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#1019745 - Thu Nov 07 2013 11:33 PM Are They Serious?
bloomsby Offline
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According to this site, a Cambridge professor has posted the following test online. The Daily Telegraph says it is intended to give would-be applicants to Cambridge some idea of the kind of (quick) test they may be expected to do. I'm inclined to regard the thing with a bucket full of salt if it is supposed to be given to applicants for Arts subjects.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/10399530/Could-you-pass-a-Cambridge-University-interview.html

It strikes me as a very hard test, but it could be the sort of thing that becomes manageable with coaching.

PS. Professors aren't normally involved in undergraduate admissions, so I'm rather puzzled ...


Edited by bloomsby (Fri Nov 08 2013 08:47 AM)

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#1019751 - Fri Nov 08 2013 12:18 AM Re: Are They Serious?
mpkitty Offline
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#1019756 - Fri Nov 08 2013 12:31 AM Re: Are They Serious?
MiraJane Offline
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In America, professors will, at times, serve on an admissions committee that interviews potential students. Is there an equivalent to that in the U.K.?

From your link "The questions, aimed predominantly at maths, physics and engineering students, ..."


I never took a physics class, dont have a clue as to engineering studies would be like, and am awful at virtually every type of math. But I got 7/10. Maybe it's because I've been doing Brain Teasers here for the Global Challenge.

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#1019807 - Fri Nov 08 2013 07:37 AM Re: Are They Serious?
ren33 Offline
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Got 20%!! (I failed every maths exam I ever took) So excellent for me.
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#1019813 - Fri Nov 08 2013 08:42 AM Re: Are They Serious?
bloomsby Offline
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Quote:
In America, professors will, at times, serve on an admissions committee that interviews potential students. Is there an equivalent to that in the U.K.?


Except for titular professors, the answer is no for undergraduate admissions at Oxford and Cambridge. (A titular professor has the title of professor, but without the pay. Some may get a very small bonus in addition to their salary as lecturers, perhaps a couple of hundred pounds a year or so).

1. The universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London are federal in structure, and undergraduates are admitted by the individual constituent colleges - some of which are called schools in the University of London, such as the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

2. At Oxford and Cambridge there is a rule that expressly forbids professors from teaching undergraduates except at public lectures. As a result of this, they have little or no direct academic contact with undergraduates.

3. I have the impression that the term professor is used more widely in U.S. universities and colleges than in Britain, where it is reserved for the most senior posts. The great majority of full-time university teachers in Britain are lecturers and, increasingly, part-timers, tutorial assistants and so on.

Edited to add: At other British universities, professors are sometimes involved in undergraduate admissions interviews, if available. In fact, I remember being given a pleasant, chatty and amusing interview by a professor at the University of Durham in 1963, though he expressed polite disapproval at the fact that I hadn't made Durham my first choice. wink



Edited by bloomsby (Fri Nov 08 2013 05:53 PM)

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#1019818 - Fri Nov 08 2013 09:04 AM Re: Are They Serious?
bloomsby Offline
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Quote:
The questions, aimed predominantly at maths, physics and engineering students, give an insight into the fiendishly difficult tasks applicants have faced in previous tests.


Thanks for pointing that out, MiraJane. smile I stumbled on the test at about 5am and missed that important point. wink
My result was the same as ren33's but I see the source refers to fiendishly difficult tasks .

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#1020030 - Sat Nov 09 2013 06:46 PM Re: Are They Serious?
Christinap Offline
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20% for me as well, never was any good at maths though

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#1020223 - Mon Nov 11 2013 04:10 AM Re: Are They Serious?
sue943 Offline
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I got 40%, I ought to have got a couple more correct but there is no way that I could have got 100%.
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#1020260 - Mon Nov 11 2013 07:46 AM Re: Are They Serious?
kaddarsgirl Offline
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Same as Sue. I got 40% but should have gotten more if I'd spent the time on it.

I got the lemonade, socks, hats, and birthday questions right.
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#1020275 - Mon Nov 11 2013 09:29 AM Re: Are They Serious?
MiraJane Offline
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People that frequent this site are more likely to get some questions wrong - the ones that give the answer choices of "All of them" and "None of them." Here, we are used to "aha! That's most likely to be the answer!". Click that and move on. But for this test, that isn't how it is.

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#1020298 - Mon Nov 11 2013 09:59 AM Re: Are They Serious?
sue943 Offline
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I got the lemonade, the 4,020 x 3,980 (easy that one, it had to be in the region of 16,000,000 as it was roughly 4,000 squared but end in 600 as you had 80 x 20 - which is why I don't like children using calculators as they are not likely to know the approximate answer), the prisoners and hats then the cube die correct.


