Cambridge natsci - don't meet entrance requirements and extenuating circumstances Watch

gt14
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I got A*AA (Chem, Bio, Maths) Bio was achieved in 1 year of study and all maths mods are 90+ apart from M1 89 and C4 71 (whoops - terrible day in the exam)
Queens' have said they are unable to consider my application, is there another college who might? My school are insisting that I should get an interview somewhere and are fully supporting me.
I do have significant ECs (significant illness led to a 1 month hospital stay in march and my single mother losing her licence for the entire exam period so I had to drive her and my siblings everywhere) but I am really hesitant to submit them - should I?
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by gt14)
I got A*AA (Chem, Bio, Maths) Bio was achieved in 1 year of study and all maths mods are 90+ apart from M1 89 and C4 71 (whoops - terrible day in the exam)
Queens' have said they are unable to consider my application, is there another college who might? My school are insisting that I should get an interview somewhere and are fully supporting me.
I do have significant ECs (significant illness led to a 1 month hospital stay in march and my single mother losing her licence for the entire exam period so I had to drive her and my siblings everywhere) but I am really hesitant to submit them - should I?
Is the issue that you didn't sit 3 A-levels over two years? Which year did you sit your biology exam in?

There's no harm in mentioning your hospital stay- the license thing is a bit more tricky, but your referee should mention that you have had to support your family during your A-level study.

Have you checked out the University of Cambridge forum for ideas about which college to apply to.

When you say that Queens' have said they are unable to consider your application- how have they communicated this?
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gt14
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Is the issue that you didn't sit 3 A-levels over two years? Which year did you sit your biology exam in?

There's no harm in mentioning your hospital stay- the license thing is a bit more tricky, but your referee should mention that you have had to support your family during your A-level study.

Have you checked out the University of Cambridge forum for ideas about which college to apply to.

When you say that Queens' have said they are unable to consider your application- how have they communicated this?
I sat all 3 in 2018 but had only started studying biology in September 2017 so completed 2 years worth of material in one academic year.

It was my mother who was in hospital, not myself.

I emailed queens' (didn't mention ECs) but they said: (copy and pasted)
Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately we would not consider your application if you haven't achieved the required grades for Natural Sciences.

Best wishes
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by gt14)
I sat all 3 in 2018 but had only started studying biology in September 2017 so completed 2 years worth of material in one academic year.

It was my mother who was in hospital, not myself.

I emailed queens' (didn't mention ECs) but they said: (copy and pasted)
Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately we would not consider your application if you haven't achieved the required grades for Natural Sciences.

Best wishes
Ah right, I see (re: Biology).

I'd maybe try contacting some other colleges and mention your ECs- you don't have to go into detail at this stage, but it may make a difference.

It is really hard as Cambridge may be confident that they will get enough people predicted/with A*A*A applying.

Why are your school so insistent you should get an interview?
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by gt14)
I sat all 3 in 2018 but had only started studying biology in September 2017 so completed 2 years worth of material in one academic year.

It was my mother who was in hospital, not myself.

I emailed queens' (didn't mention ECs) but they said: (copy and pasted)
Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately we would not consider your application if you haven't achieved the required grades for Natural Sciences.

Best wishes
A tad unsympathetic! What does Doonesbury think?
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Doones
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(Original post by gt14)
I got A*AA (Chem, Bio, Maths) Bio was achieved in 1 year of study and all maths mods are 90+ apart from M1 89 and C4 71 (whoops - terrible day in the exam)
Queens' have said they are unable to consider my application, is there another college who might? My school are insisting that I should get an interview somewhere and are fully supporting me.
I do have significant ECs (significant illness led to a 1 month hospital stay in march and my single mother losing her licence for the entire exam period so I had to drive her and my siblings everywhere) but I am really hesitant to submit them - should I?
(Original post by ageshallnot)
A tad unsympathetic! What does Doonesbury think?
All you can do is contact as many other colleges as you have time to do so, and you should always mention all ECs. However do you have a good insurance, as I think you will need it.

PS. I'm moving this to the University of Cambridge forum.

And tagging Peterhouse Admissions for an expert opinion.
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gt14
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Ah right, I see (re: Biology).

I'd maybe try contacting some other colleges and mention your ECs- you don't have to go into detail at this stage, but it may make a difference.

It is really hard as Cambridge may be confident that they will get enough people predicted/with A*A*A applying.

Why are your school so insistent you should get an interview?
Ok well if anyone knows of any colleges who are known to be especially sympathetic with near missers let me know!

