Recently, the University of Cambridge’s admission director has recently introduced written tests as a part of application process. This test will be customized according to each subject.
University of Cambridge has been closely reviewing government plans to divide AS levels from A levels to pattern a stand-alone qualification. According to the university, AS levels are finest medium to judge a student’s academic performance in every subject, except mathematics.
Cambridge has been writing to schools and universities, insisting them to offer AS levels. However, the results haven’t been the same. While some schools and colleges have decided to offer AS levels and A levels together, other schools and colleges have decided to focus on just A-levels.
In a letter sent to the UK schools and colleges, Dr Sam Lucy confirmed that this test will be conducted before / during the interviews. The test aims to uphold fairness in the midst of qualification reform. The first test will be conducted in this November. Dr Lucy further confirmed that these tests would yield “valuable additional evidence to our applicant’s academic abilities, knowledge base and potential to succeed in the Cambridge course for which they have applied.” The letter further confirmed that no special preparation is required, “other than revision of relevant subject knowledge” appropriately. The duration of the test will not be longer than 2 hours. Most of the assessments will take place before the interviews.
The university will schedule the tests in correspondence with University of Oxford. This will ease the process of supervision for schools and colleges.
University spokesman further confirmed that these tests will function as an accompaniment with the existing assessment measures, which includes submission of an auxiliary application, questionnaire, mock-ups of written work, reference letters and interview. The spokesman said that the with the changes in the AS levels, there is “loss of a key piece of evidence in the mix. We are looking at how people think […] We will see how people are at interview but also how they are in a written assessment.” These tests will be conducted in every college in the University of Cambridge, replacing individual tests conducted by colleges. Lastly, the spokesman confirmed that these tests are not intended to set any entrance exam trend. These tests are just designed to replace the changes to AS levels.