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Which university admissions tests do you need to take?

Depending on where and what you're applying to, you might need to take a university admissions test. But which one(s)?

Admissions tests (also referred to as 'entry tests') are another way to help universities distinguish the top applicants, particularly for competitive courses. How you do in these will be taken into consideration, along with other things like your personal statement

Get to know exactly which university admissions tests you'll be required to take, so you don't miss the deadline. Some admissions tests are only available to take once a year – and you'll have to wait a year if you miss them.

Let's help you figure out which university admissions exams you might need to take and what they involve:

Which university admissions tests do you need to take?

Learn more about university entry requirements, or search for a course or subject to see what universities are looking for.

Applying to a law course

Applying to a mathematics course

Applying to a medical course

The admissions test you'll need to take will depend on the university you’re applying to and what their medical or dental school asks for. The options are the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (Gamsat) or the University Clinical Aptitude Test (Ucat). 

Applying to Oxford

​Applying to Cambridge

  • Applying to a mathematics course? You'll have to take the Step.

  • Applying to a medical course? You'll have to take the Ucat.

  • Applying to a law course? You'll have to take the Law National Aptitude Test (Lnat).
  • You may have to take a subject-specific test.
  • Applicants to English at Cambridge have to sit a written assessment if they are shortlisted for interview. 

Is your university asking for a specific admissions test?

Check Ucas' website for more details about what admissions exam your university is asking for. Make a note of the course code for the course you’re interested in and see whether it is listed here. 

University admissions tests – in detail


The Graduate Medical School Admissions test, originally developed in Australia, is used by some medical schools in the UK (as well as around the world). It's used as part of the admissions process for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

It's split into three sections: reasoning in humanities, written communication and reasoning in biological and physical sciences.

  • Who uses it? University of Exeter, University of Plymouth, University of Liverpool, Cardiff University, Keele University, St. George’s University of London, Swansea University, University of Nottingham, University of Sunderland, the University of East Anglia, Universities of St Andrews and Dundee (in partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands), University of Worcester and Ulster University. 
  • Key dates: The Gamsat is taken twice a year, in March (registration from early November to end of January) and September (registration from mid May to late July).
  • How long does it last? There are 5.25 hours of test time, which includes 21 minutes of reading time plus one hour of recess time.
  • How much does it cost? £286.

Learn more about Gamsat on its website.


The University Clinical Aptitude Test is a university admissions exam used by a number of university medical and dental schools to distinguish you from other applicants to these competitive courses. It tests verbal, quantitative and abstract reasoning, as well as decision analysis and situational judgement – all skills which students should possess should they get on to those courses.

  • Who uses it? University of Aberdeen, Anglia Ruskin University, Aston University, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, Brunel University London, Cardiff University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Chester, University of Dundee, Edge Hill University, University of East Anglia, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, Hull York Medical School, Keele University, Kent and Medway Medical School, King's College London, University of Leicester, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, Newcastle University, University of Nottingham, Plymouth University, Queen Mary University of London, Queen's University Belfast, St George's University of London, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, University of Surrey, University of St Andrews, University of Sunderland, University of Warwick and University of Worcester.
  • Key dates (for 2025 entry): 18 June 2024 – booking opens; 8 July 2024 – testing begins; 19 September 2024 – final booking deadline; 26 September 2024 – deadline to take test.
  • How long does it last? 120 mins approximately (including reading time).
  • How much does it cost? £70.

Learn more on the Ucat website.


The Law National Aptitude test is a university admissions test used by several universities to assess your aptitude for the skills required to study law, such as your ability to understand and interpret information.

The test is made up of a 42-question, multiple choice exam and an essay on a related subject. You do not need to possess any legal knowledge for the test.

  • Who uses it? University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Durham University, University of Glasgow, King’s College London, LSE, University of Oxford, SOAS and University College London.
  • Key dates (for 2025 entry): 1 August 2024: Lnat registration opens; 1 September 2024: Lnat testing begins.
  • Deadlines for Oxford applicants in 2023/24: 15 September 2024 – deadline to register and book your Lnat; 16 October 2024 – deadline to take the Lnat.
  • Deadlines for KCL, UCL & LSE applicants in 2023/24: 31 December 2024 – deadline to take the Lnat.
  • Deadlines for University of Bristol and University of Durham in 2023/24: 20 January 2025 – deadline to register and book your Lnat; 31 January 2025 – deadline to take the Lnat. 
  • Deadlines for all other applicants in 2023/24: 20 January 2025 – deadline to register and book your LNAT; 25 January 2025 – deadline to sit the Lnat.
  • How long does it last? Two-and-a-quarter hours.
  • How much does it cost? £75.

