Ask the Admissions Team: Peterhouse & Christ's College joint thread Watch

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Peterhouse Admissions
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Morning all!

As the Ask an Admissions Tutor thread from Murray Edwards Admissions has been so busy these last few weeks, we decided that it might be a good idea to try our first ever joint thread between Peterhouse Admissions and Christ's Admissions!


Please ask away with any questions you might have about Cambridge, our courses or the admissions process. Where appropriate, we'll be tagging each other for second opinions etc. but I think the majority of questions can be dealt with by one or the other of us. Hopefully this will help drill home the message that all colleges are looking for the same sort of thing and that there aren't meaningful differences between colleges.
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username1865079
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
Hopefully this will help drill home the message that all colleges are looking for the same sort of thing and that there aren't meaningful differences between colleges.
I was wondering about a purpose/reasoning of a joint thread (part from utilising each other’s available time more efficiently) but that’s really an excellent idea.

I hope this will also help people to understand quality of teaching is not different whichever college you happen to be at.
In spite of what is stated on the official website, there're still so many people asking which college is the best for a particular subject and saying they want to study <subject> at <college's name>.
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DrinkerOfCups
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Hi, I am in Y13 and I am applying for History but I want to make sure I am not completely wasting my time. I know at most I'd have a remote chance but I'd like to make sure I'd have any chance. My GCSEs are not really cambridge standard- 2A*s with 1 in history, 4As 3Bs . I improved a lot at AS level with AAAA (I did actual public exams) and I am predicted A*A*A, I did the reformed linear AS levels in history, spanish, geography and economics. Provided I did well on the admissions test and my PS was good would I even stand a chance at getting an interview? Or, I know admissions are holistic, but would I just be screened out as at the end of the day I'd be against people who got loads more A*s at GCSE.

In my PS I have read books about historical information and then written whether I agree or disagree with certain aspects using evidence. Is this a valid thing to do?Or have I gone too much into detail? And on the SAQ is it ok to carry on like you are writing your PS, rather than making it fully about why you'd like to study at cambridge?

Thank you.
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ImprobableCacti
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I know that at Cambridge applicants are supposed to have even chances of getting a place - no matter which college you apply to. But... if I were to apply to Queens' for CompSci would it prove a huge disadvantage due to the amount of applicants per place that they get?
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username1865079
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(Original post by ImprobableCacti)
I know that at Cambridge applicants are supposed to have even chances of getting a place - no matter which college you apply to. But... if I were to apply to Queens' for CompSci would it prove a huge disadvantage due to the amount of applicants per place that they get?
For getting a place at Queens' or getting into Cambridge?
You've been hanging around in this forum for long enough to know the answer to both.
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ImprobableCacti
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(Original post by vincrows)
For getting a place at Queens' or getting into Cambridge?
You've been hanging around in this forum for long enough to know the answer to both.
Both it's just I went to the Queens' open day last week and the student showing us around was like 'you're supposed to have equal chance of getting in no matter which college you apply to but let's face it - I you apply to Maths at Trinity you're not as likely to get in as for Maths at Pembroke' it just spooked me :/
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iras
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Hi I wanted to know how much importance each of your colleges/Cambridge in general gives to predicted grades? In particular for medicine, what would you consider to be a competitive set of predicted grades? And how much of an emphasis is placed on contextualisation (e.g. is being predicted A*A*AA when people from my school are predicted A*A*A*A* a disadvantage?)
Thank you!!
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Doones
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(Original post by ImprobableCacti)
Both it's just I went to the Queens' open day last week and the student showing us around was like 'you're supposed to have equal chance of getting in no matter which college you apply to but let's face it - I you apply to Maths at Trinity you're not as likely to get in as for Maths at Pembroke' it just spooked me :/
Most students don't understand the admissions process properly either

2017 Maths Offer rate for direct applicants to Trinity 41.4% (including offers made to applicants by fishing colleges). Pembroke was 40%.

i.e. basically the same.
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ImprobableCacti
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Most students don't understand the admissions process properly either

2017 Maths Offer rate for direct applicants to Trinity 41.4% (including offers made to applicants by fishing colleges). Pembroke was 40%.

i.e. basically the same.
Haha thanks Doones
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yusyus
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TE=Peterhouse Admissions;73891618]Morning all!

As the Ask an Admissions Tutor thread from Murray Edwards Admissions has been so busy these last few weeks, we decided that it might be a good idea to try our first ever joint thread between Peterhouse Admissions and Christ's Admissions!


Please ask away with any questions you might have about Cambridge, our courses or the admissions process. Where appropriate, we'll be tagging each other for second opinions etc. but I think the majority of questions can be dealt with by one or the other of us. Hopefully this will help drill home the message that all colleges are looking for the same sort of thing and that there aren't meaningful differences between colleges.[/QUOTE]
any tips for revising NSAA apart from the past papers?
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panic!intheexam
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Hi, thanks for doing this thread!
I'm in year 13 and looking at applying for History of Art. At GCSE I achieved 9A* grades, and in year 12 I also achieved an A* in Maths A-Level (92 UMS average at AS, 95 UMS average at A2). My current predicted grades are A*A*A for English Lit, Geography and Art respectively. At this stage, do I stand a decent chance at getting an interview? Will having Maths A Level have a positive impact on my application and make me a stronger candidate compared to other applicants?
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Doones
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(Original post by ImprobableCacti)
Haha thanks Doones
Oops, just realised this is the AT thread. I'll leave you to their wrath

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Christ's Admissions
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(Original post by DrinkerOfCups)
Hi, I am in Y13 and I am applying for History but I want to make sure I am not completely wasting my time. I know at most I'd have a remote chance but I'd like to make sure I'd have any chance. My GCSEs are not really cambridge standard- 2A*s with 1 in history, 4As 3Bs . I improved a lot at AS level with AAAA (I did actual public exams) and I am predicted A*A*A, I did the reformed linear AS levels in history, spanish, geography and economics. Provided I did well on the admissions test and my PS was good would I even stand a chance at getting an interview? Or, I know admissions are holistic, but would I just be screened out as at the end of the day I'd be against people who got loads more A*s at GCSE.

