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In order to apply to St John's College you should meet certain requirements, both academic and linguistic. These are to ensure that our students get the most out of studying at the University of Cambridge.


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English language requirements »

It is essential that your English language skills are good enough for you to undertake an intensive and challenging academic course that is taught and examined in English. Therefore, if your first language is not English, if you are invited to interview, your interviewer will be assessing your English language skills as well as your academic ability. You may be asked to achieve one of the following formal qualifications as part of the conditions of your offer:

  • IELTS Academic* – normally a minimum overall grade of 7.5, usually with 7.0 or above in each element, achieved in one sitting.
  • EU students - a high grade in English taken as part of a leaving examination (eg the European/French Baccalaureate, Abitur etc) may be acceptable
  • GCSE in English Language / IGCSE English Language (as a first language) - grade C or above
  • Cambridge English: Advanced – grade A or B.
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency – grade A, B or C.
  • Singapore Integrated Programme (SIP) – may be considered an acceptable English language qualification.

The University Language Centre runs an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programme for students who aren't native English speakers. Designed to help improve English language and academic skills relevant to your course through workshops and individual supervisions, attendance on the programme may be included as a condition of entry to the University.

A good standard in spoken and written English is also expected at the time of interview and, to be competitive, overseas applicants should be able to comfortably achieve the minimum English Language requirements listed above at the time of interview.

* For some visa types, UK Visas & Immigration require a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as IELTS for UKVI (Academic). However, Cambridge, with its Trusted Sponsor status, is able to accept other English Language qualifications it deems suitable when sponsoring Tier 4 Student visas so a SELT is not necessary and the standard IELTS Academic test is acceptable.


Minimum offer levels »

Generally speaking our minimum conditional offer is A*AA at A2 (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking) for Arts subjects and A*A*A at A2 for Sciences. 

There are no hard and fast rules as such, but, as a general guide, for an applicant sitting four or more A levels (excluding General Studies) we would normally expect them to achieve at least an A grade in all those A levels to meet their offer.  However, this does not imply that we expect all applicants to be taking 4 or more A levels and applicants are also encouraged to ask about offer levels in relation to individual circumstances. 

We do, of course, receive many applications from people taking qualifications other than A Levels, whether Pre-Us, IB, French Bacc, Irish Leaving Certificate, Advanced Highers, Abitur, Erettsegi or examinations in other European or International systems.  We are happy to discuss the level at which we are likely to set an offer on an individual basis, depending upon your subject interests. The University website details information for comparable examination requirements.

It is vitally important that applicants refer to Tripos information for specific subject requirements at A Level.


Cambridge University Entrance and Course Requirements