Tompkins Table

Chart of Tompkins rankings for the years 1997 to 2016

The Tompkins Table is an annual ranking that lists the Colleges of the University of Cambridge in order of their undergraduate students' performances in that year's examinations. It was created in 1981 by Peter Tompkins, then a third-year undergraduate mathematics student at Trinity College, who until 2015 compiled it every year exclusively for the newspaper The Independent.[1] In 2016, it was published by Varsity, the student newspaper of the University of Cambridge.[2] It is not an official University of Cambridge table. Assuming it is based on published Class Lists, it will not take account of students who are not candidates for Honours degrees, or those who have failed to gain a degree, or those whose names the Council have determined should be withheld from public display.


Current rankings

Initially, it only included final year exams but since 1997 has covered all exams for which grades are allocated. The table allocates 5 points for a First Class degree, 3 points for an Upper Second (known also as a 2.i), 2 points for a Lower Second (a 2.ii), 1 point for a Third and no points for someone only granted an allowance towards an Ordinary Degree. The scores in each subject are then weighted to a common average, to avoid the bias towards colleges with higher proportions of students entered for subjects which receive higher average grades. The result is expressed as a percentage of the total number of points available. The differences between the highest places on the table are usually very slight. In the last six years Trinity College lays claim to consistently having the best results: Trinity topped the table in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009, as well as being second in 2010.[3] The rankings are not officially endorsed by the University. Since Darwin College and Clare Hall admit only graduate students, they do not feature in this undergraduate ranking. Some of the mature colleges, including St. Edmund's College, Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish College, and Wolfson College, tend to perform relatively more poorly in the Tompkins Table, but have significantly more graduate students than undergraduate students, so the results here are not representative of the majority of the student population of each these colleges.

Most of the colleges fall within a 10% range of one another therefore the table should be taken lightly with regards to determining the academic standing of the colleges.

Below is the table for 2016:[4]

Position College Score Firsts (%)
1 Trinity College 75.6 45.1
2 Pembroke College 70.6 32.7
3 Christ's College 70.1 31.6
4 Emmanuel College 69.8 30.9
5 St. John's College 69.4 29.8
6 Queens' College 69.3 30.1
7 Jesus College 69.1 29.3
8 Peterhouse 68.9 31.8
9 Magdalene College 68.8 28.4
10 Corpus Christi College 68.6 28.9
11 Churchill College 68.5 30.5
12 Downing College 68.4 29.2
13 Trinity Hall 68.2 29.2
14 King’s College 68.2 30.3
15 Selwyn College 67.4 28.0
16 Sidney Sussex College 67.2 25.5
17 St Catharine's College 67.2 24.6
18 Clare College 67.1 25.9
19 Gonville and Caius College 66.9 26.2
20 Wolfson College 65.5 21.6
21 Newnham College 65.5 21.9
22 Robinson College 65.3 22.2
23 Fitzwilliam College 65.2 23.0
24 Homerton College 64.2 20.8
25 Murray Edwards College 64.0 18.8
26 Lucy Cavendish College 63.3 13.8
27 Girton College 63.0 19.0
28 St Edmund's College 62.7 19.8
29 Hughes Hall 61.7 14.1

Past rankings

College 19971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016Mean
Christ's College 321114224628131269891435.5
Churchill College 151320159109191813156731055631110.6
Clare College 11615963649121713188411118151810.2
Corpus Christi College 231881020187101688910131231618221013.0
Downing College 12111681081217151131215151720121191212.3
Emmanuel College 755322115112212245443.0
Fitzwilliam College 131219211320201513191421212221192019202318.3
Girton College 222121181716172524222122202123222123242721.4
Gonville & Caius College 846128745221044111316171519199.3
Homerton College 252426252625252626272624272425.4
Hughes Hall 272729292926262727262727252927.2
Jesus College 20161113119109710971116876411710.1
King's College 141013202114162010171819171420131414181415.8
Lucy Cavendish College 262627262428292929292829292627.5
Magdalene College 172223222215182220201358591515102914.6
Murray Edwards College (formerly New Hall) 242422162324242325242323232322242426232523.3
Newnham College 182024242422211321232224242524232322212122.0
Pembroke College 591467136647106105422525.7
Peterhouse 192317141923222122212518167181810126817.0
Queens' College 3235555881411161217141277768.4
Robinson College 21199191421231611182017191919212220162218.3
Selwyn College 161577121314111974136761813121510.3
Sidney Sussex College 417423161915181491214221816171917171615.4
St. Catharine's College 9141011181211713511591110921131710.4
St. Edmund's College 292928282829282828282928282828.3
St. John's College 10812441113141215192014201514131610512.5
Trinity College 112231233563121111112.0
Trinity Hall 671817151719121716161594383381311.3
Wolfson College 282823272727272425252525262025.5

Similar league tables

Baxter Tables

Certain Colleges of the University of Cambridge commission similar tables called Baxter Tables from Martin Baxter who is a financial analyst specialising in mathematical modelling and who developed the Electoral Calculus web site. Baxter tables rank colleges' undergraduate students by their year and subject separately and are delivered in July or August. They are compiled using published Class Lists, which do not include students who are not candidates for Honours degrees, or those who have failed to gain a degree, or those whose names the Council have determined should be withheld from public display. They are meant for internal use of Colleges but not the University, being distributed to the Senior Tutors of the Colleges , with the full tables not being published publicly or outside of the Colleges, and some students being unaware of their existence. However, the rankings of Colleges in the Baxter Tables are sometimes referred to by Colleges in publicly available literature, and the methodology used to compile the Baxter Tables is also available. There is also a 'value-added' table, which shows how students' results improve over the course of their years at Cambridge, and is intended to give a measure or indication of the quality of teaching at the different Colleges. However, with such small sample sizes, the amount of meaningful information which can be extracted from these tables is questionable.

Norrington Table

The corresponding ranking for Oxford colleges is the Norrington Table. Since 1986, when the University of Oxford adopted split second-class degrees, the Norrington Table has adopted the same method of scoring as the Tompkins Table, but without the weighting attached to individual subject scores.

See also


External links

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