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###### How to get into Oxford to study mathematics?

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15 years ago

I need some advice.

Firstly, I do have further maths to AS and will have the full A2 next year when I start year 13. However, I don't have an AS in physics so can't get the full A2, should I do a AS in physics this year? or don't they care?

I will be studying three subjects next year, and have study five this year. However, only three will be a A grade, Biology might be an A or could be a A and History could be a C. However, Psychology, mathematics and further mathematics will be an A.

If I get an A in biology should I carry this on to have four A2's. and plus add Physics to get four A2's and five AS's?

I look at mechanics stuff because I'm not doing statistics next year. Mechanics is easy.

Also, how do you prepare for the admission test? Should I just do the past papers. The past papers are weird, you need more then AS mathematics, for example D1.

I went to an Oxford open day and I got naff advice from the mathematics admission tutor, I asked how to prepare and he just said make sure you know all the AS material and practice past papers. I know C1 and C2 and I pretty sure linear programming is not in it, nor the crazy things with logs or the question involving vectors.

Also, since the admission test is multiple choice, can you just deduce the other anwsers are false.

P.S. Atleast I can get away with only doing STEP 1.

Firstly, I do have further maths to AS and will have the full A2 next year when I start year 13. However, I don't have an AS in physics so can't get the full A2, should I do a AS in physics this year? or don't they care?

I will be studying three subjects next year, and have study five this year. However, only three will be a A grade, Biology might be an A or could be a A and History could be a C. However, Psychology, mathematics and further mathematics will be an A.

If I get an A in biology should I carry this on to have four A2's. and plus add Physics to get four A2's and five AS's?

I look at mechanics stuff because I'm not doing statistics next year. Mechanics is easy.

Also, how do you prepare for the admission test? Should I just do the past papers. The past papers are weird, you need more then AS mathematics, for example D1.

I went to an Oxford open day and I got naff advice from the mathematics admission tutor, I asked how to prepare and he just said make sure you know all the AS material and practice past papers. I know C1 and C2 and I pretty sure linear programming is not in it, nor the crazy things with logs or the question involving vectors.

Also, since the admission test is multiple choice, can you just deduce the other anwsers are false.

P.S. Atleast I can get away with only doing STEP 1.

Reply 1

15 years ago

i'm going on to do a Maths Masters degree next year (hopefully) and i didn't do any amount of physics at A- or AS-Level. Further Maths is pretty important at A-Level if you're going to go to Oxford IMO, Physics i would only take if you feel you have to.

Reply 2

15 years ago

I didn't do physics for Cambridge.

a) only the 1st question on the admissions test is multiple choice

b) logs will almost invariably play some part in the admissions test

c) the admissions tutor is best placed to advise you how to do well, listen to him, make sure you know C1 & 2 REALLY well, can you derive all the formulae that you know in C1 and 2?

d) just do the past papers, you don't need D1, maybe you've been trying the CS questions on the maths papers by accident?

e) yes you can deduce that the other answers are false, and that is the way in which some of the problems are solved on the Oxford mark scheme.

f) there is a magic secret for getting into Oxford but it runs to over 400 pages and requires at least an Msc in mathematics to understand, so alas, you will have to make do with "if you're good enough at maths you'll get in, so be really good at maths!"

b) logs will almost invariably play some part in the admissions test

c) the admissions tutor is best placed to advise you how to do well, listen to him, make sure you know C1 & 2 REALLY well, can you derive all the formulae that you know in C1 and 2?

d) just do the past papers, you don't need D1, maybe you've been trying the CS questions on the maths papers by accident?

e) yes you can deduce that the other answers are false, and that is the way in which some of the problems are solved on the Oxford mark scheme.

f) there is a magic secret for getting into Oxford but it runs to over 400 pages and requires at least an Msc in mathematics to understand, so alas, you will have to make do with "if you're good enough at maths you'll get in, so be really good at maths!"

Reply 4

15 years ago

generalebriety

I didn't do physics for Cambridge.

What A-Levels did you do to get into Cambridge?

Are particular colleges pernickety about what A-Levels you do? So for e.g, if you applied to Trinity for maths, would they expect physics at A-Level?

*sorry for de-touring, I know OP is interested in Ox and not Camb*

Reply 5

15 years ago

hermaphrodite

What A-Levels did you do to get into Cambridge?

Are particular colleges pernickety about what A-Levels you do? So for e.g, if you applied to Trinity for maths, would they expect physics at A-Level?

*sorry for de-touring, I know OP is interested in Ox and not Camb*

Are particular colleges pernickety about what A-Levels you do? So for e.g, if you applied to Trinity for maths, would they expect physics at A-Level?

*sorry for de-touring, I know OP is interested in Ox and not Camb*

Maths, further maths, French, German.

And no, they're not. Anything you look at on the Cambridge site (link) will tell you physics is "useful", but that's all.

Reply 6

15 years ago

Simplicity

I need some advice.

Firstly, I do have further maths to AS and will have the full A2 next year when I start year 13. However, I don't have an AS in physics so can't get the full A2, should I do a AS in physics this year? or don't they care?

