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Ask An(other) Admissions Tutor 25/07/2017-08/08/2017 Watch

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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    I don't think there's a particular problem with mentioning Biology of Cells on the SAQ, to be honest, though it's very unusual to combine that with Physics on the degree and you'd need to think carefully how you'd justify it at interview. Having said that, if you had an interview for Physical Natural Sciences it's pretty unlikely you'd be asked much about Biology in any case.

    On the personal statement, I'd advise a mixture of general and specific - you're right to conserve characters carefully, but you should try to give one or two examples of things you've read and watched, to illustrate your broader points, even if you don't go into huge detail. The same is true of taster days and visits. (And there's no issues with one of those being at Oxford!)
    Ah okay, well I'll have to think about that and see. I heard that it was common for people to pick that as their last choice with physics in first year.

    To make that clear, you're saying I should name some things. For example if I say that I've watched about quantum immortality I should say from a video by said person or is just saying I've watched and giving detail into what I've watched fine?
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    (Original post by moss6)
    If the standard offer is a*a*a and you do 4 a levels, do you get a 4 a level offer for economics
    Not at Christ's, no: all our offers are based on three A-levels only, and this is true at most colleges, I think.
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    (Original post by lasjmcbr)
    Hope you don't mind a bit of a trivial question. I was just wondering, what are some of the strangest/funniest things you've seen in someone's application/interview? :-)
    I've seen a personal statement for English written as a poem, and a personal statement for Law written as a plea to the jury, neither of which I would recommend as models to follow...

    I think it would probably be unfair to tell you the funniest thing someone has *said* in an interview, but I did struggle to contain a laugh when our college cat walked firmly into the room with the first interview candidate of the day, last year. (I've also found her happily ensconced on the candidate chair when I've gone outside to call someone for interview, a few times.)
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    (Original post by AspiringUnderdog)
    Ah okay, well I'll have to think about that and see. I heard that it was common for people to pick that as their last choice with physics in first year.

    To make that clear, you're saying I should name some things. For example if I say that I've watched about quantum immortality I should say from a video by said person or is just saying I've watched and giving detail into what I've watched fine?
    Either is fine, if the detail is persuasive.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    and a personal statement for Law written as a plea to the jury, neither of which I would recommend as models to follow...
    That takes a special type of genius...

    And Rocket knows she can go wherever she wants

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    (Original post by moss6)
    If the standard offer is a*a*a and you do 4 a levels, do you get a 4 a level offer for economics
    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Not at Christ's, no: all our offers are based on three A-levels only, and this is true at most colleges, I think.
    My daughter went to a school where doing 4 A-levels is a norm and some students even do 5 A-levels (the fifth usually taking lesson outside school) and quite a good number of students go to Oxbridge every year.
    Except for a very,very few, most of those Oxbridge candidates get 3 A-levels offer for all courses, including Economics, from any college they applied to.
    AFAIK getting 4 A-levels offer is under some exceptional circumstances, like your choice of A-level subjects and some potential weakness in some of them that Admission Tutor want some extra assurance to see your academic suitability.
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    (Original post by vincrows)
    My daughter went to a school where doing 4 A-levels is a norm and some students even do 5 A-levels (the fifth usually taking lesson outside school) and quite a good number of students go to Oxbridge every year.
    Except for a very,very few, most of those Oxbridge candidates get 3 A-levels offer for all courses, including Economics, from any college they applied to.
    AFAIK getting 4 A-levels offer is under some exceptional circumstances, like your choice of A-level subjects and some potential weakness in some of them that Admission Tutor want some extra assurance to see your academic suitability.
    I think four A-level offers did occur a little more frequently before the A* grade was introduced (since we couldn't discriminate as effectively between candidates on the A grade spectrum in individual subjects). The introduction of the A* has largely obviated the need for them, happily!
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Either is fine, if the detail is persuasive.
    Ah alright that makes sense. Thanks for answering all of my questions it means a lot!
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    I think four A-level offers did occur a little more frequently before the A* grade was introduced (since we couldn't discriminate as effectively between candidates on the A grade spectrum in individual subjects). The introduction of the A* has largely obviated the need for them, happily!
    Oh I see. Didn't realize the introduction of A* had such an effect.
    My daughter was the second year since the introduced, so that may be why I hadn't come across hardly any who got 4 A-levels offer. But I recall a few on TSR who got it during 5-6 yrs I've been hanging around here.

