[Official] Cambridge Computer Science Applicants 2020

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Hapax_42
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After a lot of searching and looking through forums I hadn't found any for CS 2020 entry yet. Either because it may be too early or someone just hadn't got round to it. Regardless I decided to be proactive as I know there are a number of people who are thinking of applying for CS 2020 entry. Use this forum as a medium to discuss. We do also have a discord: https://discord.gg/rkbsWgc . In case anyone is wondering about the mention of the TMUA, these are relevant links: https://www.cst.cam.ac.uk/admissions...graduate/entry - https://www.admissionstesting.org/fo...ity-admission/

To get started introduce yourself:
1) GCSE grades * can just list them in number for, 999888 etc *
2) A-levels being taken and predicted grades?
3) Why Cambridge?

UCAS specifically:
5) What other universities are you considering?
6) Which open days do you plan on attending?
7) What super/extra curricular activities are you doing to strengthen your application?
8) Thoughts on the admission test now being the TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admissions) for 2020 CS entry?

UPDATE (25/08/2019):
Hope everyone's prep is going well! Just in case people haven't seen this before and were curious, the answers for 2016, 2017 and 2018 TMUA papers are here:
- https://www.admissionstesting.org/Im...nswer-keys.pdf
- https://www.admissionstesting.org/Im...nswer-keys.pdf
- https://www.admissionstesting.org/Im...s-document.pdf
But most importantly, on the last two pages, there are mappings from raw marks for each paper and overall /40 to a corresponding TMUA score from 1-9.

A score of 6.5, is said to be average and it's interesting to see that on average this is around 23/40 but has been 24/40 for the last two years. On average, for a 7 - 8 - 9 you would have needed 26, 29 and 32. In short, a score of over 30 overall would guarantee a high score of 8 and above and a top mark of a 9 is 32/40.
Last edited by Hapax_42; 9 months ago
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Hapax_42
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Might as well start off

1) 99A*A*8887777
2) Maths - A*, Further Maths - A*, Economics - A*, Physics - A
3) The unique teaching styles, experience and the rich history of the university, as well as the opportunities that may arise
5) Apart from Cam, Warwick, Durham, Imperial and Manchester
6) Booked Cambridge and Warwick, will probably go to Imperial Open day as well
7) Watching a lot of videos and listening to a lot of podcasts on machine/deep/active learning, AI, neural networks, GAN's, etc and hope to create my own soon. Will do an EPQ on machine learning
8) Not sure, the idea of the CSAT was so implanted in my mind but will just have to adapt and prepare for the TMUA now


Btw how are personal statements coming along. I'm still gathering ideas and have yet to create a proper draft.
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_Alchemist_
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GCSE- 999999888A*A*
1) A level- Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Economics. Predicted idk tbh hoping for A*/A across the board
2) Applying to Cambridge mainly due to the amount of scientists/ mathematicians that I look up to that have been there as well as the history and architecture
3) Considering Oxford as I’m not fully decided on OX or cam , and also Imperial/LSE

4) Already been to LSE open day, been to oxford to visit; will probably go to imperial
5) Mainly just reading/ watching videos about machine learning/ AI. Basically the same as you
6) Didn’t even know about the new test thought it was CSAT
Last edited by _Alchemist_; 1 year ago
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Hapax_42
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(Original post by _Alchemist_)
GCSE- 999999888A*A*
1) A level- Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Economics. Predicted idk tbh hoping for A*/A across the board
2) Applying to campus mainly due to the amount of scientists/ mathematicians that I look up to that have been to
3) Cambridge as well as the history and architecture

4) Considering Oxford as I’m not fully decided on OX or cam , and also Imperial/LSE
5) Already been to LSE open day, been to oxford to visit; will probably go to imperial
6) Mainly just reading/ watching videos about machine learning/ AI. Basically the same as you
7) Didn’t even know about the new test thought it was CSAT
Yeah same. It's been CSAT for a couple years now and I heard some things a month or two ago about a possible CSAA. But it seems they decided on this TMUA.

