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Mediokrity
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Hi everyone,

I applied to Cambridge to study Economics for the 2017 entry this year (with A*A*A* predictions) but I was unfortunately rejected after interview. I was also rejected by Warwick but I received an A*AA offer from UCL. I couldn't apply to LSE because they considered my subject combination too narrow.

I'm very happy to say that on results day I received an A* in Maths with 598/600 UMS, A* in Further Maths with 551/600 UMS and an A* in Economics with good raw marks in relation to the grade boundaries.

Now, I know UCL is an excellent university and their Economics course is similarly fantastic but I was wondering whether it would be advisable for me to reapply to Oxbridge with these grades, would I have a strong chance of getting in?

In prestige terms Oxford and Cambridge seem to rank above UCL for most subjects (including Economics) whilst LSE is also more prestigious than UCL for economics, from what I can tell. Warwick is around on par from what I can see. So if I could get into Oxford, Cambridge or LSE I'd probably take that over UCL.

Whilst I'm reapplying I'd probably do A2 politics (already got A at AS with 178/200 UMS) and another full A level if I could, in order to widen my subject combination especially for LSE.

I'd likely apply to Oxford or Cambridge, UCL, LSE, Warwick and an insurance. If I didn't get into Oxbridge is it near certain that I'd get into at least one of LSE, Warwick and UCL? If it's a big risk that I wouldn't get an offer from any of the top 5 then I'll take up my offer for UCL this year.

My GCSEs are 7A* 3A and 1B if that's important.

Thanks for your help!
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hatedigi
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You have nothing to lose. I would do it if you could find an interesting job for the year.
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Forecast
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(Original post by Mediokrity)
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Yes, if you think that you can improve your application from last year (e.g. if the interviews didn't go so well in December, what will you do this time to improve?)
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Mediokrity
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(Original post by hatedigi)
You have nothing to lose. I would do it if you could find an interesting job for the year.
So you think I'd be sure to get into one of the top 5? Also some (my parents) would say I'd lose a year of my life.

I currently have a sort of job making games for an online gaming platform. I earn good money from it and I could work on new projects over the year.

(Original post by Forecast)
Yes, if you think that you can improve your application from last year (e.g. if the interviews didn't go so well in December, what will you do this time to improve?)
Yes, the interviews really didn't go well in December nor did I feel the entrance exam did. In my rejection feedback they mentioned a maths question that I really fell down on (it was a real curveball, also nerves didn't help me once it'd thrown me off but I admit I found that particular question very difficult).They said I made good attempts at all the other questions but I remember feeling that the interviews went awfully. No mention of the entrance exam in the feedback.

The problem with interview preparation is I don't think there's anyway I can properly prepare, especially when separate colleges have different interview techniques. I prepared a lot for my interviews last year but most of it was in vain, for instance they asked me nothing about my personal statement and the books I'd read.
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Forecast
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(Original post by Mediokrity)
Yes, the interviews really didn't go well in December nor did I feel the entrance exam did. In my rejection feedback they mentioned a maths question that I really fell down on (it was a real curveball, also nerves didn't help me once it'd thrown me off but I admit I found that particular question very difficult).They said I made good attempts at all the other questions but I remember feeling that the interviews went awfully. No mention of the entrance exam in the feedback.

The problem with interview preparation is I don't think there's anyway I can properly prepare, especially when separate colleges have different interview techniques. I prepared a lot for my interviews last year but most of it was in vain, for instance they asked me nothing about my personal statement and the books I'd read.
I think you need to think about how you can improve these parts of the application, then, if you're serious about reapplying. I'm not really familiar with economics interviews - what type of maths question was it? I think most colleges make maths a key part of their interview for economics, so practicing as many similar questions as you can find should help put you in a better position if you decide to go for it.
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210555
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(Original post by Mediokrity)
So you think I'd be sure to get into one of the top 5? Also some (my parents) would say I'd lose a year of my life.

I currently have a sort of job making games for an online gaming platform. I earn good money from it and I could work on new projects over the year.



