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Worth applying to Imperial

I want to study physics at uni with A*A*A* predicted for maths, physics, chem.I'm applying to Oxford (1st), Manchester(2nd), and Birmingham (3rd) and thinking of Warwick or UCL as 5thI was thinking is it worth applying to Imperial since I'm already applying to Oxford and Manchester which are A*A*A? Would that be too risky?Currently studying for the PAT, but is Imperial worth the extra test and interview?Am also teaching myself FM1 and FM2 and will teach hopefully teach myself some of core pure.
Original post by Kong, Donkey
I want to study physics at uni with A*A*A* predicted for maths, physics, chem.I'm applying to Oxford (1st), Manchester(2nd), and Birmingham (3rd) and thinking of Warwick or UCL as 5thI was thinking is it worth applying to Imperial since I'm already applying to Oxford and Manchester which are A*A*A? Would that be too risky?Currently studying for the PAT, but is Imperial worth the extra test and interview?Am also teaching myself FM1 and FM2 and will teach hopefully teach myself some of core pure.


Perhaps apply in phases? That way you're likely to get some decisions before making your final choice/s?
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Original post by ageshallnot
Perhaps apply in phases? That way you're likely to get some decisions before making your final choice/s?

Sorry, I don't really know what you mean by applying in phases?
Original post by Kong, Donkey
I want to study physics at uni with A*A*A* predicted for maths, physics, chem.I'm applying to Oxford (1st), Manchester(2nd), and Birmingham (3rd) and thinking of Warwick or UCL as 5thI was thinking is it worth applying to Imperial since I'm already applying to Oxford and Manchester which are A*A*A? Would that be too risky?Currently studying for the PAT, but is Imperial worth the extra test and interview?Am also teaching myself FM1 and FM2 and will teach hopefully teach myself some of core pure.


I think it's a good idea to apply in phases, like @ageshallnot suggests. The usual advice is to apply to one 'risky choice'; two or three at your predicted grades and one or two 'safe' choices below your predicted grades. If you're predicted three A*s, obviously this doesn't work.

If you're fairly sure of getting these 3A*s, then applying to Imperial would be sensible, since it's still below your prediction. However, all universities will be below your prediction, since no-where asks for 3A*s. @McGinger, what would your advice be for the case of a predicted 3A* candidate, in terms of where to pitch their applications (thanks :smile:)
Original post by Kong, Donkey
Sorry, I don't really know what you mean by applying in phases?


Apply with maybe 3-4 choices initially. Based on whether you get offers and what those offers are, you can decide whether your remaining 1-2 choices can be aggressive or whether you need to lower your sights.
Original post by ageshallnot
Perhaps apply in phases? That way you're likely to get some decisions before making your final choice/s?


How does that work? Through ucas I mean. I'll have to apply on Oct 15 (because of my Cambridge choice) but I haven't made up my mind on my last 2 available choices. Can I submit ucas with only 3 choices for the Oct deadline, then submit the rest of my choices before January? Does it work like that?
Original post by Bookworm524
How does that work? Through ucas I mean. I'll have to apply on Oct 15 (because of my Cambridge choice) but I haven't made up my mind on my last 2 available choices. Can I submit ucas with only 3 choices for the Oct deadline, then submit the rest of my choices before January? Does it work like that?


Yes, exactly.
Reply 7
Imperial doesn't do interviews for physics, and Manchester has a significantly higher offer rate than Oxford or Imperial.
Original post by ageshallnot
Yes, exactly.

Ooo thanks! That's handy!
For the universities that don't need interviewing, would they give out offer pretty fast after you submitted ucas? Like in a few days I mean, if they decide to
Original post by Bookworm524
Ooo thanks! That's handy!
For the universities that don't need interviewing, would they give out offer pretty fast after you submitted ucas? Like in a few days I mean, if they decide to

They might, they might not. No-one really knows.
Just remember that there are a thousand other people out there with 3 A* grades applying for Physics at exactly the same Unis - therefore you are not guaranteed an offer.

