Is it worth applying to Cambridge in this situation+LNAT question

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SZ159
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So I am taking a gap year and already have my A level results. I am applying to universities again this year through UCAS but have a couple of questions.

Basically for all my other university choices I meet the entry requirements “contextually” however I am feeling a bit ambitious and may try to apply to Cambridge. The problem is I am one grade short of the standard requirement for Cambridge (I have an A* and an A but no A in my 3rd subject) so therefore I will need to take an exam in the summer if I am doing that. However I don’t want this to jeopardise my other university choices, if I enter a qualification as ‘pending’ on UCAS, my other universities may want me to take an exam for that particular subject when if I hadn’t done that I may have gotten in with my current grades. This is largely because I am assuming that if you have a chance to get better grades the university would largely give you an offer on the based on that, despite me meeting contextual lower grade requirements the year before I applied, standard requirements for Law are A*AA or AAA however last year some universities gave me two grade lower contextual offers, problem is I meet the A* and A requirement however I don’t have an A in my 3rd subject so therefore as opposed to giving me a contextual offer the uni could potentially ask me to take an exam.

Moreover if I am applying to Cambridge I will be applying without a predicted grade in my 3rd subject despite me having already having attained an A* and an A? Is it worth applying like this? Will I be advantaged\disadvantaged.

If I do this I’ll have to study for the LNAT which I have to take by October 15th. I am aware it is not required for Cambridge however I’ll have to take this for my other choices. And the problem is I haven’t studied for it yet, is it possible to study for the LNAT within 20 days of solid revision, say around 4-6 hours per day and like 7 hours leading up to the final days.

I basically can apply for Cambridge why I do aspire, however due to this my entire application may be impacted as in, I’ll have to prepare for the LNAT within a month and I may have to enter a qualification as ‘pending’ on UCAS in which universities may want me to take exam whereas if I had not they may have given me the lower requirement which I had last year.

I really need advice here I would appreciate if anyone has any tips, thank you.
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J_Harber
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In truth you will be disadvantaged applying Cambridge if you haven't met the grade requirements, that doesn't mean it isn't worth applying though. If you wanted to give yourself the best chance then I would suggest retaking the exam in the third subject and then reapplying afterwards. This would obviously mean waiting another year, so it depends how much you care about submitting a strong application to Cambridge
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hajima
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You won’t be ruled out but you’re not exactly competitive. Cambridge likes students that achieve their grades in one sitting, it is very unlikely you will be accepted.
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SZ159
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(Original post by hajima)
You won’t be ruled out but you’re not exactly competitive. Cambridge likes students that achieve their grades in one sitting, it is very unlikely you will be accepted.
Ah, this year grades were awarded a bit differently, so I am not sure if their ‘one sitting’ procedure may apply this year. I’ll definitely try to review my options. Also since I already meet 2\3 of their grade requirements do you not think this may possibly be an advantage over others, as they would have three predicted A level grades whilst I would have two already obtained, I could be reading too much into this though. Thanks for the reply.
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Paralove
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Can you not sit that subject in October?

It is slightly different this year because you never actually sat the exams but if you just have the one exam to come in the summer then that is a year not having to do that much... Which may be more of a concern. What else are you planning to do in this coming year?
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2500_2
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(Original post by SZ159)
So I am taking a gap year and already have my A level results. I am applying to universities again this year through UCAS but have a couple of questions.

Basically for all my other university choices I meet the entry requirements “contextually” however I am feeling a bit ambitious and may try to apply to Cambridge. The problem is I am one grade short of the standard requirement for Cambridge (I have an A* and an A but no A in my 3rd subject) so therefore I will need to take an exam in the summer if I am doing that. However I don’t want this to jeopardise my other university choices, if I enter a qualification as ‘pending’ on UCAS, my other universities may want me to take an exam for that particular subject when if I hadn’t done that I may have gotten in with my current grades. This is largely because I am assuming that if you have a chance to get better grades the university would largely give you an offer on the based on that, despite me meeting contextual lower grade requirements the year before I applied, standard requirements for Law are A*AA or AAA however last year some universities gave me two grade lower contextual offers, problem is I meet the A* and A requirement however I don’t have an A in my 3rd subject so therefore as opposed to giving me a contextual offer the uni could potentially ask me to take an exam.

Moreover if I am applying to Cambridge I will be applying without a predicted grade in my 3rd subject despite me having already having attained an A* and an A? Is it worth applying like this? Will I be advantaged\disadvantaged.

If I do this I’ll have to study for the LNAT which I have to take by October 15th. I am aware it is not required for Cambridge however I’ll have to take this for my other choices. And the problem is I haven’t studied for it yet, is it possible to study for the LNAT within 20 days of solid revision, say around 4-6 hours per day and like 7 hours leading up to the final days.

I basically can apply for Cambridge why I do aspire, however due to this my entire application may be impacted as in, I’ll have to prepare for the LNAT within a month and I may have to enter a qualification as ‘pending’ on UCAS in which universities may want me to take exam whereas if I had not they may have given me the lower requirement which I had last year.

I really need advice here I would appreciate if anyone has any tips, thank you.
Retaking an exam in 2021 summer is seen by SOME universities as a retake (not if you take it in autumn 2020, although you've now missed the deadline for that anyway). You'd need to check with the ones you are applying to individually. If you retake... Cambridge says: "we would be concerned about an applicant who is retaking... unless this number of retakes was justified by circumstances beyond the applicant’s control and explained in their UCAS reference and/or Extenuating Circumstances Form."
You'd still need a reference and a predicted grade, this would normally come from your school in a gap year.

