Jums' A*A*A journey (and maybe even Cambridge or the Ivy Legue) Watch

Jooms
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Jums' Study Blog




Hi everybody! As much as I am very late to GYG the first couple months of A2 have shown me how much I need the positive pressure to revise. I'm currently studying Maths, Further Maths and Physics. I'm a serial procrastinator who (thankfully) is beginning to learn from his mistakes. I'll most likely be updating this with one big Sunday post detailing with my goals for the week with a couple smaller posts throughout the week once I achieve particular goals. I'll also become more active as the year wears on and I start to ramp up my revision . I'll also add things such as my revision timetable (once I've actually created one). For a bit more background:

GCSE's
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Maths A*
Further Maths A
Physics A
English A
History A
Chemistry B
Biology B
RE B
Computer Science B (a miracle considering the joke of a teacher that we had)
French C
English Lit D (was taken in year 10 and not given the chance to resit, not that I would have if given the chance)

As you can tell these are a pretty mediocre set of results (at least on TSR anyway) and I know that I could have gotten 5-6 A* grades had I properly tried. All the grades I got were ones that I didn't do any prep for as I was too lazy and filled with hubris to revise.




AS
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At AS things went a lot better than at GCSE. I originally took Maths, FM, Physics and Psychology. I took psychology because I'd always had a passing interest and my College doesn't do Economics. I enjoyed the content of Psychology but just couldn't stand the constant evaluations of Studies. I then dropped it after a half term for Chemistry instead.

My AS grades are as follows:

Maths: A C1 97, C2 98, S1 80 (Edexcel)

Overall I was very happy with my maths score which even turned out to be the best in the year!

Further Maths: B M1 87, M2 65, FP1 67 (Edexcel)

I was okay with this result, it certainly wasn't what I wanted but I still did the best in my year for FM (even if it was out of 3 )

Physics A (AQA)

Chemistry B (AQA)

Overall I thought last year went rather well, with my biggest issue being starting my revision just after Easter. A mistake which I'm not planning on making this year.




A2
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So far this year has been going quite well. I'm not finding C3 and FP2 that much of a step up and Physics so far has been really quite nice.

My predictions are

Maths: A*
Physics: A*
Further Maths: A

For Maths and further maths I'll be sitting C3, C4, D1, FP2, FP3, M3 and resit's in FP1 and possibly even M2.




Applying to the US
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The biggest change that has happened this year is the range of universities that I'm considering. Before the summer whenever I'd think about studying in America I would instantly dismiss the idea as being far too expensive (which for the most part is true). What I hadn't realised is that for the very best US Universities those insane $40,000 per year tuition fees almost always come with very generous financial aid (meaning very few students actually pay the sticker price). This arrangement works out even better for UK applicant's (provided that the school is one of the 5 that have need blind admissions for international applicants) as the average American family is quite a bit more wealthy than the average British family the expected family contribution skews heavily in my favour. This has only been exacerbated by the fall in the pound and the BOE's willingness to tolerate the above average inflation that it has brought. This becomes so generous that I would likely end up in less debt studying in the US than the UK!

I'll very likely apply to these Universities and may add to this list in the future:

MIT (Which I know isn't strictly 'Ivy Legue' but has better levels of Financial aid than many Ivy Legues and just has just as good a reputation for the sciences)
Harvard
Stanford
Princeton

I've also been sitting obtaining all of the necessary qualifications like the SAT and SAT subject exams. My first SAT went okay, I expected to at least get a 1500 but was ill on test day. This meant that I instead got 1450. Which whilst being a very respectable score that put me into the 98th percentile for that exam simply isn't where it needs to be for the calibre of institution that I'm applying to. Which means that I'm going to resit it this December. Wish me luck .

I also sat the SAT Physics and Maths 2 which I thought both went very well. I'll post my results once I get them!

Maths 2: 770
Physics: 780

I've also started the Common Application and the MIT application which I'm going to have to start really focusing on really quite soon.




UCAS
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Cambridge (St Johns) Nat Sci:
Rejection

Durham (University College) Physics with Astrophysics:
Offer of A*AA

St Andrews Astrophysics:
Acknowledgement

Manchester Physics with Astrophysics:
Offer of A*A*A

Newcastle Physics:
Offer of AAB




About me! :cute:
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I love most things to do with computers and like to build them myself. I love to read and consume copious amounts of TV on Netflix. I've also been on/off trying to relearn Python for the past year ( to little success might I add) as well as toying with the idea of learning an actual spoken language (I always seem to gravitate towards Italian). Thankfully I don't have a job which would distract me form these things and of course my studies.







