Do you need to sit an entry test for university in the UK?

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We all know that you need to achieve success at A level (or equivalent) to secure a spot at your favourite UK university. But, did you know that many universities also require you to sit and pass standard tests to assess your aptitude for studying certain subjects?

Determining whether you need to sit a standard entry test is not straightforward. Not all universities require you to take the tests. In some cases, standard tests are a requirement and other cases they are not a requirement but students who have taken the tests and done well often receive unconditional offers from university. To complicate matters further, not all universities accept the same tests. So, what are the main tests and which universities require them?

Standard Entry Tests for Medicine

If you want to study Medicine, universities generally require you to pass one of two entry tests. The test you are required to sit depends on the universities to which you are applying and it may also depend on your nationality.

The two main medical school admissions tests are BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) and University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT).

BMAT is slightly less common and required for entry into medical school in Brighton and Sussex, Imperial College, University of Lancaster, University College London, University of Cambridge, University of Leeds, and the University of Oxford.

The Keele University and the University of Manchester also require the BMAT test for their international students.

UCAT is more commonly used and you will find that most other medical schools in the UK will require you to sit the UCAT test.

Standard Entry Tests for Law

The main standard entry test for Law is the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT). This test is designed to see if you are suited to a course and career in the legal field. You will need to take the LNAT test if you want to study Law in any of the following universities:

The University of Bristol, University of Durham, University of Glasgow, King’s College, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), or University College London (UCL).

The University of Cambridge has its own entry test for law students and you only sit this test if you are called to interview at the University.

Standard Entry Tests for Maths

There are different entry tests for students wishing to study Mathematics (and sometimes Computer Science) degrees.

The Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (TMUA) is used by the universities of Durham, Lancaster, Warwick, Sheffield, Southampton and the London School of Economics (LSE), Nottingham and Cardiff.

The Sixth Term Examinations Paper (STEP), is used by Cambridge and Warwick.

The Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT) is required for entry to Oxford and Imperial. It is also accepted by the University of Warwick (which accepts MAT, TMUA, and STEP tests).

Standard Entry Tests for Economics and Social Science

Entry tests are less common for Economics and Social Sciences, however, some institutions use standard entry tests to assess a student’s suitability for such courses.

Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) is used by Oxford, Cambridge and UCL for specific courses which focus on subjects such as Economics, Social and Political Studies, Philosophy and Psychology.

To find out more which universities best suit your academic and social interests and what standard entry tests (if any) are required, book your personal consultation with one of our higher education experts today!


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