Admission assessments and submitted work
Most applicants are required to take a subject-specific 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 subject-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 2018 entry.
- there's no common format written assessment for Mathematics (applicants will continue to sit STEP in June 2018) – 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 Asian and Middle Eastern Studies wishing to combine an AMES language with a modern European language are required to take written assessments both pre-interview (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies) and at interview (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)
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) for Medicine and the pre-interview assessment for Veterinary Medicine. 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 a required pre-interview assessment.
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.