[Official] Cambridge Computer Science Applicants 2021

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bob ross 32
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Couldn't find one for this year
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bob ross 32
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This is basically lifted from the thread from last year. Couldn't find one for this year. "Use this forum as a medium to discuss".

To get started introduce yourself:
1) GCSE grades * can just list them in number for, 999888 etc *
2) A-levels being taken and predicted grades? (seems like there will be confusion surrounding this)
3) Why Cambridge?

UCAS specifically:
4) What other universities are you considering?
5) Which open days do you plan on attending?
6) What super/extra curricular activities are you doing to strengthen your application?
7) Thoughts about the CTMUA and how you're preparing?

Gonville & Caius, Peterhouse, Queens’, Robinson, St John's, Trinity, Wolfson all need CSAT as well
Last edited by bob ross 32; 1 month ago
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bob ross 32
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1) 9999999988 (+A in the FSMQ)
2) It's a source of great confusion - I think it will be something along these lines: A* Maths, A* Physics, A Economics, A/A* FM (I'm not sure if we will be having EOYs in September, but I didn't do great for the mocks for the mocks back in winter term, so ns if they will base it off that)
3) History, opportunities
4) Imperial, St Andrews/ Warwick/ Durham/ others, UCL
5) I've been to most of them, but plan on going to others online
6) I decided late, so not much - CS50; programming in C++, python; watching videos on AI and neural networks (3Blue1Brown is pretty nice). I'll try to find a book that ties in well.
7) Don't really mind it. I've recapped the A level content, and plan on starting questions that look at problem solving and stuff. I've been going to STEP and MAT sessions in school. I think I'll start doing past papers soon.
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the-metric-space
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1), 2) Here are my equivalent American credentials:
- AP scores: 5s on Calculus BC, Computer Science A, Physics C Mechanics, Physics C Electricity & Magnetism, Music Theory, Chinese
- SAT: 1580 (780 R+W, 800 math)
- SAT II: 800s on Math II, Chemistry, Physics
3) The prestige + study abroad experience + done in 3 years!
4) No others
5) Just the ones online this year
6) Applied mathematics research, studying data structures + algorithms, creating an app (and learning backend along the way)
7) It seems reasonable. I have a background in competition math (AMC/AIME) as well as discrete math so the content + time crunch is familiar.

Curious to know if anyone else is applying from the USA!
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S306
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1) 999999988 6(in art)
2) Maths A, Physics A*/A, Further Maths A*, Computer Science A*
3)Best opportunities, prestige.
4)St Andrews, Bristol, Warwick, Bath
5) Lots of online ones.
6) CS50, reading The Code Book, listening to podcasts, taking the Bebras challenge and doing a small project using C#
7) I'm going to do practice papers.
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bob ross 32
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Has anyone started the CTMUA revision yet, or are you going to start later. Ive sorta started, but im first recapping stuff from general maths.

Tbh I'm hoping to do all the CTMUA past papers. Does anyone know how relevant STEP and MAT questions in terms of revising for the CTMUA
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S306
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I'm starting over summer. I've done maybe 2 practice questions and they're doable but I'm finding I have to be very precise.
But idk about STEP and MAT
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sweeneyrod
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(Original post by bob ross 32)
Has anyone started the CTMUA revision yet, or are you going to start later. Ive sorta started, but im first recapping stuff from general maths.

Tbh I'm hoping to do all the CTMUA past papers. Does anyone know how relevant STEP and MAT questions in terms of revising for the CTMUA
STEP is not very relevant at all (it's much harder), I think MAT would be more useful especially the multiple choice questions. As well as the MAT, some UKMT maths challenge questions might be relevant.
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drvramachandran
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Could you advice regarding the criteria used by Cambridge university for selecting the applicants to be shortlisted for the interviews.

Do they look at the GCSE subject A* , predicted ALevel A* or subject choices ?

Are there any advice / tips to improve the chances of being shortlisted for the interviews
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S306
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(Original post by drvramachandran)
Could you advice regarding the criteria used by Cambridge university for selecting the applicants to be shortlisted for the interviews.

Do they look at the GCSE subject A* , predicted ALevel A* or subject choices ?

Are there any advice / tips to improve the chances of being shortlisted for the interviews
I don't know, but on the open day, they said about 80% of applicants get an interview.
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sweeneyrod
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(Original post by drvramachandran)
Could you advice regarding the criteria used by Cambridge university for selecting the applicants to be shortlisted for the interviews.

Do they look at the GCSE subject A* , predicted ALevel A* or subject choices ?

Are there any advice / tips to improve the chances of being shortlisted for the interviews
They try to interview everyone who realistically has a chance of getting in. So if you have a profile like A*A*A predictions in appropriate subjects and GCSEs that suggest those predictions are realistic then you should get an interview unless you do badly on the CTMUA. If it is weaker in some areas (e.g. bad GCSEs, no A-level Further Maths) then you might need to be stronger in others to compensate. The only thing that you can't compensate for is not having the required A-level Maths. Although bear in mind that these factors are still considered post-interview, so it's worth making your application as strong as you can (in particular, try to get your teachers to give you the highest predictions you can, preferably all A*).
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Bowzer4649
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1) 9999999888 +A in FSMQ
2) Maths A* FM A* Physics A* Chemistry A predictions
3) Great city + opens lots of opportunities for the future.
4) Haven't decided on others yet but probably Warwick and somewhere in London also seem very good.
5) Online open days
6) Did an EPQ project on machine learning/ neural networks+ like reading articles on AI.
7) Practise questions from TMUA but there aren't many available so might have a look at MAT as well as they seem quite similar.
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R T
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If anyone here is looking to do some summer practice/ (kind of) interview prep while also learning something, I definitely recommend learning some of the background and basics of neural networks (specifically backpropagation).

The nice thing about this is that it is accessible - even at a more detailed level - simply with a bit of calculus knowledge. In fact you can even derive a lot of the results yourself after reading some high level descriptions of how it works in industry.

Further to this, there are some really excellent resources that have come out in the last few years centralised around it.


If your interest goes beyond just the Mathematical concept and you'd like to do some hands-on examples related to programming, I'd definitely recommend the youtube channel Fireship. (I'm sure there are some more great examples). I point to Fireship mainly because its modern, relevant and has good implementation. 3blue1brown also has a great video outlining the process of backpropagation from a Mathematical standpoint.

As a bonus, I'd imagine whatever you choose to look at would probably be a great topic for a short paragraph in the personal statement.


If neural networks aren't new to you or are a bit meh - I'd probably recommend looking at similar things in graph databases (really, neo4j). A proper appreciation of what's going on here involves set theory which is Uni-level maths, but I think a bright 17 year old could probably pick up some set theory concepts anyway.
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