The Student Room Group

[Need advice] Possible to study Computer Science in Cambridge with only A*A*A?

I am an international applicant and studying computer science in Cambridge has been my dream for so long, however my home country's qualification is unlikely to get me in, so from last October I self-studied the Edexcel International A Level and got my result few days ago, however the result completely broke my plan, I only got A*A*A(M FM Phy), the grade boundary was raised around 25% in my exam which A* in last series is only a B for the same raw mark in this series + there were a marking error in my script but they don't fix it even I applied for review of marking, and after all even I gave some margin when I was preparing for the exam it's still an A, I was fully into preparing TMUA and personal statement that I never thought of such thing would happen, I am now thinking should I just give up or what, coz I've seen people in TSR and reddit who got 4A*s and still got rejected, and my A*A*A is not competitive at all compared to those applicant, I do get a opportunity to resit in October, however despite top university like Cambridge don't like resit, the result will only come in mid Jan earliest, and at that time I think the decision will already have been made such that my late coming third A* will make no difference at all, I am now so hopeless that I don't know what to do, is there anybody here has experienced similar thing and can share your experience? Thank you so much
Reply 1
Don’t be down hearted, you have done really well. This doesn’t rule out Cambridge. There are many people with 4A* that don’t get into Cambridge but there are many with lower grades that do get in. I would advise applying as that is your dream and just give your application your all. The A* grades are in the maths and further maths, which are more important for cs than physics. This really, really isn’t the end of the world. I don’t think there is much to be gained by resitting tbh. As you say , the result won’t be in until after your application. Throw yourself into the TMUA prep and write a good personal statement and you have as good a chance as any. If you want to impress you could always sit the MAT as well as the TMUA? Have a look at the MATand see if it would suit you. Probably better not to do it than do badly in it.
Good luck and well done
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
I am an international applicant and studying computer science in Cambridge has been my dream for so long, however my home country's qualification is unlikely to get me in, so from last October I self-studied the Edexcel International A Level and got my result few days ago, however the result completely broke my plan, I only got A*A*A(M FM Phy), the grade boundary was raised around 25% in my exam which A* in last series is only a B for the same raw mark in this series + there were a marking error in my script but they don't fix it even I applied for review of marking, and after all even I gave some margin when I was preparing for the exam it's still an A, I was fully into preparing TMUA and personal statement that I never thought of such thing would happen, I am now thinking should I just give up or what, coz I've seen people in TSR and reddit who got 4A*s and still got rejected, and my A*A*A is not competitive at all compared to those applicant, I do get a opportunity to resit in October, however despite top university like Cambridge don't like resit, the result will only come in mid Jan earliest, and at that time I think the decision will already have been made such that my late coming third A* will make no difference at all, I am now so hopeless that I don't know what to do, is there anybody here has experienced similar thing and can share your experience? Thank you so much

The basic offer for STEM degrees is A*A*A, so your results are competitive. If they wanted 4 A levels they would ask for them! Everything else now is down to your super-curriculars, TMUA (if required for your chosen course), interview performance and enthusiasm for your subject.
Really does depend

In your favour your grades are known and are a fact so you are ahead of other applicants. The entry requirements for the course are at https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/computer-science

To get an interview you need two things on top of your a level results (which are fine by the way). You need a good score in the entrance exam (TMUA) any you need a strong set of super curricular activities that show your love for the subject.

If you get an interview then a good interview will count towards whether you get an offer.

In short, your a level grades are only part of the requirements and yours are good enough to get an offer and a place (I know as I know people doing CS at Cambridge) but you have the added advantage that your grades are known. In your case, they will want to know (as part of your personal statement) what you have done to maintain and further your knowledge between the time you passed those exams and the time of your application (are you driven to learn more about the subject you love)

So, go for it and apply….. you certainly stand a chance with those grades

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