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how can I fulfill my dream of going to Cambridge?

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Tipareth
If it doesn't affect your academic ability, then why would they take it into account?


From my experience, if you have mental health issues, you still need pretty perfect grades anyway.


To be honest I think the interviewer related to me because his son suffered from the same problem.
Reply 21
Running Riot
I went to Cambridge and I have to say it's fairly easy to get in.

I got 3 Bs and 3 Cs (I took 6 A levels at once) but because I have a mental disorder (not diverging which one) they let me in anyway.


Oh cool, so i just have to get a mental disorder. Where can i buy one of those again??
Reply 22
Take a day trip?
Reply 23
jcb914
You DO NOT need a lot of extra curricular activities! It's been said countless times on this forum - the sole criterion is academic potential/achievement. The best thing you can do is spend your summer learning as much maths as you can. Your interviews will be spent discussing mathematical problems, any chat about your life interests/hobbies/extra curriculars will be merely incidental and will not influence their decision to give you an offer. Their decision will be based on your grades/module scores (achieved and predicted) and on how well you answer/think through the maths questions they discuss with you at interview. And, to a lesser extent, the quality of your PS and reference.


When I attended an Oxbridge convention day the extracurricular question was asked and they basically said the above. In fact, he said that if you mention extracurriculars, etc, in an interview trying to "impress" they'd say, "that's nice but let's get back to this..." He said there was far less emphasis on extracurriculars for Oxbridge than there might be for other Unis.
Crimsonchilli
seriously
go do the DofE
and get loads of other random qualifications (life guard, sailing instructor for example)
To get into cambs you need a life aswell as intellect.
so yeah, as you said, loads of activities.


to an extent this is true. but 99% of the time, when people use the phrase "need a life", it means something totally different to what cambridge expect.

cambridge are thinking of the person doing productive things with their downtime. usually people think "socialising" is having a life.
Aeolus
Oh cool, so i just have to get a mental disorder. Where can i buy one of those again??


Well you could probably develop one similar to me if you spent the first 6 years of your life being locked in a cellar and abused on a daily basis by your "parents".
Aeolus
Oh cool, so i just have to get a mental disorder. Where can i buy one of those again??


search google products
Reply 27
Crimsonchilli
wrong
my dads head interviewer for St.Johns
obviously intellect comes first, but EC is also very important.


Ask him why they are important.

All aspects of your application and personality are important - it builds a picture of the applicant. But it doesn't matter whether you're grade 27 on a small instrument only found in the depths of Jordan or not...
Reply 28
get the bus or the train
Reply 29
Why do those who have not applied to cambridge insist on misinforming others...

ECs just aren't important compared to ability especially for maths.
Reply 30
Running Riot
To be honest I think the interviewer related to me because his son suffered from the same problem.


His son was locked up and abused for the first 6 years of his life?

Why is that Dad an Oxbridge Tutor? :eek:
Crimsonchilli
seriously
go do the DofE
and get loads of other random qualifications (life guard, sailing instructor for example)
To get into cambs you need a life aswell as intellect.
so yeah, as you said, loads of activities.


NO! OP, listen to me. They don't care about unrelated ECs - all they care about is academic achievement/potential and your enthusiasm and ability in maths.

Umm, to answer your question OP, it would be nice to have A*s and As, but they are by no means necessary. But, specifically, not grades are "required" per se at GCSE.

Also it's not just about grades. No one on TSR could answer if you're going to go in with X amount of A*s or whatever. Just get the best results you can in AS level.

Speaking of which, if I were you, I'd take:

Maths
Further Maths
Physics

at A-level, and also another 4th option if you there's a subject you really want to study. But I suggest for the 4th option you'd do a subject like Biology, Chemistry - or even a contrasting respected subject e.g. History, Classics, Geography, Economics etc. Search it on TSR.

However, I strongly advise you do the AEA as it shows commitment to maths etc.

Also, to get into Cambridge for Maths, you have to do STEP Maths, and I doubt they are any exceptions. Google this for more info.

Things you can do in the summer holidays to prepare you for Cambridge Maths is:

*Reading maths books. But not that kind of maths books, but books you normally find in a book store by mathematicians. People who study maths here can give you a reading list perhaps, as I'm not in a position to do so.
*Get yourself a CGP AS Level Maths book and get ahead of the curriculum. This is to see if you really want to take maths and whether you can cope with it.
*Be interested in a different topic of maths not covered in the A-Level syllabus e.g. I don't know - topology? But honestly, you have to be interested in whatever topic you want, not for the sake of a Cambridge application. And by doing this, this shows to Admission Tutors you go beyond the A-Level curriculum - which they like.
*Go to public maths lectures/read a maths journal/do differential problems for fun etc :dontknow:
*You may want to consider programming as a hobby. Note you should only do this if you want to, not for the sake of an application because it would just be a "waste of time". The reason why I suggest taking up programming is because it uses some mathematical concepts if I'm not mistaken? But ask around the Dev forum maybe for definite answers, because, as far as I'm aware, Computer Science uses a lot of maths. :yep:
*Have fun! Apparently this is the last summer you can have fun before doing your PS, researching out courses etc. So yeah! :p:

I hope this is of some use, but for more detail, ask specific information on people that actually study Maths at Cambridge and also RESEARCH in the Cambridge website.

