A Strange New Universe: A Year 13 GYG

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SilentSolitaire
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#41
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16/11/19 - Cambridge Interview Invite!
Last To-do List
Uni Stuff
Princeton Essay [ ]
Harvard Essay [ ]

School stuff
Finish coding and testing section of my compsci coursework. [done!]

Other stuff
Solve 3 mentoring scheme questions. [2/3]
Write up 3 mentoring scheme questions. [done!]


New To-do List
Uni Stuff
Princeton Essay [ ]

Other Stuff
Trinity Interview Test [ ]
Solve 3 mentoring scheme questions. [ ]
Write up 5 mentoring scheme questions. [ ]
Read at least 2 books. [ ]

So yes, didn't really get anywhere with the essays. Spent a couple of hours messing about with some ideas and stuff that I'd already written and then just ended up deciding that I hate all the essays I've written for all the other colleges. So that was fun. Didn't do much on them after that.

In physics and computer science I'm not doing much. I'm struggling to keep awake in lessons because I'm really tired for some reason so I've just been doing the bare minimum then which probably ain't great... I'm also doing the physics practical competition thing though which is a bit more fun so I'm going to have to do a bit more work on that soon!

I did get an interview invite for Trinity! Which is pretty nerve wracking... That's on the 12th so I'm probably going to have to put a bit more time towards preparing for that then I would like. I'm also planning on fitting in some BMO1 prep in the next few weeks though it's probably a bit too late really. Hence why my to-do list is pretty maths heavy.
Also had the STMC regionals recently. Didn't get through to nationals but it was still pretty fun.
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d0nkey_dude
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I’m also hoping to do maths at Uni!! I’m currently getting A’s in maths but i really want an A* (edexcel) do u have any tips for it?
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_gcx
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(Original post by SilentSolitaire)
16/11/19 - Cambridge Interview Invite!
Last To-do List
Uni Stuff
Princeton Essay [ ]
Harvard Essay [ ]

School stuff
Finish coding and testing section of my compsci coursework. [done!]

Other stuff
Solve 3 mentoring scheme questions. [2/3]
Write up 3 mentoring scheme questions. [done!]


New To-do List
Uni Stuff
Princeton Essay [ ]

Other Stuff
Trinity Interview Test [ ]
Solve 3 mentoring scheme questions. [ ]
Write up 5 mentoring scheme questions. [ ]
Read at least 2 books. [ ]

So yes, didn't really get anywhere with the essays. Spent a couple of hours messing about with some ideas and stuff that I'd already written and then just ended up deciding that I hate all the essays I've written for all the other colleges. So that was fun. Didn't do much on them after that.

In physics and computer science I'm not doing much. I'm struggling to keep awake in lessons because I'm really tired for some reason so I've just been doing the bare minimum then which probably ain't great... I'm also doing the physics practical competition thing though which is a bit more fun so I'm going to have to do a bit more work on that soon!

I did get an interview invite for Trinity! Which is pretty nerve wracking... That's on the 12th so I'm probably going to have to put a bit more time towards preparing for that then I would like. I'm also planning on fitting in some BMO1 prep in the next few weeks though it's probably a bit too late really. Hence why my to-do list is pretty maths heavy.
Also had the STMC regionals recently. Didn't get through to nationals but it was still pretty fun.
gl with cam interview. If you're at a state school there's always adjustment if things don't go to plan but you get the step results in the end. Bear in mind all of my interview prep was pointless. Just explain yourself well, when you get stuck ask for help but make an effort to explain your thinking and where you're getting stuck, awkward silence is better than blurting out stuff that's wrong. I didn't really put much effort into physics but after my cam offer I got the motivation to try really hard in it and it worked. Hope the same happens to you. Idk about cs.
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SilentSolitaire
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(Original post by d0nkey_dude)
I’m also hoping to do maths at Uni!! I’m currently getting A’s in maths but i really want an A* (edexcel) do u have any tips for it?
Mostly I'd just recommend doing practice problems (physics and maths tutor is your best friend!) - if you can't find that many for the new spec, most of the old spec questions will still be suitable. Another fun exercise is trying to prove/derive the results you learn in class.
Also, if you don't get a question right, make sure you really understood where you went wrong. I'm not sure if there's anything more that I can think of right off the top of my head but if you've got any more specific questions/specific topics you want help with, feel free to ask!
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SilentSolitaire
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(Original post by _gcx)
gl with cam interview. If you're at a state school there's always adjustment if things don't go to plan but you get the step results in the end. Bear in mind all of my interview prep was pointless. Just explain yourself well, when you get stuck ask for help but make an effort to explain your thinking and where you're getting stuck, awkward silence is better than blurting out stuff that's wrong. I didn't really put much effort into physics but after my cam offer I got the motivation to try really hard in it and it worked. Hope the same happens to you. Idk about cs.
Thank you! And thank you for the interview tips, I'll bear them in mind.
Physics is more the problem then CS, I've finished my CS project so I've got quite a bit of free time now to revise but I actually have to force myself to do work outside the lessons for physics.
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SilentSolitaire
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26/11/2019 - MIT Interview Coming Up!
To-do List
Uni Stuff
Princeton Essay [ ]
Other Stuff
Trinity Interview Test [ ]
Solve 3 mentoring scheme questions. [2/3]
Write up 5 mentoring scheme questions. [4/5]
Read at least 2 books. [2/2]


