thenbhd
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Trying to decide between oxford and Cambridge for maths. All help appreciated!

Oxford:
P: Perceived as easier to get into
P:No STEP papers included in offer (I am planning on taking them anyway but do not want my offer to depend on them)
P/C not sure:Busier, more going on
C: MAT: only have over a month to prepare-is this enough time to get to Oxford standard?
Caven't found the perfect college for me: considering Lincoln and New so far

Cambridge:
P:Jesus college is perfect for me, absolutely loved it
P:Maths with Physics is something I'm considering but not 100% sure
C/Pave to do STEP papers but have more time to prepare than MAT
C:A lot of people miss their offer because of STEP plus STEP is alongside A-levels and I already do 4
C: not sure: Cambridge is a bit smaller and quieter/less going on

Basically if there is a college like Jesus at oxford and just over a month is enough time to do well in the MAT then Oxford would be better for me. Any advice?
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MNOV
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I would personally discard all 'it's easier to get into' factors etc and think about where you would be happier. Talking to people, they feel the 'right' place when they visit. I personally love Cambridge and see myself there more than Oxford. So I would be visit them and see. That is of course if there isn't a specific course that only one has that the other doesn't.
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username3890778
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Ibz mo says Cambridge so it’s Cambridge
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Lemon1806
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(Original post by thenbhd)
Trying to decide between oxford and Cambridge for maths. All help appreciated!

Oxford:
P: Perceived as easier to get into
P:No STEP papers included in offer (I am planning on taking them anyway but do not want my offer to depend on them)
P/C not sure:Busier, more going on
C: MAT: only have over a month to prepare-is this enough time to get to Oxford standard?
Caven't found the perfect college for me: considering Lincoln and New so far

Cambridge:
P:Jesus college is perfect for me, absolutely loved it
P:Maths with Physics is something I'm considering but not 100% sure
C/Pave to do STEP papers but have more time to prepare than MAT
C:A lot of people miss their offer because of STEP plus STEP is alongside A-levels and I already do 4
C: not sure: Cambridge is a bit smaller and quieter/less going on

Basically if there is a college like Jesus at oxford and just over a month is enough time to do well in the MAT then Oxford would be better for me. Any advice?
As someone already said , I’d disregard what is said to be “easier to get into” because, at the end of the day, if you’re intelligent and passionate about the subject you’d have a good shot at both. In terms of university choice, look at the courses at both and choose the one you prefer and also look at the city and whether you picture yourself there or not. Loving a college is important, but there is always a chance of being pooled so it shouldnt be the deciding factor.
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04MR17
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Thread moved to Oxbridge.
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Prefect1992
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Neither, thanks to bolshevik dialogues of "equality" and "social inclusion" both of these fine institutions have been filled with smelly peasants, sadly at the expense of the more refined clientele.... I digress however choose the institution that takes your fancy...
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by thenbhd)
Basically if there is a college like Jesus at oxford and just over a month is enough time to do well in the MAT then Oxford would be better for me. Any advice?
What do you like about Jesus college, Cambridge?

Be careful about being set on a particular college. Getting an offer is hard, and it may not come from your preferred college. Frankly, I don't think that the college matters that much.

I would choose the university with the admissions process that you think you are most likely to do best in, unless you have a strong personal preference. I prefer Oxford (having studied there, and lived in Cambridge), but others prefer Cambridge - neither is a bad choice.
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astroworld
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oxford cause name sounds nicer
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Dysf(x)al
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(Original post by thenbhd)
Trying to decide between oxford and Cambridge for maths. All help appreciated!

Oxford:
P: Perceived as easier to get into
P:No STEP papers included in offer (I am planning on taking them anyway but do not want my offer to depend on them)
P/C not sure:Busier, more going on
C: MAT: only have over a month to prepare-is this enough time to get to Oxford standard?
Caven't found the perfect college for me: considering Lincoln and New so far

Cambridge:
P:Jesus college is perfect for me, absolutely loved it
P:Maths with Physics is something I'm considering but not 100% sure
C/Pave to do STEP papers but have more time to prepare than MAT
C:A lot of people miss their offer because of STEP plus STEP is alongside A-levels and I already do 4
C: not sure: Cambridge is a bit smaller and quieter/less going on

Basically if there is a college like Jesus at oxford and just over a month is enough time to do well in the MAT then Oxford would be better for me. Any advice?
Have you tried STEP or MAT papers? If you think you can do well in them then don't worry about that. Consider which location you'd prefer and look at the courses. Also bear in mind that Oxford whittle down quite a lot before interviewing whereas Cambridge interview the vast majority of applicants. As you said, Cambridge give out more offers but with Oxford it's much less likely you'll miss the offer - depending on how you feel about the interview and/or STEP this could go either way for you (in my case it steered me towards Cam).

