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Effect of the A* requirement on Oxbridge applications? watch

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    (Original post by JW92)
    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.
    That's ridiculous really.
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    (Original post by JW92)
    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.
    I don't see why we should call it 'ridiculous' - they clearly fill their seats year after year; all they are doing is ensuring they get the absolute best students possible, as far as academic results can show that of course.

    (Original post by Noble.)
    ... 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.
    This sums up most of the argument in this thread. ^^
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    (Original post by fumblewomble)
    source?
    Looking at Law on their site, they are so so harsh with their expectations. To be honest I thought they sounded a bit derogatory when they were saying how most of their students had over 10 A*'s and 6+ A*'s may be considered. (GCSE of course)

    And how they expected X A*'s at A-Level, but fair play to them, best of the best go there.
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    (Original post by Luca118)
    Looking at Law on their site, they are so so harsh with their expectations. To be honest I thought they sounded a bit derogatory when they were saying how most of their students had over 10 A*'s and 6+ A*'s may be considered. (GCSE of course)

    And how they expected X A*'s at A-Level, but fair play to them, best of the best go there.
    Not really true, if you look at the Tompkins table, over the last few years, they're not producing as good graduates as Christ's, Emmanuel, Caius, Pembroke, Queens' or Trinity, overall that is.

    For Law I'm not entirely sure, since the Tompkins table is overall performance, but last I heard Churchill was a mediocre college for Law.
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    it will work out quite awkward,
    considering mostly private school candidates will apply cambridge as they will be more confident of the A* and think less competition for places. yet cambridge takes more state school pupils and oxford will now have a lot more good state pupils to choose from so will raise that %. could be the reason for the introduction of the a*?
    obviously it should not make that much of a difference as a clever student is a clever student, A-levels and GCSEs are an indicator of academic potential, getting an A* at a-level does not mean you are an excellent oxbridge student: it means you have the potential to be an excellent oxbridge student. therefore cambridge want people that are more likely to be good students and that should be the whole point of it
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    Not really true, if you look at the Tompkins table, over the last few years, they're not producing as good graduates as Christ's, Emmanuel, Caius, Pembroke, Queens' or Trinity, overall that is.

    For Law I'm not entirely sure, since the Tompkins table is overall performance, but last I heard Churchill was a mediocre college for Law.
    Here's the Baxter table (Baxter tables compare colleges over 1 subject in 1 year)* for Law Part 1A

    Spoiler:
    Show

    (1) Churchill 3.67
    (=2) Emma 3
    (=2) Hughes Hall 3
    (=2) Lucy C 3
    (=2) Peterhouse 3
    (=2) Selwyn 3
    (=2) Trinity Hall 3
    (8) Downing 2.94
    (=9) Corpus 2.83
    (=9) Fitz 2.83
    (=9) Pembroke 2.83
    (=9) Robinson 2.83
    (=13) Christ's 2.75
    (=13) St Catherine's 2.75
    (=13) Trinity 2.75
    (16) Magdalene 2.73
    (17) Queens' 2.7
    (=18) Clare 2.67
    (=18) Girton 2.67
    (=18) Newnham 2.67
    (=21) Caius 2.6
    (=21) Sidney 2.6
    (=21) St John's 2.6
    (24) King's 2.5
    (25) Murray Edwards 2.4
    (26) Homerton 2.38
    (=27) St Edmunds 2
    (=27) Wolfson 2
    (29) Jesus 1.89


    and Law Part II 2009

    Spoiler:
    Show

    (1) Pembroke 4.3
    (2) Magdalene 3.67
    (3) Clare 3.5
    (=4) Emma 3.4
    (=4) Sidney 3.4
    (6) Christ's 3.33
    (=7) Queens' 3.25
    (=7) St Catherine's 3.25
    (=7) John's 3.25
    (10) Jesus 3.2
    (11) Downing 3.18
    (=12) Fitz 3.13
    (=12) Selwyn 3.13
    (14) Caius 3.1
    (=15) Corpus 3
    (=15) King's 3
    (=15) Murray Edwards 3
    (=15) St Edmunds 3
    (=15) Trinity 3
    (=15) Trinity Hall 3
    (=15) Wolfson 3
    (=22) Homerton 2.8
    (=22) Lucy C 2.8
    (=24) Girton 2.75
    (=24) Newnham 2.75
    (26) Churchill 2.67
    (27) Robinson 2.55
    (28) Peterhouse 2.4
    (29) Hughes Hall 2


