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Which unis to consider for a student with these predicted grades

Hi there,

My son has these predicted UCAS grades for uni entry in '24
Maths A*
Further Maths A
Physics A

Which unis should we look at for a Maths degree to be sure he has an option should he not achieve these grades

e.g. if gets an A* in Math, A in Further Maths and B in Physics (or the B in Further Maths and an A in Physics)

The aspirational offers are easy to do (Bath, Kings)

I could do with some comparative opinion/perceptions of the BSc Mathematics at these Unis: Nottingham, Loughborough, Lancaster, York, Southampton, Birmingham, Sheffield, Sussex.

He is also doing the MAT.

Thank you for your time

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Reply 1
Can I just ask why he is doing the MAT? The MAT is a really tough exam and if he is looking at an A or possibly B in further maths is it a good idea to do the MAT? It is a load of extra work and will detract from his A level work. Also, is a less than good score on the MAT going to be helpful ?
Reply 2
Original post by CAG575
Can I just ask why he is doing the MAT? The MAT is a really tough exam and if he is looking at an A or possibly B in further maths is it a good idea to do the MAT? It is a load of extra work and will detract from his A level work. Also, is a less than good score on the MAT going to be helpful ?


hello thank you for your post. We heard somewhere that a reasonable score on the MAT (or TMEA) can sometimes result in a lower offer. What's a good MAT score, and can it be counterproductive if the MAT score is average? thanks again
Reply 3
Original post by Florence007
hello thank you for your post. We heard somewhere that a reasonable score on the MAT (or TMEA) can sometimes result in a lower offer. What's a good MAT score, and can it be counterproductive if the MAT score is average? thanks again

I don't think he is able to do the MAT unless applying to Oxford, Imperial or Warwick. It's not a public exam like STEP say.
Reply 4
Hi
My daughter is at uni ( just started yr 3) doing Maths so we have been through the process recently. The MAT is absolutely brutal. The TMUA is more accessible but also not easy. To be honest, unless your son is cruising for an A* in further maths then I would advise against spreading himself too thinly. He would be better concentrating on his 3 A levels. Yes, a low score would be detrimental. Unless it is a requirement of the u I that he wants to go to , then it is better to not sit either than not do well. An average score will not necessarily mean a reduced offer, but it might mean that he is more likely to get an offer. It is really hard to get an average score in the MAT though to be honest.
Original post by Florence007
hello thank you for your post. We heard somewhere that a reasonable score on the MAT (or TMEA) can sometimes result in a lower offer. What's a good MAT score, and can it be counterproductive if the MAT score is average? thanks again


Might you be thinking of the EPQ here?
Reply 6
Original post by RichE
I don't think he is able to do the MAT unless applying to Oxford, Imperial or Warwick. It's not a public exam like STEP say.

Anyone can do the MAT , it is open to anyone and is run by Cambridge, same as the STEP.
Reply 7
Original post by hannychica
Might you be thinking of the EPQ here?


no. he's not doing the EPQ. But he has been to all the MAT study sessions held at college.

here's a link to the information on the website at Bath re: the Maths admissions tests they mention as influential on the offers they make for BSc Maths.
https://www.bath.ac.uk/guides/guide-to-mathematics-tests-for-undergraduate-admissions/
Reply 8
Original post by CAG575
Anyone can do the MAT , it is open to anyone and is run by Cambridge, same as the STEP.


Thanks for posting. Any thoughts on TMUA vs. MAT. Most useful, least brutal as earlier post mentioned :-)
Reply 9
Original post by CAG575
Hi
My daughter is at uni ( just started yr 3) doing Maths so we have been through the process recently. The MAT is absolutely brutal. The TMUA is more accessible but also not easy. To be honest, unless your son is cruising for an A* in further maths then I would advise against spreading himself too thinly. He would be better concentrating on his 3 A levels. Yes, a low score would be detrimental. Unless it is a requirement of the u I that he wants to go to , then it is better to not sit either than not do well. An average score will not necessarily mean a reduced offer, but it might mean that he is more likely to get an offer. It is really hard to get an average score in the MAT though to be honest.

Thank you for your post. He switched from music A Level to further maths before Christmas and Further Maths is challenging so I'm encouraging him to put two Maths degree options which do not require an A* in Further Maths. I think he can achieve the Maths A* as he has always been consistent in Maths. Physics and Further Maths could become As, or Bs.

Which unis did your daughter consider for Maths, all A* or a range - aspirational, solid, safe options
Original post by CAG575
Anyone can do the MAT , it is open to anyone and is run by Cambridge, same as the STEP.

Ummm, MAT is Oxford
Original post by Florence007
hello thank you for your post. We heard somewhere that a reasonable score on the MAT (or TMEA) can sometimes result in a lower offer. What's a good MAT score, and can it be counterproductive if the MAT score is average? thanks again

55 is a good score and gets you a lower offer at Durham

65 is a better score a gets you a reduced offer at Warwick (and potentially an interview at Oxford)

75 is a very good score and almost guarantees an interview at Oxford

I don’t “think” a poor score is counter productive. You have to give the uni your MAT number for them to consider your score (if you don’t give them the number then they won’t have access) so if he does badly he simply doesn’t tell them.

Regardless of score, doing MAT will help your son be a better mathematician a will help pretty much help to improve his A level further maths score (IMHO)

He can sit TMUA or STEP as an alternative. Different unis accept 1 or more of the 3 when considering reduced offers.

