Many universities require students to study an admissions tests when applying at their university. Though not all universities require them, many have started to offer them as applications rise.
What is a MAT Test?
MAT stands for Maths Admissions Test and is used to determine an applicant’s proficiency in mathematics. The test itself is unique in that there is no pass or fail grade, it is merely to test a candidate’s knowledge of mathematics and is then tabulated with your UCAS application.
There are other forms of the MAT that are offered by other universities, such as the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA), which is a more common form of admissions test. While other tests, such as the Test of English Proficiency (TEP), British Mathematical Olympiad (BMO) and the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) are also available elsewhere and are provided for international students looking to study in the UK.
Which universities use the MAT?
There are only four universities in the UK that use the MAT, which are:
As you may have noticed, these four universities are all members of the Russell Group of Universities, a group of universities that is made up of twenty-four public research universities, thought to be some of the best in the UK, even the world!
These universities have a very high number of applicants as it is, however, the somewhat guarded nature of the universities and their exceptionally high standards regarding the university’s graduation marks means that admittance is exceptionally tough.
Many universities require students to study an admissions test when applying at their university.
What happens during the MAT Test?
The MAT Test is two hours and thirty minutes and has seven questions. While this seems like a relatively small amount of questions, the format is a little different from your average test.
Applicants are required to answer the first question and then four questions between two and seven, the paper will directly inform you as to which ones you need to answer. The reason for this is because the test is not a “one-size fits all”, so you will only be asked to answer the questions that relate to your course.
In terms of difficulty, the test is not at university-standard, it will be at a general AS-Level or A Level Mathematics equivalent, so you won't need to worry about learning a new series of maths skills or something, but a quick brush-up on your maths wouldn’t be a bad idea.
During the test, you will not be allowed to use either a dictionary or a calculator.
When is the MAT Test?
Dates change every year, but usually, this is the general timeline:
- September: Registration opens.
- End of September: Last date for you to request modified question exam papers.
- October: Registration closes.
- November: Testing begins.
- January: Final decisions are sent out to applicants.
How do you sit the MAT?
The MAT Test papers are sat at an authorised test centre. It has been known for students to sit the test at their school or college, but only if they have special permission to do so or their school or college is a registered test centre.
When arriving at the test centre you will need your UCAS ID, your date of birth and your full name. Those that need special assistance with the MAT Test will need to speak to the testing centre beforehand.
In terms of difficulty, the test is not at university-standard, it will be at a general AS-Level.
Can you revise for the MAT?
Yes, you can! There are lots of MAT Test past papers available for students. If you cannot find any, then you will likely be able to test yourself with some AS Level or A Level Mathematics questions.
Revision for the MAT Test is easier than for general A-Level revision as the University of Oxford have their own MAT Test resources section for students to use as well.