The following FAQs were published by Cambridge University on 22nd September 2020. For all the latest updates, please visit the university's COVID-19 page.
I’m currently studying at another UK university – will Cambridge consider my application?
As we announced earlier in the year, if a student held an offer for Cambridge for 2020 entry but didn’t meet the conditions of the offer in the summer, if they sit examinations this autumn and gain the results required to meet the terms of their original offer they will be admitted to Cambridge for entry in 2021. If this applies to you and you are also currently studying at another UK Higher Education Institution in 2020-21, the College that made you an offer will re-issue an offer for 2021 entry if you apply again via UCAS, but will liaise with you to ensure that you are aware of any student finance implications. It is very important that applicants in this position apply via UCAS for 2021 entry and add Cambridge as one of their choices.
If you didn’t apply to Cambridge in the last UCAS admissions cycle, or you did apply but did not receive an offer, you will be starting the application process afresh. Your application would be considered as part of the new admissions cycle, in line with our usual admissions process. Cambridge Colleges will only, as a general rule and as a matter of principle, consider applications from students enrolled in a degree course at other UK universities in very exceptional circumstances. Any application to study at Cambridge would usually need strong support from your Course Director or other academic tutor at your current university. All such applications are subject to the same academic assessment as any other application to the University. Students wishing to apply while enrolled at another UK university are advised to contact College Admissions Offices directly to check whether their application would be considered by that College and what evidence would be required to support it.
Please see this page for further details on applying to the University as an affiliate student.
I received a centre assessed grade in summer 2020, but I am planning to sit my exams in summer 2021 – will Cambridge consider my summer 2021 examination results as a first sitting or a resit?
We will consider the first exams taken after the receipt of your centre assessed grade as a first sitting. We will accept whichever result is higher, either your centre assessed grade or your exam result. Any subsequent exams taken after that point will be considered as resits.
I held an offer for 2020 but didn’t meet the offer conditions through centre assessed grades. I’m planning to sit two exams in the autumn and one exam next summer – will Cambridge accept this?
We would strongly recommend that you take all of your exams in the autumn sitting, if you have the opportunity to do so.
We would usually expect strong candidates to take all of their exams during one examination period. Cambridge courses are academically rigorous and taking all of your exams in the autumn will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to manage your workload and achieve high grades.
For those who cannot take their exams in the autumn, Colleges will review this on an individual basis. You should contact your College for further guidance.
Will Colleges accept applications for 2021 entry from those already holding a deferred offer at UCAS?
For the 2021 cycle only, UCAS will be allowing applicants to apply again even if they are holding a deferred place from the 2020 cycle. Previously, applicants would have been required to withdraw their live application submitted in the previous cycle before a new application could be processed.
In February 2021, UCAS will contact any applicants who have a deferred place from the 2020 cycle as well as a new 2021 entry application, and ask them to decide which they wish to continue with. UCAS will then completely withdraw the application they no longer want.
Will there be a shortage of places for 2021 entry due to those deferring from 2020?
Colleges were able to admit all students who met the conditions of their offer for 2020 entry and therefore no students were compelled to defer. The number of places available in 2021 has therefore not been impacted by the 2020 admissions round.
I was due to sit my APs/SATs in the US, but they have been cancelled – how will this affect my application?
If your AP/SAT exams are cancelled, you can sit your exams in the coming year as you don’t need to have taken them all before submitting your application to Cambridge.
What are the benefits of applying for an overseas interview?
Applicants who apply for an overseas interview will be interviewed (if selected) by the Overseas Interview Team. This team will be able to accommodate local time zones, and any potential clashes with final year exams. Please note, those applying for an overseas interview may have an earlier deadline for the UCAS application, the COPA and SAQ. Please carefully check this page for details of our deadlines.
For those applying for the standard deadline (15 October) and not selecting an Overseas interview, typically Colleges will be interviewing between 9am-5pm (UK time), which could result in undesirable timing for you. Colleges are unlikely to be able to accommodate individual requests to change interview schedules.
I am unable to take my SAT/ACT test in China – how will this affect my application?
We understand that it may not be possible to take SAT/ACT tests in China before applying to Cambridge. Colleges will still be able to assess all other aspects of your application, including the information provided on high school transcripts and within teacher references.
If you have any further queries about applying to Clare, please contact us at and we will be happy to help.