ShootForTheStars
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Does anybody know if Cambridge has a formula for using the NSAA to shortlist for interview? I remember reading something from a particular college that stated they used it in a certain way.
1
reply
agentundercover
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
(Original post by ShootForTheStars)
Does anybody know if Cambridge has a formula for using the NSAA to shortlist for interview? I remember reading something from a particular college that stated they used it in a certain way.
I'm pretty sure they don't look at the NSAA scores until after the interview.

There seems to be a trend in how many offers are made and how many people did well in the Maths Section (A). I've attached some data from a FOI file that Cambridge sent to someone if you want to look at who got an offer based on their NSAA scores. Hope you find this useful.

I wouldn't worry about the NSAA scores for now, we can only hope! Good luck with your application!
Attached files
1
reply
ShootForTheStars
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#3
Thanks agentundercover, and thanks for the data....very interesting! Have you applied this cycle?

I'm just wondering how they cut out the 20-25% of people that get rejected pre-interview. Presumably everybody applying has the required predicted grades so they have to use some other measure. I was thinking it would be the NSAA. We know they don't care about GCSEs.
0
reply
agentundercover
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by ShootForTheStars)
Thanks agentundercover, and thanks for the data....very interesting! Have you applied this cycle?

I'm just wondering how they cut out the 20-25% of people that get rejected pre-interview. Presumably everybody applying has the required predicted grades so they have to use some other measure. I was thinking it would be the NSAA. We know they don't care about GCSEs.
Yep, I'm applying for 2020 Physical NatSci.

Contrary to what a lot of people think, most colleges do take into consideration GCSEs, it probably depends on the college to what extent they're important. They look at the application as many different pieces of data put together. A strong GCSE performance, more than three A Levels/EPQ to show that you can multitask and cope well with a big workload, and good references from your teachers will put you in good stead to be interviewed.

Your personal statement also says a lot. A lot of people apply to Cambridge just because it's got the "Cambridge factor" and they have generic reasons why they want to be on the course. If you've written about how you've demonstrated a love of your subject with independent research, various super curricular courses etc, they'll view you as a strong applicant.

After the interview, all of these pieces are then reviewed again along with the NSAA scores and contextual/additional stuff in your SAQ is taken on board and decisions on offers are made.

I've been to a few Cambridge courses where different colleges explained a bit about the application process so hopefully this is accurate.
Basically, everything is considered as a whole rather than isolated, so if you do not so great on either the NSAA or the interview then it doesn't mean that's the end of your chances.

Edit: Cambridge isn't like Oxford in where they have a cut-off point for the NSAA, it's not a pass or fail exam. It's all just data that they can use to determine whether you're a good fit for the course.
Last edited by agentundercover; 1 year ago
1
reply
R T
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
(Original post by agentundercover)
I'm pretty sure they don't look at the NSAA scores until after the interview.

There seems to be a trend in how many offers are made and how many people did well in the Maths Section (A). I've attached some data from a FOI file that Cambridge sent to someone if you want to look at who got an offer based on their NSAA scores. Hope you find this useful.

I wouldn't worry about the NSAA scores for now, we can only hope! Good luck with your application!
(Original post by ShootForTheStars)
Thanks agentundercover, and thanks for the data....very interesting! Have you applied this cycle?

I'm just wondering how they cut out the 20-25% of people that get rejected pre-interview. Presumably everybody applying has the required predicted grades so they have to use some other measure. I was thinking it would be the NSAA. We know they don't care about GCSEs.
You might as well use my formatted and analysed version of that :
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
no one below 1.5 av got an interview, probably means 1.5 might have been a hard cut-off.