Edited to say: I'm not an expert on LNAT but I thought you could sit it AFTER submitting your UCAS application?
Last edited by 2500_2; 2 months ago
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SZ159
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(Original post by 2500_2)
Retaking an exam in 2021 summer is seen by SOME universities as a retake (not if you take it in autumn 2020, although you've now missed the deadline for that anyway). You'd need to check with the ones you are applying to individually. If you retake... Cambridge says: "we would be concerned about an applicant who is retaking... unless this number of retakes was justified by circumstances beyond the applicant’s control and explained in their UCAS reference and/or Extenuating Circumstances Form."
You'd still need a reference and a predicted grade, this would normally come from your school in a gap year.

Edited to say: I'm not an expert on LNAT but I thought you could sit it AFTER submitting your UCAS application?
thanks for your reply. I know Cambridge has said that but have they said this in response to COVID situation. Also I am sure autumn and summer 2021 would surely count as retakes would they both not as you still sit the exams after the grades are awarded? I mean yes waiting the entire year gives you more time, but you still are taking an exam after you were given a grade for it. I originally assumed that taking an exam wasn’t a retake as the teacher gave the predicted grade and since I haven’t sat an exam for it, it wouldn’t be considered a ‘retake’ in the traditional sense whereas had I attempted an exam twice then that would be a retake. I’ll try emailing the universities
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SZ159
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(Original post by Paralove)
Can you not sit that subject in October?

It is slightly different this year because you never actually sat the exams but if you just have the one exam to come in the summer then that is a year not having to do that much... Which may be more of a concern. What else are you planning to do in this coming year?
Well the October deadline has passed and to be honest after a long quarantine break I would rather not risk studying for 2 months and get a bad grade whereas if I can study for it the whole year I am more likely to get a better grade.
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Doones
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(Original post by SZ159)
Well the October deadline has passed and to be honest after a long quarantine break I would rather not risk studying for 2 months and get a bad grade whereas if I can study for it the whole year I am more likely to get a better grade.
Wait for Cambridge to update its guidance on Summer "resits"..

I tend to be of a similar view to Paralove on this that a summer exam gives you a full year to bump up your grade so makes you less competitive, BUT if Oxford is saying you won't be disadvantaged then I imagine Cambridge will follow suit.
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SZ159
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(Original post by Doones)
Wait for Cambridge to update its guidance on Summer "resits"..

I tend to be of a similar view to Paralove on this that a summer exam gives you a full year to bump up your grade so makes you less competitive, BUT if Oxford is saying you won't be disadvantaged then I imagine Cambridge will follow suit.
Thanks for the reply. I recently emailed Cambridge about this, they stated they will do everything they can to " minimise the impact on the 2021 admission cycle", they further stated that they will soon publish their stance regarding the summer 2021 examinations on their website and told me to keep checking it frequently. Not sure if there is anything worth of noting here, but we will see I suppose
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Doones
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(Original post by SZ159)
Thanks for the reply. I recently emailed Cambridge about this, they stated they will do everything they can to " minimise the impact on the 2021 admission cycle", they further stated that they will soon publish their stance regarding the summer 2021 examinations on their website and told me to keep checking it frequently. Not sure if there is anything worth of noting here, but we will see I suppose
I think if you are taking the "gap year" to work or travel or otherwise expand your horizons, plus "resiting" it would be more academically impressive than just dedicating your time to the resits. if you see what I mean...
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SZ159
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(Original post by Doones)
I think if you are taking the "gap year" to work or travel or otherwise expand your horizons, plus "resiting" it would be more academically impressive than just dedicating your time to the resits. if you see what I mean...
I completely understand, I am not sure if this is worthy of noting. But I did attend a fairly deprived school, and as both my parents are ill I probably will have to provide support for the entire family in terms of work this year as well, I plan on doing multiple work experience programs too, I am not sure if those factors will be enough though, but I am trying to do everything within my power to keep myself occupied besides just 'resitting'.
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Doones
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(Original post by SZ159)
I completely understand, I am not sure if this is worthy of noting. But I did attend a fairly deprived school, and as both my parents are ill I probably will have to provide support for the entire family in terms of work this year as well, I plan on doing multiple work experience programs too, I am not sure if those factors will be enough though, but I am trying to do everything within my power to keep myself occupied besides just 'resitting'.
Your circumstances should definitely be mentioned, either in the SAQ or the ECF.

And it sounds like you have exactly the right approach.

Good luck!
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soma.mehmood
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I am in the exact same situation as you. I was given A*AB and I’m taking one exam in summer 2021 because I was unhappy with the grade. I also applied to Cambridge. I emailed them a while ago and they said I wouldn’t be disadvantaged but after reading the replies in this thread I’m concerned that I will be
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SZ159
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(Original post by soma.mehmood)
I am in the exact same situation as you. I was given A*AB and I’m taking one exam in summer 2021 because I was unhappy with the grade. I also applied to Cambridge. I emailed them a while ago and they said I wouldn’t be disadvantaged but after reading the replies in this thread I’m concerned that I will be
Hi sorry for the late reply. I am sure you won’t be disadvantaged, I ended up emailing them too and they said the same thing. Because of COVID, this year is different so I doubt you will be disadvantaged especially since the university themselves have said you won’t be disadvantaged. Best of luck to you, I hope it works out!
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soma.mehmood
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(Original post by SZ159)
Hi sorry for the late reply. I am sure you won’t be disadvantaged, I ended up emailing them too and they said the same thing. Because of COVID, this year is different so I doubt you will be disadvantaged especially since the university themselves have said you won’t be disadvantaged. Best of luck to you, I hope it works out!
Thank you so much! Good luck to you too x
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