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 Thinking of applying to Cambridge, or to read Medicine or Maths at any UK University in Autumn 2024?

Read on for an important update! 

Cambridge Assessments Admissions Testing (CAAT) has recently announced that the following Admissions Tests will be discontinued from the 2024 university cycle: 


Engineering at Cambridge 


Natural Sciences, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, and Veterinary Sciences at Cambridge 


Medicine at Brighton and Sussex, Imperial, Keele, Lancaster, UCL, Oxford, Cambridge, Leeds; Dentistry at Leeds; Biomedical Sciences at Oxford

If you are someone who is planning to sit these tests in 2024, or know someone who is, don’t panic! This article will explain what the changes will mean for you.  

Why are these admissions tests being discontinued? 

The reasoning behind these changes given by Cambridge Admissions Assessment Testing is as follows: “The bespoke tests are operationally unsustainable over the medium term, given their significant complexity and the need to deliver them affordably to students and higher education institutions” 

This appears to fit the current trend of a focus on sustainable delivery in Higher Education admissions. Similar reasoning was given earlier in 2022 when it was announced that both Oxford and Cambridge admissions interviews would be conducted online for the foreseeable. 

How will applicants in 2024 be affected? (Students currently in Year 12) 

  • You may potentially be sitting new tests in 2024. These are likely to come with guidance and exemplars but few, if any past papers.

  • For those applying to Natural Sciences, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, you will be sitting the ESAT.

  • ESAT will be a computer-based assessment. To find out more, click here!

  • While there will be less practice material, prospective candidates could still practise using the old-style past papers in the meantime, as Admissions Tutors will still be looking for the same fundamental criteria for these courses.  

Will they be replaced with alternative tests? 

The ENGAA and NSAT have been replaced by the ESAT. This will apply to Natural Sciences, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.

Cambridge and Oxford have announced that the BMAT will be replaced with the UCAT.

Engineering and Science Admissions Test (ESAT) 

  • The ESAT is made up of individual multiple-choice assessments, with Mathematics 1 being compulsory for all candidates.

  • In most cases, candidates will be required to complete two additional assessments from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Mathematics 2
  • The ESAT will be a computer-based assessment at a Pearson VUE test centre.

  • Each of the individual multiple-choice assessments last 40 minutes each.

  • Assessments are sat back-to-back on the day of the test.

  • Most candidates will take 3 assessments, lasting 120 minutes (2 hours) in total. 

  • The assessments dates are: 15-16th October 2024 and 7th-8th January 2025. 

Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (TMUA) 

  • Applications of Mathematical Knowledge assesses an applicant’s ability to apply their knowledge of mathematics in new situations. 

  • Mathematical Reasoning assesses their ability to deal with mathematical reasoning, and simple ideas from elementary logic.

  • The TMUA lasts 2 hours 30 minutes in total. The two separately timed subsets (75 minutes each) are in a multiple-choice format, delivered by computer-based assessment in a Pearson VUE test centre.

  • The TMUA will also be used for applicants to Warwick (optional), Durham (optional), LSE (required for 2 courses, optional for others), and Imperial.

  • The assessments dates are: 16-17th October 2024 and 8th-9th January 2025. 

How do you book at test?

  • Tests are taken at a local Pearson VUE test centre, rather than schools or college. 

  • Students self-register for the test via the Pearson Vue website.

  • Tests cost £75 when taken in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Outside of the UK, they cost £130.

Are Oxford’s admissions tests affected? 

At this stage, only students applying to Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Oxford (from 2024 onwards) will be affected by these changes as the BMAT is the only Oxford test being discontinued. Oxford has confirmed that the UCAT will replace the BMAT for students applying to Medicine. They are yet to confirm whether there will be a new test for Biomedical Sciences.

Oxford has confirmed that there will not be an AMELAT for those applying to Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and that the GAT for Geography will also not be used this year.

No changes to the CAT (Classics Admissions Test), ELAT (English Literature Admissions Test), HAT (History Aptitude Test), LNAT (National Admissions Test for Law), MAT (Mathematics Admissions Test), MLAT (Modern Languages Admissions Test), PAT (Physics Aptitude Test), Philosophy Test (for applicants to Philosophy and Theology only), or TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment) have been announced to date.

Preparation is key 

We take great pride in the support we provide for students sitting University Admissions Tests here at Oxford and Cambridge Tutors. In 2022, we worked with over a hundred students sitting the full range of tests. 72% of these students then went on to be invited to interview, compared to the national average of 51%.

To ensure that we always offer the highest quality tuition possible, we are constantly monitoring for any further announcements, briefing our tutors and adapting our materials.  We will work hard to make sure that the support we provide students sitting these updated tests from 2024 is of the highest quality possible.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about these Admissions Test changes or anything else University-related, please do not hesitate to contact our Universities Team or give them a call on 01865 956605. We are always happy to help!

— Kate and the Oxbridge Team