Typical offers and requirements

British System

A Level: A*A*A

Required by all Colleges: A Level Mathematics

  • You should choose a combination of AS and/or A Level subjects which gives a good preparation for your selected course at university.
  • The typical conditional A Level offer will be A*AA or A*A*A, depending on the course. In countries where an A* grade at A Level is not available, three A grades would be acceptable.
  • We usually expect that students taking A Levels in science subjects will complete and pass the practical assessment.
  • Critical Thinking isn't considered an acceptable third A Level subject for any course at Cambridge. While it's regarded as a worthwhile addition to your portfolio of qualifications as a fourth AS or A Level subject, it's unlikely to be part of a conditional offer.
  • Key Skills and General Studies aren't required or included in academic assessment.


There are no GCSE (or equivalent) requirements for entry to Cambridge. GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, but within the context of the performance of the school/college where they were achieved.

Applicants have generally achieved high grades in subjects relevant to their chosen course, and most students who apply have at least four or five 7/8/9s at GCSE (an A is considered equivalent to 7 and an A* is considered equivalent to 8/9).

International Baccalaureate

Point: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Required by all Colleges: IB Higher Level Mathematics

  • Typical offers usually require scores between 40 and 42 points out of 45, with 776 in Higher Level subjects.
  • Applicants may be required to achieve 7 in a particular subject(s), depending on individual circumstances.
  • For any course where Mathematics is a requirement, IB applicants are expected to take IB Higher Level 'Analysis and Approaches'.

English Language Requirement

Applicants must meet one of the following minimum English language requirements:

  • IELTS Academic – normally a minimum overall grade of 7.5, usually with 7.0 or above in each element
  • TOEFL Internet Based Test (IBT) – normally a minimum overall score of 110, with 25 or above in each element
  • Cambridge English: C2 Proficiency – accepted with a minimum overall score of 200, with no element lower than 185.
  • Cambridge English: C1 Advanced – accepted with a minimum overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185, plus an assessment by the Language Centre.
  • Singapore Integrated Programme (SIP) – may be considered an acceptable English language qualification

Personal statement

Personal statements give you the chance to tell us about your subject interest(s), and the process of writing a personal statement can often help you to better understand your academic interests and intellectual motivations.

Therefore, in your personal statement, we’d like you to:

  • explain your reasons for wanting to study the subject at university
  • demonstrate enthusiasm for and commitment to your chosen course
  • express any particular interests within the field
  • outline how you’ve pursued your subject interest in your own time

School/College Reference

We expect that it will normally be provided by a teacher or tutor in your school/college who can speak authoritatively about your academic profile and suitability for admission to university.

Pre-Interview Written Assessment

Applicants for Economics are required to take a pre-interview written assessmentThe format for the assessment will be as follows:

  • Section 1: Multiple choice questions in mathematics (60 minutes)

Approximately 20 Mathematics and 20 advanced Mathematics questions. 

  • Section 2: Essay (60 minutes)

Extended essay

College-Set Written Assessment

In addition to the pre-interview assessment, applicants to the following Colleges are required to take a College-set written assessment at interview

Specimen and Past Papers

A specimen paper has been produced to allow you to sample the written assessment format and practice under timed conditions. Written assessments help admissions tutors to assess whether candidates have the skills, aptitudes and any required subject knowledge and understanding required to study the relevant course at Cambridge. They are only one of the elements used in the admissions process.

Submitted work

Applicants to some Colleges are required to submit one or two school/college essays as examples of written work prior to interview.