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Guide for
Indian Students
Applying to
Cambridge University


Are you aspiring to study at Cambridge University? This guide is your essential tool to turn that aspiration into reality. Cambridge University's esteemed reputation for academic prowess draws students globally, including from India.


Specifically crafted for Indian students, our detailed guide offers invaluable advice and actionable strategies to navigate the admissions procedure. Whether it's delving into Cambridge's storied past and distinguished faculty or excelling in entrance exams and interviews, we've got everything you need. Prepare to open the doors to Cambridge University and embark on an exceptional academic adventure.

Admission Requirements and Process

Eligibility Criteria for Indian Students

In order to gain admission to Cambridge University, Indian students need to fulfill particular academic criteria. This generally entails obtaining a recognized secondary education credential, such as the Indian School Certificate (ISC) or Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), with outstanding grades.


Class XII

  • Relying solely on Class XII school leaving qualifications is not considered sufficient preparation for a competitive application to the University of Cambridge.

  • To ensure the competitiveness of applications from students pursuing Class XII school leaving qualifications from any examination board, additional qualifications are required. The specifics regarding the typical qualifications and levels expected, alongside a high level of performance in Class XII, are detailed below:

  • College Board Advanced Placement Tests: Offers for all Cambridge courses (with the exception of Mathematics, as noted under STEP below) may be conditional on achieving grades of 5 in five or more AP Tests.

  • IIT-JEE (Advanced): Offers for Chemical Engineering, Engineering, and Natural Sciences (Physical) may be conditional on attaining a rank of <2000 in the IIT JEE (Advanced).

  • STEP: Offers for Mathematics will be contingent on performance in the Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP). STEP may also be required for offers in other subjects like Computer Science, Engineering, and Economics, where attainment equivalent to A Level Mathematics and/or Further Mathematics cannot be demonstrated by other means. It's important to note that all Mathematics offers will carry a STEP condition, including for applicants taking AP Tests or the IIT JEE. 

  • Applicants currently enrolled in Class XII are expected to be on track to achieve high grades in relevant subjects for the applied course. The required grades vary depending on the examination board, and examples of typical requirements from certain boards are provided below:

  • CISCE and NIOS: Applicants should aim for scores of 90% or higher in five or more relevant subjects.

  • CBSE: Applicants should achieve five or more A1 grades in relevant subjects.

  • State Boards: Consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis, but applicants typically need scores of 95% or equivalent in five or more relevant subjects.


University Minimum Requirement

A bachelor's degree in professional disciplines must be obtained from a recognized institution by Ecctis. The specified study durations are as follows:

  • 3 years: Business Administration, Business Management, Business Studies, Computer Applications, Statistics, Fine Arts, Laws^ (only if it is a 3-year postgraduate degree).

  • 4 years: Engineering, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Planning, Science in Agriculture, Science in Nursing/Nursing, Technology.

  • 5 years: Architecture, Laws^ (5-year first or integrated), Ayurvedic/Homoeopathic/Siddha/Unani Medicine and Surgery, with an overall grade of 70% or CGPA 7.3/10.

Alternatively, a bachelor's degree in Arts/Science/Commerce (3-4 years) from a well-ranked institution with an overall grade of 70% or CGPA 7.3/10, or a Bachelor (Hons) degree from Ashoka University with an overall grade of 3.7/4, is also acceptable.

Entrance Exams and Tests

Students Taking Exams

Achieving dreams at one of the world's esteemed educational institutions demands dedication and unwavering hard work from students.

At times, Indian students might be required to undergo standardized assessments like the SAT or ACT for undergraduate programs, or the GRE or GMAT for postgraduate programs. Moreover, certain courses may mandate subject-specific examinations such as the BMAT or the Cambridge Law Test. Identifying the requisite exams and preparing accordingly is of paramount importance.

English language proficiency


English language proficiency is a vital requirement for students aspiring to study at Cambridge University, especially if they are not from a majority English-speaking country as defined by the UK Home Office. Here's what you need to know:

  •  Requirement Scope: Your English skills must enable you to participate in academic interviews and engage in coursework taught and assessed in English.

  • English Language Conditions: Offers from Cambridge may include an English language condition, which could be tied to visa requirements or specific concerns raised during your application process.

  • Assessment Criteria: You will be evaluated based on your qualifications, written assessments or pre-submitted work, interview performance, and educational background.

  • Condition Determination: The Cambridge College offering you admission will determine the specific condition, which may be based on your high school qualification grades or an approved English language test.

  • Expected Proficiency: A good C1 standard within the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) is typically expected in all four competencies by the time you commence your studies at Cambridge.


Minimum Requirements:

  1. IELTS Academic (minimum overall grade of 7.5, with 7.0 or above in each element),

  2. TOEFL Internet Based Test (IBT) (minimum overall score of 110, with 25 or above in each element),

  3. Cambridge English: C2 Proficiency (minimum overall score of 200, with no element lower than 185), and Cambridge English: C1 Advanced (minimum overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185), alongside other evidence of English competence.

