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Computer Science at Imperial College London.

I'm a Year 13 student, beginning in September, and I have inquiries regarding the entry prerequisites for the Computer Science program at Imperial College.

The admission guidelines indicate a possible requirement to undertake the STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) as a component of the offer. I'm curious to know the likelihood of this being requested. My chosen subjects include Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics.

In the event that the STEP is indeed required, could you provide information about the expected grade? Additionally, I seek clarification about the online test mentioned on the college's website, conducted prior to the interview. Could you elaborate on the content and purpose of this test?

Furthermore, I'm interested in understanding the interview process. Specifically, I'd like to know the topics usually covered during the interview and the aspects that the admissions panel emphasizes the most. Your insights would be greatly appreciated.

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Reply 1
Original post by Kurayami2317
I'm a Year 13 student, beginning in September, and I have inquiries regarding the entry prerequisites for the Computer Science program at Imperial College.

The admission guidelines indicate a possible requirement to undertake the STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) as a component of the offer. I'm curious to know the likelihood of this being requested. My chosen subjects include Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics.

In the event that the STEP is indeed required, could you provide information about the expected grade? Additionally, I seek clarification about the online test mentioned on the college's website, conducted prior to the interview. Could you elaborate on the content and purpose of this test?

Furthermore, I'm interested in understanding the interview process. Specifically, I'd like to know the topics usually covered during the interview and the aspects that the admissions panel emphasizes the most. Your insights would be greatly appreciated.

Hi there, I've just recently got my results and am now confirmed a place in Imperial College London studying Mathematics and Computer Science. You've got the right idea asking about STEP this early (honestly even a little earlier wouldn't hurt) because it really is, at least for me, the biggest hurdle between you now and you in a years time. I've got quite a bit to say in the matter but I'll try and keep it as short as possible here, please do reach out if you want more info!

Essentially, there are 3 extra things that Imperial ask of applicants compared to other "more standard" universities when it comes to applying for a Computing course, i.e. Computing, Mathematics and Computer Science (also known as the Joint Mathematics and Computer Science Course or the JMC for short) and other Computing courses.

Online Admissions Test
The first is an Online Admissions Test. This is by far the easiest and simplest of the three. It's taken in Octoberish time if I remember correctly, and almost all applicants will get an invitation to take one. It's basically a quiz that you do at home on a computer and it consists of some logic, mathematical and basic programming questions. I know that Imperial say you don't need prior programming experience but in order to properly do the programming questions (which aren't labelled as such) I'd say at least a fundamental understanding is necessary. Other questions that were on there were some geometry questions and a sort of maze solving thing? As you can probably tell by my weak memory of the questions, they weren't hard. I'm confident that anyone applying to Imperial College for one of the most competitive courses in the country will have no problem breezing through them. My assumption is that this is just a quick easy way for them to skim off the people who applied without understanding the competitiveness of the course, because it is genuinely one of the hardest courses you can do in the UK.

Interview
If you are lucky/successful and Imperial deem you competent enough, you'll be invited to an interview. For my year this was on site but I can't say for sure that you'll get the same experience. There are multiple interview "slots" over the year but the one I attended was in November shortly after my online admissions test. I can't speak for others, but my interview was around 40 minutes long (it was advertised to be 30 minutes but it varied massively from what I could tell) and it consisted of 2 logic questions so the interview was largely Computer Science tailored. When you aren't participating in the interview, which was most of the day, they took you around campus showing you past projects and also giving some extra information. All in all it was quite a nice experience.