Well, that to-do list worked... (also realised I got the wrong date for the interview so it's even closer than I thought...)
This week is ... interesting. I have a total of 4 lessons because so many were cancelled so I've been trying to read and do maths problems mostly.
I've got an interview for MIT which I thought I wasn't going to have because it was getting quite late but I'm super pleased that it's actually happening. Interviews for American colleges kind of work a bit differently so everyone usually does one but sometimes they don't have someone in your area so it's just waived. It's supposed to be really good though so I'm glad I do, even if I've now got even more things to stress about! I haven't got much further with the rest of my applications though.
I also handed in the rest of my computer science coursework at the end of last week so that's (mostly) over and done with! It's just revision now, and focusing on my other two subjects.
I've also got a meeting soon to discuss whether I could do some more work in the same area as my NRP during term time which will hopefully (if all works out) give me even more things to do. So I'm super looking forward to that!
Hope you guys had a great week!

New To-do List
Common App Essay. [ ]
Go over some potential questions for the MIT interview. [ ]
Read 2 more books. [ ]
Solve 1 more mentoring scheme question. [ ]
Do one mock BMO1 paper. [ ]
Do one mock Trinity interview. [ ]
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_gcx
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(Original post by SilentSolitaire)
26/11/2019 - MIT Interview Coming Up!
To-do List
Uni Stuff
Princeton Essay [ ]
Other Stuff
Trinity Interview Test [ ]
Solve 3 mentoring scheme questions. [2/3]
Write up 5 mentoring scheme questions. [4/5]
Read at least 2 books. [2/2]


Well, that to-do list worked... (also realised I got the wrong date for the interview so it's even closer than I thought...)
This week is ... interesting. I have a total of 4 lessons because so many were cancelled so I've been trying to read and do maths problems mostly.
I've got an interview for MIT which I thought I wasn't going to have because it was getting quite late but I'm super pleased that it's actually happening. Interviews for American colleges kind of work a bit differently so everyone usually does one but sometimes they don't have someone in your area so it's just waived. It's supposed to be really good though so I'm glad I do, even if I've now got even more things to stress about! I haven't got much further with the rest of my applications though.
I also handed in the rest of my computer science coursework at the end of last week so that's (mostly) over and done with! It's just revision now, and focusing on my other two subjects.
I've also got a meeting soon to discuss whether I could do some more work in the same area as my NRP during term time which will hopefully (if all works out) give me even more things to do. So I'm super looking forward to that!
Hope you guys had a great week!

New To-do List
Common App Essay. [ ]
Go over some potential questions for the MIT interview. [ ]
Read 2 more books. [ ]
Solve 1 more mentoring scheme question. [ ]
Do one mock BMO1 paper. [ ]
Do one mock Trinity interview. [ ]
Out of interest - do you prefer MIT or Cambridge? I know all of the American IMOers end up at MIT and that it ranks generally top or near top. (along with princeton/harvard) Your interests seem quite broad so maybe the American style will suit you.
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_gcx
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(Original post by SilentSolitaire)
Thank you! And thank you for the interview tips, I'll bear them in mind.
Physics is more the problem then CS, I've finished my CS project so I've got quite a bit of free time now to revise but I actually have to force myself to do work outside the lessons for physics.
Physics gets quite interesting towards the end. I had to really knuckle down to try to secure the A* though but I enjoyed nuclear physics and astro a fair amount. (generally just what's on Edexcel Physics Paper 2) Try to keep it up.

Unfortunately Warwick's physics modules are quite slow in the first year so didn't pick them up, disappointingly.