The 20-25% who are cut are usually unrealistic applicants. So someone who isn't even doing the right a levels, someone whose GCSEs or AS are just not good enough (without mitigation). Someone who got under 2.0 on all sections of the NSAA would also probably fall into this category, since that's the kind of performance where you wonder if this person is either not going to get anything from the interview because of their knowledge/ability, or if the person just too easily caves under pressure to thrive on a very high pressure course.

edit: should really add, that the "cut-off" may depend on the college. Some may have no cut off. Some may have a "high" one.
Last edited by R T; 1 year ago
0
reply
Sinnoh
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by ShootForTheStars)
Does anybody know if Cambridge has a formula for using the NSAA to shortlist for interview? I remember reading something from a particular college that stated they used it in a certain way.
Yes. They grade it by percentile from 1-9, the idea is that the majority of candidates should be eligible for interview. I went to an admissions talk at Churchill college last year where they went into detail. Only 2% of applicants were excellent in every part of their application, too.

(Original post by agentundercover)
I'm pretty sure they don't look at the NSAA scores until after the interview.

There seems to be a trend in how many offers are made and how many people did well in the Maths Section (A). I've attached some data from a FOI file that Cambridge sent to someone if you want to look at who got an offer based on their NSAA scores. Hope you find this useful.

I wouldn't worry about the NSAA scores for now, we can only hope! Good luck with your application!
Hohoho they definitely do use it for shortlisting. Last year when I got rejected without interview the feedback was that my application was not competitive within the gathered field. With 4 A*s predicted the only way this was possible was with a bad NSAA.
1
reply
ShootForTheStars
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#7
Sinnoh and RT, are both sections of the NSAA graded 1-9 or just section 1?
0
reply
ShootForTheStars
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#8
Wow, RT, I just clicked on your document. Did you do that?!
0
reply
ShootForTheStars
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#9
Someone got an offer from their first college with an average of 1.6!!
There is hope:dancing:!
0
reply
Sinnoh
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
(Original post by ShootForTheStars)
Sinnoh and RT, are both sections of the NSAA graded 1-9 or just section 1?
Not sure
0
reply
R T
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 year ago
#11
(Original post by ShootForTheStars)
Wow, RT, I just clicked on your document. Did you do that?!
Yes. I used that to export to a csv to do the "real" analysis in python3. The correlation is strong but still noisy, as expected since obviously other parts of the application matter.

The original import to google docs was from the excel file on the website; in total it probably took about 30 minutes to do all of it.
(Original post by ShootForTheStars)
Sinnoh and RT, are both sections of the NSAA graded 1-9 or just section 1?
Whatever they do with section 2, it will be "normalised" somehow so the context can be understood. They wont just give a raw mark out of 40 (this would be blatantly unfair), it's more likely that there is some kind of normalised/ percentile score for each question attempted, and it's also likely that the admissions tutors can get your exact paper for section 2 answers, to see things which aren't represented by just raw marks (e.g. assuming questions get "harder", it might be impressive to get the last few parts right in terms of approach, even if you got 10/20 because you made a lot of basic errors early on and throughout).
0
reply
agentundercover
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 year ago
#12
(Original post by Sinnoh)
Hohoho they definitely do use it for shortlisting. Last year when I got rejected without interview the feedback was that my application was not competitive within the gathered field. With 4 A*s predicted the only way this was possible was with a bad NSAA.
I attended courses at Jesus, Churchill and Selwyn this year. Most places said predicted grades are a good indicator, but they have to be backed up by the rest of the application including references, the personal statement with a genuine passion for the subject and GCSEs as an indicator for being academic.

However, all of the colleges I went to and did admissions workshops with said that having an off day with the NSAA or the interview isn't the end of the world as it may not reflect a candidate's full potential, so they take the holistic approach and look through all the information at once, so I wouldn't necessarily worry about the NSAA scores for now, although they will probably be the thing to distinguish who gets an offer or not in the final decision.

Perhaps I was wrong in saying they don't look at the NSAA until interviews, I remember reading that somewhere and it stuck with me but I can't find the source now so perhaps it was revised or I'm going mad haha.
0
reply
tedinbed
Badges: 12
#13
Report 1 year ago
#13
Yep I know of someone who was rejected pre-interview due to a poor NSAA, but their GCSEs were probably on the slightly dodgy side too.

I would imagine college's do first sift pre NSAA results - then move some in/out of interview selection based on NSAA results.

