The MAT Guide to the Test for Parents

The MAT Guide and Best Practices for Passing the Test. So your child has to take a MAT test and you want to know how you can help? This MAT guide will tell you all you need to know about the test and how you can help your child pass with flying colours.

Author: Zayra Morales

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The MAT Guide and Best Practices for Passing the Test

So your child has to take a MAT test and you want to know how you can help? This MAT guide will tell you all you need to know about the test and how you can help your child pass with flying colours.



What is the MAT test?

The Mathematics Aptitude Test – the MAT – is the entrance exam used to assess applicants to the Maths and Computer Science courses at Oxford. It’s an aptitude test which assesses your child’s conceptual understanding of mathematics and also of their ability to reason difficult problems and find solutions. The test assesses the way your child’s brain derives solutions from problems. Therefore, it is imperative that you spend time practicing with your child for the exam. Practicing for the test builds up the competence to get the best score possible.


The courses for Oxford undergraduates are rigorous. As such, admissions tests such as the MAT are predominantly used to ensure that applicants are suitable for the course.


What should be expected from the MAT? Guide to the test

The exam takes place for two and a half hours during which there are different sections to complete. Depending on whether your child is applying for pure mathematics, joint honours, or Computer Science, there will be different sections of the paper that is essential to complete.


In the 150 minutes of the exam, your child will need to work methodically through the paper. In the interest of time, it’s an MAT guide not to spend too long deliberating on a single question. Topics covering core A-Level modules in Maths and Further Maths, as well as Statistics and Mechanics modules, are expected in the test.


Your child will need to know these topics back to front before they head into the exam.


How do I help my child prepare?

Practice is an absolutely crucial MAT guide to prepping for the test. Practice is most effective if it is done daily or a number of times a week. It is good to build up revision strategies that begin well in advance of the exam. You don’t want your child to cram everything in at the last minute!


As an MAT guide, your child should begin by completing individual questions that are likely to come up in the exam. Help them familiarise themselves with the style of questions examiners tend to ask. This will allow you to begin thinking logically about the problems they set. It is also


Sit down with your child and get them to complete timed practice MAT exams. Mock exams like these will prepare your child for the scenario they will be in on the actual day. Some candidates taking the MAT are very capable but become unstuck because of timing issues. The exam is both a test of ability and, most importantly, your child’s ability to competently answer questions and find solutions to problems in a short space of time.


UniAdmissions offers a comprehensive MAT guide and tuition course. The course was created to support students for through the MAT and ensure they are fully prepared for the exam and is a great addition to your child’s study.


What next?

Make sure you set your child a revision timetable and strategy. Cover the content needed for the test so that your child gets to grips with possible topics that might be asked.


Practice questions with your child on a regular basis. It is not advisable to suddenly start cramming MAT study in the week before the exam. The best way to train your child’s brain to start thinking the way that is required is to start early and to regularly test them.


Make sure you leave your child time to complete full practice exams, under timed conditions. The ultimate guide to exam success is through continuous practice. As they say, practice makes perfect!

Book your child onto Maths Entry Programme

Another useful MAT guide is to book your child onto a maths programme with UniAdmissions. Our leading intensive courses are designed to ensure your child receives the skills to achieve their best possible MAT result.

The programme guides your child through the whole Maths admissions process from test advice to interview preparation. Students who attend our entry programmes have tripled their chances of achieving their goal at a place within their chosen University. Now, your child can be a part of it too!

Take a look for yourselves >>>

Further News and Information

Read the latest in the news regarding university admissions in our blog. Get answers questions such as what university is best for my subject? What exams do I need to take? And, what are the most common questions asked in a university interview? Written by top experts and Oxbridge students, these informative posts have all the information you need to know about the admissions process.

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