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Are you preparing to apply to universities in the UK for courses in Mathematics, Economics, Engineering, or related fields? If so, you may be aware that new admissions tests introduced this year by Oxford and Cambridge are also being used across various other Russell Group Universities.

Even for universities who do not mandate admissions tests, taking a maths test like the TMUA, MAT, or STEP can help you stand out from the pack, boosting your chances of an offer.

These changes can be confusing, and keeping on top of them all is a big task. Not to fear! We have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the maze of new tests required by the various universities for particular courses. These tests are:

  1. Engineering and Science Admissions Test (ESAT)
  2. Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA)
  3. Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT)




Our Admissions Test Tuition Packages pair applicants with Oxbridge-graduate tutors to provide bespoke, targeted sessions aimed at boosting admissions test performance. Every session uses exclusive in-house mock tests.

Engineering and Science Admissions Test (ESAT)

Imperial College London: 

All courses in the following departments of Imperial College London now require this test, implemented on the Cambridge Engineering and Natural Sciences courses.

  • Department of Aeronautics
  • Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Department of Design Engineering
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Department of Physics

Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA)

Imperial College London: 

The TMUA is now compulsory for Computing, Joint Mathematics with Computing, and Economics, Finance, and Data courses.


London School of Economics: 

The TMUA is now compulsory for Economics and Economics and Mathematical Economics.

The TMUA is strongly recommended for the following LSE courses:

  • Mathematics and Economics
  • Mathematics with Economics
  • Financial Mathematics and Statistics
  • Mathematics with Data Science
  • Mathematics, Statistics and Business
  • Data Science
  • Actuarial Science
  • Actuarial Science (with a placement year)


Students are encouraged to take the TMUA for Mathematics-related courses to help in selection. A good TMUA result may entitle students to a lower offer.  



Lancaster has historically welcomed TMUA results for applicants to Mathematics-related courses. A good TMUA score can boost chances of acceptance and will help students in August if they narrowly miss their A-Level grades. We are yet to confirm if this stands for 2025, so be sure to check with your specific course when applying. 



Lower offers may be awarded to applicants for Mathematics who have sat the TMUA. 


Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT)

Imperial College London: 

The MAT is compulsory for all courses in the Department of Mathematics (except for Joint Mathematics with Computing, which uses the TMUA as above) if application is submitted by the 15th October. For applicants submitting after the 15th October, the STEP is required instead. This includes:

  • Mathematics Mathematics (Pure Mathematics)
  • Mathematics with Statistics
  • Mathematics with Applied Mathematics/Mathematical Physics
  • Mathematics with Mathematical Computation
  • Mathematics with Statistics for Finance



The MAT is encouraged for applicants to Mathematics or Statistics courses, including joint degrees with Computer Science or Economics. 


Students are encouraged to consider the MAT if not taking the TMUA (for example, if an applicant is applying to Oxford or Imperial as well as Durham, they may choose to take just the MAT rather than both the MAT and the TMUA).  



Lower offers may be awarded to applicants for Mathematics who have sat the MAT. Note that STEP is also considered desirable for Mathematics candidates at Southampton.  


Before applying, ensure you're familiar with the requirements of your prospective universities, including any compulsory or recommended tests. Admissions test requirements can change, so be sure to check the most recent information from the universities to which you are applying at the time of application.

Remember, preparation is key! Dedicate time to familiarise yourself with the test formats, practice diligently, and approach exam day with confidence. For help with preparation strategy, consider our admissions test tuition packages 


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