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    The only thing that you can do on your end is to get as high grades as possible whilst having a life outside of your studies, eg sports teams, music etc. Also you must be able to socially interact with others.
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    (Original post by sunspoon)
    The only thing that you can do on your end is to get as high grades as possible whilst having a life outside of your studies, eg sports teams, music etc. Also you must be able to socially interact with others.
    Actually I've heard in many places that top unis like Oxbridge and Imperial don't really care if you haven't got a life, as long as you have plenty of brain cells. I was even told by advisors in my sixth form college not to waste space in my personal statement talking about extra-curricular activities unless they were closely related to the course I was going to apply for.

    I followed this advice and had four interviews at Oxford and two at Imperial. Not in one was I asked what sports/musical instruments I played or what I did in my free time etc.

    Best thing is to have a handful of A*/As at GCSE, especially in science and maths, and show them you have a very good chance of getting at least 3 As at A level.

    Also, the stronger a candidate you seem to Imperial (through your AS grades and personal statement) the easier your interview will be. So appear as enthusiastic and dedicated as you can in your personal statement without seeming over confident.

    Hope that helps!
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    Hey, I don't go to Imperial but I got an offer and would have met it if it would have been my firm.

    GCSEs: 5.5A*s and 4As
    A Level: AAAAaa (Chem, Maths, History, General Studies, Biology and Further Maths)
    Offer: AAB in Chem, Maths and History (As in Chem and Maths)
    Course: MSci Chemistry...

    I didn't really have any extra curriculars (I was a member of a liverpool parliament and went on trips) and I didn't read any science magazines or mention any in my PS.
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    This thread has lots of information about this years applicants
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=684199
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    (Original post by Revolution is my Name)
    This thread has lots of information about this years applicants
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=684199
    Well, I guess he might just about manage to read all 167 pages (at the time of writing) in the two years he has left before he must apply to Imperial
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    (Original post by Emc2)
    Well, I guess he might just about manage to read all 167 pages (at the time of writing) in the next 2 years before he must apply to Imperial
    I suppose, or he could just scan through and look for the bits in bold where the applicants have provided the useful information (even that would be pretty time consuming, but other than everybody reposting in this thread, there's not a lot that can be done)
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    (Original post by Revolution is my Name)
    I suppose, or he could just scan through and look for the bits in bold where the applicants have provided the useful information (even that would be pretty time consuming, but other than everybody reposting in this thread, there's not a lot that can be done)
    I know, and you're right. I just thought it was a rather curious advice that you gave him
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    GCSES: 1A*, 7A's, 3B's, 1C
    AS levels: AAABB (Chemistry, Computing, Physics, Maths, Some random other maths modules too (AABBCC in M1, S1, C1, C2, C3, S2 in order)) Shocking on the maths front, suprised they even interviewed me.

    I think main thing that got me in was my EC's.. Run an online business that generates in the hundred thousands in revenue each year which seemed to impress the interviewer and was almost all she talked about, heh.
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    I have GCSE's and AS Levels

    currently awaiting A Levels...
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    (Original post by mituozo)
    I think main thing that got me in was my EC's.. Run an online business that generates in the hundred thousands in revenue each year which seemed to impress the interviewer and was almost all she talked about, heh.
    Impressive I had a similar experience in my interview when I was asked to discuss my past as a KDE developer (which my interviewer was running on his computer as we spoke), and I showed him all the little bits that I had written or helped writing I like to think that it sort of compensated for my below average performance in the maths questions he then proceeded to ask me.
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    (Original post by Emc2)
    Impressive I had a similar experience in my interview when I was asked to discuss my past as a KDE developer (which my interviewer was running on his computer as we spoke), and I showed him all the little bits that I had written or helped writing I like to think that it sort of compensated for my below average performance in the maths questions he then proceeded to ask me.
    Haha the maths questions were just a pain, so simple yet tripped me up.. An integration question which i didn't realise had two asymptotes between the limits which messed me around for a bit and a couple logic questions she practically had to walk me through but seemed to easy at the end.. Oh well.
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    (Original post by mituozo)
    Haha the maths questions were just a pain, so simple yet tripped me up.. An integration question which i didn't realise had two asymptotes between the limits which messed me around for a bit and a couple logic questions she practically had to walk me through but seemed to easy at the end.. Oh well.
    Oh god yes, I made a complete mess of the first one, he had to walk me through every single step and when I finally made it I ended up apologising for taking so long. I coped slightly better with my second question, but unfortunately I still needed quite a bit of prompting. Luckily he was happy with that and we had a little chat about neural networks before he walked me back to the common room and told me I was almost certainly going to receive an offer
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    Thanks guys that helps and im relieved that i dont need exceptional GCSE's in unrelated subjects to get an offer.

    I appreciate all of that and any more advice is much appreciated. peace
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    (Original post by lykastar)
    Actually I've heard in many places that top unis like Oxbridge and Imperial don't really care if you haven't got a life, as long as you have plenty of brain cells.
    Having plenty of brain cells is only the very beginning - the most basic of requirements. Aside from the standard 'Why Imperial, why Computing?', my Imperial interview was purely academic, yes, but the fact that I mentioned my extracurriculars in my personal statement definitely helped towards my getting an offer in a subject that has an unfortunate reputation for being geeky.

    (Original post by lykastar)
    I was even told by advisors in my sixth form college not to waste space in my personal statement talking about extra-curricular activities unless they were closely related to the course I was going to apply for.
    Well, this is true, but not mentioning any extracurriculars at all implies that you don't have a life outside of your subject. All of the ECs I mentioned led on to some personal trait that somehow boosted my application. Example; achievements as a national hockey umpire = perseverence.

