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    I'm currently in Year 12 and want to apply to the cambridge to study english. However, I'm considering applying post a levels (for various reasons) instead of during year 13. I was just wondering whether Cambridge view post a level applicants differently or have higher grade expectations? Will they be rather interrogative as to why I took a gap year?
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    (Original post by humbert-humbert)
    I'm currently in Year 12 and want to apply to the cambridge to study english. However, I'm considering applying post a levels (for various reasons) instead of during year 13. I was just wondering whether Cambridge view post a level applicants differently or have higher grade expectations? Will they be rather interrogative as to why I took a gap year?
    You may as well apply in Y13 for the experience of the process if nothing else. You can apply for a deferred place if you are set on having a gap year.

    Gap years are absolutely not a problem for Cambridge.

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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    The honest answer is yes, you will need higher grades post-A Level. When I spoke to an admissions tutor and they basically use this as a guide.

    Arts/Humanities
    A*AA - not competitive, rarely get offers
    A*A*A - competitive application
    A*A*A*+ - Very competitive, often but not always accepted (also includes guaranteed interview @ pooling)

    Sciences
    A*AA - Not considered
    A*A*A - not competitive, rarely get offers
    A*A*A*, A*A*A*A or A*A*A*A* - Competitive application (Gaurenteed interview and pooling if all your 3 A*’s are in Maths and science subjects).

    Obviously there are exceptions to these rules and Cambridge’s admissions process factors in a lot more than just raw grades.
    Huh. That’s... interesting.

    It’s true they factor in more than just raw grades. But if for a science course that requires A*AA, and you’ve achieved A*AA, I’m struggling to see that you just won’t be considered.
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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    You have to consider that the average Cambridge science student achieves 3A*. Cambridge would set 3A* offers if they could. However they can’t because it decreases applications, e.g. in Vetinary medicine they were forced this year to lower the requirements from 2A* to 1A* as people weren’t applying (particularity those from lower incomes/minority’s).
    The average is nearer 2.5 A* at A-level.

    You would need an extremely high AA and then a great interview for admission.
    No, you don't need an extremely high AA score - folks with 1.6 (out of 9) have received offers.

    Looking at a couple FOI requests of post-A Level science students I haven’t yet seen a 1A* candidate taken.
    That's simply because it's below the typical Sciences offer.

    Also, I'd be *very* cautious about discouraging a post A-level applicant who has achieved the typical offer though. Leave it to the DoS/ATs to consider those applicants...
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    (Original post by FloralHybrid)
    Huh. That’s... interesting.

    It’s true they factor in more than just raw grades. But if for a science course that requires A*AA, and you’ve achieved A*AA, I’m struggling to see that you just won’t be considered.
    No science course at Cambridge is A*AA (except VetMed and that's a recent change). Other than VetMed they are all A*A*A.

    Edit to add: and PBS is also A*AA.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    No science course at Cambridge is A*AA (except VetMed and that's a recent change).
    Ah. True.

    But still, if the candidate has achieved whatever the entry requirement is, I can’t see a valid reason as to why they wouldn’t be at least considered.
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    (Original post by FloralHybrid)
    Ah. True.

    But still, if the candidate has achieved whatever the entry requirement is, I can’t see a valid reason as to why they wouldn’t be at least considered.
    Correct - they will certainly be considered.
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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    You have to consider that the average Cambridge science student achieves 3A*. Cambridge would set 3A* offers if they could. However they can’t because it decreases applications, e.g. in Vetinary medicine they were forced this year to lower the requirements from 2A* to 1A* as people weren’t applying (particularity those from lower incomes/minority’s).

    Therefore to an admissions tutor who’s candidates almost always achieve 3-4A* despite the entry requirements being 1-2A*, choosing a student with 1A* is essentially not an option. You would need an extremely high AA and then a great interview for admission.

    Looking at a couple FOI requests of post-A Level science students I haven’t yet seen a 1A* candidate taken.

    So they aren’t really considered unless there’s a real reason for them to be (Extenuating circumstances/AA’s).
    My friend's sister got into medicine at cambridge with A*AAA despite not meeting her offer of A*A*AA. Anything is possible.
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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    The honest answer is yes, you will need higher grades post-A Level. When I spoke to an admissions tutor and they basically use this as a guide.

    Arts/Humanities
    A*AA - Not competitive, rarely get offers.
    A*A*A - Competitive application.
    A*A*A*+ - Very competitive, often but not always accepted (also includes guaranteed interview & pooling).

    Sciences
    A*AA - Usually not considered.
    A*A*A - Not competitive, rarely get offers.
    A*A*A*, A*A*A*A or A*A*A*A* - Competitive application.
    A*A*A*+ In only sciences and maths - Very competitive, often but not always accepted (also includes guaranteed interview and pooling).

