We try to interview all applicants who we think have a realistic chance of being offered a place on their chosen course at Cambridge - over 80% of those who apply. Interviews allow us to evaluate your commitment to your chosen course, your interest in new ideas, and your ability to apply your skills and knowledge in unfamiliar situations.
We try to make interviews as positive an experience as possible. We aim to discover your academic abilities and interests; we try to put you at your ease so that you can show us that you have the potential to thrive in your chosen course. We want to see our applicants at their best so there will definitely not be any “trick” questions. However, some questions will be challenging because they will require you to develop an argument, solve a theoretical problem, or think about an unfamiliar situation.
Most applicants will have at least two interviews. There will always be a Subject Interview by someone knowledgeable in your chosen course. Here, the aim is to find out what you know and how far you can use that knowledge. The nature of the interview depends on the course and could include questions on a piece of work you have sent in or involve solving theoretical problems in your subject. There may be one or more additional Subject Interviews, a General / Subject Interview, or a General Interview.
Interview dates for 2022 will be announced in due course.
|Anglo Saxon, Norse & Celtic|
|Asian and Middle Eastern Studies|
|Engineering (including Chemical Engineering via Engineering)|
|Human, Social and Political Sciences|
|Mathematics with Physics|
|Modern and Medieval Languages|
|Natural Sciences (Biological)|
|Natural Sciences (Physical) including Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences|
|Psychological and Behavioural Sciences|
Applicants for most courses will be required to take a subject-based assessment either before or during interview. Full details of which course require which kind of assessment, see our courses web page.
The assessments are not pass/fail tests – your performance in any required written assessment will not be considered in isolation, but taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.
The pre-interview written assessments are organised by the Admissions Testing Service, and are taken at an authorised centre. It is very likely that your local authorised centre will be your school/college – speak to your teacher/exams officer to find out if you will be able to take your pre-interview assessment at your school/college.
If you will not be able to take your pre-interview assessment at your school/college, or if you are not currently in/have left school/college, you will need to find an authorised centre where you can take the pre-interview assessment instead. Details of authorised centres are available on the Admissions Testing Service website - http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/.
Dates for the pre-interview written assignments for 2023 entry have not yet been announced.
You have to be registered – separately from your UCAS application – in advance to take the relevant pre-interview assessment.
Your assessment centre (usually your school/college) has to register you for the pre-interview assessment, you cannot register yourself. The registration deadline is dependent on the course for which you are applying.
If the course you are applying for requires a written assessment at interview, you will take this as part of your interview (if interviewed).
Most interviews take place during the first two 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.
In most cases, you will take the written assessment on the same day as your interview.
You do not 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 have not disclosed in your UCAS application, please contact the College as early as possible to discuss these.
For further information on both pre and at-interview Admissions Assessments, please visit http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying/admissions-assessments.
Updated May 2022