Do I have a realistic chance of getting into Cambridge for maths? Watch

olympiad1357
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Hi guys, I was wondering if someone could give some advice here. I have a number of special circumstances, such as having being in care for a period of 4 months, having a late diagnosis of autism (which was unrecognised until lately and therefore my coping strategies were non existent so I couldn’t cope with school really and the way in which I was dealt with was considered to be highly counterproductive) - after receiving support I have improved massively and can cope much better - this was after my GCSE’s . I got 2a*s,4b and 2c at gcse, with the a*s being in maths and further maths. I understand these are rubbish grades but would they be overlooked in the context? Also, I achieved full marks in both the intermediate and senior maths challenge and a distinction in BMO2. My only real talent is in maths! I have been predicted A*A*A* for a level (maths, further maths, physics). Do I have a good chance of getting in given the circumstances or are they likely to overlook them and reject me straight up?
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laurence_tho
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It's not impossible if you make sure to explain your circumstances and have an excellent personal statement, interview and predicted grades. Most people don't get in anyway so it's a gamble at the best of times but if you want to go there, don't let anything hold you back.
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Rockrs
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Yea, just smash everything else like interview, step etc. .Remember to ask teachers to talk about your health experiences in their references. I'm glad you're not like some people throwing around the words depression, anxiety as an excuse to justify bad grades etc.
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thekidwhogames
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Enjoy Cambridge! That's how confident I am about you getting in. Don't worry, A level predictions are solid so you'll get an interview and I'm sure you'll smash it given BMO2 result.
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ajj2000
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Firstly it doesnt matter in the slightest if they reject you. Really. maths isn't one of the courses (such as medicine or economics) where people who can get the grades don't receive offers. So you should get offers from the other places you apply. Have a decent look at STEP for Cambridge or whatever the Oxford exams are.

Not something I know much about but I understand that Cambridge are very unbothered by anything other than maths grades and STEP results. Its much harder to get the grades than to get an offer.

If I were you I'd go for it. And sit the STEP papers whatever.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by olympiad1357)
I have a number of special circumstances, such as having being in care for a period of 4 months,
Apologies if you/ your school are well on top of this but there are university schemes to provide additional support for care leavers. Hopefully you'll get the chance to look into these.
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mysticmagic2000
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(Original post by olympiad1357)
Hi guys, I was wondering if someone could give some advice here. I have a number of special circumstances, such as having being in care for a period of 4 months, having a late diagnosis of autism (which was unrecognised until lately and therefore my coping strategies were non existent so I couldn’t cope with school really and the way in which I was dealt with was considered to be highly counterproductive) - after receiving support I have improved massively and can cope much better - this was after my GCSE’s . I got 2a*s,4b and 2c at gcse, with the a*s being in maths and further maths. I understand these are rubbish grades but would they be overlooked in the context? Also, I achieved full marks in both the intermediate and senior maths challenge and a distinction in BMO2. My only real talent is in maths! I have been predicted A*A*A* for a level (maths, further maths, physics). Do I have a good chance of getting in given the circumstances or are they likely to overlook them and reject me straight up?
Sir you are an inspiration and I’m pretty certain you’ll stand a good chance of getting in. Sorry for asking this, but do you go to a state or private school? If the first option, you most likely will get a place and even a chance with the latter as long as you do very well on STEP etc
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MagnumKoishi
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(Original post by olympiad1357)
Hi guys, I was wondering if someone could give some advice here. I have a number of special circumstances, such as having being in care for a period of 4 months, having a late diagnosis of autism (which was unrecognised until lately and therefore my coping strategies were non existent so I couldn’t cope with school really and the way in which I was dealt with was considered to be highly counterproductive) - after receiving support I have improved massively and can cope much better - this was after my GCSE’s . I got 2a*s,4b and 2c at gcse, with the a*s being in maths and further maths. I understand these are rubbish grades but would they be overlooked in the context? Also, I achieved full marks in both the intermediate and senior maths challenge and a distinction in BMO2. My only real talent is in maths! I have been predicted A*A*A* for a level (maths, further maths, physics). Do I have a good chance of getting in given the circumstances or are they likely to overlook them and reject me straight up?
Those gcse's are a bit mediocre indeed, but at least you did well in the two that mattered. Your A level predictions are good too, and the subjects relevant.