Application Process


"Unlocking dreams, one student at a time: With Shivi Study Abroad, countless aspirations have found wings to soar into the halls of Cambridge and beyond."

The Cambridge University application process comprises multiple stages. Initially, Indian students are required to complete the online application form, furnishing personal information, academic background, and course preferences. Additionally, applicants must submit supporting documents like academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. It's crucial to be mindful of varying application deadlines, contingent upon the chosen course and academic level.

Although navigating the admission procedure can be daunting, meticulous preparation and attention to detail are indispensable. Familiarize yourself with the specific prerequisites for your desired course, dedicate ample time to exam readiness, and ensure the submission of a meticulously crafted application to enhance your prospects of securing admission to Cambridge University.

Scholarships and Financial Aid


"Fostering dreams, scholarship by scholarship: With Shivi Study Abroad, countless aspirations take flight, propelling students into the realms of Cambridge and beyond."

Cambridge University provides a range of scholarships specifically tailored for Indian students. These scholarships are designed to assist exceptional students and ease the financial challenges associated with pursuing studies at Cambridge.

Some notable scholarships include the Cambridge Trust Scholarship, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). Each scholarship has its own eligibility criteria and application process, so it’s crucial to research and apply accordingly.

To be considered for scholarships, Indian students typically must complete a separate application in addition to their primary university application. This application often entails providing details about academic accomplishments, extracurricular engagements, and personal statements. It's crucial to thoroughly review the scholarship criteria and adhere to the application deadlines.

Alternative Financial Support

Apart from scholarships, Indian students have access to various other financial aid opportunities. These options encompass grants, bursaries, and student loans. Exploring governmental and non-governmental funding avenues, such as Indian government scholarships, private organizations, or student loan providers, can uncover additional financial assistance.


Through diligent research, scholarship applications, and exploration of alternative financial aid avenues, Indian students can make their Cambridge University education more financially feasible. Remember to plan meticulously, review requirements carefully, and submit applications punctually to enhance the likelihood of securing financial support.

Interview Tips and Preparation

Fountain Pen

Explore your preferred Cambridge College!

Discover more about the Cambridge colleges with our comprehensive Guide to Cambridge Colleges. Each college at Cambridge has its unique identity and focus. For instance, Trinity College is renowned for its excellence in Mathematics and Sciences. Therefore, it's crucial to conduct thorough research on Cambridge colleges and delve into our linked blog for a deeper understanding.


Acquire comprehensive knowledge about your chosen subject and stay updated with the latest advancements in the field. Be ready to engage in discussions on relevant topics and showcase your enthusiasm.


Dedicate time to practicing responses to interview questions independently and with the guidance of mentors or teachers. Craft succinct and well-organized answers that highlight your strengths.

Critical Thinking
Refine your critical thinking abilities by participating in analytical conversations, reading scholarly literature, and tackling complex problems. This will enable you to approach interview inquiries with clarity and depth.


Confidence and Communication
Enhance your confidence and communication skills through practice. Maintain eye contact, speak clearly, and actively listen during the interview process.


Be true to yourself. Show genuine enthusiasm and let your unique personality shine through. Remember, the interview serves as an opportunity for the admissions panel to gain insight into who you are beyond your application.


Cute Girl

→ What are the costs associated with studying at Cambridge University for Indian students?

Cambridge University offers a diverse array of courses, each with its own tuition fees. The cost of studying at Cambridge varies depending on factors such as the program, duration, and individual circumstances. International students, including those from India, typically face higher tuition fees compared to UK/EU students.

→ Is it possible to apply to multiple courses at Cambridge University?

Absolutely. You can apply to multiple courses at Cambridge University. However, it's important to note that you'll need to submit separate applications for each course you're interested in. Be sure to carefully review the requirements and application deadlines for each course. Consider your academic interests, qualifications, and future aspirations when determining which courses to apply for. Remember, tailor each application to highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and motivations for that particular course.


→ Can Indian students work part-time while studying at Cambridge University?

Yes, Indian students studying at Cambridge University are generally permitted to work part-time during their studies. However, there are regulations and guidelines to adhere to. According to UK government rules, international students can work up to 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during holidays. It's crucial to manage your workload effectively, prioritize your studies, and consider part-time work carefully. Stay informed about the latest immigration regulations and consult with the university's international student office for specific guidance on part-time work opportunities and any applicable restrictions.


→ Are there internship or work experience opportunities available for Indian students at Cambridge University?

Certainly. Cambridge University offers a plethora of internship and work experience opportunities for students, including those from India. These opportunities can be immensely valuable, providing practical experience and fostering academic and professional growth. The university's careers service and departmental networks often facilitate access to internships relevant to your field of study. Additionally, many faculty members and research centers at Cambridge engage in groundbreaking research projects that offer students hands-on experience. It's highly recommended to actively seek out and capitalize on these opportunities to enhance your skills and bolster your career prospects.

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