The Student Room Group

Reapplying to Cambridge Maths?

Hello everyone, I am a international student who have applied to Cambridge maths. However, I have been rejected before Interview. Currently, I have an offer from Warwick maths. But, I am really confident to get A*A*A* in maths, further maths and physics, also grade S in both STEP 2 and 3. Considering I have several gold medals in national mathematics competitions, I am confident to get an offer next year if I achieved grade S in both STEP papers. However, does it worth a more year to reapply to Cambridge? Also, my English is really bad(7.0 overall in IELTS, R 7.5, W 6.5, L 7.5, S 6.5), will it disadvantage my application seriously? I am not sure whether I can attain Cambridge English requirements before UCAS deadline. Or should just go to Warwick and apply to Cambridge part iii later?
Warwick is an excellent university for maths; I'd accept the Warwick offer.

Even if you get the grades you're hoping to get, there's no guarantee that you'd get an offer from Cambridge if you re-applied - especially if your English is "really bad".

(BTW, if your post here is anything to go by, your written English is far better than many for whom it is their first language.)
I'm quite surprised you were rejected pre-interview from Cambridge, unless you fell into the trap of applying to Trinity which is the single most oversubscribed college for maths (despite teaching other than supervisions being delivered centrally and thus being uncoupled from the college system except for supervisions - which you may receive at other colleges regardless). Even if you did, applicants are normally advised if they are reapplying to apply to a different college than the first time anyway, so that should avoid that problem (provided you don't apply to the second most competitive college for maths, St Johns, where you may run into the same problem - I think virtually any other college would likely interview you though, and if you get interviewed you can be pooled, which is the important thing!).

As above though, Warwick is also excellent for maths and generally considered on par with Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial within the UK for the subject, so it's certainly not a bad option. You just need to weigh the benefits and downsides of giving up that offer to reapply to Cambridge (given that even with hindsight, there is no guarantee you will get an offer even if you are interviewed).

I don't know if you'd need to resit STEP as well - @Peterhouse Admissions may know how STEP results are dealt with for maths reapplicants, whether they can/do use the previous years ones or if you need to resit it. Hopefully the former since you have excellent results in it!

edit: sorry I thought you already had done STEP. As noted there really is no guarantee you can get S grades in both, and even getting 1,1 is challenging (that's the standard offer, and about half of Cambridge offer holders fail to achieve that condition!).
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by 30000thx
Hello everyone, I am a international student who have applied to Cambridge maths. However, I have been rejected before Interview. Currently, I have an offer from Warwick maths. But, I am really confident to get A*A*A* in maths, further maths and physics, also grade S in both STEP 2 and 3. Considering I have several gold medals in national mathematics competitions, I am confident to get an offer next year if I achieved grade S in both STEP papers. However, does it worth a more year to reapply to Cambridge? Also, my English is really bad(7.0 overall in IELTS, R 7.5, W 6.5, L 7.5, S 6.5), will it disadvantage my application seriously? I am not sure whether I can attain Cambridge English requirements before UCAS deadline. Or should just go to Warwick and apply to Cambridge part iii later?

I'd go to Warwick and apply to Cambridge post grad if you wish. There' s no guarantee you'll get S grades in STEP nor that you'll get an offer.
(edited 1 year ago)
Hi there!

While I agree with @Muttley79 and @artful_lounger that getting S, S is a big risk, if you did get these grades, we would not ask you to resit. If you got S,1 or 1,1, we might ask you to resit one or both papers.
Reply 5
Thanks. It sounds like a good idea to reapply if I could get SS in STEP. I would try to do it!
Reply 6
I know this message is late, but hopefully there is still some value in this. I'll recount my personal experience, then I'll give my opinions.

I had the same experience, I had applied to trinity for maths as a student in France and had been rejected before the interview. The grades weren't too impressive outside of the main subjects, but I was confident that they would improve. I didn't have your same level of results, I definitely had talent but never really did much in terms of competitions. I was also unsure of what to do, but my parents gave me the confidence to attempt a reapplication, as I went to a french school as backup (Polytechnique of Paris). I was hoping for Ss but I got 1, 1, with the step 3 being close to S (I recommend doing that step the year before if you are confident enough to do well).

Then as I began the Polytechnique and started thinking about doing the reapplication, I had a lot more to say cause the push for STEP made me more active in terms of maths, and I had read a lot of unusual and interesting books. I realised when I had sent the application that what I was doing on my own was actually more interesting than what I was doing at the Polytechnique and I dropped out, so that I had effectively an empty gap year (I also wanted to fully focus on formally studying the books for the interview, even though it wasn't really needed).

I ended up getting the offer, and I also feel now that the gap year was the best case scenario as I have time now to take things slowly and chill out, while also leveling up my life. I feel much more relaxed as a person (although that might be temporary), and I feel more developed as a human. There's also new habits that I have started to acquire, such as meditation and now hopefully exercise. And quite unexpectedly I have learned a ton in terms of how to study, especially through the course of iCS which I recommend.




I would say that a gap year is the thing to do. Though I see that it's difficult to see that, I don't think I would have chosen to do so if I could go to Cambridge directly, and it might just be something that really fits my personality and you would actually hate it. You have to see whether you think you could do interesting things on your own. If you don't think you will like a gap year, then you'd have to gauge how much you like Cambridge over Warwick (somehow I hadn't considered Warwick in my first round of application so I didn't really have to think about that, it was clear to me that Cambridge would be way better than the other options).

I'd say that there is little hope in going to Cambridge part III unless you're some kind of recognized genius. I might be wrong cause I haven't looked into it so there might be more of a chance I paint it to be.

