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About Cattius

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    Oomlie Wrap

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  1. Cattius

    Universities (UK/US/ around the world)

    I've been looking into applying to US unis too so hopefully I can help you out here. Firstly, don't worry about your A-levels not being understood. The more well-known US universities get a lot of international students so they are quite familiar with them. However, they aren't the main focus of your application like they are in the UK: although good unis will obviously expect you to do well in them, they also consider other factors, such as your extracurricular activities (sports, part-time work, volunteering etc), essays, your grades throughout high school, and your SAT/ACT scores (most universities require you to take either the SAT I or the ACT, plus two SAT subject tests). You can apply to most places with the Common App, which is like UCAS, although you have to fill out a supplement for each university. You can apply to as many universities as you like but they each have individual application charges between around $50-80. US degrees are ideal if you're not sure about what you want to study, or want to study other subjects alongside your main subject (major). Unlike in the UK, you don't have to choose a subject/major when you first apply, and throughout the four years only have to take a certain number of classes in that subject to get a degree in it, meaning you can study whatever you want in your other classes. Because of this a standard US physics degree goes into far less depth than a UK physics degree. The liberal arts philosophy of having breadth of study as well as depth is what appeals to many UK students about US study. If you really are sure you want to study physics and are considering further study in the UK, you're probably better off staying in the UK for your undergraduate degree. Whilst it is possible to get a similar level of depth in your subject by taking extra classes in the subject outside of the major (and indeed some US universities have an integrated masters program like Doddsy described for the advanced students who are willing to do this), it's far from the norm. Funding is one of the main obstacles to studying in the US. Compared to the UK, tuition fees are very high. The 'sticker price' of some top private universities is up to $60,000/year. However, it's important to note that this price isn't just tuition - it includes food and accommodation too - and many of the top universities offer significant amounts of financial aid to international students. However, because they offer a lot of aid, admission is very competitive for international students at these places. For example, I think MIT's international admission rate is about 3%; to put that into comparison, admission rates to Oxbridge are about 20%. There are also lots of scholarships available if you're willing to hunt them out. With regard to choosing universities to apply to: public universities (University of California, University of Michigan, etc), are funded by their respective states. For residents of these states, they can work out substantially cheaper than private universities. However, out-of-state tuition at many of the top publics is comparable to tuition at private universities, and public universities are also less likely to offer you financial aid. Liberal arts colleges are universities that mainly focus on undergraduate teaching. They are quite small, sometimes with only a few thousand students. The top liberal arts colleges offer comparable standards of education to the top universities, but quite a different experience. They're also less well known to the general public, although they're known in academia so attending one of these shouldn't cause any problems when applying for postgraduate study. You've probably heard of the Ivy League; Harvard, Yale and Princeton are well-known members but it also includes Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Penn, and Dartmouth. They're all great universities but at the end of the day, it's only a sports league, not the holy grail that some people treat it as. There are tons of other great universities in the US that aren't part of the Ivy League, for example MIT, Stanford, and the University of Chicago. Some of the top liberal arts colleges that you might want to look into are Amherst, Middlebury, and Williams, although there are many others. Although all of these offer great academics, they're hugely different in terms of location, weather, student life etc. I'd recommend websites like College Prowler and Unigo for student reviews to get an idea of what each place is like and to find other suggestions as well, because my list is far from complete. Anyway, hope that helps. If you've got any other questions, just ask EDIT: Just realised you asked about APs. They're one-year university-level courses that are taken by some students in high school. The number taken can vary from just a few to absolutely insane amounts (10+, staggered over two or three years), depending on the aspirations of the student and the number offered at their school. Although this varies a little depending on the subject, they're roughly equivalent to AS level. As such, introductory courses at US universities are often at around A-level standard, so people with A-levels or equivalent qualifications like the IB can get credit for these introductory courses in the subjects they've already studied and skip them. Sometimes it's possible to get enough credit to skip the entire first year and enter as a sophomore (years 1-4 are known as the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years in both high school and university).
  2. Cattius

