maniccrammer
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I start my A levels next week and would love to attend Cambridge University to study Psychological and Behavioural Sciences. My A levels were going to be biology, psychology and German. I got an A in further maths, an 8 and 8 9s at GCSE. Will 3 a levels be enough for me to stand a chance at being considered for interview? Should I do maths as a fourth or will I be okay with just 3?
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MediocreSince01
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Will you get in?
Well, maybe. Lots of factors will be considered - aptitude tests, predicted grades, perhaps GCSEs, interviews ect

Have you got enough A-Levels?
Certainly. Check that there's no required subjects on the entry requirements. You can find them here for the specific Cambridge colleges. Some appear to recommend/require mathematics, though, so you might want to take a further look.
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maniccrammer
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(Original post by MediocreSince01)
Will you get in?
Well, maybe. Lots of factors will be considered - aptitude tests, predicted grades, perhaps GCSEs, interviews ect

Have you got enough A-Levels?
Certainly. Check that there's no required subjects on the entry requirements. You can find them here for the specific Cambridge colleges. Some appear to recommend/require mathematics, though, so you might want to take a further look.
thank you so much. As you say there's a couple of colleges that mention it, but the ones that don't would accept my application without maths?
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Scotney
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(Original post by maniccrammer)
I start my A levels next week and would love to attend Cambridge University to study Psychological and Behavioural Sciences. My A levels were going to be biology, psychology and German. I got an A in further maths, an 8 and 8 9s at GCSE. Will 3 a levels be enough for me to stand a chance at being considered for interview? Should I do maths as a fourth or will I be okay with just 3?
I would start with 4 and see how you find them. You need to pick the ones you can land the grades in. Maths would be good if you are capable of it. You only need 3 but son did 4 and it worked for him. He needed A*AA for Biological Sciences but knew he was unlikely to get an A grade in Chemistry despite knowing it was fairly essential to his degree. He used History to get the second A but still benefited from the knowledge he gained by doing Chemistry. Graded B in it as he suspected!
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maniccrammer
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(Original post by Scotney)
I would start with 4 and see how you find them. You need to pick the ones you can land the grades in. Maths would be good if you are capable of it. You only need 3 but son did 4 and it worked for him. He needed A*AA for Biological Sciences but knew he was unlikely to get an A grade in Chemistry despite knowing it was fairly essential to his degree. He used History to get the second A but still benefited from the knowledge he gained by doing Chemistry. Graded B in it as he suspected!
thank you. I'm second guessing whether I'd be able to do it if I'm honest, but I guess if I started it and hated it I could drop it
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Anonymouspsych
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(Original post by maniccrammer)
I start my A levels next week and would love to attend Cambridge University to study Psychological and Behavioural Sciences. My A levels were going to be biology, psychology and German. I got an A in further maths, an 8 and 8 9s at GCSE. Will 3 a levels be enough for me to stand a chance at being considered for interview? Should I do maths as a fourth or will I be okay with just 3?
You'll most certainly stand a chance for an interview, but as to whether you will get in?

That's another story.
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maniccrammer
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(Original post by Anonymouspsych)
You'll most certainly stand a chance for an interview, but as to whether you will get in?

That's another story.
so if I don't do it there's a greater chance of not getting a place even if it's not a required subject??
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Anonymouspsych
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(Original post by maniccrammer)
so if I don't do it there's a greater chance of not getting a place even if it's not a required subject??
Nope that's not true and that's not what I am saying.

You only need to do 3 A levels and doing an additional one won't hinder or increase your chances of getting in.

The 3 options you have chosen seem like an appropriate combo for your course choice and there are no specific subjects required by any of the colleges for your course. However some colleges do require one or two A levels in science subjects/maths which your options cover. Have a look here for more info: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....oural-sciences

What I was hinting at more was just the fact that getting into Cambridge in general is quite a slim chance. I wasn't talking about your particular course or the specific subjects you are taking, I was making a general comment on getting into Cambridge.
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Scotney
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(Original post by maniccrammer)
thank you. I'm second guessing whether I'd be able to do it if I'm honest, but I guess if I started it and hated it I could drop it
Exactly my thinking.
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maniccrammer
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(Original post by Anonymouspsych)
Nope that's not true and that's not what I am saying.

You only need to do 3 A levels and doing an additional one won't hinder or increase your chances of getting in.

The 3 options you have chosen seem like an appropriate combo for your course choice and there are no specific subjects required by any of the colleges for your course. However some colleges do require one or two A levels in science subjects/maths which your options cover. Have a look here for more info: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....oural-sciences

What I was hinting at more was just the fact that getting into Cambridge in general is quite a slim chance. I wasn't talking about your particular course or the specific subjects you are taking, I was making a general comment on getting into Cambridge.
ah okay i understand now, my brain's a bit all over the place tonight sorry. So if having 3 a levels won't make me less likely than someone with 4 then it might be better to do 3 and get amazing grades in them? Appreciate the help
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Scotney
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(Original post by Anonymouspsych)
Nope that's not true and that's not what I am saying.

