We aim to help capable school students build long-lasting skills to tackle the most subtle and interesting mathematical and computing questions, with a keen eye towards those who have been less privileged to access solid education. We have created the CSAT, a unique and high-calibre test able to reveal and distinguish aptitudes relevant to computing and mathematics, and Practice[+], a unique learning platform focusing on building aptitudes for high-calibre mathematics and computing.

We believe that any student who builds skills to become comfortable with such content will become a great computer scientist or mathematician. We see that as the biggest gain, whether at Cambridge or elsewhere, and our biggest reward is helping them reach that level.

Membership

The members of the Climb Foundation are all computer scientists and mathematicians from University of Cambridge. Some are now contributing to the Foundation’s efforts from many corners of the world, e.g. Iceland, Scotland, Vietnam or places whose names start with O and end with xford. They hold decades of cumulated experience in university admissions and undergraduate teaching at University of Cambridge, as well as pre-university teaching.

To date, Climb Foundation’s members overall have interviewed close to 1,000 undergraduate candidates for Computer Science and related disciplines at Cambridge, and have been responsible (as Directors of Studies) for- or participated in the entire admissions–decision chain, from application to interview to pool to decision stage.

Overall they have been supervising (small group- or one-to-one teaching) virtually all courses at the Computer Science department at the University of Cambridge — from abstract mathematics and theory to programming and hardware design — as well as many courses in related disciplines.

Undergraduate students (some who have now graduated) have been contributing to the Practice[+] Platform as well as to CSAT question trialling and reviewing. They have all gone through the Cambridge admissions process, and have sat the CSAT, recognizing the potential it has to help younger generations. We are passionate about leveling the playing field and helping the talented students shine.

History

In 2014, Bogdan, then Director of Studies at Homerton College, set out to design an admissions test that could allow candidates who deserve a place to shine more in the admissions process, in order to be more easily seen and to reduce the risk of being missed out on. A tedious process ensued (there are 31 colleges at Cambridge, each more or less doing their own admissions), and the first CSAT was sat in 2015. More setters joined in 2016, contributing to refining the test, marking style, recommendations to colleges etc. In 2017, he saw an opportunity to use the CSAT to create a learning platform to build solid mathematical and computing skills and further level the playing field and improve diversity and inclusion. A team of passionate undergraduate students joined the effort and the Practice[+] platform was launched.

In December 2018 the CSAT teams (setters, markers, Practice[+]‘ers, sitting organisers) altogether numbered 30+ individuals. CSAT markers undergo a more difficult task than typical markers for related tests elsewhere. Sitting organisers (PhD students) who helped organize the CSAT test sessions throughout 2 weeks at the Computer Science department created a friendlier and more enriching environment than arguably any other university exam (there was cake, tours, laughing, discussions about admissions, computer science banter, even tips for interviews).

The Climb Foundation is a Not-For-Profit organisation registered in the UK, registration number 12430162. All donations to the Climb Foundation are tax deductible.

Acronym

CLIMB does (not) stand for CSAT Leads Inevitably to More Brilliance.