There are some exams produced for students who wish to take Maths or other numerate subjects at some top-performing universities. Most students who apply for Maths at University do not need to take any of the exams mentioned in this section; be advised by the University admissions system and/or by school staff on whether you need to consider these exams.
The reform of A levels means that students are not taking AS levels in subjects they intend to study at University; this has led to a boom in these entrance tests especially at the top-end Universities. I am receiving many more requests for help in these tests. Things are changing so fast in this area at the moment (summer 2021) that this page is probably out-of-date the week after I publish it.
There are 5 such exams that I have tutored so far. They all provide imaginative questions that really test a student’s understanding of the topics. They all assume some knowledge of A Level . However, they try and succeed in testing raw Mathematical Ability rather than the syllabus. Some of them are non-calculator tests
AEA (Advanced Extension Award)
This is sat in the same exam season as a student’s A2 exams. In recent years it has been at the end of June, so typically a week or more after the rest of a student’s exams. AEA exams were introduced in 2002 to replace the “S Level” scholarship papers and existed for most major subjects. They were axed in 2009 for all subjects except Maths.
The only board that does AEA Maths is Edexcel. If your school does not deal with Edexcel, they should be able to place you as an external candidate elsewhere.
A university offer may expect you to get a certain grade in AEA Maths, but most universities will not make this a requirement.
MAT (Mathematics Aptitude Test)
This exam originating in Oxford is paradoxically under the control of Cambridge University.
This is sat in the early November of year 13. The exam will be marked before the student is invited to Oxford for the December interview for an undergraduate place.
Imperial College also uses the MAT exam to select potential undergraduates.
CSAT (Cambridge – Computer Science Admissions Test)
This exam is under the control of Cambridge University; the student would need to travel to University to sit the exam on the same day as the interview.
TSA (Thinking Skills)
There are now (summer 2018) various Thinking Skills exams for various universities (Oxford, Cambridge & UCL). I’ve not tutored for them all; the ones I have worked on have many wordy questions to do in a very short period of time.
STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper)
This Maths exam is under the control of Cambridge University; the student would need to travel to University to sit the exam.
This is sat in the same exam season as students’ A2 exams. This is a very tough exam.
An offer from Cambridge may expect you to get a certain grade in STEP.
I can help as a Maths Tutor for most of these exams. Some of the papers (in particular the third STEP paper) are very tough and stretch my abilities as a Mathematician.
- AEA – http://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/Advanced%20Extension%20Award/Mathematics/2013/Exam%20materials/9801_01_que_20130625.pdf
- MAT – https://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/system/files/attachments/test13.pdf
- CSAT – https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/admissions-test/sample-test.pdf
- TSA – http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/Images/378559-tsa-oxford-2016-section-1.pdf
- STEP – http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/Images/150200-2013-past-papers-documnt.zip
These links seem to change all the time; please let me know (see contact page) if one of them doesn’t work.
In addition to AEA, MAT, CSAT, TSA and STEP (which are aimed only at Maths or highly-numerate subjects) there are other University Entrance Tests which have some Mathematical or non-Verbal Reasoning content. I am aware of the following:
- UKCAT (the UK Clinical Aptitude Test) which is mandatory for many Medicine and Dentistry Degrees. http://www.ukcat.ac.uk/about-the-test/
- BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) which is mandatory for many Medicine, Veterinary and Dentistry Degrees http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/for-test-takers/bmat/about-bmat/
Martin Procter – July 2021