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###### Maths or NatSci at cambridge

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15 years ago

I'm still trying to figure out whether to do a physics based natsci or a maths application for cambridge, i need some help figuring out which would be better with my current UMS

all my ums are in my sig.

In my opinion, my maths is too far below what cambridge expect for their maths courses,

but chemistry could act as a real drag on the natsci

is there a way i can make them ignore the chemistry and focus on the physics/maths grades for natsci?

would it be worth saying im resitting chemistry?

because i had an awful fluke of bad luck on the actual exam

and if not........any input? anyone

all my ums are in my sig.

In my opinion, my maths is too far below what cambridge expect for their maths courses,

but chemistry could act as a real drag on the natsci

is there a way i can make them ignore the chemistry and focus on the physics/maths grades for natsci?

would it be worth saying im resitting chemistry?

because i had an awful fluke of bad luck on the actual exam

and if not........any input? anyone

I would suggest applying for what you want to do rather than what you think you have the best chance of getting in for. If you want to study Physics then obviously both options apply, it's then a matter of deciding which of Maths and Physical Sciences appeals to you most or if a straight physics course would be better.

For entry through Maths and Natural Sciences more people recieve offers for Maths, but more fail to meet them because of STEP so it depends on how confident you would feel about meeting the conditions.

For entry through Maths and Natural Sciences more people recieve offers for Maths, but more fail to meet them because of STEP so it depends on how confident you would feel about meeting the conditions.

Reply 3

15 years ago

I am rather inclined to agree with Phlebas.

there are several points that you do need to consider.

(i) why cambridge in the first place?

Don't get me wrong, I really do think it is an outstanding place of study; for the right person

(ii) I have no idea about your level of ability, so this is not to put you off. Successful Math applicants are superb at maths. I don't mean that they simply get a grade A in Maths and Further Maths, I really mean that they have something very, very special in this discipline. I have taught the subject for many years, and in honesty, most of the students get an A grade, and indeed many go on to study at oxford or cambridge (mainly eng,phys,natsci); however the students who have successfully gained a place for mathematics have, without fail, been quite simply exceptional... students with a real PASSION for the subject, students who really go so far beyond the syllabus for no other reason than that they want to, Students who can teach me something, Students who I recognize as having an insight that cannot be taught. I run STEP tutorials, and can answer the questions because I have a degree in maths and a lot of practice, the students I tutor can answer STEP questions because they have raw ability.

(iii) most of the NAtsci/engineering students could have a fair stab at STEP too, but their real area of passion lies elsewhere. they are students who read way outside the mere bounds of the syllabus, and they do this because they genuinely want to, not to simply support an application.

so, the reality, oxbridge want the best, the academic elite. If you fit the bill then give it a shot.

there are several points that you do need to consider.

(i) why cambridge in the first place?

Don't get me wrong, I really do think it is an outstanding place of study; for the right person

(ii) I have no idea about your level of ability, so this is not to put you off. Successful Math applicants are superb at maths. I don't mean that they simply get a grade A in Maths and Further Maths, I really mean that they have something very, very special in this discipline. I have taught the subject for many years, and in honesty, most of the students get an A grade, and indeed many go on to study at oxford or cambridge (mainly eng,phys,natsci); however the students who have successfully gained a place for mathematics have, without fail, been quite simply exceptional... students with a real PASSION for the subject, students who really go so far beyond the syllabus for no other reason than that they want to, Students who can teach me something, Students who I recognize as having an insight that cannot be taught. I run STEP tutorials, and can answer the questions because I have a degree in maths and a lot of practice, the students I tutor can answer STEP questions because they have raw ability.

(iii) most of the NAtsci/engineering students could have a fair stab at STEP too, but their real area of passion lies elsewhere. they are students who read way outside the mere bounds of the syllabus, and they do this because they genuinely want to, not to simply support an application.

so, the reality, oxbridge want the best, the academic elite. If you fit the bill then give it a shot.

Reply 4

15 years ago

And here's the lesson you learn when you don't post in the correct forum. If any clued up Cambridge people had seen this they'd have told you that Cam run a course called Maths and (with?) Physics.

MB

MB

Inclined to agree that with regards the question the maths and physics course is applying for maths, as that would be the tripos you are under the umbrella of in your time here for first year.

However OP, your UMS for maths don't worry about. If you have genuine passion for maths over the other sciences; go for it.

If you consider maths and physics option; you would get a physics interview - and will have more scope in showing passion.

Essentially apply for what you want to do - your grades are not really worth worrying about!

However OP, your UMS for maths don't worry about. If you have genuine passion for maths over the other sciences; go for it.

If you consider maths and physics option; you would get a physics interview - and will have more scope in showing passion.

Essentially apply for what you want to do - your grades are not really worth worrying about!

Reply 7

15 years ago

would my ums grades be ok for natural sciences (see sig for grades)

You don't want to enter the Maths Tripos without really having a passion for the subject. I barely survived the Natsci B maths course as part of first-year compsci (although admittedly I didn't have FM). I cannot imagine spending ALL my time manipulating eigenvalues and constructing bijections into power sets

Reply 9

15 years ago

SunderX

constructing bijections into power sets

that's the best bit!

Reply 10

15 years ago

Andy H

If you consider maths and physics option; you would get a physics interview - and will have more scope in showing passion.

I applied for Maths with Physics, both my interviews were entirely mathematical. No physics question whatsoever. (Actually all their letters and email said just "Mathematics", almost as if they ignored the "with Physics" part of the application) Mind you, that's probably only true for Emma.