You only need to do 3 A levels and doing an additional one won't hinder or increase your chances of getting in.

The 3 options you have chosen seem like an appropriate combo for your course choice and there are no specific subjects required by any of the colleges for your course. However some colleges do require one or two A levels in science subjects/maths which your options cover. Have a look here for more info: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....oural-sciences

What I was hinting at more was just the fact that getting into Cambridge in general is quite a slim chance. I wasn't talking about your particular course or the specific subjects you are taking, I was making a general comment on getting into Cambridge.
Well you need to start by picking the right A levels! My son has got into both so it can be done!
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RhynieChert
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(Original post by maniccrammer)
ah okay i understand now, my brain's a bit all over the place tonight sorry. So if having 3 a levels won't make me less likely than someone with 4 then it might be better to do 3 and get amazing grades in them? Appreciate the help
(Original post by maniccrammer)
ah okay i understand now, my brain's a bit all over the place tonight sorry. So if having 3 a levels won't make me less likely than someone with 4 then it might be better to do 3 and get amazing grades in them? Appreciate the help
yes, that's right, it is much much better to do excellently in 3 than risk over extending yourself doing 4. the majority of candidates for Cambridge PBS are taking 3 and it does not put you at a disadvantage. what matters for getting an offer is how well you do at interview and in the admissions assessment
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maniccrammer
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(Original post by aesthete1)
yes, that's right, it is much much better to do excellently in 3 than risk over extending yourself doing 4. the majority of candidates for Cambridge PBS are taking 3 and it does not put you at a disadvantage. what matters for getting an offer is how well you do at interview and in the admissions assessment
I keep flicking between not doing it and focusing on 3 and then doing it to make it more likely I’ll fill the criteria - I’m thinking of Bath, Exeter, Durham and York and some of those don’t have required subjects and then York wants either science or maths at an A, so technically speaking I could do 3, core maths and then some maths related things that are extra curricular or in an EPQ to show I’m capable but so I didn’t have to do the whole a level??
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RhynieChert
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https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....ct_matters.pdf

link to Cambridge's advice on choosing a levels, the relevant bits of which I've quoted here:

"Typical offers from Cambridge are based on students taking three A Levels
(or equivalent) together in Year 13, and most Cambridge applicants are
studying three or four A Level subjects in Years 12 and 13.
Applicants taking four subjects won't normally be at an advantage compared
with those taking three, as we’d rather applicants develop greater knowledge
of the subjects most relevant to their chosen course than accumulate
additional A Levels."
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RhynieChert
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(Original post by maniccrammer)
I keep flicking between not doing it and focusing on 3 and then doing it to make it more likely I’ll fill the criteria - I’m thinking of Bath, Exeter, Durham and York and some of those don’t have required subjects and then York wants either science or maths at an A, so technically speaking I could do 3, core maths and then some maths related things that are extra curricular or in an EPQ to show I’m capable but so I didn’t have to do the whole a level??
that sounds sensible to me yes, I don't think you'd even need to take the core maths tbh. can I ask how set you are on taking German, might you want to do a German related epq and maths a level? just bc I'm not sure an epq lends itself well to maths seeing as it's an essay
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maniccrammer
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(Original post by aesthete1)
that sounds sensible to me yes, I don't think you'd even need to take the core maths tbh. can I ask how set you are on taking German, might you want to do a German related epq and maths a level? just bc I'm not sure an epq lends itself well to maths seeing as it's an essay
German is a definite for me, I love it too much to consider dropping it which makes things more difficult 🙄 I get that an epq is essay based but if I do a psychology related project I could maybe link it to maths in some way??
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RhynieChert
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basically, don't panic, your original three are fine for any of the unis you've mentioned, my advice is to stick with those but make sure you keep your maths skills sharp with extra curriculars
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maniccrammer
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(Original post by aesthete1)
that sounds sensible to me yes, I don't think you'd even need to take the core maths tbh. can I ask how set you are on taking German, might you want to do a German related epq and maths a level? just bc I'm not sure an epq lends itself well to maths seeing as it's an essay
Core maths is compulsory at my college for anyone doing science a levels without maths so I’ll be either doing core maths or a full a level maths course
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RhynieChert
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(Original post by maniccrammer)
German is a definite for me, I love it too much to consider dropping it which makes things more difficult 🙄 I get that an epq is essay based but if I do a psychology related project I could maybe link it to maths in some way??
that sounds ideal yes, that's definitely fine
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maniccrammer
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(Original post by aesthete1)
that sounds ideal yes, that's definitely fine
Great, thank you. I think when I’m there tomorrow I’ll ask some more questions to the maths teachers and see what they think as well, they’ll be more experienced with uni applications as well so hopefully they’ll be able to advise too
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