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If the course you’re applying for at Oxford requires an admissions test, you will want to prepare to make sure you get the best possible score. But what kind of score should you be aiming for? Without official grade boundaries as in the GCSE or A-level system it can be hard to know what mark will impress admissions tutors. In this blog post, we’ll take you through what constitutes a good score for a few admissions tests using data from the most recent admissions cycles (2021 and 2022 entry). We have this data for every test taken for Oxford and Cambridge entry for the past several years, so get in contact with us if you would like to discuss your specific situation.

It is important to bear in mind that no score will guarantee you an interview or an offer. Academic grades are also essential in determining whether you will be selected for interview (with Oxford placing a lot of emphasis on GCSE results), and ultimately admissions tutors will consider your application as a whole. Moreover, what constitutes a “good score” will vary year on year depending on the scores of that year’s cohort, so it is difficult to know in advance if your score is among the best for that year. It’s also the case that certain courses put more weight on the admissions test score in the admissions process. For example, the TSA, PAT, and MAT tests at Oxford all have a long history, and tend to be very good predictors of whether applicants reach interview and eventually get a place. Nevertheless, it is useful to consider the scores of shortlisted and successful applicants from recent years so you know roughly what to aim for.

Law

Law applicants for Oxford and Cambridge both sit the LNAT from 2022. Applicants for Law at Oxford sit the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT). For the last two application cycles, the average multiple choice scores were as follows:

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

20.7

27.26

28.34

2020/21 Application

20.91

26.64

27.8

Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

At Oxford and Cambridge, applicants for Medicine will sit the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT); you may also have to sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), depending on which other universities you are applying to. Not all sections of the BMAT are weighted the same, and weightings can change year on year. If you want to know which universities to apply to with your particular BMAT score, check out our handy resource on it. BMAT Total marks for the last two application cycles for Medicine applicants at Oxford were as follows:

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

48.67

65.92

67.98

2020/21 Application

52.28

68.04

68.88

 

For Biomedical science applicants, who also sit the BMAT exam, the average marks for the past two application cycles were as follows:

 

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

47.92

62.85

64.45

2020/21 Application

50.44

66.86

66.98

English

Applicants for English Language and Literature at Oxford will take the English Language Admissions Test (ELAT).

At Oxford, candidates will be divided into bands based on their scores with band 1 signifying those candidates who are most likely to be invited to interview, band 2 signifying those fairly likely to be interviewed provided that the other elements of their application is up to scratch, band 3 signifying those students who may not be invited unless other factors outweigh the score, and band 4 signifying those least likely to be invited. In 2019, band 1 candidates scored between 51 and 60; band 2 candidates scored between 45 and 50; band 3 candidates scored between 40 and 44; and band 4 candidates scored 39 or less. For the past two admissions cycles, the average ELAT scores for English applicants at Oxford were as follows:

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

36.2

46.18

48.06

2020/21 Application

36.61

45.48

47

History

Historians applying to Oxford will sit the History Aptitude Test (HAT), which is scored out of 90. For the past two years, average HAT scores for Oxford applicants to the History course were as follows:

 

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

42.21

64.15

67.92

2020/21 Application

45.71

61.6

64.93

Mathematics and Computer Science

The Mathematics Admission Test (MAT) exam, marked out of 100, is used for several courses at Oxford as an important factor in selecting applicants to interview. Below are the statistics for Mathematics applicants, but bear in mind these vary slightly depending on the course (see Computer Science below), and, as you can see below, thresholds and difficulty vary year by year. See our bank of resources on the MAT exam here.

 

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

44.34

70.37

74.08

2020/21 Application

50.25

75.95

82.08

 

For Computer Science, the MAT is also used heavily in the admissions process. The average scores for the past two years of admissions cycles were as follows:

 

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

30.83

55.83

60.67

2020/21 Application

44.18

77.6

83.03

PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) and Economics and Management

PPE applicants for Oxford sit the TSA, the Thinking Skills Assessment (we wrote the original guide to this). This is also sat by applicants for Economics and Management, Human Sciences, PPL (Philosophy, Psychology, and Linguistics), History and Economics, and Experimental Psychology, as well as a couple courses at other universities (including ISPS at UCL). Given the difference in competition for these courses, the TSA is weighted differently between them in order to inform which applicants to interview. As seen below, the jump between deselected and shortlisted is significant, but the jump between shortlisted and offered is less so, indicating the importance of the interview once applicants reach that point.

For the past two years, the multiple choice scores for PPE applicants were as follows:

 

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

62.72

73.31

75.87

2020/21 Application

67.45

77.62

80.22

 

For Economics and Management applicants, the scores were as follows:

 

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

62.68

73.39

76.46

2020/21 Application

66.11

76.9

80.81

Physics and Engineering Science

Applicants for Physics, Engineering Science, Physics with Philosophy, and Materials Sciences sit the 2-hour Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) pre-interview, marked out of 100 and including 24 questions. Like the TSA and the MAT, the PAT has an especially strong correlation with likelihood of being offered a place. 

For the past two years, the scores for Physics applicants were as follows:

 

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

35.84

63.61

71.11

2020/21 Application

42.96

66.49

72.4

For Engineering Science applicants, the scores were as follows:

 

Deselect Average

Shortlist Average

Offer Average

2021/22 Application

34.27

53.38

56.63

2020/21 Application

44.3

34.27

59.38

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We provide one-to-one tuition, mock test materials, and free advice on admissions tests, as well as guidance on wider application strategy and other aspects of the application process. We also have data on admissions tests for every course at Oxford and Cambridge, not only those shown above. For specialist advice on admissions tests or any aspect of your application, get in touch with our expert consultants on + 44 (0) 20 7499 2394 or send us your query at info@oxbridgeapplications.com

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