chloe402
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I’m thinking about applying to Cambridge in October for physical natural sciences and physics elsewhere. The problem is, I haven’t taken further maths despite my school offering it and there is no chance of me doing the AS. I know it’s not technically a requirement and hopefully I’ll be predicted A*A*A* (maths, physics, chemistry), but how much of a disadvantage will I be at if without further maths? I emailed the admissions and they just repeated what was on the website (“it’s useful”) but does anyone know of anyone who got in without fm or has the stats of people getting in without it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by chloe402)
I’m thinking about applying to Cambridge in October for physical natural sciences and physics elsewhere. The problem is, I haven’t taken further maths despite my school offering it and there is no chance of me doing the AS. I know it’s not technically a requirement and hopefully I’ll be predicted A*A*A* (maths, physics, chemistry), but how much of a disadvantage will I be at if without further maths? I emailed the admissions and they just repeated what was on the website (“it’s useful”) but does anyone know of anyone who got in without fm or has the stats of people getting in without it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
It sounds like you're leaning towards the 'physics' side of physical natsci, and in that case FM really is rather ubiquitous. Not doing it doesn't preclude you making a competitive application, but you might find it a bit harder going. That aside, plenty of applicants receive offers for physical NatSci without FM, so don't feel it's game over.

Have a look at this FOI from 2019 for physical NatSci applicants and offer holders. It's messy and you'll have to go through the data carefully, but it shows offer holders and their A level subjects. You'll see that FM is common, but by no means universal.
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chloe402
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Thank you! i have scoured through the data and it seems there is only 2 instances with no further maths (for UK candidates)...😕 I'd also assume that was either due to extenuating circumstances or the school doesn't offer it, seems unlikely now. Does anyone know if there's a website where I can self teach myself AS level further maths and take the A level on the fairly cheap side?
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sweeneyrod
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(Original post by chloe402)
Thank you! i have scoured through the data and it seems there is only 2 instances with no further maths (for UK candidates)...😕 I'd also assume that was either due to extenuating circumstances or the school doesn't offer it, seems unlikely now. Does anyone know if there's a website where I can self teach myself AS level further maths and take the A level on the fairly cheap side?
The Cambridge maths department has a few suggestions here (FM is now mandatory for maths even if your school doesn't offer it).
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Reality Check
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(Original post by chloe402)
Thank you! i have scoured through the data and it seems there is only 2 instances with no further maths (for UK candidates)...😕 I'd also assume that was either due to extenuating circumstances or the school doesn't offer it, seems unlikely now. Does anyone know if there's a website where I can self teach myself AS level further maths and take the A level on the fairly cheap side?
Probably the latter (i.e. the school didn't offer it).

Muttley79 knows a shed ton about teaching FM where no school provision exists. I've tagged her in for you.

By the way, if you want me to know that you've responded to a post, please make sure you either tag me using the @ sign or just press 'reply' to the message.
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Theloniouss
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It would certainly be advisable to take FM. As you've observed it's rare to get in without it.

I think there are programmes for schools who don't run FM to offer it to students - I'm not sure if they extend to schools that do offer FM. Otherwise, I would say teaching yourself FM from the textbooks isn't impossible (although it certainly isn't easy).
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artful_lounger
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The AMSP (formerly FMSP) aims to increase participation in A-level FM among other things, and may have some useful information on how you may be able to take FM. Its website is here: https://amsp.org.uk/

That said, a lot of their outreach stuff is focused more on students who are going to schools that don't offer FM, so I don't know if there are eligibility requirements for some of their services...
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Muttley79
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(Original post by chloe402)
Thank you! i have scoured through the data and it seems there is only 2 instances with no further maths (for UK candidates)...😕 I'd also assume that was either due to extenuating circumstances or the school doesn't offer it, seems unlikely now. Does anyone know if there's a website where I can self teach myself AS level further maths and take the A level on the fairly cheap side?
Thanks for the tag Reality Check

I'm confused as to why your school won't let you sit in on lessons; will they mark work for you? In my previous school I taught FMaths is my non-contact time to prove we had enough demand for it .

