Important notice for current applicants for Classics, Classics and English, Classics and Modern Languages and Classics and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies: decision on use of the Classics Admissions Test (CAT)
Thank you for your patience while we gathered data about the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) that took place on Thursday, 19 October. In our initial statement on Tuesday, 24 October, we committed to ensuring that no candidate would be disadvantaged as a result of the technical difficulties they suffered while taking the test. We are also aware that some candidates who did not experience technical difficulties themselves will have been affected by the difficulties encountered by other candidates who were sitting tests in the same room.
We have now carefully considered the data and the options available to us, and we have decided that that the problems were so extensive that the Classics Admissions Test will not play any part in our assessments this year, and will not be marked. In its place, for those candidates invited for interview, applicants for Course I should expect a linguistic task in the classical language(s) they are studying to A-level (or equivalent) as part of their interview process; applicants for Course II should expect a task enabling them to demonstrate their linguistic aptitude as part of their interview process. Further details will be provided to candidates in the coming weeks.
We recognise that candidates will have spent considerable time and effort preparing for and sitting the test and this effort remains useful for the alternative tasks that will be used to assess these skills. The decision to exclude the test from the admissions process this year was not taken lightly, but we believe that the approach we are now taking is the only way to ensure that our admissions process remains fair for all candidates.
What is the CAT?
If you are applying for one of the following courses you will be required to sit the CAT: Classics, Classics and English, Classics 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 of the 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. You will need to take this at an authorised test centre which in most cases, will be your school or college.
All applicants taking this test will be invited to practise taking the 2022 past paper (or equivalent) 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 exploring these.
Which tests do I need to take?
Classics Course I (Q800)
- Classics I is for those who 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.
Classics Course II (Q810)
- Classics II 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 English (QQ38)
- Classics (I) 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. You must also sit the ELAT.
Classics II and English (QQH8)
- Classics II and English 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. You must also sit the ELAT.
Classics and Modern Languages
- Classics I: 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 II: 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
- All candidates for both Classics with Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Q8T9) and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies with Classics (T9Q8) must take the third test, the Classics Language Aptitude Test.
- For both Q8T9 and T9Q8: if you are studying Latin or Greek to A-level or equivalent you must also take the Translation Test(s) in whichever of those languages you are studying.
Greek and Latin Translation Tests:
The two translation tests each consist of a short passage in the prose or 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.
Why do I have to take a test?
Most applicants to Oxford University have great personal statements, excellent references, and are also predicted top grades. It can therefore be difficult for us to choose between so many well-qualified candidates, especially as applicants come from all over the world and take different qualifications.
Tests give us an extra piece of information for every student who has applied for a given course, wherever they are from. Considered together with the other elements of the application, this helps us to identify the very best candidates. However, there is no specific mark that will guarantee your application will be shortlisted. The tests vary each year, and your test score will be considered alongside the scores of other students who apply for your course.
How are the tests designed and reviewed?
When a department wishes to introduce a new admissions test for their course, there is a substantial consultation process within the University, including a pilot testing phase, designed to ensure that the test is suitable. Where appropriate, subject departments are encouraged to share common tests, or elements of tests, to ease the process of application for the student and administration for the school or college. Use of the tests is carefully reviewed and we undertake substantial statistical evaluation of each test.
How do I register?
Make sure you are registered for your Oxford admissions test anytime between 1 September and 29 September.
Test arrangements for joint courses:
When registered by your centre, you will receive two test registration IDs as confirmation that this has been successful.
Test registration isn't automatic and just completing your UCAS application won't register you for the test. You cannot register yourself for an admissions test. This must be done on your behalf through an authorised test centre. For most candidates this is their own school or college, but can also be an open test centre.
First, check Oxford's test centre portal to see if your school or college is already an authorised test centre. If you can’t find them listed, then get in contact with your exams officer as soon as possible and direct them to our information on becoming an Oxford/TCS test centre. Applying to become a test centre should be quick and straightforward, particularly if the school or college are used to running public examinations or have previously run Oxford’s admissions tests. New centres can be authorised until 15 September.
If for any reason your school or college cannot apply for centre authorisation or you are no longer in education, please read the information below on taking your test at an open centre.
Authorised schools, colleges and other test centres will be able to register candidates for Oxford’s admissions tests anytime between 1 September and 29 September.
Once your test centre has registered you for your test, you will receive an automated email giving you a candidate test registration ID. This email will also give you login details for the test platform and guidance on how to prepare for your Oxford admissions test.
Please make sure you have received this automated email with your candidate test registration ID and other instructions as proof of entry by midnight on 29 September.
To be registered, you will need to provide your centre with the following information:
- Date of birth
- Chosen course name and code (this is on the course webpage)
- UCAS ID number (you will have been given this when you opened your UCAS application)
- Email address (as it appears on your UCAS form)
- Details of any access arrangements you require (together with evidence to support your request unless your centre already has this information).
Registering at an open test centre:
If for any reason your school cannot become a test centre or your circumstances make this impractical, you can take your test at an authorised open centre. The list of current open centres is available on the Find a test centre page of the test centre portal. This will be expanded over the coming weeks as centres become authorised so if you can’t immediately find a centre, please check this regularly for updates.
