Typical offers require
A Level: A*A*A
IB: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level
For other qualifications, see our main Entrance requirements pages
Required by all Colleges: A Level/IB Higher Level Mathematics and Physics
Required by some Colleges: A Level/IB Higher Level in a third mathematics/ science/technology subject, STEP Mathematics
Further Mathematics is very strongly encouraged. If unavailable or you’ve recognised its desirability too late, we’d advise you to do as much additional pure maths and mechanics as possible, eg by studying advanced material or Further Mathematics AS Level.
Please refer to the Department of Engineering's Guide to Undergraduate Admissions and individual College websites for the views and preferences of individual Colleges concerning academic requirements for admission to Engineering.
All Colleges, except Trinity, welcome applications from students taking A Level Mathematics and a suitable vocational qualification, eg a BTEC Higher National Diploma in an engineering discipline. Applicants are expected to achieve the highest possible grades in A Level Mathematics and the vocational qualification. Those taking the Single Award Applied A Level in Engineering or the Principal Learning components of the Advanced Diploma in Engineering must also be taking A Levels in Mathematics and Physics. The Level 3 Certificate in Mathematics for Engineering is a suitable alternative to A Level Mathematics for these purposes.
See the Department’s Guide to Undergraduate Admissions for details.
Some Colleges encourage Engineering applicants to defer entry. See the Department website for details.
All undergraduate admissions decisions are the responsibility of the Cambridge Colleges so check College websites for College-specific requirements. See also Entrance requirements and The Subject Matters for additional advice about general requirements for entry, qualifications and offers.
All applicants are required to take the pre-interview written assessment for Engineering at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college).
- Section 1: Maths and Physics MCQs (80 minutes)
- Section 2: Approximately 20 MCQs covering Maths and Physics.
Engineering Admissions Assessment Specification
You must be registered in advance (separately to your UCAS application) to take the assessment – the registration deadline is 15 October 2018. Your assessment centre must register you for the pre-interview assessment; you’re not able to register yourself. See the written assessments page for information about assessment centres and registration.
The pre-interview written assessment for Engineering will be taken on 31 October 2018. Please check the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website for scheduled start times.
Please note that your performance in the pre-interview assessment will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.
In addition to the pre-interview assessment, applicants who are invited to interview are required to take a College-set written assessment at interview at the following Colleges (see individual College websites for details): Downing, Gonville & Caius, Homerton, King's, Peterhouse, Robinson, Trinity
Mature students (aged 21 or over) applying to one of the mature Colleges (Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish, St Edmunds, Wolfson) should refer to the relevant information about pre-interview assessments on the written assessments page.
A specimen paper has been produced 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.
When using the Section 2 specimen and past papers below, please note that there’ll be some changes for the 2018 assessment – calculators won’t be permitted, and the questions will no longer be linked. See the Engineering Admissions Assessment Specification above.
Engineering Admissions Assessment Specimen Paper - Section 1: Question Paper
Engineering Admissions Assessment Specimen Paper - Section 1: Answer Sheet
Engineering Admissions Assessment Specimen Paper - Section 1: Answer Key
Engineering Admissions Assessment Specimen Paper - Section 1: Explained Answers
Engineering Admissions Assessment Specimen Paper - Section 2: Question Paper
Engineering Admissions Assessment Specimen Paper - Section 2: Answer Key
Engineering Admissions Assessment 2017 - Section 1: Question Paper
Engineering Admissions Assessment 2017 - Section 1: Answer Sheet
Engineering Admissions Assessment 2017 - Section 1: Answer Key
Engineering Admissions Assessment 2017 - Section 2: Question Paper Engineering Admissions Assessment 2017 - Section 2: Answer Key
Engineering Admissions Assessment 2016 - Section 1: Question Paper
Engineering Admissions Assessment 2016 - Section 1: Answer Sheet
Engineering Admissions Assessment 2016 - Section 1: Answer Key
Engineering Admissions Assessment 2016 - Section 2: Question Paper
Engineering Admissions Assessment 2016 - Section 2: Answer Key
Applicants are not typically asked to submit examples of written work. Some may be asked by their College to do some reading in advance of their interview, but if this is required the College will provide full details in the letter inviting the student to interview.