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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.

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

Please note:

  • there is 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 interview*
  • there is 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 will sit an assessment pre and at-interview
  • applicants to Chemical Engineering will sit the assessment in their chosen route (Natural Sciences or Engineering)

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 (apart from the Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT, for Medicine and 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 for interview overseas, or if you are a mature student applying to a standard age College, you'll sit any required pre-interview assessment on 2 November 2016.

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.

*For 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.

Cambridge Application Deadline

15 OCT

The application deadline for 2017 entry is the 15 October 2016, 6:00pm (UK time).

University term dates

6 Oct - 4 Dec 2015 (Michaelmas)
12 Jan - 11 Mar 2016 (Lent)
19 Apr - 10 Jun 2016 (Easter)

4 Oct - 2 Dec 2016 (Michaelmas)
17 Jan - 17 Mar 2017 (Lent)
25 Apr - 16 Jun 2017 (Easter) 

3 Oct - 1 Dec 2017 (Michaelmas)
16 Jan - 16 Mar 2018 (Lent)
24 Apr - 16 Jun 2018 (Easter)

The Application Process