The Student Room Group

Is it over for me? (maths at oxbridge)

I competed in the senior maths challenge this year and qualified for the kangaroo. I then got merit and best in school (I'm in year 12 but my school is kinda bad).
However I really wanted to apply to do maths or maths/physics at oxbridge, and I am concerned that I just wont be good enough because I've never qualified for the olympiad. I did also get selected to go to the ukmt summer school last year but I couldn't attend, if that is relevant.
I'm aware that, relatively, this is a good score, but I don't know how good it would be in context. I have some super curriculars and I got a good mark in GCSE maths/FM-not full marks but pretty close- so I could just not mention I competed if that would be better. I just want to know if this an indicator that maybe I'm not cut out to pursue this path.
Thanks
Reply 1
Original post by lucyy06
I competed in the senior maths challenge this year and qualified for the kangaroo. I then got merit and best in school (I'm in year 12 but my school is kinda bad).
However I really wanted to apply to do maths or maths/physics at oxbridge, and I am concerned that I just wont be good enough because I've never qualified for the olympiad. I did also get selected to go to the ukmt summer school last year but I couldn't attend, if that is relevant.
I'm aware that, relatively, this is a good score, but I don't know how good it would be in context. I have some super curriculars and I got a good mark in GCSE maths/FM-not full marks but pretty close- so I could just not mention I competed if that would be better. I just want to know if this an indicator that maybe I'm not cut out to pursue this path.
Thanks

There are no entry requirements depending on ukmt and while it can be something to put on your personal statement, there are plenty of other projects / ... you can do in y12 to put on there to show enthusiasm. Kangaroo is ok, and as Ive mentioned on another thread, someone has applied to trinity this year with a similar score to yourself (and got an interview). So youre in an ok position.
Reply 2
Original post by mqb2766
There are no entry requirements depending on ukmt and while it can be something to put on your personal statement, there are plenty of other projects / ... you can do in y12 to put on there to show enthusiasm. Kangaroo is ok, and as Ive mentioned on another thread, someone has applied to trinity this year with a similar score to yourself (and got an interview). So youre in an ok position.

thank you, that made me less depressed about it :smile:
Reply 3
Original post by lucyy06
I competed in the senior maths challenge this year and qualified for the kangaroo. I then got merit and best in school (I'm in year 12 but my school is kinda bad).
However I really wanted to apply to do maths or maths/physics at oxbridge, and I am concerned that I just wont be good enough because I've never qualified for the olympiad. I did also get selected to go to the ukmt summer school last year but I couldn't attend, if that is relevant.
I'm aware that, relatively, this is a good score, but I don't know how good it would be in context. I have some super curriculars and I got a good mark in GCSE maths/FM-not full marks but pretty close- so I could just not mention I competed if that would be better. I just want to know if this an indicator that maybe I'm not cut out to pursue this path.
Thanks

I know someone who went to Cambridge for Maths, got Bronze in UKMT year 12, Gold in 13. So at least in year 12 they didn't reach the kangaroo stage! In my school I got Best in school this year (y12) and got a Bronze (1 off silver) and a Merit in the Maths Girls Olympiad, so in comparison you've done exceptionally well (I also have a fairly small school with no oxbridge applicants). I visited Jesus College recently and Oxford really want to see you have a passion for your subject and supercurriculars around it - so if you continue to try for maths competitions and opportunities in general it should be worth it. I think there is a girls maths Cambridge residential in February, it's worth applying for that! Also definitely mention it in your PS, it's better than what most applicants get in the UKMT.
Reply 4
Original post by lucyy06
thank you, that made me less depressed about it :smile:

Youre doing ok, just think about some supercurriculum things you can do to put on a personal statement and if youre really aiming at oxbridge maths, the key thing(s) are the mat/step tests so have a think about working towards them. The ~25 step foundation modules could be done gradually in y12 and theyd be useful for whichever one you end up doing. Its also worth noting that while the ukmt stuff (problem solving) can be partially useful for the tests/interview, the y13 challenge/... wont affect your application (too late) so do them as you see fit.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 5
Original post by study23!
I know someone who went to Cambridge for Maths, got Bronze in UKMT year 12, Gold in 13. So at least in year 12 they didn't reach the kangaroo stage! In my school I got Best in school this year (y12) and got a Bronze (1 off silver) and a Merit in the Maths Girls Olympiad, so in comparison you've done exceptionally well (I also have a fairly small school with no oxbridge applicants). I visited Jesus College recently and Oxford really want to see you have a passion for your subject and supercurriculars around it - so if you continue to try for maths competitions and opportunities in general it should be worth it. I think there is a girls maths Cambridge residential in February, it's worth applying for that! Also definitely mention it in your PS, it's better than what most applicants get in the UKMT.

thank you so much, I will definitely check out the girls maths course, this rlly made me feel better :smile:
Reply 6
Original post by mqb2766
Youre doing ok, just think about some supercurriculum things you can do to put on a personal statement and if youre really aiming at oxbridge maths, the key thing(s) are the mat/step tests so have a think about working towards them. The ~25 step foundation modules could be done gradually in y12 and theyd be useful for whichever one you end up doing. Its also worth noting that while the ukmt stuff (problem solving) can be partially useful for the tests/interview, the y13 challenge/... wont affect your application (too late) so do them as you see fit.

i will do that, i appreciate the advice
I do Maths at Cambridge and I think I got a bronze maybe not even that in Year 12 so you're doing better than I did.

My DoS (Director of Studies) said that UKMT and Olympiads aren't even that relevant as the Maths is of such a different style to undergrad and is much more like solving puzzles.
Reply 8
Original post by lucyy06
thank you, that made me less depressed about it :smile:

i got the participation prize for the UKMT in year 12, and this year i had my cambridge maths interview. it literally doesnt matter.
UKMT awards probably don't even correlate that much with uni-level maths skills. I got best in school in Kangaroo and applying to some good maths/physics courses from a good school, but I'm nowhere near good enough for Cambridge maths. But if you're in Y12 doing the Kangaroo, you're doing well. I'd recommend to start the STEP foundation modules while you're in Y12 and doing some supercurricular for Cambridge, but good luck!

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