ENGAA Section 2: Everything You Need to Know to Pass the Exam

3 min read

UPDATE: Please note that CAAT have announced that they will be discontinuing the ENGAA and will no longer administer the test from 2024. Candidates looking to apply for Engineering, Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge for 2025 entry and beyond will be required to take the ESAT.

Future Cambridge Engineering students must first pass the Engineering Admissions Assessment. Then an interview with their chosen college. This is the entrance selection process to one of the most prestigious universities worldwide. The ENGAA itself is split into two sections, as outlined in our introductory article. This article breaks the second section of the ENGAA down into its fundamental components. It also gives you Oxbridge Mind ENGAA Experts’ best tips for Section 2 of the final exam.

Breakdown of Section 2

Section 2 of the ENGAA consists of 20 multiple-choice questions. Each answer has options of A to F and being worth a single mark. Examinees are given a question paper and a separate answer sheet, to be filled in pencil. 
The syllabus provided by Cambridge outlines that the section tests only  Advanced Physics. The syllabus goes on to state that no calculators are allowed.

Exam Technique

Aside from having an understanding of everything on the syllabus, students should ensure their written physics is both fast and accurate. They should also have fast recall of necessary equations. Perhaps using spaced repetition software such as Anki as outlined in our previous article.

ENGAA Section 2 has an allocation of 3 minutes per mark, making it far less time-pressured than its previous section. Despite this, the complexity of questions is stepped up to match the slower pace. To work efficiently in Section 2, students must become used to being challenged by the complexities of questions.

As alluded to in our previous article about the top tips for ENGAA preparation, practice is key. Once a prospective student has sat enough ENGAA section 2 past papers, they should get far more familiar with the way questions are phrased. 

The key to getting marks in this section is truly based on how quickly you are able to pick apart the key information from each question, and establish how to get to the correct answer. Whilst the method of attaining the answer varies from diagrams to energy conservation, the speed and accuracy a student can comprehend what a question asks is key to performance. This comes only with preparation and consistent preparation.

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Engineering Admissions Assessment Section 2 is the less time-pressured half of the two component sections. Oxbridge Mind recommends consistent practice over the months prior to the exam, so that prospective applicants can perfect their question comprehension speed and accuracy. Once the necessary content is easy to recall for students, speeding up their Section 2 working is one of the best ways to increase efficiency in the exam. 

For more information on the ENGAA itself, consider our top tips here. For a breakdown of Section 1, see our article ENGAA Section 1.

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