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Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing
Administering our tests
The test has been developed to help you select students with the best chance of success on challenging undergraduate Mathematics courses.
Focused on the skills needed for university maths
The test focuses on key skills needed for progression to university mathematics: applying standard knowledge in unfamiliar situations and mathematical reasoning. School mathematics qualifications typically do not test these skills so rigorously.
Identify students with the potential for success
Initial research has shown a positive relationship between scores on the test and first year undergraduate academic performance, helping to ensure that you pick the right students for your maths courses.
Key information at the time of admissions decision making
Because the test is taken around the time students are applying to university, it provides key information on an applicant’s potential, at the time when you are making admissions decisions.
Developed in consultation with leading universities
The test was developed in consultation with leading UK universities, to ensure it meets universities’ requirements. Trialling was undertaken to confirm the suitability of the test.
A common benchmark in a changing educational landscape
Your admissions team needs to compare diverse and changing qualifications from home and overseas. The test provides a common benchmark of ability that can allow you to compare all students directly.
The test is currently taken by students applying to undergraduate Mathematics and related courses at Durham University and Lancaster University, with more Mathematics departments across the UK interested in adopting the test.
Your institution can make the test an optional part of a student’s application (e.g., to support alternative offer-making), or a compulsory requirement of your admissions process.
The test is two hours long. It has two multiple-choice papers which are taken consecutively.
The test can be delivered:
For UK university admission:
Students can normally take the test in their own school or college. The 2016 test fee is £29 (or £43 outside of the EU).
Test centres may charge an additional administration fee.
We keep test fees to affordable levels to ensure they do not present a barrier to students entering university. For financially disadvantaged students, the test fee can be reimbursed.
For universities in other countries:
The test fee depends on how and where the test is administered. Test fees can be either charged directly to the institution, or passed on to test candidates.
Test development was guided by educational research, and in particular by an established mathematical taxonomy which divides mathematics questions into three groups, according to the skills and approaches needed:
While school mathematics qualifications tend to focus on group A, the Test of Mathematics for University Admission is designed to assess a student’s potential to deal with groups B and C, which are key for success in university study.
To ensure accessibility for students, the knowledge required to tackle the test questions is restricted to foundational pure mathematics.
Initial research has shown a positive relationship between scores on the test and first year academic performance. An ongoing programme of research will help to ensure the validity and reliability of the test.
The best way for students to prepare for the test is to familiarise themselves with the test format and question style, by doing practice papers.
Free sample papers and answer keys are available on the test’s preparation page.
The focus of the test is on mathematical thinking. It uses mathematics that students will have already learned in their school studies, so there should be no need for them to pay for coaching or take a preparation course.