University of Cambridge

Undergraduate

Study

Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ)

Shortly after submitting your UCAS application, you will be asked via email to complete an online Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ). In order to make a valid application to the University of Cambridge, you must submit your SAQ by the deadline set. In the majority of cases this deadline will be 12pm (noon, GMT) on 22 October 2014*.

The purpose of the SAQ is to ensure that we have complete and consistent information about all applicants. It also enables us to collect information that's not part of the UCAS application but is helpful when assessing applications, such as the topics you've covered as part of your AS/A Level (or equivalent) courses (which helps our interviewers decide which questions to ask).

*If a different deadline applies to you, your College will notify you of the date. If you’re in any doubt about the deadline by which you must complete the SAQ, please contact the College to check as soon as possible.

What does the SAQ look like?

The SAQ is divided into eight sections:

  1. Application Type
  2. Photograph
  3. Personal Details
  4. Course Details
  5. Education
  6. Qualifications
  7. Additional Information
  8. Submit

These sections make up the horizontal navigation displayed along the top of each page, as shown in the SAQ screenshot below.

Screenshot taken from the online SAQ

Each of the eight sections contains a number of pages with a series of questions for you to complete. These are accompanied by a blue ‘Help Text’ panel that provides guidance to help you with your answers. Further help is available through a link to the Guide to Completing the SAQ. A list of Frequently Asked Questions is also available of the FAQ tab.

What do I need to complete the SAQ?

There are a number of pieces of information you will need to hand in order to complete the SAQ.

If you are a COPA applicant (applying from outside the EU and/or for an Organ Scholarship), you will need:

  • your UCAS Personal ID number - see FAQ tab for further details
  • the temporary SAQ Password we sent you by email
  • your COPA Reference Number you received when you submitted your COPA application

This is the only information you are required to provide on the SAQ as you will have already provided all of the additional information we need from you in your COPA.

If you are applying from within the EU, you will need:

  • your UCAS Personal ID number
  • the temporary SAQ Password we sent you by email
  • a passport style digital photograph of yourself
  • your BMAT registration number (if applicable)
  • details of the units you are currently studying and/or have completed, including the UMS results achieved so far (if you have taken/are taking modular AS/A Levels)
  • details of the band scores you have achieved (if you have taken Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers)

You may also find it helpful to have a think about your answers to the questions with free text boxes, such as the optional additional personal statement and how you have kept up your interest in the subject you are applying for outside your AS/A Level (or equivalent) qualifications.

If you have all the above information to hand and have thought about your answers to those questions requiring a comment or statement, we estimate that you could complete the SAQ in around an hour.

Frequently asked questions

Why does Cambridge have a Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ)?

The Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) was developed to ensure that we have complete and consistent information about all applicants. It also enables us to collect information that is not part of the UCAS application but is helpful when assessing applications. The SAQ asks for details such as UMS marks obtained in AS/A Level units, information about topics already covered as part of your AS/A Level (or equivalent) courses (which helps our interviewers decide which questions to ask), and registration numbers for admissions tests (if applicable).

I have completed a COPA; do I also have to fill in the SAQ?

Yes. All applicants should complete the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ). Your application will not be valid unless you also submit a SAQ. However, once you have confirmed your identity, and entered your COPA Reference Number and UCAS Personal ID in the boxes provided in Section 1, you should answer Section 8 only. This enables us to link the answers you provided in the COPA to your SAQ.

I have submitted my UCAS application but want to change College. Can I do this?

No. Once you have submitted your UCAS application, it is not possible to change your College under any circumstances so make sure you research your College choice and are sure about your decision. If you have submitted a COPA and have listed a different College choice to that stated on your UCAS application then the College choice on your UCAS application will take precedence. Please note that this also applies if you have made an open application.

What is the deadline for submitting my SAQ?

The initial email you receive from the University about completing the SAQ will include a deadline by which you must submit your SAQ. In the majority of cases this will be 12pm (noon, GMT) on 22 October 2014.

I’ve applied to the University of Cambridge but I’ve not received an email, what should I do?

Emails containing SAQ log in details are usually sent within 48 hours after submission of a UCAS application so you will not immediately receive an email from us. If you submit an application to the University of Cambridge through UCAS but do not receive an email about the SAQ by Monday 20 October 2014 you should contact the Cambridge Admissions Office (email: saqhelp@cao.cam.ac.uk).

Receiving emails from the University of Cambridge

During the early stages of your application, the University will send important information and reminders to the email address that you have provided. It is essential that your email account is configured correctly so that emails sent from the University are not rejected or filtered into your 'junk'/'spam' folder by your email provider.

Your application to the University of Cambridge may be disadvantaged if you do not take the steps described below.

