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Will a uni be suspicious because I'm the only one from my school who's doing AS? Watch

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    I'm doing reformed AS in three subjects, while nobody else in my year group is. I'm mainly doing AS Levels because I might drop Further maths in year 13, and I'm doing biology and chemistry AS because I want to do well in them and support an application to Cambridge. I'm aiming to score very highly in them (high raw marks).

    But it turns out that nobody else in my year group is doing AS levels, I'm the only one. If I apply to Cambridge, will they see this suspiciously? Will they wonder why I am the only one from my school who did AS, and will this disadvantage me? (usually 8ish people apply to Cambridge every year). I'm a little concerned they'll think "hang on, why did nobody else at his school sit AS? Was he planning to drop out at the end of year 12?". I've heard they look quite in depth at everything, contextually, including information about the school you go to.

    I'm working hard constantly towards them and I don't think there will be any issue with me doing well on them. I'm hoping for at least 80% raw marks.

    I'm aiming for natural sciences, and I'm doing maths, further maths, biology and chemistry.
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    I'm doing reformed AS in three subjects, while nobody else in my year group is. I'm mainly doing AS Levels because I might drop Further maths in year 13, and I'm doing biology and chemistry AS because I want to do well in them and support an application to Cambridge. I'm aiming to score very highly in them (high raw marks).

    But it turns out that nobody else in my year group is doing AS levels, I'm the only one. If I apply to Cambridge, will they see this suspiciously? Will they wonder why I am the only one from my school who did AS, and will this disadvantage me? (usually 8ish people apply to Cambridge every year). I'm a little concerned they'll think "hang on, why did nobody else at his school sit AS? Was he planning to drop out at the end of year 12?". I've heard they look quite in depth at everything, contextually, including information about the school you go to.

    I'm working hard constantly towards them and I don't think there will be any issue with me doing well on them. I'm hoping for at least 80% raw marks.

    I'm aiming for natural sciences, and I'm doing maths, further maths, biology and chemistry.
    They wont care. They will judge you on your own merits and unlikely to be aware of what others in your school are doing. If you get good grades then they will notice it. In the event they even ask, then you can give a positive response. Overthinking and nothing for you to worry about.
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    Doonesbury can I trouble you for a second opinion on this?
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    I'm doing reformed AS in three subjects, while nobody else in my year group is. I'm mainly doing AS Levels because I might drop Further maths in year 13, and I'm doing biology and chemistry AS because I want to do well in them and support an application to Cambridge. I'm aiming to score very highly in them (high raw marks).

    But it turns out that nobody else in my year group is doing AS levels, I'm the only one. If I apply to Cambridge, will they see this suspiciously? Will they wonder why I am the only one from my school who did AS, and will this disadvantage me? (usually 8ish people apply to Cambridge every year). I'm a little concerned they'll think "hang on, why did nobody else at his school sit AS? Was he planning to drop out at the end of year 12?". I've heard they look quite in depth at everything, contextually, including information about the school you go to.

    I'm working hard constantly towards them and I don't think there will be any issue with me doing well on them. I'm hoping for at least 80% raw marks.

    I'm aiming for natural sciences, and I'm doing maths, further maths, biology and chemistry.
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    They wont care. They will judge you on your own merits and unlikely to be aware of what others in your school are doing. If you get good grades then they will notice it. In the event they even ask, then you can give a positive response. Overthinking and nothing for you to worry about.
    (Original post by jakey_99)
    Doonesbury can I trouble you for a second opinion on this?
    @999tiger has answered.

    And how would they even know what your classmates are doing? (They only have access to UCAS applications to Cambridge) And why would they be interested?
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    @999tiger has answered.

    And how would they even know what your classmates are doing? (They only have access to UCAS applications to Cambridge) And why would they be interested?
    I just thought that if/when they compared my application to other applicants (to Cambridge) from my school, they'd be a bit suspicious when they saw that I had AS levels, and the other 7 or so applicants didn't. If I saw that I'd be a little suspicious. No?
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    I just thought that if/when they compared my application to other applicants (to Cambridge) from my school, they'd be a bit suspicious when they saw that I had AS levels, and the other 7 or so applicants didn't. If I saw that I'd be a little suspicious. No?
    No.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    No.
    But colleges do compare candidates from the same school, right?
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    But colleges do compare candidates from the same school, right?
    No they compare all applicants, including those at different colleges, but really only for a specific subject.

    Is your entire year applying to the same college for the same subject?

    Even them it doesn't matter. They are mostly interested in you and how you compare to the entire cohort.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    No they compare all applicants, including those at different colleges, but really only for a specific subject.

    Is your entire year applying to the same college for the same subject?

