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Oxford PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) Students and Applicants

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sTucker
Um, out of 600 right? I think you'll probably be fine. Unless you mean Maths B, the harder one, in which case you might want to reconsider. But I'll assume you meant Maths A in which case you'll be FINE. They probably won't even let you take one of the other maths courses because they're for people who haven't done maths since GCSE aren't they?


yeah I meant maths A.. I would definitely stand no chance with B! The other one was quantitative biology which actually is for people with a'level maths- I'm technically a bio natsci so was thinking I might be supposed to take that. Argh..there are too many subjects I'd like to study on this course!
Reply 4561
If you're doing Physics as well I think it would probably be better to do Maths A rather than the quantative biology one. Seriously, 582/600 in maths a level is a fantastic score so don't worry about that :P
hmm yeah you're probably right about the maths with physics. Thanks, please don't think I'm fishing for compliments though (esp. in response to dr who there :P) I honestly have no idea what people doing physics would have got- I basically imagine everyone in Cambridge getting 100% for everything in their a-levels, which is really quite disheartening!
escondido
hmm yeah you're probably right about the maths with physics. Thanks, please don't think I'm fishing for compliments though (esp. in response to dr who there :P) I honestly have no idea what people doing physics would have got- I basically imagine everyone in Cambridge getting 100% for everything in their a-levels, which is really quite disheartening!


Well you appear to have killed my results so I wouldn't worry. I'm in the same situation (but apparently less clever :p:). What are your 3 non-maths choices out of interest?

phil.
InVinoVeritas
Well you appear to have killed my results so I wouldn't worry. I'm in the same situation (but apparently less clever :p:). What are your 3 non-maths choices out of interest?

phil.


I'm sure that's not the case! Not sure was thinking bio of cells/chemistry/evolution/physics/materials...really undecided at this point! If I plumped for the bio/chem route then QB might be more relevant than maths A...you?
Probably E&B, Cells, Chem and QB, though I'd like to do Physics and Maths A instead of Chem and QB i think they're probs not the sensible options...and I'm not quite sure yet to give up on physiology or not...there's too much choice! Which college btw?

phil.
Yeah, I think I might end up doing that combination too, if I can't do physics. For some reason physiology has never really appealed to me, I think it's the dissection element, I know it's probably not that big a deal but it just seems a bit cruel when they're just being killed for students to prod about for not much reason. Lol I think I better stay anonymous on here after my rantings, don't want people to think I am crazy! But not Clare.. though that's a really nice college!
escondido
yeah I meant maths A.. I would definitely stand no chance with B! The other one was quantitative biology which actually is for people with a'level maths- I'm technically a bio natsci so was thinking I might be supposed to take that. Argh..there are too many subjects I'd like to study on this course!


Maths B isn't harder. It's marginally faster, so it covers more material, and might be taught better (depending on the lecturers). The extra material is optional in the exam and essentially just gives you more choice in the end...
Kyle_S-C
Maths B isn't harder. It's marginally faster, so it covers more material, and might be taught better (depending on the lecturers). The extra material is optional in the exam and essentially just gives you more choice in the end...


Okay thank you for clearing that up a bit. Would you say for success in Maths A, though, that single maths is a satisfactory grounding? And then if it is no harder would you recommend everyone to start on maths B?
Reply 4569
escondido
Okay thank you for clearing that up a bit. Would you say for success in Maths A, though, that single maths is a satisfactory grounding? And then if it is no harder would you recommend everyone to start on maths B?


Single Maths is fine for Maths A. Maths A/B doesn't really make much difference in the long run and your DOS might just say if you did single maths do A, if you did double do B (mine did). Having done A, I suspect I might have found B a bit easier in the long run since with B you get a bit more choice in the exam and some of the extra topics are not very difficult. But that's probably down to personal preference.

With the QB vs Maths A dilemma, if you are think you theres any chance you might want to do chemistry A in second year (that's physical chemistry) then you should probably do Maths A.
Eye
Single Maths is fine for Maths A. Maths A/B doesn't really make much difference in the long run and your DOS might just say if you did single maths do A, if you did double do B (mine did).

