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    (Original post by *AllyBaba)
    My best friend went for an interview there 2 years ago. They called him weird for being a lib dem and the girl that went in before him came out crying :|
    Again, that doesn't mean the Cambridge interviewers are horrible-- just that some applicants overreact. I found my interview to be really enjoyable, so it often just depends on the person and how they cope with it.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Perhaps you are right. It is just another sign of the demise of British education in the noughties.

    I went to school at a time when people were actually taught English grammar, but I was incidentally exposed to the Greek alphabet in maths and general life, as a widely-read individual. How can you learn about the alphabet without some exposure to Greek, for heaven's sake?

    I recognise that I certainly shouldn't have said all aspiring undergraduates, in any case; I had forgotten that degrees are now given for courses that had entry qualifications as low as GCE O levels in my day.

    However, I stand by the view that anyone aspiring to an elite tertiary institution should be able to recognise the Greek and Cyrillic alphabets.

    It makes me wonder how many people can recognise the Latin alphabet and Arabic numbers as such, these days. :rolleyes:
    Hmm ok, fair enough. I'll stop playing devil's advocate now. In theory that issue can't be considered a necessary criteria, but I can understand it playing a part in building up to the impression that the person has no broader interest or awareness (especially after her comment about Greek)
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    (Original post by oo_Lucinda_oo)
    yeah everyone from my school who went to Oxbridge was a right pretentious knob.

    same with my friends school, and my sister's school.

    and half the oxbridge students on here are a right barrel of laughs too.. *snore*

    however ONE MUST NOT GENERALISE... despite the majority of Oxbridge students on here constantly generalising that everyone who doesn't go to Oxbridge thinks they are snobs.

    Oh but that's generalising too..

    So what if you generalise! Most of the time its true anyway. :rolleyes:

    EDIT: you'll notice i said nothing wrong here so don't get all defensive on me! heehee
    Fine, have it your way.:rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Perhaps you are right. It is just another sign of the demise of British education in the noughties.

    I went to school at a time when people were actually taught English grammar, but I was incidentally exposed to the Greek alphabet in maths and general life, as a widely-read individual. How can you learn about the alphabet without some exposure to Greek, for heaven's sake?

    I recognise that I certainly shouldn't have said all aspiring undergraduates, in any case; I had forgotten that degrees are now given for courses that had entry qualifications as low as GCE O levels in my day.

    However, I stand by the view that anyone aspiring to an elite tertiary institution should be able to recognise the Greek and Cyrillic alphabets.

    It makes me wonder how many people can recognise the Latin alphabet and Arabic numbers as such, these days. :rolleyes:
    I doubt anyone would recognise arabic numbers- they're a little weird unless you've actually studied some arabic. Once you know the symbols it's fine because it's base 10, but until that point it's tricky. I think I could just about manage but I get the sevens and eights confused. I would (hopefully) recognise it as arab numerals.
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    (Original post by Arrogant Git)
    I doubt anyone would recognise arabic numbers- they're a little weird unless you've actually studied some arabic. Once you know the symbols it's fine because it's base 10, but until that point it's tricky. I think I could just about manage but I get the sevens and eights confused. I would (hopefully) recognise it as arab numerals.
    Arabic numbers are the ones you use all the time, though, aren't they?
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    (Original post by Arrogant Git)
    I doubt anyone would recognise arabic numbers- they're a little weird unless you've actually studied some arabic. Once you know the symbols it's fine because it's base 10, but until that point it's tricky. I think I could just about manage but I get the sevens and eights confused. I would (hopefully) recognise it as arab numerals.
    Ahem. You've just illustrated my point. The Arabic numerals are ... wait for it... 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. My point is that even supposedly well-educated people don't know the origin of these numbers.
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    Of course they are, but they look substantially different in the original script.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...umerals-en.svg
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    (Original post by Arrogant Git)
    I doubt anyone would recognise arabic numbers
    Your education has been rather deficient.
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    Arabic numbers are the ones you use all the time, though, aren't they?
    Well, yes and no. The numbers we use today fall into the broad class of Hindu-Arabic numeral system. They are also used in north Africa. But they are known as West Arabic or European numerals. The majority of the Arab world uses East Arabic Numerals ٠.١.٢.٣.٤.٥.٦.٧.٨.٩. They behave in exactly the same way as our numbers but are just represented by different symbols.

    To be pedantic, the convention is to use "Arabic numerals" when talking about East Arabic numerals and "arabic numerals" when talking about West Arabic Numerals or the Hindu-Arabic system as a whole.

    I feel the urge to be pedantic when someone posts something about the decline of standards in education.
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    (Original post by Arrogant Git)
    Well, yes and no. The numbers we use today fall into the broad class of Hindu-Arabic numeral system. They are also used in north Africa. But they are known as West Arabic or European numerals. The majority of the Arab world uses East Arabic Numerals ٠.١.٢.٣.٤.٥.٦.٧.٨.٩. They behave in exactly the same way as our numbers but are just represented by different symbols.