I will be studying three subjects next year, and have study five this year. However, only three will be a A grade, Biology might be an A or could be a A and History could be a C. However, Psychology, mathematics and further mathematics will be an A.

If I get an A in biology should I carry this on to have four A2's. and plus add Physics to get four A2's and five AS's?

I look at mechanics stuff because I'm not doing statistics next year. Mechanics is easy.

Also, how do you prepare for the admission test? Should I just do the past papers. The past papers are weird, you need more then AS mathematics, for example D1.

I went to an Oxford open day and I got naff advice from the mathematics admission tutor, I asked how to prepare and he just said make sure you know all the AS material and practice past papers. I know C1 and C2 and I pretty sure linear programming is not in it, nor the crazy things with logs or the question involving vectors.

Also, since the admission test is multiple choice, can you just deduce the other anwsers are false.

P.S. Atleast I can get away with only doing STEP 1.

Firstly, I do have further maths to AS and will have the full A2 next year when I start year 13. However, I don't have an AS in physics so can't get the full A2, should I do a AS in physics this year? or don't they care?

I will be studying three subjects next year, and have study five this year. However, only three will be a A grade, Biology might be an A or could be a A and History could be a C. However, Psychology, mathematics and further mathematics will be an A.

If I get an A in biology should I carry this on to have four A2's. and plus add Physics to get four A2's and five AS's?

I look at mechanics stuff because I'm not doing statistics next year. Mechanics is easy.

Also, how do you prepare for the admission test? Should I just do the past papers. The past papers are weird, you need more then AS mathematics, for example D1.

I went to an Oxford open day and I got naff advice from the mathematics admission tutor, I asked how to prepare and he just said make sure you know all the AS material and practice past papers. I know C1 and C2 and I pretty sure linear programming is not in it, nor the crazy things with logs or the question involving vectors.

Also, since the admission test is multiple choice, can you just deduce the other anwsers are false.

P.S. Atleast I can get away with only doing STEP 1.

Is English your first language? If so, please take the time to write coherent sentences in future. This was a pretty horrible post to read. Anyway, back on topic:

With your A-levels, there is a very decent chance of getting an interview, particularly if you write a decent personal statement. Once you're at interview, I don't think your choice of subjects is really going to matter enormously. You're doing maths and further maths, which should be good enough. The really crucial points will be (1) The admissions test and (2) the interview(s). I screwed up my admissions test badly, and I'd like to attribute that to my lack of an offer, though obviously I can't say either way. Be prepared to have more than one interview for each college; my first choice college gave me three.

With regards to the admissions test, I'd just make sure you're very familiar with all the content in the first few modules, particularly pure. Trying STEP I questions might not be bad practice, it should at least get you used to doing non-standard questions. It's fine to falsify options in the multiple choice to arrive at your final answer. Beyond that, there's not much I can suggest. Just keep doing maths - you're applying to study it at a top university, so you should enjoy it.

Best of luck to you.

Reply 7

15 years ago

Only the first section is multiple choice, Then there are three larger non multiple choice questiones, the three larger questions have more marks, and it's unlikley you could guess your way through the multiple choice as all the answers usually (or certainly when i did it) are very similar, probably for that reason. STEP would probably provide good practise but i believe the only material needed is C1-C3. Difficulty terms it's probably not as difficult as STEP I but you must complete every question within 2 hours (no choice). For this reason i believe taking everything into account it maybe as difficult to get good marks on.

Simplicity

I need some advice.

Firstly, I do have further maths to AS and will have the full A2 next year when I start year 13. However, I don't have an AS in physics so can't get the full A2, should I do a AS in physics this year? or don't they care?

I will be studying three subjects next year, and have study five this year. However, only three will be a A grade, Biology might be an A or could be a A and History could be a C. However, Psychology, mathematics and further mathematics will be an A.

If I get an A in biology should I carry this on to have four A2's. and plus add Physics to get four A2's and five AS's?

I look at mechanics stuff because I'm not doing statistics next year. Mechanics is easy.

Also, how do you prepare for the admission test? Should I just do the past papers. The past papers are weird, you need more then AS mathematics, for example D1.

I went to an Oxford open day and I got naff advice from the mathematics admission tutor, I asked how to prepare and he just said make sure you know all the AS material and practice past papers. I know C1 and C2 and I pretty sure linear programming is not in it, nor the crazy things with logs or the question involving vectors.

Also, since the admission test is multiple choice, can you just deduce the other anwsers are false.

P.S. Atleast I can get away with only doing STEP 1.

Firstly, I do have further maths to AS and will have the full A2 next year when I start year 13. However, I don't have an AS in physics so can't get the full A2, should I do a AS in physics this year? or don't they care?

I will be studying three subjects next year, and have study five this year. However, only three will be a A grade, Biology might be an A or could be a A and History could be a C. However, Psychology, mathematics and further mathematics will be an A.

If I get an A in biology should I carry this on to have four A2's. and plus add Physics to get four A2's and five AS's?

I look at mechanics stuff because I'm not doing statistics next year. Mechanics is easy.

