DC with an A* offer for university?

(99 Posts)
MummyMastodon Sun 02-Jun-13 20:26:27

Who has a son or daughter taking A2 that includes one or more A* ?

Join me in nail-biting and envy of the 'easy' AAA offer holders.

DD needs A*AA for her first choice, (Oxford) insurance is a nice AAB (Bristol) but she reeeally wants Oxford (Bristol looks wonderful too, but apart from anything else, if she goes there as her insurance she might not even get a place in halls, which wouldn't be a great start)

A* just seems so relentless - 90% overall in A2 year. One bad exam can blow it all out of the water. She is on track for A*A*A at the moment, and resitting a rogue January module to hopefully bring the A* back within reach for her third subject. But it all seems so dependent on a couple of hours in the exam room!

I suppose I should just be grateful that it's only one A* required, I know Cambridge and some of the London Unis can make offers for two or three shock

pusspusslet Tue 02-Jul-13 19:12:38

lapucelle said:

"[I] came top of the maths tripos."

Wow! Major kudos! That's seriously impressive smile

alreadytaken Sun 30-Jun-13 08:12:58

All universities take some people who miss their grades. When they make offers they don't know how many people will turn an offer down, firm or insure them. Some of those for whom they are an insurance offer will not be accepted at their first choice. It's a difficult thing to get right, why most universities use clearing to top up and why some will accept adjustment applicants.

Oxford and Cambridge publish statistics on the qualifications of those accepted. A standard offer at Cambridge is A*AA but most of those admitted have 2 or 3 A*s. As there isn't generally a big gap between offers and admissions (maths being the exception) most of the applicants have exceeded their offers. At Oxford there are fewer people admitted with 2 or 3 A* grades but it's not obvious how many miss their grades and are accepted. A Freedom of Information request might provide the information if anyone cares. The exceptionally large gap for maths at Cambridge may be culling by grade but could also be a large number of people turning down offers that are frightening or heading off to the States where bursaries can be much better. Applicants do turn down Oxbridge and the number of offers made per place will reflect how often that has happened in the past.

Unfortunately a university that accepted students who missed a grade last year may not do so this year, because they may have changed how many offers they made or more people may have firmed/insured them. So while there is always hope if you miss a grade (or two at some universities) it's not guaranteed. Most people end up liking their university and if not it's always possible to change.....

MariscallRoad Thu 27-Jun-13 12:13:23

Yellowtip, There are a number of reasons why students would want to study in US and one of these is the links and jobs they get there after they graduate. US is a vast country with opportunities. The funding of the study might be not be the most important, the job market and housing market means a lot to students. I know many who left home to study in US and never returned. Students get loans in UK but many students look how their life is going to be in the very long term. for instance whether staying in UK would be able to afford a house.

ThePolymath Sat 15-Jun-13 14:11:20

Yes, I was referring to the Raspberry Pi thing. Something like the BIO/IIO will be respected of course.

glaurung Sat 15-Jun-13 11:05:27

A medal from the international olympiad in informatics is unlikely to be sneezed at by comp sci admissions bods though polymath - admittedly that's fairly mathematical in nature though and to be fair most of the BIO/IOI entrants seem to choose maths degrees in any case. There's considerable overlap between those doing well at informatics and maths olympiads.

ThePolymath Sat 15-Jun-13 10:49:37

There definitely will be for maths, in that anyone (who came close to) competing in the IMO will be relatively well known, certainly if they were on the Trinity College training camp. A medal at the IMO would certainly be outstanding and at that level the admissions system will probably be pretty different to a normal A-level candidate.

For Computer Science I wouldn't imagine that this would be the case (that much) as the skills required for a computer science degree can be vastly different to what a hobbyist programmer/tinkerer has at home. It's a much more theoretical and mathematical affair, and somewhat different to Computing (although there is still a fair bit of Computing within it).

Needmoresleep Thu 13-Jun-13 11:36:46

I dont disagree. However I suspect there is some active talent spotting going on for known precocious mathematicians and computer scientists.

lapucelle Thu 13-Jun-13 10:52:27

Not all schools get involved with Olympiads (particularly state schools) so not all the best students are necessarily known from Olympiads. (I never did Olympiads but came top of the maths tripos.)

Needmoresleep Thu 13-Jun-13 09:02:45

With maths I assume that the very best mathematicians are already known to top colleges, through the hierarchy that starts with junior maths challenge and goes through to International Maths Olympiads.

Top academics, or at least people they know, will have coached maths camps etc and there will be a small number of students that Trinity knows they would like to have before applications are even made. They will also know of comparable students from overseas. Princeton will have a similar list. The very best will have a choice.

I noticed that a prize in a national Raspberry Pi competition also effectively included exposure to a major consulting firm and a Cambridge college. I wondered whether this was more a prize for the firm and the college keen to recruit the best of the next generation. Again doors may already be open for some, rendering admissions statistics pretty meaningless. It does not matter if there is a good offer rate if other applicants are very very strong.

funnyperson Thu 13-Jun-13 03:23:21

mummymastodon almonds are also good.