If you apply to 5 very competitive Unis you chances of 5 rejections are high, and many applicants were caught out by this in 2022 and had either just one offer or none at all. Oxford, Warwick, Manchester, UCL and Imperial are 5 top choices in this bracket. Even if you substitute Birmingham as a less competitive Uni (but still high grade) this might still be risky - how would you feel if this was your only offer - and do you have a plan B. I really would advise against Oxford and both UCL and Imperial. If you substutute somehere like Southampton or Leeds as an AAB choice for one of those, you have that as an obvious Insurance.

One suggestuon is that you just apply for Oxford now - and add your other 4 choices later.
You have until mid-January to add the other choices and by then you might know whether or not you have an Oxford interview. You would also have a clearer idea of how your A levels are going - and if A*s are still a realistic expectation. This might help you make more strategic decisions for those remaning 4 choices.
Original post by McGinger
Just remember that there are a thousand other people out there with 3 A* grades applying for Physics at exactly the same Unis - therefore you are not guaranteed an offer.

If you apply to 5 very competitive Unis you chances of 5 rejections are high, and many applicants were caught out by this in 2022 and had either just one offer or none at all. Oxford, Warwick, Manchester, UCL and Imperial are 5 top choices in this bracket. Even if you substitute Birmingham as a less competitive Uni (but still high grade) this might still be risky - how would you feel if this was your only offer - and do you have a plan B. I really would advise against Oxford and both UCL and Imperial. If you substutute somehere like Southampton or Leeds as an AAB choice for one of those, you have that as an obvious Insurance.

One suggestuon is that you just apply for Oxford now - and add your other 4 choices later.
You have until mid-January to add the other choices and by then you might know whether or not you have an Oxford interview. You would also have a clearer idea of how your A levels are going - and if A*s are still a realistic expectation. This might help you make more strategic decisions for those remaning 4 choices.Submit reply


I'm top of all my classes, so I still think 3A*s are realistic and in terms of unis, Oxford and Manchester are 1st and 2nd, but I thought UCL / Warwick would be the *safer* choices for physics at A*AA requirements if I'm looking to get 3A*s. Would applying to ICL, meaning 3 A*A*A unis with 2 A*AA unis, still be considered risky if my A-levels are quite safely 3A*s? If not, how safe do you think I should go in for a safe choice, in terms of grades?

Edit: Also, as far as I'm aware, my school isn't allowing us to apply in phases, because they're handling our UCAS applications, especially for prospective Oxbridge students.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Kong, Donkey

Edit: Also, as far as I'm aware, my school isn't allowing us to apply in phases, because they're handling our UCAS applications, especially for prospective Oxbridge students.


Tell your school you only want to apply to 3 unis. Then add the others later.
Original post by McGinger
Just remember that there are a thousand other people out there with 3 A* grades applying for Physics at exactly the same Unis - therefore you are not guaranteed an offer.

If you apply to 5 very competitive Unis you chances of 5 rejections are high, and many applicants were caught out by this in 2022 and had either just one offer or none at all. Oxford, Warwick, Manchester, UCL and Imperial are 5 top choices in this bracket. Even if you substitute Birmingham as a less competitive Uni (but still high grade) this might still be risky - how would you feel if this was your only offer - and do you have a plan B. I really would advise against Oxford and both UCL and Imperial. If you substutute somehere like Southampton or Leeds as an AAB choice for one of those, you have that as an obvious Insurance.

One suggestuon is that you just apply for Oxford now - and add your other 4 choices later.
You have until mid-January to add the other choices and by then you might know whether or not you have an Oxford interview. You would also have a clearer idea of how your A levels are going - and if A*s are still a realistic expectation. This might help you make more strategic decisions for those remaning 4 choices.


