Everythig you need to know about Oxford's admissions tests. Image courtesy of Alberto G via Flickr Commons.

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Oxford University Admissions Tests: Which Ones You Need and How to Prepare

Everythig you need to know about Oxford's admissions tests. Image courtesy of Alberto G via Flickr Commons.

Many Oxford University courses require you to pass admissions tests. In this article, we will explain what they are, which ones you will need, and how you can prepare to pass them and be admitted to the University.

Does Oxford Have Admission Tests?

Some courses at Oxford University require admission tests to be accepted into them. Not all of them do, however. If you’re applying to a Fine Arts or Music course, you will instead be required to show examples of your latest work and email a video of a 5-minute continuous musical performance with your instrument of choice, respectively. 

Oxford Courses That Require Admissions Tests and Types of Tests

The complete list of Oxford admission tests are:

  • BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test): You will need this test if you are applying to Biomedical Sciences or Medicine.
  • CAT (Classics Admissions Test): For Classics, Classics and English, Classics and Modern Languages and Classics and Oriental Studies.
  • ELAT (English Literature Admissions Test): For English Language and Literature, Classics and English, English and Modern Languages.
  • HAT (History Aptitude Test): For History, History (Ancient and Modern), History and Economics, History and English, History and Modern Languages, History and Politics.
  • LNAT (National Admissions Test for Law): For either Law or Law with Law Studies in Europe.
  • MAT (Mathematics Admissions Test): For Computer Science, Computer Science and Philosophy, Mathematics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Mathematics and Philosophy, Mathematics and Statistics. 
  • MLAT (Modern Languages Admissions Test): For European and Middle Eastern Languages, Classics and Modern Languages, English and Modern Languages, History and Modern Languages, Modern Languages, Modern Languages and Linguistics or Philosophy and Modern Languages.
  • OLAT (Oriental Languages Aptitude Test): Oriental Studies, Classics and Oriental Studies (Oriental Studies with Classics), European and Middle Eastern Languages, Religion and Oriental Studies.
  • PAT (Physics Aptitude Test): For Engineering, Materials Science, Physics and Physics and Philosophy.
  • Philosophy Test: For Philosophy and Theology.
  • TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment): For Experimental Psychology, Geography, Human Sciences, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics.
  • Fine Art Practical: Applicants for Fine Art are not required to register for a test but will be required to bring their most recent work to an interview. 
  • Music Performance Test: You also don’t need to take a written test if you are a Music applicant, but you will be asked to provide a 5-minute continuous video recording of a musical performance if you are shortlisted. 

How do you Register for an Oxford Admissions Test?

Different tests have different requirements, so it’s worth looking at the official website to learn about each of them. Usually, you will take your admission test in a registered test centre. This can be your own school or an Open Test Centre. Registration normally opens on 1st September. If you can’t find a centre, you should contact CAAT. If you have a schedule conflict, you should talk to your test centre as soon as you can so they can arrange a timetable change. 

How Long Does it Take to Know if you Did Well in Your Test?

You will be able to find the results of your BMAT, TSA, ELAT and LNAT admission tests on the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing’s website. MAT test results are automatically distributed shortly after the decisions letters are sent. If you sat for a CAT, MLAT, OLAT, PAT and HAT test, you’re not going to receive your results (but tutors will use them to help shortlist candidates to join the University of Oxford). You can, however, request them as part of your feedback process. 

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