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Admissions Assessments & submitting written work

Find out here if you need to complete an Admissions Assessment before or on the day of your interview (and whether you need to register for it in advance), if you need to submit written work to support your application, and if you will be be asked to read a text or article before going into your interview.

Do I need to complete (and register for) a 'pre-interview' Admissions Assessment?

There are pre-interview assessments in most science, and a few arts and humanities subjects. You need to register for these in advance - the deadline is usually the same as the UCAS application deadline, and your school will register you (but make sure!). These assessments take place at an exam centre (usually your school) in late October or early November. They are  the same across all Cambridge colleges, and full details can be found under each subject entry in this webpage.

subjects with pre-interview assessments:

Chemical Engineering Computer Science Economics
Engineering English Land Economy
Medicine (BMAT) Natural Sciences Veterinary Medicine

Please note that for Medicine, we use the BMAT as our assessment, and you must register for this separately - see this link.

For Maths and Maths with Physics, and Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, there is no assessment or any other pre- or at-interview requirement.


Will I need to complete an 'at-interview' Admissions Assessment?

There are at-interview assessments in some arts and humanities subjects. You do not need to register for these, and will be sent full details about them if you are called for interview. They are almost all sat on the same day as the interview, although in a few cases they may take place on an adjacent day, in which case the College will offer free accommodation.

subject format
Archaeology Essay/text response element (60 minutes)
Classics (3 years) Translation exercise (60 minutes)
Classics (4 years) Language aptitude interview (20 minutes)
History Essay/text response element (60 minutes)
History and Modern Languages Discursive response in Foreign Language (40 minutes) and response in English (20 minutes)
History and Politics History: Essay/text response element (60 minutes)
Law Cambridge Law Test (essay version - 60 minutes)
Modern and Medival Languages Discursive response in Foreign Language (40 minutes) and response in English (20 minutes) 
Philosophy Multiple choice logic problems (20 minutes) and essay (40 minutes) 
Theology and Religious Studies  to be confirmed


Will I need to read something before the interview?

In some subjects you will be given some pre-interview reading to discuss in the interview. If called for interview, you will be given full details of where and when to collect it - we will make sure you have enough time to study it!

subjects with pre-interview reading:

Chemical Engineering (via Engineering) Engineering English
Geography History History and Modern Languages (language component)
History and Politics (politics component) Human, Social and Political Science Law
Modern and Medieval Languages  Music Theology and Religious Studies 


Do I need to submit written school work?

To support applications in some subjects, we require you to send us some of your written work. These enable us to assess the quality of your academic writing in the subject you wish to study, and they may be discussed at your interview. If your subject is not listed below, you do not need to send us any written work

The essays you submit should be copies of accredited essays (not coursework), with your teachers' comments. The essays should not normally be longer than 2500 words.

If your school subject combination means that you cannot send us exactly what is listed below (e.g. a modern linguist with no additional 'essay subject'), do not worry - just contact the Admissions Office and we will work out an alternative.

The deadline for submission of this material in 2019 was 7 November. A cover sheet can be downloaded from the download section at the bottom of this page.  For all subjects requiring written work, please email the essays in PDF format, along with the completed cover sheet, to . You do not need to type your essays. For example,

  • take a high quality scan or photo of the pages of the essay(s) and the cover sheet into your computer as image files (200 dpi resolution should be sufficient)
  • insert the image files into a word processing document
  • save the document as a PDF file - for example, in Word for Windows, click print and then microsoft print to pdf
  • please start the name of all files with your own surname - e.g. 'smith essay 1.pdf', 'smith essay 2.pdf', 'smith cover sheet.pdf'...

requirements for submission of written work:

Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic

Two pieces of written work.

Asian & Middle-Eastern Studies

One essay in English on a substantive topic. If you are applying to study a European language as part of the AMES course, please also send an essay in that language.


Two pieces of written work from essay-based subjects that you are already studying (eg. History, English, Languages, Classical Civilisation).


Two essays, both from your English course.


 One essay from your History course.

History and Modern Languages

One essay from your History course and one essay in the foreign language for which you are applying.  If you are applying for a language ab initio, please send an essay in English in an essay-based subject.

History and Politics

One essay from your History course.

Modern and Medieval Languages

All applicants should send in three pieces of written work. If you are applying to continue two A-level (or equivalent) languages, please send one piece of work in each of these languages. The third piece should be an essay in English from another essay-based subject. If you are applying to continue one A-level language, and to start another language from scratch, please send one piece of work in the language you are studying and intend to continue; the other two pieces of work should be from an essay-based subject.


Two to three pieces of school work, which can be from the fields of music history, analysis and composition (harmony and/or counterpoint exercises).


Two pieces of written work.


If after reading this website you still have questions about applying to St Catharine's for an undergraduate degree, please email us at