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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 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 levels of knowledge and understanding, relevant to your course.

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 2020 entry. If you have any questions about our written assessments, please contact assessment@admin.cam.ac.uk.

Courses

Pre-interview assessment

  • Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering (including Chemical Engineering via Engineering)
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • History and Modern Languages (see note below)
  • History and Politics
  • Human, Social, and Political Sciences
  • Land Economy
  • Linguistics
  • Medicine
  • Natural Sciences (including Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences)
  • Psychological and Behavioural Sciences
  • Veterinary Medicine

At-interview assessment

  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Classics (3-year)
  • Classics (4-year)
  • History and Modern Languages (see note below)
  • History of Art
  • Law
  • Modern and Medieval Languages (MML)
  • Philosophy
  • Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion

Please note:

  • Mathematics: there's no common format written assessment for Mathematics (except for applicants who are interviewed overseas). Colleges will assess aptitude, knowledge base and potential through short tasks at the time of interview. All applicants made an offer will be required to sit STEP in June 2020.
  • Music: there's no common format written assessment for Music – Colleges will assess aptitude, knowledge base and potential through short tasks at the time of interview
  • History and Modern Languages: applicants for History and ML are required to take written assessments both pre-interview (the History assessment) and at interview (the MML assessment), if interviewed
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES): applicants wishing to combine an AMES language with a modern European language are required to take written assessments both pre-interview (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies) and at interview (Modern Languages assessment), if interviewed
  • Chemical Engineering: applicants will sit the assessment relevant to their chosen route/first-year course (Engineering or Natural Sciences)

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 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.