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    Hi there,
    I have been wondering about whether there will be changes to "standard offers" in light of the changes to A level and GCSE. I have a child who will be starting her AS levels this Autumn, studying Arts/Humanities subjects. Her chosen 6th Form is continuing to ask students to study 4 subjects in Y12, whereas many others in our area have dropped to 3. The expectation will be to drop to 3 subjects in Y13.
    She's been to one of Cambridge's subject masterclasses and forgot to ask the question there. Is it likely that the University's standard offer for, say, English or History will rise from the A* AA she understands it currently is? Is there likely to be a variation between colleges and will this be made clear? Finally, what is Cambridge's view on continuing to study 4 subjects at AS/Y12, given the introduction of linear exams? Many thanks for this opportunity. I think it is a great initiative by Christ's.
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    (Original post by edzay)
    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?
    It's perfectly possible to apply to HSPS with an all-science/math combination and people do so successfully every year. However, the HSPS course does require a lot of essay-writing (something like 32 essays in the first year...) and we need to be confident that you have the competence to hit the ground running, in this respect. There's no "hint" in our requirement for written work, and if you haven't done anything appropriate at school, we'll set you a couple of questions to play with - that way, we have more evidence to consider than only Section 2 of the pre-interview assessment, and you have a "safety net" in the event that the pre-interview assessment doesn't go to plan.
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    (Original post by DorotheaB)
    Hi there,
    I have been wondering about whether there will be changes to "standard offers" in light of the changes to A level and GCSE. I have a child who will be starting her AS levels this Autumn, studying Arts/Humanities subjects. Her chosen 6th Form is continuing to ask students to study 4 subjects in Y12, whereas many others in our area have dropped to 3. The expectation will be to drop to 3 subjects in Y13.
    She's been to one of Cambridge's subject masterclasses and forgot to ask the question there. Is it likely that the University's standard offer for, say, English or History will rise from the A* AA she understands it currently is? Is there likely to be a variation between colleges and will this be made clear? Finally, what is Cambridge's view on continuing to study 4 subjects at AS/Y12, given the introduction of linear exams? Many thanks for this opportunity. I think it is a great initiative by Christ's.
    We have no plans at all to increase our standard offer for either English or History, and there is unlikely to be any variation between colleges (though all colleges may modify that offer in individual cases, i.e. make one or two "non-standard" offers, e.g. by tying the A* to a particular subject). In the improbable event that one college did decide to raise its standard offer to A*A*A, say, they would have to signal this very clearly on their website.

    Speaking personally, I think there are pros and cons to studying four subjects: it can cause some students to spread themselves "too thin", but on the other hand, it also gives them wiggle room to find out which subjects they are more or less interested in, and which subjects they are more or less good at (both of which can change considerably between the end of Year 11 and the start of Year 12). So for a strong student, it's a great opportunity, and arguably at least as helpful as an EPQ, which many schools are offering instead.
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    (Original post by edzay)
    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?
    I'm not the AT (whose response is great btw) but I would imagine such an applicant would be able to practice writing essays over the summer (after GCSEs, after Y12, after Y13 for people taking a gap year)? You could look at, for instance, sociology-focused articles or read several books to get an idea of how writing in the humanities "works". There are also many books about how to write and organise essays available in all stores.
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    If I am predicted 14 points in Maths LK, is it still possible that my offer is based on 15 points?
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    (Original post by auburnstar)
    I'm not the AT (whose response is great btw) but I would imagine such an applicant would be able to practice writing essays over the summer (after GCSEs, after Y12, after Y13 for people taking a gap year)? You could look at, for instance, sociology-focused articles or read several books to get an idea of how writing in the humanities "works". There are also many books about how to write and organise essays available in all stores.
    Those are very sensible ideas!
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    (Original post by themight)
    If I am predicted 14 points in Maths LK, is it still possible that my offer is based on 15 points?
    Yes: we don't align our offers with predictions (which can be inaccurate) but with the requirements of the course. If you are applying for Economics, we would regard Maths as the most important LK subject, so we might ask for 15 in it, particularly if your performance in the pre-interview assessment and/or interview led us to believe that your Maths could do with some extra attention. If it's impossible for you to reach 15, for reasons beyond your control, it's best to flag that on the SAQ.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    Yes: we don't align our offers with predictions (which can be inaccurate) but with the requirements of the course. If you are applying for Economics, we would regard Maths as the most important LK subject, so we might ask for 15 in it, particularly if your performance in the pre-interview assessment and/or interview led us to believe that your Maths could do with some extra attention. If it's impossible for you to reach 15, for reasons beyond your control, it's best to flag that on the SAQ.
    Ok, thank you. Do high scores in physics also show good mathematical skills or is that unimportant ?
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    (Original post by themight)
    Ok, thank you. Do high scores in physics also show good mathematical skills or is that unimportant ?
    High scores in physics are good supporting evidence, but the mathematical skills they demonstrate are not that ones that are most important in Economics.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    High scores in physics are good supporting evidence, but the mathematical skills they demonstrate are not that ones that are most important in Economics.
    Hey, I know I won't get into Cambridge but I'm just asking this out of curiosity. At GCSE, I got 5 As ,1 A* 4 Bs and a B in FSMQ. I achieved these grades at a somewhat underperforming school ( it was a school where getting 8 A*s was kind of rare)

    Following this, I did AS levels ( old spec) and achieved: ABCCD.
    A in EPQ
    B in Biology
    C in maths and drama
    D in chemistry

    I achieved these grades at an educationally disadvantaged school

    I then did AS levels again(new spec) and achieved at a private school which gets good results: AAB

    A in chemistry
    A in maths
    B in biology

    I was then predicted A*AA
    A* in maths
    A in chemistry
    A in biology

    I may have got A*A*A for results day though because I am quite good at maths and chemistry and most people found the OCR biology exams hard but I didn't find it too bad.