Don't sweat it too much - you'll almost certainly be more than happy at either.
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emmataco
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All about durham for best uni experience
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Cambridge smells. Unbiased opinion :ninja:

On a more serious note, tagging in RichE :yep:
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wishingyouwere
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I have children who have successfully applied to both. It is a very personal decision but some of the factors that have been important to their decision making are:
1. Comparing the courses in terms of compulsory modules, options, timetable (many Cambridge courses have lectures on saturday, for example)
2. Size of town : Cambridge can feel crowded in the centre , and Oxford less so, particularly for colleges to the North of the city
3. Flexibility in the course: Cambridge courses like natsci, hsps etc can provide more time and opportunity to experience new topics before settling on areas of real interest. Oxford courses are more discretely defined. For my children who didn't want to specialise too early they chose Cambridge whereas the ones already really confident of their preferences chose Oxford. E.g. Natsci vs biological sciences.However, Oxford have more joint degrees so you may be able to pursue two interests there when Cambridge would require you to select, e.g. contrast PPE with economics or Maths and Computing (Oxford) vs just Maths or just Computer Science (Cambridge, at least from second year onwards).
4. The structure of the admissions system as there are key differences. Oxford interview fewer applicants but have generally lower offers so, providing you receive an offer, by the time you are sitting a level exams you may be much more confident of making it. While the overall stress of the admissions process seemed similar, the distribution of that over year 13 was different for the two universities, especially so for courses which required STEP ( maths but also engineering at some co colleges) . This is a very individual preference and you have to work out what would be best for you. Certainly, for one of my children the uncertainty created by a STEP offer made Oxford the preferred place because that child placed a high value on having a reasonable certainty about which university they would be attending at the end of A levels.

Factors which were not relevant:
1. Perception of how easy o r how difficult to obtain an offer
2. College - there is huge variety across both and around one in four offers at both unis are to a college other than the one applied to.
3. Which ones their friends were applying to.
4. Employment prospects , student satisfaction etc as these data reflect so many other variables
5 The views of their parents!

As a postscript, both universities offer a tremendous educational experience with unrivalled opportunity for small group teaching and access to a huge array of resources. It really is a privilege to study at either. In exchange, the courses are tough and may feel very demanding and you are likely to have to work very hard. At times it might even feel overwhelming! Not all my children have finished but none of them have ever regretted choosing one over the other.
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wishingyouwere
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I have children who have successfully applied to both. It is a very personal decision but some of the factors that have been important to their decision making are:
1. Comparing the courses in terms of compulsory modules, options, timetable (many Cambridge courses have lectures on saturday, for example)
2. Size of town : Cambridge can feel crowded in the centre , and Oxford less so, particularly for colleges to the North of the city
3. Flexibility in the course: Cambridge courses like natsci, hsps etc can provide more time and opportunity to experience new topics before settling on areas of real interest. Oxford courses are more discretely defined. For my children who didn't want to specialise too early they chose Cambridge whereas the ones already really confident of their preferences chose Oxford. E.g. Natsci vs biological sciences.However, Oxford have more joint degrees so you may be able to pursue two interests there when Cambridge would require you to select, e.g. contrast PPE with economics or Maths and Computing (Oxford) vs just Maths or just Computer Science (Cambridge, at least from second year onwards).
4. The structure of the admissions system as there are key differences. Oxford interview fewer applicants but have generally lower offers so, providing you receive an offer, by the time you are sitting a level exams you may be much more confident of making it. While the overall stress of the admissions process seemed similar, the distribution of that over year 13 was different for the two universities, especially so for courses which required STEP ( maths but also engineering at some co colleges) . This is a very individual preference and you have to work out what would be best for you. Certainly, for one of my children the uncertainty created by a STEP offer made Oxford the preferred place because that child placed a high value on having a reasonable certainty about which university they would be attending at the end of A levels.

Factors which were not relevant:
1. Perception of how easy o r how difficult to obtain an offer
2. College - there is huge variety across both and around one in four offers at both unis are to a college other than the one applied to.
3. Which ones their friends were applying to.
4. Employment prospects , student satisfaction etc as these data reflect so many other variables
5 The views of their parents!