    As you can see, Churchill does very well in Part 1A where your level when you left school makes the most difference. But by the end of the degree students at other colleges do better. It's not all about school leaving grades - it's also about the students' potential to do well over the course at Cambridge. Maybe Churchill's admissions policies aren't getting the best students when you look at the whole 3 years of the degree.

    * The Baxter tables give score 5 for a 1st, score 3 for a 2.1, score 2 for a 2.2, score 1 for a 3 and score 0 for an ordinary. The number after each college is the average score for each college and the number between brackets is the rank. Please note that these tables were worked out form the class lists displayed on the senate house. Very occasionally some people (generally people who haven't done very well - so this won't affect the colleges at the top of the list) get their name removed so these tables are not entirely accurate.
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    (Original post by I'mnotplato)
    Here's the Baxter table (Baxter tables compare colleges over 1 subject in 1 year) for Law Part 1A

    Spoiler:
    Show

    (1) Churchill 3.67
    (=2) Emma 3
    (=2) Hughes Hall 3
    (=2) Lucy C 3
    (=2) Peterhouse 3
    (=2) Selwyn 3
    (=2) Trinity Hall 3
    (8) Downing 2.94
    (=9) Corpus 2.83
    (=9) Fitz 2.83
    (=9) Pembroke 2.83
    (=9) Robinson 2.83
    (=13) Christ's 2.75
    (=13) St Catherine's 2.75
    (=13) Trinity 2.75
    (16) Magdalene 2.73
    (17) Queens' 2.7
    (=18) Clare 2.67
    (=18) Girton 2.67
    (=18) Newnham 2.67
    (=21) Caius 2.6
    (=21) Sidney 2.6
    (=21) St John's 2.6
    (24) King's 2.5
    (25) Murray Edwards 2.4
    (26) Homerton 2.38
    (=27) St Edmunds 2
    (=27) Wolfson 2
    (29) Jesus 1.89
    And those numbers mean what exactly?:confused:
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    (Original post by d123)
    I think it will put people off Cambridge - no one knows whether they'll be able to get an A* based on AS results. If you get 100 UMS at AS in both modules, you can pretty much guarantee an A at A2 (I think) if you don't completely mess up anyway. With the A*, you need to be confident of high performance at A2 as well.
    Also a lot of schools aren't predicting people A* grades. I know mine isn't, for most subjects anyway. So I'm not sure how Cambridge will select people on that basis.

    I think it could mean people who aren't put off are more likely to get an offer anyway. Maybe.

    I prefer Oxford anyway. Not applying though - they don't do the course I want to.
    This is going to sound harsh, but I think the A* grade is a good discriminator of a student's mindset. Mark-counting aside, If a student is intimidated by the A* grade, they probably don't have the mentality that many oxbridge colleges are looking for. Those who think "they want an A*? I'll give them one" are probably more what they're after.
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    And those numbers mean what exactly?:confused:
    I've edited my post.
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    (Original post by JW92)
    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.
    Personally, I don't think it's ridiculously high - after all, it's Cambridge.

    Tbh, at least they are being honest with what they want. Apparently, there's this rumour that a college in Cambridge will reject candidates with less than the required amount of A*s.

    Now this is just a rumour I heard, however, if it's true - I don't think it's fair for potential applicants going to that college with less than the required amount of A*s for that subject, when they do not know about it.

    At least Churchill are being honest. Which is a surprise really - the fact they have high requirements for Law and not, e.g. Medicine, it being the "science college".
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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
    Ouch! :cry: :cry: :cry:

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    (Original post by I'mnotplato)
    I've edited my post.
    Thanks.
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    Personally, I don't think it's ridiculously high - after all, it's Cambridge.
    Whereas the other colleges which don't insist on people taking at least four A-levels aren't?:confused:
    Tbh, at least they are being honest with what they want. Apparently, there's this rumour that a college in Cambridge will reject candidates with less than the required amount of A*s.