    Ap Classes

    UCAS consider a 5 in 'Group A' AP tests to be equivalent to an A at A-level, and a 5 in 'Group B' AP tests (things like Art, Environmental Science etc.) to be equivalent to a B at AS-level. I don't honestly know a great deal about APs but from what I gather A-level generally has a greater breadth of topics as it is a 2-year rather than a 1-year course and students take fewer subjects so they can focus on the ones they do take. For some courses the AP material is considered more difficult than the A-level, but in other courses it's the opposite, so it really varies by subject. For example, from what I can tell Calculus BC goes into more detail about calculus than the A-level Maths course, but for A-level Maths you also have to do other areas of Maths such as statistics or mechanics, so which is more difficult will really depend on what areas of Maths you find hardest. AP Physics C is considered harder than A-level Physics because it includes calculus (they got rid of the calculus from the A-level so people not doing A-level Maths could take it), but because it's a shorter course it covers topics in less detail. AP Chemistry is considered easier because it covers significantly fewer topics than the A-level...Blah blah blah. I've probably bored you all to death, and now feel rather sad for knowing any of this :D Short version: British Universities consider APs and A-levels to be equal, but the courses are actually quite different. A-levels tend to cover a much greater number of topics as they're longer courses, but in some subjects the AP may be more difficult as they go into more depth in select topics or require the use of complex concepts such as calculus.
  3. As I've already said, it is illegal to discriminate against somebody on the basis of their sexual orientation. As they say they refuse to teach a child homosexuality is not wrong, there is a strong possibility they could do the opposite and teach the child it is wrong. This would be encouraging the child to discriminate and thus encouraging them to break the law. @your edit: There are already some guidelines in place about this. I know smokers cannot foster young children in some areas, but I don't know whether they extended this across the entire country.
  4. They can just as easily argue they're being discriminated against based on their beliefs. And don't bring anti-gay discrimination into this. Just because they think that homosexuality is a sin, doesn't make them homophobic bigots. However, you seem to think that because they think homosexuality is a sin, they are going to potentially abuse/reject a kid who is gay. That makes you a prejudiced bigot, not them. They simply said they don't believe homosexuality is right, and don't accept it as a lifestyle. They never said that they are going to abuse homosexual kids, it is YOU and the courts who made that assumption. Both you and the courts are prejudiced because you think that just because they are Christians with traditional beliefs, they are going to mistreat gay kids. Nobody's said that they WILL emotionally or physically harm the child because of its sexual orientation, all we've said is that it is possible their beliefs could cause harm to the child or that they could bring the child up to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation, and the government - because it has responsibility for the safety of the child - has not taken the risk of allowing these people to be foster parents. As government care workers they cannot hold views that could potentially result in them discriminating illegally.
  5. So if they believed in sacrificing children to their deity the government should allow them to foster anyway? By no means am I trying to compare disagreeing with homosexuality to sacrificing children here, but my point is that the government has a responsibility for the child and will not allow a couple to foster the child if there is any reason at all to even suspect the child might suffer physical or emotional harm. And if the child was gay, they could well suffer emotional harm as has already been discussed in the thread. No, because sacrificing children is murder, and murder is illegal. There's no law that stops you from passing your beliefs down to your kids. If the kid suffers emotional harm, then that is child abuse. See the illegal part. Just let the system work, dammit. If they emotionally or physically abuse the kid, they can be prosecuted for that. No need to cut them off preemptively. Yes, they can potentially cause harm to the kid, but so can a lot of other things. Some highly progressive, liberal couple could potentially be a pair of serial killers. Maybe they shouldn't be allowed to adopt kids either. Maybe you shouldn't be allowed on the bus because it can crash and potentially harm you. There's risk everywhere, but that doesn't mean you can mark everyone as a potential criminal. Discriminating against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation is illegal. And as has been said several times now, as foster parents they are government care workers. NOT parents.
  6. So if they believed in sacrificing children to their deity the government should allow them to foster anyway? By no means am I trying to compare disagreeing with homosexuality to sacrificing children here, but my point is that the government has a responsibility for the child and will not allow a couple to foster the child if there is any reason at all to even suspect the child might suffer physical or emotional harm. And if the child was gay, they could well suffer emotional harm as has already been discussed in the thread.
  7. Cattius


