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The ENGAA, Engineering Admissions Assessment, is a test taken solely by applicants for Engineering at Cambridge. It is a two-hour paper sat in mid-October, and it is used to decide whether or not you will be invited to interview. 

The ENGAA is broken down into two sections:

Section 1

This is a multiple choice section, for which you are given 60 minutes. It is split into two parts: Part 1: Mathematics and Physics, and Part 2: Advanced Mathematics and Advanced Physics.

The questions in the Advanced section are not necessarily that much more difficult than those in Part 1, but they generally tend to focus more on the material covered in the later part of the A-Level syllabus. Each Part is 20 questions, making Section 1 40 questions overall, and all the questions are of equal weight. 

“As the ENGAA is positively marked, there is no harm in guessing. Each question in Section 1 is equally weighted: you get 1 mark if your answer is correct, and no marks if it is not. You do not lose marks for incorrect answers.”


Section 2

Section 2, titled Advanced Physics, is still multiple choice, but the questions are generally more involved. You will have 60 minutes, and the section is made of 20 questions. As you have twice as long per question as for Section 1, you can expect to have to take more steps to get to your answer, and educated guessing is less likely to work. 

The ENGAA uses content from the A-Level Maths and Physics courses, but does not include any Further Maths content. 

Topics covered in Section 1, Part 1

Maths: This will cover lots of the content from the first year of the A-Level course. It focuses on: numbers, algebra, geometry, measures, statistics and probability.

Physics: The physics content is similarly grounded in the first-year A-Level course. It covers: electricity, motion and energy, thermal physics, waves, the electromagnetic spectrum, and radioactivity. 

Topics covered in Section 1, Part 2

Maths: The content in the second part comes from later on in the A-Level course. You will be tested on: algebra and functions, sequences and series, coordinate geometry, trigonometry, exponentials and logarithms, differentiation, integration and graphs of functions. 

Physics: The same applies to the Physics content, where the subjects tested are forces and equilibrium, kinematics, Newton’s Laws, momentum and energy. 

Topics covered in Section 2

For Section 2, you can be tested on anything that appeared in Section 1, as well as some more involved concepts from the A-Level syllabus. These are: vectors and scalars, mechanics, mechanical properties of matter, electric circuits, waves and quantum and nuclear physics. 

Conclusion

For more information, download our free guidebook for the ENGAA, where you can find a detailed breakdown of the exact syllabus. As you cannot guess in Section 2, it is crucial that you are familiar with all the content, or you may get caught short. There is no way to avoid certain questions; you are expected to answer them all. 

If you’re getting ready to sit the test, take a look at our guide to preparing for the ENGAA, and our guide to sitting the ENGAA, and maximising your time in the exam room.

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