    (Original post by lykastar)
    I followed this advice and had four interviews at Oxford and two at Imperial. Not in one was I asked what sports/musical instruments I played or what I did in my free time etc.
    My Cambridge interview was purely academic as well, mainly about maths induction, towers of hanoi etc....

    (Original post by lykastar)
    Best thing is to have a handful of A*/As at GCSE, especially in science and maths, and show them you have a very good chance of getting at least 3 As at A level.
    You should really be getting these grades anyway if you're applying to Imperial or Oxbridge, simply because the vast majority of your competitors will, so any extracurriculars can distinguish yourself from the rest.
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    (Original post by lykastar)
    I was even told by advisors in my sixth form college not to waste space in my personal statement talking about extra-curricular activities unless they were closely related to the course I was going to apply for.

    I followed this advice and had four interviews at Oxford and two at Imperial. Not in one was I asked what sports/musical instruments I played or what I did in my free time etc
    If you didn't write down in your personal statement that you play sports or play a musical instrument, they wouldn't bother asking you about them because they will assume that you don't have those assets.

    The reason why your interviews didn't ask you about those is because you didn't write them down in your PS, not because sports and extra curricular activities are a waste of space/time.

    Your acid test is unsuitable for what you are trying to justify...
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    (Original post by w-inds)
    If you didn't write down in your personal statement that you play sports or play a musical instrument, they wouldn't bother asking you about them because they will assume that you don't have those assets.

    The reason why your interviews didn't ask you about those is because you didn't write them down in your PS, not because sports and extra curricular activities are a waste of space/time.

    Your acid test is unsuitable for what you are trying to justify...
    You would be right... except that at all my other interviews I WAS asked about my extra curricular activities, even though they'd seen the same personal statement.

    My point is not that playing sports etc is a disadvantage in any way, just that the character limit for personal statements is way too short, so you have to prioritise. In my case, there was way too much I had done outside of school that was closely related to my subject that I simply did not have any space left to write about 'fun' things, lol. In fact I didn't even get to mention every Physixy (new word!) thing I had done, just the stuff I thought would allow me to be distinguished.

    Either way, getting in is the important thing, and whichever way works is a good one!
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    (Original post by sunspoon)
    Well, this is true, but not mentioning any extracurriculars at all implies that you don't have a life outside of your subject. All of the ECs I mentioned led on to some personal trait that somehow boosted my application. Example; achievements as a national hockey umpire = perseverence.
    That is true about them thinking you don't have a life if you don't mention hobbies etc, and while at most unis well-roundedness of an applicant is certainly considered, this is Imperial we're talking about. Given a choice between a very social student of good intellectual ability and one who is a total nerd with 10 As at A level in difficult subjects and no signs of a social life, who do you think they'd go for?

    I'm certainly not saying being geeky to that extreme is a good thing, lol! But you have to look at it from Imperial's point of view; the vast majority of the most able students continue to go to Oxbridge, so any that want to come to ICL they would welcome with open arms.

    Of course, things like commitment and perseverance are very important factors for top unis as well as the average ones. You can show it very well by achievements in sport, but I chose to mention my participation in the National Cipher Challenge because not only does it require tenacity, it also involves some Maths and computing, which I thought would look good as I applied for Physics. Sad, I know, but killing two birds with one stone - the character limit was too short!



    (Original post by sunspoon)
    You should really be getting these grades anyway if you're applying to Imperial or Oxbridge, simply because the vast majority of your competitors will, so any extracurriculars can distinguish yourself from the rest.
    At Oxbridge, yes, but Imperial aren't as picky. Still very picky compared to most unis, but definitely not as much as Oxbridge. However, it's true that if you appear more clever than the average applicant on paper, your interview will be a piece of cake at ICL, and that really helps people who get rather nervous at interviews. I don't want to sound arrogant, but I'm saying this from what I've been told by other people as well as personal experience - my interview was really short and I was asked no proper questions at all!
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    (Original post by lykastar)
    At Oxbridge, yes, but Imperial aren't as picky. Still very picky compared to most unis, but definitely not as much as Oxbridge. However, it's true that if you appear more clever than the average applicant on paper, your interview will be a piece of cake at ICL, and that really helps people who get rather nervous at interviews. I don't want to sound arrogant, but I'm saying this from what I've been told by other people as well as personal experience - my interview was really short and I was asked no proper questions at all!
    It depends on the course. Most of them here at IC (most notably Biology and those in RSM) have low requirements compared with Oxbridge eg AAB but at the other end, Computing is now A*AA, the same as Cambridge and higher than that of Oxford, and Joint Maths and Computing is A*A*A, which is ridiculous.
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    (Original post by sunspoon)
    It depends on the course. Most of them here at IC (most notably Biology and those in RSM) have low requirements compared with Oxbridge eg AAB but at the other end, Computing is now A*AA, the same as Cambridge and higher than that of Oxford, and Joint Maths and Computing is A*A*A, which is ridiculous.
    Isn't that because Oxford haven't decided to use the A* grade yet? I'm not sure, but I heard something like that some time ago.

    I did sciences and maths at A level and it isn't difficult to get 90%+ in all of them (I was still rejected by Oxford), so it's no wonder Imperial's offers for next year will be conditional on getting 1-3 A*s. It'll be much easier for them to choose.
 
 
 
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