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Effect of the A* requirement on Oxbridge applications? watch

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    (Original post by TomTeeTom)
    it will result in more offers in the future as more people would miss
    :hubba:

    I think the A* is a good thing then! :p:
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    (Original post by neomilan)
    cambrige will be the top university next year at least
    all those achieving A*AA > all those achieving AAA , ceteris paribus
    That's true in my opinion too, but not all else will remain the same. The counter argument cannot be ignored which is that Oxford will soon be getting a bigger pool of maybe less confident, but just as able students (the ones who get offers anyway) to choose from.

    Interesting responses anyway.

    (Original post by im so academic)
    :hubba:

    I think the A* is a good thing then! :p:
    Oh dear God no. :no:
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    I didn't know you could get an A* at A level...which probably shows why I'll never ever get one. :emo:
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    To be perfectly honest, I think anyone that applies to one or the other thinking they have more chance of getting/fufilling an offer is being a bit stupid anyway. I had pretty much decided I would rather apply to Cambridge long before they mentioned the new offer.

    I think it would have little effect, there may be a few that decide to apply to the other because of the offer, but I doubt a lot will.
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    (Original post by TomTeeTom)
    it will result in more offers in the future as more people would miss
    Until there is sufficient data on how many people can be expected to miss an A*AA offer, I think it's a lot more likely that they'll make roughly the same number of offers and then decide who to let in anyway. That would allow them both to fill their places and to choose who to fill them with, whereas giving out more offers could result in them having to admit more students than they want if a few candidates too many make their offers. Not really worth the risk.
    Actually I think that's likely to be the only immediate effect of the introduction of A*AA offers: the overall percentage of people admitted despite missing their offers will rise, but it will become even rarer for people to be admitted with less than AAA.
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    (Original post by DJkG.1)
    That's true in my opinion too, but not all else will remain the same. The counter argument cannot be ignored which is that Oxford will soon be getting a bigger pool of maybe less confident, but just as able students (the ones who get offers anyway) to choose from.

    Interesting responses anyway.



    Oh dear God no. :no:
    Oxford will recieve all those AAB students who scrape the interview and scrap the AAA requirements
    Oxford will recieve all those scared/unsure of cambridge due to it's higher requirements

    therefore oxford will have relatively more ''crapper'' students than cambridge next year, because:

    Cambridge will recieve all those that are confident they will get AAA minimum if not A*AA, thus only having those that are clearly extremaly able students already
    Cambridge will recieve all the A*AA students, there will be enough A*AA and very very good AAA students to fill the uni up, therefore not needing to go fishing around in the AAB or AAAb and stick to the AAAA and the AAAAA's that didn't make the A*AA grade, but are needed for space filling

    UCAS Adjustment will not work for Cambridge since anyone who put cambridge as firm, will 90% unlikely not change their mind and all those confident enough to apply to A*AA and get interviewed and offered are also highly likely to meet their offer
    Oxford will be extremaly similar, but will be overwhelmed with Adjustment requests from those lower down at AAB who got AAA and want to try their chances at oxford, ALTHOUGH this has nothing to do with acedemics, it's just more work for oxford admissions

    erm... trying to think of more things that could happen

    UCL might get lower intake for L100 Economics and LSE will have a sudden rise in applicants since LSE are staying at AAA and UCL are changing to A*AA

    UCL's Econ+Joint Degree's will see rises, since a few of them at AAA and so to secure a place at UCL people will want to apply to those instead of the A*AA UCL Economics

    Imperial will see a drop in applicants for it's A*AA courses, most notable things like Computer Science with A*AA requirement could see a drop

    But the people being admitted to the A*AA courses will be of higher standard than previous years.

    Courses like UCL Economics that is A*AA with A* in Maths A2 modules, the mathematical ability of these applicants and those who get in, will be very very good, since getting an A in Maths A Level previously, was far easier than getting the A* (it's not just 90%! it's 90% in C3 and C4 and not overall) now
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    (Original post by neomilan)
    Oxford will recieve all those AAB students who scrape the interview and scrap the AAA requirements
    Oxford will recieve all those scared/unsure of cambridge due to it's higher requirements

    therefore oxford will have relatively more ''crapper'' students than cambridge next year, because:

    Cambridge will recieve all those that are confident they will get AAA minimum if not A*AA, thus only having those that are clearly extremaly able students already
    Cambridge will recieve all the A*AA students, there will be enough A*AA and very very good AAA students to fill the uni up, therefore not needing to go fishing around in the AAB or AAAb and stick to the AAAA and the AAAAA's that didn't make the A*AA grade, but are needed for space filling

    UCAS Adjustment will not work for Cambridge since anyone who put cambridge as firm, will 90% unlikely not change their mind and all those confident enough to apply to A*AA and get interviewed and offered are also highly likely to meet their offer
    Oxford will be extremaly similar, but will be overwhelmed with Adjustment requests from those lower down at AAB who got AAA and want to try their chances at oxford, ALTHOUGH this has nothing to do with acedemics, it's just more work for oxford admissions

    erm... trying to think of more things that could happen

    UCL might get lower intake for L100 Economics and LSE will have a sudden rise in applicants since LSE are staying at AAA and UCL are changing to A*AA

    UCL's Econ+Joint Degree's will see rises, since a few of them at AAA and so to secure a place at UCL people will want to apply to those instead of the A*AA UCL Economics

    Imperial will see a drop in applicants for it's A*AA courses, most notable things like Computer Science with A*AA requirement could see a drop

    But the people being admitted to the A*AA courses will be of higher standard than previous years.

