The facts you need to know about the ECAA test.
What is it? Why is it used? How is it used? These are all questions we will answer in this brief but informative blog post!
What is the ECAA?
The Economics Admissions Assessment (ECAA) is a two hour written exam for prospective Cambridge Economics applicants.
What's the structure of the ECAA?
The ECAA consists of two sections:
Section 1 is a multiple choice section, with around 20 problem solving questions and 15 advanced maths questions. You are allowed 80 minutes for Section 1.
Section 2 is an extended essay responding to an excerpt of text. You are allowed 40 minutes for this section.
How hard is the ECAA?
Questions are designed to draw upon a candidate’s ability to use and apply their reasoning and mathematical knowledge, but require the application different to how they might be used to. The assessment is designed to challenge students who have achieved the highest grades throughout their schooling, so it should be fairly difficult – but this doesn’t mean it can’t be revised for!
What is the format of the ECAA?
Section 1 there will be 35 multiple choice questions; 20 Problem Solving and 15 Advanced Mathematics questions. You’ll first see the Problem Solving Questions, then the Advanced Mathematics. It is recommended you spend 40 minutes on each style of question for your 80 total minutes in Section 1.
You will need a pencil for this section.
Section 2 requires candidates to read a short passage of 1-2 pages then asked to write an essay to answer a question, drawing from information in the passage.
You will need a pen for this section.
Why is the ECAA used?
Cambridge applicants tend to be a bright bunch and therefore usually have excellent grades. The majority of economics applicants score in excess of 90% in their A level subjects. This means that competition is fierce – meaning that the universities must use the ECAA to help differentiate between applicants.
When do I sit ECAA?
The ECAA normally takes place in the first week of November every year, normally on a Wednesday Morning.
Can I resit the ECAA?
You may only sit the ECAA once per admissions cycle.
Where do I sit the ECAA?
All applicants for Cambridge Economics need to sit the test.
Do I have to resit the ECAA if I reapply?
Yes, each admissions cycle is independent – you cannot use your score from any previous attempts.
How is the ECAA scored?
In section 1, each question carries one mark and there is no negative marking. Both sections 1A + 1B are equally weighted. In section 2, your answer will be assessed based on the argument and also its clarity.
How is the ECAA used?
Different Cambridge colleges will place different weightings on different components so its 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 realitstic applicants so the ECAA score isn’t vital for making the interview shortlist. However, it can play a huge role in the final decision after your interview.