I don't really know, aside from the C4 slip my academic record is good and I should do well on the NSAA. I think they're just hesitant to let the dream die... Bit annoying when you get over the fact that you're not going and then you get told that "it would be realistic to consider"
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gt14
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
All you can do is contact as many other colleges as you have time to do so, and you should always mention all ECs. However do you have a good insurance, as I think you will need it.

PS. I'm moving this to the University of Cambridge forum.

And tagging Peterhouse Admissions for an expert opinion.
Thank you!

I am looking for an insurance at the moment... I didn't apply in lower VI so haven't really looked into it or indeed looked round anywhere. Time for a road trip!
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by gt14)
Ok well if anyone knows of any colleges who are known to be especially sympathetic with near missers let me know!

I don't really know, aside from the C4 slip my academic record is good and I should do well on the NSAA. I think they're just hesitant to let the dream die... Bit annoying when you get over the fact that you're not going and then you get told that "it would be realistic to consider"
Have an ask around on the University of Cambridge forums, like I said. I'm not sure if there are any colleges that are particularly open to extenuating circumstances or maybe just a bit less popular, but people over there will know.

I don't think your school are actually being super helpful right now.

However, I would say don't forget that you get 5 spots on the UCAS application, and as you don't need an insurance choice, you can aim high with all five. Lots of other universities would love to have you I bet! So it's ok to give Cambridge a shot even if you're 99% sure you'll get a rejection, if that's what you want to do!
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Doones
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(Original post by gt14)
Ok well if anyone knows of any colleges who are known to be especially sympathetic with near missers let me know!

I don't really know, aside from the C4 slip my academic record is good and I should do well on the NSAA. I think they're just hesitant to let the dream die... Bit annoying when you get over the fact that you're not going and then you get told that "it would be realistic to consider"
As I said, just contact all of them.
https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....llege-contacts
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Doones
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(Original post by gt14)
Thank you!

I am looking for an insurance at the moment... I didn't apply in lower VI so haven't really looked into it or indeed looked round anywhere. Time for a road trip!
Uh, you apply in Upper VI not L6. Are those grades AS-level mocks/PPE or actual completed A-levels?
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gt14
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Uh, you apply in Upper VI not L6. Are those grades AS-level mocks/PPE or actual completed A-levels?
whoops sorry about that yes, I have sat the full a levels (june 2018) and received results...
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gt14
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Have an ask around on the University of Cambridge forums, like I said. I'm not sure if there are any colleges that are particularly open to extenuating circumstances or maybe just a bit less popular, but people over there will know.

I don't think your school are actually being super helpful right now.

However, I would say don't forget that you get 5 spots on the UCAS application, and as you don't need an insurance choice, you can aim high with all five. Lots of other universities would love to have you I bet! So it's ok to give Cambridge a shot even if you're 99% sure you'll get a rejection, if that's what you want to do!
Yep I'm inclined to agree with you re my school.

Thank you however, who has been helpful!
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black1blade
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You could retake c4 next year and perhaps on gap year do further maths or even physics a-level to strengthen application. It would also depend how far off you were in chemistry as well. I think no matter ECs you'd need to meet the standard offer but the ECs would give you some leeway in explaining why you didn't get A*A*A first time around. The bio in 1 year is also quite impressive so well done!
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gt14
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(Original post by black1blade)
You could retake c4 next year and perhaps on gap year do further maths or even physics a-level to strengthen application. It would also depend how far off you were in chemistry as well. I think no matter ECs you'd need to meet the standard offer but the ECs would give you some leeway in explaining why you didn't get A*A*A first time around. The bio in 1 year is also quite impressive so well done!
Thank you for all of your suggestions they are really helpful!

C4 next year is resit only I’m worried that it will be tricky to get an A* (like this years C2 70/75 = 80UMS) but I will speak to my school about it when I see them. Kicking myself as I really should have done better in C4.

My mum probably doesn’t want to pay school fees anymore, how difficult is it to do a levels alone?