Remember some will have forgotten to enter for the NSAA or did not turn up on the day (201 out of 2500 in 2017).
0
reply
ta225
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 year ago
#14
(Original post by R T)
You might as well use my formatted and analysed version of that :
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
no one below 1.5 av got an interview, probably means 1.5 might have been a hard cut-off.

The 20-25% who are cut are usually unrealistic applicants. So someone who isn't even doing the right a levels, someone whose GCSEs or AS are just not good enough (without mitigation). Someone who got under 2.0 on all sections of the NSAA would also probably fall into this category, since that's the kind of performance where you wonder if this person is either not going to get anything from the interview because of their knowledge/ability, or if the person just too easily caves under pressure to thrive on a very high pressure course.

edit: should really add, that the "cut-off" may depend on the college. Some may have no cut off. Some may have a "high" one.
Sorry to be a pain and I may be wrong here but looking at your document it seems that you have counted being pooled (and not taken) as an offer. I'm not expecting you to change it if you have but thought you might want to know. It's still massively helpful too.
Edit- I think your correlation coefficient may be measuring the wrong columns, sorry again.
Last edited by ta225; 1 year ago
0
reply
R T
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#15
Report 1 year ago
#15
(Original post by ta225)
Sorry to be a pain and I may be wrong here but looking at your document it seems that you have counted being pooled (and not taken) as an offer. I'm not expecting you to change it if you have but thought you might want to know. It's still massively helpful too.
Edit- I think your correlation coefficient may be measuring the wrong columns, sorry again.
Cool, thanks for point it out! Shows the problem with rushing something out. I was surprised with the offer rate being almost 50%, that did seem wrong.

You dont need to apologise haha, there's absolutely no reason for me to be mad or annoyed about a correction. It should take literally 2 mins to fix so I'll do it now.

The new correlation is 0.34 - which is much more realistic. And tbh 0.34 is still really really strong considering the dependency is binary.

Offer rate is now below 30%, with 703 (only 653 offers with found scores - some NSAA scores were probably lost in administration and/or people didn't fill in their details right) total offers, so that also looks right.
0
reply
ta225
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#16
Report 1 year ago
#16
(Original post by R T)
Cool, thanks for point it out! Shows the problem with rushing something out. I was surprised with the offer rate being almost 50%, that did seem wrong.

You dont need to apologise haha, there's absolutely no reason for me to be mad or annoyed about a correction. It should take literally 2 mins to fix so I'll do it now.

The new correlation is 0.34 - which is much more realistic. And tbh 0.34 is still really really strong considering the dependency is binary.

Offer rate is now below 30%, with 703 (only 653 offers with found scores - some NSAA scores were probably lost in administration and/or people didn't fill in their details right) total offers, so that also looks right.
Great thanks. I was confused about the 50% offer rate too haha, which is why I checked
0
reply
ShootForTheStars
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#17
If only it was 50%
0
reply
ShootForTheStars
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#18
(Original post by agentundercover)
I'm pretty sure they don't look at the NSAA scores until after the interview.

There seems to be a trend in how many offers are made and how many people did well in the Maths Section (A). I've attached some data from a FOI file that Cambridge sent to someone if you want to look at who got an offer based on their NSAA scores. Hope you find this useful.

I wouldn't worry about the NSAA scores for now, we can only hope! Good luck with your application!
Seems you were right! At interview they said they hadn't yet looked at the NSAA. But this could mean just the interviewers themselves.
Last edited by ShootForTheStars; 1 year ago
0
reply
tedinbed
Badges: 12
#19
Report 1 year ago
#19
(Original post by ShootForTheStars)
Seems you were right! At interview they said they hadn't yet looked at the NSAA. But this could mean just the interviews themselves.
ooooh this just adds to my worries.......thought interview invite would mean NSAA was OK. Poss not then..........
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Do you have the space and resources you need to succeed in home learning?

Yes I have everything I need (437)
56.24%
I don't have everything I need (340)
43.76%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed