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You need to take the Engineering and Science Admissions Test (ESAT) if you are applying for:

  • Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
  • Engineering
  • Natural Sciences
  • Veterinary Medicine

You will take the test on 15 or 16 October 2024. You must take the test in this first sitting.

Test format

The ESAT is a computer-based assessment. It is made up of individual multiple-choice assessments lasting 40 minutes each. You will sit these back-to-back on the day of the test.

Mathematics 1 is compulsory for all candidates.

The remaining assessments will depend on the Cambridge course you are applying to. In most cases, you will complete two additional multiple-choice assessments from the following list, making the test 120 minutes in total:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics 2

We will confirm which ESAT assessments you need to complete on the relevant 2025 entry course pages when these go live in March 2024.

There is no pass or fail for ESAT. You should aim to do the best you can.

Your final scores are based on the number of correct answers you give. You do not lose marks for wrong answers, so it’s worth attempting all questions.

How to register for the ESAT

You must be registered in advance to sit the ESAT. You take the ESAT at your local Pearson VUE test centre. You can choose from a global network of test centres in more than 5,500 locations in over 180 countries. 

Visit the Pearson VUE website, where you will be able to: 

  • create an account
  • find your nearest test centre
  • book and pay for the test

We will provide further information about test dates, registration and cancellations in spring 2024. 

ESAT for other universities

ESAT is used by Cambridge and Imperial College London for courses in engineering and sciences. If you’re applying to both universities, you only need to take the ESAT once, but you must take the test in the October sitting

Access arrangements

If you normally have access arrangements in your public exams, you can apply for the same arrangements. You will need to submit an application and may need to provide supporting evidence in advance. Further information on this process will be available in spring 2024.

ESAT Costs

There is an entry fee for the ESAT:

  • £75 if taken in the UK or Republic of Ireland
  • £130 if taken anywhere else

You’ll need to pay this fee (using a debit/credit card or bursary voucher) when you book your test.

Bursary voucher

UK candidates in financial need can apply for a bursary voucher to book the ESAT free of charge. If you are eligible we will provide you with a unique bursary voucher code which you can enter on the Pearson VUE website when you book your test, which will allow you to book the test without paying.

We will publish more information about the process and the eligibility criteria for the bursary voucher in spring 2024.

How to prepare for the ESAT

To prepare, we recommend that you revise relevant topics and familiarise yourself with the format of the test.

Free practice materials will be available in May 2024 to help you prepare. There will also be information about the test format, specification and other useful support materials.

We don’t expect you to get every question right – you can learn more about how your performance fits into the rest of your application on the admissions assessment page.

Test results

You will get your results through the Pearson VUE booking portal, approximately six weeks after you take the test. The results will be automatically shared with us, so you don’t need to send them on.