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    I read their website concerning overseas qualifications and was wondering if my scores are comparable to the British A-Levels.

    AP scores:
    Calculus BC: 5
    Calculus AB subscore: 5
    Physics B: 5
    Physics C Mechanics: 4
    Physics C Electricity and Magnetism: 5
    Chemistry: 5

    Have also taken Linear Algebra at community college, planning to take Multivariate Calculus and Differential Equations and Statistics next semester.


    ACT: 33

    SATII's
    Chemistry: 800
    Math level 2: 790
    Physics: 750

    Does the subscore in calculus count as a separate score in order to satisfy the four 5's I need to have in relevant subjects?
    Otherwise, I would count chemistry, but that is not really related to mathematics.

    Do I have to take any other tests, or will those scores be acceptable?
    I know Cambridge wants Further Mathematics scores as well, but since I am an American, how would I substitute that?
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    You can substitute Further Mathematics with more college-level courses, e.g. Linear Algebra. I doubt the AB subscore will count separately - it is, after all, a subscore.

    For mathematics you will almost surely be asked to take the STEP exams in Mathematics. (I know an American who applied to Trinity and was given a conditional offer including STEP grades.) These exams are usually taken after being made an offer; but if you want to take them before going to interview you can.
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    Why don't you email a few admissions folk at colleges you like the look of and ask them for their policy?

    I doubt AB Calc will count in addition to BC Calc since it's a subset, or if Physics B and the 2 Physics Cs add up to three APs in their eyes (since Physics B seems to have baby versions of some Physics C material - I didn't do Physics APs though, so I could be wrong), so it is definitely worth asking if doing more APs would be a good thing, e.g. AP Stats (A Level math has mechanics/stats modules in addition to the calculus). Community college classes/self-studying of more advanced material could only help in 'making up' for FM.

    If you get an offer post-interview you'd have to take STEP in the June of your senior year, and if in August you get your STEP grades you'll properly get a place for that October.
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    So then I don't have the four 5's on AP's that Cambridge wants...

    When are the STEPs offered? Would you recommend taking that before the interview or afterward in June?
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    I should think you may have to explain (or they may at least take note) as to why you got a 'lesser' score in mechanics, which is important too.
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    (Original post by Zhandro)
    So then I don't have the four 5's on AP's that Cambridge wants...

    When are the STEPs offered? Would you recommend taking that before the interview or afterward in June?
    STEP is sat in June.
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    ^ I am confused why I got a 4 in mechanics, I know I did very well, but I was surprised when I saw I had received a 4. Will that hurt my chances?

    Considering I self-studied both the Calculus based Physics though...
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    The 4 in Mechanics won't kill my chances right?
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    I applied last year with NZ qualification, which was just about the most non-standard and confusing secondary qualification you can find really. There wasn't anything even remotely close to A-Level Further Maths course there, but I did a sort of bridging course (designed for final year secondary students) at the local university, which I felt was still quite a bit short of the typical FM syllabus in Britain.

    I requested for permission to send in an extra set of documents explaining the system and syllabus in NZ and showing my results (which totalled almost 10 pages) and they said OK. I decided to go to Britain for interview as well and in hindsight I do feel that it was the main factor in their decision since what I've learned (officially -- I did some self-studying as well but of course those aren't recorded on paper and they didn't know about it) couldn't really compare with FM.

    My exam results came out in January (read: a month after the interview) and I messed up my paper on integration a bit (yes there was a whole module on integration in NZ) and missed the top grade in that paper. They decided to okay it anyway on the condition that I get 1,1 in STEP II/III. So to be honest I think as long as your grades are reasonably high and, perhaps more importantly, can come to Cambridge for interview, plus willing and able to take STEP (since they WILL ask you to do it), then you should still have reasonable chance of getting in.
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    ^ Would the grade I mentioned above be considered high enough?

    In addition, I am taking college level mathematics courses. I have finished Linear Algebra and will do Differential Equations, Multivariate Calculus and Statistics in the fall.

    How much would I have to explain about the 4 in Mechanics?
    Would I have to explain the AP system as much as you did for NZ system? I would think enough Americans apply each year that they will be familiar with APs...
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    (Original post by Zhandro)
    Would I have to explain the AP system as much as you did for NZ system? I would think enough Americans apply each year that they will be familiar with APs...
    Who's "they"? The admissions are processed by hundreds of admissions tutors who are no doubt confused enough with the British system - you might get someone who's seen a thousand American applications before or someone who's only seen three or four in 20 years and still can't tell it apart from the IB.
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    ^ That is a very good point. So what should I do then?
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    (Original post by Zhandro)
    ^ That is a very good point. So what should I do then?
    I looked on the University's website and decided ASAP which College appealed to me most, then emailed the admissions office of that College, detailing my qualification and situation and asked for specific advice.

    A particularly sad experience for me was when I emailed Queen's admissions officer who replied to me with a flat out rejection saying that the NZ qualification wouldn't be sufficient for entry -- and didn't reply to any further correspondence from either me or my school. After a few days agonising I decided to try my luck again with Emmanuel (which, funnily enough, was actually my preferred College from start, but I thought they looked too hard to get into, so I chickened out a bit...) whose admissions officer turned out to be really friendly and helpful. At the interview I also had a chance to talk to the maths DoS about the NZ system to clarify things a bit further as well.

    My application experience was actually a rather pleasant one and I found it quite comfortable to email the College for clarification on a few issues I had about having non-standard qualification. That said as an international student without A-Levels/IB I would advice you to start asking around ASAP (now's good...)
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    (Original post by Zhandro)
    In addition, I am taking college level mathematics courses. I have finished Linear Algebra and will do Differential Equations, Multivariate Calculus and Statistics in the fall.
    That should be more than enough preparation for first year. (You may even find it boring, depending on how deep your courses were.) That said, it may or may not be adequate preparation for STEP. (For that, there's nothing better than practising past papers.)
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    What do you think my chances are in getting an interview?
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    (Original post by Zhandro)
    What do you think my chances are in getting an interview?
    Nearly everyone will get an interview, unless you have very bad results. Since you have very good results, it's nearly certain you'd get an interview.
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    I should add the caveat that they don't interview in the US, and as far as I know they do not normally give phone interviews either, so if you want to maximise your chances of getting interviewed, you must be prepared to travel to Cambridge for interview. It is possible to get an offer without interview - I think someone on TSR managed to do this.
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    Ok. I know I will be more than willing to go to Cambridge for interview. So a much greater emphasis is placed on interview? So hypothetically speaking, a person with average scores who does excellent on their interviews can receive a conditional offer?

    In other words, all these test scores are just to secure an interview, and after that, scores do not factor in as much?
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    Well they both count. An maths interviewer I spoke to said that the interviews usually just confirm the suspicions they had from the paper application / grades, but on the occasions that the two offer different pictures, the interview is considered slightly more important - I guess that might particularly be the case for a student sitting exams which aren't particularly familiar to the admissions staff, ie. non A-level students.

    I think if you're good enough to get in, they will realise that one way or another - this is probably particularly true for maths, where they can use STEP to help choose.
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    Thanks. Any other good advice?
 
 
 
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