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Cynthia last won the day on February 17

Cynthia had the most liked content!

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    May 2011
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  1. Cynthia

    Written Supplement to History & Politics Application to Oxford

    I actually sent in my historical investigation for the written work and it was fine - I cut out the source evaluation section though. I'm really quite sure that this, or a homework essay, would be much much better for you than a timed one, as it's very hard to reach any kind of an interesting level of analysis considering the time constraints and the fact that it's a high school programme (well - we do have to write three essays in three hours in Oxford too), and more importantly the IA will also allow you to highlight an area of interest or, like in my case, being able to tackle a historical period that you haven't been taught in class. I'm reading for a BA History, so if you have any questions feel free to ask!
  2. This is a bit late, but may still be helpful. I graduated from IB in Finland last year and am currently reading for a BA in Oxford. I went through all the Finnish sources of funding and scholarships last year, and could not find any that were applicable to my situation - Oxford does not offer any form of funding to EU students, except a hardship fund in most colleges that you can only apply for if your financial situation changes. It may be worth going through the Finnish ones as they are sometimes specific to a lukio or municipality, but there are very very few grants for students going abroad at undergraduate level and they would not cover anywhere near the full tuition and maintenance. To be honest, the terms for the tuition fee loan in the UK, especially considering the maintenance grant you get from the Finnish government, are pretty favourable, and if you can get into a decent university I'd say it is well worth it. As Sandwich said, you may want to look into Scotland -- or the US, as a friend of mine who got accepted to both Harvard and Cambridge chose to go to the former as it was so so much cheaper for him.
  3. Cynthia

    2012 UCAS Applicants Thread

    You will be invited to interview two weeks before the interview date earliest. I had to fly on the 7th of December last year and I found out on the 28th of November I think. The good thing is that you will find out very shortly after the interview if you got a place or not, before Christmas in any case. Yes, you might get earlier offers, I received my first one around this date and my second one a few weeks after although I did have to wait for Durham (a rejection!) until March. This isn't really given though and really just depends on the strength of your application relative to others and luck. (EDIT: Oh yes, and if it seems bad now just wait until after your interviews before you get a decision... worst 2 weeks of my life. Since it seems that there's quite a few Oxford applicants here, if anyone has any questions about applying or studying feel free to e-mail me, I'll reply when I get a moment off
  4. Cynthia

    The Oxbridge Guide

    Yes, Ox probably won't move your interviews I'm afraid, but your school should be willing to compromise. PS. Greetings from here - I arrived yesterday and it's great.
  5. Cynthia

    The Oxbridge Guide

    Well, your grades are good enough for Cam, but really it all depends on the admissions test if you have one and especially the interview since the rest of the candidates will similarly have exceeded the minimum requirements in that sense. Oxbridge does not look at extracurriculars as such unless they have relevance to the course. I actually wouldn't even look at your achievements as extracurricular activities as they are pretty much strictly academic. You should be able to get very good material out of your work for your PS, just write it well and it will look extremely impressive. Saying that, the importance of the personal statement for Oxbridge admissions is pretty much negligible, although I assume you're also applying to other UK universities.
  6. Cynthia

    Do Examiners Check Sources?

    First of all, I'm pretty sure this is untrue - three-fourths of my sources were in a language other than my EE (Swedish or Finnish, rather than English). In any case, if there is a plagiarism check, then yes, it will work similarly for foreign language sources.
  7. Cynthia

    Rotary Exchange while I'm IB

    Well, what people usually do is go on an exchange before they begin the IB programme - which, clearly, is not a possibility for you anymore. You could contact your local Rotary club for advice on what to do (eg. if it would be possible to leave after your IB exams despite the age limit). It might be possible to do a part of the programme in a different school, although you might run into some problems (eg. different parts of the syllabus covered in different times) and need to do some extra work individually. Obviously you'd need a school that offers the same subjects as yours. When it comes to Finland, this at least might be impossible, since no Finnish IB schools offer Anthropology; you might look into whether or not your subject combination might be possible in a Dutch school. Overall, the whole thing might be a great experience but possibly more trouble than it's worth unless you can manage to go after finishing IB - perhaps you might want to consider going to uni abroad or an exchange there, although it's not quite the same
  8. Cynthia

    Tell on a cheater or let it slide?

