Applying to Engineering: 6 Month Revision Timeline

The PAT and ENGAA tests are officially 6 months away so start planning your revision now! This article will go through what we suggest you should do for the next 6 months to efficiently revise for your test. We will cover everything from starting your research plan (now!) and all the advice you should follow on the night before.

Author: Rob Needleman

Table of Contents

The PAT and ENGAA tests are officially 6 months away so start planning your revision now!

This article will go through what we suggest you should do for the next 6 months to efficiently revise for your test. We will cover everything from starting your research plan (now!) and all the advice you should follow on the night before.

Start researching: 6 months to go

We are 183 days away from the PAT and the ENGAA tests but, as you have probably experienced before, time does fly fast. Think about other situations like this, for example, your GSCEs. If you didn’t start your revision early, you most likely had a very stressful couple of weeks and probably did not score as high as you would have liked. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad student, it just means your organisation skills need work. Reading this article is a step in the right direction!

Rather than cramming for 8h+ every day, just weeks before your test, you should take a more relaxed approach. Instead, revise every day for a little bit (30min to an hour) from now till the exam date. Spaced repetition is a great way to revise and manage stress levels. If you want to read more about it, we have covered this topic in more detail here, so definitely read it if need some tips on learning more efficiently.

At this stage, the first thing to is to research the test you will be taking. Whether you are taking the PAT or the ENGAA, knowing exactly what to expect on the test date is the best way to organise your revision.

If you are applying to Cambridge you will be taking the ENGAA. If you’re applying to Oxford then it’s the PAT

Create a Plan: 5 months to go

The admission test is part of a complex admission process. Without a good score, you are jeopardising your chances of getting into your preferred university. The way each university uses the admission test score will vary, so the most efficient way of making sure you will get in is to have a strong score. In case this is too ambiguous, we have written article that explains what’s a good score here.  

The first thing you should do is create a timetable. This can be as complex or simple as you wish, the important thing is to have a visual element to help you organise your revision topics. Do not spend too much time creating the timetable or perfecting it, your plans are likely to change from now till November.

The main thing at this stage is to have a structured approach to your revision, which you can use as a guide. We guarantee this will you save you a lot of time down the line – so do not neglect the planning stage!

You can start by looking at articles that go through (in detail) the basics of the admission test you’re taking so you know what to expect. This will give you a better idea of what you need to study and, therefore, include in your revision plan. 

Revise Intensely: 3-4 months to go

At this stage, you will thank us for introducing you to spaced repetition. Enjoy your break from school and don’t spend all your time revising. If you stick to the plan you have created, you will stay on track.


Thirty minutes of intensive revision for the PAT or ENGAA is enough at this phase. Don’t start doing past papers just yet! Keep revising and building up your knowledge with some practice questions.


Split your 30 minutes of revision a day: we suggest 15 minutes in the morning and another 15 in the evening. It might not seem much at first, but remember you are doing this for months! (It quickly adds up)

Contrarily to other admission tests the ENGAA is strictly multiple choice which means that sometimes looking at the choices might give you an indication of the right concept to utilise or at least the direction to take. So keep this in mind when you revise.

Identify areas to improve: 2 months to go

At this stage, you can congratulate yourself for sticking to your revision plan. You are ahead of most of the applicants for the test and this will pay off when you get your score!


Start reflecting on your strengths and weakness. These can be a certain topic you have covered and didn’t fully understand, a section of the test that you aren’t sure how it works, or time management for example. Just make sure to take some time to identify these so that you can work on them from now on.


We advise you to start working on past paper under timed conditions and, if possible, mimic a test environment. This will help you get a more accurate score.


Mark your practice test and identify the areas in which you were good and bad. You can now adjust the plan you created a few months ago to reflect the new topics you need to focus on. But don’t remove a topic from your plan just because you did particularly well! You can spend less time revising it but don’t exclude it completely.

If you’re taking the PAT remember to never erase your work. Because the test doesn’t have a strict marking scheme, you might be awarded half marks if your answer is “half-right”. So if you’re struggling with a question, make sure to writing everything down!

Polish up your strategy: 1 month to go

You have now been preparing for 5 months so remember: you are ahead of the majority of the candidates at this stage! If you feel it’s necessary, you can increase your daily revision time. We know this might help psychologically but don’t fatigue yourself!


Do as many past papers as possible and always under timed conditions. You should be fully comfortable with the time available to complete the test. Practice any other auxiliary skills such as your reading speed.


At this point, you should be an expert on the test structure and question types. Use this last month to perfect anything that you think is necessary.

Remember: If you are taking the ENGAA you cannot use a calculator for Section 2 so make sure to practice calculus. 

Final tips: 1 day to go

Don’t stress. You have been preparing for months and you are ready – keep telling yourself this! Here are our final tips:

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