CAT (Classics Admissions Test)

What is the CAT? 

If you are applying for one of the following courses you will be required to sit the CAT: ClassicsClassics and EnglishClassics and Modern Languages and Classics and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

The Classics Admissions Test consists of three separate computer-based tests:

  • the Latin Translation Test
  • the Greek Translation Test 
  • and the Classics Language Aptitude Test (CLAT).

Each paper lasts 1 hour and is sat under timed exam conditions. Which papers you take depends on the course you are applying for, and whether you are studying Latin or Greek to A-level or equivalent.

This Oxford admissions test is now computer-based, and you will need to take this at an authorised test centre. Registration to book your test will be open from Thursday 15 August 2024 and will close on Friday 4 October 2024.

All applicants taking this test are invited to practise taking a sample paper online in advance of their test day. Please note that as the content and structure of this test has not changed, all existing online resources and past papers are still valuable preparation for you and we strongly recommend you explore these.

Which tests do I need to take? 

Classics (Q800)

  • If you are studying Latin or Greek to A-level or equivalent, you must take the Translation Test(s) in whichever of those languages you are studying.
  • If you are studying neither Latin nor Greek to A-level or equivalent, you must take the Classics Language Aptitude Test.

Classics and English (QQ38)

  • Classics and English is for those who are studying Latin or Greek to A-level or equivalent. You must take Translation Test(s) in whichever of those languages you are studying.

Classics and English with Beginners' Latin or Greek (QQH8)

  • Classics and English with Beginners' Latin or Greek is for those who are studying neither Latin nor Greek to A-level or equivalent. You must take the third test, the Classics Language Aptitude Test.

Classics and Modern Languages

  • Classics and Modern Languages options A: If you are studying Latin or Greek to A-level or equivalent, you must take the Translation Test(s) in whichever of those languages you are studying. You must also sit the MLAT.
  • Classics and Modern Languages option A with Beginners' Latin or Greek: If you are studying neither Latin nor Greek to A-level or equivalent, you must take the third test, the Classics Language Aptitude Test. You must also sit the MLAT.
  • Classics and Modern Languages options B: If you are studying Latin or Greek to A-level or equivalent, you must take the Translation Test(s) in whichever of those languages you are studying. If you are studying neither Latin nor Greek to A-level or equivalent, you must take the third test, the Classics Language Aptitude Test. You must also sit the MLAT.

Classics and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 

  • For both Q8T9 and T9Q8: if you are studying Latin or Greek to A-level or equivalent you must take the Translation Test(s) in whichever of those languages you are studying. If you are studying neither Latin nor Greek to A-level or equivalent, you must take the Classics Language Aptitude Test.

Greek and Latin Translation Tests

The two translation tests each consist of a short passage in the prose and verse of the classical language, to be translated into English. The passages are carefully chosen to be of a difficulty suitable to students at A-level or equivalent.

You are not allowed to take dictionaries, grammar books or notes into the test, so if you are not used to translating without these aids, you should get lots of practise doing so, and try to learn vocabulary before sitting the test.

Classics Language Aptitude Test

The CLAT is designed to assess your ability to analyse how languages work, in a way which doesn't depend on your knowledge of any particular language. Instead we are looking to gauge your aptitude for learning a new language rapidly.

How do I register? 

New arrangements for this test for 2025-entry will be communicated at the earliest opportunity. 

Test preparation and practice materials

New arrangements for this test for 2025-entry will be communicated at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, you are welcome to explore the test preparation and practice materials which you may find helpful. 

Past papers

Review the sample papers below for the CAT.

The Classics Admissions Test consists of three separate papers:

  • the Latin Translation Test
  • the Greek Translation Test 
  • and the Classics Language Aptitude Test (CLAT).

You are given 1 hour for each paper that you answer. All candidates must take the relevant section(s) of the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) as part of their application.

The University does not endorse, or allow use of, its tests that are protected by copyright for commercial uses.

Classics Language Aptitude Test solutions

Below are the answers to the Language Aptitude Test, which you can use to mark your own answers, or ask your teacher to refer to them. 

The University does not endorse, or allow use of, its tests that are protected by copyright for commercial use.

When do I take the test?

Oxford admissions tests will take place between 21 and 31 October 2024. Further details will be communicated at the earliest opportunity.