The University of Cambridge will contact you from time to time using the following email addresses:

  • saq@admin.cam.ac.uk
  • saqhelp@admin.cam.ac.uk
  • copa@admin.cam.ac.uk
  • copahelp@admin.cam.ac.uk
  • appfees@admin.cam.ac.uk

Please ensure that all five of the above email addresses are:

  • ADDED to your email client's Contact List
  • ADDED to your email client's Safe Sender List (if available)
  • REMOVED from your email client's Block Sender List
Hotmail/Outlook www.windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/email-problems-help
BT Internet/Yahoo www.help.yahoo.com/kb/
Apple Mail www.apple.com/support/mail/
Google Mail www.support.google.com/mail/
AOL www.help.aol.co.uk/help_uk/product/email/
iOS Devices www.apple.com/support/

What should I do if I lose my SAQ login details?

If you lose the initial email from the University which contains the web address of the online Supplementary Application Questionnaire and your temporary SAQ Password details please contact the Cambridge Admissions Office (E saqhelp@cao.cam.ac.uk / T 01223 333308) requesting that your initial login details be resent.

What if I forget my SAQ Password?

Don't worry if you forget your password. If this happens enter your UCAS Personal ID on the login page and click on the 'I have forgotten my password' link. We will send you a new temporary SAQ Password by email. You will be asked to change this temporary password to a password of your choice when you next log in.

What is my UCAS Personal ID?

Your UCAS Personal ID is the unique number which UCAS allocates to your application. If you have forgotten your UCAS Personal ID, please contact UCAS Customer Services (T 0871 468 0 468) or refer to UCAS Track (www.ucas.com/track).

Your UCAS Personal ID remains the same regardless of how many times you apply through UCAS. If you are a re-applicant (in other words, if you have made an application/applications via UCAS to any Higher Education institution in a previous year or years), UCAS will give you a new temporary Personal ID for your new application until all of their necessary checks are completed. The Personal ID supplied to us with your new application will revert to your original (and permanent) one, and should be used in the SAQ and in any correspondence you subsequently have with us.

What if my email address changes?

We will use the contact details you provided as part of your UCAS application to communicate with you. If your email address (or any other contact details) change after you have submitted your UCAS application you will need to advise UCAS Customer Services (T 0871 468 0 468) or change the information on UCAS Track (www.ucas.com/track).

I don’t have a digital photograph of myself, what should I do?

We strongly encourage you to upload a digital photograph. However, if you are unable to provide a digital photograph please follow the link given in Section 2 of the SAQ. This will take you to the Undergraduate Applicant Photograph Submission Form. The completed form should be returned to the Admissions Office of the College you applied to, or, in the case of open applicants, the Cambridge Admissions Office by 22 October 2014.

How much detail do I need to give about topics that I have studied?

We are looking for a list of the main topics that you have covered in your studies in order to help the staff interviewing you to compose appropriate questions to ask. As such, you only need to include topics covered up to December 2014. The two examples below (the first is for A Levels, and the second is for the International Baccalaureate) give an indication of the level of detail that we are looking for in this question.

List as many topics as you can but do not worry if you can't list them all. Abbreviations are acceptable. If you are unsure which topics you will be covering up to December 2014 you should ask your teachers for guidance. If any of your qualifications are self-taught or you are home-schooled, please enter '1' under 'Class size'.

Subject Qualification/Level Class size Topics
Biology AS Level 15 Molecules and Cells, Exchange Transport, Genetics
Biology A Level 10 Human Health, Respiration
Chemistry AS Level 8 Atomic Structure, Bonding, Kinetics, Energetics
Chemistry A Level 7 Functional Groups, Periodicity
English Literature AS Level 10 Keats, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, A Streetcar Named Desire
Mathematics AS Level 15 Algebra and Functions, Calculus, Trigonometry
Mathematics A Level 12 Probability, Complex Numbers

Subject Qualification/Level Class size Topics
English IB Higher Level 15 Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Outsider, Antony and Cleopatra, Yeats, Heaney
Spanish IB Higher Level 12 Study of Grammar, History of Spain and South America, Spanish Literature, Politics and Culture
History IB Higher Level 15 Russia 1850-1953, Causes of the Cold War, Rise and Rule of Single Party States
Biology IB Standard Level 15 Cells, Digestion, Respiration, Health and Nutrition, Blood and Circulation
Latin IB Standard Level 10 Catullus: Love Poetry, Horace, The Aeneid Book II, Translation of Ovid, Grammar
Maths Studies IB Standard Level 20 Calculus, Trigonometry, Financial Mathematics, Algebra, Graphs

What do you mean by a 'High School Transcript'?

By ‘High School Transcript’ we mean a record of your academic achievement to date in your secondary school/college examinations, which are usually taken in the last two years of schooling (if you are currently studying at a University, you are required to provide a University Transcript). For most students, the transcript will be an official document or certificate from your school/college/University which lists the subjects you have studied and the grades/qualifications that you have obtained. Please provide as much information on your examination performance as possible. Where possible, please also include details of any internal assessments that you may have undertaken. Please do NOT include references, detailed project work or any non-academic achievements.

