Examination guidance and past papers
First year students take the Prelim to Part I examination at the beginning of the Easter term.
This is not classed, and does not count towards Part I. It is intended to provide you with informal guidance about your 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).
- Prelim to Part I papers 2–18 correspond exactly with Papers 2-18 in Part I of the Tripos.
- Prelim to Part I Paper 19 is specifically designed to examine any first year students who choose to study one of the World History papers (Part I Papers 21 or 23).
Part I papers 19 and 20 (Political Thought) and 22 and 24 (American history) are not available in the Prelim to Part I examination.
The Part I and Part II examinations are in late May and early June. Each examination paper has equal weighting in the assessment.
The Part I examination consists of five 3-hour examinations (one for each of your outline papers) and one long essay, for Themes and Sources, which is submitted in the January of your second year.
The Part II examination comprises three or four 3-hour examinations (depending on whether you offer a dissertation) and one long essay. For each Part II Specified Subject, you 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, you sit one paper and answer only one question.
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.
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.
Links to guidance and further information about exams in the Faculty of History
- Tripos exams explained
- How to revise for Part I - practical tips for revision and exam technique (Cambridge University only)
- Parts I and II Marking Criteria and Classing Conventions
- Prelim to Part I Marking Criteria
- Past examination papers (Cambridge University only)
- Examiners' Reports (Cambridge University only)
- Examination Data Retention Policy (Cambridge University only)
- Penalty system for late submission of coursework (Cambridge University only) - content to follow shortly
- Undergraduate exam information - comprehensive guidance to University examinations
- Examination review procedure (University guidance)