How should I narrow these universities down to five?

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MurphyLikesMaths
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I'm applying for Maths, with 8 A* and 4 As at GCSE and 2 As in AS Maths and Further Maths. My predicted grades are A*A*A in Maths, Further Maths and Computer Science.
I'm thinking of definitely applying for Oxford, Warwick and Bath.
The others that I'm thinking about to make the other 2 are:
Imperial
St. Andrews
UCL
Bristol
Exeter
Southampton
Surrey
Kings

Which should I go for? I'm leaning towards St. Andrews and one of Bristol/UCL/Imperial but I'm not sure. Thanks for any advice.
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lukey67791
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(Original post by MurphyLikesMaths)
I'm applying for Maths, with 8 A* and 4 As at GCSE and 2 As in AS Maths and Further Maths. My predicted grades are A*A*A in Maths, Further Maths and Computer Science.
I'm thinking of definitely applying for Oxford, Warwick and Bath.
The others that I'm thinking about to make the other 2 are:
Imperial
St. Andrews
UCL
Bristol
Exeter
Southampton
Surrey
Kings

Which should I go for? I'm leaning towards St. Andrews and one of Bristol/UCL/Imperial but I'm not sure. Thanks for any advice.
I can't speak for all their maths courses, nor make the decision for you, but a couple of things to bear in mind when deciding:

1) How important is the social life to you? You'll have a very different experience in a London university for instance, as compared to St Andrews, which is somewhat notorious for being a little off the beaten track. Where the courses are more or less of the same strength, I'd definitely give some thought to your non-academic criteria, as within your list some of these unis will offer very different experiences.

2) Are you sure Oxford is your first choice? If so, consider what offers the other unis are likely to make. Oxford will want A*A*A, with A* in maths and further, so you want to make sure you have at least one option to take as an insurance that you know will give you a lower offer. And I would strongly advise against Warwick as an insurance, because STEP. I also know Imperial tend to make offers of A*A*A/A*A*A*, so maybe avoid taking Oxford, Imperial and another uni which will request those grades, as it becomes a little superfluous.

Whilst I can't speak for what your requirement are non-academically, a combination of something like Oxford, Imperial/St Andrews, Warwick, Bath, Exeter/Southampton would offer a decent mix of grade requirements, which is a useful option to have when it comes to making your decision. You could also opt out of STEP if you so chose.
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MurphyLikesMaths
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Thanks. I might go Oxford, Warwick/Imperial, St. Andrews, Bath and Bristol. I might apply for imperial instead of St. Andrews still cause I'd rather not go to Scotland.
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Tiger Rag
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Have you looked at the course content of each course? The same title doesn't mean the courses will be same.
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DJMayes
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(Original post by lukey67791)

2) Are you sure Oxford is your first choice? If so, consider what offers the other unis are likely to make. Oxford will want A*A*A, with A* in maths and further, so you want to make sure you have at least one option to take as an insurance that you know will give you a lower offer. And I would strongly advise against Warwick as an insurance, because STEP. I also know Imperial tend to make offers of A*A*A/A*A*A*, so maybe avoid taking Oxford, Imperial and another uni which will request those grades, as it becomes a little superfluous.
Sure but in what scenario other than an Oxford offer (which is only conditional on A Levels) is Warwick likely to be put as insurance? I'm presuming the OP would take it as a firm over Imperial as it's one of their 3 definite choices already.

I'm not sure how common Oxford/Warwick is for Maths but Cambridge/Warwick is pretty common and somewhere north of 90% of those who fail the Cambridge offer still meet the Warwick one. I don't think it's a scenario really worth worrying about (and if OP gets their Oxford offer I would be pretty surprised if they missed it).
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lukey67791
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(Original post by DJMayes)
Sure but in what scenario other than an Oxford offer (which is only conditional on A Levels) is Warwick likely to be put as insurance? I'm presuming the OP would take it as a firm over Imperial as it's one of their 3 definite choices already.

