The Student Room Group

Do i have a higher chance of getting into Oxford or Cambridge Maths?

I have pretty average GCSE's (9-Maths,8,8,8,8,7,7,7,6,5 and i take Further Maths,Maths and Computer Science and i'm pretty confident i can easily get very high UMS and A stars in them.Due to my GCSE's I feel pretty afraid of applying to Oxford but i know that they have a Compulsory Admissions test that could potentially allow shortlisting for an interview but on the other hand Cambridge apparently do not care as much about GCSE's if at all and they actually ask you to even tell them your UMS for application.They also have a TMUA which isn't compulsory but can look good on an application.So in short if i got to the Oxbridge Interview after a strong MAT score would they reject me for my GCSE's?Should i risk that or just apply to Cambridge ?
"Just apply to Cambridge" make it sound like you'd be settling for a lesser option!
Reply 2
Original post by TheOneRing19
I have pretty average GCSE's (9-Maths,8,8,8,8,7,7,7,6,5 and i take Further Maths,Maths and Computer Science and i'm pretty confident i can easily get very high UMS and A stars in them. Due to my GCSE's I feel pretty afraid of applying to Oxford but i know that they have a Compulsory Admissions test that could potentially allow shortlisting for an interview but on the other hand Cambridge apparently do not care as much about GCSE's if at all and they actually ask you to even tell them your UMS for application.They also have a TMUA which isn't compulsory but can look good on an application.So in short if i got to the Oxbridge Interview after a strong MAT score would they reject me for my GCSE's? Should i risk that or just apply to Cambridge ?

Oxford's weighting on GCSEs is marginal so I wouldn't worry too much about that and 8s and 9s are treated the same.

The biggest difference is that any Cambridge offer would involve STEP papers - also in how they're used: only about half of Cambridge applicants with an offer achieve the offer and are accepted. By comparison almost all Oxford applicants with an offer achieve the offer.

Finally I've not heard of maths tutors making use of the TMUA. Cambridge maths certainly isn't a course officially listed as using the TMUA. https://www.admissionstesting.org/Images/302050-courses-accepting-tmua-2022.pdf
Original post by TheOneRing19
I have pretty average GCSE's (9-Maths,8,8,8,8,7,7,7,6,5 and i take Further Maths,Maths and Computer Science and i'm pretty confident i can easily get very high UMS and A stars in them.Due to my GCSE's I feel pretty afraid of applying to Oxford but i know that they have a Compulsory Admissions test that could potentially allow shortlisting for an interview but on the other hand Cambridge apparently do not care as much about GCSE's if at all and they actually ask you to even tell them your UMS for application.They also have a TMUA which isn't compulsory but can look good on an application.So in short if i got to the Oxbridge Interview after a strong MAT score would they reject me for my GCSE's?Should i risk that or just apply to Cambridge ?


As above Cambridge also has a compulsory admissions test for maths, it just comes after you get the offer - and is I understand considered a fair bit harder!

The main difference for admissions is just where the attrition point comes as illustrated above - for Oxford it's pre-interview/at interview, for Cambridge it's post-interview. So for Oxford if you get interviewed and get an offer then you just need to focus on achieving your offer (which will probably be well within your abilities). For Cambridge even after getting the offer, you have STEP to worry about and there's a good chance you end up at your insurance in the end.

I'd note also the courses are rather differently structured and examined, with Cambridge using "compendium examinations" which is quite different to most other unis examination format. This may influence your decision.
Original post by ReadingMum
"Just apply to Cambridge" make it sound like you'd be settling for a lesser option!


No i'd be over the moon with either, i just want to know whether i should apply to Cambridge where there's no/less GCSE bias but no entrance Test to increase chance of getting the interview or as supposed to Oxford that has interview Shortlist due to MAT but has a GCSE preference basically i'm asking do they think of GCSE's still after your interview when they decide on who gets the offer for Oxford?
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 5
Original post by TheOneRing19
No i'd be over the moon with either, i just want to know whether i should apply to Cambridge where there's no/less GCSE bias but no entrance Test to increase chance of getting the interview or as supposed to Oxford that has interview Shortlist due to MAT but has a GCSE preference basically i'm asking do they think of GCSE's still after your interview when they decide on who gets the offer for Oxford?


By that stage GCSEs are inconsequential. Offers are mainly made on MAT score, interview grades and any individual/contextual circumstances. (I say this as an Oxford maths tutor.)

Quick Reply

Latest