Good luck!
Crimsonchilli
as i said to the other guy, wrong. obviously brilliant grades comes first, and its possible to get into cambs without amazing ECA, but as this topic is about overall admitance to cambs, having an actual life outside of books is equally as important. They'll just think your a boring **** if you do crap all apart from read books in the corner of your room on your own all day.


Believe what you want - but all official sources say otherwise.

The Ivies place heavy emphasis on ECs, but not Cambridge (or Oxford, for that matter).
Especially in maths, all Cambridge will care about is maths. In my interview (Trinity) all I was asked about was the maths problems in the pre-interview test. In fact, they didn't even ask about the books I read. With your GCSE grades, they are less important than your A level predicted grades and AS results. It would be helpful to have A/A* in maths and science, but your results in your other subjects don't really matter. If you impress them enough with your maths ability, they won't reject you because you have a C in GCSE English, for example.

As for what to do, it would be too early to start looking at STEP (ideally, you should start it in about a year. I started September/October of Year 13 and that was OK, but I wouldn't leave it any later). As for now, does your school offer further maths? If not, you ideally would want to self-teach it, and some modules (D1 for example) lead on directly from GCSE.

As for recreational maths books to read, I'd recommend Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh (which almost everyone will have read), and The Music of the Primes and Finding Moonshine, both by Marcus du Sautoy.
Tipareth
His son was locked up and abused for the first 6 years of his life?

Why is that Dad an Oxbridge Tutor? :eek:


It wasn't his real son, obviously. I'm not sure what happened to his son, but I gather his real family abused him also. I probably shouldn't be talking about this actually, although as long as I don't name any names it should be okay.
Reply 35
Crimsonchilli
as i said to the other guy, wrong. obviously brilliant grades comes first, and its possible to get into cambs without amazing ECA, but as this topic is about overall admitance to cambs, having an actual life outside of books is equally as important. They'll just think your a boring **** if you do crap all apart from read books in the corner of your room on your own all day.


No, no, no.

In my interview, the only mention of EC was my Gap Year, and that was only they thought it a little bit bizarre that I was getting the train to Thailand, and thought they misunderstood :wink: It lasted about 1 minute, after we had finished the actual interview.

By all accounts, the academic ability is by far the most important factor.
Reply 36
Just revise LOTS of maths i guess? Make sure you khow whats the best combo, im assuming maths, further pure? and physics or something?

And as i said LOTS of revision, buy some of the books and start so you can get 90%+ in all your first year exams at least. I got no were near but seeing as though you really want it and are dedicated (clearly by posting this early) you should start now.

get a NPLQ and do some sport for ur extra curricular? Maybe get some related work expeiance? dono how seeing as your doing math but jjuts putting it out there.

gd luck
Reply 37
Running Riot
It wasn't his real son, obviously. I'm not sure what happened to his son, but I gather his real family abused him also. I probably shouldn't be talking about this actually, although as long as I don't name any names it should be okay.


Well that makes more sense.
emilY?
Ask him why they are important.

well its kind of obvious. Its the same for most competitive jobs, being purely academic will get you nowhere in most cases. The majority of what you learn for Alevels etc has little relevance yo the actual world of work, and so you need to show an ability to be able to react well to different scenarios etc which will no doubt be thrown at you during uni and work.

probably more importantly, you only live once, why not have some fun aswell as studying your ass off >?
Crimsonchilli
as i said to the other guy, wrong. obviously brilliant grades comes first, and its possible to get into cambs without amazing ECA, but as this topic is about overall admitance to cambs, having an actual life outside of books is equally as important. They'll just think your a boring **** if you do crap all apart from read books in the corner of your room on your own all day.


Brilliant grades come first? Well, depends. They take, and I quote, a "holistic" view on your application.

And btw, that's why they do interviews to see if you can cope with the Cambridge system, but I don't think that answers your question properly...

Tbh, what they want is motivated, enthusiastic individuals to study their courses. They don't care about how many friends you have on Facebook or whether or not you go out at all. Likewise reading JUST books and having straight top grades won't necessarily get you a place. They want more than that. Enthusiasm, passion etc. Which is done through RELATED ECs - not unrelated **** ones e.g. Grade 8 piano for Maths. They couldn't care less. All they show is time management, and that's it. Whereas attending public maths lectures has the added benefit of time management AND enthusiasm for maths.

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