In terms of your english, if you have good grades, step results and you make it very clear that you are taking english seriously in your application then I'd see no reason why they wouldn't give you an offer.

Finally, I admit that I have been fortunate, but I think that some of it has to do with the way that I made these decisions. I followed what I felt was right. If I had tried to avoid doing a regretful action, then I would be now regretting what I did. But I'm confident that even if I hadn't been accepted, I would have been happy with what I decided to do, cause it was the thing that I felt compelled to do.

Hopefully you're happy with how things turned out, good luck with the STEP, and I hope to hear from you!
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 7
Original post by dibibi
I know this message is late, but hopefully there is still some value in this. I'll recount my personal experience, then I'll give my opinions.

I had the same experience, I had applied to trinity for maths as a student in France and had been rejected before the interview. The grades weren't too impressive outside of the main subjects, but I was confident that they would improve. I didn't have your same level of results, I definitely had talent but never really did much in terms of competitions. I was also unsure of what to do, but my parents gave me the confidence to attempt a reapplication, as I went to a french school as backup (Polytechnique of Paris). I was hoping for Ss but I got 1, 1, with the step 3 being close to S (I recommend doing that step the year before if you are confident enough to do well).

Then as I began the Polytechnique and started thinking about doing the reapplication, I had a lot more to say cause the push for STEP made me more active in terms of maths, and I had read a lot of unusual and interesting books. I realised when I had sent the application that what I was doing on my own was actually more interesting than what I was doing at the Polytechnique and I dropped out, so that I had effectively an empty gap year (I also wanted to fully focus on formally studying the books for the interview, even though it wasn't really needed).

I ended up getting the offer, and I also feel now that the gap year was the best case scenario as I have time now to take things slowly and chill out, while also leveling up my life. I feel much more relaxed as a person (although that might be temporary), and I feel more developed as a human. There's also new habits that I have started to acquire, such as meditation and now hopefully exercise. And quite unexpectedly I have learned a ton in terms of how to study, especially through the course of iCS which I recommend.




I would say that a gap year is the thing to do. Though I see that it's difficult to see that, I don't think I would have chosen to do so if I could go to Cambridge directly, and it might just be something that really fits my personality and you would actually hate it. You have to see whether you think you could do interesting things on your own. If you don't think you will like a gap year, then you'd have to gauge how much you like Cambridge over Warwick (somehow I hadn't considered Warwick in my first round of application so I didn't really have to think about that, it was clear to me that Cambridge would be way better than the other options).

I'd say that there is little hope in going to Cambridge part III unless you're some kind of recognized genius. I might be wrong cause I haven't looked into it so there might be more of a chance I paint it to be.

In terms of your english, if you have good grades, step results and you make it very clear that you are taking english seriously in your application then I'd see no reason why they wouldn't give you an offer.

Finally, I admit that I have been fortunate, but I think that some of it has to do with the way that I made these decisions. I followed what I felt was right. If I had tried to avoid doing a regretful action, then I would be now regretting what I did. But I'm confident that even if I hadn't been accepted, I would have been happy with what I decided to do, cause it was the thing that I felt compelled to do.

Hopefully you're happy with how things turned out, good luck with the STEP, and I hope to hear from you!


Thank you so much! I will try and reapply. Although my step 2 performance is really not outstanding (should be a high 1), and I may not be accepted after reapply, but at least I will be glad that I have try it!
Reply 8
Original post by artful_lounger
I'm quite surprised you were rejected pre-interview from Cambridge, unless you fell into the trap of applying to Trinity which is the single most oversubscribed college for maths (despite teaching other than supervisions being delivered centrally and thus being uncoupled from the college system except for supervisions - which you may receive at other colleges regardless). Even if you did, applicants are normally advised if they are reapplying to apply to a different college than the first time anyway, so that should avoid that problem (provided you don't apply to the second most competitive college for maths, St Johns, where you may run into the same problem - I think virtually any other college would likely interview you though, and if you get interviewed you can be pooled, which is the important thing!).

As above though, Warwick is also excellent for maths and generally considered on par with Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial within the UK for the subject, so it's certainly not a bad option. You just need to weigh the benefits and downsides of giving up that offer to reapply to Cambridge (given that even with hindsight, there is no guarantee you will get an offer even if you are interviewed).

I don't know if you'd need to resit STEP as well - @Peterhouse Admissions may know how STEP results are dealt with for maths reapplicants, whether they can/do use the previous years ones or if you need to resit it. Hopefully the former since you have excellent results in it!

edit: sorry I thought you already had done STEP. As noted there really is no guarantee you can get S grades in both, and even getting 1,1 is challenging (that's the standard offer, and about half of Cambridge offer holders fail to achieve that condition!).

If he did apply to Trinity, should he at least get pooled?
Original post by .thi
If he did apply to Trinity, should he at least get pooled?

This thread is a year old, please don't bump old threads!

Also the issue is that Trinity gets so many applicants for maths that many who would otherwise be likely to be interviewed by any other college can't be simply due to logistical limits in how many interviews they can hold. And you can't be pooled if you aren't interviewed.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 10
Original post by artful_lounger
This thread is a year old, please don't bump old threads!

Also the issue is that Trinity gets so many applicants for maths that many who would otherwise be likely to be interviewed by any other college can't be simply due to logistical limits in how many interviews they can hold. And you can't be pooled if you aren't interviewed.

So the official information on the Cambridge website is a lie? They say your chances aren't affected by the college you pick. Also, this thread is one year old, this forum isn't that active anymore.

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