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Introduction

What is the MAT?

The MAT (Mathematics Admissions Test) is the admissions test required by Oxford and Imperial for candidates applying to study Maths, Maths joint honours, Computer Science, or Computer Science joint honours. It is usually sat at the end of October.

The MAT works alongside your UCAS application (containing your personal statement and grades), so that Oxford and Imperial can see if you are a suitable candidate.

“Oxford only interviews 35% of its Maths applicants, and the MAT is one of the main ways the admissions tutors decide whether or not you deserve an interview.”

The ForMAT

The MAT lasts two and a half hours, and is out of 100 marks. It is made up of two sections: 

  • Multiple Choice (40 marks). This consists of ten individual questions. 
  • Long-answer questions (15 marks each). Here you are expected to answer four long-answer questions. Which questions you answer depends upon which course you are applying for.
    • For pure Maths, Maths and Statistics, and Maths and Philosophy, you should answer questions 2, 3, 4, and 5.
    • For Maths and Computer Science, it is 2, 3, 5, and 6
    • For Computer Science or Computer Science and Philosophy it is 2, 5, 6, and 7.

Preparation

To familiarise yourself with the format of the MAT, check out the past papers. The content of the MAT is based upon the Pure Maths studied in the A-Level syllabus, as well as knowledge of sequences and series from the second year of A-Level. 

For more resources and example questions, visit stepmaths.co.uk/MAT, where we offer a range of MAT-style questions you can look over and practise, all with worked video solutions. For more revision advice, read our ultimate MAT preparation guide.

Conclusion

The MAT is a difficult test, and it’s important that you prepare as effectively as possible; the admissions tutors will pay very close attention to your mark. If you’ve already done lots of revision and you’re wondering how to reach your potential on the big day, read our top tips for acing the MAT. Good luck!

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