    Courses like UCL Economics that is A*AA with A* in Maths A2 modules, the mathematical ability of these applicants and those who get in, will be very very good, since getting an A in Maths A Level previously, was far easier than getting the A* (it's not just 90%! it's 90% in C3 and C4 and not overall) now
    This is a rather warped view. Firstly, Cambridge have already been giving out A*s in their offer for a long time, since before the implementation of it, in their offers they were asking for >90% in the relevant A2 modules. So in terms of Cambridge now receiving the more 'academically able' students, it isn't the case at all, there's going to be very little change in the trend in terms of the ability of students attending both Oxford and Cambridge.

    Someone who's confident of getting an A* doesn't mean they will, and it doesn't mean they're better than someone who's only expecting themselves to achieve an A.
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    Thing is you are assuming that being "only" an AAA candidate somehow makes them worse than an A*AA. We are talking a very small difference marks wise. Not only that but Oxford already places more weight on pre interview tests and other measures rather than UMS. I may not get 90% in my A2 exams, does that mean I will be worse at a History degree than someone who would?

    The A-level syllabus is largely about jumping through hoops and attempting to work out what examiners actually want. Especially with the essay subjects the difference between say 92% and 89% can be so subjective that it's laughable. It can be largely to do with the level of others takeing the exam that year and the standard changes over time. For example a full mark essay in the old spec from 3/4 years ago would possibly be worth a low A these days. At least in History that is the case.
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    Is there actually anyone on TSR who wanted to apply to Cambridge but because of the A* offer is now going to apply to Ox?
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    Not much, and for some time too.

    How can teachers accurately predict that ANY candidate will achieve >90% in all modules. They will predict either too man to get A*, or too few, making it useless for uni's.

    Secondly, even the best candidates could easily miss out on the A* come the day. Can uni's really demand it for entry? Cambridge (History faculty here) said at their open day that if candidates missed the A*, they wouldn't be too hard on them, because it is an unknown quantity as of yet.
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    (Original post by neomilan)
    Oxford will recieve all those AAB students who scrape the interview and scrap the AAA requirements
    Oxford will recieve all those scared/unsure of cambridge due to it's higher requirements

    therefore oxford will have relatively more ''crapper'' students than cambridge next year, because:

    Cambridge will recieve all those that are confident they will get AAA minimum if not A*AA, thus only having those that are clearly extremaly able students already
    Cambridge will recieve all the A*AA students, there will be enough A*AA and very very good AAA students to fill the uni up, therefore not needing to go fishing around in the AAB or AAAb and stick to the AAAA and the AAAAA's that didn't make the A*AA grade, but are needed for space filling

    UCAS Adjustment will not work for Cambridge since anyone who put cambridge as firm, will 90% unlikely not change their mind and all those confident enough to apply to A*AA and get interviewed and offered are also highly likely to meet their offer
    Oxford will be extremaly similar, but will be overwhelmed with Adjustment requests from those lower down at AAB who got AAA and want to try their chances at oxford, ALTHOUGH this has nothing to do with acedemics, it's just more work for oxford admissions

    erm... trying to think of more things that could happen

    UCL might get lower intake for L100 Economics and LSE will have a sudden rise in applicants since LSE are staying at AAA and UCL are changing to A*AA

    UCL's Econ+Joint Degree's will see rises, since a few of them at AAA and so to secure a place at UCL people will want to apply to those instead of the A*AA UCL Economics

    Imperial will see a drop in applicants for it's A*AA courses, most notable things like Computer Science with A*AA requirement could see a drop

    But the people being admitted to the A*AA courses will be of higher standard than previous years.

    Courses like UCL Economics that is A*AA with A* in Maths A2 modules, the mathematical ability of these applicants and those who get in, will be very very good, since getting an A in Maths A Level previously, was far easier than getting the A* (it's not just 90%! it's 90% in C3 and C4 and not overall) now
    Rubbish.