Offer and STEP
If your interview went well then you will be given an offer from the university. Since mine was in November, I got an offer in December just before the Christmas break but I imagine the timing was vastly different for each student. Unless Imperial have changed their admissions process for your year, the offer will almost definitely contain a STEP condition, I'm yet to hear from someone who didn't get one in my year. FYI, I took the exact same subjects as you and they asked for an A*A* in Further Maths and Maths and then AA in Physics and Computer Science, which is the typical offer they have listed on the site. The STEP grade they asked for is 2, which seems to be one given to the vast majority of students, although I have seen on forums people being requested 1s and 3s but they are few and far between. I'm assuming you already know a bit about the STEP so I won't go into detail but again feel free to message me for more info. Essentially, over the past few years Imperial have been a little lenient with the grades in the sense that people have been able to squeeze their way in with a 3 when they've been required a 2. After doing some number crunching using Imperial's transparency information, which is incredibly useful if you want to have a look, I'd say in 2022 (the year before me, Imperial hasn't released information about my year yet) about 35% of the students who got in missed their STEP grade. However, and this was something I was painfully aware of, I can only expect this proportion to go down. Imperial's Computing courses have become massively popular both here in the UK but especially abroad. If you want my advice, start preparing for STEP now, if you want some help with that then I also have some tips (although I only barely scraped a 2 so maybe I'm not the best person to ask).

I did say I'd try to keep this brief but it ended up being quite a long one, my bad. That being said, there's still a lot I missed out but I hope you get the gist of what kind of things Imperial will want from you over the coming year. In short, the Computing courses at Imperial are unironically the most competitive courses you can apply for, the percentage of students admitted are even lower than Cambridge and Oxford but in hindsight I think it was a valuable journey to undertake and the fact I got in is just a bonus at the end of the day. Hope this helps!
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Reply 2
Original post by Shaowy
Hi there, I've just recently got my results and am now confirmed a place in Imperial College London studying Mathematics and Computer Science. You've got the right idea asking about STEP this early (honestly even a little earlier wouldn't hurt) because it really is, at least for me, the biggest hurdle between you now and you in a years time. I've got quite a bit to say in the matter but I'll try and keep it as short as possible here, please do reach out if you want more info!

Essentially, there are 3 extra things that Imperial ask of applicants compared to other "more standard" universities when it comes to applying for a Computing course, i.e. Computing, Mathematics and Computer Science (also known as the Joint Mathematics and Computer Science Course or the JMC for short) and other Computing courses.

Online Admissions Test
The first is an Online Admissions Test. This is by far the easiest and simplest of the three. It's taken in Octoberish time if I remember correctly, and almost all applicants will get an invitation to take one. It's basically a quiz that you do at home on a computer and it consists of some logic, mathematical and basic programming questions. I know that Imperial say you don't need prior programming experience but in order to properly do the programming questions (which aren't labelled as such) I'd say at least a fundamental understanding is necessary. Other questions that were on there were some geometry questions and a sort of maze solving thing? As you can probably tell by my weak memory of the questions, they weren't hard. I'm confident that anyone applying to Imperial College for one of the most competitive courses in the country will have no problem breezing through them. My assumption is that this is just a quick easy way for them to skim off the people who applied without understanding the competitiveness of the course, because it is genuinely one of the hardest courses you can do in the UK.

Interview
If you are lucky/successful and Imperial deem you competent enough, you'll be invited to an interview. For my year this was on site but I can't say for sure that you'll get the same experience. There are multiple interview "slots" over the year but the one I attended was in November shortly after my online admissions test. I can't speak for others, but my interview was around 40 minutes long (it was advertised to be 30 minutes but it varied massively from what I could tell) and it consisted of 2 logic questions so the interview was largely Computer Science tailored. When you aren't participating in the interview, which was most of the day, they took you around campus showing you past projects and also giving some extra information. All in all it was quite a nice experience.

