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    I've heard that some unis (I think one of them was UCL...) prefer you to have an art subject as well as science a-levels when applying for medicine. Does either Oxford or Cambridge prefer prospective students to have an art subject as well as the sciences? I want to take Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths for sure, and was wondering if my chances of getting in would be increased if I took an Art A-Level (probably either french or Philosophy/Ethics) as well?
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    No not at all. In fact, a lot of Cambridge colleges officially or unofficially want you to offer 3/4 sciences anyway. Doing the Art a-level wouldn't help at all for Cambridge. I would say something equally definitive about Oxford, but I have a bad feeling i'll be quoted by Elles lol, so ill let her talk about that.
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    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    No not at all. In fact, a lot of Cambridge colleges officially or unofficially want you to offer 3/4 sciences anyway. Doing the Art a-level wouldn't help at all for Cambridge. I would say something equally definitive about Oxford, but I have a bad feeling i'll be quoted by Elles lol, so ill let her talk about that.
    Doing 2 sciences, maths, and a humanity wouldn't put you at a DISadvantage though, would it?
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    (Original post by DaveJ)
    Doing 2 sciences, maths, and a humanity wouldn't put you at a DISadvantage though, would it?
    Not really no.

    I say 'not really', not because there will be direct discrimination against you - there certainly won't be that as long as you meet the college's requirements - the maximum ive seen is 3 sciences, but because it really needs to be Biology and Chemistry as the 2 sciences, since those are the most useful to have in an interview.
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    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    Not really no.

    I say 'not really', not because there will be direct discrimination against you - there certainly won't be that as long as you meet the college's requirements - the maximum ive seen is 3 sciences, but because it really needs to be Biology and Chemistry as the 2 sciences, since those are the most useful to have in an interview.
    Well yea, the sciences are bio and chem. So does that remove the "not really" from your answer or was there some other reason for you saying that?
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    (Original post by DaveJ)
    Well yea, the sciences are bio and chem. So does that remove the "not really" from your answer or was there some other reason for you saying that?
    yea it does
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    If you've already got 4, the nature of the 5th is really not going to matter tbh. Not having a non-science might be a disadvantage with other schools though.
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    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    Not really no.

    I say 'not really', not because there will be direct discrimination against you - there certainly won't be that as long as you meet the college's requirements - the maximum ive seen is 3 sciences, but because it really needs to be Biology and Chemistry as the 2 sciences, since those are the most useful to have in an interview.
    Only Chemistry is compulsory - the other science can be any of Maths\Physics\Biology.

    Only a handful of Cambridge colleges request 3 sciences, and I don't think any of the others "unofficially" require it (which would be a pretty weird thing to do: why would the preference not be explicit?)
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    If you think you can manage 4 science A-levels (I personally didn't find the work load from Maths or Biology that intense, though Chemistry at times got pretty challenging), and then an Arts A-level (without it hindering your other subjects), then I personally think its a good idea. Surely it indicates versitality, and having an essay-based subject might fit in well with Oxbridge's tutorial system.
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    (Original post by Huw Davies)
    Only Chemistry is compulsory - the other science can be any of Maths\Physics\Biology.

    Only a handful of Cambridge colleges request 3 sciences, and I don't think any of the others "unofficially" require it (which would be a pretty weird thing to do: why would the preference not be explicit?)
    As explained in my second post,

    Because it doesn't influence directly the college's desicion making process in terms of 'appropriate subjects', but rather, it helps to have a solid scientific background (biology and chemistry in my opinion, being sufficient) in answering scientific interview questions and this has an indirect impact on selection.

    If you take the example of my college, G&C, where 3 sceinces are not required, - the interview questions were standardised and every candidate had to answer them irrespective of their subject combinations. Although, not terribly detailed in terms of scientific knowledge, it was a great advantage to have a good knowledge about certain topics - mainly from biology.