Will definitely come as a shock to many and especially those who have started preparing or looking at the CSAT.
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_Alchemist_
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Btw what exam boards do you do for your subjects and did you do an AS.?
(Original post by -David.S-)
Yeah same. It's been CSAT for a couple years now and I heard some things a month or two ago about a possible CSAA. But it seems they decided on this TMUA.

Will definitely come as a shock to many and especially those who have started preparing or looking at the CSAT.
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Hapax_42
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(Original post by _Alchemist_)
Btw what exam boards do you do for your subjects and did you do an AS.?
Edexcel for Maths and FM. OCR A for Physics and Edexcel for Economics. I'm in Yr 12 same as you so just finished AS content and exams. Going to carry all four with me to Year 13.

But I am taking Maths A-Level early, exam in about two weeks. Wbu?
Last edited by Hapax_42; 1 year ago
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_Alchemist_
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Edexcel Maths and FM, OCR B physics and OCR Economics. Did my As fm about 2 weeks ago and paper 1 was atrocious, although I doubt I’ll drop it.
(Original post by -David.S-)
Edexcel for Maths and FM. OCR A for Physics and Edexcel for Economics. I'm in Yr 12 same as you so just finished AS content and exams. Going to carry all four with me to Year 13.

But I am taking Maths A-Level early, exam in about two weeks. Wbu?
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jtkai
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If you’re interested in neural networks have a look at the textgenrnn Python package on Github. It lets you train a NN on text and generate its own in that style very easily as you don’t have to do everything from scratch. The creator has a Colaboratory notebook you can use to run it (recommended considering how much faster it is). He’s also got a tutorial video up on YouTube and a blog post which goes into more detail on how to use it and how it works. Even if you want to build it all yourself it can still give you some insight into how it works. I’ve been playing around with it for the past couple of days and it’s a lot of fun!
Last edited by jtkai; 1 year ago
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IzzyS2
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1) 9A*8888877AA
2) computer science, maths & psychology
3) I looked at all 113 pages of the specification and fell in love with it. I can’t imagine (or find) any course that better matched my interests. I also think the teaching style would suit me tremendously because my computer science class is already only a class of two (all girls school). My belief in this was strengthened when I saw on their LinkedIn that they were exploring autonomous vehicles which was what I did my epq on.
5) also considering Edinburgh, Exeter, Warwick, Durham and York
6) going to the open days of all of these places
7) super curriculars: I’ve done a cyber security epq titled “an evaluation of autonomous automation in terms of security and ethics”; run a student help desk at my school and am the digital leader. I’ve gone/am going on all of the cyberfirst residential, go to lectures about the industry have got work experience in major tech companies, done the IDEA awards. Oh, and I’ve also done all the lighting and sound for all school productions for the last five years.
8) I haven’t looked at it yet 🤷
Last edited by IzzyS2; 1 year ago
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a1phabeta
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1) 9999999988A*7 (the 7 was in Computer Science :teehee:)
2) Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Computer science (no predicted grades yet)
3) Reputation, history, supervisions, choral scholarship

5) Imperial, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bath
6) Already been to Edinburgh, going to Bath, Manchester, Trinity College Cambridge, general Cambridge, Imperial in September
7) Did VEX robotics club at beginning of year 12, went to a web development summer school in year 9, did work experience at a software company in year 10, have done some Project Euler, going to implement Elliptic Curve Cryptography in a program, doing an EPQ on whether physics is fundamentally based on computation
8) Quite pleased, TMUA is probably easier than CSAT, and also takes some pressure off the interview day
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mitosismeosis
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1.) A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*9 (I'm from N.I CCEA, so the grades are still A*-G, the 9 was OCR CompSci)
2.) Maths, Further Maths, Computer Science, Physics (CCEA and WJEC CompSci, so AS counts towards final grade) - Just finished AS exams
3.) Reputation, Course content, and I prefer small classes/more 1 to 1 tuition, which supervisions would provide