I'm not sure how common Oxford/Warwick is for Maths but Cambridge/Warwick is pretty common and somewhere north of 90% of those who fail the Cambridge offer still meet the Warwick one. I don't think it's a scenario really worth worrying about (and if OP gets their Oxford offer I would be pretty surprised if they missed it).
Personally, if I had offers from Warwick and Imperial I'd take Imperial, because I would much prefer living in London than Warwick, but that's obviously a personal thing. And if firming an offer from Oxford, I wouldn't want to spread myself thing by putting down Warwick as an insurance and giving myself extra exams to worry about.

I don't disagree with you, which is why I don't think Warwick is that good a choice tactically if you're applying for Oxford. Certainly an excellent course and all the rest, but the only scenario I think it's sensible to put down Warwick as a choice is if you missed Oxford. Oxford and Imperial or Cambridge and Warwick are, I feel, the better combinations.
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DJMayes
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(Original post by lukey67791)
Personally, if I had offers from Warwick and Imperial I'd take Imperial, because I would much prefer living in London than Warwick, but that's obviously a personal thing. And if firming an offer from Oxford, I wouldn't want to spread myself thing by putting down Warwick as an insurance and giving myself extra exams to worry about.

I don't disagree with you, which is why I don't think Warwick is that good a choice tactically if you're applying for Oxford. Certainly an excellent course and all the rest, but the only scenario I think it's sensible to put down Warwick as a choice is if you missed Oxford. Oxford and Imperial or Cambridge and Warwick are, I feel, the better combinations.
Imperial cite their standard offer as A*A*A - A*A*A*

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/...thematics-bsc/

Oxford cites their offer as A*A*A so if you get the offer from Oxford then Imperial seems pointless. With Warwick at least it is possible to get in if you miss Oxford (with A*AA+1) even if it is incredibly unlikely what with the second A* being noticeably easier than STEP.

Of course both are excellent universities, but unfortunately have A Level requirements on par with Oxford; Oxford just make it harder to get the offer because of interviews and the MAT. Either work far better as insurance choices for Cambridge.
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frostyy
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Maybe a cool way would be to do something like a point system. Set categories that you're interested in the most, like 'how good is the city', 'how good is the course' and so on, and rate each of those for every uni out of 5, 3, 10, whatever. Then choose the ones with the most points.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by MurphyLikesMaths)
I'm applying for Maths, with 8 A* and 4 As at GCSE and 2 As in AS Maths and Further Maths. My predicted grades are A*A*A in Maths, Further Maths and Computer Science.
I'm thinking of definitely applying for Oxford, Warwick and Bath.
The others that I'm thinking about to make the other 2 are:
Imperial
St. Andrews
UCL
Bristol
Exeter
Southampton
Surrey
Kings
Both Oxford and Imperial will want the Mathematics Admissions Test. If you don't do well on that, then two choices would be eliminated. However, you have a lighter 'A' level load, so should have enough time to prepare for it (as much as anyone can). Imperial also give very high offers.

I'd also look carefully at the cost of living in London. Imperial is worth it IMO, but you do need to be able to cover it too.
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lukey67791
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(Original post by DJMayes)
Imperial cite their standard offer as A*A*A - A*A*A*

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/...thematics-bsc/

Oxford cites their offer as A*A*A so if you get the offer from Oxford then Imperial seems pointless. With Warwick at least it is possible to get in if you miss Oxford (with A*AA+1) even if it is incredibly unlikely what with the second A* being noticeably easier than STEP.

Of course both are excellent universities, but unfortunately have A Level requirements on par with Oxford; Oxford just make it harder to get the offer because of interviews and the MAT. Either work far better as insurance choices for Cambridge.
Which I suppose suggests that ultimately, if you're good enough to be going for Oxbridge at all, then an 'insurance' is moot anyway. I just meant that if you're good enough to be invited for an interview at Oxford, you'll likely get an offer from Imperial. That way, even if you don't get the offer from Oxford you've still got that option without trapping yourself into the need to sit STEP.
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hollyoliviax
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I think you should look at some without such high entry requirements - apply to at least one that doesn't require A*s - if you miss the grades you won't have a uni place!! But I recommend taking a look at King's, it's a great place!!
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