Week 1



On top of keeping on top of my Homework this week my goals are:
  • Revise AS Physics content as prep for class assessment
  • Revise C3 trig chapters as prep for class assessment
  • Go over FP2 complex numbers, focusing on transformations
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Faroooha
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Ooooh good luck with your applications... I was also considering US unis as a kind of back up and was intending to finished the common application before December starts. Was just wondering whether you had any ideas about of there are any unis that do not require SAT exams in the US because I only just found out from your paragraph above 😩. Would appreciate any suggestions and once again good luck 😀
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katiech
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Hey! I'm only in year 10 (very young still I know) but I saw Ivy League and I was interested because I'm planning on applying to a couple of US unis when the time comes! Good luck with your A-levels and the SAT retake!
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Jooms
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(Original post by katiech)
Hey! I'm only in year 10 (very young still I know) but I saw Ivy League and I was interested because I'm planning on applying to a couple of US unis when the time comes! Good luck with your A-levels and the SAT retake!
Thank you!
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katiech
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No problem!!
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Faroooha
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Any suggestions....
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Jooms
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(Original post by Faroooha)
Ooooh good luck with your applications... I was also considering US unis as a kind of back up and was intending to finished the common application before December starts. Was just wondering whether you had any ideas about of there are any unis that do not require SAT exams in the US because I only just found out from your paragraph above 😩. Would appreciate any suggestions and once again good luck 😀
Sadly I'm pretty sure almost all US universities require the SAT or ACT, not all require the subject tests though. The last international test date for this year is this December and the normal application window for it just closed. However you can do a late application and get put on the 'waitlist' which pretty much means you don't have a guaranteed seat on test day and have to pay more if you do get one.

Here's the link to the apparently not for profit company that makes and distributes the SAT, not that you'd be able to tell based off of the cost of the exams!

https://collegereadiness.collegeboar.../international

Good luck to you too !
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Faroooha
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(Original post by Jooms)
Sadly I'm pretty sure almost all US universities require the SAT or ACT, not all require the subject tests though. The last international test date for this year is this December and the normal application window for it just closed. However you can do a late application and get put on the 'waitlist' which pretty much means you don't have a guaranteed seat on test day and have to pay more if you do get one.

Here's the link to the apparently not for profit, not that you'd be able to tell based off of the cost of the exams!

https://collegereadiness.collegeboar.../international

Good luck to you too !
Thanks so much for your reply and the link... I’ll check it out. Thanks for the help
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Jooms
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Week One: Update 1
I didn't get much done on Monday, however yesterday and today have been spent mostly doing MS physics revision. I already seem to be able to remember most of it and we've in fact been given the exam to do as homework. I'll likely do it tomorrow in mostly exam conditions allowing myself to have a quick look at my notes if i get stuck. With the Maths Trig revision i'm just going through exam questions on physics and maths tutor which is going fine. I've also restarted my SAT practice in earnest, hoping to focus on silly grammar rules (comma splice's are the bane of my existence) and I've started the process to get a CSS profile by the end of the week.

  • Revise AS Physics content as prep for class assessment
  • Revise C3 trig chapters as prep for class assessment
  • Go over FP2 complex numbers, focusing on transformations


(also from now on Green = complete, Amber = Started and Red = Not started)
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username2324315
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The best part of this is how we're both applying to the exact same colleges at both Cambridge and Durham St. John's/Castle master race
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EmilySarah00
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Wow you're applying to the US, that's really interesting!
I'll be following along, can't wait to hear more about your application process :cute:

(Also Maths and FM FTW :woo:)
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gcsemusicsucks
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Oooh loving your thread so far! Will definitely keep up with it
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Jooms
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(Original post by Rex Onocrotalus)
The best part of this is how we're both applying to the exact same colleges at both Cambridge and Durham St. John's/Castle master race
I wasn't even planning on visiting St Johns on the open day but I'm glad that I did! I doubt we would get offers from the Castle though due to high demand but we may as well try . What subject are you applying for?
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Jooms
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(Original post by EmilySarah00)
Wow you're applying to the US, that's really interesting!
I'll be following along, can't wait to hear more about your application process :cute:

(Also Maths and FM FTW :woo:)
I can't wait for it to be over and done with
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Jooms
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(Original post by gcsemusicsucks)
Oooh loving your thread so far! Will definitely keep up with it
Thank you!
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username2324315
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(Original post by Jooms)
I wasn't even planning on visiting St Johns on the open day but I'm glad that I did! I doubt we would get offers from the Castle though due to high demand but we may as well try . What subject are you applying for?
Yeah, St. John's is absolutely stunning. And that's so true - it's ridiculously over subscribed but someone has to get an offer, that's my thought process behind it. I'm applying for Spanish and Arabic, so completely different to your course
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Jooms
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(Original post by Rex Onocrotalus)
Yeah, St. John's is absolutely stunning. And that's so true - it's ridiculously over subscribed but someone has to get an offer, that's my thought process behind it. I'm applying for Spanish and Arabic, so completely different to your course
Good luck either way!
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thotproduct
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Definitely subbing to this thread.

I do your exact AS Levels right now in Y12! Further Maths, Maths, Physics, Chemistry.
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Jooms
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(Original post by AryanGh)
Definitely subbing to this thread.

I do your exact AS Levels right now in Y12! Further Maths, Maths, Physics, Chemistry.
Good luck with them! You must be on the new spec for maths. How are you finding it?
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thotproduct
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(Original post by Jooms)
Good luck with them! You must be on the new spec for maths. How are you finding it?
For Single: Fairly easy ish, our school does the Maths FM system by Doing an accelerated AS Maths, i.e we cover the entire AS between September-November, then AS FM for the rest. I've almost done AS Maths and tbh the difficulty increase from GCSE isn't really as high as I thought, I find it quite straight forward, however I anticipate FM to be very challenging!
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