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Oxford or Cambridge [for Maths] watch

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    Hi.

    I intend to apply for maths and have Oxbridge as a possible option but I'm unsure of whether to apply to Oxford or Cambridge.

    Cambridge has a Special Access Scheme which would be of particular benefit to me. However, they do not ask you sit a pre-interview test, which means that everything rests on my performance at the interview, which I fear will be completely s***.

    Oxford, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have an access scheme as good as Cambridge's. They only ask for the referee to write a letter detailing the extenuating circumstances.

    Oh, and Cambridge's maths course appears to be much more hardcore than Oxford's, thus eliminating any possibility of getting in.

    But then there are those colleges in Cambridge that get applicants to sit a pre-interview test on the day. That might be ideal, though it will most probably result in my suicide.

    OK. I will apply to Cambridge, maybe.

    Help. Please.
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    (Original post by TRStemporaryusername)
    Hi.

    I intend to apply for maths and have Oxbridge as a possible option but I'm unsure of whether to apply to Oxford or Cambridge.

    Cambridge has a Special Access Scheme which would be of particular benefit to me. However, they do not ask you sit a pre-interview test, which means that everything rests on my performance at the interview, which I fear will be completely s***.

    Oxford, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have an access scheme as good as Cambridge's. They only ask for the referee to write a letter detailing the extenuating circumstances.

    Oh, and Cambridge's maths course appears to be much more hardcore than Oxford's, thus eliminating any possibility of getting in.

    But then there are those colleges in Cambridge that get applicants to sit a pre-interview test on the day. That might be ideal, though it will most probably result in my suicide.

    OK. I will apply to Cambridge, maybe.

    Help. Please.
    Pre-interview tests vary, but most only really require knowledge of he A level course.
    Also, don't forget that Cambridge filter out a lot of their candidates with STEP after giving the offer.
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    Thanks for that!
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    Hey!
    I had real problems deciding which of the two universities to apply to.
    The Maths courses are largely identical, especially for the first 2 years - the order of study is changed around for some subjects, but ultimately you'll learn and study similar stuff with some bits exclusive to both syllabi (depending on where the lecturer wants to emphasise certain topics).
    The 3rd and 4th years will vary slightly (as because it's specialist teaching, it really depends who is in the faculty that is available to teach etc.), Cambridge having the edge for Theoretical Physics and related subjects, Oxford having more of an edge in Stats, Mathematical Biology and some other related fields. Regardless, that's not really that important - you'll find something you want to study at either university.
    I ended up choosing more on the basis of the place rather than anything else. I just felt much happier in Oxford - Cambridge felt to me like a town full of only tourists and students, and maybe a couple of old people. Oxford felt much more like a city, with more 'Town' (though, there's obviously a lot of 'Gown', as well!)

    I think the key is not to worry about it. Ultimately, hard work and being good at Maths will pay off more than anything else - if you're good enough, you'll probably get in. If not, oh well, go to Imperial or Warwick or Bristol, and you'll be fine.

    Hope that helps - feel free to PM me if you have any more pressing questions,

    HenryT
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    (Original post by yusufu)
    Pre-interview tests vary, but most only really require knowledge of he A level course.
    Also, don't forget that Cambridge filter out a lot of their candidates with STEP after giving the offer.
    yah. i'm willing to recieve offers based on STEP. I think I could get a 1,2 in STEP, which is fine for quite a few colleges.
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    I know it's a bit off topic, but would anyone recommend Durham for maths?
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    (Original post by fumblewomble)
    And similarly, choose the college you'd like to spend three years at rather than the one you think you can get into. Your chances of getting into Cambridge remain the same no matter which college you choose.
    True. But your chances of getting onto Part III vary pretty drastically from college to college.

    Also Step requirements vary from college to college.
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    (Original post by Arrogant Git)
    True. But your chances of getting onto Part III vary pretty drastically from college to college.
    I thought progression to part III was guaranteed given a high 2.1/1st?
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    (Original post by Scipio90)
    I thought progression to part III was guaranteed given a high 2.1/1st?
    No, the requirements vary from college to college. Some ask for no more than a 2.1. Some ask for at least a first. Most sit somewhere in between.
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    Hi,
    I'm french and i'm actually in the same kind of dilemma. I want to study math in england, and in particular in oxford or cambridge (let me tell you I was pretty disappointed when I learned you couldn't apply to both).
    I know oxford at least a little for spending time there several times but I never went to cambridge.
    So at this point, appart from what i've heard coming from very few people I don't know so much about what is really different between those two universities.
    Here are the main points for me, i'm a passionate, i'm not doing math because it's big way to have good job (but i think this kind of opinion is rather french, although i don't want you to think french people are that small minded) so i'm not afraid to do a lot of math. Are the courses so different? But, still, i enjoy doing many things outside school and i heard in cambridge you didn't really had time for anything else (coming from someone who liked doing music, i personaly am more into theatre)
    As for getting in cambridge or oxford, i'm not very sure of myself especially because i think there are many things that you english have done in math and i have not (in france you have about ten subjects for the baccalaureat so less time for math) so i'm rather counting on the oral part to show that i'm able to think on subjects that are knew for me and all that kind of stuff.
    I wanted to know, is the first test in oxford (before interviews) really discriminatory or is it more of a basis for the interviews.