    Obviously there are exceptions to these rules and Cambridge’s admissions process factors in a lot more than just raw grades.
    ah, interesting. why is it that they ask for higher grades?
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    You may as well apply in Y13 for the experience of the process if nothing else. You can apply for a deferred place if you are set on having a gap year.

    Gap years are absolutely not a problem for Cambridge.

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    are you expected to attain higher grades if you are applying for a deferred entry as opposed to a normal application?
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    (Original post by humbert-humbert)
    are you expected to attain higher grades if you are applying for a deferred entry as opposed to a normal application?
    No. A deferred offer is no higher than the typical* offer. They don't discriminate against deferring applicants.

    *However any offer is done on an individual basis. An applicant can, for example, get an offer where they specify which subjects require an A*. But the deferring aspect is never a negative factor - except in some cases for Maths. Are you considering Maths?
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    The average is nearer 2.5 A* at A-level.



    No, you don't need an extremely high AA score - folks with 1.6 (out of 9) have received offers.



    That's simply because it's below the typical Sciences offer.

    Also, I'd be *very* cautious about discouraging a post A-level applicant who has achieved the typical offer though. Leave it to the DoS/ATs to consider those applicants...
    My conclusions are just drawn from facts I have seen. I want everyone who can get in to apply! I'm just setting out the reality of it.
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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    My conclusions are just drawn from facts I have seen. I want everyone who can get in to apply! I'm just setting out the reality of it.
    Facts? e.g. ENGAA marks - look at the offer spread. And the correlation of marks to offer is "weak".

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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Facts? e.g. ENGAA marks - look at the offer spread. And the correlation of marks to offer is "weak".

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    My AA comment was specifically in response to those who achieved 1 A* for mostly all 2A* courses. Realistically, will you get rejected from a 2A* science course with 1A*? Yes. I said the only very unlikely but potential exception would be to get an extremely high score in the AA or extenuating circumstances. I think there has been some confusion, I'm aware AA's aren't completely reliable as of yet.
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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    My AA comment was specifically in response to those who achieved 1 A* for mostly all 2A* courses. Realistically, will you get rejected from a 2A* science course with 1A*? Yes. I said the only very unlikely but potential exception would be to get an extremely high score in the AA or extenuating circumstances. I think there has been some confusion, I'm aware AA's aren't completely reliable as of yet.
    Yes, you will almost certainly be rejected from an A*A*A course if you apply with A*AA unless you have extenuating circumstances.

    (And that's not to say an A*A*A Offer holder will be rejected if they only get A*AA - that's quite different.)

    But my other concern was your implicit discouragement to people applying who "only" achieved the typical offer. That is definitely worth an application.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Yes, you will almost certainly be rejected from an A*A*A course if you apply with A*AA unless you have extenuating circumstances.

    (And that's not to say an A*A*A Offer holder will be rejected if they only get A*AA - that's quite different.)

    But my other concern was your implicit discouragement to people applying who "only" achieved the typical offer. That is definitely worth an application.
    I understand your point, but I personally know someone, and have seen many people on TSR, who achieved A*AA and want to take gap years *only* for Cambridge, so I think it's important for me to stress their chances of admission.

    Apart from this, it is worth an application. An admissions tutor (On TSR) told me A*A*A is generally needed for a Post-A Level offer for any course, so I think people should know this.
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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    I understand your point, but I personally know someone, and have seen many people on TSR, who achieved A*AA and want to take gap years *only* for Cambridge, so I think it's important for me to stress their chances of admission.

    Apart from this, it is worth an application. An admissions tutor (On TSR) told me A*A*A is generally needed for a Post-A Level offer for any course, so I think people should know this.
    I'm not sure which of my colleagues gave you this advice. But my own view, as an Admissions Tutor, is that it's impossible to generalize. Some post A-level applicants will be accepted with A*AA (to A*AA offer-level courses), and some will not, just as some pre- A-level applicants will go on to exceed the standard offer, and some will not. A lot will depend on the course, and the applicant's individual profile (including their A-level subject combination, and the subject in which the A* was gained). I hope this helps.
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    (Original post by Christ's Admissions)
    I'm not sure which of my colleagues gave you this advice. But my own view, as an Admissions Tutor, is that it's impossible to generalize. Some post A-level applicants will be accepted with A*AA (to A*AA offer-level courses), and some will not, just as some pre- A-level applicants will go on to exceed the standard offer, and some will not. A lot will depend on the course, and the applicant's individual profile (including their A-level subject combination, and the subject in which the A* was gained). I hope this helps.
    I agree everyone is different and broad brush strokes help no-one. I think I'm correct in saying different colleges have different preferences for things, which is why that tutor may have said that. Either way thanks.
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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    I agree everyone is different and broad brush strokes help no-one. I think I'm correct in saying different colleges have different preferences for things, which is why that tutor may have said that. Either way thanks.
    So it's best not to discourage potential post qualification applicants who are meeting the typical offer requirements
 
 
 
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