Maths Admissions Test

About the test

We can't interview all our applicants in the time available, so we shortlist around 35% of our applicants in order to interview around three applicants for every place. To help us decide who to shortlist, we set the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT) which all applicants for Maths, Computer Science, or joint honours courses must take. We use the information from the test (the total score, and how it is made up) together with all the details of your UCAS application and information about school background to decide who to shortlist.

The MAT 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.

MAT past papers

The table below contains past papers and solutions, as well as general feedback on the admisisons round for each year from 2010 onwards. Three averages are given for each year; $\mu_1$ is the average score of all Oxford applicants for Maths, Maths & Stats, and Maths & Philosophy, $\mu_2$ is the average score of those applicants who were shortlisted for interview, and $\mu_3$ is the average score of those applicants who were made offers.

Please note that the syllabus for the MAT was updated for the 2018 test; the new syllabus is available PDF icon here.

Test paper Solutions ($\mu_1$, $\mu_2$, $\mu_3$) Feedback

PDF icon MAT 2018

PDF icon Solutions 2018

(50.8, 67.1, 72.9)

PDF icon Feedback 2018

PDF icon MAT 2017

PDF icon Solutions 2017

(51.3 ,68.7 ,73.6)

PDF icon Feedback 2017

PDF icon MAT 2016

PDF icon Solutions 2016

(50.3 ,66.7 ,73.1)

PDF icon Feedback 2016

PDF icon MAT 2015

PDF icon Solutions 2015

(43.7 ,56.3 ,62.7)

PDF icon Feedback 2015

PDF icon MAT 2014

PDF icon Solutions 2014

(48.4 ,63.1 ,71.5)

PDF icon Feedback 2014

PDF icon MAT 2013

PDF icon Solutions 2013

(44.8 ,54.2 ,60.6)

PDF icon Feedback 2013

PDF icon MAT 2012

PDF icon Solutions 2012

(52.1 ,63.0 ,68.2)

PDF icon Feedback 2012

PDF icon MAT 2011

PDF icon Solutions 2011

(50.3 ,63.3 ,71.3)

PDF icon Feedback 2011

PDF icon MAT 2010

PDF icon Solutions 2010

(49.0 ,61.4 ,69.3)

PDF icon Feedback 2010

PDF icon MAT 2009

PDF icon Solutions 2009

(51.3 ,61.2 ,70.5)  

PDF icon MAT 2008

PDF icon Solutions 2008

(58.7 ,68.0 ,77.0)  

PDF icon MAT 2007

PDF icon Solutions 2007

(56.9 ,63.0 ,75.2)  

PDF icon MAT Specimen 1

PDF icon Solutions Specimen 1

   

PDF icon MAT Specimen 2

PDF icon Solutions Specimen 2

   

 

Key dates

15th October 2019, 6pm BST: You need to have registered for the MAT by this time and date (late registrations are not accepted). In order to register, please follow the instructions on the Cambridge Assessment website. Please note that you must sit the MAT in a registered test centre. Your school or college can register, but this takes a minimum of 24 hours.

30th October 2019: This is the date you will sit the MAT. All applicants for Maths and its joint schools must sit the test on this date, otherwise your application will not be considered further.

Early December 2019: Around this time you are told whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not, on the basis of your MAT score and UCAS form.

January 2020: You find out whether you've received an offer. After this you may ask for feedback from the college you applied to, including what MAT score you achieved.

Syllabus changes in 2018

The PDF icon MAT syllabus is based on AS level Maths, and a few topics from A2 Maths which we think students will have covered by the time of the test.

Due to A-level reform in the UK, and specifically syllabus reform of A-level Mathematics, the syllabus for the MAT was updated in 2018. In order to reflect the new syllabus of AS-level Mathematics, we removed the remainder theorem, radians, and the trapezium rule from the syllabus. We added combinations and binomial probabilities, derivative of $e^{kx}$, differentiation from first principles, graphs of $\log_{a}(x)$.

Note for teachers: We will continue to include sequences and series on the MAT syllabus, including: arithmetic and geometric progressions and their sums, convergence condition for infinite geometric progressions. As such, if there is flexibility in when a teacher is covering sequences and series, we would recommend that students are taught this material either at the end of year 12 or at the beginning of year 13 (prior to October half-term).

How to register for the MAT

You will sit the test in either your school or a local test centre. Any school can register to become a test centre, following the instructions on the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website. Please note that schools must apply to become new test centres by the 30th September. The school must then register you for the test via the Entries Extranet. Although your school has to do this, it is your responsibility to make sure your school knows which test you should be sitting; for Maths, Maths and Computer Science, Maths and Philosophy, and Maths and Statistics, candidates should register to sit the MAT.

If your school is unable to register to become a test centre, you will have to sit the test at a local test centre. You can use the Find a Test Centre service to locate eligible test centres nearby.

In the course of registering for and sitting the MAT, you will provide information about yourself. If you are applying to the University of Oxford, the University is the "data controller" for this information, which means we decide how to use it and are responsible for looking after it in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and associated data protection legislation. You can read our privacy notice here.

How to prepare for the MAT

We strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the format of the MAT.  The test will be in the same format as it has been in 2007-18, although note that the multiple choice questions used to have four possible answers rather than five. The test 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. If you're unsure what this covers, please look at the PDF icon syllabus.

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. Part marks are available for the longer questions. 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, and 5
  • Mathematics & Computer Science applicants should attempt questions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6
  • Computer Science, Computer Science & Philosophy applicants should attempt questions 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7

You should practice doing the test under exam conditions, as time management is an important skill. Before the test you should be very familiar with C1 and C2 material - some students also find that looking at STEP can help them to prepare (although the questions are quite different in style). 

We recommend taking a look at the following online resources to help expand your mathematical knowledge:

Important things to note

 

  • No calculators, formula sheets or dictionaries are permitted during the test.
  • There are spare blank pages at the end of the test paper. Answers on extra paper should be securely attached to the booklet.
  • Further credit cannot be gained by attempting questions other than those appropriate to the degree applied for.

Access arrangements

If an applicant normally has special arrangements when taking a test we would expect any such arrangements (e.g. extra time, writing aids, etc.) to be allowed as per usual. When your school or test centre registers you, they can select any access arrangements that need to be in place during the registration process. However, in line with the University's English Language requirements, we do not permit the use of foreign language dictionaries during the test (nor extra time solely for the use of dictionaries).

Mathematics at University

Find out whether you want to study maths at university by learning more about our research and how maths at university differs from maths at school.

Which Course?

See which of our four undergraduate degrees (Mathematics, Mathematics and Statistics, Mathematics and Philosophy, Mathematics and Computer Science) interests you the most.

How to Apply

A guide to the application process for applicants, as well as key dates.

Our Offer

A guide to the conditional offers made by our department for all undergraduate courses.