London: UK’s Cambridge University today announced that written tests will now be part of the application process in one of the world’s most renowned varsity.
Students who qualify to apply to study at the premier British institution will have to pass a written exam in addition to clearing an interviewfrom the 2017 academic year.
The university had phased out these entrance exams in the 1980s and their reintroduction brings it in line with the competitor – University of Oxford.
Dr Sam Lucy, the university’s director of admissions, informed all major schools and colleges of the UK of the change in a letter issued today.
“The colleges of the University of Cambridge are introducing a system of common format written assessments for applicants, specifically tailored to each subject. This will provide Admissions Tutors with valuable additional evidence of our applicants’ academic abilities, knowledge base and potential to succeed in the Cambridge course for which they have applied,” she wrote.
“This move is a result of responding to teacher and student feedback, a desire to harmonise and simplify our existing use of written assessments and a need to develop new ways to maintain the effectiveness and fairness of our admissions system during ongoing qualification reform,” she added.
Written assessments will be undertaken either pre- interview or at-interview, depending on the course a student applies for, with the first tests to start from November this year.
The pre-interview tests will take place at individual schools and colleges and will be held on the same day as the University of Oxford’s pre-interview tests, to make them easier for all schools and colleges to administer.
The at-interview assessments will take place during the December interview period on the university premises, usually on the same day as the interviews.
The university says no advance preparation will be needed, “other than revision of relevant recent subject knowledge where appropriate”.
Most at-interview assessments will be an hour long and most pre-interview assessments will be no longer than two hours.
Courses with pre-interview written assessments include medicine, economics, engineering, English, history and natural sciences, and courses with at-interview written assessments include computer science, architecture, archeology, law and philosophy, among others.