    My UMS for my maths modules are:
    C1: 92
    C2: 98
    S1: 89
    C3 and C4: ( not sure yet)
    M1: 98-100 UMS

    I wonder if I stand a chance in getting in. Personally, I do not think so, but it would be a shock if I did haha.
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    (Original post by APersonYo)
    I wonder if I stand a chance in getting in. Personally, I do not think so, but it would be a shock if I did haha.
    For which course...

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    (Original post by APersonYo)
    Hey, I know I won't get into Cambridge but I'm just asking this out of curiosity. At GCSE, I got 5 As ,1 A* 4 Bs and a B in FSMQ. I achieved these grades at a somewhat underperforming school ( it was a school where getting 8 A*s was kind of rare)

    Following this, I did AS levels ( old spec) and achieved: ABCCD.
    A in EPQ
    B in Biology
    C in maths and drama
    D in chemistry

    I achieved these grades at an educationally disadvantaged school

    I then did AS levels again(new spec) and achieved at a private school which gets good results: AAB

    A in chemistry
    A in maths
    B in biology

    I was then predicted A*AA
    A* in maths
    A in chemistry
    A in biology

    I may have got A*A*A for results day though because I am quite good at maths and chemistry and most people found the OCR biology exams hard but I didn't find it too bad.

    My UMS for my maths modules are:
    C1: 92
    C2: 98
    S1: 89
    C3 and C4: ( not sure yet)
    M1: 98-100 UMS

    I wonder if I stand a chance in getting in. Personally, I do not think so, but it would be a shock if I did haha.
    If you get A*AA, you would have met the standard offer for some subjects, and if you get A*A*A, you would have met the standard offer for the remaining subjects. How competitive you would be, as an applicant, is difficult to say without knowing which subject you are interested in! The re-taken year, could be a handicap, in tandem with a relatively weak GCSE performance, but not an insurmountable one if you can provide an explanation for the circumstances and our data supports your assertion that you were in under-performing schools at the time. Happy to provide a bit more advice here (if you tell me the subject, sorry to be repetitive) or at the CHrist's post-results clinic.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    If you get A*AA, you would have met the standard offer for some subjects, and if you get A*A*A, you would have met the standard offer for the remaining subjects. How competitive you would be, as an applicant, is difficult to say without knowing which subject you are interested in!
    I think their main worry is the retaken year... (I also recommended your clinic to them in their other thread )
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    I think their main worry is the retaken year... (I also recommended your clinic to them in their other thread )
    Thank you, will edit accordingly!
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    What sort of things would make a College modify the standard offer?
    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    We have no plans at all to increase our standard offer for either English or History, and there is unlikely to be any variation between colleges (though all colleges may modify that offer in individual cases, i.e. make one or two "non-standard" offers, e.g. by tying the A* to a particular subject). In the improbable event that one college did decide to raise its standard offer to A*A*A, say, they would have to signal this very clearly on their website.

    Speaking personally, I think there are pros and cons to studying four subjects: it can cause some students to spread themselves "too thin", but on the other hand, it also gives them wiggle room to find out which subjects they are more or less interested in, and which subjects they are more or less good at (both of which can change considerably between the end of Year 11 and the start of Year 12). So for a strong student, it's a great opportunity, and arguably at least as helpful as an EPQ, which many schools are offering instead.
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    What sort of things would make a College modify the standard offer?
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    (Original post by DorotheaB)
    What sort of things would make a College modify the standard offer?
    I'm only aware of one case where a college has modified the standard offer, and that is Churchill College, which asks for A*A*A for Law. Since I'm not at Churchill, I don't, unfortunately, know the history behind this change!
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    I'm only aware of one case where a college has modified the standard offer, and that is Churchill College, which asks for A*A*A for Law. Since I'm not at Churchill, I don't, unfortunately, know the history behind this change!
    Do you know if that's new for 2018? I note they also "favour" applicants with 4 A-levels and their typical offer is A*A*AA... ouch...

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    What grades would ideally be needed at A2 level for Biology, chemistry and maths to apply for bio Natsci during a gap year
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    I'm only aware of one case where a college has modified the standard offer, and that is Churchill College, which asks for A*A*A for Law. Since I'm not at Churchill, I don't, unfortunately, know the history behind this change!
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Do you know if that's new for 2018? I note they also "favour" applicants with 4 A-levels and their typical offer is A*A*AA... ouch...

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