I think the main thing though is the full marks in the maths challenges- this is outstanding. Cambridge put an emphasis on problem solving, and this demonstrates your ability for it amazingly. This should more than make up for your dodgy gcses in irrelevant subjects.

Apply, and you'll definitely get an interview. And your evident skills in problem solving means you could very well ace the interview, so it's definitely worth applying.
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MagnumKoishi
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Also PS: I've heard stories of a cambridge phys natsci offer holder who just wrote "sock sock sock" repeatedly up to the character limit of their personal statement, as a very daring move to see if they bother reading the PS for physics. I'd imagine it'd apply to maths too, if the story holds any truth.

So don't focus on your PS much. Focus on your interview technique, there are resources available to help your practice how to approach the types of question that may be asked at interview
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hewgcrusty
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I know people who have Cambridge offers for maths who scored less than 90 in the senior maths challenge - I’ve never even heard of someone getting full marks in that!
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olympiad1357
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(Original post by laurence_tho)
It's not impossible if you make sure to explain your circumstances and have an excellent personal statement, interview and predicted grades. Most people don't get in anyway so it's a gamble at the best of times but if you want to go there, don't let anything hold you back.
Thanks for this!
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olympiad1357
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Apologies if you/ your school are well on top of this but there are university schemes to provide additional support for care leavers. Hopefully you'll get the chance to look into these.
Hi, thank you! School is aware of this and trying to do their best but I’m just really worried I guess!
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olympiad1357
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(Original post by mysticmagic2000)
Sir you are an inspiration and I’m pretty certain you’ll stand a good chance of getting in. Sorry for asking this, but do you go to a state or private school? If the first option, you most likely will get a place and even a chance with the latter as long as you do very well on STEP etc
That’s really kind, thank you so much I go to a state school. One slight issue would be that I left school for a year due to poor health but I’ve improved a lot. Do you think they’ll take that badly?
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olympiad1357
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(Original post by hewgcrusty)
I know people who have Cambridge offers for maths who scored less than 90 in the senior maths challenge - I’ve never even heard of someone getting full marks in that!
Haha thanks!!
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olympiad1357
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(Original post by MagnumKoishi)
Those gcse's are a bit mediocre indeed, but at least you did well in the two that mattered. Your A level predictions are good too, and the subjects relevant.

I think the main thing though is the full marks in the maths challenges- this is outstanding. Cambridge put an emphasis on problem solving, and this demonstrates your ability for it amazingly. This should more than make up for your dodgy gcses in irrelevant subjects.

Apply, and you'll definitely get an interview. And your evident skills in problem solving means you could very well ace the interview, so it's definitely worth applying.
This has been really motivating, thanks Do you think it’d be a problem that I left school for a year due to poor health?
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Muttley79
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(Original post by olympiad1357)
This has been really motivating, thanks Do you think it’d be a problem that I left school for a year due to poor health?
I don't think that will be an issue - your referee should cover some of those points. I think you'll stand a good chance - are you getting help with STEP prep at school? If not then I can point you to some resources.

Which college are you thinking of?
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mysticmagic2000
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No quite the opposite in fact - I feel as if it would make you come across as exceptional to get to the point you have got to. There is a reason why certain schools and pupils get special treatment and essentially you would have had to work a lot harder than I did (privately educated 11-18) and would be looked upon more favourably! Let me know how it goes I have a lot of faith in you x
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hewgcrusty
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[QUOTE=mysticmagic2000; essentially you would have had to work a lot harder than I did (privately educated 11-18) [/QUOTE]

It’s nice to see someone from a private school admit this. Kudos to you mysticmagic2000
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mysticmagic2000
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(Original post by hewgcrusty)
It’s nice to see someone from a private school admit this. Kudos to you mysticmagic2000
It’s something I pride myself on. I’ve had the opportunities and I want to do anything to give everyone the opportunity succeed! Semi why I want to go into teaching
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hewgcrusty
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(Original post by mysticmagic2000)
It’s something I pride myself on. I’ve had the opportunities and I want to do anything to give everyone the opportunity succeed! Semi why I want to go into teaching
Couldn't agree more! Having been to a good comprehensive where poorer children have been given access to Oxbridge, Imperial etc I think it's only right everyone should get that chance
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