The main Tripos examinations
The Part I and Part II examinations are in late May and early June. Each examination paper has equal weighting in the assessment. Each paper is of three hours' duration. For each Part I option and Part II Specified Subject, candidates take one paper and answer three questions. Part II Special Subjects are examined by means of a Long Essay and a three-hour examination on 'gobbets' taken from the set sources. For the Historical Argument and Practice examination, candidates sit one paper and answer only one question.
The compulsory Themes and Sources Long Essay constitutes an examination paper, submitted in the January before Part I. Optional Part II Dissertations are submitted at the beginning of the Easter Term. The compulsory Part II Special Subject Long Essay is submitted at the beginning of the Easter Term. Candidates are therefore examined in both parts of the Tripos partly on work done outside the examination room.
- Tripos exams explained (updated April 2012)
- How to revise for Part I (link to CARET skills website - Cambridge University only)
- Past examination papers (Cambridge University only)
- The Faculty's policy on the retention of examinations data (Cambridge University only)
Examination Timetables 2013 (available April 2013):
Prelim to Part I (start date 23 April)
Part I (start date 30 May)
Prelim to Part II (start date 31 May)
Part II (start date 31 May)
The Preliminary Examination
There is a Preliminary Examination to Part I, held at the beginning of the Easter Term of the first year. This is not classed, and does not count towards Part I. It is intended to provide candidates with informal guidance about their progress to date. To appear on the list of successful candidates, students must pass an examination in three papers: the first two of the Part I outline papers that they have studied, together with Historical Argument and Practice (HAP).
Preliminary Examination to Part II is taken by students who need to take Part II over two years (usually those transferring from another Tripos). They will offer seven papers in total, as follows:
- Year One (Prelim to Part II): Paper 1 (HAP) and two papers from Sections C-D;
- Year Two (Part II): They are re-examined in Paper 1 and the two papers offered at Prelim; plus a Special Subject (Papers 2i & 2ii) and either two more papers from Sections C-D, or a dissertation and one more.
The three papers examined at the end of the first year (Prelim to Part II) are for practice only; no marks are carried over into the Part II classification.