Also, how do you prepare for the admission test? Should I just do the past papers. The past papers are weird, you need more then AS mathematics, for example D1.

I went to an Oxford open day and I got naff advice from the mathematics admission tutor, I asked how to prepare and he just said make sure you know all the AS material and practice past papers. I know C1 and C2 and I pretty sure linear programming is not in it, nor the crazy things with logs or the question involving vectors.

Also, since the admission test is multiple choice, can you just deduce the other anwsers are false.

P.S. Atleast I can get away with only doing STEP 1.

Here goes:

1. Physics is not a requirement, but could be useful just to reinforce concepts of SHM etc.

2. 3 As is (generally) all you need - someone got 3As and 2Bs in my college, so it's OK to not do too well in the others, as long as it's not related to your Mathematical ability (e.g. They'd more likely ask an offer incl. Physics than incl. History, though it may be flexible - mine was '3As to include Mathematics and Further Mathematics').

3. I'm not sure what your point is about Mech and Stats. Just do as much as you can cope with - hopefully you'll find that you enjoy different branches of Maths.

4. The Admissions Test is designed to test aptitude, rather than pure knowledge, which is why the syllabus is limited to C1 and C2. As a result, you have to know these inside out and back to front, because the questions are tricky, even if on simpler material, in the time period provided. I was seriously rushing at the end of my paper (though, thankfully the question 5 in my year, which is often a slightly 'different' question, was really very easy).

5. Process of elimination might well be a good tactic for the multiple choice question, if you have little idea how to approach the question. Sometimes working through the problem in a more logical way might yield a quicker answer.

6. STEP has nothing to do with it. STEP is about ability, knowledge AND practice (unless you can grasp the style immediately, which is something very few people can). The Admissions Test is a test of aptitude and fluency in problem solving, which is not really the aim of STEP (as far as I can see, at least).

I hope that helps!

Henry T.

Sorry to dig this up, just thought I would use this thread instead of creating a new one. Anyway, I'm in a bit of a similar(ish) position as OP. This year (for AS) I did Maths, Geography, English Literature, Drama (and general studies), achieving AABA(A) respectively.

I'm taking up AS FM this year as I know that I am going to need that as a bare minimum to get in to a relatively good university. Just wondering what I should do in terms of enabling myself to get into a top uni to study maths. Should I attempt to do the full A-level in FM alongside A2 Maths, English Lit and Geography? Or should I apply to do a joint honours, combining maths with something more essay-based than maths (e.g. Economics)?

Thanks

I'm taking up AS FM this year as I know that I am going to need that as a bare minimum to get in to a relatively good university. Just wondering what I should do in terms of enabling myself to get into a top uni to study maths. Should I attempt to do the full A-level in FM alongside A2 Maths, English Lit and Geography? Or should I apply to do a joint honours, combining maths with something more essay-based than maths (e.g. Economics)?

Thanks

Reply 11

15 years ago

sorry. just thought i would also use this thread instead of making a new one. I have a B in AS maths and want to apply for computer science. My predicted grades for Maths, History and Geography are AAA and probably an A for AS further maths. I'm hoping to rely on the admissions test as an oppertunity to show that my B in AS maths (238/300) was bad luck. Is it worth applying?

El Noss

Sorry to dig this up, just thought I would use this thread instead of creating a new one. Anyway, I'm in a bit of a similar(ish) position as OP. This year (for AS) I did Maths, Geography, English Literature, Drama (and general studies), achieving AABA(A) respectively.

I'm taking up AS FM this year as I know that I am going to need that as a bare minimum to get in to a relatively good university. Just wondering what I should do in terms of enabling myself to get into a top uni to study maths. Should I attempt to do the full A-level in FM alongside A2 Maths, English Lit and Geography? Or should I apply to do a joint honours, combining maths with something more essay-based than maths (e.g. Economics)?

Thanks

I'm taking up AS FM this year as I know that I am going to need that as a bare minimum to get in to a relatively good university. Just wondering what I should do in terms of enabling myself to get into a top uni to study maths. Should I attempt to do the full A-level in FM alongside A2 Maths, English Lit and Geography? Or should I apply to do a joint honours, combining maths with something more essay-based than maths (e.g. Economics)?

Thanks

If you're applying for maths, do further maths! If you think you want to do maths at Uni, then why the hell haven't you taken it up already?

bt_1000

I'm doing to A2 Maths, FM and Politics Got aaaa at AS

Maths modules: C1-100,C2-97,C3-96,M1-100,S1-95

Will a STEP/AEA boost my application or is it not worth the trouble? Could it be part of my conditional offer?

Thanks

Maths modules: C1-100,C2-97,C3-96,M1-100,S1-95

Will a STEP/AEA boost my application or is it not worth the trouble? Could it be part of my conditional offer?

Thanks

You may as well do STEP, they're fun papers and supposedly good prep for Uni. you'll also need STEP for Warwick which would make a very good 2nd choice Uni. However at Oxford, it will not form part of any offer. It will also not boost your application as you won't have any grade in it until the summer you leave for Uni.

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