Home Skip Navigation LinksNews News Story

<< back to previous page

Cambridge University considering reintroduction of entrance exams

Published: Thursday, 24 September 2015   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Cambridge University has revealed it may reintroduce entrance exams as too many applicants are achieving top A-level results.

The university – ranked third-best in the world – has said it too difficult to decipher who the best candidates are since so many are achieving A* and A grades.

New plans could see candidates tested to see if they are worth an interview place, potentially making it easier to discover which candidates are best suited for places.

Barbara Sahakian, professor of experimental psychiatry at Cambridge, revealed that there are concerns that A-level results may no longer mean what they used to.

She suggested that not all pupils that get high grades would have done so in the past, which makes it harder to discriminate between candidates.

Entrance exams for Cambridge were scrapped in 1986 and the number of pupils coming from state education has increased since – from around half to more than 60%.

A target figure of just below 70% remains although the reintroduction of entrance exams may make it unlikely.

Professor Sahakian added that pupils from state schools often found it difficult to gain places as they lack the same level of confidence as demonstrated by others coming from private educated backgrounds.

The proposed test would see each applicant have 45 minutes to produce a written essay before then facing ‘language aptitude’ and ‘thinking skills’ tests.

Year 13 pupils could potentially take the test in November so that there would be plenty of time for them to consider other institutions should they be unsuccessful.

A spokesman for the university revealed that options are still being considered and that a decision on entrance exams is yet to be made.

A lot of pupils are also taking other exams in a bid to stand out from the crowd when applying for university.

Figures from August reveal a 7% jump in private school pupils taking the International Baccalaureate, a 10% rise in those taking the Pre-U and a 31% increase in people taking BTEC vocational qualifications.

Grad Plus has a range of graduate schemes and other jobs for those just leaving university or for those approaching the end of their studies 

news archives...

Email this page to a friend Facebook Twitter DZone It! Digg It! StumbleUpon Technorati Del.icio.us NewsVine Reddit Blinklist Add diigo bookmark