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Typical questions that arise when completing the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ)

Why does Cambridge have a SAQ?

The Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) was developed to ensure that we have complete and consistent information about all applicants. It also enables us to collect information that’s not part of the UCAS application but is helpful when assessing applications. The SAQ asks for details such as topics covered as part of your AS/A Level (or equivalent) courses (which helps our interviewers decide which questions to ask), UMS marks obtained in any modular AS/A Level units, and registration numbers for admissions assessments (if applicable).

I've completed a COPA; do I also have to fill in the SAQ?

Yes. All applicants should complete the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ). Your application will not be valid unless you also submit a SAQ. However, once you’ve confirmed your identity and entered your COPA Reference Number and UCAS Personal ID in the boxes provided in Section 1 of the SAQ, you should only answer Section 8 of the SAQ. This enables us to link the answers you provided in the COPA to your SAQ.

I've submitted my UCAS application but want to change College. Can I do this?

Once you’ve submitted your UCAS application it’s not possible to change your College/open application preference under any circumstances, so make sure you research your College choice and are sure about your decision. If you’ve submitted a COPA and have listed a different preference College to that stated on your UCAS application then the College on your UCAS application will take precedence. Please note that this also applies if you’ve made an open application.

What's the deadline for submitting my SAQ?

The initial email you receive from the University about completing the SAQ will include a deadline by which you must submit your SAQ. In the majority of cases this will be 18.00 (UK time) on 22 October 2017. If you have any queries/doubts about the deadline for submission of your SAQ, you should contact your College’s Admissions Office as soon as possible to check.

I’ve applied to the University of Cambridge but I’ve not received an email, what should I do?

Emails containing SAQ log-in details are usually sent within 48 hours of submission of a UCAS application, so you’ll not receive an email from us immediately. If you submit an application to the University of Cambridge through UCAS but don’t receive an email about the SAQ by Thursday 19 October 2017, you should contact the Cambridge Admissions Office (telephone: 01223 333308 email: saqhelp@admin.cam.ac.uk).

Receiving emails from the University of Cambridge

During the early stages of your application, the University will send important information and reminders to the email address that you’ve provided in your UCAS application. It’s essential that your email account is configured correctly so that emails sent from the University aren’t rejected or filtered into your 'junk'/'spam' folder by your email provider (you should check this folder regularly, as well as your inbox).

Your application to the University of Cambridge may be disadvantaged if you don’t take the steps described below.

The University of Cambridge will contact you from time to time using the following email addresses:

Please ensure that all six of the above email addresses are:

  • ADDED to your email client's Contact List
  • ADDED to your email client's Safe Sender List (if available)
  • REMOVED from your email client's Block Sender List

Help for some of the more commonly used email clients can be found at the following links:

What should I do if I lose my SAQ login details?

If you lose the initial email from the University which contains the web address of the online Supplementary Application Questionnaire and your temporary SAQ password details, please contact the Cambridge Admissions Office (telephone: 01223 333308 email: saqhelp@admin.cam.ac.uk) requesting that your initial log-in details be resent.

What if I forget my SAQ Password?

Don't worry if you forget your password. If this happens enter your UCAS Personal ID on the log-in page and click on the 'I have forgotten my password' link. We’ll send you a new temporary SAQ password by email. You’ll be asked to change this temporary password to a password of your choice when you next log in.

What's my UCAS Personal ID?

Your UCAS Personal ID is the unique number which UCAS allocates to you/your application when you register with UCAS. If you’ve forgotten your UCAS Personal ID, please contact UCAS Customer Services (telephone: 0371 468 0468) or refer to UCAS Track.

Your UCAS Personal ID remains the same regardless of how many times you apply through UCAS. If you’re a re-applicant (in other words, if you’ve made an application/applications via UCAS to any higher education institution in a previous year or years), UCAS will give you a new temporary Personal ID for your new application until all of their necessary checks are completed. The Personal ID supplied to us with your new application will revert to your original (and permanent) one, and should be used in the SAQ and in any correspondence you subsequently have with us.

What if my email address changes?

We’ll use the contact details you provided in your UCAS application to communicate with you. If your email address (or any other contact details) change after you’ve submitted your UCAS application you’ll need to advise UCAS Customer Services (telephone: 0371 468 0468) or change the information on UCAS Track as soon as possible.

I don’t have a digital photograph of myself, what should I do?

We strongly encourage you to upload a digital photograph. However, if you're unable to provide a digital photograph please follow the link given in Section 2 of the SAQ. This will take you to the Undergraduate Applicant Photograph Submission Form. The completed form should be returned by 22 October 2017 to the Admissions Office of the College you applied to, or, in the case of open applicants, the Cambridge Admissions Office.

How much detail do I need to give about topics that I've studied?

We’re looking for a list of the main topics that you’ve covered in your studies in order to help interviewers to compose appropriate questions to ask you, so you only need to include topics covered up to December 2017.

The two examples below give an indication of the level of detail that we’re looking for in this question. List as many topics as you can but don’t worry if you can’t list them all. Abbreviations are acceptable. If you’re unsure which topics you’ll be covering up to December 2017 we recommend that you ask your teachers for guidance.

If any of your qualifications are self-taught or you’re home-schooled, please enter '1' under 'Class Size' and provide further details in Question 7.6 ('Is there anything else you would like us to know?').

If your school year starts in January and ends in December, please select ‘2016-17’ under ‘Academic Year’ for any subjects studied from January 2016 to December 2016; and select ‘2017-18’ under ‘Academic Year’ for any subjects studied from January 2017 to (and including) December 2017. We also recommend that you provide further details under Question 7.6 (‘Is there anything else you would like us to know?’).