Also I just noticed under your grades you have 1SS down for step. Have you already got 1SS??? Completely overlooked that. I don't see you not getting a cambridge offer with that.
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SilentSolitaire
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(Original post by _gcx)
Out of interest - do you prefer MIT or Cambridge? I know all of the American IMOers end up at MIT and that it ranks generally top or near top. (along with princeton/harvard) Your interests seem quite broad so maybe the American style will suit you.
I'm not really sure, and I don't see much point in figuring it out when I haven't got offers from either of them! There's so many differences between the two places that I should probably sit down and think about it at some point but that's not happening any time this side of the holidays.
(Original post by _gcx)
Physics gets quite interesting towards the end. I had to really knuckle down to try to secure the A* though but I enjoyed nuclear physics and astro a fair amount. (generally just what's on Edexcel Physics Paper 2) Try to keep it up.

Unfortunately Warwick's physics modules are quite slow in the first year so didn't pick them up, disappointingly.

Also I just noticed under your grades you have 1SS down for step. Have you already got 1SS??? Completely overlooked that. I don't see you not getting a cambridge offer with that.
I think we do turning points instead of astro but it looks pretty interesting so I'm looking forward to that. That's a shame, is there anything in future years that you'd like to do? I have but I'm not sure it'll help me much if I fail the interview...
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_gcx
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(Original post by SilentSolitaire)
I'm not really sure, and I don't see much point in figuring it out when I haven't got offers from either of them! There's so many differences between the two places that I should probably sit down and think about it at some point but that's not happening any time this side of the holidays.

I think we do turning points instead of astro but it looks pretty interesting so I'm looking forward to that. That's a shame, is there anything in future years that you'd like to do? I have but I'm not sure it'll help me much if I fail the interview...
Fair enough.

Quite frankly - if they don't give you an offer they've gone insane. I've known of people who did STEP in y12 that got offers not conditional on STEP. (one US international got like S1S or something in equiv of y12 and got an unconditional because he'd already fulfilled the AP stuff) Harshly, I'd urge you not to come here. Very much tempted to say it'll be too easy for you and that you'd be very bored. Just make sure you get good grades on your other A-levels. It would be an awful shame to be rejected on results day because of that.

I'm not sure if there's any physics that I'm going to do. Might do quantum in y2. I think I could've done a physics degree, possibly. I'm not sure if UG physics would be as appealing to me as UG maths.
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SilentSolitaire
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(Original post by _gcx)
Fair enough.

Quite frankly - if they don't give you an offer they've gone insane. I've known of people who did STEP in y12 that got offers not conditional on STEP. (one US international got like S1S or something in equiv of y12 and got an unconditional because he'd already fulfilled the AP stuff) Harshly, I'd urge you not to come here. Very much tempted to say it'll be too easy for you and that you'd be very bored. Just make sure you get good grades on your other A-levels. It would be an awful shame to be rejected on results day because of that.

I'm not sure if there's any physics that I'm going to do. Might do quantum in y2. I think I could've done a physics degree, possibly. I'm not sure if UG physics would be as appealing to me as UG maths.
Pretty sure I still have to pass the interview but thanks! Yes, hoping mocks might kick me into gear a bit in that respect - I'm still doing okay in classes so hopefully there's not too much to worry about...

I think it's the experiments that would put me off physics, how did you find the required practicals when you did them?
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_gcx
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(Original post by SilentSolitaire)
Pretty sure I still have to pass the interview but thanks! Yes, hoping mocks might kick me into gear a bit in that respect - I'm still doing okay in classes so hopefully there's not too much to worry about...

I think it's the experiments that would put me off physics, how did you find the required practicals when you did them?
You have basically already proven yourself good enough, tbh. Having far exceeded the standards required in y12 and doing uni level maths already.

It was a bit of a drag, but I didn't actually do all of them. At some point our teacher, after having scared us into writing up earlier practicals by threatening to fail us, just told us we'd all get passed. So I didn't end up writing up a lot of them. I still made notes on each for revision, though I have to admit there wasn't a whole lot on required practicals in the final thing. I remember one question on a required practical I hardly looked at and all the marks I got were guesses and I still got an A*.
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username3994886
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was just wondering - if you go to the US, how will you be paying??
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SilentSolitaire
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30/11/2019 - The one in which I suddenly get hit by a mountain of work, all at once...
I'm not even going to update the to-do list because that's pretty much all still left to do.
What's happened since the last update?
- Gone back to work on my Nuffield project, fixed the bug in the code that annoyed me all summer in one hour and now have to clean a whole data set and retrain a neural network because the code doesn't take the newest model. Fun.
- Handed in what I'd done on my AMS for this month, said I'd think more about the problems then conveniently forgot all about them.
- Sat BMO1, which went better than last year but not brilliantly so I'm trying not to think about it too much...
- Have a required practical write-up to finish but all the analysis I did today led to nonsensical conclusions so I've stopped attempting to do that. We're finishing the practical off on Monday so hopefully it'll get done then.
- And I still haven't got the common app essay together! A* for organisation there.