    In any case I think the actual topic - telling on someone - is much more of a moral grey area than actually cheating on a test which is what the poster I quoted was referring to. I probably could've been clearer on what exactly I was talking about, but oh well. It's pretty clear that for many in here this is primarily a matter of principle and, at least theoretically, social considerations don't play a role in their ethical decision making. Although this thinking is, I suppose, quite unrealistic, it's very easy for me to understand since the same rule can easily be applied to all immoral acts even if the punishment in this case is disproportionate to the crime. I guess the wider question is the level of utility loss (cheating on a test -> shoplifting -> etc) that is large enough to make the social consequences acceptable; I'd personally at least like to think that in Keel's hypothetical scenario I'd report my father to the police for murdering his employer (even more so when there are no mitigating circumstances).
  9. Cynthia

    Tell on a cheater or let it slide?

    Similarly, other people's lack of moral standards should not affect the lives (or grades) of those who don't possess that character flaw.
  10. Cynthia

    When to sent an application?

    For the UK, you will have to submit the UCAS application by 15 January on the year you'll be graduating the IB, or 15 October on the previous year if you're applying to Oxford and Cambridge. This can be done using predicted grades that will be given by your teachers using your performance in class and mock exams. If the university wants you based on that and the other information on your application, you receive a conditional offer, meaning that you need to achieve specific grades (eg. 35 points with a 6 from English) in your final exams to secure a place. This way it's possible to enter university the autumn after you graduate. For the US, you similarly apply using your predicted grades. I don't know so much about the system there (and I'm sure someone can add information), but you don't receive conditional offers as such; if an US uni offers you a place, you will get in as long as you pass the IB.
  11. Cynthia

    Remarking dilemma

    I don't think they use three examiners as a standard - I tried to find some facts on this (not sure if there's anything on this forum), but I'd imagine the standard procedure is that only one examiner marks it. If it's off the predicted grade by more than 2 points a second one will do so, and a senior examiner will finally mark the script if a remark is requested.
  12. Cynthia

    The Oxbridge Guide

    The university's standard offer is 38-40 including 766 at HL. If you have achieved more than this (or are predicted to do so), your grades will not play a role in the deselection before interview - my friend who'll be starting the course in Autumn said that he met plenty of people who were predicted 38ish in his interviews. The TSA is the most important criteria for deselection; there's no way your grades will deter you from receiving an interview invitation. Moreover, next year is likely to be very much less competitive due to the tuition fee increase. @Desy, Anything related to the course is a definite advantage in the interviews - which is why I recommend at least some background reading For me there was very little chatting - they did ask me about my trip to the UK when taking me to the interview room and there was like a minute of small talk but that was that. This is likely to vary per interviewer, but the interviews are very short so they'll probably want to keep it as short as possible; if you seem very nervous there might be more of it. I can't say what you'd have in a CS interview, but I assume you will be given a chance to discuss your interests in CS at some point. I had two myself; in both of them there was a historical source that I had to discuss, and in the other we talked about my written work. In one of them the tutors asked me about my own interests, mainly focusing on my EE (which they seemed to be impressed by, so doing an EE on something related is really good).
  13. Cynthia

    The Oxbridge Guide

    Well, I personally included a couple of books that I read and also mentioned a few others in passing. Most personal statements I've seen have done this as well - I dedicated a paragraph to them in mine and included a few comments on why I found each book interesting. Also, it is likely that you will discuss some things in your uni interview where reading - even if you haven't mentioned anything in your PS - relevant material will be really helpful. The PS overall, however, isn't that important as long as they like you in the interview, so the previous consideration is perhaps more important. I'd say check out the background reading for applicants here and see if there's anything there that seems interesting. Reading on a subject that is of interest to you is likely to be fun even if you don't enjoy fictional books, and an university level course anywhere will involve quite a bit of reading PS. my PS since you asked about it is in the Files section already I'll read through yours when you've got a draft if you'd like.
  14. Since people were saying someone should post this in the SB and it appears that IB results are starting to come through... So post your results and reactions English A2 HL - 7 Finnish A1 HL - 6 History HL - 7 EE (History ) - A Economics SL - 6 Biology SL - 6 Mathematics SL - 7 ToK - B Reaction: Missed my predicted grades by two points and might go for remarks in Finnish or Econ... BUT it's all good, got my diploma, met my uni offer and I can finally call myself an IB alumnus and not think about IB ever again :D (Saying that... I might apply to tutor IB courses so......)
  15. Cynthia

    The UCAS Thread

    Not a problem, it's a very common misconception

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