University and Careers

Cambridge University Tests

  • The generic registration form that you need to complete for Mrs Owen may be found on this page.

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

The assessments are designed to supplement the information in your application and to assess skills, such as writing and language skills, and levels of knowledge and understanding relevant to your course.

In addition, some Colleges require applicants for some courses to take a College-set assessment at interview (this may occasionally be in addition to a pre-interview assessment) and/or 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 2022 entry.

Pre-interview written assessments

The table below summarises the pre-interview written assessment required for each course for 2022 entry. If you have any questions about our written assessments, please contact assessment@admin.cam.ac.uk.

Course

Pre-interview assessment

Section 1 format

Section 2 format

Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering via Engineering (H810) requires the Engineering Admissions Assessment (ENGAA) - see ENGAA below for format.

Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences (H813) requires the Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA) - see NSAA below for format.

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

Economics Admissions Assessment (ECAA)

Multiple choice questions in mathematics

60 minutes

Essay

60 minutes

Engineering

Engineering Admissions Assessment (ENGAA)

Maths/Physics

60 minutes

Multiple-choice covering Maths and Physics questions

60 minutes

English

English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT)

Land Economy

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

Medicine

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 one science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics)

60 minutes

Veterinary Medicine

Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA) - see NSAA above for format.

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

Please note that for 2022 entry, the pre-interview assessments are currently scheduled to take place in early November 2021 in the UK. Please check the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website for any updates and additions.  

The pre-interview written assessments are organised by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing and are taken at an authorised centre. Your test centre will be KES.

Is there a registration requirement for pre-interview assessments?

The generic registration form that you need to complete for Mrs Owen may be found on this page.

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 in November 2021, your assessment centre must have registered you by 1 October 2021. 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 2021. 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 2021

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. 

You don't have to pay an entry fee for any of the other pre-interview assessments for Cambridge. 

At-interview written assessments

For 2022 entry, all Colleges (unless otherwise stated) require applicants for the following courses to take an at-interview written assessment (this may be scheduled slightly in advance of interviews, rather than on the day itself).

Course

Assessment format

Archaeology

Essay/text response element (60 minutes)

Architecture

Writing skills (30 minutes)
Graphic and spatial ability (30 minutes)

Classics (3-year)

Translation exercise (60 minutes)

Classics (4-year)

Language aptitude interview (20 minutes)

History
(History Admissions Assessment)

Essay/text response element (60 minutes)

NB: Not all Colleges require History applicants to take the History Admissions Assessment (HAA). See the course page for further information and a list of applicable Colleges.

History and Modern Languages
(Modern Languages assessment)

See the course page for details of the Modern Languages assessment format.

See also the History and Modern Languages (History Admissions Assessment) information below.

History and Modern Languages
(History Admissions Assessment)

Essay/text response element (60 minutes)

NB: Not all Colleges require History and Modern Languages applicants to take the History Admissions Assessment (HAA). See the course page for further information and a list of applicable Colleges.

See also the History and Modern Languages (Modern Languages assessment) information above.

History and Politics
(History Admissions Assessment)

Essay/text response element (60 minutes)

NB: Not all Colleges require History and Politics applicants to take the History Admissions Assessment (HAA). See the course page for further information and a list of applicable Colleges.

History of Art

Structured comparison of images (60 minutes)

Law

Cambridge Law Test (Essay version; 60 minutes)

Linguistics

A combination of data questions and an essay question (60 minutes)

Modern and Medieval Languages

Discursive response in Foreign Language (40 minutes)
Discursive response in English (20 minutes)

Philosophy

Multiple choice logic problems (20 minutes)
Essay (40 minutes)

Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion

Comprehension questions on a pre-recorded sample lecture

For 2022 entry, some Colleges may require applicants to take an at-interview assessment for the following courses:

The assessments for these courses (where required) may vary by College. Please see individual College websites for details of which Colleges require applicants to take an at-interview assessment and the expected format of that assessment.

* There's no common format written assessment for Mathematics except for applicants who are interviewed overseas. All applicants for Mathematics are still required to sit the STEP exam in June/July 2022 as achievement in the STEP is an entrance requirement.

Where and when will the at-interview assessments take place?

If the course you're applying for requires a written assessment at interview, you'll take this when you're in Cambridge for interview (if interviewed).

Most interviews take place during the first three weeks of December. The College will provide details of arrangements for the written assessment in the letter inviting you to interview, as well as information about the interview itself, and if you have any queries please contact the relevant College for clarification.

Is there a registration requirement for at-interview assessments?

You don't need to register or be registered for written assessments at interview.

If you have a disability/specific learning difficulty/long-term medical condition/injury, we strongly recommend that you disclose this and provide any relevant information in your UCAS application so that appropriate adjustments to the interview process (including written assessments) can be made, if needed.

If you have any access requirements that you haven't disclosed in your UCAS application, please contact the College as early as possible to discuss these.

Does it cost anything to take an at-interview assessment?

There aren't any charges associated with taking any written assessments at interview in Cambridge.

Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA)

You may be asked to take the Thinking Skills Assessment test when you come to interview. This test is designed to assess critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are highly relevant to successful study at degree level. It is not subject-specific, so can be applied to various courses. A number of Colleges are currently using the TSA to assess applicants for Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Land Economy and Natural Sciences. You may be asked to take the assessment online or on paper.

Cambridge Law Test

Colleges will require applicants for Law to take the Cambridge Law Test.

**COVID-19 Update: due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, the Faculty of Law will provide the Cambridge Law Test for applicants without requiring them to come to Cambridge.The Cambridge Law Test will take place online in the week commencing 23 November. Specific details will be sent to all those invited for interview by the College interviewing them. We assure applicants, parents, and teachers that while the format may differ from the CLT offered in previous years, our criteria of assessment and guidance for preparation will remain unchanged.**

The Cambridge Law Test (CLT) is intended to complement the other elements of our admissions process. Your performance in the test alone will not determine your admissions decision, but will simply provide a further piece of information to help us assess your academic potential.

The Cambridge Law Test is designed to provide an assessment of your potential for our Law course. It will be used as an additional piece of information when making admissions decisions alongside your school/college examination results, the other information provided in your application, and, where applicable, your performance at interview.

Applicants who sit the test in Cambridge will be required to answer one question in one hour. No prior knowledge of the law will be required or expected. In most cases applicants will take the test when they are in Cambridge for interview. The College dealing with your application will contact you about the arrangements if they are using it. There is no need for you to register for this test. Applicants who are offered an interview at one of our overseas interview centres will sit a slightly different version of the test in that they will be required to answer two questions in two hours.

Further information about the test, including specimen questions and answers, are available on the Faculty of Law website.