    Whether or not people believe this to be true will always be contested because, as I said, it is unofficial and therefore, by definition, not easy to validate.
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    (Original post by amrou)
    If you think you can manage 4 science A-levels (I personally didn't find the work load from Maths or Biology that intense, though Chemistry at times got pretty challenging), and then an Arts A-level (without it hindering your other subjects), then I personally think its a good idea. Surely it indicates versitality, and having an essay-based subject might fit in well with Oxbridge's tutorial system.
    Yeah, id agree with that. A large amount of assessment at Tripos (50%) is essay-based and if your BMAT Section 3 is not particulary strong then this is a good way of compensating.

    Of course, then it raises the question, is 4*290 better than 5*240? Generally id make sure i was very comfortable with the science subjects (say 270) before doing a fifth subject. This means, not only, being good at the exams (which is how a lot of people, including myself :o:, manage to do numerous subjects) but actually understanding the concepts which you may be asked about at interview.
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    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    Yeah, id agree with that. A large amount of assessment at Tripos (50%) is essay-based and if your BMAT Section 3 is not particulary strong then this is a good way of compensating.

    Of course, then it raises the question, is 4*290 better than 5*240? Generally id make sure i was very comfortable with the science subjects (say 270) before doing a fifth subject. This means, not only, being good at the exams (which is how a lot of people, including myself :o:, manage to do numerous subjects) but actually understanding the concepts which you may be asked about at interview.
    What exactly is classified as a 'science' a level?
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    (Original post by Scientific Calculator)
    What exactly is classified as a 'science' a level?
    Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Further Maths, presumably.
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    Both of the prospectuses define the "sciences" they consider able to meet AS/A2 requirements for medicine:

    Oxford = "Essential - Colleges will normally expect students to take the full A-level, or equivalent, in these subjects: Chemistry with either Maths or Biology or Physics"

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...nts/index.html



    Cambridge = "Please note that in the following 'science/mathematics subjects' refers to Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics. It does not include Psychology.
    <snip>
    AS and A level requirement
    Passes in three of the following: Biology; Chemistry; Physics; Mathematics. One of the subjects must be Chemistry and at least one pass must be at A level."


    http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...uirements.html
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Further Maths, presumably.
    Thanks....but whats the difference between maths and further maths?

    Whilst we're at it, could anybody tell me what they would recommend for a fifth subject if i am taking bio, physics, chemistry, further maths? Ive heard a completely diff subject is recommended but what?
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    bio, physics, chemistry, further maths?
    aren't you doing maths aswell as further maths?
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    (Original post by Scientific Calculator)
    Thanks....but whats the difference between maths and further maths?
    Further maths has additional Pure maths not taught in the basic Maths A-level, plus the remaining modules of Statistics\Mechanics.

    Whilst we're at it, could anybody tell me what they would recommend for a fifth subject if i am taking bio, physics, chemistry, further maths? Ive heard a completely diff subject is recommended but what?
    You can't usually take further maths alone, so if you swap that for maths plain in your list, you could make it your fifth subject. Alternatively, go for a subject you enjoy, and that you'll do well in. A fifth A-level is by no means compulsory in any case.
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    (Original post by Huw Davies)
    Further maths has additional Pure maths not taught in the basic Maths A-level, plus the remaining modules of Statistics\Mechanics.



    You can't usually take further maths alone, so if you swap that for maths plain in your list, you could make it your fifth subject. Alternatively, go for a subject you enjoy, and that you'll do well in. A fifth A-level is by no means compulsory in any case.
    ohhh.....but would it not look better with both pure AND further maths? is it possible that i only take pure maths to begin with and accelerate through the course and then do further in the same timetabled lesson or is that not possible?
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    (Original post by Scientific Calculator)
    ohhh.....but would it not look better with both pure AND further maths? is it possible that i only take pure maths to begin with and accelerate through the course and then do further in the same timetabled lesson or is that not possible?
    This is the sort of thing you need to discuss with your school - it sounds as if you're not very familiar with the A-level maths course so you probably need to talk to your maths dept. anyway.
 
 
 
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