Offer and STEP
If your interview went well then you will be given an offer from the university. Since mine was in November, I got an offer in December just before the Christmas break but I imagine the timing was vastly different for each student. Unless Imperial have changed their admissions process for your year, the offer will almost definitely contain a STEP condition, I'm yet to hear from someone who didn't get one in my year. FYI, I took the exact same subjects as you and they asked for an A*A* in Further Maths and Maths and then AA in Physics and Computer Science, which is the typical offer they have listed on the site. The STEP grade they asked for is 2, which seems to be one given to the vast majority of students, although I have seen on forums people being requested 1s and 3s but they are few and far between. I'm assuming you already know a bit about the STEP so I won't go into detail but again feel free to message me for more info. Essentially, over the past few years Imperial have been a little lenient with the grades in the sense that people have been able to squeeze their way in with a 3 when they've been required a 2. After doing some number crunching using Imperial's transparency information, which is incredibly useful if you want to have a look, I'd say in 2022 (the year before me, Imperial hasn't released information about my year yet) about 35% of the students who got in missed their STEP grade. However, and this was something I was painfully aware of, I can only expect this proportion to go down. Imperial's Computing courses have become massively popular both here in the UK but especially abroad. If you want my advice, start preparing for STEP now, if you want some help with that then I also have some tips (although I only barely scraped a 2 so maybe I'm not the best person to ask).

I did say I'd try to keep this brief but it ended up being quite a long one, my bad. That being said, there's still a lot I missed out but I hope you get the gist of what kind of things Imperial will want from you over the coming year. In short, the Computing courses at Imperial are unironically the most competitive courses you can apply for, the percentage of students admitted are even lower than Cambridge and Oxford but in hindsight I think it was a valuable journey to undertake and the fact I got in is just a bonus at the end of the day. Hope this helps!


Thanks for the reply.
I wanted to ask how u prepared for the STEP. I have no clue where to start from. FYI I'm not the best at f.m.
Reply 3
Original post by Kurayami2317
Thanks for the reply.
I wanted to ask how u prepared for the STEP. I have no clue where to start from. FYI I'm not the best at f.m.

Basically, currently there are two STEP papers being run, STEP II and STEP III (there used to be a STEP I that got discontinued a few years ago). The one that Imperial request most of the time is STEP II, but there are people who get requested STEP III. STEP II covers year 12 further maths whereas STEP III covers year 13 further maths, hence why most people find STEP III marginally harder even though they are designed to be the same difficulty.

To prepare for the STEP I'd recommend doing past papers, if you feel its too hard atm then do some past TMUA papers and MAT papers but you really should be doing STEP papers by christmas to give yourself the best chance possible. It might sound harsh, but STEP is vastly harder than further maths papers, in my opinion it doesn't even compare tbh. Start with 2007 STEP papers and work all the way through to the recent ones. There are papers before 2007 but they don't have mark schemes, if you run out then there are past papers all the way back to the 1980s. One thing you must be very wary of is that the difficulty of the STEP ramps up significantly 2016 onwards, so make sure that you don't just do ones from 2007 - 2015, especially coming up to the exam I would be exclusively doing 2020 to 2023 papers.

One other great resource that got recommended to me when I went to a Cambridge open day was a book called Advanced Problems in Mathematics: Preparing for University by Stephen Siklos. There is a free pdf online, but essentially he compiles a bunch of STEP questions from over the years and provides detailed feedback on how to approach and solve the questions.

If your struggling with f.m. (which I have just assumed to be Further Maths icl) then I'm afraid you've got quite a bit of work to do. Not only is STEP significantly more difficult than further maths, further maths will also become quite a time hog in year 13 due to the sheer amount of content (I wouldn't say the content was harder but there is a lot more of it). Physics will also become very hard, honestly if you're certain you want to go into Computer Science then it may even be worth dropping it as no unis I'm aware of requires 4 subjects.

I'm not trying to worry you or put you down here, just don't want to undersell the difficulty of the STEP. If you're confident enough in your ability then the extra work and effort you put in will be worth it and you'll gain valuable experience going into university regardless of the outcome. The truth is, from what I hear from my friends who have just finished a year in university, even further maths doesn't quite get you up to scratch with uni level mathematics, STEP is designed to help bridge the gap between year 13 and university so you'll find yourself in a much better position come next year.
Reply 4
Original post by Shaowy
Basically, currently there are two STEP papers being run, STEP II and STEP III (there used to be a STEP I that got discontinued a few years ago). The one that Imperial request most of the time is STEP II, but there are people who get requested STEP III. STEP II covers year 12 further maths whereas STEP III covers year 13 further maths, hence why most people find STEP III marginally harder even though they are designed to be the same difficulty.