    Even them it doesn't matter. They are mostly interested in you and how you compare to the entire cohort.
    I swear I read from on one of the recent Ask an admission tutor threads, that they compare applicants from the same school, at least applying for the same subject, and see how they compare - especially their references. Probably at least 5 will apply for Natural Sciences from my year. I'll be the only one with AS results.
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    I swear I read from on one of the recent Ask an admission tutor threads, that they compare applicants from the same school, at least applying for the same subject, and see how they compare - especially their references. Probably at least 5 will apply for Natural Sciences from my year. I'll be the only one with AS results.
    They compare GCSEs at the overall school level (not just against your 5 fellow applicants). And it's not a hugely important factor.

    It is recommended by Cambridge to sit AS-levels, but most these days don't. The fact you have, and done well, is more of a good thing than a "suspicious" thing.

    Why are you concerned about references?
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    They compare GCSEs at the overall school level (not just against your 5 fellow applicants). And it's not a hugely important factor.

    It is recommended by Cambridge to sit AS-levels, but most these days don't. The fact you have, and done well, is more of a good thing than a "suspicious" thing.

    Why are you concerned about references?
    What do you mean by the overall school level? I didn't take my GCSEs at the school connected to my sixth form if that's what you mean.

    And an AT (can't remember which one) said they like to compare references of people from the same school. I'm not sure what they'd think if they saw that I'm the only one from my school that did AS though. I'll tag them in.

    Peterhouse Admissions
    Christ's Admissions
    Murray Edwards Admissions
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    What do you mean by the overall school level? I didn't take my GCSEs at the school connected to my sixth form if that's what you mean.

    And an AT (can't remember which one) said they like to compare references of people from the same school. I'll tag them in.

    Peterhouse Admissions
    Christ's Admissions
    Murray Edwards Admissions
    They compare your GCSE score against the overall score for the school where you took your GCSEs.

    Why are you concerned about your reference? NB. this is now a different question to asking about taking AS-level being suspicious - it isn't.
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    Also I'm sure the admissions tutors are currently quite busy so tagging them when you have a year before sending your application off is silly.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    They compare your GCSE score against the overall score for the school where you took your GCSEs.

    Why are you concerned about your reference? NB. this is now a different question to asking about taking AS-level being suspicious - it isn't.
    Not really concerned about the reference factor, I just remember reading (from the AT) they compare the references. If they compare the references then they'd probably compare the A level grades that others from the same school get, or at least look at them briefly. But as colleges want to know how you compare to your cohort (whole point of looking at GCSEs from the school), and especially the references (they like phrases like "best mathematician in the year"), it probably would make sense to compare the references.
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    (Original post by black1blade)
    Also I'm sure the admissions tutors are currently quite busy so tagging them when you have a year before sending your application off is silly.
    Well if/when they have time to come on TSR, then maybe they'll be kind enough to clarify.
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    Not really concerned about the reference factor, I just remember reading (from the AT) they compare the references. If they compare the references then they'd probably compare the A level grades that others from the same school get, or at least look at them briefly. But as colleges want to know how you compare to your cohort (whole point of looking at GCSEs from the school), and especially the references (they like phrases like "best mathematician in the year", it probably would make sense to compare the references.
    Again, it's not an issue.

    I've answered your question about sitting AS-levels.

    And here's an example of the original advice I was referencing.
    https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....rn_ireland.pdf

    You have a year to go, just focus on your own work and not looking over your shoulde at everyone else
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    What do you mean by the overall school level? I didn't take my GCSEs at the school connected to my sixth form if that's what you mean.

    And an AT (can't remember which one) said they like to compare references of people from the same school. I'm not sure what they'd think if they saw that I'm the only one from my school that did AS though. I'll tag them in.

    Peterhouse Admissions
    Christ's Admissions
    Murray Edwards Admissions
    We look at your GCSE scores relative to the overall GCSE score at the school where you took them.

    I do not compare references of candidates from the same school at Christ's. And bear in mind, no college will be comparing references of candidates from the same school unless they have applied to the same college.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    We look at your GCSE scores relative to the overall GCSE score at the school where you took them.

    I do not compare references of candidates from the same school at Christ's. And bear in mind, no college will be comparing references of candidates from the same school unless they have applied to the same college.
    Ok, thanks. Please could you confirm that it won't look suspicious/odd that I would be the only one with AS out of the 8 or so applicants applying to Cambridge? And are candidates applying from the same school compared at all?
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    Ok, thanks. Please could you confirm that it won't look suspicious/odd that I would be the only one with AS out of the 8 or so applicants applying to Cambridge? And are candidates applying from the same school compared at all?
    I can't see why it would look either suspicious or odd. It is possible that candidates applying from the same school to the same college might be compared within that college, but I wouldn't think it occurs routinely.
 
 
 
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