    To be pedantic, the convention is to use "Arabic numerals" when talking about East Arabic numerals and "arabic numerals" when talking about West Arabic Numerals or the Hindu-Arabic system as a whole.

    I feel the urge to be pedantic when someone posts something about the decline of standards in education.
    Ah, right. Thanks for the clarification.
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    Do Oxbridge not let students live out at all? My sister lived out of college in her second year... Maybe it's specific to colleges? She was at Homerton.

    Oxbridge is elitist - they only accept the intellectually elite :p: (I think this is a good thing - don't neg me! *cowers*)
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    (Original post by jismith1989)
    Perhaps (although I'd argue otherwise), but nevertheless it's completely irrelevant. The girl in the article aside, testing cultural references not related to the course of study may well hinder applicants with a good aptitude for the course. That's why the Oxbridge admissions tests were removed. Cultural references are likely to be class-bound; I, for one, wouldn't have been able to identify Greek until recently. Maybe I'm just an amoeba.
    I don't think the problem was that she didn't get the reference, it's that the interviewer jumped in with a (presumably well-meaning) joke along the lines of, "Seeing that you come from Essex you're probably wondering what those funny squiggles are." If anything he was acknowledging the very issue of cultural education and offering the chance to laugh about it; presumably she got the wrong end of the stick.

    Having said that, just to contribute to the above debate, aren't all students obliged to take GCSE Maths, during which they'll encounter at least pi, and possibly alpha? I'd be surprised if a Cambridge applicant couldn't identify the Greek alphabet, no matter where they came from.
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    (Original post by Jigglypuff)
    writing 8 essays a term rather than 1 is surely going to make me better at my subject.
    You might think this at the start, but by the end you realize it makes you better at writing short essays under pressure. It's good training for journalism, but given that "English" as subject (ie. as it is practised within the academy) at no point gets you to write short essays under pressure, but instead requires long, extensively-researched papers, I think you should really question just how much preparation Cambridge gives you. Yes, there are 2-3 dissertations (which you've not got enough time to write because of all the essays), but in some ways, the whole '1-2 essays a week' thing is so antithetic to what I feel constitutes good reading, thinking and writing, that it's really pushing your studying away from what "English" should really be about. Maybe for the first year this sort of business is useful, but during my third year I felt like my progerss was continually /hampered/ by the system. It's only useful to a certain point; once you've got 'the skills' (ie. you learn how to structure an argument and write well) you become paradoxically aware that under the time constraints you're unable to come up with decent material in the first place, let alone to write it up well. (Having said that, I have very high standards which I expect literary essays to fulfill, and tutors seem to think of supervision work only as 'sketches'... but I dunno, should you only ever learn to sketch, rather than draw??)
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    Just like to point out that Jigglypuff doesn't study English, but Philosophy.
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    (Original post by Nina)
    Just like to point out that Jigglypuff doesn't study English, but Philosophy.
    OK, my bad. Didn't know many philosophers, but I guess they are probably in the same situation as I was: useful at first, then ultimately obstructive and intrusive.
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    (Original post by tissue shoulders)
    Do Oxbridge not let students live out at all? My sister lived out of college in her second year... Maybe it's specific to colleges? She was at Homerton.
    You can live out, a lot of colleges send people to houses or non-catered flats/accomodation especially in second year. Some of these houses are college owned, making the process of getting them and sorting it out a bit easier than in real life, but this isn't the case for all colleges/houses. And obviously if you want to then you can live in a private house pretty much whenever.
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    The reason that most people don't live out is due to the cost. It's much cheaper to live in College, and as its all sorted for you its also a lot less hassle.
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    it makes sense, i just wondered because of all the rubbish being spoken about "not experiencing the real world" a few pages ago :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Do you mean at A level or Uni?

    And scoffing is certainly disgusting if that was what actually happened!
    My previous post was a joke, though it kind of loses it's meaning when you don't have the signature of the user I quoted to hand.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    To me this is the least unlikely claim in the article. My experience of both interviews was that they were very methodical and systematic about these kind of tasks. These would have been assigned before she had talked to anyone other than the porters too! Time is obviously a very subjective experience when you're under such pressure, and she may have been predisposed to fear the worst about their potential attitude towards her.
    Phew. I was starting to wonder. Thank G.
    Err... hate to be the text police and I realize how difficult it is to assert yourself in this medium, but would you consider maybe losing the color? Or going for a darker shade? Sorry, it feels like my eyes are sizzling in their sockets when I try to read DeepSkyBlue on white.

    (Original post by Lidka)
    He is known for being a bit of a character. Having seen his lectures, I don't doubt that the girl had an unpleasant interview; if you don't like his sense of humour, it can appear very offensive. It's just sad that this is suddenly being taken as the blueprint for Cambridge interviews when it's just an unfortunate, one-off case. And as far as I know, he doesn't interview anymore.
    I was asking whether or not he's a *******. If it's just his sense of humor, I'm sure I'd survive. How bad can it be? She's probably just ..fragile. In fact, I'd love to hear what he could come up with about my origins... I'm from Transylvania
 
 
 
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