    And just, by the way, could anyone have a textbook to advice me so i could prepare myself for math in english (i think i saw that pure mathematics 1, 2 and 3 (cambridge advanced level mathematics) were the one recomended by cambridge)

    Thanks in advance for helping me
    emma
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    Cambridge for maths. No question.
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    (Original post by sugarplumc)
    Cambridge for maths. No question.
    Oh, wow, another informed remark with evidence... :rolleyes:
    I think the whole point is that there is a question. If you read any of the countless threads about the differences between Oxford and Cambridge Maths, the only real difference is the MMath / Part III years, where slightly different approaches are taken to the teaching, and there is a difference in structure too. The undergrad courses are virtually identical, and I don't think you'd have to do very much research to work that out...
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    I'm a little surprised it took until post twelve for somebody to post some unqualified rubbish about Cambridge being definitively better. It would seem standards are improving on the forum! A sample of the "delights" we can usually endure can be found here, along with some more useful advice from people with much more knowledge than most.
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    ok, i looked up this other thread but the conversation keeps going on about generalities although it appears that both universities are pretty much the same. I don't fully understand the system of MMath and part III and all that, though. What is it exactly?
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    (Original post by henryt)
    Oh, wow, another informed remark with evidence... :rolleyes:
    I think the whole point is that there is a question. If you read any of the countless threads about the differences between Oxford and Cambridge Maths, the only real difference is the MMath / Part III years, where slightly different approaches are taken to the teaching, and there is a difference in structure too. The undergrad courses are virtually identical, and I don't think you'd have to do very much research to work that out...
    Even if the courses are almost identical, it doesn't mean the standard of teaching is. Another factor to take into account is reputation and prestige. Obviously both Oxford and Cambridge are equally good universities in general terms, but for Maths it is Cambridge that has the higher reputation and the better results. Since the courses are similar, reputation might be a valid reason for choosing one over the other, all other things being equal.
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    (Original post by sugarplumc)
    Even if the courses are almost identical, it doesn't mean the standard of teaching is.
    You clearly don't know what you're talking about.

    Another factor to take into account is reputation and prestige. Obviously both Oxford and Cambridge are equally good universities in general terms, but for Maths it is Cambridge that has the higher reputation and the better results.
    Define "better results".
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    (Original post by sugarplumc)
    Even if the courses are almost identical, it doesn't mean the standard of teaching is.
    On what basis would you suggest the standard of teaching is better at one rather than the other?

    Another factor to take into account is reputation and prestige. Obviously both Oxford and Cambridge are equally good universities in general terms, but for Maths it is Cambridge that has the higher reputation and the better results.
    If you're talking about the RAE then Oxford beat Cambridge in the 2008 RAE. A more honest way of putting it though would be to say there has been no significant difference in the research profile quantity-wise or quality-wise of the two universities in recent years. And where precisely their research strengths are should really only be a matter of concern for a prospective postgraduate.

    But read Bill Lionheart's pages if you want a fuller analysis:-

    http://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/~b...s_league/2009/
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    (Original post by BJack)
    You clearly don't know what you're talking about.
    What is that based on?

    I wasn't actually commenting on the standard of teaching at one or the other. All I meant was that course content isn't the only factor that should be taken into consideration when choosing between 2 (both excellent) universities.

    and anyway, it's just an opinion, which the OP is free to take on board or dismiss as idiocy. Sorry if I have offended anyone here.
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    (Original post by sugarplumc)
    What is that based on?
    Your posts, of course. Besides, you still haven't defined "better results". I await with bated breath.
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    (Original post by BJack)
    Your posts, of course. Besides, you still haven't defined "better results". I await with bated breath.
    You're right. I haven't defined better results. I am also clearly an idiot, and my four years at cambridge has obviously taught me nothing. I bow down to your superior knowledge and judgement.
 
 
 
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