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Undergraduate Study


Admission assessments and submitted work

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

These are designed to supplement the information in your application, and provide an assessment of relevant skills and, where appropriate, your levels of knowledge and understanding for the course applied for.

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.

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 2021 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

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, you aren't required to take any pre-interview assessments, and will take a common format written assessment at interview instead. Exceptions to this are applicants for Medicine, who will take the Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT), and Veterinary Medicine, who will sit a pre-interview assessment. 

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, for which you must be registered in advance.

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.

Further information

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