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Roughly how good does a candidate need to be to make a competitive application for maths at Trinity College?

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If your UCAS predicted grades are the same or higher than entry requirements, and you show genuine interest and pursue further study outside the classroom in Maths as well as being top or at least amongst the best mathematicians in your year/cohort then definitely go for it.

I applied for trinity this year and even though I got pooled I got another chance with the august reconsideration pool (ill try update you on results day). Don't let doubt stop you from applying, I was about to withdraw my application so when I got invited to interview and sat my tests it was like a fever dream - still is lol. (My course is History & Portuguese. Lower requirements than maths but the competition is really high because there's like 2 spaces for it in each college :/ in Trinity they had 0 spaces a couple years ago so you can imagine how deterred I was from applying)
Original post by superharrydude09
Roughly how good does a candidate need to be to make a competitive application for maths at Trinity College?
Original post by superharrydude09
Roughly how good does a candidate need to be to make a competitive application for maths at Trinity College?


BMO awards, top grades, one of the best ever at your school.
Forgot to add but depends what kind of school OP goes to. Grammar/Private or Public bc my advice was based off being in Grammar/Private where a good chunk go off to oxbridge so you'd only have to be average in ur class. But ur 100% right if they go to public.
Original post by Muttley79
BMO awards, top grades, one of the best ever at your school.
Original post by narabarrrr
Forgot to add but depends what kind of school OP goes to. Grammar/Private or Public bc my advice was based off being in Grammar/Private where a good chunk go off to oxbridge so you'd only have to be average in ur class. But ur 100% right if they go to public.


Be careful about your vocab - a public school means private but I guess you mean a state school?

Average students at any school don't get in Trinity for Maths ...
state is what I mean. Like a normal college I guess?
Original post by Muttley79
Be careful about your vocab - a public school means private but I guess you mean a state school?

Average students at any school don't get in Trinity for Maths ...
I’m at a state school, not private or grammar.
Original post by Muttley79
Be careful about your vocab - a public school means private but I guess you mean a state school?

Average students at any school don't get in Trinity for Maths ...

Yeah again that's why I said it depends on the cohort, average at Eton isn't the same as average at a normal state college. That's what I was trying to get at if that makes sense.
I haven’t done the BMO, but what about distinction on the AEA, in year 12? Is this something standard for candidates applying to Trinity?
Original post by superharrydude09
I’m at a state school, not private or grammar.


State school students do get in - are you the best in your school? What do your teachers think?
Original post by Muttley79
State school students do get in - are you the best in your school? What do your teachers think?


I’m the best in the school by leaps and bounds.
Original post by superharrydude09
I’m the best in the school by leaps and bounds.

Sounds good!

Have you done BMO/other UKMT challenges?
Original post by Muttley79
Sounds good!

Have you done BMO/other UKMT challenges?

I haven’t done any Olympiads, but I did get the best score in my school for last senior maths challenge, as a year 12.
Original post by superharrydude09
I haven’t done any Olympiads, but I did get the best score in my school for last senior maths challenge, as a year 12.


OK - it'd be good to get into a follow-on round. Have you started STEP prep and will your school help?
I’ve done lots of STEP prep. I can do complete solutions for most questions, although it really depends on topic, since I’m really good at trig/calc/mechanics, but less so for number theory and combinatorics. My school isn’t really all that helpful for STEP/UKMT, since none of the teachers seem to be that strong at ‘problem solving’ type of maths.
A word of caution that I feel compelled to give: the main college that I've seen deal out pre-interview rejections for maths has been Trinity, presumably because they have so many applicants. Pre-interview rejections to other colleges seem much more unusual. The "college doesn't matter" mitigations only kick in once you've got an interview, there is no pre-interview pooling. Past this point if you perform well enough at interview you should get an offer whichever college you applied to. (modulo imperfections in Cambridge's system if any)

This isn't to say don't apply Trinity. But if you're apprehensive you may be more comfortable applying to another well-funded college.
(edited 1 year ago)
I would say if you're confidently plowing through STEP questions and have a distinction in AEA you are certainly good enough to apply though. Olympiad experience would be common but not expected or even particularly helpful if it doesn't translate to strong STEP performance. I've just encountered a handful of strong candidates who received pre-interview rejections from Cambridge maths, all of whom applied to Trinity, (though a lot of them seemed to be international students if memory serves) and if there is something going on with that I wouldn't really want to say "college choice doesn't matter".

Example of what I'm talking about, this story seems to be reported by at least a couple of people each year.
(edited 1 year ago)
Thanks, then I’ll keep at it and continue to improve and perform at my best I suppose.
Original post by superharrydude09
Thanks, then I’ll keep at it and continue to improve and perform at my best I suppose.

If you are at a decent level in STEP already you are well ahead. Most people don't start serious preparation until after their offer and some take a while to get going.
Original post by superharrydude09
I’ve done lots of STEP prep. I can do complete solutions for most questions, although it really depends on topic, since I’m really good at trig/calc/mechanics, but less so for number theory and combinatorics. My school isn’t really all that helpful for STEP/UKMT, since none of the teachers seem to be that strong at ‘problem solving’ type of maths.

Presumably you've found the online STEP resources?

It might be worth looking at some UKMT books - does the school have some?

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