If you are unsure as to whether or not you are required to submit a transcript (High School and/or University), you can find guidance under Am I required to submit a High School Transcript? below.

If the original transcript is not in English, you will need to have it translated and authorised (ie signed or stamped) by an official translation service or by your school/college/University.

For an example of a High School Transcript and detailed instructions on how to submit your transcript(s), please see the transcript submission page.

COPA applicants Non-COPA applicants

Overseas interviews
Transcripts must be received by:

  • 9 September 2014 for those requesting to be interviewed in India
  • 20 September 2014 for those requesting to be interviewed in China, Malaysia, or Singapore
  • 15 October 2014 for those requesting to be interviewed in Cambridge, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong or Pakistan

Organ Scholarship applications
Transcripts must be received by 1 September 2014

Transcripts must be received by 22 October 2014
Am I required to submit a High School Transcript?

Please use the flow chart below to determine whether or not you are required to submit a High School Transcript

If you are currently studying at University, please also see the information below the flow chart.

Students currently studying at University
You are required to submit a University Transcript as part of your application to Cambridge. Please note that your application will not be considered unless a transcript is received.

  • If your University Transcript is available to you at the time of application, you must submit it through the Undergraduate Document Submission (UGDS) facility then.
  • If your University Transcript is not available to you at the time of application, you must submit it directly to the College (or the Cambridge Admissions Office in the case of open applications) as soon as it is available.

Please also follow the flow chart above to determine whether or not you must submit a High School Transcript in addition to your University Transcript. If you are required to submit both a High School Transcript and a University Transcript, your application will not be considered unless both are received.

My SAQ is not displaying correctly, what should I do??

We strongly recommend that you download and use the Firefox web browser (www.mozilla.com/firefox) to complete the SAQ, as it may not display correctly in other browsers. If you are having difficulty displaying pages of the SAQ correctly (when they have previously displayed without any problems) please try logging out and logging back in again. This should correct any problems you are experiencing.

I’m unable to submit my SAQ, what should I do?
You will be unable to submit your SAQ if you have not answered any compulsory questions or you have provided an invalid answer. Go to the 'Review My Answers' page by clicking on 'Review My Answers' to check for any errors. Once you have corrected any errors try to submit your SAQ again. You will need to agree to the declaration statement again.

I have difficulties logging into my SAQ, what do I do?

We strongly recommend that you download and use the Firefox web browser (www.mozilla.com/firefox) to complete the SAQ, as this is the preferred browser and some applicants have experienced problems logging in using other browsers. If you are experiencing difficulties logging into your SAQ, we recommend that you clear your 'cookies' and browsing history, and allow 'pop-ups'. Alternatively, try using a different machine.

What if I need to change information but have already submitted my SAQ?
Once you have submitted your SAQ, it is not possible to amend the answers online. If you notice an error in the information you provided or have any other queries please contact the Admissions Office of the College you applied to or, in the case of open applicants, the Cambridge Admissions Office (E admissions@cam.ac.uk / T 01223 333 308).

Can schools/colleges still submit an additional Cambridge-specific reference?
As we receive a copy of the UCAS reference, there is no need for teachers/referees to provide an additional reference for Cambridge. However, if teachers/referees have any particular comments to make that relate to Cambridge specifically and were not included in the UCAS reference, they are welcome to do so and should send this direct to the relevant College.

In order to ensure that any additional reference arrives at the right place it should be addressed to the Admissions Office at the College concerned and should include the applicant's full name, date of birth, course applied for and, if possible, UCAS Personal ID. In the case of an open application, this information and additional reference should be sent to the Cambridge Admissions Office. Contact details for the Colleges can be found at www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/colleges/contacts.html.

   

Further information

You’ll find detailed guidance about completing the SAQ in our Guide to Completing the SAQ. You can also watch our short series of videos, which demonstrate the main features of the questionnaire in SAQ: A Quick Tour.

It is very important that you follow the instructions and use the personal log in details contained in your SAQ email. Please note that it will take a short time for your application to be processed, therefore you will not receive an email from us immediately after submitting your UCAS application. We recommend that you check the inbox and ‘spam’/’junk’ folder of the email account you have used in your UCAS application on a regular basis.

If you're unable to complete the SAQ online (e.g. because you don't have a valid email address or as a result of a disability), please contact the Cambridge Admissions Office as soon as possible (01223 333308 / saqhelp@cao.cam.ac.uk).

We will be contacting you by email at various stages of your application to the University of Cambridge. It is essential that our emails are not rejected by your email provider. For set-up instructions please see FAQ - Receiving emails from the University of Cambridge.