This article is to provide background information on the relationship between Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing and UCAS.
What is UCAS?
UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is the centralised service that students in the UK use to apply to university. Everyone who wants to study in a UK university has to submit an application through UCAS.
What is the relationship between UCAS and Admissions Testing?
Some courses and universities require candidates to take an admissions test as part of the application process. Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing administer undergraduate admissions tests on behalf of some of the UK's leading universities.
We work closely with UCAS in passing on the results of the test or assessment a candidate has taken.
Please note: Whilst we at Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing work with certain admissions departments and UCAS, we are separate organisations. For specific queries about UCAS applications, please contact UCAS.
Other useful information
What is a UCAS ID?
When an applicant registers with UCAS for the first time, they are assigned a UCAS ID. This acts as a unique reference, to help UK universities easily locate and match aspects of the applicant's university application, including any admissions tests required.
What are the timeframes of application and starting a course?
Candidates usually need to submit their UCAS application by mid October the year before they want to start a course
For example, a candidate who wants to start their course in the autumn of 2020 needs to submit their application by 15 October 2019.
For this reason, the UK universities that use our admissions tests usually require them to take place between the UCAS deadline (mid-October), and the date that invitations for interview are sent (usually mid-late November).
Can candidates apply to both Cambridge and Oxford?
There are exceptions though – if you'll be a graduate at the start of the course, and you're applying for graduate medicine (course code A101) at the University of Cambridge, you could then also apply to medicine (course code A100) at Cambridge, as well as graduate medicine (course code A101) at the University of Oxford.
Can candidates take October session admissions tests without a UCAS application?
Although there is nothing stopping candidates from taking an Admissions Test prior to submitting a UCAS application, we would not encourage students to take the test in the years before it is needed, without checking with their intended university choices.
This is because the universities may not take a previous year's result into consideration.
Please note, if a candidate takes an Admissions Test before submitting a UCAS application, they will be responsible for providing the result to the relevant university, as we will be unable to do this on their behalf without an existing UCAS application.
Note that this is different to the scenario described below, where a candidate registers for an Admissions Test without a UCAS application, but then applies with UCAS and takes the test - see more below.
Can candidates be registered for the test prior to submitting their UCAS application?
It is possible for candidates to be registered for an admissions test (October session or STEP) prior to submitting their UCAS application.
Exams Officers can make entries for admissions tests without the candidate's UCAS ID number. The UCAS ID can be added to the entry at a later date, prior to the registration deadline.
If the UCAS ID number is not added, Admissions Testing should still be able to match the candidate's details with the UCAS entry data files and entry files provided by the universities.
Note that this scenario describes a candidate is applying to university that year, but who does not yet have the UCAS ID ready (or has not given it to the Exams Officer). For candidates who are not applying to university at all, see the section above.