However, I'm planning on dropping the "with physics" option when I actually get there anyway

Anyway here's some info from the University's website http://www.maths.cam.ac.uk/undergrad/documentation/mathswithphysics/text.pdf:

Mathematics with Physics is a ﬁrst year course only. At the end of the ﬁrst year, you can

either continue with the Mathematical Tripos or change to the Natural Sciences Tripos

(Advanced Physics and Mathematics options, for example) for the remaining two years

of your BA degree.

You may want to consider the Mathematics with Physics option if either:

• you are mathematically inclined but intend to study theoretical physics;

or

• you are not sure whether to specialise in mathematics or in physics.

You should not apply for Mathematics with Physics on the grounds that it sounds less

mathematical than the Pure and Applied Mathematics option: the mathematical criteria

for admissions to these two options are the same.

If you are not particularly mathematically inclined, or if you want to study two other

experimental subjects besides physics (chemistry, for example) as well as mathematics,

then you should consider applying instead to study Natural Sciences.

either continue with the Mathematical Tripos or change to the Natural Sciences Tripos

(Advanced Physics and Mathematics options, for example) for the remaining two years

of your BA degree.

You may want to consider the Mathematics with Physics option if either:

• you are mathematically inclined but intend to study theoretical physics;

or

• you are not sure whether to specialise in mathematics or in physics.

You should not apply for Mathematics with Physics on the grounds that it sounds less

mathematical than the Pure and Applied Mathematics option: the mathematical criteria

for admissions to these two options are the same.

If you are not particularly mathematically inclined, or if you want to study two other

experimental subjects besides physics (chemistry, for example) as well as mathematics,

then you should consider applying instead to study Natural Sciences.

Speleo

Ignore the people above getting a bit too excited about maths students, you don't have to be that good.

QFT.

I know some very good mathematicians at Cambridge but it certainly is not true that you have to be a genius to get an offer. A guy in the year above me got an offer for maths with physics - he went on to scrape an A in further maths by only a few marks, and got 3, U in STEP II and III. I'm sure quite a few offer holders do this/similar things each year.

You might want to consider 'maths with physics' as has been said, though I'm told the workload is quite a bit heavier than maths or NatSci. Might as well give the application a go - it's only one place out of five .

^

The maths workload is generally fairly low, the physical natsci workload is generally fairly high, maths with physics is somewhere in between I'd say. It depends a bit on your college too, I believe some make you do all of IA maths as well as the physics modules.

The maths workload is generally fairly low, the physical natsci workload is generally fairly high, maths with physics is somewhere in between I'd say. It depends a bit on your college too, I believe some make you do all of IA maths as well as the physics modules.

I think it's been mentioned in threads before that if you want to do 1B maths after 1A maths and physics, you'll realistically have to attend all of the 1A maths lectures as well as the physics stuff, so you'll effectively be doing 125% of a degree in the first year.

I don't really understand the appeal of the maths with physics course. If you want to go on to do 1B Maths then by the sounds of it you'll be behind everyone else despite taking on a larger workload. And all you'll have gained is 1A Physics which quite frankly is something which someone could quite easily pick up especially if they have done a couple of years of degree Maths. And by the sounds of it you'd get enough Physics out of some of the applied Maths courses to easily surpass 1A Physics.

If you do switch to 1B Physics, it seems a lot of work to be in roughly the same position as those who did 1A NatSci (unless you found Maths particularly easy). You'll probably be stronger in Maths then most the NatSci's which I imagine wouldhelp for the TP courses but you'll have only done the first year of Maths so it's bound not to stretch that far. But then again I don't know much about the 1A Maths course.

If you do switch to 1B Physics, it seems a lot of work to be in roughly the same position as those who did 1A NatSci (unless you found Maths particularly easy). You'll probably be stronger in Maths then most the NatSci's which I imagine wouldhelp for the TP courses but you'll have only done the first year of Maths so it's bound not to stretch that far. But then again I don't know much about the 1A Maths course.

Reply 17

15 years ago

Eye

I don't really understand the appeal of the maths with physics course. If you want to go on to do 1B Maths then by the sounds of it you'll be behind everyone else despite taking on a larger workload. And all you'll have gained is 1A Physics which quite frankly is something which someone could quite easily pick up especially if they have done a couple of years of degree Maths. And by the sounds of it you'd get enough Physics out of some of the applied Maths courses to easily surpass 1A Physics.

If you do switch to 1B Physics, it seems a lot of work to be in roughly the same position as those who did 1A NatSci (unless you found Maths particularly easy). You'll probably be stronger in Maths then most the NatSci's which I imagine wouldhelp for the TP courses but you'll have only done the first year of Maths so it's bound not to stretch that far. But then again I don't know much about the 1A Maths course.

If you do switch to 1B Physics, it seems a lot of work to be in roughly the same position as those who did 1A NatSci (unless you found Maths particularly easy). You'll probably be stronger in Maths then most the NatSci's which I imagine wouldhelp for the TP courses but you'll have only done the first year of Maths so it's bound not to stretch that far. But then again I don't know much about the 1A Maths course.

I haven't started there yet, but from what I gathered from the website you get to do stuff about electromagnetism and waves, and also the experimental course as part of the "with physics" option. However, you get to do much more mechanics as part of the Dynamics course in Part IA of maths without physics (and I heard they're gonna put Special Relativity into Maths Part IA from this year onwards too), and then you can later do some theoretical EM and waves stuff in Part IB maths anyway, which is why I think I'm gonna pass on the "with physics" option. (To me, the appeal of the "with physics" option is the opportunity to do some experimental work, but I figured that I'm actually not that keen on experimental physics )

Someone who had actually done the course before would probably have more accurate info than I do though

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