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What is the TMUA?

The TMUA is a maths admissions test introduced in 2016. It consists of two multiple choice papers sat at the end of October. Although the test is only compulsory for Computer Science at Cambridge (under the name ‘CTMUA’), universities such as Durham, Warwick and LSE will also set an easier offer based on a good TMUA score.

Conquering the Multiple Choice Format

Multiple choice exams bring with them a certain set of challenges. But there’s no need to worry – we’ve compiled our top tips to help you ace this test and secure your place at a top UK university!

  • Don’t spend too long on each question. Remember, you only have an hour and 15 minutes to answer 20 multiple choice questions. We recommend trying to find an answer for all 20 questions within an hour, and then spending the last 15 minutes checking your work.
  • If you’re struggling for time, make educated guesses! Whilst we wouldn’t recommend relying on the process of elimination for every question, it can be useful if the clock is running down and you still have a few questions left. You’re unlikely to whittle down the possibilities to just the right answer, but you have a far better chance of selecting the right one if you’re choosing from a smaller set.
  • Meanwhile, for those questions you can solve directly, you can still use the elimination method as a way of checking your answers. 
  • Use your answer to test the question. Let’s say you’ve already chosen an answer and you want to check if it’s right. Instead of recalculating the solution from scratch, just put your answer into the original equation or function and see if it works.
  • Try all the questions. There are no penalties for incorrect answers, so make sure you always have a go. You might get lucky!

Mastering Time Management

If you’re worried about time management in the exam, STEPMaths run a summer TMUA Short Questions Course which is designed to help you learn to speed up your calculations

Missed this course? You can also get an online version via our Platinum TMUA Online Bundle!

“The course was very helpful as it taught me tricks that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise, and which helped me a lot during exams.”



Hopefully we’ve given you an idea of how you can maximise your chances of success for the TMUA. We also recommend checking out our posts for the MAT and STEP, as there tends to be some overlap between the three admissions tests. And if you need help preparing for the TMUA, check out our online resources. Good luck!