To prepare for the STEP I'd recommend doing past papers, if you feel its too hard atm then do some past TMUA papers and MAT papers but you really should be doing STEP papers by christmas to give yourself the best chance possible. It might sound harsh, but STEP is vastly harder than further maths papers, in my opinion it doesn't even compare tbh. Start with 2007 STEP papers and work all the way through to the recent ones. There are papers before 2007 but they don't have mark schemes, if you run out then there are past papers all the way back to the 1980s. One thing you must be very wary of is that the difficulty of the STEP ramps up significantly 2016 onwards, so make sure that you don't just do ones from 2007 - 2015, especially coming up to the exam I would be exclusively doing 2020 to 2023 papers.

One other great resource that got recommended to me when I went to a Cambridge open day was a book called Advanced Problems in Mathematics: Preparing for University by Stephen Siklos. There is a free pdf online, but essentially he compiles a bunch of STEP questions from over the years and provides detailed feedback on how to approach and solve the questions.

If your struggling with f.m. (which I have just assumed to be Further Maths icl) then I'm afraid you've got quite a bit of work to do. Not only is STEP significantly more difficult than further maths, further maths will also become quite a time hog in year 13 due to the sheer amount of content (I wouldn't say the content was harder but there is a lot more of it). Physics will also become very hard, honestly if you're certain you want to go into Computer Science then it may even be worth dropping it as no unis I'm aware of requires 4 subjects.

I'm not trying to worry you or put you down here, just don't want to undersell the difficulty of the STEP. If you're confident enough in your ability then the extra work and effort you put in will be worth it and you'll gain valuable experience going into university regardless of the outcome. The truth is, from what I hear from my friends who have just finished a year in university, even further maths doesn't quite get you up to scratch with uni level mathematics, STEP is designed to help bridge the gap between year 13 and university so you'll find yourself in a much better position come next year.

Thanks again for the reply.
I just wanted to ask a few more questions, hope I'm not disturbing u.
What where your predicted grades? (the ones u sent to imperial)
Is it true that even if u meet your offer u might not get accepted to imperial?
What did u find to be the hardest part about STEP (e.g. time management)?
What did u write about in your personal statement?
Thanks for your help, u have been really helpful. :u:
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 5
Original post by Kurayami2317
Is it true that even if u meet your offer u might not get accepted to imperial?

Unis are required to give you a place if you meet your offer - that's why the grade inflation in 2020 was a big issue for universities.
Reply 6
Original post by Kurayami2317
Thanks again for the reply.
I just wanted to ask a few more questions, hope I'm not disturbing u.
What where your predicted grades? (the ones u sent to imperial)
Is it true that even if u meet your offer u might not get accepted to imperial?
What did u find to be the hardest part about STEP (e.g. time management)?
What did u write about in your personal statement?
Thanks for your help, u have been really helpful. :u:

No problem at all man. The predicted grades that my school sent off to Imperial were 4 A*s but on their website they said that anyone predicted 4 As or higher is guaranteed an online test, I guess this also means that even if it is lower than 4 As they can still get an online test as well.

If you meet your offer, like @Sinnoh mentioned, then you will definitely get your place. However they can reject you if you meet your grades but not your STEP grades, which forms part of your offer.