Yes, the interviews really didn't go well in December nor did I feel the entrance exam did. In my rejection feedback they mentioned a maths question that I really fell down on (it was a real curveball, also nerves didn't help me once it'd thrown me off but I admit I found that particular question very difficult).They said I made good attempts at all the other questions but I remember feeling that the interviews went awfully. No mention of the entrance exam in the feedback.

The problem with interview preparation is I don't think there's anyway I can properly prepare, especially when separate colleges have different interview techniques. I prepared a lot for my interviews last year but most of it was in vain, for instance they asked me nothing about my personal statement and the books I'd read.
@forecast reapplied this year so will be able to best advise the pros and cons. Out of interest because I don't know. As you have the grades, excellent BTW,😀 will you still have to sit the economics assessment?
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Mediokrity
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(Original post by Forecast)
I think you need to think about how you can improve these parts of the application, then, if you're serious about reapplying. I'm not really familiar with economics interviews - what type of maths question was it? I think most colleges make maths a key part of their interview for economics, so practicing as many similar questions as you can find should help put you in a better position if you decide to go for it.
It was a question where I had to draw a graph on a whiteboard based on an equation, the equation was algebraic though and the indices were an unknown variable also I had to work out the gradient as well. It would definitely be good to practice similar questions but I'm not sure where I'd find the resources.

(Original post by 210555)
@forecast reapplied this year so will be able to best advise the pros and cons. Out of interest because I don't know. As you have the grades, excellent BTW,😀 will you still have to sit the economics assessment?
Thanks and yes I will have to sit the entrance exams even though I'm applying post A levels.
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Forecast
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(Original post by Mediokrity)
It was a question where I had to draw a graph on a whiteboard based on an equation, the equation was algebraic though and the indices were an unknown variable also I had to work out the gradient as well. It would definitely be good to practice similar questions but I'm not sure where I'd find the resources.
Okay, so graph sketching? This skill isn't covered very well in A-level maths but luckily it's one that you can easily get better at with practice. TeeEm has produced a very useful booklet of questions which should be helpful: https://www.madasmaths.com/archive/m..._sketching.pdf
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♥Samantha♥
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Will A2 politics still exist with the reforms?

But anyway I think you have a pretty good shot if you reapply.
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Mediokrity
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(Original post by Forecast)
Okay, so graph sketching? This skill isn't covered very well in A-level maths but luckily it's one that you can easily get better at with practice. TeeEm has produced a very useful booklet of questions which should be helpful: https://www.madasmaths.com/archive/m..._sketching.pdf
Thank you so much, this'll be very helpful for me even if I'm not reapplying.

(Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
Will A2 politics still exist with the reforms?

But anyway I think you have a pretty good shot if you reapply.
Yeah, 2017 is the last year A2 politics will be non reformed.

Thanks for rating my chances
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WhiteScythe
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I think you have an excellent chance and would definitely re-apply if I were you.
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Nadim123456
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Hey I wouldn't re-apply and take a year out in your situation unless you was at UCL while you reapplied. That way if you don't get offer you can carry on with UCL and don't fall behind on a year. Also oxbridge and LSE won't accept the the politics A-level as it will be completed outside a two year time frame and due to LSE requiring 4 A-levels you will be rejected. Warwick is on the same level as UCL. Oxbridge is a possibility but could very easily lead you to wasting a year for no reason.
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210555
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(Original post by Nadim123456)
Hey I wouldn't re-apply and take a year out in your situation unless you was at UCL while you reapplied. That way if you don't get offer you can carry on with UCL and don't fall behind on a year. Also oxbridge and LSE won't accept the the politics A-level as it will be completed outside a two year time frame and due to LSE requiring 4 A-levels you will be rejected. Warwick is on the same level as UCL. Oxbridge is a possibility but could very easily lead you to wasting a year for no reason.
No idea about A2 politics so can't advise.
However, Cambridge won't accept you if you have begun at another uni so bear that in mind.

The best person to advise on what reapplying and a gap year is like is @forcast so maybe PM them. They will give real valuable insight into how it"FELT" making the decision to take a gap year and reapply. Best wishes with whatever you decide.
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Doones
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I've re-opened this thread - not quite sure why it was closed...