I got A* in chem and As in bio and maths - I get the impression that you think that I got an A in chem?
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Muttley79
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(Original post by gt14)
My mum probably doesn’t want to pay school fees anymore, how difficult is it to do a levels alone?
Why didn't your mum consider public transport or taxis to get everyone else around whilst you were taking your exams?
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gt14
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Why didn't your mum consider public transport or taxis to get everyone else around whilst you were taking your exams?
We live in a fairly poorly connected area with the public transport and my school fees were paid for by family money, not really my mums disposable income if that makes sense. I don’t think taxis were really a sustainable option for us for 3 months... but yes, after half term I did insist that I couldn’t.
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Peterhouse Admissions
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(Original post by gt14)
I got A*AA (Chem, Bio, Maths) Bio was achieved in 1 year of study and all maths mods are 90+ apart from M1 89 and C4 71 (whoops - terrible day in the exam)
Queens' have said they are unable to consider my application, is there another college who might? My school are insisting that I should get an interview somewhere and are fully supporting me.
I do have significant ECs (significant illness led to a 1 month hospital stay in march and my single mother losing her licence for the entire exam period so I had to drive her and my siblings everywhere) but I am really hesitant to submit them - should I?
(Original post by gt14)
I got A*AA (Chem, Bio, Maths) Bio was achieved in 1 year of study and all maths mods are 90+ apart from M1 89 and C4 71 (whoops - terrible day in the exam)
Queens' have said they are unable to consider my application, is there another college who might? My school are insisting that I should get an interview somewhere and are fully supporting me.
I do have significant ECs (significant illness led to a 1 month hospital stay in march and my single mother losing her licence for the entire exam period so I had to drive her and my siblings everywhere) but I am really hesitant to submit them - should I?
(Original post by gt14)
I sat all 3 in 2018 but had only started studying biology in September 2017 so completed 2 years worth of material in one academic year.

It was my mother who was in hospital, not myself.

I emailed queens' (didn't mention ECs) but they said: (copy and pasted)
Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately we would not consider your application if you haven't achieved the required grades for Natural Sciences.

Best wishes
(Original post by gt14)
Thank you for all of your suggestions they are really helpful!

C4 next year is resit only I’m worried that it will be tricky to get an A* (like this years C2 70/75 = 80UMS) but I will speak to my school about it when I see them. Kicking myself as I really should have done better in C4.

My mum probably doesn’t want to pay school fees anymore, how difficult is it to do a levels alone?

I got A* in chem and As in bio and maths - I get the impression that you think that I got an A in chem?

Hi, let's see what we can do.

I take it you're interest in biological natural sciences then?

Did you apply to Cambridge last year?

If you didn't mention your extenuating circumstances then I am not at all surprised at Queens' reply. Successful post-A level applicants at least meet if not exceed the typical offer. If you don't let colleges know about you extenuating circumstances then I think you're chances of a successful application are very very slim.

That said, given how close you are to the typical A*A*A offer and the ECs, you might consider applying for 2019 entry. You would not have the strongest paper application and would probably need to do very well on the NSAA to offset any doubts about your ability - we'd also expect a stronger performance from you as you have completed your A levels. There's a reasonable chance that you would be invited to interview but you'd have to go into the process with your eyes open to the fact that you don't have the strongest application and may well not get an offer. Any offer would be conditional on your resit marks. Only go down this road if you're happy with the idea of a gap year for reasons besides applying to Cambridge.
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gt14
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
Hi, let's see what we can do.

I take it you're interest in biological natural sciences then?

Did you apply to Cambridge last year?

If you didn't mention your extenuating circumstances then I am not at all surprised at Queens' reply. Successful post-A level applicants at least meet if not exceed the typical offer. If you don't let colleges know about you extenuating circumstances then I think you're chances of a successful application are very slim.

That said, given how close you are to the typical A*A*A offer and the ECs, you might consider applying for 2019 entry. You would not have the strongest paper application and would probably need to do very well on the NSAA to offset any doubts about your ability - we'd also expect a stronger performance from you as you have completed your A levels. There's a reasonable chance that you would be invited to interview but you'd have to go into the process with your eyes open to the fact that you don't have the strongest application and may well not get an offer. Only go down this road if you're happy with the idea of a gap year for reasons besides applying to Cambridge.
Thank you for your reply.

I didn’t apply to university at all for 2018 so so not hold a place - the gap year was planned.

I guess if I don’t try I’ll never know
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black1blade
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(Original post by gt14)
Thank you for all of your suggestions they are really helpful!

C4 next year is resit only I’m worried that it will be tricky to get an A* (like this years C2 70/75 = 80UMS) but I will speak to my school about it when I see them. Kicking myself as I really should have done better in C4.

My mum probably doesn’t want to pay school fees anymore, how difficult is it to do a levels alone?

I got A* in chem and As in bio and maths - I get the impression that you think that I got an A in chem?
Ah ha didn't read it properly, A* in chemistry is also ace.
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