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Extracurriculars important for UK universities (Cambridge) ?

carloConfidentialcarloConfidential Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
Hello,

I live in the US as an exchange student from Germany in 11th grade. When I go back to Germany I will have 11th (I have to repeat it) and 12th grade. Then I want to apply to five universities in England including my favorite the University of Cambridge. My question is if extracurriculars are important or increase admission chances. Would it be of advantage to develop an extensive collection of extracurricular activities? Or is only scholastic performance important?

Thanks

Replies to: Extracurriculars important for UK universities (Cambridge) ?

  • NycteaNyctea Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    edited September 2016
    Extracurriculars outside the subject you are applying for are irrelevant, especially for Cambridge. Your grades are more important, for Cambridge interviews are the most important. (However I heard they are reintroducing admission tests this year.) You could mention extracurriculars related to your subject in your personal statement (olympiads, other competitions, camps, ...)
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 6,176 Senior Member
    You have a whole bunch of threads about 'getting' enough ECs to get into (Cambridge, MIT, Calech, Berkeley).

    Other posters have tried to tell you that ECs are not a magic wand. Cambridge will be interested in what you do beyond what is required by school that demonstrates your involvement with your subject- the thinking is that if you love something you want to spend time with it, and you probably have been doing so for years, just because you are genuinely interested. The other stuff isn't interesting to them.*

    Luckily, MIT admissions explains it really, really well. Here is there suggestions about a formula for getting in, and here they give you step by step directions.

    (Although given the hammering that Cambridge got from Oxford this year by both the mens and womens teams, if you were an Olympic level rower they might find that interesting.....)
  • carloConfidentialcarloConfidential Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    @collegemom3717 and thats technically exactly what I heard of that it's not true for Cambridge and Oxford. That even these activities (playing in an orchestra, athletic talent etc) that are only for the university of advantage but do not qualify the applicant for their study programs do not help you to get inside. What I thought is that for example if you want to study an STEM subject (like me) then ECs in this area are interesting to mention in your application but do not necessarily increase your chances of getting in, they just might interest the admission officers,
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 6,176 Senior Member
    Are you referring to the rowing? that was a joke. (though Oxford actually did just graduate an Olympic rower :-))

    Oxford and Cambridge are different than the US unis you are looking at: there are no admissions officers. The people who make the decision about who to accept are tutors (professors), who may end up teaching you. To quote an admissions tutor from Oxford, "we want you to love our subject as much as we do. You should have a lot to talk about on the subject you are applying to read (study).
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