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Millie's Overview of the Cambridge Assessment

Millie's Overview of the Cambridge Assessment

Article written and edited by Jason Liu and Aryav Bothra.

The Cambridge Assessment offers international admissions exams that test students on various disciplines of study.

That being said, it can be a bit confusing, meaning that it’s important for you to understand when to take each part of the test!

What is the Cambridge Assessment?

The Cambridge Assessment is an educational organization that offers admissions tests that assess students’ understanding of topics ranging from biomedical science to critical thinking skills. The test emphasizes allowing students to demonstrate their potential for success in an equitable manner. The test is used by various universities in the UK, Southeast Asia, Europe, among other regions.

“The Cambridge Assessment is essentially like the UK’s version of Collegeboard since it offers a similar set of tests.”

It’s important to understand that the Cambridge Assessment’s Admissions Testing is not the same as the IGCSE or A-Levels exam board in that it’s not a graduation requirement. In fact, if you’re familiar with the United States’ testing process, the Cambridge Assessment offers a similar set of tests to the Collegeboard’s suite of SAT Subject Tests.

What Admissions Tests are Offered?

The Cambridge Assessment offers a variety of admissions tests and, frankly, it might be difficult to keep all of them straight. Which exams you actually end up taking and when depends largely on which schools you are wanting to apply to and the major you’re thinking of pursuing.

Here is a list of some of the tests:

  • STEP - Sixth-Term Examination Paper (Math)
  • BMAT - BioMedical Admissions Test
  • TSA - Thinking Skills Assessment
  • TMUA - Test of Mathematics for University Admission
  • Oxford Pre-Interview Assessments
  • Cambridge Pre-Interview Assessments

“The test emphasizes allowing students to demonstrate their potential for success in an equitable manner.”

What is the Assessment Timeline?

The process of signing up for a test is relatively easy compared to deciding and deciphering which tests to take. To register, simply visit the Cambridge Assessment’s test center list or check with your school as certain institutions offer on-campus test centers dedicated to their own students.

The registration process typically begins 2 months before the test and continues until ½ a month prior with late registration. During that time frame, students with learning disabilities or those that need testing accommodations are able to file for that. About 1 month after testing, you’ll be able to see your results for select exams that aren’t, for example, Pre-Interview Assessments. About 15 days after that, you can appeal or inquire about your score if you feel that you have been unfairly graded.

How Has COVID-19 Impacted This?

“Despite cancellations due to the pandemic, universities still require admissions tests from the Cambridge Assessment.”

Despite test cancellations in 2020, most universities that require the Cambridge Assessment’s Admissions Tests have kept that requirement, although exceptions may apply. As such, it’s important to keep an eye on test dates and cancellations, making sure to stay on top of your test preparations due to the importance of these exams.


Would like to learn more about the UK and different high school curricula around the world? Watch our Millie’s Guide webinar on the Cambridge Assessment and Millie’s Guide blog article on differences between AP, IB, and A-Levels.

Stay tuned for forthcoming articles on the Cambridge Assessment that will detail the specifics of each admissions test!