NSAA Pass Rate for Natural Sciences at Cambrdige Watch

OwlOfFire
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I am considering applying for Natural Sciences at Cambridge. I have just attempted one of their NSAA tests for "section 1". I got roughly 50%, is that too low to be considered? I know there is no "pass rate" as such, but does anybody know roughly what % you need to be considered for an interview?

Thanks it is kind of urgent as the internal school deadline for applications is tomorrow!
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username1865079
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(Original post by OwlOfFire)
I am considering applying for Natural Sciences at Cambridge. I have just attempted one of their NSAA tests for "section 1". I got roughly 50%, is that too low to be considered? I know there is no "pass rate" as such, but does anybody know roughly what % you need to be considered for an interview?

Thanks it is kind of urgent as the internal school deadline for applications is tomorrow!
It'd depend on other parts of your application, too. If other parts are strong, you may get interview even if your NSAA score isn't great, but other parts are not stellar, you may need to perform very well in NSAA.
Admission Tutor who's hosting a thread in this forum has stress this many time. Pre-interview assessment is considered only in conjunction with other parts of application. There's no cut-off point, either way which exactly means that.
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OwlOfFire
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(Original post by vincrows)
It'd depend on other parts of your application, too. If other parts are strong, you may get interview even if your NSAA score isn't great, but other parts are not stellar, you may need to perform very well in NSAA.
Admission Tutor who's hosting a thread in this forum has stress this many time. Pre-interview assessment is considered only in conjunction with other parts of application. There's no cut-off point, either way which exactly means that.
From my point of view my AS grades were impressive (AAAA) but my GCSE grades were somewhat lacking with 8A* and 4A and a C. My personal statement is "average". Do you think a less impressive performance in the NSAA lets say 50% would be enough to get an interview?
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EwanFromKashmir
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According to the university the average applicant gets around half the marks (so you getting 50% is fine), and successful ones slightly higher. As vincrows said though, the test is only considered as part of the whole application so it's not the end of the world if it doesn't go so well.
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black1blade
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(Original post by OwlOfFire)
From my point of view my AS grades were impressive (AAAA) but my GCSE grades were somewhat lacking with 8A* and 4A and a C. My personal statement is "average". Do you think a less impressive performance in the NSAA lets say 50% would be enough to get an interview?
The gcse performance is judged on how you did in the context of which school you went too but 8A*s is pretty damn good, more than me lol.
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username1865079
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(Original post by OwlOfFire)
From my point of view my AS grades were impressive (AAAA) but my GCSE grades were somewhat lacking with 8A* and 4A and a C. My personal statement is "average". Do you think a less impressive performance in the NSAA lets say 50% would be enough to get an interview?
Nobody knows what's this year's NSAA will be like. What is the point of guessing your chance from your score in a past sample paper?
And grades are also just one part of application. They take all other things into consideration, too. The way they assess each applicant is not like tick-box operation. It's far more complicated and they look each applicant holistically and individually.
Also, getting an interview is the EASIEST part of Cambridge application anyway. roughly 70-80% of all applicants get interview. If you're predicted at least their minimum requirement, you're very likely to be invited to interview.
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forst_pa
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(Original post by OwlOfFire)
From my point of view my AS grades were impressive (AAAA) but my GCSE grades were somewhat lacking with 8A* and 4A and a C. My personal statement is "average". Do you think a less impressive performance in the NSAA lets say 50% would be enough to get an interview?
You need at least 80% to get an offer. Period.
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Doones
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(Original post by forst_pa)
You need at least 80% to get an offer. Period.
No you don't. Period.

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forst_pa
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
No you don't. Period.

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I was being sarcastic man.... Bruh
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Doones
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(Original post by OwlOfFire)
I am considering applying for Natural Sciences at Cambridge. I have just attempted one of their NSAA tests for "section 1". I got roughly 50%, is that too low to be considered? I know there is no "pass rate" as such, but does anybody know roughly what % you need to be considered for an interview?

Thanks it is kind of urgent as the internal school deadline for applications is tomorrow!
50% is approx average. And has been pointed out it's just one aspect of your application.

Cambridge doesn't have much data yet on the effectiveness of the NSAA at predicting Tripos success. Until they do they won't be prioritising it.

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Doones
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(Original post by forst_pa)
I was being sarcastic man.... Bruh
My sides.... Hilarious.

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forst_pa
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
My sides.... Hilarious.

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I didn't really mean for it to be hilarious, it was more a rhetorical effect to illustrate the point of how I saw that there are a lot of "are my 8A*s terrible for Oxbridge".... Bruh

But in all serious OP, score 80% and you'd have a good chance. I saw on the website it says "scores above 80% are rare"
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Doones
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(Original post by forst_pa)
I didn't really mean for it to be hilarious, it was more a rhetorical effect to illustrate the point of how I saw that there are a lot of "are my 8A*s terrible for Oxbridge".... Bruh

But in all serious OP, score 80% and you'd have a good chance. I saw on the website it says "scores above 80% are rare"
But that's the thing. People are easily mislead even if it's in jest. It's commonly thought 95+ UMS is needed, it isn't.