    He sounds awesome :P Although I don't get it, what actually is Humanities? Because the last time we had it was in middle school and then it was combined History/Geography, but you've said you have History as a separate subject...Confused :L
  8. 'Twas extremely fun :P The teacher was shouting at us to be quiet so someone called out, "Shut up, you'll wake Charlotte!" (who had fallen asleep at her desk) and the whole class burst out into hysterics, and the poor supply teacher was just standing there...I actually feel sorry for them sometimes, they have such a miserable job :L We had three Science exams, a Maths mock and six coursework sessions. So yeah it wasn't that many in comparison to the number you do in the summer of Year 11 but it still felt like far too many :( Said friend in Year 11 who has 17 tests is actually counting down the number of hours until Leavers' Day on her phone :P I'm really not looking forward to next year at all :/ Good luck for all your exams though, hope everything goes well for you :D
  9. Z0MG NEW UPDATE INTO MY AMAZINGLY UNINTERESTING LIFE! So, I survived the January onslaught of tests. Just. The Science papers were alright - Physics was easy, Chemistry was quite a tough paper compared to the previous papers but thankfully I had pretty much memorised the revision guide for that one, and Biology was the most difficult of them all imo, which was completely unexpected. I know there were several questions I definitely got wrong, e.g. when I got completely confused between DNA replication and cell replication and ended up explaining the wrong one...:| Oh well, if everyone else found it hard then the grade boundaries will be extra low :D The French coursework went great, I got 28/30 on it which is a big improvement on the last one, woot. I STILL haven't got the marks back for the German but I think I did alright on it. English was fine, I spent the whole of the third session drawing political cartoons (much to my English teacher's amusement) because I didn't need the extra time. I think we get the marks back for the external exams at some point in March so I won't be too worried about what grade I got until then :L But the whole month was so ridiculously stressful, I have no idea how I'm going to cope with next year - one of my friends in the year above has 17 (!) tests over two weeks in May/June. 17! That's...BEYOND ridiculous. The county cross-country was absolutely awful. Of course it had to start chucking it down with rain just before the race I've moved up an age category this year so I get the joys of having to run even further than usual against people who seem practically superhuman in comparison to me. Somehow I managed not to have a heart attack and came 10/17. My reward for this was a pat on the back and a 'at least you tried'. My efforts are so unappreciated :L In other unrelated news: last Wednesday was...interesting, with people spontaneously collapsing in class and/or getting sick everywhere...(Tetanus/Diptheria/Polio jabs. They didn't agree with us.) We actually welcomed this distraction because school has been so mind-numbingly dull for the last few weeks - it's like a complete repeat of last year, we're all back to the February/March blues again. Occasionally there's the odd lesson that's enjoyable, like French last lesson today. We had a supply teacher so naturally we resorted to behaving like three-year-olds. Someone took my rubber, uh sorry eraser (I hate how ordinary words that I use daily are rude slang to most of the users of this forum ) 'hostage', resulting in me running round the classroom wielding a compass in each hand shouting "ÒU EST MA GOMME?!!!"...Yeah I found it funny anyway. Being a complete social failure ftw. Moving on from school (I have to at least pretend my life doesn't revolve around it...) - I'm going on a trip to Mexico next year! Woot! :D The Guides division in my area is organising a trip to the Our Cabaña centre where we're going to do community projects and visit the local area. I'm really looking forward to it but we're expected to somehow fundraise £2000...I foresee lots of Saturdays spent packing bags in Sainsburys :D I've got completely addicted to both Call of Duty 4 and Assassin's Creed 2, to my friends' bemusement ("HOW CAN YOU ENJOY KILLING PEOPLE?" "um...idk..."), so Runescape's taking a back seat for now...at least a few months...possibly forever :P Oh well. tl;dr version for those of you who skipped straight to the bottom: my life is a fail
  10. Cattius

    Your Teeth

    I lost count of how many fillings I had to have when I was little. I was really ill for the year after I was born so all my baby teeth didn't develop properly and without being glued together with fillings they literally just crumbled away every time I ate. I went to hospital supposedly to have four of them taken out, then woke up to find they had taken out eleven 'because they'd have come out soon anyway'. Yay for living off baby food, soup and mashed fruit for several months :D Anyway almost all of my adult teeth have come through now so my teeth are (relatively) OK at the moment. I was supposed to get braces to straighten my teeth but I really couldn't be bothered to go through all that hassle just to move my teeth a couple of centimetres :(
  11. Cattius

    Survey Complete, Please Close

    Thanks guys, the replies are much appreciated :D
  12. Cattius

    Survey Complete, Please Close

    Thanks for all the replies so far, these will be really useful :D
  13. Cattius

    Survey Complete, Please Close

    Yeah that's fine, I know it probably would have been better to have age groups but I was hoping to be able to see if there are any differences in average opinion between year groups and stuff :P Thanks for your reply though :D If anyone else doesn't want to answer one of the questions, don't worry about it, just miss the question.
  14. For our GCSE Biology coursework we need to carry out an investigation into the legalisation of cannabis, including collecting survey data from ideally as wide a variety of people as possible. And what better group of people to survey than the awesome people of Sals? :P So I'd be really grateful if you could just take a minute or two to answer. I know there have been some topics on the subject before, but I'm going to be combining my data with some other peoples' so I need answers for all the questions really. Thanks in advance :( 1. Do you think cannabis should be legalised? 2. Is there anything you think has been a strong influence in you forming this opinion (e.g. the media, personal experience, etc.)? 3. Have you ever used cannabis? 4. If yes, do you use it regularly? 5. What is your age? 6. What is your gender? 7. What country do you live in? EDIT: Coursework is tomorrow so I'm requesting the topic be closed. Thanks again everyone for your replies :D
  15. English coursework sessions 1 and 2, check. French coursework, check. German coursework, check. Still to do: English coursework session 3, Biology unit 1 exam, Chemistry unit 1, Physics unit 1, Maths unit 2 mock exam, Science coursework. Additional horrors just to finish me off after these: county cross-country race, actual Maths unit 2 exam. Life atm is literally just revision, exam, revision, exam, revision revision revision run homework eat revision revision homework sleep rinse and repeat. It may be a while before I'm active again :D P.S. merry christmas and a happy new year sals, yes it is ever so slightly late :D

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