Maths Admissions Test

About the test

Why is there a test?

We can't interview all our applicants in the time available, so we shortlist around three applicants for every place to interview. 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. There is no "pass" mark for the MAT; we use the information from the test, together with all the details of your UCAS application and information about school background to decide who to shortlist.

What does the MAT test?

The MAT 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. It 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).

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.

How do I register?

You will sit the test in either your school or college or a local test centre. Any school or college 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 that you should be sitting the MAT.

If your school or college cannot register to become a test centre, you will instead 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.

Can I take the TMUA instead?

No. The Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA) is used by several universities, but is not used by Oxford. We recommend that you check the course pages of the other universities you plan to apply to. The TMUA will take place at the same time as the MAT on 30th October 2019, and is likely to be on the same date in future years. If you are expecting to sit both of these tests, please ask your school/ college/ test centre to complete a timetable variation form, which allows the tests to be taken on the same day, but at different times. (For more information please see the CAAT website.) As both the MAT and the TMUA test problem-solving skills in maths, it is likely that your preparation for both will overlap.

Can I take STEP/ BMO/ IMO instead?

No.

How is the test marked?

The MAT is marked by University of Oxford graduate students. For the multiple-choice questions, there are no marks available for working out. For the long questions, our markers will look carefully at what you've written and give you an appropriate number of marks following an agreed mark scheme. Sample solutions are given in the table below, but we give marks to any correct attempt. Our markers develop conventions and special cases during the marking process. You should not be worried while practicing if your answer does not exactly match the sample solutions below; provided you've followed the instructions in the question and it's clear what you're doing, you should get the marks.

Please note

  • No calculators, formula sheets or dictionaries are permitted during the test.
  • Space is provided throughout the test paper for your solutions, and there are spare blank pages at the end of the test paper for you to continue if necessary.
  • Further credit cannot be gained by attempting questions other than those appropriate to the degree applied for.
  • If you normally have 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.

Key dates

15 October 2019, 6pm BST Registration deadline
30 October 2019 Test date
November 2019 Shortlisting decisions sent to applicants
January 2020 Final decisions sent to applicants. After this, you can request feedback on admissions (including your MAT score) from the college you applied to.

How to prepare for the MAT

We strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the format of the MAT. The test lasts 2½ hours; candidates are encouraged to practice a past paper under timed conditions as time management is an important skill. Candidates should attempt five of the questions, the selection depending on the degree for which they are applying. The instructions below are printed 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

Question 1 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.

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

   

 

Syllabus changes in 2018

Due to A-level reform in the UK, and specifically syllabus reform of A-level Mathematics, the PDF icon MAT syllabus 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).

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.