There's a lot that is hard about the STEP and it will vary massively between individuals. For me the hardest part was that it felt like a lot of the questions were just simply out of my capability to solve, and a lot of my friends felt the same. You'd struggle with a question for hours then read the solution and just think to yourself 'how on earth was I meant to know to do that' kind of thing. Because of this, it was hard to see any real progress and that takes a massive toll on your mental as well. To tackle this, tbh I'm not sure how successful this strategy was, I'd spend an equal amount of time doing the questions as reviewing them, so writing down what I missed, what I didn't miss, if I were to tackle the question again (which you should do for every question) how would I go about it. The other thing is that the STEP is not designed for you to be able to do every question, of course there are still individuals who can, but the main purpose is for you to find which questions you are good at and then pick them out on the actual day of your test. While doing past papers, be aware of which questions you are naturally drawn to and which ones you tend to be good at. For me, I found that graphing and calculus questions seemed to be my strong point and the occasional mechanics question or sort of 'puzzle' type question. I've spent a lot of time preparing for the STEP and even though my grade might not be that high, I think that the advice I can give will be more valuable than someone who got a grade S (not to blow my own whistle) because there's not a lot of stuff they had to struggle through. If you want more help feel free to message me and I can give you a call or send you a detailed rundown of the STEP.

In my personal statement I wrote about some of the projects I'd done and some of the books that I had read, the basic bread and butter stuff essentially. I wrote my personal statement aiming at Oxford which I think really helped, so maybe write it as if you're applying there. The only thing about the personal statement that caught me off guard is that the person doing the interview had actually read it quite in depth. I had assumed, and been told, that the interview would basically be completely academic tailored and they would ask a brief question about your personal statement and then move onto the maths questions, this was certainly the case with my Oxford interviews. But at Imperial we spent probably a good quarter of the interview talking about the book I read, Music of the Primes (highly recommend), and the worst part is that he had picked out a very specific line which was one I had kind of just put in there without that much thought. I managed to waffle my way through it but just be careful that they can do that, so make sure every sentence in your personal statement is one that you can hold a good conversation about.

Again, feel free to add more if you feel the need!
Hi, thank you so much for posting this information, it's incredibly useful. I just wanted to ask if you could share some more about the interview please, and what it entails. I did see in your previous posts that they ask you about the personal statement and some logic questions. Do they go in depth into a specific topic in Computer Science/Maths, as this is something I have heard comes up in other interviews for Computer Science courses. Also, how would you suggest to prepare for the interview? Thanks.
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 8
Hey, I received my results a couple of weeks ago and got accepted to Imperial for computer science. I just wanted to say that I studied Computer Science, Maths, and Further Maths at A Level and I still got the STEP requirement so I'm pretty sure it's a must for everyone. My offer requirement was a 2 for step but I got 38 marks which is roughly a mid-3 but they still accepted me so don't worry too much if you feel like you haven't done the best. Just go through the STEP Support Programme and complete all the questions week by week and I'm sure you'll be fine. It just takes a lot of practice to understand what they're looking for and how you can make the links between previous questions.

About the interview, mine was pretty chill. The interviewer picked up on one of my points from my personal statement and we spent most of the interview just talking about that. I also got two logic questions which I wasn't prepared for but the interviewer helped me quite a bit and tried to guide me in the right direction after which I caught on and was able to solve it. They're more just to see how you think in challenging scenarios than testing you. If you want to prepare then you should reread your personal statement and you could also practice some logic puzzles but they will most likely keep giving you harder ones until you are not able to solve one to see how you deal with it.
Reply 9
Original post by Barty200
Hey, I received my results a couple of weeks ago and got accepted to Imperial for computer science. I just wanted to say that I studied Computer Science, Maths, and Further Maths at A Level and I still got the STEP requirement so I'm pretty sure it's a must for everyone. My offer requirement was a 2 for step but I got 38 marks which is roughly a mid-3 but they still accepted me so don't worry too much if you feel like you haven't done the best. Just go through the STEP Support Programme and complete all the questions week by week and I'm sure you'll be fine. It just takes a lot of practice to understand what they're looking for and how you can make the links between previous questions.

