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Cambridge University Library


Dating from about 1725, as an oral examination to assist in the determination of the relative merit of candidates for the BA, the Senate House examination supplanted disputations as the recognised test whereby places were assigned. From 1772 written answers were expected, although the questions were mostly still dictated, and from 1827 printed examination papers were introduced. Until 1858 all candidates sat this examination, those who aspired to honours in the mathematical tripos being required to continue for several more days than poll men, those aiming for, or only competent of, an ordinary BA. For further details see the The Historical Register, pp. 351 ff.