Pembroke comes second in Tompkins Table 2014

by Rachel Smith

Pembroke has once again secured second place in the Tompkins Table.

The Tompkins Table is compiled by Cambridge alumnus Peter Tompkins and published exclusively in The Independent newspaper. It ranks all of the Cambridge colleges by analysing their degree results from the previous year.

Pembroke was delighted to achieve second place in 2013 and is extremely glad to have done so again this year. Senior Tutor, Dr Mark Wormald, says: ‘The Tompkins Table confirms what our own internal indicators had already told us earlier in the month: that this was another really outstanding year of Tripos results for Pembroke’s undergraduate body. The students themselves deserve enormous credit for successfully translating the potential we knew they brought with them to Cambridge into examination results. Credit is also due to the Fellows and supervisors who have guided them with such care and sensitivity through the year, along with the College’s tutorial and non-academic staff, whose efforts on our students’ behalf make such a difference to the environment in which they live and work.

‘League tables are of course only one partial measure of an academic community’s success; they don’t reveal the real triumphs of exams passed in spite of very difficult personal circumstances, or the range of other passions our junior members are pursuing alongside their studies. But they probably do reflect how successfully the disciplines of exam technique and working under timed pressure have capped a year of intellectual discovery and exploration, and to see Pembroke men and women from every kind of background excelling across the range of subjects as well as at every stage of their journey through Cambridge is a cause of great satisfaction.’

The full article on the 2014 Tompkins Table is available on The Independent website.


The Tompkins Table is not an official University document. It has been compiled annually by Tompkins for over 30 years. In an article for The Times Literary Supplement, Cambridge don Mary Beard explains that the Tompkins Table ‘is basically a first-past-the-post style of ranking. It gives 5 points for a first, 3 points for a 2.1 and so on. Then it produces a score for each college by reckoning their actual points total against what they would have got if every student had been awarded a first. A bit of “weighting” goes into the process, to cancel out the undue influence of subjects which score a lot of firsts.’