MAT is a lot more work. Ask his school or college if they provide additional help / classes with this. He should also consider attending the Oxford online maths club live streams at 4pm each Thursday (and doing the pre-stream worksheets)

Hope that helps
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 11
It is worth checking which unis can actually access the MAT results? Anyone can sit it but not every uni will be able see the results. The administration of the MAT has now been taken over by Oxford ( since my daughter sat it) . Here is some info

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

Different exams suit different people. It would be worth him just looking at a past paper in both the MAT and the TMUA before deciding whether or not to do them. My daughter applied to Oxford and Warwick so had to do the MAT
Reply 12
Yes, she had a mixture of aspirational unis and back up unis. She had offers ranging from A*A*A to ABB
Bath, Bristol, UCL, York, Nottingham, Lancaster are all very good unis for maths and with those grades he has a decent chance of getting in. Don’t forget some of these unis do interviews as well and so even if their offer is high at first they can actually reduce this with a good interview performance.

Also as others have said the MAT is very hard and may not be necessary in the application process. The TMUA is a bit easier and if he really wants to do one of those extra exams to boost the application I would go with that one.
Reply 14
Original post by Johnny Valentine
Ummm, MAT is Oxford

55 is a good score and gets you a lower offer at Durham

65 is a better score a gets you a reduced offer at Warwick (and potentially an interview at Oxford)

75 is a very good score and almost guarantees an interview at Oxford

Regardless of score, doing MAT will help your son be a better mathematician a will help pretty much help to improve his A level further maths score (IMHO)

He can sit TMUA or STEP as an alternative. Different unis accept 1 or more of the 3 when considering reduced offers.

MAT is a lot more work. Ask his school or college if they provide additional help / classes with this. He should also consider attending the Oxford online maths club live streams at 4pm each Thursday (and doing the pre-stream worksheets)

Hope that helps

Thank you. good to know.
Reply 15
Original post by Johnny Valentine
Ummm, MAT is Oxford

55 is a good score and gets you a lower offer at Durham

65 is a better score a gets you a reduced offer at Warwick (and potentially an interview at Oxford)

75 is a very good score and almost guarantees an interview at Oxford

I don’t “think” a poor score is counter productive. You have to give the uni your MAT number for them to consider your score (if you don’t give them the number then they won’t have access) so if he does badly he simply doesn’t tell them.

Regardless of score, doing MAT will help your son be a better mathematician a will help pretty much help to improve his A level further maths score (IMHO)

He can sit TMUA or STEP as an alternative. Different unis accept 1 or more of the 3 when considering reduced offers.

MAT is a lot more work. Ask his school or college if they provide additional help / classes with this. He should also consider attending the Oxford online maths club live streams at 4pm each Thursday (and doing the pre-stream worksheets)

Hope that helps


You are right, the MAT is now run by Oxford, was until recently run by Cambridge , although not used by Cambridge , bonkers I know!

you don’t need to get a 75 in the MAT to get an interview at Oxford. It varies year to year but in 2021 the average MAT score for an offer was 64 , lower for an interview. It is different for international students. It will make your maths better but I agree it is a lot of work, especially as he is only now starting further maths, and may well detract from his A levels. TMUA is a more accessible exam ( for most people but check out the past papers) . Step is not helpful as it is sat at the end of year 13 so won’t help get an offer and none of the unis you are looking at require step in their offers.
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 16
Just wanted to add that in my experience, an average MAT score will not get you a reduced offer from Warwick . Warwick maths is exceptionally competitive. A good MAT score will help with an offer from Warwick though. I know of a student who had a MAT score that was good enough for an offer from Oxford ( and got an offer from Oxford) who the day the MAT scores were released, got the standard A*A*A offer from Warwick. The same year a student ( who got A*A*A*A* at A level) did an average MAT and on the day the MAT score came out got an offer from Warwick of A*A*A with a step grade requirement. They went to Edinburgh !! TMUA is a better bet, or just concentrating on A levels 🤷*♀️

Totally up to you though. Good luck
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 17
Original post by CAG575
You are right, the MAT is now run by Oxford, was until recently run by Cambridge , although not used by Cambridge , bonkers I know!

you don’t need to get a 75 in the MAT to get an interview at Oxford. It varies year to year but in 2021 the average MAT s ore for an offer was 64 , lower for an interview. It is different for international students. It will make your maths better but I agree it is a lot of work, especially as he is only no starting further maths, and may well detract from his A levels. TMUA is a more accessible exam ( for most people but check out the past papers) . Step is not helpful as it is sat at the end of year 13 so won’t help get an offer and none of the unis you are looking at require step in their offers.


Thanks. thinking about my original question: about which unis to consider (narrowing the long list to a shorter list any thoughts on the best uni for maths for a student headed for A*AB or A*BB in maths, further maths and physics.
Reply 18
Of the unis that you have listed , my daughter also applied to Birmingham and York. She did her own research on the courses and she liked them. She also applied to Oxford, Warwick and Manchester. It is a good idea to look at what the standard offer is and spread out the uni choices. Also look at the courses, some will be more appealing to the bits of maths they like than others. Then look at whether it is campus based etc. york is collegiate, which was appealing to us.
Original post by Florence007
Thanks. thinking about my original question: about which unis to consider (narrowing the long list to a shorter list any thoughts on the best uni for maths for a student headed for A*AB or A*BB in maths, further maths and physics.


With those grades I would say Lancaster, York, Leeds, Nottingham, Kings, Exeter would all be good universities to consider. They are all highly ranked with slightly more generous entry requirements compared with the likes of Warwick, UCL, Imperial etc. University of York does an interview where you can get a reduced offer if you do well. Leeds, Exeter, Kings, York, and Nottingham are all Russel groups as well if that’s also something you have in mind. (Not that it matters much anyway). Doing further maths is going to help a lot as well, a lot of universities offer lower grades for your other subjects if you can do well in further maths. E.g. getting an A* in further maths can mean that you can get away with B’s in the other subjects.

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