    Now this is just a rumour I heard, however, if it's true - I don't think it's fair for potential applicants going to that college with less than the required amount of A*s for that subject, when they do not know about it.
    Almost certainly a myth. If it were true, the college in question would have to be exceptionally daft not to make it clear in advance that certain grades are viewed as a minimal requirement. After all, colleges have nothing to gain from encouraging (or at least failing to discourage) applications from people who are going to be deselected straight away - that would just be a waste of everybody's time.
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    Almost certainly a myth. If it were true, the college in question would have to be exceptionally daft not to make it clear in advance that certain grades are viewed as a minimal requirement. After all, colleges have nothing to gain from encouraging (or at least failing to discourage) applications from people who are going to be deselected straight away - that would just be a waste of everybody's time.
    Essentially, a number of colleges do say this. We've already discussed Churchill but I read on Downing's site that everybody who has 5 A*s at GCSE and three or more relevant AS levels at 80% UMS or more will be called for interview, and those who do not meet these requirements are unlikely to be called for interview unless applying through the Access scheme.

    They can't put requirements in stone but they do make certain things clear. Of course, applying through the Access scheme is an exception if you have genuinely had your education badly disrupted for whatever reason.
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    At the Cambridge open day they said that the A* may not be a hugely significant factor in application, but that it depends on what proportion of applicants get an A*. If fewer applicants than the quota get at least A*AA, then the admissions tutors might accept less.
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    (Original post by d123)
    I think it will put people off Cambridge - no one knows whether they'll be able to get an A* based on AS results. If you get 100 UMS at AS in both modules, you can pretty much guarantee an A at A2 (I think) if you don't completely mess up anyway. With the A*, you need to be confident of high performance at A2 as well.
    Also a lot of schools aren't predicting people A* grades. I know mine isn't, for most subjects anyway. So I'm not sure how Cambridge will select people on that basis.

    I think it could mean people who aren't put off are more likely to get an offer anyway. Maybe.

    I prefer Oxford anyway. Not applying though - they don't do the course I want to.
    What course do you want to do?
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    (Original post by SiaSiaSia)
    What course do you want to do?
    History and Philosophy.

    Joint Honours courses don't seem to be a big thing at Oxbridge unfortunately. I spent a long time trying to decide whether I would rather study what I want to or go to Oxford, which I've loved since I was little. I decided to go for the course - there are other unis and I can always apply for post-grad at Oxford if I decide I still want to go there.
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    an economics admission tutor at cambridge told me majority of students that have been made an offer in the past have least 90% ums marks all around thats why they are so fussy with applicants getting high ums at first attempt
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    Whereas the other colleges which don't insist on people taking at least four A-levels aren't?:confused:
    Err... colleges make their own specific requirements? Churchill is special?

    Yes it's still Cambridge, but colleges have the right to make their own requirements, surely?

    Almost certainly a myth. If it were true, the college in question would have to be exceptionally daft not to make it clear in advance that certain grades are viewed as a minimal requirement. After all, colleges have nothing to gain from encouraging (or at least failing to discourage) applications from people who are going to be deselected straight away - that would just be a waste of everybody's time.
    Oh that's good. Thanks.
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    (Original post by DJkG.1)
    Essentially, a number of colleges do say this. We've already discussed Churchill but I read on Downing's site that everybody who has 5 A*s at GCSE and three or more relevant AS levels at 80% UMS or more will be called for interview, and those who do not meet these requirements are unlikely to be called for interview unless applying through the Access scheme.

    They can't put requirements in stone but they do make certain things clear. Of course, applying through the Access scheme is an exception if you have genuinely had your education badly disrupted for whatever reason.
    Well, yes, that was kind of my point. It's in their own interest to make it clear if they effectively expect certain things apart from the minimum requirements specified by the department. Colleges would have nothing to gain from having such requirements and not making it clear, though (apart from a bunch of unwanted applications), so I really don't think they'd do it.
 
 
 
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