5.) UCL, St. Andrews, Warwick, and Queen's University, Belfast
6.) I plan to attend a Cambridge open day and Queen's open day in September
7.) Work experience at both a game design/software engineering company, and a cloud computing firm, Harvard's CS50 course, plan to attend a local code-camp
8.) TMUA's questions are generally shorter compared to the CSAT, which often required more thinking - I feel like I can perform well given the style of the TMUA, whereas for the CSAT, I would need to do a lot more work. Multiple choice doesn't hurt too much too! (Though they do try and throw you off with common mistakes)
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CompSciCat
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ooh compsci applicants

Good luck to all of you with applications!
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Hapax_42
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You applied for CompSci right? How far did you get and what advice would you give in terms of personal statement, supercurriculars etc?
(Original post by CompSciCat)
ooh compsci applicants

Good luck to all of you with applications!
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CompSciCat
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(Original post by -David.S-)
You applied for CompSci right? How far did you get and what advice would you give in terms of personal statement, supercurriculars etc?
I got an offer this year so I'm starting in October

Not quite sure what advice to give in terms of PS/supercurriculars, if you're interested iirc my PS was roughly: how I got interested in CS through some university courses, some problems I found interesting in a CS competition I did, then a bunch of maths stuff I did like a competition, extra school courses, uni courses and scholarship programs and how they appealed to me in terms of problem solving (though I applied for joint maths compsci at other unis so that's why I had quite a bit about maths), and then in the conclusion I talked generally about some areas that interested me and why and a theoretical cs book I read in conjunction to that.
Overall though cause compsci is such a broad field everyone will have completely different stuff, so this is gonna sound very generic, but just do what interests you and be prepared to talk about everything you wrote about in your PS.


btw other than that even though you guys are doing the TMUA instead of CSAT, I'd still recommend doing a couple of CSAT questions as interview prep if you get invited.
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polabear1302
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1) 9999999998
2) Maths - A*, Further Maths - A*, Computer Science - A*
3) Looks like an amazing course, very in depth and has lots of mathematical and theoretical aspects mixed in with practical so is perfect for me.
4) Warwick, St Andrews, Nottingham, Loughborough, Surrey
5) Been to Warwick, St Andrews and Loughborough and going to Cam, Notts and Surrey soon
6) Watched lots of YouTube/ podcasts on machine learning, created some classifiers, planning an EPQ on machine learning, completed online cryptography course, helped our in yr 11 lessons, read a few theoretical books.
7) I’m so glad as TMUA looks an easier style and it takes the pressure off at interview. Not really looked at it much yet tho.
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polabear1302
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I’ve noticed that all you guys do 4 A Levels but my school strongly discouraged it. Do you think I’ll be disadvantaged?
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_Alchemist_
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(Original post by polabear1302)
I’ve noticed that all you guys do 4 A Levels but my school strongly discouraged it. Do you think I’ll be disadvantaged?
no, you have seem to have slightly better GCSES than me and have done a lot outside of school, so It shouldn't make a difference. However, physics is seen as good subject when combined with maths and/ or compsci as it provides some insight into the applied side of maths and hardware side of computing.
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polabear1302
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What colleges are you guys looking at applying to? Also, anyone going to the open day on Friday?
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jtkai
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(Original post by polabear1302)
What colleges are you guys looking at applying to? Also, anyone going to the open day on Friday?
Friday best day I’m mostly interested in Queens’ but will also be checking out Clare and Jesus, Wbu?
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_Alchemist_
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(Original post by jtkai)
If you’re interested in neural networks have a look at the textgenrnn Python package on Github. It lets you train a NN on text and generate its own in that style very easily as you don’t have to do everything from scratch. The creator has a Colaboratory notebook you can use to run it (recommended considering how much faster it is). He’s also got a tutorial video up on YouTube and a blog post which goes into more detail on how to use it and how it works. Even if you want to build it all yourself it can still give you some insight into how it works. I’ve been playing around with it for the past couple of days and it’s a lot of fun!
Do you need to have advanced knowledge of python for this, and what do you think is the best way to learn python considering I’ve pretty much forgotten all the syntax.
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