Examination guidance and past papers


Part IA

In 2022-23, History Outline papers O1-O11 will be assessed through a 3-hour closed-book, invigilated, handwritten exam. Students will be required to answer three questions in three hours

Part IA Sources will be assessed through a coursework essay of no more than 2,000 words, and Intro to Historical Thinking by a book report of no more than 2,000 words.

Students will also be required to take two compulsory online multiple-choice tests for Skills: one on good academic practice in Michaelmas, and one on numerical skills in Lent.

In the new Tripos, each Outline counts for 35% of your first-year mark, while Sources and IHT each count for 15% of your mark.

The degrees of students matriculating in October 2022 will be classed cumulatively according to the following weighting: 0-30-70. In other words, your first year is formative, while your second year counts for 30% of your final degree and your third year for 70%. 

Part I papers 2-24 and Themes and Sources

In 2022-23, second-year students taking History papers (Part I students in History and Part IB students in History & Politics and History & Modern Languages) will sit 5-hour online open-book exams for papers 2-24. Students will be required to answer three questions in five hours.

Single honours History students will submit a coursework Long Essay for Themes & Sources.

Part II

At Part II, HAP, Advanced Topics, Political Thought papers, and the Special Subject ‘gobbets’ paper will be assessed by means of 5-hour online open-book exams.

The compulsory Part II Special Subject Long Essay is submitted at the beginning of the Easter Term.

Optional Part II Dissertations are submitted at the beginning of the Easter Term.

Students taking Part II over two years (either as Affiliated Students or having transferred from another Tripos) are required to sit a Prelim to Part II examination at the end of their first year. This examination comprises Paper 1 (HAP) and two papers chosen from Sections C-D. These three papers are not classed and do not count towards Part II. The following year, these papers are re-examined, together with a Special Subject (Papers 2 & 3) and either two more papers from Sections C-D, or a dissertation and one more. The Part II classification is determined entirely by the results achieved in these examinations.


Students who began their degrees from October 2020 onwards are affected by the University-wide introduction of a cumulative degree class upon graduation. Prior to this, Cambridge students did not technically receive a final degree result; instead, they were given a separate classification for each Part of a Tripos. Under the new arrangements, students in History and History and Politics who matriculated in 2020 and 2021 will receive a cumulative degree classification using the following weighting for each year of study: 0:0:100. This means that marks awarded in your first and second year do not count towards your final degree result, though they will appear on your transcript, and all Parts of each Tripos will continue to be classed.

Further guidance about exams, including assessment criteria, past papers, and general information can be found on the Faculty’s Undergraduate Examination Information page. (Cambridge only)  

You may also find the information on the Skills Moodle and the Faculty’s Undergraduate Information Hub useful. (Cambridge only)

Faculty Style Guide

This guide covers all undergraduate and postgraduate uses

Faculty style guide