The ENGAA (Engineering Admissions Assessment) is a relatively new test.
It is used by the University of Cambridge for undergraduate admissions considering recent changes to A Levels. There aren’t many past papers for the exam so we hope this guide will give you a realistic idea for what to expect on the day and how to prepare!
The test lasts 120 minutes split into two sections consisting wholly of multiple choice questions. All of the content is from your maths and physics curriculum at school so it really is a test of how you can apply the knowledge that you have in an unfamiliar context. The strict timings of the ENGAA also mean that you will have to think quickly- a skill that comes with practice.
Here are a few basic questions answered:
What is the ENGAA?
The Engineering Admissions Assessment (ENGAA) is a two-hour written exam taken by prospective Cambridge Engineering applicants.
What does the ENGAA consist of?
You have a total of 80 minutes for this section.
Section 1A tests Maths and Physics. There are 28 multiple choice questions in this section and you are not allowed a calculator.
Section 1B tests Advanced Maths and Physics. There are 26 multiple choice questions and again you are not allowed to use a calculator.
This section allows you 40 minutes to complete it.
Section 2 tests Advanced Maths and Physics, in a multiple choice question setting and there is still no calculator allowed.
Why is the ENGAA used?
Cambridge Engineering applicants tend to be a bright bunch and therefore usually have excellent grades with many having over 90% in all of their A level subjects. This means that competition is fierce – meaning that the universities must use the ENGAA to help differentiate between applicants.
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When do you sit the ENGAA?
The ENGAA takes place in the first week of November every year, normally on a Wednesday Morning.
Can you resit the ENGAA?
No, you can only sit the ENGAA once per admissions cycle.
Where do you sit the ENGAA?
You can usually sit the ENGAA at your school or college (ask your exams officer for more information). Alternatively, if your school isn’t a registered test centre or you’re not attending a school or college, you can sit the ENGAA at an authorised test centre.
Do you have to resit the ENGAA if you reapply?
Yes – you can’t use your score from previous attempts.
How is the ENGAA Scored?
In section 1, each question carries one mark and there is no negative marking. In section 2, marks for each question are indicated alongside it. Unless stated otherwise, you will only score marks for correct answers if you show your working.
How is the ENGAA used?
Different Cambridge colleges will place different weightings on different components so it’s important you find out as much information about how your marks will be used by emailing the college admissions office. In general, the university will interview a high proportion of realistic applicants so the ENGAA score isn’t vital for making the interview shortlist. However, it can play a huge role in the final decision after your interview.
Finally, remember that the ENGAA is a challenging and time-pressured exam that is designed to push you to your limits.
It is different from school exams where high marks are to be expected so do not be disheartened when doing practice papers- everyone feels this way!
Think of the ENGAA as an opportunity to show the engineering admissions staff what you are really capable of!