    Except it isn't.

    As vincrows says the process *really* is holistic. They consider everything, and strengths in some areas can be offset by weaknesses elsewhere. An otherwise strong candidate can be weakened by a poor interview, but equally a strong interview won't be enough if you are weak elsewhere. It all counts. This is why they spend literally hours assessing your application. It also explains why Cambridge typically interviews approx 75% of applicants.

    The only thing is that GCSEs really aren't that important, but there's no specific weighting for it. They just know that GCSEs aren't a great predictor of Tripos success. Strong GCSEs won't get you a place, and "weak" GCSEs won't prevent one.

    Note. This is different for Oxford where some subjects certainly do have weightings for the interview shortlist stage.
    Brilliant post.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    Brilliant post.
    Completely agree.

    Tag them and you can go to bed with peace of mind that one of them will look after OP very well.

    Thank you Doonesbury. Great job, as always
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    (Original post by vincrows)
    There isn't any weighting for any part of application.
    All aspects of application of each candidate are looked at and assessed individually and holistically.

    I'll tag some other veteran members of Cambridge forum to back me up on this, in case you're in doubt.

    Murray Edwards Admissions
    Peterhouse Admissions
    Doonesbury
    Reality Check
    Yes, as vincrows and Doonesbury say, there is no weighting. The point is that each candidate has their own strengths and weaknesses and that these are assessed individually. For one candidate we might judge that the GCSEs tell us a great deal about them, for another the GCSEs may tell us very little. Similarly with any aspect of the application so we try to avoid being mechanistic about it.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    Brilliant post.
    (Original post by vincrows)
    Completely agree.

    Tag them and you can go to bed with peace of mind that one of them will look after OP very well.

    Thank you Doonesbury. Great job, as always
    Thanks but you know as well as I do it's a team effort - we've all learned and shared a lot about admissions on this forum and continue to do so

    #MythbustersUnited!
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    (Original post by MexicanKeith)
    Most subjects at oxford don't publish this sort of information, I know from my tutors that for chemistry (at my college atleast) they give a score for each aspect of someones application (including grades, personal statement, teachers reference and some form of score to account for your results in the context of your school). The scores are then used to determine who is interviewed (for chemistry virtually everyone is interviewed ~95%) at interview, the highest scorers would have to have a bad interview to miss an offer and the lower scorers would need to interview very well to get an offer. So although there is some systematic scoring the final decision is holistic and includes a bit of everything.
    Although you can often find them on whatdotheyknow.co.uk
    e.g.
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._science_matgc
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    (Original post by vincrows)
    Completely agree.

    Tag them and you can go to bed with peace of mind that one of them will look after OP very well.

    Thank you Doonesbury. Great job, as always
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Thanks but you know as well as I do it's a team effort - we've all learned and shared a lot about admissions on this forum and continue to do so

    #MythbustersUnited!
    I think we make a great team - and are lucky to have the support of people like Murray Edwards Admissions and Peterhouse Admissions amongst others. It's a great resource for would-be applicants to get the facts, rather than speculation and hearsay.
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    (Original post by Murray Edwards Admissions)
    Yes, as vincrows and Doonesbury say, there is no weighting. The point is that each candidate has their own strengths and weaknesses and that these are assessed individually. For one candidate we might judge that the GCSEs tell us a great deal about them, for another the GCSEs may tell us very little. Similarly with any aspect of the application so we try to avoid being mechanistic about it.
    Thank you very much for popping in to stamp the official seal of approval.

    The way I look at how Cambridge uses info on applicants is a bit like building 3D jigsaw puzzle.
    Each applicant comes with a different set of pieces, all different in sizes, shapes, colours, etc. etc. The admission people build an image of each candidate with those varied pieces and try to find out what sort of student they have been so far and what sort of student they're likely to grow in the environment Cambridge can offer them.
    Then you compare those 'images' of candidates and decide which one/s would be good for them and whether Cambridge will be a right place for them.
    So no comparison of a certain element across candidates or fixed weighting for each element.


    (Original post by Reality Check)
    I think we make a great team - and are lucky to have the support of people like Murray Edwards Admissions and Peterhouse Admissions amongst others. It's a great resource for would-be applicants to get the facts, rather than speculation and hearsay.
    C
    Please class me as a temporary & seasonal worker for the team. I'm supposed to have retired last summer.......
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    (Original post by vincrows)
    The way I look at how Cambridge uses info on applicants is a bit like building 3D jigsaw puzzle.
    Each applicant comes with a different set of pieces, all different in sizes, shapes, colours, etc. etc. The admission people build an image of each candidate with those varied pieces and try to find out what sort of student they have been so far and what sort of student they're likely to grow in the environment Cambridge can offer them.
    Then you compare those 'images' of candidates and decide which one/s would be good for them and whether Cambridge will be a right place for them.
    So no comparison of a certain element across candidates or fixed weighting for each element.
    I like it. Although I think most candidates' applications would render into something from the surrealist/cubist school with that analogy.

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    (Original post by vincrows)

    Please class me as a temporary & seasonal worker for the team. I'm supposed to have retired last summer.......
    "supposed to have"...
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    I like it. Although I think most candidates' applications would render into something from the surrealist/cubist school with that analogy.

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    Oh I'm sure they're capable of interpreting and assessing whatever unfathomably weird shapes and forms they end up with. They are the best university in the country that created Turner Prize after all.
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    I went through the Cambridge Application process, got rejected and ended up at Imperial. This is specific to computing. My advice is to stop caring about the process, it's not worth the stress. If oyu are really invested, practice the TSA hard, and just try your best to appear interested. Show some code, show some pet-projects and make sure you understand your math theories. Or at least, just practice your ability to think on unorthodox or unusual problems. Often doing coding would help with this because the process involves breaking down a series of steps into smaller sub-problems. The interviewers love this kind of breaking down a mathematical problem into smaller sub-problems. However, even if you do this, I don't think it's worth the stress and preparation.

    University is a lot more beyond name, and Oxbridge + Imperial. Even getting past the interview process barely scratches the difficulty of the process. I know people who struggle extremely hard and do their best but still end up just hating the entire 4 years. They can end up doing terribly and end up wtih massive mental or physical problems due to the rigour or stress of the subject. These are people who looked at name beyond the course. I think a much better point would be to actually find out if you enjoy the University or course. That is more important than these damn tests and can help you with the process. Find out about latest trends in the Linux Kernel, ML, Deep Mind or some specific Crypto strategy like Diffie Helman. Find out if you can understand and enjoy staring at that kind of thing for extended periods of time, because that is what you will be doing.
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    As everyone has said thus far, nothing in the process is mechanistic. "Bad" GCSEs might be "bad" in one situation (excellent school, no AS grades, no extenuating circumstances) but "good" in another (eg followed by stellar AS/A2 performance). Everything is contextualised, personalised and nothing is set in stone.
 
 
 
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