Mediokrity, as 210555 said, you can't normally apply to Cambridge whilst holding a place elsewhere. But you can do so with Oxford.
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(Original post by Mediokrity)
Yes, the interviews really didn't go well in December nor did I feel the entrance exam did. In my rejection feedback they mentioned a maths question that I really fell down on (it was a real curveball, also nerves didn't help me once it'd thrown me off but I admit I found that particular question very difficult).They said I made good attempts at all the other questions but I remember feeling that the interviews went awfully. No mention of the entrance exam in the feedback.

The problem with interview preparation is I don't think there's anyway I can properly prepare, especially when separate colleges have different interview techniques. I prepared a lot for my interviews last year but most of it was in vain, for instance they asked me nothing about my personal statement and the books I'd read.
What's the games platform? Sounds really interesting
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Mediokrity
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(Original post by Nadim123456)
Hey I wouldn't re-apply and take a year out in your situation unless you was at UCL while you reapplied. That way if you don't get offer you can carry on with UCL and don't fall behind on a year. Also oxbridge and LSE won't accept the the politics A-level as it will be completed outside a two year time frame and due to LSE requiring 4 A-levels you will be rejected. Warwick is on the same level as UCL. Oxbridge is a possibility but could very easily lead you to wasting a year for no reason.
How would applying work whilst I'm at UCL? Would I apply to Oxford/Cambridge via UCAS for 1st or 2nd year entry? Or would I have to apply directly to Oxbridge outside of UCAS, I'm really not sure how that works. As others have said it apparently wouldn't be possible to apply to Cambridge whilst studying at another uni, although it is possible to apply to Oxford. However, I'd be studying Economics at UCL whilst at Oxford I'd have to study E&M or PPE, second year entry in this instance would be difficult because the courses are really different.

What's your source on Oxbridge/LSE not accepting extra A levels studied outside the 2 year period? This is the first I've ever heard of it but if it's true then that'd scupper my whole plan for the year that I'm reapplied and ruin any chance I'd have to get into LSE. Although the only reason LSE require 4 A levels from me is because I have 2 maths A levels, meaning they view my combination as too narrow.
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♥Samantha♥
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I think you can be pretty confident Warwick at the least would re-offer
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Doones
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(Original post by Mediokrity)
How would applying work whilst I'm at UCL? Would I apply to Oxford/Cambridge via UCAS for 1st or 2nd year entry? Or would I have to apply directly to Oxbridge outside of UCAS, I'm really not sure how that works. As others have said it apparently wouldn't be possible to apply to Cambridge whilst studying at another uni, although it is possible to apply to Oxford. However, I'd be studying Economics at UCL whilst at Oxford I'd have to study E&M or PPE, second year entry in this instance would be difficult because the courses are really different.

What's your source on Oxbridge/LSE not accepting extra A levels studied outside the 2 year period? This is the first I've ever heard of it but if it's true then that'd scupper my whole plan for the year that I'm reapplied and ruin any chance I'd have to get into LSE. Although the only reason LSE require 4 A levels from me is because I have 2 maths A levels, meaning they view my combination as too narrow.
You would definitely have to start at Y1 if you applied to Oxford.

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Is there any hint whatsoever in the feedback about what got you down in the interview? Were you too nervous or hadn't practiced enough maths questions/read widely enough? The interview is really a crucial part and it would be silly to try again with the same approach as last time.
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Mediokrity
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[QUOTE=♥Samantha♥;73333622]I think you can be pretty confident Warwick at the least would re-offer[/QUOTE

I hope so.

(Original post by Doonesbury)
You would definitely have to start at Y1 if you applied to Oxford.

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Oh then studying at UCL whilst applying to Oxford isn't an option, don't want to pay 20k for an essentially pointless year of study at UCL.

(Original post by auburnstar)
Is there any hint whatsoever in the feedback about what got you down in the interview? Were you too nervous or hadn't practiced enough maths questions/read widely enough? The interview is really a crucial part and it would be silly to try again with the same approach as last time.
The main thing was definitely the maths exercise that I fell down on, I could study more about graphs but I've got 2 A*s in maths and further maths so I don't know how else I can improve maths as their interview questions aren't supposed to ask anything beyond A level content I assume?
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