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Undergraduate Study


 Important information

The University of Cambridge and Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing are carefully monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the impact this might have on the delivery of the 2021 entry pre-interview admission assessments.

We will do everything we can to minimise disruption for applicants, while complying fully with international best practice and the advice of national and local health authorities. Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our applicants and their families, as well as staff within test centres.

As the information about COVID-19 is changing rapidly, we may be forced to make changes to the format and/or delivery method of some of our pre-interview assessments, and some of these changes might have to be implemented at short notice. We will update this webpage as the situation unfolds and further information can also be found on the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website. Should we have to implement changes after the pre-interview admission assessment registration deadline (15 October 2020) then affected applicants will also be notified via email.

Please note that to ensure they can run our November admissions assessments safely across the world, adhering to local social distancing guidelines, CAAT have moved some pre-interview tests to a different date.

Some tests will run on the previously scheduled date of 4 November and others will run on the new date of 5 November. Candidates should register with their centre in the usual way.

Please visit the Cambridge pre-interview assessment dates and costs page for full details.


Pre-interview written assessments

For 2021 entry, all Colleges require applicants for the following courses to take a pre-interview written assessment.*


Pre-interview assessment

Section 1 format

Section 2 format

Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering via Engineering (H810) requires the Engineering Admissions Assessment (ENGAA)

Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences (H813) requires the Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA)

Computer Science

Cambridge Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (CTMUA)


Mathematical Thinking (multiple choice questions)

75 minutes

Mathematical Reasoning (multiple choice questions)

75 minutes


Economics Admissions Assessment (ECAA)


Multiple choice questions in mathematics

60 minutes


60 minutes


Engineering Admissions Assessment (ENGAA)


60 minutes

Multiple-choice covering Maths and Physics questions

60 minutes


English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT)

Land Economy

Thinking Skills Assessment (Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; 90 minutes)


BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT)

Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA)

Multiple choice questions in mathematics plus one science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics)

60 minutes

Extended multiple choice questions in Biology, Chemistry or Physics

60 minutes

Veterinary Medicine

Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA)

Multiple choice questions in mathematics plus one science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics)

60 minutes

Extended multiple choice questions in Biology, Chemistry or Physics

60 minutes

* Mature students (aged 21 or over) applying to one of the mature Colleges aren’t required to take any pre-interview assessments (except for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine), and should refer to the information on the written assessments page.

When and where will the pre-interview assessments take place?

Please note that for 2021 entry, the pre-interview written assessments will be taken on 4 November 2020 and 5 November 2020 in the UK. Please check the date of your pre-interivew assessment carefully. Further information is available on the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website.

The pre-interview written assessments are organised by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing and are taken at an authorised centre. It's very likely that your local authorised centre will be your school/college - check with your school/college - otherwise, you'll need to find an open authorised centre instead.

Applicants taking the pre-interview written assessments overseas must check the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website, as the scheduled start times for international centres may vary. Please note that for some overseas interview locations, these assessments may take place after your interview. In this situation, your written assessment will still be considered by your Cambridge College along with your overseas interview report.

Is there a registration requirement for pre-interview assessments?

You must be registered in advance to take the relevant pre-interview assessment. If you're not registered by the relevant deadline, you won't be able to take the appropriate pre-interview assessment, which will mean your application to the University of Cambridge won't be valid.

In most cases, your assessment centre (usually your school/college) must register you for the pre-interview assessment - you can't register yourself. The registration deadline is dependent on the course you're applying for.

  • For Medicine (Standard Course A100), the pre-interview assessment you're required to take is the Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT). To take the BMAT on 4 November 2020, your assessment centre must have registered you by 1 October 2020. It may be possible to register after this deadline for an additional fee (see the BMAT website for details)
  • For all other courses requiring a pre-interview assessment, the registration deadline is 15 October 2020. Please note that open centres may set an earlier deadline for accepting entries, and it is your responsibility to check if this applies at your centre
  • If you require access arrangements you must be registered by 30 September 2020

In order to register you for your pre-interview assessment, you must provide the following pieces of information to your assessment centre:

  • UCAS Personal ID
  • name as it will appear on your UCAS application
  • gender
  • date of birth
  • details of any access requirements/arrangements
  • the university/institution (and Cambridge College or open application) your’re applying to
  • the course (including the UCAS course code) you're applying for

You must provide this information to your assessment centre in good time to ensure you can be registered.

Does it cost anything to take a pre-interview assessment?

There's an entry fee for students to take the BMAT. If you're a Home fees status student who's concerned about the cost, financial support may be available. Please see the the BMAT website for details and advice. 

You don't have to pay an entry fee for any of the other pre-interview assessments for Cambridge. However, please be aware that some assessment centres (including some schools/colleges) may charge candidates their own fee to cover administrative costs. Cambridge has no control over this charge.

Information for EU/overseas applicants

If you're applying to Cambridge from outside the UK, the arrangements for pre-interview assessment are the same as within the UK. You must take the pre-interview assessment at a Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing authorised centre. Many schools/colleges are authorised centres or can easily become one, so speak to your teacher/exams officer to find out if you can take the pre-interview assessment at your school/college. If your school/college is not already an authorised centre they can apply to become a test centre.

If you won't be able to take your pre-interview assessment at your school/college, or if you're not currently in/have left school/college, you must find an open authorised centre where you can take the pre-interview assessment instead. Details of open authorised centres are available on the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website.

Please also note the information above about the registration requirement and deadlines – if you’re not registered by your assessment centre by the relevant deadline you won’t be able to take the appropriate pre-interview assessment, and you application to the University won’t be valid.

Further information

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