As a postscript, both universities offer a tremendous educational experience with unrivalled opportunity for small group teaching and access to a huge array of resources. It really is a privilege to study at either. In exchange, the courses are tough and may feel very demanding and you are likely to have to work very hard. At times it might even feel overwhelming! Not all my children have finished but none of them have ever regretted choosing one over the other.
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thenbhd
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(Original post by Dysf(x)al)
Have you tried STEP or MAT papers? If you think you can do well in them then don't worry about that. Consider which location you'd prefer and look at the courses. Also bear in mind that Oxford whittle down quite a lot before interviewing whereas Cambridge interview the vast majority of applicants. As you said, Cambridge give out more offers but with Oxford it's much less likely you'll miss the offer - depending on how you feel about the interview and/or STEP this could go either way for you (in my case it steered me towards Cam).

Don't sweat it too much - you'll almost certainly be more than happy at either.
Great advice, thank you! I've had a look at MAT papers and STEP papers and definitely prefer MAT, it's just a matter of improving my score now I guess.
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thenbhd
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(Original post by wishingyouwere)
I have children who have successfully applied to both. It is a very personal decision but some of the factors that have been important to their decision making are:
1. Comparing the courses in terms of compulsory modules, options, timetable (many Cambridge courses have lectures on saturday, for example)
2. Size of town : Cambridge can feel crowded in the centre , and Oxford less so, particularly for colleges to the North of the city
3. Flexibility in the course: Cambridge courses like natsci, hsps etc can provide more time and opportunity to experience new topics before settling on areas of real interest. Oxford courses are more discretely defined. For my children who didn't want to specialise too early they chose Cambridge whereas the ones already really confident of their preferences chose Oxford. E.g. Natsci vs biological sciences.However, Oxford have more joint degrees so you may be able to pursue two interests there when Cambridge would require you to select, e.g. contrast PPE with economics or Maths and Computing (Oxford) vs just Maths or just Computer Science (Cambridge, at least from second year onwards).
4. The structure of the admissions system as there are key differences. Oxford interview fewer applicants but have generally lower offers so, providing you receive an offer, by the time you are sitting a level exams you may be much more confident of making it. While the overall stress of the admissions process seemed similar, the distribution of that over year 13 was different for the two universities, especially so for courses which required STEP ( maths but also engineering at some co colleges) . This is a very individual preference and you have to work out what would be best for you. Certainly, for one of my children the uncertainty created by a STEP offer made Oxford the preferred place because that child placed a high value on having a reasonable certainty about which university they would be attending at the end of A levels.

Factors which were not relevant:
1. Perception of how easy o r how difficult to obtain an offer
2. College - there is huge variety across both and around one in four offers at both unis are to a college other than the one applied to.
3. Which ones their friends were applying to.
4. Employment prospects , student satisfaction etc as these data reflect so many other variables
5 The views of their parents!

As a postscript, both universities offer a tremendous educational experience with unrivalled opportunity for small group teaching and access to a huge array of resources. It really is a privilege to study at either. In exchange, the courses are tough and may feel very demanding and you are likely to have to work very hard. At times it might even feel overwhelming! Not all my children have finished but none of them have ever regretted choosing one over the other.
Thank you so much! I think my chances for interview are quite strong in terms of GCSEs, predicted grades, personal statement and reference. It's just down to how well I can perform on the MAT. I think I agree about the point made on knowing which university I could get into at A level. What college and course did your children apply to?
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Doones
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(Original post by thenbhd)
Great advice, thank you! I've had a look at MAT papers and STEP papers and definitely prefer MAT, it's just a matter of improving my score now I guess.
STEP Is supposed to be "harder" than MAT - it's designed to be sat at the end of Y13, whereas MAT is based on AS-level maths. Many people find STEP tricky to begin with but with practice and application it's both do-able and good preparation for university-level maths.

TSR has a STEP Preparation thread here:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5537494

And MAT:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5384022
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wishingyouwere
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(Original post by thenbhd)
Thank you so much! I think my chances for interview are quite strong in terms of GCSEs, predicted grades, personal statement and reference. It's just down to how well I can perform on the MAT. I think I agree about the point made on knowing which university I could get into at A level. What college and course did your children apply to?
I would prefer not to say the college names as when I said they hadn't finished I meant that a couple are still undergrads. I can say the colleges included a mix of very old and more recent, city centre and outskirts, medium sized to large in terms of student numbers. Courses included natsci, a joint course in history, maths and music. Many of their friends also successfully applied to both unis and I never heard any of them regret either choosing one over the other or which college they applied to. If it's of any relevance they were all educated at the local state comprehensive schools.
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