Information on the Admissions Test
As part of the admissions process an Admissions Test is taken by all students who are applying for Mathematics, Computer Science or any of their joint degrees.
IMPORTANT: In 2013, as in 2012, the Admissions Testing Service (formerly Cambridge Assessment) will be organizing the distribution and receipt of the Mathematics Test. This will mean the need of a separate registration with the Admissions Testing Service by the application date of October 15th. See this Admissions Testing Service page for details.
In the 2013 admissions round (for those applying for entry in 2014 or 2015) the admissions test will be sat in schools, colleges and test centres (rather than in Oxford as was the case before 2007).
The test date for 2013 is WEDNESDAY 6TH NOVEMBER.
Applicants will be shortlisted on the basis of the test score, together with information from applicants' UCAS forms and those shortlisted will be invited to Oxford in mid-December for interview. In this manner, the gathered field of applicants is shortlisted to around 3 applicants per place for the interview stage.
The test will be in the same format as it was in 2007-12 and lasts 2½ hours. The mathematical knowledge and techniques required to do the questions are taken from a syllabus roughly corresponding to the C1 and C2 modules from A-level maths, though the questions are set more variously than A-level questions. A copy of the syllabus is available here.
Below are copies of two specimen tests, in the same format, together with a copy of the papers from 2007-11.
The first question on the test is multiple choice and contains 10 parts each worth 4 marks. Marks are given solely for the correct answers, though applicants are encouraged to show any working in the space provided. Questions 2-7 are longer questions, each worth 15 marks, and candidates will need to show their working. Candidates should each attempt 4 questions from 2-7, the selection depending on the degree for which they are applying. Details of precisely which questions you should attempt are given below, in the rubric on the front page of the test and throughout the paper.
- Mathematics, Mathematics & Statistics, Mathematics & Philosophy applicants should attempt questions 1,2,3,4,5
- Mathematics & Computer Science applicants should attempt questions 1,2,3,5,6
- Computer Science, Computer Science & Philosophy applicants should attempt questions 1,2,5,6,7
- No calculators, formula sheets or dictionaries are permitted during the test.
- Only answers written in the booklet will be marked. There are spare blank pages at the end of the test paper.
- Further credit cannot be gained by attempting questions other than those appropriate to the degree applied for.
The Admissions Test is set with the aim of being approachable by all students, including those without Further Mathematics A-level, and those from other educational systems (e.g. Baccalaureate and Scottish Highers). It aims to test the depth of mathematical understanding of a student in the fourth term of their A-levels (or equivalent) rather than a breadth of knowledge. Applicants are encouraged to attempt some of the specimen/past tests provided below, so that they might have a sense of the format and style of the test, but no further preparation or practice, beyond work for A-levels, is intended. Whilst two of the tests are specimens, almost all the questions on them were set on previous years' admissions tests.
Specimen and Past Tests
- Admissions Test 2007:
- Admissions Test 2008:
- Admissions Test 2009:
- Admissions Test 2010:
- Average score on questions 1-5: 49.0; amongst successful applicants: 69.3.
- Admissions Test 2011:
- Admissions Test 2012:
Arrangements for the Test
An admissions test has been used at admissions time (mid-December) in Mathematics, the joint degrees and Computer Science since 1996. Since 2007 this test has been sat by applicants in their schools/colleges in late October/early November. The test will be in the same format as with the 2006 test (which included two extra questions for Computer Science and Mathematics & Computer Science applicants).
The date for the test this year is the morning of NOVEMBER 6TH 2013. All applicants to these degrees, including international applicants, will be required to take the test.
- IN 2013 THE ADMISSIONS TESTING SERVICE WILL BE ORGANIZING THE DISTRIBUTION AND RECEIPT OF THE MATHEMATICS TEST. SEE THIS ADMISSIONS TESTING SERVICE PAGE FOR FULL DETAILS.