Become a test centre
Test-takers sit our admissions tests at approved Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing centres. If you are an Exams Officer and wish to become an approved centre, please read the information below.
What does it mean to be an Admissions Testing centre?
- register test-takers for our tests* within the booking window
- collect registration fees from test-takers (please see the Fees section below)
- run our tests at your venue on the scheduled dates and at the scheduled times under secure examination conditions
- provide experienced and trained invigilators to oversee the secure administration of the tests
- receive, store and return test materials in a timely and secure fashion.
* This information refers to all of our tests which are booked via centres. Currently, this covers:June:
- Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP)
- The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) - November session only
- University of Cambridge pre-interview assessments
- University of Oxford admissions tests
- Test of Mathematics for University Admission.
Are the tests paper-based or computer-based?
What type of centres are there?
Open Centre: Your contact details will appear on our Find a centre page and test-takers will be able to contact you directly about registering to take a test at your centre. As a public facing exam centre, excellent customer service and the ability to handle large numbers of candidates at one time is crucial.
Internal Centre: Your contact details will not appear on our website and you will only administer tests for your own students.
For existing Cambridge Assessment centres, please be aware that this status only applies for Admissions Testing.
Candidate registration fees
There are currently no fees for becoming a centre, but there are candidate registration fees for some of our tests. Currently the tests with registration fees are STEP in June, BMAT and the Test of Mathematics for University Admission. As a centre, it is your responsibility to collect these fees from the test-takers. We will then invoice you at the end of the booking window. Please see the test-specific sections of our website for the latest fees.
We do not pay centres to run these tests. You may charge test-takers a reasonable administration fee to operate. Accessibility to our tests is important.
How do I apply to become an Admissions Testing centre?
Application deadline – November test session: You can apply to become a centre at any time; but the final deadline to apply to become a test centre is usually in the last week of September. To ensure your application can be processed in time before the test registration deadline, we advise applying as soon as possible if you think you might have a test-taker for our admissions tests.
Centres outside of the United Kingdom: Please note, any applications from outside the United Kingdom will likely be rejected if there is an existing open centre in country. Please visit our Find a Centre webpage to find your nearest authorised centre.
What is the application process?
After submitting the form, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application. We will then contact you as soon as possible to inform you of the outcome of your application. We may need to conduct a remote inspection of your premises. If this is the case, we will inform you by email. Please note, the length of time it takes for your application to be processed depends on a range of factors and we cannot specify how long the approval process may take.
Requirements for applicant centres
Please find below the requirements for being authorised as a Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing centre. If you are applying to be an 'open centre' that accepts external/private candidates, please also read the additional information below. You should not offer any preparation courses for our tests.
All Test Centres
- All question papers and test materials must remain unopened and be locked away in a highly secure place (ideally a safe).
- If a safe is not available or is of insufficient capacity, a non-portable, lockable, reinforced metal cabinet, or similar robust container must be used.
- The safe or container must be in a securely locked room, with access ideally restricted to only two or three key holders.
Suitable facilities for administering admissions tests
Please ensure you have considered the following before the date of the test:
- Ensure suitable room temperature, ventilation and lighting.
- Make sure outside noise will not disturb candidates during the test.
- Ensure each candidate has a desk or table big enough to hold question papers and/or answer sheets/booklets side by side (two A4 sheets; 42cm x 30cm).
- You must have rooms large enough to hold candidates with a minimum distance of 1.25m (from the centre of one candidate’s working area to the centre of the other candidates’ working areas in all directions).
- Candidates can share desks but they must still be at least 1.25m apart so that their work cannot be seen by other candidates and they cannot communicate or cheat in any way.
- Candidates must all face the same direction and must not sit with their backs to the invigilator.
- Space for the Invigilator to carry out their duties at the front of the test room. An invigilator must stay inside the room throughout the test session - candidates must never be left unsupervised.
- You must designate an area where candidates can leave their belongings during the test (either inside or outside the test room). If storing belongings inside the test room, they must not be in the reach of candidates.
- If you have any candidates who have special access needs you must ensure that they can access the test room.
You will need the following for the test:
- a clock
- a whiteboard/flipchart scissors to open question paper envelopes
- spare black pens and HB pencils
Computer-based tests **This will be updated for November 2021**
Some of our tests in Novemebr 2020 were delivered computer-based (see list below.) Technical specifications for November 2021 will be announced later in the year, however the below gives applicant centres an overview of potential requirements.
2020 Computer-based tests:
BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT)
Cambridge Test of Mathematics for University Admission (CTMUA)
Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA)
Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA)
Thinking Skills Assessment Section 1 (TSA S1)
All computers (PC/Mac/Laptop) needed to have an integrated webcam or a USB webcam. Candidates also needed a microphone.
Network Speed: required a minimum upload bandwidth speed of 512 kbps.
The platform did not support mobile devices (eg. phones / smartphones / iPads / tablets) or Chromebooks.
Full technical requirements were made available to approved centres via the Support Site.
Please ensure you adhere to the following when arranging invigilation staff for the test:
- There must be at least one suitably qualified and experienced invigilator for each group of up to 25 candidates.
- Invigilators must be given and have read the current version of the test-specific instructions booklet before the date of the test - a copy of these instructions will be sent to you prior to the test date and available online from the entry window opening. You must ensure that invigilators are familiar with the form, conduct and timing of the test.
- Invigilators must be adults experienced in the administration of the tests. They must not be current students at the centre and must not be related to any candidates taking the test.
- Invigilators can be a candidate’s teacher but must not have taught them the subject being tested, if the test is subject specific. For example, a candidate’s history teacher must not invigilate their HAT test, but their physics teacher can.
- The invigilators must be familiar with the detail of any access arrangements made for individual candidates and ensure that those candidates are appropriately accommodated.
- Ensure the security of the test materials before, during and after the test(s).
- Prevent possible candidate malpractice.
- Prevent possible administrative failures.
- Ensure all candidates have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.
Registration of candidates
You must register candidates within the registration window as late entries cannot be accepted. After submitting an entry you must provide the candidate with his/her entry number (this will be a letter followed by 5 digits e.g. B12345) as confirmation that the entry has been made.
Please ensure you are familiar with the registration deadline for each test session.
Local start times & timetable variations
Running Our Tests
Running multiple tests at once
Test room layout
All test rooms should meet the following criteria:
- Suitable room temperature, ventilation, and lighting. Consideration needs to be given to the position of desks close to any large windows where sunlight could cause reflection issues.
- Outside noise will not disturb candidates during the test. No fire alarm drill is scheduled during any of the tests.
- A designated area where candidates can leave their belongings during the test (either inside or outside the test room). If storing belongings inside the test room, they must not be in the reach of candidates.
- If you have any candidates who have special access needs, you must ensure that they can access the test room.
- To assist invigilators, and to reduce disturbances, we strongly recommend that candidates are grouped by test.
Paper-based and computer-based test rooms must meet the following additional criteria:
Return of candidate scripts
Open Centre Applications - Additional Information
- Your centre must have the ability to handle contact from multiple candidates during the registration period. All entries MUST be made before the entry deadline closes.
- Your centre must be easily contactable e.g. the advertised email/phone number is frequently monitored by staff.
- External candidates should be sent clear information and instructions prior to the test date - e.g. directions to the centre, a reminder to bring a valid form of ID, what to expect on the test day etc.
- If your centre reaches maximum capacity then you must refer any additional candidates who you cannot accommodate back to the Find a Centre website or the Admissions Testing Helpdesk immediately.