Cambridge University Reintroduces Entrance Exam, Sample Paper Revealed


Cambridge University has reintroduced its entrance exam. This comes after it received criticisms for seemingly putting more barriers for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Telegraph reported that the prestigious institution resurrected the written entrance exam for applicants after thirty years. This is because, although several applicants receive As or A*s at A-level, fewer take AS-levels, which the university believes to be a better indicator of academic potential.

Previously, the test was dropped, caused by accusations that it discriminated against state school pupils. Students from this demographic usually are not able to get additional aid such as tutors compared to students from private schools.

In a report by The Guardian last February, it was revealed that former Labor minister Alan Milburn criticized Cambridge University's entrance exam for raising more barriers to equal access with its requirements. Milburn is also the chairperson for the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (SMCPC).

"The prime minister has made clear that equality of opportunity is at the top of his priorities, and that universities are in his sights," he said. "Clearly, the government needs to redouble efforts to work with schools and universities to ensure that no bright youngsters fail for lack of coaching."

Nonetheless, Cambridge University is bringing back its entrance exam. A sample paper has revealed the type of questions that prospective students will be expected to answer.

Some questions are based on recent events and issues such as discussing whether "the recent European migrant crisis has challenged or reinforced racism" or "must all revolutions necessarily fail?" The entrance exam will have math puzzles that will need to be solved as well as writing an essay on author George Orwell's insight that "there are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them."

The Cambridge University entrance exam is developed for different degrees. It also combines essay topics with multiple choice questions.

Students will be asked to take the tests from October to November this year, a year before taking their A-levels, while they are still at school. Those who pass will be invited for an interview.

Check out the sample paper from the Daily Mail.

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