Which Assessments Are Needed To Apply For Cambridge?

Cambridge Assessments are either pre-Interview or at-Interview assessments. What are the differences and what Admissions Test do I need to sit?

Last Updated: 8th April 2019

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If you are applying to study at Cambridge, there are two types of assessments you may have to go through; pre-Interview and at-Interview assessments.

In this post, we explain the types of assessments you will come across, exactly which assessment you will have to take for your chosen subject and some information about submitted work.

Pre-Interview Assessments

Pre-Interview assessments are required for a number of undergraduate courses as a part of the application process. If you are applying to a course that requires a pre-Interview assessment, you must register before the UCAS Oxbridge deadline of the 15th of October. Registration opens on the 1st of September.

This is a separate registration/application to your UCAS form. Late registrations aren’t accepted so don’t leave it until it’s too late! The tests are usually around 2 hours long, but this depends on the test you will be taking. 

For Cambridge, pre-Interview assessments are mostly around the 3rd or 4th of November. These Admissions Tests are organised by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing and usually take place at an authorised centre. We say “usually” as during the pandemic, some assessments were taken at home. 

Pre-Interview Assessment Costs

There’s an entry fee for students who take the BMAT and the TMUA. If you’re a Home fees status student who’s concerned about the cost, financial support is available on the BMAT and TMUA websites.

You don’t have to pay an entry fee for any of the other pre-Interview assessments for Cambridge. However, some assessment centres (including some schools/colleges) may charge candidates their own fee to cover administrative costs which Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing do not have control over. 

Which Cambridge subjects use pre-Interview assessments?

DegreePre-Interview Admissions Test
Chemical EngineeringENGAA (Via Engineering) or NSAA (Via Natural Sciences)
Computer ScienceTMUA
EngineeringENGAA and STEP depending on which college you apply to
Natural SciencesNSAA
Veterinary MedicineNSAA

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At-Interview Assessments

At-Interview assessments are taken, as the name would suggest, at your Cambridge Interview date. Cambridge Interviews take place during the first three weeks of December so this is when you would be taking the assessment.

Unlike pre-Interview assessments, you do not need to register to sit the test. At-Interview assessments do not have any fees associated with them.

Which Cambridge subjects use at-Interview assessments?

DegreeAt-Interview Assessment
ArchaeologyEssay/text response element
ArchitectureWriting skills,
Graphic and spatial ability
Classics (3-year)Translation exercise
Classics (4-year)Language aptitude interview
History History Admissions Assessment
History and Modern Languages Modern Languages assessment or History Admissions Assessment
History and Politics History Admissions Assessment
History of ArtStructured comparison of images
LinguisticsA combination of data questions and an essay question
Modern and Medieval LanguagesDiscursive response in Foreign Language and English
PhilosophyMultiple choice logic problems and an
Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of ReligionComprehension questions on a pre-recorded sample lecture

Submitted Work

For a number of Cambridge Degrees (mostly for art and social science degrees), students are required to send submitted work. This is usually one or two examples of your written work from school which could be from your A-levels or IB.

Submitted work will be marked by your teachers and then your work will likely form a part of your Interview questions. 

Below is an example of submitted work requirements for Cambridge Architecture. For this degree, you will need to submit 6 pages of your own artwork. 


Fortunately, it is not a guessing game as Cambridge notify their applicants what sort of work should be submitted, how to submit it and the deadlines. 

Make sure to check the Cambridge course pages to see what sort of assessment you will need to undertake. We strongly suggest starting early to effectively prepare for your future assessments. 

Looking for Assessment support to help you receive your dream Cambridge offer? 

We help you craft the perfect Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive Admissions Test score and teach you how to Interview effectively – covering all areas of your Oxbridge application, from History to Medicine.

Discover our Oxbridge Premium Programmes by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

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