About the interview, mine was pretty chill. The interviewer picked up on one of my points from my personal statement and we spent most of the interview just talking about that. I also got two logic questions which I wasn't prepared for but the interviewer helped me quite a bit and tried to guide me in the right direction after which I caught on and was able to solve it. They're more just to see how you think in challenging scenarios than testing you. If you want to prepare then you should reread your personal statement and you could also practice some logic puzzles but they will most likely keep giving you harder ones until you are not able to solve one to see how you deal with it.


Hi, thanks for the info. I just wanted to ask a few questions.
Could u please tell me what your predicted grades that went to imperial where?
What did actually end up getting?
What extra curriculum stuff did u write in your personal statement?
Thanks again, u have been really helpful.
Original post by Barty200
Hey, I received my results a couple of weeks ago and got accepted to Imperial for computer science. I just wanted to say that I studied Computer Science, Maths, and Further Maths at A Level and I still got the STEP requirement so I'm pretty sure it's a must for everyone. My offer requirement was a 2 for step but I got 38 marks which is roughly a mid-3 but they still accepted me so don't worry too much if you feel like you haven't done the best. Just go through the STEP Support Programme and complete all the questions week by week and I'm sure you'll be fine. It just takes a lot of practice to understand what they're looking for and how you can make the links between previous questions.

About the interview, mine was pretty chill. The interviewer picked up on one of my points from my personal statement and we spent most of the interview just talking about that. I also got two logic questions which I wasn't prepared for but the interviewer helped me quite a bit and tried to guide me in the right direction after which I caught on and was able to solve it. They're more just to see how you think in challenging scenarios than testing you. If you want to prepare then you should reread your personal statement and you could also practice some logic puzzles but they will most likely keep giving you harder ones until you are not able to solve one to see how you deal with it.


Thanks again, that's really helpful. I'm interested to know more about the logical reasoning questions. Could you point me to some resources that show the type of questions that you may be asked, please? I just want to get a feel for the kind of questions. Thank you.
Reply 11
Original post by Josephineitpro
Thanks again, that's really helpful. I'm interested to know more about the logical reasoning questions. Could you point me to some resources that show the type of questions that you may be asked, please? I just want to get a feel for the kind of questions. Thank you.

It's hard to say what kind of question they'll ask you but some resources I would recommend are the MAT past papers. They usually have a logic type question in there somewhere. I don't know whether it particularly helped me but I liked doing Presh Talwalker's problems that he posts on YouTube. One of my interview questions was a 'divide and conquer' type logic question, so you can do a bit of reading on that if you want but again there's no guarantee your question will have anything to do with mine.
Reply 12
Hi, I'm in the same situation as Josephineitpro and I was just wondering if you knew what type of applicants or things affect Imperial's decision on your STEP offer? e.g. people who have 4 A* predictions are more likely to get a STEP III requirement.
Also, do you know what percentage of people get an interview and what percentage of applicants get an actual offer? Thanks
(edited 5 months ago)
Original post by Shaowy
It's hard to say what kind of question they'll ask you but some resources I would recommend are the MAT past papers. They usually have a logic type question in there somewhere. I don't know whether it particularly helped me but I liked doing Presh Talwalker's problems that he posts on YouTube. One of my interview questions was a 'divide and conquer' type logic question, so you can do a bit of reading on that if you want but again there's no guarantee your question will have anything to do with mine.

Thanks a lot, I will definitely look into these.
Reply 14
Hi, thanks so much for this... roughly what time in November did you hear back via email, and how long did you have to prepare before the interview date?

I also would like to ask, is the computing course more maths based or programming/CS focused as I know this varies in different universities.

Thanks!

Original post by Shaowy
Hi there, I've just recently got my results and am now confirmed a place in Imperial College London studying Mathematics and Computer Science. You've got the right idea asking about STEP this early (honestly even a little earlier wouldn't hurt) because it really is, at least for me, the biggest hurdle between you now and you in a years time. I've got quite a bit to say in the matter but I'll try and keep it as short as possible here, please do reach out if you want more info!

