Cracking ENGAA Section 2: Physics and Advanced Problem-Solving

The Engineering Admissions Assessment (ENGAA) is a challenging examination used by the University of Cambridge to assess candidates applying for undergraduate engineering programs. Section 2 of the ENGAA specifically evaluates your knowledge and problem-solving skills in physics. To excel in this section, you need a solid understanding of physics principles and the ability to apply them to complex problems. In this guide, we will provide you with strategies and tips to help you crack ENGAA Section 2.

Understand the Structure

ENGAA Section 2 consists of physics questions that are designed to assess your problem-solving abilities. Here's what you can expect:

- Number of Questions: 

Typically, there are multiple questions, each with multiple parts.

- Variety of Topics: 

Questions may cover various physics topics, including mechanics, electricity, magnetism, thermodynamics, and waves.

- Complex Scenarios: 

Questions often present complex scenarios or experiments that require critical thinking.

Know the Basics

Before diving into advanced problem-solving, ensure you have a strong foundation in physics basics. Review key concepts in mechanics, electricity, magnetism, and other relevant areas. Familiarize yourself with relevant equations and units of measurement.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Problem-solving in physics improves with practice. Here's how to approach your preparation:

- Solve Past Papers: 

Obtain and work through past ENGAA Section 2 papers to become familiar with the question format and types of problems.

- Practice Questions: 

Seek out additional physics problems and questions to solve, either from textbooks or online resources.

- Time Yourself: 

Practice answering questions within the allocated time limit to improve your time management skills.

Master Problem-Solving Techniques

In ENGAA Section 2, it's not just about knowing physics; it's about effectively applying your knowledge to complex problems:

- Read Carefully: 

Begin by thoroughly reading each question to understand the scenario or experiment described.

- Identify Relevant Information: 

Identify the key pieces of information and data given in the question. Highlight or underline them to keep track.

- Plan Your Approach: 

Before diving into calculations, plan your approach to solving the problem. Consider what you need to find and how to get there.

- Use Diagrams: 

If applicable, draw diagrams or sketches to visualize the problem. This can help clarify your thinking.

- Apply Physics Concepts: 

Use your knowledge of physics principles and equations to solve the problem step by step. Show your work neatly and clearly.

- Check Units: 

Pay attention to units of measurement and ensure they are consistent throughout your calculations.

- Review Your Work: 

Once you've found an answer, review your work to ensure it makes sense and is in line with the information provided in the question.

Time Management

Time management is critical in ENGAA Section 2. Each question has a specific time limit, so be mindful of the clock:

- Allocate Time: 

Before starting each question, decide how much time to allocate based on the number of parts and the complexity of the question.

- Don't Get Stuck: 

If you encounter a particularly challenging part of a question, don't dwell on it for too long. Move on to the next part and return to it later if time allows.

Practice Multistep Problems

Many questions in ENGAA Section 2 involve multiple steps. Practice solving multistep problems to develop your ability to handle complex scenarios efficiently.

Stay Calm and Confident

On the day of the exam, stay calm and confident in your problem-solving abilities. If you encounter a challenging question, take a deep breath, read it carefully, and apply the techniques you've practiced.


Cracking ENGAA Section 2 requires not only a solid grasp of physics principles but also advanced problem-solving skills. By practicing past papers, mastering problem-solving techniques, and managing your time effectively, you can tackle the complex physics questions presented in this section with confidence. Remember that consistent practice and a systematic approach are key to success in ENGAA Section 2, helping you stand out as a strong candidate for engineering programs at the University of Cambridge.