AMSP wont help if your school already offers FM.

The best website [and its free!] is this: https://www.drfrostmaths.com/sow.php...2017&term=Main
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chloe402
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Thanks for the tag Reality Check

I'm confused as to why your school won't let you sit in on lessons; will they mark work for you? In my previous school I taught FMaths is my non-contact time to prove we had enough demand for it .

AMSP wont help if your school already offers FM.

The best website [and its free!] is this: https://www.drfrostmaths.com/sow.php...2017&term=Main
Do you think Cambridge would still look at my application unfavourably if I have taught myself the knowledge even though I don't actually have a qualification?
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by chloe402)
Do you think Cambridge would still look at my application unfavourably if I have taught myself the knowledge even though I don't actually have a qualification?
How will you demonstrate you have the knowledge without sitting the qualification?
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Muttley79
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(Original post by chloe402)
Do you think Cambridge would still look at my application unfavourably if I have taught myself the knowledge even though I don't actually have a qualification?
Why not sit the exam though? No, I doubt it.
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chloe402
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Why not sit the exam though? No, I doubt it.
How would I do that as a private candidate (I've looked online and though there are loads of self teach resources, there's no information as to how to actually sit the exam. Also, how would I obtain a predicted grade?
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chloe402
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
How will you demonstrate you have the knowledge without sitting the qualification?
Through the interview. Also, side note on this, if I get a really good NSAA score and ace the interview, how do you think my chances look compared to someone who does have fm and perhaps didn't do quite as well on the assessment/interview?
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by chloe402)
Through the interview. Also, side note on this, if I get a really good NSAA score and ace the interview, how do you think my chances look compared to someone who does have fm and perhaps didn't do quite as well on the assessment/interview?
The interviews are significantly shorter than the A (or AS) level exams, and they don't tend to test your ability to do exam content (that's what exams are for). If you learn the content I'm not sure why you can't sit the exam?

It's hard to say. Different colleges presumably look for different attributes, and your application is evaluated holistically not in parts. (Also, haven't they restructured the NSAA this year? No more advanced maths/physics section, which prevents you from demonstrating FM knowledge)
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Muttley79
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(Original post by chloe402)
How would I do that as a private candidate (I've looked online and though there are loads of self teach resources, there's no information as to how to actually sit the exam. Also, how would I obtain a predicted grade?
Won't your school enter you for the exam? Start work now and teachers will have some evidence - why can't they let you join classes in school?
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chloe402
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
The interviews are significantly shorter than the A (or AS) level exams, and they don't tend to test your ability to do exam content (that's what exams are for). If you learn the content I'm not sure why you can't sit the exam?

It's hard to say. Different colleges presumably look for different attributes, and your application is evaluated holistically not in parts. (Also, haven't they restructured the NSAA this year? No more advanced maths/physics section, which prevents you from demonstrating FM knowledge)
The 2 sections are now multiple choice - s1 you have to do maths and one of bio/chem/phys but in s2 you do 1 of advanced chem/advanced phys/advanced bio
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by chloe402)
The 2 sections are now multiple choice - s1 you have to do maths and one of bio/chem/phys but in s2 you do 1 of advanced chem/advanced phys/advanced bio
Yeah, so you're definitely going to have to sit the exam if you want evidence you've learned the content.
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chloe402
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
Yeah, so you're definitely going to have to sit the exam if you want evidence you've learned the content.
Without fm, do you think there's even any point applying then?
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by chloe402)
Without fm, do you think there's even any point applying then?
What's stopping you from sitting FM?

There's no point not applying in my opinion. If you meet the grades you should apply.
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chloe402
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
What's stopping you from sitting FM?

There's no point not applying in my opinion. If you meet the grades you should apply.
I can teach myself the knowledge - it may only be possible to do AS given the time frame though this demonstrates my capability to some extent - but I don't have the information or funding as to how to actually sit the exam as I previously said - though there are loads of self teach resources there's little resources on how to actually become a private candidate!
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