Essentially, there are 3 extra things that Imperial ask of applicants compared to other "more standard" universities when it comes to applying for a Computing course, i.e. Computing, Mathematics and Computer Science (also known as the Joint Mathematics and Computer Science Course or the JMC for short) and other Computing courses.

Online Admissions Test
The first is an Online Admissions Test. This is by far the easiest and simplest of the three. It's taken in Octoberish time if I remember correctly, and almost all applicants will get an invitation to take one. It's basically a quiz that you do at home on a computer and it consists of some logic, mathematical and basic programming questions. I know that Imperial say you don't need prior programming experience but in order to properly do the programming questions (which aren't labelled as such) I'd say at least a fundamental understanding is necessary. Other questions that were on there were some geometry questions and a sort of maze solving thing? As you can probably tell by my weak memory of the questions, they weren't hard. I'm confident that anyone applying to Imperial College for one of the most competitive courses in the country will have no problem breezing through them. My assumption is that this is just a quick easy way for them to skim off the people who applied without understanding the competitiveness of the course, because it is genuinely one of the hardest courses you can do in the UK.

Interview
If you are lucky/successful and Imperial deem you competent enough, you'll be invited to an interview. For my year this was on site but I can't say for sure that you'll get the same experience. There are multiple interview "slots" over the year but the one I attended was in November shortly after my online admissions test. I can't speak for others, but my interview was around 40 minutes long (it was advertised to be 30 minutes but it varied massively from what I could tell) and it consisted of 2 logic questions so the interview was largely Computer Science tailored. When you aren't participating in the interview, which was most of the day, they took you around campus showing you past projects and also giving some extra information. All in all it was quite a nice experience.

Offer and STEP
If your interview went well then you will be given an offer from the university. Since mine was in November, I got an offer in December just before the Christmas break but I imagine the timing was vastly different for each student. Unless Imperial have changed their admissions process for your year, the offer will almost definitely contain a STEP condition, I'm yet to hear from someone who didn't get one in my year. FYI, I took the exact same subjects as you and they asked for an A*A* in Further Maths and Maths and then AA in Physics and Computer Science, which is the typical offer they have listed on the site. The STEP grade they asked for is 2, which seems to be one given to the vast majority of students, although I have seen on forums people being requested 1s and 3s but they are few and far between. I'm assuming you already know a bit about the STEP so I won't go into detail but again feel free to message me for more info. Essentially, over the past few years Imperial have been a little lenient with the grades in the sense that people have been able to squeeze their way in with a 3 when they've been required a 2. After doing some number crunching using Imperial's transparency information, which is incredibly useful if you want to have a look, I'd say in 2022 (the year before me, Imperial hasn't released information about my year yet) about 35% of the students who got in missed their STEP grade. However, and this was something I was painfully aware of, I can only expect this proportion to go down. Imperial's Computing courses have become massively popular both here in the UK but especially abroad. If you want my advice, start preparing for STEP now, if you want some help with that then I also have some tips (although I only barely scraped a 2 so maybe I'm not the best person to ask).

I did say I'd try to keep this brief but it ended up being quite a long one, my bad. That being said, there's still a lot I missed out but I hope you get the gist of what kind of things Imperial will want from you over the coming year. In short, the Computing courses at Imperial are unironically the most competitive courses you can apply for, the percentage of students admitted are even lower than Cambridge and Oxford but in hindsight I think it was a valuable journey to undertake and the fact I got in is just a bonus at the end of the day. Hope this helps!
Original post by Kurayami2317
I'm a Year 13 student, beginning in September, and I have inquiries regarding the entry prerequisites for the Computer Science program at Imperial College.

The admission guidelines indicate a possible requirement to undertake the STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) as a component of the offer. I'm curious to know the likelihood of this being requested. My chosen subjects include Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics.

In the event that the STEP is indeed required, could you provide information about the expected grade? Additionally, I seek clarification about the online test mentioned on the college's website, conducted prior to the interview. Could you elaborate on the content and purpose of this test?

