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Supercurriculars for Computer Science... Have I done enough?

Hello,
I am in year 12 and am planning to apply to Cambridge for Computer Science next year. I'm currently researching how to make my application stand out, and I am very concerned with how much everyone else seems to have done when compared to myself, especially concerning the mathematical side of things.

To give you a rundown, here is some related information I would be putting in my application:

Grades
Gcses - 8x 9s, 3 8s (one of which computer science, the other two being english language and RS)
A levels - taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science, predicted straight a*s by my teachers
Related supercurriculars:
- Programming projects - I have created a webscraper that analyses OpenSea (an NFT marketplace) items and shows which ones might be viable buys by comparing them to dictionaries of english names, cities, words etc. I'm also going to be creating an MMO for my computer science project and will be able to talk about that when the time comes for application. I have also created various other projects in order to learn PHP, javascript and html/css.
- General interest in encryption (took part in national cipher challenge), website and server production (did work experience at an eccomerce consultancy), and quantum computing through reading various books in the field.
- I also have done work experience with microsoft, but I am unsure whether this will be useful on my personal statement


My main concern is the lack of mathematical based supercurriculars. A lot of the succesful applications I'm reading about have medals in INTERNATIONAL maths olympiads, but frankly I have always been terrible at the UKMT type of questions and the most I have ever gotten in my years of doing it is a bronze award. Is there any way I'm still an attractive applicant for the course with this in mind?
UKMT Maths is quite different from uni-level Maths in my experience, so don't worry too much. I would recommend working on other Maths, though. There are many things you can do that are accessible: see if there are any AMSP Maths classes in your area, see if you can just practice Maths books (by Maths books, I mean books with Maths problems, not just reading about Maths - they like you to be able to do Maths and not just solve it), etc. If you are unsure, have a look at some suggested supercurriculars for Maths and CS on the Cambridge website. Link: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/files/publications/super-curricular_suggestions.pdf

Whilst should get you started, note that, whilst important, Cambridge recognises that not everyone will have equal access to supercurricular activities, and, as such, there are other ways (such as your interview and any admissions tests), that will help you shine.

Disclaimer: I don't do Computer Science, but I do do Maths at Cambridge.
Original post by melancollege
UKMT Maths is quite different from uni-level Maths in my experience, so don't worry too much. I would recommend working on other Maths, though. There are many things you can do that are accessible: see if there are any AMSP Maths classes in your area, see if you can just practice Maths books (by Maths books, I mean books with Maths problems, not just reading about Maths - they like you to be able to do Maths and not just solve it), etc. If you are unsure, have a look at some suggested supercurriculars for Maths and CS on the Cambridge website. Link: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/files/publications/super-curricular_suggestions.pdf

Whilst should get you started, note that, whilst important, Cambridge recognises that not everyone will have equal access to supercurricular activities, and, as such, there are other ways (such as your interview and any admissions tests), that will help you shine.

Disclaimer: I don't do Computer Science, but I do do Maths at Cambridge.

Hi did u mention UKMT at all in ur personal statement for maths, also do u have any good resources for A* in maths and further maths a level which got u in. Which college ru at
Original post by grade9mathsplz
Hi did u mention UKMT at all in ur personal statement for maths, also do u have any good resources for A* in maths and further maths a level which got u in. Which college ru at

I mentioned UKMT and BMO1 but these weren't a significant part of my personal statement, literally just a sentence. My DoS (Director of Studies) actually said that they're not that important for admissions as the style is so different. I should also note that I was a post-A2 applicant and I only got UKMT and BMO1 in Year 13, so even if it were useful, you shouldn't worry about not getting them in Year 12. I didn't either.

For Maths A-Level, I'd recommend Mad As Maths papers for the A* questions. Other than that, I can't really remember as it was so long ago.

I'm at Sidney Sussex and I'm in my third year.
Original post by melancollege
I mentioned UKMT and BMO1 but these weren't a significant part of my personal statement, literally just a sentence. My DoS (Director of Studies) actually said that they're not that important for admissions as the style is so different. I should also note that I was a post-A2 applicant and I only got UKMT and BMO1 in Year 13, so even if it were useful, you shouldn't worry about not getting them in Year 12. I didn't either.

For Maths A-Level, I'd recommend Mad As Maths papers for the A* questions. Other than that, I can't really remember as it was so long ago.

I'm at Sidney Sussex and I'm in my third year.

Thanks so much for replying , I appreciate it. Good luck on ur degree, thanks. What would u say took up most of ur personal statement, struggling to find things, and how did u do in step
Original post by grade9mathsplz
Thanks so much for replying , I appreciate it. Good luck on ur degree, thanks. What would u say took up most of ur personal statement, struggling to find things, and how did u do in step

Various Maths things that I had done, including classes, competitions, personal reading, etc. Non-Maths things were barely any of it, and even some of them I linked back to Maths (e.g. saying that I did a Maths project in German which I was teaching myself as part of my D of E).

I got a 1,1 in STEP.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 6
Original post by melancollege
Various Maths things that I had done, including classes, competitions, personal reading, etc. Non-Maths things were barely any of it, and even some of them I linked back to Maths (e.g. saying that I did a Maths project in German which I was teaching myself as part of my D of E).

I got a 1,1 in STEP.

How did you go about preparing for the STEP? I have an offer to study Computer Science at Imperial and as part of the offer (A*AAA), I have to obtain at least a grade 2 in STEP II.

I am currently almost finished with the STEP modules on the STEP support programme and so was wondering whether there were any other resources you could suggest? I am 10000000% sure that your Maths ability is way above mine so any help would be much appreciated.
Original post by melancollege
Various Maths things that I had done, including classes, competitions, personal reading, etc. Non-Maths things were barely any of it, and even some of them I linked back to Maths (e.g. saying that I did a Maths project in German which I was teaching myself as part of my D of E).

I got a 1,1 in STEP.

Damn , so impressive I wish I could achieve such grades lol . Any tips for step
Original post by grade9mathsplz
Damn , so impressive I wish I could achieve such grades lol . Any tips for step

Honestly, just practice what you can. There are so many past papers available that you don't need to ration them. Note that 2000–2010 are much easier then they get harder from 2015 so it may be worth saving the latest ones until nearer the time.
Original post by bag52
Hello,
I am in year 12 and am planning to apply to Cambridge for Computer Science next year. I'm currently researching how to make my application stand out, and I am very concerned with how much everyone else seems to have done when compared to myself, especially concerning the mathematical side of things.

To give you a rundown, here is some related information I would be putting in my application:

Grades
Gcses - 8x 9s, 3 8s (one of which computer science, the other two being english language and RS)
A levels - taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science, predicted straight a*s by my teachers
Related supercurriculars:
- Programming projects - I have created a webscraper that analyses OpenSea (an NFT marketplace) items and shows which ones might be viable buys by comparing them to dictionaries of english names, cities, words etc. I'm also going to be creating an MMO for my computer science project and will be able to talk about that when the time comes for application. I have also created various other projects in order to learn PHP, javascript and html/css.
- General interest in encryption (took part in national cipher challenge), website and server production (did work experience at an eccomerce consultancy), and quantum computing through reading various books in the field.
- I also have done work experience with microsoft, but I am unsure whether this will be useful on my personal statement


My main concern is the lack of mathematical based supercurriculars. A lot of the succesful applications I'm reading about have medals in INTERNATIONAL maths olympiads, but frankly I have always been terrible at the UKMT type of questions and the most I have ever gotten in my years of doing it is a bronze award. Is there any way I'm still an attractive applicant for the course with this in mind?

typical tsr post

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