With the QB vs Maths A dilemma, if you are think you theres any chance you might want to do chemistry A in second year (that's physical chemistry) then you should probably do Maths.


Yeah I'd heard about the maths being important for the physical chemistry side of things. I think I feel more confident that maths A is not impossible (like I thought) for single mathsers and it seems like a good option for me. :yep:
Reply 4571
Hey, do you guys know what the format for the Nat Sci interview is? I know you get asked questions but is there a written test during the interview too? (not the TSA)

I get the impression it's different in every college - I'm looking at Clare in particular.
TDM
Hey, do you guys know what the format for the Nat Sci interview is? I know you get asked questions but is there a written test during the interview too? (not the TSA)

I get the impression it's different in every college - I'm looking at Clare in particular.


Last year at Clare I had 2 interviews (for biological), one was very biochemistry/molecular based, the other was more zoological. I then had the TSA. There are no written tests at Clare for NatSci unless they've changed in a year. Please ask if you want any advice about your application (feel free to PM), I prefer being the one giving advice than asking for it :p:.

phil.
Regarding the QB vs Maths A argument: I had the exact same dilemma, and opted for QB in the end. It was my best mark this year (I also did E&B, Cells and Chemistry), and although it was quite boring, I am very glad that I did it. I too was better at and really enjoyed pure maths at school, so was reluctant to give it up - and while QB did not make me feel in awe at the beauty of mathematics (as cheesy as that sounds) like it did with Maths/F Maths, I actually found (some of) it pretty interesting in a different way. The emphasis is on the context and application, and not on the mathematics - hence you get formulas given in a formula booklet and derivations are only given as interest (if at all). But when you step back and actually think about what you are learning, a lot of it will be *very* useful if you continue as a biologist (I've put down what we learnt each term in the spoiler below).



I think my advice would be to do QB if you are a bionatsci, unless 1) you think you might want to do Chemistry A (physical chemistry) in the second year, or 2) you have a real interest in mathematics on its own right. My friend did Maths A because she really wanted to do maths (even considered it for uni), but she did complain about it a lot and she spent about half of her time on maths. That's another thing to bear in mind - if you do QB, it'll be easier, and you will have more time to devote to your other, main subjects.

If you're undecided though, start from the most difficult (ie Maths) and drop down (to QB); it's pretty much impossible to go the other way.

Supergrunch may be able to shed more light too, as he started off with Maths B and then changed to QB when he turned from phys to bio.

Sorry I keep writing essays on here :o:
Excalibur
Regarding the QB vs Maths A argument: I had the exact same dilemma, and opted for QB in the end. It was my best mark this year (I also did E&B, Cells and Chemistry), and although it was quite boring, I am very glad that I did it. I too was better at and really enjoyed pure maths at school, so was reluctant to give it up - and while QB did not make me feel in awe at the beauty of mathematics (as cheesy as that sounds) like it did with Maths/F Maths, I actually found (some of) it pretty interesting in a different way. The emphasis is on the context and application, and not on the mathematics - hence you get formulas given in a formula booklet and derivations are only given as interest (if at all). But when you step back and actually think about what you are learning, a lot of it will be *very* useful if you continue as a biologist (I've put down what we learnt each term in the spoiler below).



I think my advice would be to do QB if you are a bionatsci, unless 1) you think you might want to do Chemistry A (physical chemistry) in the second year, or 2) you have a real interest in mathematics on its own right. My friend did Maths A because she really wanted to do maths (even considered it for uni), but she did complain about it a lot and she spent about half of her time on maths. That's another thing to bear in mind - if you do QB, it'll be easier, and you will have more time to devote to your other, main subjects.

If you're undecided though, start from the most difficult (ie Maths) and drop down (to QB); it's pretty much impossible to go the other way.

Supergrunch may be able to shed more light too, as he started off with Maths B and then changed to QB when he turned from phys to bio.

