computing at imperial - aea/step requirement Watch

specialandsimpleboy
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Ok I'm planning on applying to ICL for compsci through UCAS during my gap year but from the entry requirements page it says in some cases the applicant may be required to take step or aea papers.

I don't have a problem with this since I'll have plenty of time to prepare for the exam (and it'll ensure I don't let my maths slip)but can anybody shed light on what the conditions are for someone to take these additional qualifications? I've finished my A-Levels in maths, chemistry, physics and further maths AS and I'm reasonably confident that I've achieved As throughout. Any info on this would be much appreciated.
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sunspoon
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From the people I know at Imperial at the moment, its usually for those who don't have Further Maths A-level. It's a way for the Admissions tutor to gauge the mathematical ability of the student. Unfortunately this means that Imperial has one of the highest entry requirements in Compsci in the country, and is higher than Oxford. I was lucky enough not to have to do STEP, despite not having FM A-level, although I did have four A2s, and my Maths was completed a year early.
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Computer_Dude
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when I applied last year, they ask for A in Math, Further Math, B in Physics and Merit in AEA math. However, on the board this year, I have seen people who have offer such as AAA + Distinction in AEA math, so I guess it all depends how strong all your other A level is and it might be worth doing further math A level together with the AEA.

I have talked to an admission person last term who said that the reason they ask for AEA is because they would like people to give it a go, so I think it is less likely they will not have you just because you failed your AEA. I failed my AEA at the end (by around 8% I think), but they still took me. But then each year boundries get higher, so it is hard to be cartain on what condition they could make.

Hope this helps.
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Azimuth
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I wasn't aware Imperial did this. I didn't do AEA or STEP, or even Further Maths. Just bog standard Maths A-Level.
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darkness9999
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hmm this is my offer for this year:
A - German
A - Maths
A - Physics
a - Further maths
Merit - AEA(maths)

I think it's going to be a bit harder next year ...
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sunspoon
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(Original post by darkness9999)
hmm this is my offer for this year:
A - German
A - Maths
A - Physics
a - Further maths
Merit - AEA(maths)

I think it's going to be a bit harder next year ...
Ouch. I doubt it. If you work as hard as you are doing this year and don't go clubbing 3 out of 7 nights a week you shall be fine.
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Emc2
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(Original post by sunspoon)
Ouch. I doubt it. If you work as hard as you are doing this year and don't go clubbing 3 out of 7 nights a week you shall be fine.
I think what he meant to say was that entry requirements could become even stricter next year. Unless I got it completely wrong, in which case I apologise for the intrusion
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sir.jamesgreen
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Department budgets are coming down, applicant numbers are rising... Less places for more people. Damn right the requirements are going up next year!

(Thanks Gordon! Funding mediocrity for 10 years!)

[[And I know, +10 to my elitism points for daring to suggest that the country's top Universities should continue to be funded significantly more than its lower Universities. But when I'm watching my degree and my college suffer so that more people can get mediocre Media Studies degrees merely to meet government targets of University applications you're damn right I'm going to be elitist!]]
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i.am.lost
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I just emailed the admissions tutor to ask about this, because I am doing 6 A Levels including Maths and Further Maths, and if I need to sit additional tests then I have no intention of applying to this course.
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sunspoon
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(Original post by i.am.lost)
I just emailed the admissions tutor to ask about this, because I am doing 6 A Levels including Maths and Further Maths, and if I need to sit additional tests then I have no intention of applying to this course.
If you're allowing the prospect of one extra exam (considering the truckloads you're gonna do anyway) deter you from applying to a certain university you really shouldn't be going to university at all.
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darkness9999
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(Original post by i.am.lost)
I just emailed the admissions tutor to ask about this, because I am doing 6 A Levels including Maths and Further Maths, and if I need to sit additional tests then I have no intention of applying to this course.

You're doing A2 Maths and A2 FMaths ... thats enough ... they won't ask for it and don't tell them that you are thinking of doing it ... because if you do they will ask for a certain grade... I made that mistake :o:

But I think cambridge might ask for STEP I/II
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i.am.lost
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(Original post by darkness9999)
You're doing A2 Maths and A2 FMaths ... thats enough ... they won't ask for it and don't tell them that you are thinking of doing it ... because if you do they will ask for a certain grade... I made that mistake :o:

But I think cambridge might ask for STEP I/II
Cambridge ask for STEP for CompSci, but I'm applying to NatSci and probably doing the CompSci module as part of it, so I just need to sit their TSA if I get called for interview (IQ style test, which is surprisingly fun!)

I kind of made it obvious in the e-mail that I don't want to sit any AEA/STEP by ending with something along the lines of please reply soon as I need to submit UCAS to my school next week and whether I have to take a test or not may affect my course choices
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specialandsimpleboy
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hmm from what I can see cambridge often require STEP for those applying for computer science with a mathematics option, but if you choose another might not not be required... Taken from their website:

'If you apply to read the Computer Science with Mathematics option then you will probably be asked to take STEP. For the other options, it depends on the college. Some declare that they will definitely not ask for STEP. The Undergraduate Prospectus contains the gory details for the current year. The other colleges may or may not ask for STEP depending on the admissions committee's decision when they make you your offer.'

Would be useful to know what colleges don't require step.
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learner_dancer
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I didn't do Further Maths-- well I did, but it wasn't in my UCAS, and they didn't know about it. Never had to do an STEP or AEA paper...
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learner_dancer
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I was never asked to take any of those papers, just for an AAA offer.
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username3480226
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Thinks are changing, fast. Website was modified only a couple of months ago to include the details of potential requiring STEP. Mate got an Offer for CompSci and Maths - A*A*AA STEP 1 (2 or above), with Further Maths.I'm just straight computer science (also FM), but I think it would be wise to prepare for the worst...
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