And people don't believe that an Admissions Assessment score as "low" as 50 can be competitive, it is.
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forst_pa
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
And people don't believe that an Admissions Assessment score as "low" as 50 can be competitive, it is.
Yeah but as you pointed out it's just one aspect of the application, so it's hard to say that 50% is competitive for any application. Getting 14 A*s at GCSE, 4 As at AS, 10/10 in interview, A* in A Level maths, etc, then it probably doesn't really matter if you get 20%. Where as if you have 3 A*s at GCSE and no other data apart from the interview, it's safe to say that you want to get a high percentage (above 80% maybe).

If you meant that for assessment itself, that 50% is competitive, then I think it's better to call it "average" (as you say yourself it's average).

At the end of the day, the AT/interviewer will look at a piece of paper in front of them that will say the grades/scores the candidate has achieved. You'll want to do as well as possible if you want to have a 'relatively high' chance of getting an offer. Which is why I also think it's best to have as much data as possible (i.e. taking linear AS levels, A Level maths, etc) - as that way they will have more evidence to justify that you can achieve A*A*A.
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Doones
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(Original post by forst_pa)
Yeah but as you pointed out it's just one aspect of the application, so it's hard to say that 50% is competitive for any application. Getting 14 A*s at GCSE, 4 As at AS, 10/10 in interview, A* in A Level maths, etc, then it probably doesn't really matter if you get 20%. Where as if you have 3 A*s and no other data apart from the interview, it's safe to say that you want to get a high percentage (above 80% maybe).

If you meant that for assessment itself, that 50% is competitive, then I think it's better to call it "average" (as you say yourself it's average).

At the end of the day, the AT/interviewer will look at a piece of paper in front of them that will say the grades/scores the candidate has achieved. You'll want to do as well as possible if you want to have a 'relatively high' chance of getting an offer. Which is why I also think it's best to have as much data as possible (i.e. taking linear AS levels, A Level maths, etc) - as that way they will have more evidence to justify that you can achieve A*A*A.
yup, I don't disagree with that (except that GCSEs really aren't important).

But very very very few have a clean sweep of top marks in all aspects. And it's really not needed. And 80% in the NSAA is definitely not needed, for the reason I gave in an earlier post.
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forst_pa
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
But very very very few have a clean sweep of top marks in all aspects. And it's really not needed. And 80% in the NSAA is definitely not needed, for the reason I gave in an earlier post.
But what if a candidate has only done GCSEs as their public examinations? Are the admissions tutors/interviewers supposed to just use the interview and admissions assessment scores as their main justification for an offer, realistically? Yes there are other aspects like personal statement, reference, super-curricular, but the PS and super-curricular are really just to help with the interview.

Let's say you have two candidates:

Candidate A:

GCSEs: 10 A*s
AS Levels: AAAA
A Level maths: A*
NSAA: 6.0
Interview: 7/10
Predicted: A*A*A

Candidate B:

GCSEs: 10 A*s
NSAA: 6.0
Interview: 7/10
Predicted: A*A*A

Which candidate are they supposed to pick? I know two candidates aren't directly compared, but when they deselect everyone with worse grades than this, what are they supposed to do? Give the offers to those with more evidence that they can achieve A*A*A?
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Doones
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(Original post by forst_pa)
But what if a candidate has only done GCSEs as their public examinations? Are the admissions tutors/interviewers supposed to just use the interview and admissions assessment scores as their main justification for an offer, realistically? Yes there are other aspects like personal statement, reference, super-curricular, but the PS and super-curricular are really just to help with the interview.

Let's say you have two candidates:

Candidate A:

GCSEs: 10 A*s
AS Levels: AAAA
A Level maths: A*
NSAA: 6.0
Interview: 7/10
Predicted: A*A*A

Candidate B:

GCSEs: 10 A*s
NSAA: 6.0
Interview: 7/10
Predicted: A*A*A

Which candidate are they supposed to pick? I know two candidates aren't directly compared, but when they deselect everyone with worse grades than this, what are they supposed to do? Give the offers to those with more evidence that they can achieve A*A*A?
They can't and don't disadvantage a candidate just because they don't have AS levels. Not all schools offer them now.

And candidates are directly compared holistically across the cohort. Both within the college, and via the moderation sheets across the entire group. That's how the process works.
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baznoy
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They do definitely take the NSAA into account more than you think they'd do - in my mock NSAA papers I achieved something like 70% average I think? But then was rejected from natural sciences because of my NSAA performance when my predicted grades were 4A*s. They didn't say what my percentages were like in the NSAA but I was way below average on one paper, and way above average on the other so it sort of evened out.
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username1865079
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(Original post by baznoy)
They do definitely take the NSAA into account more than you think they'd do - in my mock NSAA papers I achieved something like 70% average I think? But then was rejected from natural sciences because of my NSAA performance when my predicted grades were 4A*s. They didn't say what my percentages were like in the NSAA but I was way below average on one paper, and way above average on the other so it sort of evened out.
It might've been your interview....
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baznoy
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(Original post by vincrows)
It might've been your interview....
nope, got the feedback and it was my NSAA.
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