Sorry I keep writing essays on here :o:


Thank you very much, that was a great help. I think I'll do QB, actually sounds quite interesting and as I want to polish up my french and get involved in other things, QB would be the sensible choice. I suppose if I get a burning desire to do more maths (unlikely once I get there and the workload hits me) I can always look at a couple of textbooks.

phil.
Reply 4575
Heyy all

just wondering, when it comes to NatSci, is it possible at all to complete the four years (thus achieving M.Sci) in three years if you can accelerate somehow?
Excalibur
Regarding the QB vs Maths A argument: I had the exact same dilemma, and opted for QB in the end. It was my best mark this year (I also did E&B, Cells and Chemistry), and although it was quite boring, I am very glad that I did it. I too was better at and really enjoyed pure maths at school, so was reluctant to give it up - and while QB did not make me feel in awe at the beauty of mathematics (as cheesy as that sounds) like it did with Maths/F Maths, I actually found (some of) it pretty interesting in a different way. The emphasis is on the context and application, and not on the mathematics - hence you get formulas given in a formula booklet and derivations are only given as interest (if at all). But when you step back and actually think about what you are learning, a lot of it will be *very* useful if you continue as a biologist (I've put down what we learnt each term in the spoiler below).



I think my advice would be to do QB if you are a bionatsci, unless 1) you think you might want to do Chemistry A (physical chemistry) in the second year, or 2) you have a real interest in mathematics on its own right. My friend did Maths A because she really wanted to do maths (even considered it for uni), but she did complain about it a lot and she spent about half of her time on maths. That's another thing to bear in mind - if you do QB, it'll be easier, and you will have more time to devote to your other, main subjects.

If you're undecided though, start from the most difficult (ie Maths) and drop down (to QB); it's pretty much impossible to go the other way.

Supergrunch may be able to shed more light too, as he started off with Maths B and then changed to QB when he turned from phys to bio.

Sorry I keep writing essays on here :o:


wow thank you that was incredibly helpful. :smile: Hmmm, if someone considering maths at uni spent half of their time doing the maths then maybe it would not be the wisest decision for me to do it.. I guess it would make life a lot easier and less stressful to do QB as well, as you say. I think I'm worried my brain's going to turn to mush if I don't keep doing pure maths, which is fairly ridiculous, I know. :o: lol.
InVinoVeritas
Could anyone advise me if doing Maths A over Quantitative Biology would actually be a disadvantage for studying Biological sciences, and how mathematical QB is? I really liked maths last year and it would be a shame to drop all pureish maths, though I don't want to do Maths A and actually not learn a lot of relevant stuff. Thank you.


That's how I felt last year but in the end I did QB. QB is basically applying the maths you learnt at A level to biological situations...the tricky bit is the biology, rather than the maths. I personally think QB is really useful for biological science...especiallly ecology type stuff (that I'm doing now). The stats part of it (about 4 weeks of lectures) is really useful for all bio subjects and I think if you do domaths A it would probably be wise to do some sort of stats reading .

I don't know much about maths A. Out of 13 bio natscis at my college, only 2 didn't do QB; one did maths A and one maths B. It seemed that maths A is more time-consuming than QB because it's for people who care about maths in its own right...whereas QB is sort of complementary to the other 3 subjects and most people just do it out of obligation. In saying that...if you think you couldn't live without pure maths and solving purely mathematical problems then you might be happier doing maths A..but bear in mind that you'll probably have to give up maths eventually anyway.

Good luck with the decision.
xx
supa360
Heyy all

just wondering, when it comes to NatSci, is it possible at all to complete the four years (thus achieving M.Sci) in three years if you can accelerate somehow?


Although I'm not there yet, I think the current time frame is hectic as it is so I severely doubt it.

In more honest terms, not a chance.
supa360
Heyy all

just wondering, when it comes to NatSci, is it possible at all to complete the four years (thus achieving M.Sci) in three years if you can accelerate somehow?


I doubt it would be possible, you'd have to do two years worth of exams in one go at some point as they wouldn't write exams especially for you. Plus you'd have absolutely no life if you did that...the later years are intense enough as it is.

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