Visit the Lnat website to learn more.


If you're applying to a maths course at certain universities, you'll have to take the Sixth Term Examination Paper. This admissions exam tests your ability to answer similar questions to those you should expect on a degree course. 

There are two Step examinations: Step 2 and Step 3. There used to be a Step 1 exam as well, but it was scrapped a few years ago. Students take either one or two examinations; the university will decide which ones applicants take.

  • Who uses it? University of Cambridge, University of Warwick and Imperial College London, though other universities may ask applicants to take it as part of their offer.
  • ​Key dates (for 2025 entry): 1 March 2024 – Step entries open; 4 May 2024 – Step registration closes; 5 June 2024 – Step paper 2 takes place; 24 June 2024 – Step paper 3 takes place; 15 August 2024 – Step results published.
  • How long does it last? Each Step exam is three hours long. Candidates answer six questions in each.
  • How much does it cost? £93 per Step paper.

Learn more about Step on its website.


You'll have to take the Mathematics Admissions Test if you're applying to one of a handful of computer science and mathematics courses at Oxford. It's a paper-based admissions exam. 

  • Who uses it? University of Oxford, Imperial College London and the University of Warwick.
  • ​Key dates (for 2025 entry): to be announced
  • How long does it take? Two-and-a-half hours.
  • How much does it cost? No fee (though some test centres charge a small admin fee).

Learn more about the Mat on its website here.


The Classics Admissions Test is a paper-based university admissions exam you'll have to take if you're applying to one of Oxford's classics courses.

You must take either one or two of three possible papers: a Latin Translation Test, a Greek Translation Test and a Classics Language Aptitude Test.

  • Who uses it? University of Oxford.
  • Key dates (for 2025 entry): to be announced
  • How long does it take? Each paper is an hour.
  • How much does it cost? No fee (though some test centres charge a small admin fee).

Learn more about the Cat on the University of Oxford's website.


The English Literature Admissions Test is a paper-based university admissions test you'll have to take if applying to an English course at Oxford. 

The exam is taken prior to your interview and tests your close reading skills. You'll be required to write one essay comparing two passages, focusing on elements such as language, imagery and structure.

  • Who uses it? University of Oxford.
  • Key dates (for 2025 entry): to be announced
  • How long does it take? One-and-a-half hours.
  • How much does it cost? No fee (though some test centres charge a small admin fee).

Learn more about the Elat on its website.


You'll have to take the Modern Languages Admissions Test when applying to a modern languages course at Oxford.

It is a paper-based admissions test involving a booklet containing several papers (you'll take no more than two papers).

  • Who uses it? University of Oxford.
  • ​Key dates (for 2025 entry): to be announced
  • How much does it cost? No fee (though some test centres charge a small admin fee).

Learn more about the Mlat on the University of Oxford website here.


The Physics Aptitude Test is a university admissions test you'll take if you're applying to one of a handful of engineering, materials science and physics courses at Oxford. 

  • Who uses it? University of Oxford
  • Key dates (for 2025 entry): to be announced
  • How long does it take? Two hours.
  • How much does it cost? No fee (though some test centres charge a small admin fee).

Learn more about the Pat on the University of Oxford's website here.

Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA)

The TSA is a test used by Oxford and UCL to identify whether you have the critical thinking skills to study with them and succeed. Each have their own version of the TSA.

TSA Oxford

A two-hour test you'll take before your admissions interviews when applying to the following courses:

  • Experimental Psychology
  • Human Sciences
  • Philosophy
  • Politics and Economics 
  • Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics
  • Economics and Management (only required to take Section 1)
  • History and Economics (only required to take Section 1). 

Key dates (for 2025 entry): to be announced

Learn more about the Thinking Skills Assessment Oxford on its website.


The TSA UCL is a 90-minute multiple-choice test for appplicants to European Social and Political Studies (ESPS) and International Social and Political Studies (ISPS).

Candidates take the test online, in either January or March. There is no cost to sit the TSA at UCL. 

Learn more about the TSA UCL on its website.

Subject-specific Cambridge tests

Applicants must take a subject-specific test either before or at their interview.

These tests are designed to "assess your writing and language skills, and your levels of knowledge and understanding relevant to your course," the University of Cambridge says. 

Find out more on the Cambridge website here

Have a course in mind already? See what requirements you'll need to meet by searching for a course or subject.

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