AS/A Level example

Subject

Level

Class Size

Academic Year

Topics

Biology

AS Level

15

2016-17

Molecules and Cells, Exchange Transport, Genetics

Biology

A Level

10

2017-18

Human Health, Respiration

Chemistry

AS Level

8

2016-17

Atomic Structure, Bonding, Kinetics, Energetics

Chemistry

A Level

7

2017-18

Functional Groups, Periodicity

English Literature

AS Level

10

2017-18

Keats, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, A Streetcar Named Desire

Mathematics

AS Level

15

2016-17

Algebra and Functions, Calculus, Trigonometry

Mathematics

A Level

12

2017-18

Probability, Complex Numbers

International Baccalaureate example

Subject

Level

Class Size

Academic Year

Topics

English

IB Higher Level

15

2017-18

Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Outsider, Anthony and Cleopatra, Yeats, Heaney

Spanish

IB Higher Level

12

2017-18

Study of Grammar, History of Spain and South America, Spanish Literature, Politics and Culture

History

IB Higher Level

15

2017-18

Russia 1850-1953, Causes of the Cold War, Rise and Rule of Single Party States

Biology

IB Standard Level

15

2017-18

Cells, Digestion, Respiration, Health and Nutrition, Blood and Circulation

Latin

IB Standard Level

10

2017-18

Catullus: Love Poetry, Horace, The Aeneid Book II, Translation of Ovid, Grammar

Maths Studies

IB Standard Level

20

2017-18

Calculus, Trigonometry, Financial Mathematics, Algebra, Graphs

What do you mean by a 'High School Transcript'?

By ‘High School Transcript’ we mean a record of your academic achievement to date in your secondary school/college examinations; for example non-modular A Levels and IGCSEs/O Levels, or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and the Middle Years Programme (MYP), or other equivalent qualifications.

If you’re currently studying at a university, you’re also required to provide a University Transcript.

For most students, the transcript will be an official document or certificate from your school/college/university which lists the subjects you’ve studied and the grades/qualifications that you’ve achieved. Please provide as much information on your examination performance as possible including details of any internal assessments that you may have undertaken.

Please do NOT include references, detailed project work, or any non-academic achievements.

Please do NOT submit a transcript if you’ve taken modular AS/A Levels or CIE A Levels, where you’re provided with Percentage Uniform Marks (PUMs).

If you’re unsure as to whether or not you’re required to submit a transcript (High School and/or University), you can find guidance under the FAQ 'Am I required to submit a High School Transcript?’, below.

If the original transcript isn’t in English, you must have it translated and authorised (ie signed or stamped) by an official translation service or by your school/college/university.

For an example of a High School Transcript and further guidance relating to transcripts, please see the transcript page.

Transcripts must be uploaded at Question A5.1 of the COPA.

Transcript submission deadlines

You must ensure that your transcript is uploaded by the relevant deadline.

COPA applicants

Non-COPA applicants

Overseas applications
Transcripts must be received by:

  • 20 September 2017 for those requesting to be considered for interview in China, Malaysia or Singapore
  • 19 October 2017 for those requesting to be considered for interview in Cambridge, Canada or Hong Kong

Organ Scholarship applications
Transcripts must be received by 1 September 2017

 
Am I required to submit a High School Transcript?

Please refer to the Transcripts requirements webpage. If you have any further queries/doubts, please seek advice from the College you’re applying to as soon as possible.

It’s your responsibility to check whether you’re required to submit a transcript. Please note that your application won’t be considered unless the appropriate transcript is received.

My SAQ isn't displaying correctly, what should I do?

We strongly recommend that you download and use the Firefox web browser to complete the SAQ, as it may not display correctly in other browsers.

If you're having difficulty displaying pages of the SAQ correctly (when they have previously displayed without any problems) please try logging out and logging back in again. This should correct any problems you are experiencing.

I’m unable to submit my SAQ, what should I do?

You’ll be unable to submit your SAQ if you haven’t answered any compulsory questions or you’ve provided an invalid answer. Go to the 'Review My Answers' page by clicking on 'Review My Answers' to check for any errors (these will be highlighted in red). Once you’ve corrected any errors try to submit your SAQ again. You’ll need to agree to the declaration statement again.

I have difficulties logging into my SAQ, what do I do?

We strongly recommend that you download and use the Firefox web browser to complete the SAQ, as this is the preferred browser and some applicants have experienced problems logging in using other browsers.

If you're experiencing difficulties logging into your SAQ, we recommend that you clear your 'cookies' and browsing history, and allow 'pop-ups'. Alternatively, try using a different machine.

What if I need to change information but have already submitted my SAQ?

Once you’ve submitted your SAQ, it’s not possible to amend the answers online. If you notice an error in the information you provided or have any other queries please contact the Admissions Office of the College you applied to or, in the case of open applicants, the Cambridge Admissions Office (telephone: 01223 333308; email: admissions@cam.ac.uk).

Can schools/colleges still submit an additional Cambridge-specific reference?

As we receive a copy of the UCAS reference, there’s no need for teachers/referees to provide an additional reference for Cambridge. However, if teachers/referees have any particular comments to make that relate to Cambridge specifically that weren’t included in the UCAS reference, they’re welcome to do so and should send this direct to the relevant College (or to the Cambridge Admissions Office, in the case of open applicants).

In order to ensure that any additional reference arrives at the right place it should be addressed to the Admissions Office at the College concerned and should include the applicant's full name, date of birth, course applied for and, if possible, UCAS Personal ID. In the case of an open application, this information and additional reference should be sent to the Cambridge Admissions Office.