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How likely am I to get into Cambridge as an American?

KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threads New Member
I'm currently an American HS student. I have/am going to take 18 AP tests. I have gotten 5s on all of my ap tests so far from sophomore year in calc bc, chem, and world. I am extremely confident in getting 5s on all of my 8 ap classes this year, I have taken the math 2, chem, bio, and physics subject tests and scored 800 on all of them. I have a 36 ACT score. I also have lab experience and research at a university bio lab where I may have my name published as a contributor in a published paper. Unfortunately, while my gpa is high, I have recieved a single c in calc bc. Considering all of this, what are my chances?
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Replies to: How likely am I to get into Cambridge as an American?

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threads Senior Member
    What are you looking to study?

    You'd have to decide that before you apply.
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threads New Member
    Hi, sorry I missed this, I'm planning on studying biology
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threads Senior Member
    And what is the game plan even if you get a bachelor's in Natural Sciences at Cambridge?
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threads New Member
    The ideal situation is that I'm able to return to the US and pursue an MD-PHD degree, my end goal is doctor/professor. I'm hoping to qualify for schools such as Johns Hopkins
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threads Senior Member
    edited April 20
    For getting an MD, going anywhere but the US or Canada for undergrad is not recommended. Have you looked at US pre-med requirements? I'm pretty certain you can't meet them through Cambridge.

    Why Cambridge?
    edited April 20
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks for the advice, I'll look more into the pre-med requirements. I still hope to attend Cambridge given its leading status in biology. I also believe that my transcript is more suited for British universities, while I will probably achieve a gpa of 4.4 and 3.8, I had a few b's and one c in sophmore year, all in extremely difficult APs though. I understand that Cambridge looks only at ap test scores and other test scores along with looking for applicants who have already decided on a major. Given these circumstances, I believe that my transcript is most suited for British Universities
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threads Senior Member
    Well, the thing is, what are you looking for? When it comes to lab and research resources and faculty, some of the US publics match Oxbridge/Ivies. For aiming for an MD/PhD program, a good honors program may help you reach your goal.

    What state are you in?
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threads New Member
    I attend a top public school in California
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1683 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Have you looked at the course content? Cambridge don't offer biology, only natural sciences (you choose either chem/bio or phys/chem). Oxford do offer single subject sciences.

    Yes you'd have a strong application, but Oxbridge is not a good choice for US pre-meds. It is a good choice if your objective is to do a research PhD in sciences and become an academic or industry researcher. So saying your objective is "doctor/professor" is not very helpful.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threads Senior Member
    They you'd have a lot of terrific public options as well. Have you calculated your UC GPA?
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks for all the advice guys, my gpa would put me at the top of my school considering that I'm taking all APs this year and I have A's in all of them, that being said, I still have a C and a few B's plaguing my 3rd quarter sophomore year as explained above. While my gpa could technically allow me to qualify for almost every school in California, I still have that C that sticks out. To clarify my earlier response, my main goal is to be able to become a professor leading a team of scientists as the PI. From what I know, many colleges offer dual MD PHD programs which makes the process of becoming a professor easier. At the end of the day, the MD is optional, it is a means to an end for me, as long as I can get a position as an associate/assistant/legit professor. Oxford and Cambridge are interchangeable to me, both are great schools, but Cambridge is ranked higher for bio sciences and has a higher acceptance rate.
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  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 1145 replies26 threads Senior Member
    They’re really not interchangeable in an important way. Aat Oxford you would just do biology, at Cambridge you would have to do Natural Sciences, meaning at least one more science subject in depth. take A close look at the websites of the respective universities and departments to get a clearer picture of how the degrees are structured.

    higher acceptance rates are a bit illusory. They just reflect numbers of applicants per place, rather than the actual difficulty of getting in.
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you so much for the advice! I was originally a bit confused about what it meant by Natural Sciences, me not having someone to consult just thought it meant that I would have to choose one of several science classes. Knowing this, I would probably now lean more toward Oxford. Thanks guys.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1683 replies17 threads Senior Member
    The full description of all the required and optional courses is on the website, because there is far less flexibility than in the US. You need to understand and be comfortable with the list of courses you would be taking. So for example don't expect to have the choice of taking computational biology before the third or fourth year.

    There are incredibly detailed admission statistics, example entrance tests and all sorts of other information on the website. You should read it.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3403 replies33 threads Senior Member
    A pre med student would be more able to take all the required pre-med claaases.in a natsci program than in straight biology at Oxford. But it would still be difficult.
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threads New Member
    I was actually planning on just staying in the UK if I got in, given that the time required to earn a PHD is less, the only reason I would like to move back to the US for grad school or med school is for sentimental purposes, all in all, back to the main question, do you think I'll be able to get into Oxbridge?
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threads New Member
    edited April 20
    I've also heard about the interview and the TSA, and I've been going through past TSA's
    edited April 20
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1683 replies17 threads Senior Member
    edited April 20
    There is nothing which would disqualify you from getting a place, but since the admission decision is entirely dependent on the interview, it is impossible to say whether you would get in. It is reasonable to assume that your chances are likely better than your chances of getting into Stanford, assuming you don't have any major hooks, and worse than your chances of getting into Berkeley L&S. However if you give the impression that Oxbridge is a backup to top US schools (for example by saying you'd like to become a doctor), then that would be viewed negatively (i.e. they really hate to be turned down). Remember that the yield for domestic UK applicants who meet their offer is something like 99%.

    And read the statistics. They state the proportion of applicants each year who were admitted by subject and TSA score. Indeed looking on The Student Room you can find the full spreadsheets of admissions data by candidate (anonymized) released under the UK's freedom of information act.
    edited April 20
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threads Senior Member
    @VickiSoCal, I'm pretty certain that pre-med requirements also require a humanities component. I know some pre-health majors have that.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threads Senior Member
    @KingDward, note that while American MD-PhD and STEM PhD programs (which you enter straight from undergrad) are funded, UK grad programs generally are not (unless you win scholarships).
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