UCL has a surprisingly high offer rate for physics, for 2018/19 it was over 70%.
Original post by Kong, Donkey

I'm top of all my classes, so I still think 3A*s are realistic and in terms of unis, Oxford and Manchester are 1st and 2nd, but I thought UCL / Warwick would be the *safer* choices for physics at A*AA requirements if I'm looking to get 3A*s. Would applying to ICL, meaning 3 A*A*A unis with 2 A*AA unis, still be considered risky if my A-levels are quite safely 3A*s? If not, how safe do you think I should go in for a safe choice, in terms of grades?

Edit: Also, as far as I'm aware, my school isn't allowing us to apply in phases, because they're handling our UCAS applications, especially for prospective Oxbridge students.


Tell them you are doing it. Not ask. They do not have a say in this. (You won't just know whether you have an interview at Oxford by Jan 15th, you will know whether you have an offer. Other universities... maybe. You could apply in September and still be sitting waiting to hear in April. I had one kid who got an offer within 6 hours of applying and another who gave up waiting in April and withdrew having applied before the Oxford deadline. Same university, different subjects.)

A safe choice is a university which gives 100% of people with your predictions an offer, not one which gives 50% of people with your predictions a lower offer than your predictions.
Original post by skylark2
Tell them you are doing it. Not ask. They do not have a say in this. (You won't just know whether you have an interview at Oxford by Jan 15th, you will know whether you have an offer. Other universities... maybe. You could apply in September and still be sitting waiting to hear in April. I had one kid who got an offer within 6 hours of applying and another who gave up waiting in April and withdrew having applied before the Oxford deadline. Same university, different subjects.)

A safe choice is a university which gives 100% of people with your predictions an offer, not one which gives 50% of people with your predictions a lower offer than your predictions.


Original post by ageshallnot
Tell your school you only want to apply to 3 unis. Then add the others later.

So, if I were to apply early with some of my choices in October, I would get offers early (before jan 15th) then I can apply with the rest of my choices by jan? So should I apply for only Oxford then do the other for, or apply for Oxford and 1/2 others, then do the rest?
Reply 16
Original post by Sinnoh
Imperial doesn't do interviews for physics, and Manchester has a significantly higher offer rate than Oxford or Imperial.


Going to tag on to this to say when i attended the Manchester open day last year they said they give offers to all realistic candidates and then used the interviews/grades to decide between students who missed the high offer.

For OP: With regards to self teaching i would prioritise learning some of the core bits before FM1&2, particularly complex numbers and matrices.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Kong, Donkey
So, if I were to apply early with some of my choices in October, I would get offers early (before jan 15th) then I can apply with the rest of my choices by jan? So should I apply for only Oxford then do the other for, or apply for Oxford and 1/2 others, then do the rest?


You might get offers early. The only one which is guaranteed is Oxford because their dates of interview and sending out offers are set in stone and are earlier than that. If you are interviewed, you will know whether you have an offer from them or not on Jan 10th (not by, on. If you don't get an interview, you will know much earlier than that, sometime in November).

https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/applying-to-oxford/guide/decisions

I think, and you'd want to check, that your life is simpler if you initially apply to more than one university, because the UCAS fees are different for only one so if you then add more you have to pay again. Personally I would say apply to three. If by Jan 15th you have been rejected by Oxford and either rejected or not got offers from the other two, you probably want something a bit safer in your last two choices than if you're already sitting on at least one offer that you'll almost certainly achieve.
Original post by Kong, Donkey
So, if I were to apply early with some of my choices in October, I would get offers early (before jan 15th) then I can apply with the rest of my choices by jan? So should I apply for only Oxford then do the other for, or apply for Oxford and 1/2 others, then do the rest?

@skylark2 has summed up my views.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Skiwi
Going to tag on to this to say when i attended the Manchester open day last year they said they give offers to all realistic candidates and then used the interviews/grades to decide between students who missed the high offer.

For OP: With regards to self teaching i would prioritise learning some of the core bits before FM1&2, particularly complex numbers and matrices.

Everyone who gets an interview for Manchester physics gets an offer

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