Planning to apply to Cambridge to study one of their language courses? You need to check the requirements of the MML.
The modern and medieval languages test is used by the University of Cambridge Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages to assess students applying for a variety of language courses within the department. The aim of the test is to help to separate equally well qualified candidates, most of whom will be predicted top grades at A-level.
According to the faculty, the MML is ‘just one small part’ of the application process, and it is ‘perfectly possible’ to not do well on the test and still be offered a place.
The modern and medieval languages aptitude test takes an interesting format, in that the answers must be given in the language you have chosen to study. The test takes 45 minutes to complete.
The test comprises a short written piece, in English, which is accompanied by two or three questions. The answers to these questions must be written in the form of a short 250 word essay, written in the language that you intend to study. The questions are designed to test both your comprehension skills and your ability to express your own ideas in free composition.
The aim of the test is to assess your ability to write in your chosen language, using correct grammar and syntax, rather than to test your translation ability for all the words and expressions in the given passage.
Unlike tests for the University of Oxford, which are taken pre-interview in your own school or at a test centre, the MML is taken at Cambridge during your interview visit.
This means that you will already have been selected for interview by the time you take the MML, reducing its significance in the selection process and consequently reducing the pressure on you when you sit the test.
There are no costs involved in sitting the MML as it is undertaken at Cambridge as part of your interview visit to the university.
While there is an example question on the faculty website, you cannot really prepare for the MML. In fact, the university website states that you are not expected to prepare and the site goes on to say that students who have practiced for the MML ‘will not be at any great advantage’ over students who have not done practice tests.
Naturally, revising your chosen language thoroughly will help you to perform well on the day, as will practising writing fluently and expressing your ideas in a short essay style.