Furthermore, I'm interested in understanding the interview process. Specifically, I'd like to know the topics usually covered during the interview and the aspects that the admissions panel emphasizes the most. Your insights would be greatly appreciated.

The grade requirement is a grade 2 in STEP II (standard offer but this can vary depending on how desperately Imperial wants you after getting the interview). What I will say is this: The hard part is definitely getting the interview in the first place for CS. I was doing some calculations because in a forum last year, I saw that someone said that if you get an interview, you have an 80% chance of getting in. Now, I don't know whether this is true but if this is true, the following will apply:

Acceptance rate (excluding external factors such as strength of application) = 5.2 % which we will round to 5% = 1/20

Chance of getting an offer post interview = 4/5 (based on a previous thread but the data may change for this year.)

Chance of getting an interview * Chance of getting an offer post interview = Acceptance rate

Chance of getting an interview * 4/5 = 1/20

Chance of getting an interview = 1/20 / 4/5

Chance of getting an interview = 1/16

Now what we don't take into consideration is the STEP paper and how many people actually match the offer for the STEP requirement (which more or less everyone who gets an offer for Imperial CS get) but I don't have any values for that so I can't work out your chances (when I say your, I mean this for everyone).

I got my CS interview invite a couple of days ago for the 29th of November so wish me luck 🀞😊😊
Original post by tjola7
Hi, thanks so much for this... roughly what time in November did you hear back via email, and how long did you have to prepare before the interview date?

I also would like to ask, is the computing course more maths based or programming/CS focused as I know this varies in different universities.

Thanks!

I heard back a couple of days ago and I got my interview in 17 days. The train tickets were so expensive!!
Original post by Anonymous
The grade requirement is a grade 2 in STEP II (standard offer but this can vary depending on how desperately Imperial wants you after getting the interview). What I will say is this: The hard part is definitely getting the interview in the first place for CS. I was doing some calculations because in a forum last year, I saw that someone said that if you get an interview, you have an 80% chance of getting in. Now, I don't know whether this is true but if this is true, the following will apply:

Acceptance rate (excluding external factors such as strength of application) = 5.2 % which we will round to 5% = 1/20

Chance of getting an offer post interview = 4/5 (based on a previous thread but the data may change for this year.)

Chance of getting an interview * Chance of getting an offer post interview = Acceptance rate

Chance of getting an interview * 4/5 = 1/20

Chance of getting an interview = 1/20 / 4/5

Chance of getting an interview = 1/16

Now what we don't take into consideration is the STEP paper and how many people actually match the offer for the STEP requirement (which more or less everyone who gets an offer for Imperial CS get) but I don't have any values for that so I can't work out your chances (when I say your, I mean this for everyone).

I got my CS interview invite a couple of days ago for the 29th of November so wish me luck 🀞😊😊

Hi, could I ask when you submitted your application?
Original post by Josephineitpro
Hi, could I ask when you submitted your application?

I submitted on 27/09 (quite early tbh but there are so many people who have applied earlier than me).
Reply 19
Original post by tjola7
Hi, thanks so much for this... roughly what time in November did you hear back via email, and how long did you have to prepare before the interview date?

I also would like to ask, is the computing course more maths based or programming/CS focused as I know this varies in different universities.

Thanks!

I know it's been a while and this probably isn't very relevant for you right now but I thought I'd reply anyway. I didn't have much time at all to prepare for my interview, maybe like 2 weeks maximum but I'd already done some prep for Oxford interviews so I wasn't completely in the dark.

The computing course is quite 50/50. They get one programming task per week which is designed to take 6 hours but the time varies massively. To complement this, they also get 6 hours of lectures teaching programming. The non-programming half of the course mainly involves databases, computing systems, logic and calculus. The actual weighting of the course for first year is 70% practical, 30% non-practical but the time split is pretty even I'd say.

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