This week's mostly just going to be about doing the computer science and physics and getting through interview prep, so I'm now just trying to gear myself up for a week that's looking like actual work.
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SilentSolitaire
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(Original post by _gcx)
You have basically already proven yourself good enough, tbh. Having far exceeded the standards required in y12 and doing uni level maths already.

It was a bit of a drag, but I didn't actually do all of them. At some point our teacher, after having scared us into writing up earlier practicals by threatening to fail us, just told us we'd all get passed. So I didn't end up writing up a lot of them. I still made notes on each for revision, though I have to admit there wasn't a whole lot on required practicals in the final thing. I remember one question on a required practical I hardly looked at and all the marks I got were guesses and I still got an A*.
Think my teacher might be slightly stricter about the marking! That's good to hear, the required practical questions are just a pain because I end up writing everything about the experiment except one thing and then lose 3 marks or something.

(Original post by anonymous._.123)
was just wondering - if you go to the US, how will you be paying??
I'm only applying to universities that are needs-blind or needs-aware so hopefully that shouldn't be an issue. I might apply for some scholarships if I decide I'm definitely going to America but I'd have to get in to somewhere first!
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_gcx
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(Original post by SilentSolitaire)
Think my teacher might be slightly stricter about the marking! That's good to hear, the required practical questions are just a pain because I end up writing everything about the experiment except one thing and then lose 3 marks or something.


I'm only applying to universities that are needs-blind or needs-aware so hopefully that shouldn't be an issue. I might apply for some scholarships if I decide I'm definitely going to America but I'd have to get in to somewhere first!
Yup it's hard not to make omissions. Even if you know everything. If you get 4 or 5/6 on a question it's not disastrous, especially as physics boundaries are fairly low. As long as you make no major omissions, you'll be ok. Examiner reports helped a lot with physics and clarified the MS.
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Try doing something no one would expect you to do. Gosh! I've been told this message is too short. You're an A1 student but the world has been pumping out A1 students for years and we still have poverty, and global warming, and inequality so you might feel like it's on your bucket list but fk me these are some knarly problems. My advice is talk to people (Everyone!) as much as possible because no one can foist a solution on a person. You're top - carry hope in your heart.
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SilentSolitaire
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(Original post by _gcx)
Yup it's hard not to make omissions. Even if you know everything. If you get 4 or 5/6 on a question it's not disastrous, especially as physics boundaries are fairly low. As long as you make no major omissions, you'll be ok. Examiner reports helped a lot with physics and clarified the MS.
That's what I'm banking on (I think it's currently around 80% so as long as I don't mess up the calculation or recall questions...).
Thanks for the tip!
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_gcx
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(Original post by SilentSolitaire)
That's what I'm banking on (I think it's currently around 80% so as long as I don't mess up the calculation or recall questions...).
Thanks for the tip!
On my exam board it was just under 70%! Though that's Edexcel and other exam boards are probably higher. Not sure what mark I ended up getting, it wasn't on my results sheet, but I guessed low 230s (A* was 207). I'm sure you'll be fine. Don't underestimate paper 3, if you have something similar with similar weighting with your exam board. One of my friends got confident A*s on the first two papers, but then got a B in the third paper and only missed out on the A* by a mark or two. Students do just generally seem to perform worse in this paper so might be a good source of marks. (or rather, a good place to overtake the competition)
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SilentSolitaire
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04/12/2019 - 1 down, 1 to go...
Had my MIT interview today!
Pros: I made the interviewer laugh at one of my stupid jokes.
Cons: I got stressed and started trying to tell stupid jokes instead of answering the questions.
But it did go better than I expected (aka. I wasn't expected to already know how to solve world poverty, just asked normal interview stuff) and it's made me feel a lot more confident for the Cambridge interview, so that's a positive!

I also had a meeting with my NRP supervisors today, to talk over how it was going and next steps so I've done a little bit of work on that tonight. I also finished the book 'The History of Bees' which was pretty good. Other than that I've just been procrastinating because it feels like some of the major events are finally over but then I remember that I'm spending the weekend with family so might want to get my work done by then!

(I also got an offer from Leeds but (as well as being ridiculously confusing ) it's higher then Manchester's so that's probably not going to be my reserve.)

To-do list:
Read 2 more books. [ ]
Go over notes from A-Level maths. [ ]
Do one mock maths interview. [ ]
Read 2 books. [ ]
Do 3 mentoring scheme questions. [ ]
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