Cam to bring back entrance exam

Could Cambridge be set to bring back another hurdle for applicants to overcome?

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Cambridge University has announced plans to bring back a university-wide admissions test in response to Michael Gove’s recent AS level reforms.

The exam would be taken by all candidates in a similar system to the old fashioned admissions method which was phased out.

The loss of AS-levels as a barometer of pupils’ achievement has led to tutors fearing that they are unable to accurately judge the talent and ability of applicants.

Dr. Sewell, Directors of Cambridge Admissions, has said: “We are already discussing ways forward.”

However, he recognises concerns that an admissions test would deter applicants: “What we are concerned about is that any of the alternatives run the risk of putting good students off, doing the opposite to what AS levels do, which is encourage people who secure good grades half way through their A-levels to apply.”

“It would have to be a very different examination to the one that was dropped in the 1980s. Just what form it would take and when it was taken, would have to be carefully though through. If this has to be in place by 2016, we are not being left a lot of time to think through, talk to schools, develop something that is rigorous and talk to awarding bodies that might be involved in setting and marking. One option, rather than a pre-screening test, is something along the lines of the Step which would still be an extra hurdle that we are asking students to surmount.”

Will Thong, a first year lawyer, rather snarkily said: “Oh I’m so glad. My last year of school really wasn’t stressful enough.”