The majority of candidates who apply to Trinity are studying for United Kingdom A-level qualifications or Scottish Advanced Highers but we are happy to accept applications from academically well-prepared candidates who are following other school exam systems. These notes are intended as a brief guide to those potential applicants who are uncertain whether the qualifications they hold, or for which they are studying, are likely to meet our requirements. There are several general points that must be borne in mind.
- All applications for a place at Trinity are considered on an individual basis and our decisions do not rely on examination grades alone. The school report, any written work that you may be asked to submit, any test taken pre-interview or at the time of interview, plus performance at the interview itself all contribute in important ways to the final decision.
- The grades we ask for are determined only after we have made the decision to offer someone a place, which in turn is only after candidates have been interviewed. Any offer we make is always set at a level which we believe the candidate is capable of achieving.
- The fact that you have obtained, or expect to obtain, very high grades in your school exams is not a guarantee that your application will be successful. The number of strong candidates always exceeds the strictly limited number of places we have available each year.
- The school system in the United Kingdom allows a substantially higher degree of specialization than those of many other countries. If you have followed a curriculum which is much broader than A-levels you may be at a disadvantage, particularly if you wish to study Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics or Natural Sciences.
Below you will find examples of offers we make in exam systems we frequently encounter. If the exams you are taking are not listed, you can obtain advice from the Admissions Office.
The local office of the British Council may also be able to tell you whether or not specific grades in your exams meet the general requirements for entry to universities in the United Kingdom, but please remember that this would represent only the minimum standard you must attain and offers at Cambridge are nearly always set well above that level. Note that the offers quoted below are only “typical”. Offers made in practice may be either above or below the level stated. Special conditions apply to Medical Sciences.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Total of 42 (including bonus points) with marks of 7 in relevant subjects.
86% overall, with 9.0+ in relevant subjects.
Irish Leaving Certificate
Three H1 and three H2 for Arts subjects. Four H1 and two H2 for Science subjects.
Overall mark of 16 in the Baccalauréat with marks of 17 in relevant subjects.
Overall grade of 1.2 in the Abitur with scores of 15 in relevant subjects.
For Arts subjects, a mark of 19.0 in the Apolytirion of Lykeio. Candidates for science subjects will usually have to provide evidence of study beyond the Apolytirion.
Offers to candidates from the United States are normally based on Advanced Placement exams. Five grades 5 in relevant subjects would be typical. A high score on the SAT(I) Reasoning Test or ACT is also helpful. If taking SAT(I), for Science courses and Economics a combined score of 1,500 is expected; and for other Arts and Humanities subjects, a minimum of 730 in both Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Mathematics is expected. The equivalent for the ACT is a composite score of at least 33 (for Sciences and Economics) or 32 (for other Arts and Humanities).
An ATAR of 99.