How to prepare for the Physics NSAA

For many students, the world-famous environment of the University of Cambridge is the place par excellence to study Natural Sciences. Competition for a place at Cambridge is fierce and many applicants have over 90% UMS in all their A-levels. But how does the Physics section of the NSAA prepare?

Author: Adi Sen

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For many students, the world-famous setting of Cambridge University is the ultimate place to study Natural Sciences.

Competition for a place at Cambridge is fiercely competitive with many of the applicants having over 90% UMS in all of their A-levels. As a result of this, admissions tutors need ways to differentiate between applicants than A-levels and interview performance alone. This is where the Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA) comes in – but how do you prepare for the Physics NSAA section?



In general, Cambridge are keen to invite as many students to interview as possible, so to get to this stage, you may only need a decent NSAA score.

However, many tutors will consider the NSAA as a great indicator of your suitability for the learning environment at Cambridge. Natural Sciences is such a great subject because of the ability to specialise in areas of science that you are most passionate about, whilst still gaining a broad scientific education. The format of the NSAA recognises this fact and lets you exclude some sections which you are not looking to focus on as much (although all applicants have to answer the maths section).

In section 1, all applicants must answer section 1A (maths) and then they must choose 2 from Physics, Chemistry, Biology and advanced maths and physics. Then, in section 2, applicants must answer 2 longer format questions from a choice of 6.


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Whilst preparing for Physics NSAA, it is important to start early and spend plenty of time preparing at your own pace.

This will give you sufficient time to highlight weaknesses and turn them into strengths in the testing process. In the physics section of the NSAA, you should be prepared to answer questions on topics such as the application of Newton’s laws, graphical interpretation of vectors and scales and calculating, manipulating and resolving vectors.



By far the best way to prepare for the NSAA is to work with an expert and experienced tutor who can help you through all stages of preparation.

At UniAdmissions, all of our tutors have been through the Natural Sciences application process themselves, having passed with flying colours, scoring in the top 10% nationally in the NSAA. To find out about how you can work 1 on 1 with one of our expert tutors, visit our website for more details:


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