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Undergraduate Study


Specimen papers are available for some of our course admission asessments, to allow you to sample the written assessment format and practice under timed conditions.

It is not expected that you will answer every question correctly; the written assessment is designed to be challenging. Even some strong candidates may not complete the paper in the time allowed; it is designed to distinguish across our field of high-calibre applicants.

Experience with similar assessments and from trials indicates that, on average, typical applicants to the most highly selective undergraduate courses (who are by definition academically very able) will gain approximately half of the available marks. The best applicants will score more highly, but only relatively few are expected to gain more than 80 per cent of the available marks.

Written assessments help admissions tutors to assess whether candidates have the skills, aptitudes and any required subject knowledge and understanding required to study the relevant course at Cambridge. They are only one of the elements used in the admissions process. Others include a candidate’s academic record and forecast grades in school-leaving examinations; UCAS application form; examples of recent written work submitted to the College to which they are applying; and performance at interview, if invited to attend.

If a course has specimen and/or past papers available, these will appear on the relevant course webpage under the Entry Requirements tab.