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Application forms

Applications to St John's College are usually made through UCAS, and there is other information that should be submitted alongside this. The information below will guide you through how to make a timely, valid application. More information is also available on the 'Further information for applicants' page, which details the various types of applicant you could be.

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COPA (Cambridge Online Preliminary Application) »

The Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA) is a required part of the application process for applicants from outside the European Union, or for anyone wishing to be considered for an Organ Scholarship. The COPA allows us to collect information that is not part of your UCAS application, and to make arrangements for overseas interviews and the Organ Trials. The COPA should be completed in addition to a UCAS application, and your application will not be valid unless both are received by the relevant deadline.

Details of deadlines and further information about the COPA can be found on the Cambridge University website.

ECF (Extenuating Circumstances Form) »

The University of Cambridge wishes to admit the best students whatever their background. The Extenuating Circumstances Form is a University-wide initiative designed to ensure that all Colleges have the information they require in order to accurately assess applicants who have experienced particular personal or educational disadvantage.

Personal statements »

Your UCAS personal statement is your opportunity to impart specific information about yourself and that you feel it is important that we know.  This could be detailed reasons why you wish to study your chosen course at Cambridge, what motivated your interest in this subject, your hobbies and interests outside school, or your future aspirations, to name but a few.

It is important to remember that the person conducting the general interview at St John's will not be a Teaching Fellow in the subject you have applied for, and may therefore rely heavily on your personal statement in order to engage you in discussion of subjects about which you feel comfortable talking at length and in some depth.  Therefore, if you have just watched your brother abseiling once or twice, you don’t want to list it as one of your hobbies!  Equally, it is not a good idea to list as “favourites” books that you have every intention of reading, or quote as a favourite author someone who has published 20 books, but you’ve only managed to read one so far!

In general, we find that the majority of personal statements are made up of two-thirds information of a more academic nature, and one-third information about extra-curricular interests.  However, that being said, the whole idea of a personal statement is that it is personal to you… it is your statement and your chance to communicate to us the things about you that you would like us to know.

SAQ (Supplementary Application Questionnaire) »

Cambridge University requires all applicants to complete and submit an SAQ (Supplementary Application Questionnaire) shortly after submitting their UCAS form. Be sure to submit this by the deadline as your application will only be complete if both your UCAS application and SAQ are submitted on time.

The SAQ was developed to ensure that we have complete and consistent information about all applicants. It also enables us to collect information that is not part of the UCAS application but is helpful when assessing applications. The SAQ will ask for details such as UMS marks obtained on AS and A2 units (if applicable), information about topics already covered as part of your AS/A level (or equivalent) courses (which helps our interviewers decide which questions to ask), and registration numbers for admissions tests (if applicable).

Cambridge is not alone in asking applicants to complete supplementary questionnaires. A number of other leading universities have developed similar questionnaires.

Please remember that your application to St John's College is only valid once you have successfully submitted your SAQ by the specified deadline.

Further information about the SAQ (including deadline information) can be found on the University Website.


University information about the SAQ
UCAS form »

Applications to UCAS are made online using 'Apply', the web-based application package. In order to apply to Cambridge for 2017 entry (or deferred entry in 2018) you must submit a UCAS application by 15 October 2016, a SAQ by 22 October and a COPA (if appropriate) by 22 October. Please note the deadline may be earlier for applicants who wish to be interviewed overseas.

To go to UCAS Apply please click here.

To check deadlines for applications for overseas interviews please click here.