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Undergraduate Study


Pre-interview assessments: COVID-19 guidance

While we are optimistic that the Cambridge pre-interview assessments on 3 and 4 November will run as planned for our applicants, we recognise that there may be COVID-related reasons for a small number of candidates not being able to access a test centre on the day, such as an onset of possible symptoms or a requirement to self-isolate.

If this should happen, please immediately notify your College admissions office by email so that we can look into alternative solutions. One of the following forms of evidence would be needed in support:

  • Positive COVID-19 test result.
  • Proof of instruction to self-isolate due to COVID-19.
  • Evidence of a local or national lockdown due to COVID-19, forcing the closure of your test centre.

Admission assessments and submitted work

Most applicants are required to take a subject-specific written admission assessment, either pre-interview or at interview.

The assessments are designed to supplement the information in your application and to assess skills, such as writing and language skills, and levels of knowledge and understanding relevant to your course. 

In addition, some Colleges require applicants for some courses to take a College-set assessment at interview (this may occasionally be in addition to a pre-interview assessment) and/or to submit examples of their written work – one or two school/college essays – which may then be discussed at interview.

Detailed information about each course's admission assessment - including past papers (where applicable) - and whether any Colleges typically require submitted work, can be found in the Entry Requirements tab on each of the courses pages.

The table below details if a course has a pre-interview or at-interview written assessment for 2022 entry.

Pre-interview assessment At-interview assessment

All Colleges require a pre-interview assessment for the following courses:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Land Economy
  • Medicine
  • Natural Sciences
  • Veterinary Medicine

Please note, some Colleges may also require applicants to take a College-set written assessment at-interview, in addition to the pre-interview assessment. See individual course pages for details.

All Colleges require an at-interview assessment for the following courses:

  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Classics
  • History and Modern Languages
  • History of Art
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Modern and Medieval Languages (MML)
  • Philosophy
  • Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion

Some Colleges may require an at-interview assessment for the following courses:

  • Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies*
  • Education
  • Geography
  • History
  • History and Politics
  • Human, Social, and Political Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

* All Colleges require AMES applicants wishing to study a European language to take the relevant MML at-interview admissions assessment.

Students aged 21+ applying to a mature College

If you're a mature student (aged 21 or over) applying to one of the mature Colleges for interview in Cambridge for Economics, English or Land Economy, you aren't required to take the standard pre-interview assessments, and will take a common format written assessment at interview instead.

If you're a mature student applying to a mature College for Economics, English or Land Economy and wishing to be considered for interview overseas, or if you're a mature student applying to a standard age College, you must take the required pre-interview assessment, for which you must be registered in advance.

Applicants for Medicine, Chemical Engineering, Engineering, Computer Science, Natural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine will need to make arrangements to sit the relevant pre-interview assessment. 

How will the written assessment affect applications?

Your performance in any required written assessment won’t be considered in isolation, but taken into account alongside the other elements of your application; a weaker performance may though be a deciding factor in whether or not to invite you to interview.

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.

Further information

If you have any questions about our written assessments, please contact