    There will still be plenty of people who apply to Oxford because they prefer it. Just because they expect to get A*AA or higher doesn't mean they'll automatically apply to Cambridge above Oxford - a lot of people have an instinctive preference for one or the other, for whatever reason. They may prefer the course at Oxford for example
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    This is a bit weird. Cambridge and Oxford have very few courses that are similar, so most people will know for sure which uni is best for them. Also, A level grades aren't all it takes to get in, it's known already that plenty of AAA students get rejected for no apparent reason. So surely, if candidates with the X factor have AAA instead of A*AA, this would not constitute a problem. Also, I'm predicting that the A* will be more important for science subjects where fact is fact and logic is logic, unlike arts where you need a bit of a critical mind that does not necessarily develop as a result of exams and might actually be somewhat innate.
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    (Original post by Artekus)
    Not much, and for some time too.

    How can teachers accurately predict that ANY candidate will achieve >90% in all modules. They will predict either too man to get A*, or too few, making it useless for uni's.

    Secondly, even the best candidates could easily miss out on the A* come the day. Can uni's really demand it for entry? Cambridge (History faculty here) said at their open day that if candidates missed the A*, they wouldn't be too hard on them, because it is an unknown quantity as of yet.
    I couldn't agree more, even predicting someone a B can be difficult, it's not that difficult to end up with a C or an A. Considering the difference between an A and an A* on C3/C4 is ~7 marks, trying to predict whether someone is going to be at the higher end of those 7 marks or the lower end is rather futile.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    This is a rather warped view. Firstly, Cambridge have already been giving out A*s in their offer for a long time, since before the implementation of it, in their offers they were asking for >90% in the relevant A2 modules. So in terms of Cambridge now receiving the more 'academically able' students, it isn't the case at all, there's going to be very little change in the trend in terms of the ability of students attending both Oxford and Cambridge.
    Yeah, I think someone said that at a talk somewhere or other..

    Basically, most of their students ended up getting 90% in something so the new grade probably won't affect Cambridge's demographic in the long run.
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    (Original post by neomilan)
    Oxford will recieve all those AAB students who scrape the interview and scrap the AAA requirements
    Scraping through interviews won't normally result in an offer, though. And if they did really well in their interviews, who is to say they'll actually turn out to be "crapper" (as you so eloquently put it) than people who got a few extra module marks?:confused:
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    (Original post by Artekus)
    Yeah, I think someone said that at a talk somewhere or other..

    Basically, most of their students ended up getting 90% in something so the new grade probably won't affect Cambridge's demographic in the long run.
    From what I've heard, Cambridge aren't going to discriminate against the applicants who are only predicted AAA, whether you're predicted AAA or A*A*A* they're not going to distinguish between that whatsoever, apparently. What they will do, however, is give everyone the A*AA (I suppose they could offer AAA if the applicant is exceptionally good, and certain departments/colleges will be allowed to offer A*A*A). Which I think is fair, actually getting A* in an A-Level subject does show a higher level of aptitude in the subject no-doubt, but being predicted it doesn't.
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    From what I've read I think they're going to be a bit more liberal with offers and then use the A*AA to weed out the better from the good, kind of like how STEP is used currently for maths.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    I couldn't agree more, even predicting someone a B can be difficult, it's not that difficult to end up with a C or an A. Considering the difference between an A and an A* on C3/C4 is ~7 marks, trying to predict whether someone is going to be at the higher end of those 7 marks or the lower end is rather futile.
    You should see the essay subjects! The new Eng Lit AQA mark scheme offered gradations of "consideration/examination/analysis of how form shapes meaning" with no, or very little other actual distinction between Band descriptions. As if 'form shaping meaning' wasn't nebulous enough, the examiner has to decide which of the three describes your approach best, and that decision makes 2/3 Bands difference (we won't find out what that means in term of grades until the boundaries have been fiddled). Oh and they've realised the exam I sat was *********; there's a new one in force from next year It would be laughable were it not so dangerous!


    /diatribe
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    From what I've heard, Cambridge aren't going to discriminate against the applicants who are only predicted AAA, whether you're predicted AAA or A*A*A* they're not going to distinguish between that whatsoever, apparently. What they will do, however, is give everyone the A*AA (I suppose they could offer AAA if the applicant is exceptionally good, and certain departments/colleges will be allowed to offer A*A*A). Which I think is fair, actually getting A* in an A-Level subject does show a higher level of aptitude in the subject no-doubt, but being predicted it doesn't.
    Tbh it's all in the hands of the Colleges anyway just what offers are made. Some of them seemed distinctly sceptical of the A* and implied they would be treateing it as a formality.

    I'm not sure the difference between A and A* is the difference between 'Oxbridge material' or not though, that is to say a candidate who would thrive at either of the two universities. As others have said, the difference could be entirely subjective. I mean, less so in Maths or something, but even so it would still be a tiny proportion of the overall exam, and probably the result of a single slip-up.

    I'm gunning for Oxford anyway :p:
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    I know this is a bit off the point, but how ridiculously high are Churchill's requirements for Law?! They want 4 traditional and rigorous A levels with two at A*, and virtually all successful candidates will have 9 A*s or more at GCSE.
 
 
 

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