    Some critics have been saying in recent years it's becoming more difficult to distinguish between candidates even with A* because everybody is getting better at exam skills. If it really is the case and the situation persists, do you think there can be more 4 A-levels offer than now in the future?
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    Do compsci with maths applicants received the same STEP offer as full-time maths students?
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    (Original post by Student1914)
    Do compsci with maths applicants received the same STEP offer as full-time maths students?
    They do, yes.
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    (Original post by vincrows)
    Oh I see. Didn't realize the introduction of A* had such an effect.
    My daughter was the second year since the introduced, so that may be why I hadn't come across hardly any who got 4 A-levels offer. But I recall a few on TSR who got it during 5-6 yrs I've been hanging around here.

    Some critics have been saying in recent years it's becoming more difficult to distinguish between candidates even with A* because everybody is getting better at exam skills. If it really is the case and the situation persists, do you think there can be more 4 A-levels offer than now in the future?
    I very much doubt there will be an increase in the number of offers based on four subjects because we're aware that, with funding cuts, fewer and fewer schools are able to offer four A-levels. So I guess we'll be thinking about other ways to distinguish between candidates at the offer stage!
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    I've seen a personal statement for English written as a poem, and a personal statement for Law written as a plea to the jury, neither of which I would recommend as models to follow...

    I think it would probably be unfair to tell you the funniest thing someone has *said* in an interview, but I did struggle to contain a laugh when our college cat walked firmly into the room with the first interview candidate of the day, last year. (I've also found her happily ensconced on the candidate chair when I've gone outside to call someone for interview, a few times.)
    You have lovely gardens and a cat! Definitely applying to christ's now.
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    Hi, some courses like HSPS do not require any specific A Level subjects but certain colleges like Christ's require the applicant to submit pieces of written work. However, an applicant taking only math or science subjects would not have done any written work over the course of their A Levels (unless doing the EPQ). Does this perhaps hint at an unwritten idea that applying without a humanities subject for HSPS would be disadvantageous and unwise? Is it even possible/recommended to apply to HSPS with an all-science/math combination?
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Hi everyone, I'm the Admissions Tutor at Christ's College, and I'm here to answer any questions you might have about applications or admissions to the University of Cambridge, or to Christ's College specifically, until August 08. So please fire away!
    hi sorry I have another question, if I were to write about some things far outside of the A level syllabus and my interest in them (partial derivatives in thermodynamics) what are the chances I will be asked questions about it, like hard university level ones (i.e do I need to revise it like a test?)
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Can I just check, you mention "unis", are you a Cambridge offer holder?

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    yes, I'm a Cambridge offer holder, I was referring to my insurance choice here too
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    (Original post by Elladelabella789)
    yes, I'm a Cambridge offer holder, I was referring to my insurance choice here too
    Ok, and the CAT's advice would apply to your insurance too.
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    Hi there. I'm enquiring about a postgraduate application, so I'm not sure if you deal with them.

    I'm looking at applying for the MAst in Mathematics, however my early university years have suffered due to circumstances which I have made clear to to the university boards. As you can expect there isn't much that they can do about it.

    However my circumstances have changed and I will be (hopefully!) finishing my final year with high enough grades to get a good first.

    Would my early university years matter as much as the final year? I would hope that the sudden bump in my final year grades would be seen as a positive to outweigh the problems I had earlier, enough for me to be considered. My degree is Mathematics & Physics by the way.

    Thank you for any advice you will be able to shed on this matter
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    (Original post by bruh2132)
    hi sorry I have another question, if I were to write about some things far outside of the A level syllabus and my interest in them (partial derivatives in thermodynamics) what are the chances I will be asked questions about it, like hard university level ones (i.e do I need to revise it like a test?)
    My general advice is not to mention anything in your personal statement that you wouldn't be prepared to discuss at interview. Your interviewers won't expect you to have "revised it like a test", or to have undergraduate-level knowledge, but they would expect you to have a grasp of some basic principles and some explanation of your interest.
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    (Original post by TheBBQ)
    Hi there. I'm enquiring about a postgraduate application, so I'm not sure if you deal with them.

    I'm looking at applying for the MAst in Mathematics, however my early university years have suffered due to circumstances which I have made clear to to the university boards. As you can expect there isn't much that they can do about it.

    However my circumstances have changed and I will be (hopefully!) finishing my final year with high enough grades to get a good first.

    Would my early university years matter as much as the final year? I would hope that the sudden bump in my final year grades would be seen as a positive to outweigh the problems I had earlier, enough for me to be considered. My degree is Mathematics & Physics by the way.

    Thank you for any advice you will be able to shed on this matter
    Your final year grades are by far the most important thing, but you should ensure that you or your referee provide some explanation for the under performance early in the degree, I think.
 
 
 
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