In my PS I have read books about historical information and then written whether I agree or disagree with certain aspects using evidence. Is this a valid thing to do?Or have I gone too much into detail? And on the SAQ is it ok to carry on like you are writing your PS, rather than making it fully about why you'd like to study at cambridge?

Thank you.
We would certainly interview you at Christ's, with those predictions and those AS grades. And for what it's worth, GCSEs in general are not as heavily weighted at Cambridge as they are at other universities: it's true that many successful applicants have multiple A*s, but a fair proportion do not, and I've given offers to candidates with no A*s at all in the past.

Yes, it's valid to include your views on specific books in your personal statement, though perhaps don't talk about too many, in too much detail, or you might run out of space you need for other things! You can use the SAQ however you want.
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Christ's Admissions
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(Original post by ImprobableCacti)
Both it's just I went to the Queens' open day last week and the student showing us around was like 'you're supposed to have equal chance of getting in no matter which college you apply to but let's face it - I you apply to Maths at Trinity you're not as likely to get in as for Maths at Pembroke' it just spooked me :/
I don't think I have anything to add that hasn't been said many, many times before. Just pick a college you like, where you think you'd feel at home, and don't try to play the odds.
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humhallelujah
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Hi, I'm applying for Engineering. I have several questions that I would be very grateful if you could answer!
How important are UMS grades (for Maths) now that most AS levels are linear? I have a 99% UMS average in Maths/FM and also very high raw marks in Physics and Chemistry, could this compensate for a slightly weaker performance at interview?
What percentage on the ENGAA would be considered 'good' and would likely result in the applicant being called to interview? And what preparation do you recommend doing for the ENGAA?

Thanks a lot for helping everyone out with these threads
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Christ's Admissions
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(Original post by iras)
Hi I wanted to know how much importance each of your colleges/Cambridge in general gives to predicted grades? In particular for medicine, what would you consider to be a competitive set of predicted grades? And how much of an emphasis is placed on contextualisation (e.g. is being predicted A*A*AA when people from my school are predicted A*A*A*A* a disadvantage?)
Thank you!!
A competitive set of predicted grades would be A*A*A, i.e. an indication that you are on course to meet the standard offer. All colleges will interview some candidates with weaker predictions, but this is most likely to happen where there is evidence to suggest that the predictions might be pessimistic (e.g. they are contradicted by good GCSEs, linear AS, UMS, BMAT scores, other comments in the reference, etc), or where there are contextual factors at work. It shouldn't matter what predictions have been given to other individuals from your school; we might look at the overall average A-level point score for your school, but that's about it.
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Christ's Admissions
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(Original post by bruh2132)
TE=Peterhouse Admissions;73891618]Morning all!

As the Ask an Admissions Tutor thread from Murray Edwards Admissions has been so busy these last few weeks, we decided that it might be a good idea to try our first ever joint thread between Peterhouse Admissions and Christ's Admissions!


Please ask away with any questions you might have about Cambridge, our courses or the admissions process. Where appropriate, we'll be tagging each other for second opinions etc. but I think the majority of questions can be dealt with by one or the other of us. Hopefully this will help drill home the message that all colleges are looking for the same sort of thing and that there aren't meaningful differences between colleges.
any tips for revising NSAA apart from the past papers?[/QUOTE]

Past papers is by far the best thing to use - sorry!
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BULL14
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I am interested in applying for medicine. My stats are as follows:
GCSE: 11A*s,2As and a B at
AS: A( Maths- 83 ums average) and A*(EPQ)
A level prediction: A*A*A*A (A*s in maths,chem and economics) and an A(in biology)
UKCAT: 665 and band 1
Work Experience:
- 2 years (weekly) in nursing home
- 3 days GP surgey
- UNIQ summer school
- 1 day in A&E
- 1 week in Geriatric Psychiatry Ward
- 1 week in genetics research
-1 week in neurosicnce

Does this sound like a realistic application?
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Christ's Admissions
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(Original post by panic!intheexam)
Hi, thanks for doing this thread!
I'm in year 13 and looking at applying for History of Art. At GCSE I achieved 9A* grades, and in year 12 I also achieved an A* in Maths A-Level (92 UMS average at AS, 95 UMS average at A2). My current predicted grades are A*A*A for English Lit, Geography and Art respectively. At this stage, do I stand a decent chance at getting an interview? Will having Maths A Level have a positive impact on my application and make me a stronger candidate compared to other applicants?
We would certainly give you an interview at Christ's, and I imagine other colleges would also do so. Your Maths A-level would indeed make you a very competitive applicant, on paper, though whether you turned out to be stronger than other candidates in the end would depend to some extent how you did at interview and in the at-interview assessment, obviously.
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HeadHoncho
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Thank you for the thread!
Firstly, what can a post a level prospective medic do to maintain/futher interest in science during their gap year?
Secondly, more Christ's specific, I know Christ's has an extremely good reputation for academic support, but how does it differ from any other college?
Thirdly, as there is no auto pooling for medicine, what would you say you look for in applicants to think "we'll definitely pool them"?
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