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American Chance Me - Cambridge, St Andrews, Imperial, Imperial College London

ReadyToNapReadyToNap 6 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
edited August 4 in United Kingdom
Hello! I'm going into my senior year of high school in the U.S. and I have been planning on applying to some U.K. universities in hopes of pursuing a maths degree. One issue I know I might face is the timing of taking the tests if I manage to get conditional offers, but I've talked with some admissions people from a local university and through some bureaucratic trickery I'd be able to accept an offer from them and later decline it and only sacrifice a small deposit.

I'm only going to mention my mathematics-related stuff, as that seems the most relevant, but if there's anything I left out that might shed more light please ask!

If there are any other universities that you think I should apply to, please mention them.

Tests:
ACT: 36 (36 Math)
SAT: 800 Math, 720 English

Math Courses:
Freshman Year:
Honors Algebra 2
Honors Geometry
Sophomore Year:
Honors Pre-Calculus
AP Statistics (5)
AP Calculus BC (only second semester)(5)
Junior Year:
Calculus 3 / Differential Equations (received college credit, done through school)
Linear Algebra (done online through local college)
Junior-Senior Summer:
Real Analysis (Done through Stanford ULO)
Senior Year First Semester:
Modern Algebra (Stanford ULO)
Complex Analysis (Stanford ULO)
Discrete Mathematics (Online with local college)
Senior Year Second Semester:
Partial Differential Equations (Stanford ULO)
Number Theory (Online with local college)
ECs:

Founded/Co-President of Mu Alpha Theta (junior,senior)
Qualified for AIME

If there's anything you think I should do between now and October 15, or suggestions for filling out the very confusing UCAS I would be happy for any and all advice. Thank you!
edited August 4
7 replies
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Replies to: American Chance Me - Cambridge, St Andrews, Imperial, Imperial College London

  • Twoin18Twoin18 1519 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Why Cambridge rather than Oxford? Do you realize that you’d need to do STEP for Cambridge (https://www.admissionstesting.org/for-test-takers/step/dates-and-costs/), and the results don’t come out until mid August? That makes it virtually impossible to attend a semester based US school that would start in mid-August.

    In contrast Oxford just has the MAT in early November so you should be able to get an unconditional offer in January if admitted. While I agree that Cambridge is somewhat more prestigious for maths than Oxford (I did my undergrad and PhD there), I just don’t think the admissions process makes it a good choice for most US students. Remember that your school needs to register to administer the test and you should practice (intensively) for it too.
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  • ReadyToNapReadyToNap 6 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited August 4
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    Do you realize that you’d need to do STEP for Cambridge (https://www.admissionstesting.org/for-test-takers/step/dates-and-costs/), and the results don’t come out until mid August? That makes it virtually impossible to attend a semester based US school that would start in mid-August.
    I was aware of the difficult timing of the STEP for Cambridge. I've talked with a local college and by applying for admission beginning in the spring of 2021 and then attending as a part time student for the fall of 2020 it would be possible for me to do my undergrad through them if I try and fail the conditions of a Cambridge offer, or only lose part of the down payment for a few classes if I meet the conditions. It's very awkward in timing, but the school is a good school that I wouldn't mind going to.
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    Remember that your school needs to register to administer the test
    I have actually talked to my school and they'd be willing to administer the test and if for whatever reason they can't register in time there is another school only a state away that I could go to.
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    you should practice (intensively) for it too.
    I have also begun looking at past STEP exams, and while I haven't been studying as much as I would like, I feel comfortable with most of the problems and plan to study much more rigorously once my senior year begins.
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    Why Cambridge rather than Oxford?
    As for why Cambridge over Oxford, I just prefer it. It's entirely possible I have just been overly-influenced by the prestige, but I'd much rather go to Cambridge. I don't mind the associated difficulties that come with attempting to get in there. The worst that could happen is I go to a good in-state school that would cost way less and I could transfer most of the credits I've taken so I finish in two years.
    edited August 4
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6590 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think you mean Imperial and UCL (v Imperial and Imperial College London).
    What about Durham?

    Do your homework: UCL and St Andrews are pretty much opposite experiences.

    The UCAS system lets you 'firm' one college and 'insure' another. So, IF you get a conditional offer from Cambridge you can firm that and insure one of the others. I would give you very high odds of getting one of the others.
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  • ReadyToNapReadyToNap 6 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I think you mean Imperial and UCL (v Imperial and Imperial College London)
    Whoops, I really shouldn't post forums when I'm tired. I'm not planning on applying to UCL, but that's more of just something I hadn't considered. I also hadn't considered Durham, and I'll definitely look into it. Thank you for the recommendation!

    I was aware of the being able to mark a school as insurance, and my plan with the in-state college is more of a last resort than anything. I will definitely look into UCL and Durham, though.
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  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 1116 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I know you said you were only including your math credentials in your OP (very impressive btw), but you know you need some other AP scores of 5 as well, don't you? (Physics would be a good choice for this year if you haven't taken it already.)
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  • ReadyToNapReadyToNap 6 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I am aware, I just didn't want the post to become too bloated. I have taken 11 AP tests already all but one being 5s, and I plan to take 8 more senior year. I took Physics 1 last year and got a 5, and am taking both Physics Cs and Physics 2 senior year.
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  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 1116 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    That all sounds great then. Good luck!!
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