Yellowtip Wed 12-Jun-13 22:20:53

One really has to get down to the minutiae lapucelle. I agree. For example Oxford and Cambridge tend to have the same sort of number of applicants for Medicine each year but Oxford has far fewer places. Very few generalisations hold true other than you really do need to be clever.

Xenia Wed 12-Jun-13 21:25:29

Don't worry about accommodation. One of mine went to Bristol, applied to the hall she really wanted, did not get an immediate place, accepted a temporary place there in some kind of tutors' accommodation sharing a room I think but the day we arrived they had 5 students who did not turn up to that hall or the university at the last minute ( apparently some go off on sudden gap years or change their mind) and she got a really nice room at her preferred hall and we were glad she accepted what seemed a temporary grotty room in the hall of her choice.

(Anyway I hope yours gets where they prefer and the A*)

LittleBearPad Wed 12-Jun-13 21:14:52

I accept that Mathematics has an unusual ratio which is not comparable to other subjects, in fact it is the outlier across the subjects. It isn't perhaps the best example for people dealing with exam stress though

lapucelle Wed 12-Jun-13 20:56:38

And one final comment before leaving this thread: Trinity made 67 offers for 41 places. Trinity is one of the wealthiest colleges (and hence has scholarships for foreign applicants). It is renowned for maths and receives many applications for maths from abroad. A significant fraction of the 67 offers would have been turned down for Princeton etc. So the 26 student difference is not just due to ultra high offers being made.

lapucelle Wed 12-Jun-13 20:51:42

I am quoting the 2012 Cambridge maths statistics BTW - in this year's cycle there are roughly 1400 applications, 480 offers and the acceptances are not known but there is no way they will be near 480. I mean 1200 applications for Oxford maths of course.

lapucelle Wed 12-Jun-13 20:48:27

No, they weren't. There were 1400 applications for mathematics, 500 offers and 250 acceptances. Following the link I posted you can find that for yourself. There were slightly fewer applications at Oxford, around 1200, for a similar number of places.

Offer to acceptance is not comparable across all subjects, as you can find from that page.

LittleBearPad Wed 12-Jun-13 20:36:34

But that's the difference between application and offer not offer and acceptance which will be determined by the exams being sat by the children of the posters in this thread. Medicine at Cambridge is highly competitive and it is reasonable to assume that the offer to axceptance ratio for it is comparable to other subjects. Your stats were really misleading.

lapucelle Wed 12-Jun-13 20:32:19

It was explicitly mentioned above that it is subject dependent, and recommended that people should check data for specific subjects and talk with admissions tutors. It was also mentioned that the difference between offers and acceptances in Cambridge maths is in part explained by a number of offers being refused to accept universities outside the UK. Nonetheless in maths it is a factor that offers are set quite high and get missed.

The data you mention indicates that the situation is different for medicine. (Although, as an aside, in the 2012 medicine statistics I am aware of an offer being made to a Dutch student which was virtually unachievable - a GPA so high that it had only been achieved by a few students ever in Holland. Even when the student appealed with data showing this, the college refused to amend their offer and she turned it down.)

LittleBearPad Wed 12-Jun-13 19:37:07

In 2012 Cambridge made 293 offers for medicine and 280 places were accepted. Sorry to harp on about this but reading the 50% comment above is going to stress people out and it isn't true.

LittleBearPad Wed 12-Jun-13 19:32:53

I've looked at the Cambridge statistics data and can't see the 50% data for Medicine. The only information is application versus offer that I can see. I would be very surprised if there was that much of a differential as in my experience Oxbridge don't make many more (if any) offers than they have places. Of my experience was at Oxford but I'd be surprised if there was that much of a difference otherwise everyone would apply to Oxford.

BCBG Wed 12-Jun-13 19:17:28

Have DC with A* A* A A who is off to Cambridge this autumn - he thought he had missed the * this time last year in post exam blues - VERY hard to know if you have done enough or not because it depends on grade boundaries. Have another DC trying for AAA this year for Durham and I have no nails left at all - she thinks she blew a paper sad..I am so glad it isn't me

MummyMastodon Wed 12-Jun-13 19:08:03

For some reason I've got it in my head that spinach must be the healthiest thing to give them at stressful times, and I'm stuffing the child with spinach every evening. If spinach can produce A*, we will have A*.

MummyMastodon Wed 12-Jun-13 10:58:47

Hmm. Exam yesterday which she thought was 'pretty easy' so probably the grade bands will be set high, we'll see. Steering her away from the unofficial mark schemes you can find on The Student Room, and encouraging her to forget about it and focus on the next exams.

NewFerry Mon 10-Jun-13 06:47:31

Yellow tip can international students access loans? I thought it was UK and eu students only?
Also, I guess if you can get a non repayable bursary to a US uni, and of course get your foot in the door in the US, that's going to look very attractive compared to the huge fees and living costs you would need to find if you came to the UK.

Obv it would also depend on the comparative Unis.

xylem8 Sun 09-Jun-13 23:57:04

If Cam made 506 offers for 253 places in Maths, this could mean that they expect 50 per cent to meet the offers of whatever A*s they ask
But surely they expect more than 50% to meet the grades because there will be some that don't 'firm' the course.Not everyone does you know!

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