Year 13

Specimen papers for pre-interview admissions assessments

Note saying 'Register before you apply'

Your school will normally register you.

If you're applying to Cambridge this year then you may have a pre-interview admissions assessment at your school or test centre on 2 November - it depends what course you are applying for.

Information is available on the admissions assessment page, and specimen papers are available if you would like to practice.

Important: Don't forget to make sure that you're registered in time! The registration deadline was 1 October (at 17:00 UK time) if you're applying for Medicine or 15 October (at 18:00 UK time) if you're applying for another subject that requires a pre-interview assessment.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 4 October 2017

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Word of the Day

dictionary word of the day

Credit: Alan Myers

 

There are a few online dictionaries that post a 'word of the day' to help broaden your vocabulary with less common words as well as suggesting some more familiar words whose meanings you might not be so sure on. You can even sign-up to have these emailed to you daily. Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster are just two of the websites that offer these free subscriptions.

And if you're studying a modern language you might want to sign-up for the French, Spanish, Italian or German word of the day. You can find even more languages here.

 

Date posted: 

Monday 18 September 2017

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Going deeper into Mathematics

Lines and curves on an athletics track

Lines and curves.
Credit: See-Ming Lee

If you like (or dislike!) mathematics, what is it about the subject that makes you feel this way? What does studying mathematics at unviersity level involve, and how can you work out if you will enjoy it?

We advise students who are curious about maths (and subjects related to maths) to read the following explanation of rich mathematics:

If the kind of maths that makes you think and encourages you to go deeper inside the subject appeals to you, make sure you explore the NRICH Mathematics website:

  • Stage 5 material is for students in the last two years of school (normally aged 16-18).
  • Stage 4 material is for students in Year 10 and Year 11 (normally aged 14-16)
  • If you have a particular interest, you may also find the curriculum content section helpful
  • Or have a go at some of the live problems and see if you can get your solution published!

Date posted: 

Monday 19 June 2017

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A good read?

Pile of booksImage credit: Pam loves pie

How do you make the reading you do in your own time count? One way to help yourself think independently and engage critically with your reading is to start or join a reading group. Take your inspiration from Radio 4's A Good Read, where the presenter and her two guests each choose a book they've enjoyed reading, introducing it to and discussing it with the others. Why not swap recommendations with a friend and meet to discuss your responses to each other's choice?

Date posted: 

Friday 16 June 2017

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Hot air balloon problem

Hot air balloon

Credit: Brent Myers

A hot air balloon of mass 350 kg is carrying 5 people each of mass 70kg. The total volume of the baloon is 2800m3.

The balloon flies horizontally in dry air 1km above sea level. The atmopheric pressure at this altitude is 89.9kPa and the surrounding temperature is 9ºC. Given that the molar mass of dry air is 28.97g/mol, work out the temperature of the heated air inside the balloon. (You can take gas constant R=8.31J/mol K and you may assume that air behaves as an ideal gas).

General and problem-specific hints are available.

This is one of the problems on I-want-to-study-engineering.org, a resource from Cambridge University Engineering Department with more than 200 problems to help you to practice problem solving skills relevant to Engineering. The website also provides general advice such as how to get onto a good Engineering course (whether at Cambridge or elsewhere).

Date posted: 

Monday 12 June 2017

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STEP Mathematics resources

Graph

Credit: Electric-Eye

Cambridge University has a free online STEP Mathematics course designed for students preparing to take STEP papers (STEP exams are required if you are applying for Mathematics or Computer Science with Mathematics at King's).

The course has online modules for individual study, which are open to everyone.

STEP is very important because it helps you to make the transition from school maths to the kinds of matheamtical thinking that you will do at Cambridge. 

More about STEP.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 16 May 2017

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Cambridge Science Festival 2017

Poster for the cambridge science festival

It's nearly time for this year's Cambridge Science Festival, which will run from 13 - 16 March 2017.

The Science Festival provides the public with opportunities to explore and discuss issues of scientific interest and concern and to raise aspirations by encouraging young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Over 170 event coordinators organise talks, interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities, film showings and debates with the assistance of around 1,000 staff and students from departments and organisations across the University and research institutions, charities and industry in the eastern region.

You can read more, download the programme or search events online on the Festival website.

Date posted: 

Thursday 23 February 2017

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What can an engineer learn from biology?

Ant hill

Credit: Elroy Serrao

That's the question Prof Jon Timmis from the University of York is going to ask in his lecture at 7.30pm on 28 Februray 2017.

His talk is part of a mini-series of lectures on Engineering in the 2017 lecture programme and will explore the exciting interaction between biology and engineering. Prof Timmis will discuss how ants can be inspiration for the design of “swarm” robotic systems, how the protection afforded by the immune system can be used to inspire the creation of self-healing robots and how the evolutionary process can be used to potentially inspire the design of self-sustaining, robotic systems.

So whether you are interested in Biology, Engineering or even Medicine and Philosophy, this talk might be an interesting way to see what lies beyond the boarders of one specific subject.

For more information visit the Yorkshire philosophical society website.

Date posted: 

Thursday 2 February 2017

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Vellacott History Essay Prize 2017

Peterhouse is setting some interesting questions for Year 12  students to discuss (with reference to any academic discipline or area of interest) for its annual Vellacott Essay Prize.

Students are asked to choose a topic that you have not previously studied at school from the long list of questions, which include a wide range of historical topics, also touching on a number of other subject areas, such as Classics, Theology, Art, Literature, Music, Politics, Architecture and Sociology. Here are some examples of the questions set:

  • Is race a modern concept?
  • What were the political consequences of the Black Death?
  • Why did early modern people accuse their neighbours of being witches?
  • Why were there so many new inventions in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries?
  • Was there a 'crisis of masculinity' in the late Victorian period?
  • 'Probably there are countries where you can predict a man's opinions from his income, but it is never quite safe to do so in England'. Do you agree with George Orwell?

The full list of questions and details of the competition are available on the Peterhouse website in the Vellacott Prize information pdf, and please also read the details of eligibility and the history of the Peterhouse essay prizes. The deadline is 17 March 2017 .Good luck to those who choose to explore some of these topics, whether just for curiosity or to develop an essay and enter the competition!

Date posted: 

Friday 27 January 2017

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