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Undergraduate Study

 

Admission assessments and submitted work

Most applicants are required to take a written admission assessment, either pre-interview or at interview. In addition, some Colleges ask applicants for some courses to submit examples of their written work – one or two school/college essays – which may then be discussed at interview.

Information about the relevant admission assessment and whether any Colleges typically require submitted work can be found in the Entry Requirements tab on each individual course page.

The course-specific written assessments are designed to supplement the information in your application and provide a gauge of your abilities – to assess skills (such as comprehension and thinking skills) and, where appropriate, levels of current knowledge and understanding relevant to the course applied for.

The table below details if a course has a pre-interview or at-interview written assessment for 2017 entry.

Courses
Pre-interview assessment At-interview assessment
  • Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Economics
  • Engineering (including Chemical Engineering via Engineering)
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • History and Modern Languages
  • History and Politics
  • Human, Social, and Political Sciences
  • Medicine
  • Natural Sciences (including Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences)
  • Psychological and Behavioural Sciences
  • Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Classics (3-year)
  • Classics (4-year)
  • Computer Science1
  • Education
  • History and Modern Languages
  • History of Art
  • Land Economy
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Modern and Medieval Languages
  • Philosophy

Please note:

  • there's no common format written assessment for Mathematics (applicants will continue to sit STEP in June 2017) – Colleges will assess aptitude, knowledge base and potential through short tasks at the time of interview2
  • there's no common format written assessment for Music – Colleges will assess aptitude, knowledge base and potential through short tasks at the time of interview
  • applicants to History and Modern Languages are required to take written assessments both pre-interview (the History assessment) and at interview (the Modern Languages assessment), if interviewed
  • applicants to Chemical Engineering will sit the assessment relevant to their chosen route/first-year course (Engineering or Natural Sciences)

Please see the pre-interview and at-interview assessments pages for detailed information on the assessments.

Students aged 21+ applying to a mature College

If you're a mature student (aged 21 or over) applying to a mature College for interview in Cambridge you aren't required to take any pre-interview assessments, except the Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT) which all Medicine and Veterinary Medicine applicants are required to take. For courses with a pre-interview assessment, you'll take a common format written assessment at interview in Cambridge (if interviewed) instead.

If you're a mature student applying to a mature College and wishing to be considered for interview overseas, or if you're a mature student applying to a standard age College, you must take any required pre-interview assessment on 2 November 2016 (please note that applicants must be registered in advance for pre-interview assessments).

How will the written assessment affect applications?

The assessments aren’t pass/fail tests – your performance in any required written assessment won’t be considered in isolation, but taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.

Information for schools/colleges

If you're a teacher/exams officer, please also refer to the written assessment information for schools/colleges in the teachers' area of this website.

1For Computer Science candidates interviewed overseas, a written Maths assessment will be administered by the overseas interviewing team instead of the CSAT. This will then be made available to the Cambridge College along with the overseas interview report.  

2For Mathematics candidates interviewed overseas, a written Maths assessment will be administered by the overseas interviewing team which will then be made available to the Cambridge College along with the overseas interview report.