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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:05 am
Posts: 580
Just adding a bit of personal experience to hopefully help - my DD took English Lit, History, gov and pol and art. Got all A's at AS, then applied to Cambridge who were more than happy with her choices and her A level combi, which in fact ( the academic ones) were very common choices amongst the HSPS students.

The tutor interviewing her first showed great interest in her Art, what it had added to her experiences etc and was glad she had breadth. Although she applied for HSPS ( human, social and political sciences) he also asked a lot about the texts she was reading in class for literature and about her own reading for pleasure! as well as her academic subject specific reading. She had to submit essays as well as do one under timed conditions on the day, and have two interviews......they know what they are looking for! Potential and the ability to do well under the tutorial system. My feeling as they positively liked well rounded individuals........

Good luck to all 2013 applicants! Anyone who would like a bit of interview info - feel free to pm me :D


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
This is very interesting information, thank you. What were her other choices? DG


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 453
Location: Harrow
And Just adding some alternative personal Experience with a totally different department.. which may also help - also note that this will vary from college to college.
my DD took Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry... got all A's art As with high ums, applied for engineering and got invited for interview. The College had specified that they did a written test as they found this allowed students to show their ability better, so both myself and DD assumed the interviews would be more about interests in the subject and maybe some theoretical questions on engineering type topics.
The entire time of the 2 interviews consisted asking maths and physics question and managed to choose either the topics she found most difficult or in one case one she hadn't yet studied...
At no point did any of the interviews reflect any of the many practices she had had..

however despite totally messing up her interview, she got an offer, all be it via the pool...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Allour practice Oxbridge maths interviews are focused on maths questions asking 'awkward' topics and pushing them to their knowledge limit and beyond ... that's when they really can show their natural ability.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:49 pm
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Thanks WP, this is really interesting. Is there any information like this regarding BTECS? Is there some that are more highly accepted than others? Is it better to have A-levels than BTECS?

The general advice I was told is that if you have high achieving child then stick to A-levels. But if your child is just scraping through their GCSES then BTECS might be a better route into uni.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:44 am
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Blue_Marigold wrote:
Thanks WP, this is really interesting. Is there any information like this regarding BTECS? Is there some that are more highly accepted than others? Is it better to have A-levels than BTECS?

The general advice I was told is that if you have high achieving child then stick to A-levels. But if your child is just scraping through their GCSES then BTECS might be a better route into uni.


DD is currently doing 3 A levels plus BTEC Health and Social Care. The Unis we have visited have said they don't mind if she gets the results in the 3 A levels or 2 A levels and the BTEC. The problem with BTEC is offers tend to only count Distinction which is the same points as an A. A Merit only gives the same points as a C. At least with A Level you can get a B and may still meet your offer. BTEC is a bit all or nothing.
Having said that my niece only did BTEC, went to Uni, then did a Masters and went on to become a GCSE/A level science teacher.


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