Approved test centres can register candidates for Oxford admission tests anytime between 1 September and 29 September.
Please make sure you have your candidate test registration ID as proof by the time registrations close at midnight on 29 September.
If you cannot find a test centre within reasonable travelling distance of your home town, please contact the Support Team at TCS.
Do I have to pay?
We do not charge candidates to take this test. However, please be aware that some independent test centres do charge an administration fee to candidates; you should contact your centre for details.
Test preparation and practice materials
Read the candidate preparation checklist.
Taking any type of test or exam can be stressful, but you can help build your confidence by doing some preparation ahead of time. You are likely to do better in the real test if you've had a chance to practise some sample or past papers and got used to the format and timings of the admissions test you have to take.
The CAT now takes place online but as the structure and the content have not changed, you will still find it helpful to practise for the test with the past papers and other practice materials on this page.
Our general advice is to follow these steps:
- Before 29 September (the registration deadline), check that you have received email confirmation of your test registration, together with your test registration ID and log in details (username and password) for the online test platform.
- Explore the test-specific practice materials for your test available below. As your test will be fully online this year, we recommend typing your practice answers to past papers.
- Watch the video demonstrating how to use the online test platform and prepare for your test.
- Once you have watched the videos and explored the practice materials below, we strongly recommend you have a go at your online practice test (click on the button below) which is the 2022 past paper. You might want not to look at this past paper in advance so that you can mimic the experience of taking the online test unseen and as if for real. Having a go at the online practice test will not only allow you to practise answering some past questions and learn the structure of the test. It will also allow you to familiarise yourself with the online test platform and the tools available to support you. These will include accessibility features such as increasing font size, using coloured overlays and high contrast. This will mean that on test day you are able to focus fully on the content of your answers.
- Please note that you will not be able to access a score or any feedback on your online practice test.
Here are our top tips for preparing for the CAT:
- Watch our CAT Workshop video (if you're applying for Course I) or CLAT Workshop video (if you're applying for Course II).
- Review the past papers for the CAT. This will help you to feel familiar with the test paper and know what to expect.
- Sit at least one past paper in test conditions. This is really important as it will help you get used to how much time to allocate to each question.
Don't worry if you find the past or specimen papers very difficult - they're supposed to be! All our tests are designed to stretch you further than you have been stretched before – most candidates will find them really hard.
Note: during the real test, for security reasons, the test platform will lock if you try and navigate away from it. If this happens accidentally, your test centre administrator will be able to unlock it again.
CAT and CLAT Workshop videos
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. Which of the papers you take depends on whether you are apply for Classics I or Classics II. If you are studying Latin or Greek to A-level or equivalent (and are applying for Course I), you must take the paper(s) in the language(s) you are studying. If you are studying neither Latin nor Greek to A-level or equivalent (and are applying for Course II), you must take the third paper, the Classics Language Aptitude Test.
- CAT paper 2022 (used for online practice test)
- CAT paper 2021
- CAT paper 2020
- CAT paper 2019
- CAT paper 2018
- CAT paper 2017
- CAT paper 2016
- CAT paper 2015
- CAT paper 2014
- CAT paper 2013
- CAT paper 2012
- CAT paper 2010
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.
- CLAT 2020 solutions
- CLAT 2019 solutions
- CLAT 2018 solutions
- CLAT 2017 solutions
- CLAT 2016 solutions
- CLAT 2015 solutions
- CLAT 2014 solutions
- CLAT 2013 solutions
- CLAT 2012 solutions
- CLAT 2010 solutions
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?
Depending on which test is being taken, this will be on one of the two dates given below, so a few weeks after the test registration deadline of 29 September.
2023 test dates:
19 October: CAT, ELAT, GAT and MAT
20 October: HAT, MLAT, PAT and Philosophy Test
We are aware that sometimes tests fall during school half terms which vary by region each year. Unfortunately due to the tight timeframes for processing applications, it is not possible to avoid this but we hope that by giving considerable notice of test dates, schools will be able to make plans for their students to sit tests either at their school or at an alternative test centre and candidates will make sure they are available to take the necessary test(s). You can find more information on test start times by location and the test timetable on our Information for schools, colleges and other test centres webpage.
Our admissions tests are an important part of our assessment process so please ensure your school, college or other test centre registers you for your test (or tests) by 29 September.
It is not possible to re-sit a test. If you feel you did badly due to extenuating circumstances, for example: if you were ill on the day of the test, your test centre can submit a special considerations form for you; or if there was some form of disruption at the test centre you can submit the form yourself. Application forms must be received within 5 days of the test date.
Remember to ensure you are registered for the test by 29 September, even if you feel exceptional circumstances may mean there is a risk you will not be able take it.
Our admissions tests are an important part of our assessment process for candidates and in order to make sure your application is as competitive as possible, we strongly advise that you make every effort to sit the test.
If you experience exceptional circumstances beyond your control which prevent this, please alert the college you have applied to as soon as possible.
If you have made an open application, please contact us using our contact form. In this case your application will be considered using the other information you give us as part of your UCAS form and alongside other candidates applying for your subject.