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Applying to UK Colleges

spickyclawsspickyclaws Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I'm currently an upcoming junior in California, and I've been trying to pin down the reqs for applying to UK schools. In all honesty, I find all the information listed on websites a little overwhelming, and was hoping someone who had been through the process could direct me on what my first steps should be. I was hoping to apply to Cambridge, and although the basic requirements are on the website, I would greatly appreciate any advice from someone familiar with the admissions process.

Replies to: Applying to UK Colleges

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    Look on the threads in the UK subforum of the International Students forum. Plenty of advice there. Not a lot of hand holding at UK unis, so first thing is consider if this is for you if just the info on the website is overwhelming.
  • RoundGeniusRoundGenius Registered User Posts: 410 Member
    @collegemom3717 knows a lot about admissions at UK universities.

    First of all, when you apply to any UK university, you apply not to the university, but your major, or as Brits call it, "your course". This way, the professors have a lot more say in who gets admitted, in a way very similar to grad schools in the US.

    You said you know the basic requirements already, but I will include them anyway. This is directly from the website.

    "Applicants from the USA taking College Board SATs and Advanced Placement (AP) Tests should note that offers are usually made on an individual basis. High passes in the High School Diploma and the SAT are expected; a high pass in the SAT usually equates to at least 1,400 in Critical Reading and Mathematics and also 700 or more in Writing to give a combined score of at least 2,100 or equivalent. An ACT score of at least 32 out of 36 may be accepted instead.

    We also require five College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Tests at grade 5 in appropriate subjects. Please note that SAT Subject Tests are not normally viewed as being equivalent to A Level/IB Higher Level/Advanced Placement (AP) Tests."

    The so called "appropriate subjects" is also referred to as Group A APs. This is the list.

    Biology
    Calculus AB
    Calculus BC
    Chemistry
    Physics (as half courses B and C)
    English Literature and Composition
    English Language and Composition
    French Language
    French Literature
    German Language
    Italian Language and Culture
    Latin Literature
    Latin: Vergil
    Spanish Language
    Spanish Literature
    European History
    United States History
    World History

    Depending on your course, you may have to take a test created by Cambridge to evaluate your abilities. This will be used in determining whether or not you make it to the interview round. All courses interview by the way. I also believe there is a personal statement, but this is different from a personal statement for a US school. UK universities do not care for well-rounded individuals like US schools do, and much of admission is based upon testing. This partially stems from the fact that when attending a UK university, you only study your specific area of interest. US schools provide a more broad education, and thus value the "Renaissance Man" more. Therefore, when writing your personal statement, they don't want to hear about you or your ECs; they want to hear about your interest in and motivation for choosing whatever area you want to study.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    Yep, uni in England is much more like grad-school-lite.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 32,009 Senior Member
    Yes, it's like applying to grad school since you have to convince them you're the highest qualified for a spot in that 'course'. Your statement should show you're highly qualified, through classes taken, readings, activities that directly pertain to your subject (IE., being part of an archaeological team if applying for history, volunteering at an animal clinic if applying for veterinary science...)
    The 'interview ' is like an oral examination and you need to start reading major books in your subject now if you want to be done on time. (you could ask a professor for a bibliography of the 12-15most important books about your subject. Obviously not like that, but presenting your project, interest in the subject, need for help..)
    In addition to Oxbridge (app due in October) what other UK courses will you apply to (deadline January)?
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