Edited by sue943 (Mon Nov 11 2013 10:01 AM)
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#1020317 - Mon Nov 11 2013 10:20 AM Re: Are They Serious?
kaddarsgirl Offline
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Originally Posted By: sue943
I got the lemonade, the 4,020 x 3,980 (easy that one, it had to be in the region of 16,000,000 as it was roughly 4,000 squared but end in 600 as you had 80 x 20 - which is why I don't like children using calculators as they are not likely to know the approximate answer), the prisoners and hats then the cube die correct.


Yeah, I got the 600, and then totally messed up the rest of the multiplication and chose "none of the above"...and I talked myself out of choosing the correct answer for the dice question.

The only reason I knew the birthday one was because I'd heard that one before, and the hats one was similar to another puzzle I've seen (with more hats and more prisoners).
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#1020336 - Mon Nov 11 2013 03:38 PM Re: Are They Serious?
sue943 Offline
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I kicked myself over the socks, I knew that but still put the wrong answer, same with the birthdays, I had heard in the past that it was in the 20s although am not sure why that would be. I know at school in a class of 48 there were only two of us with my birthday.
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#1020339 - Mon Nov 11 2013 03:52 PM Re: Are They Serious?
kaddarsgirl Offline
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The really awful part is that I've taught math! That question asking how much the air weighed in the room, or whatever it was, was way over head, though, and the metric didn't help. And I have no idea how big those cabinets/files are in metric or Imperial...
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#1020610 - Tue Nov 12 2013 08:24 PM Re: Are They Serious?
MiraJane Offline
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This is test was more of a "how do you think and problem solve" rather than a "do you know facts" type test. I got the math one because I multiplied 8 by um....3 was it? (I have awful short term memory and cannot remember what I just read in the above comments!), got 4, and added the correct number of zeroes.

I'd taken a test in my past with the lemonade question, so I knew that answer. But for the previous time I saw the question, it didn't have the ambiguous word "negligible" in it. The amount of liquid that is negligible to me might be "geez, that's a lot left!" to someone else.

And, bloomsby, if people didn't use this website when everyone around them is sleeping, this site would lose about half of the membership.

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#1031556 - Fri Jan 24 2014 11:41 PM Re: Are They Serious?
Jakeroo Offline
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I agree with MiraJane. You don't have to be a math or physics wiz to pass this test. You don't even have to know the metric system at all. But you have to be able to employ logic and, perhaps, statistics/probability.

There is a reason some people are better able to solve "puzzles" or come up with "conceptual" rather than "concrete" ideas.

In that regard (assuming those abilities are what the writers were looking for) I don't think the test was either unfair or inordinately difficult.


Edited by Jakeroo (Fri Jan 24 2014 11:47 PM)
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#1031565 - Sat Jan 25 2014 12:43 AM Re: Are They Serious?
halekotsi Offline
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The "mental math" way of doing the 4020 * 3980 one is to rephrase it as (4000 + 20) * (4000 - 20). That gives an equation along the lines of (x + y)(x - y) = x^2 - y^2, or 4000^2 - 20^2.

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#1031609 - Sat Jan 25 2014 05:58 AM Re: Are They Serious?
dippo Offline
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Originally Posted By: halekotsi
The "mental math" way of doing the 4020 * 3980 one is to rephrase it as (4000 + 20) * (4000 - 20). That gives an equation along the lines of (x + y)(x - y) = x^2 - y^2, or 4000^2 - 20^2.


You're right - that is mental!

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#1068978 - Mon Oct 13 2014 10:22 AM Re: Are They Serious?
baldhair Offline
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Well - 70%. I don't understand how the balloon in the truck sways forwards when the truck accelerates. I'd have said it swayed backwards. The air molecules volume thing stumped me completely. You need more information than you're given, surely.

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#1069034 - Mon Oct 13 2014 03:43 PM Re: Are They Serious?
Gil_Galad Offline
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If I recall correctly, the balloon was filled with helium, which is lighter than air. When the truck accelerates the air moves to the back, so as a counter the balloon sways forward.

As for the air molecule question, you have to calculate the volume of the room (dimensions are given). Ignore the cabinets and the other furniture it mentions, since their volume is negligible to that of the room. Afterwards multiply the room's volume with the density of the air to find its mass. Of course, how many people actually remember the density of the air by heart is a different story.

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#1069103 - Tue Oct 14 2014 03:44 AM Re: Are They Serious?
baldhair Offline
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Thank you gil galad. Helium! of course. As for the other one - remembering air density is all very well; I never knew it in the first place.

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#1154495 - Mon Dec 26 2016 09:46 AM Re: Are They Serious?
frosty123 Offline
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I always failed every science class I have taken, with the exception of one. Never liked history class, wasn't the material being taught, it was the teachers, with the exception of two really good teachers.
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